Sunday, August 28, 2011

Church Services This Week at Weber Heights Stake Conference Ogden Utah August 8-28-2011

Stake Conference
President Mark Bishoff, President Weber Heights Stake
We, as a stake, delivered 15 truckloads to the food banks in the area.  President Bishoff ask us for 14.

I had a hard time with this assignment.  I for a while have struggled with why I would send any of my resources to the local food banks that are not governed by the Church with the controls in place that we have that people not just collect the benefits, but that they serve in some way to help them grow and get out of their impoverished condition,  Why not just give everything I can to the Fast Offering fund and let the Church take care of the people?

I quickly determined that since President Bishoff gave us the assignment that I would participate.  He had given specific instructions that we should all bring five to ten dollars of food to our ward building to be place in two pickup trucks or mini vans and those vehicles would be taken to the stake center.

As I pondered the assignment I recalled that I had just increased the percent I contribute to the Fast Offering fund each month.  Perhaps I could deduct whatever I gave for this project, I could deduct from my fast offering contribution the next time.  I think it was clear that this was a call for us to do extra on top of what we were already doing, so my solution made no sense, even though I would’ve felt more like my fast offering fund were being directed by the Church to a specific project.  We don’t deduct our time from our tithing when we serve in this Church, so this felt like it was no different.

President R. Brent Olson, Utah Ogden Mission President
Much like we don't have to understand how technologies work to use them and have them bless us, we don't have to understand how prayer works to know that it does.

Elder Lynn L Summerhays, Area Seventy
Faith is a principle of action.  We need to show out faith not by what we say, but what we do.

The way to vet things done is to get on your knees and ask for help and then get off my knees and get to work.

Elder M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
How is my spiritual growth coming in relation to the requirements needed to get to the celestial kingdom?

Not only was there confusion about religion in Joseph Smith's community, but also in his own home.  Members of his own family belonged to different religions.

People learn, but they often do not experience.  Many understand mentally, but not spiritually.

We need to strengthen our spirit to not just see the physical all the time.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Church Services This Week at “An Afternoon with an Apostle” Ogden Utah August 8-27-2011

Bishop Richard C Edgley - Presiding Bishopric
No matter how young you are, you can be a powerful example of Christ and can bring many to him through that example.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband - Presidency of the Seventy

He was told when he gave his first talk that a talk should contain three things.
  • A scripture.
  • A story or experience.
  • A testimony
Notice that he lists a story/experience as a separate item from a testimony.  One could likely deduce from this that a testimony does not contain a story or experience.  Perhaps when one is asked to give a testimony, a story or life experience is not required, nor requested.

In my opinion, when one adds a story or experience to their testimony one is drifting into a territory that would more likely be termed an impromptu talk.  Please note that once a month we hold a meeting called a testimony meeting.  It is not called impromptu talk meeting.

Philippians 4:1
1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

“Stand Fast in the Lord” - Elder Rasband

We sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives.  When Elder Ballard got up to speak he asked up if we really knew that.

He said that he was on his mission when we were all in the spirit world.  He said that it was so long ago that we might not have even been in the spirit world yet.  j/k

He talked of his mission to England.  He said at one point he stopped and asked God if he was really on His errand.  He did not hear a voice, but he felt thunder in his soul.

You can get answers to your questions about God, but you have to ask Him.

When your Church leaders step off the stage of Church leadership, who will step on to take their place.  Prepare yourself to be able to do so.  He added that he didn’t know if there were any future apostles in the room, but he said neither did we.

Set a line that you will not cross about the entertainment you partake of.

He expressed that he thought that the best education you could get is in the mission field.  It made me reflect on time outside of the field where I have been doing missionary work.  It does seem that when I am in the process of preparing to share the gospel with someone, whether it be one who is not a member of the Church or whether it be in instructing members of the Church, I do tend to learn more about myself, life, the gospel, and even the sciences and history.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah August 8-14-2011

Elders Quorum
Kids can be taught modesty at a young age.  They can also have conversations about our bodies in a sacred way.

We have to approach the topics of modesty and chastity carefully because Satan can taint true information in one who is not mature.  We also approach it carefully because sexuality and our bodies are sacred.

Just like the temple is sacred and we speak very carefully about the temple and the ordinances that go on their and the covenants we make.

Who does pornography hurt?  If you are a soldier on guard duty and you fall asleep, who does it hurt?  Pornography dulls your ability to hear the spirit.  The power of your priesthood is lessened.  It is like being asleep on guard duty with any empty gun.

Sunday School
The people of south America may need a message that focuses on different things than the message people of Utah need.  The people of 2000bc may need a message that focuses on different things than what
people in 30ad needed, which may be a slightly different message than we need today.  A congregation that is having certain difficulties may get sermons that focus on fixing those difficulties and the speaker may not mention the other essential parts of God’s law.  A letter to the leader of a congregation, who already understands good works may only contain reminders on grace, without mentioning that our own effort is also required to reach out to that grace daily.

Many of the messages may be the same or part of the message may be similar, parts may be included or left out depending on the context of the audience.

Paul received the gospel through revelation.

The teacher gave a hand out on the travels and writings of Paul.

The travels and writings of Paul the Apostle
Approximate Date Travels Scripture References Notes
36 Road to Damascus Acts 9:4-19;22:7;26:14,
Gal 1:15-16
36-37 Arabia Gal 1:17
37-40 Damascus Acts 9:19-25;Gal l: 17-18
40 Jerusalem Visit Acts 9:26-30;Gal 1: 18-19 Visited with Peter and
James, the Lord's
40-44 Tarsus Gal 1:21-24
44-46 Antioch Acts 11:26 Brought by Barnabas
46-49 First Missionary Journey Acts 13:1 - 14:26 Barnabas and John
49 Council at Jerusalem Acts 15:1-13;Gal 2 :1-10 Travels with Barnabas
and Titus
49-52 Second Missionary Acts 15:36- 18:22 Silas, Timothy, Luke
54-57 Third Missionary Journey Acts 18:23- 21: 15
58-60 Prisoner at Caesarea Acts 24:1 - 26:32
61 Travel to Rome Acts 27:1 - 28: 10 Shipwrecked
61-63 House arrest in Rome Acts 28:30
63-67 Spain? Rome? Elsewhere? No Scriptural Record
67 -68 Death in Rome No Scriptural Record Martyred

Date Epistle Notes
50 1 Thessalonians Written from Corinth during his second missionary journey
51 2 Thessalonians See above
55 1 Corinthians
55 2 Corinthians
57 Galatians
57 Romans
60 Philippians
60 Colossians
60 Ephesians
62 Philemon
62 Hebrews
64 1 Timothy
64 Titus
65 2 Timothy
For more information see "Pauline Epistles" Bible Dictionary (pp 743-748)

Acts 11:22
22 Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

Barnabas doesn't decide on his own to go to Antioch.  He is assigned by the apostles.

Acts 11:26
26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

People who did not believe in Christ called them Christians.  Paul does not call them Christians.  He calls them saints.

John Mark is the author of the book Mark.

Acts 13:2
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

The apostles fasted and laid hands on the person to give them the authority to minister.
Separate = set apart.

Saul was named after king Saul and was of the tribe of Benjamin.

Sacrament Service
Doctrine and Covenants 78:19
 19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

“Prophets are not the only people who can receive revelation. According to your faithfulness, you can receive revelation to help you with your specific needs, responsibilities, and questions and to help you strengthen your testimony.” (“Revelation,” True to the Faith, (2004),140–44)

Joseph Smith History 1:12
 12 Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know; for the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible.

From the Bulletin
"Most testimonies don't happen in a blinding flash of light. You gain gospel knowledge over time, and you learn to rely on good feelings prompted by the Holy Ghost. Along the way, there are many people who serve as role models: those who inspire us to live as we should live. You will strengthen your testimony and learn to be obedient by following their examples. Following good role models is a key to your future. You will end up being like those you look up to, so find good heroes, and try to live as they would live. Consider eternal things as the measurement of who your role models should be. Look to the good examples in your own family, and pattern yourself after them. Look at others who pattern their lives after the Savior, and pattern your life after them.
Choose your role models wisely because they become your heroes. You will remember what they would do, and that becomes your pattern, enabling you to make wise decisions. And before you know it, others will be looking up to you and patterning their good behavior based on a role model they admire—you.
The ultimate role model for our mortal lives is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was perfect in every way and who gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. All of our righteous behaviors and actions spring from our faith in our Redeemer, and that faith springs from our testimony of who He is and what He has done for us. ''

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah August 8-7-2011

I was sick today.  One of those summer colds.  I stayed home from church.  I took some Nyquil, thinking it would knock me out and I would have to go take a nap.  Instead it made the cold bearable.  I watched some of the Joseph Smith Papers and got through several episodes of season 2.  I was also able to work on some genealogy and go through some old records.

I found a newspaper article announcing that me and five classmates were graduating from seminary.  We had two classes in our ward.  I was the only one in my class in Middlebury, Indiana that was graduating.  The other five were from the other class that met in Elkhart, Indiana.

I also found an article from USA Today from a similar time frame that announced “Mormon lifestyle is healthiest”

That was the headline for the article and the article was by Tim Friend.  The article had the following information.

“The lowest death rates ever reported from heart disease and cancer have been found in a group of 10,000 Mormons, a new study suggests.
Researcher James Enstrom of the University of California, Los Angeles, says key factors for longevity in the study were:
Never having smoked.
Regular physical activity.
Regular sleep habits.
‘The study demonstrates that it's possible to achieve extremely low death rates by adhering to a well-defined lifestyle,’ says Enstrom.
Not smoking was the most important factor. Also important: weekly churchgoing —probably a marker for good social and family support, linked previously to long life.
Other religious groups that embrace the three health factors appear to have similar death rates as the Mormons, even though they consume moderate amounts of alcohol and caffeine, Enstrom says.
Mormons generally avoid alcohol, caffeine and drugs.
Other findings, in today's Journal of the National Cancer Institute, show middle-aged Mormon men who adhered to all three factors had only:
34 percent the cancer death rate as non-Mormon middle-aged white men. Mormon women had 55 percent the rate as non-Mormon white women.
14 percent the heart disease death rate; Mormon women had 34 percent the rate.
22 percent the overall death rate; Mormon women had 47 percent the rate.
Average life expectancy for a 25-year-old Mormon man is 85; other men, 74. For Mormon women, 86; other women, 80.”

My wife brought me home the bulletin from church, so I can include the quote from the cover here.

From the Bulletin
"I want to give you my testimony. I know that God our Eternal Father lives, that He is the great Governor of the universe, and that we are His children, and that somehow He hears and answers the prayers of His children. I want you to know that I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, that He left His royal home on high and came down among men — hated and abused of men — and that He went about doing good. He was crucified out of the hatred of the people; He rose the third day — 'the firstfruits of them that slept' (1 Corinthians 15:20). I want you to know that the Father and the Son appeared to the boy Joseph Smith and ushered in this marvelous dispensation the greatest
dispensation in the history of the entire world."
President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Inspirational Thoughts," Ensign, Feb. 2007, 4