Sunday, March 27, 2011

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah March 3-27-2011

We got a new set of couple missionaries.  It was announced that we had acquired them.  I tried to make a play on the word acquire and the fact that we have been bombarded with March Madness.  So I chimed in and made a comment.  Not only has that joke been done to death over the years, but I entirely train wrecked it, to the point that it may have been offensive to the people we were trying to welcome.  I was preoccupied with and saddened by my statement the rest of the day.  It was very hard to overcome it and concentrate

Charity is often narrowly defined as giving stuff to the poor, but charity is an attitude.  A person with a charitable attitude is less likely to be offended.

We need to go from all the things that we do to be like Christ to doing what Christ would do in all things.

The Relief Society motto: “‘Charity Never Faileth’ stems from the first Relief Society meeting. The sisters were asked by the Prophet Joseph Smith to assist the brethren ‘in looking to the wants of the poor—searching after objects of charity, and in administering to their wants.’ The sisters took this call to heart and became a society devoted to seeking out the poor and needy. “(See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 452.)

Home and visiting teaching should be charity.  Not in the sense of giving them money or food, but in giving them the love of Christ.

John 5:8-11,15-20, 37-39
 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
 10 ¶ The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
 11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
--The guy who was healed gets lectured by the leaders for carrying his bed
 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
 17 ¶ But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
 19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
 37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Joshua 1:8
 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Matthew 14:19-21
 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
 20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
 21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
--Does the lord often gives us all the blessings were can handle and yet have baskets more that he wants to give us.

The savior gave thanks for the loaves and fishes before feeding the people.  We often get caught up in "blessing" the food that we fail to focus on giving thanks.

“I think also of that night when Christ rushed to the aid of His frightened disciples, walking as He did on the water to get to them, calling out, ‘It is I; be not afraid.’ Peter exclaimed, ‘Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.’ Christ's answer to him was as it always is every time: ‘Come,’ He said. Instantly, as was his nature, Peter sprang over the vessel's side and into the troubled waters. While his eyes were fixed upon the Lord, the wind could toss his hair and the spray could drench his robes, but all was well—he was coming to Christ. It was only when his faith wavered and fear took control, only when he removed his glance from the Master to look at the furious waves and the ominous black gulf beneath, only then did he begin to sink into the sea. In newer terror he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’
Undoubtedly with some sadness, the Master over every problem and fear, He who is the solution to every discouragement and disappointment, stretched out His hand and grasped the drowning disciple with the gentle rebuke, ’O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’" (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Broken Things to Mend, General Conference April 2006)

“My brothers and sisters, we are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness—be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.” (Thomas S. Monson, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2009, 86.)

Visiting teaching and home teaching is never done.  We are to strengthen always.

Mosiah 2:27
 27 Therefore, as I said unto you that I had served you, walking with a clear conscience before God, even so I at this time have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together, that I might be found blameless, and that your blood should not come upon me, when I shall stand to be judged of God of the things whereof he hath commanded me concerning you.

Jacob 1:19
 19 And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not cteach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.

“Brethren, home teaching is not just another program. It is the priesthood way of watching over the Saints and accomplishing the mission of the Church. Home teaching is not just an assignment. It is a sacred calling.
Home teaching is not to be undertaken casually. A home teaching call is to be accepted as if extended to you personally by the Lord Jesus Christ.” (President Ezra Taft Beson, "To the Home Teachers of the Church," Ensign, May 1987, 48)

From the Bulletin

"'The teachers duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them' (D&C20:53). This is the mandate of the Lord. I hop;that home teachers and visiting teachers will
experience two things; first, the challenge of the responsibility that is in their great calling, and second, the sweetness of results from their work, particularly with those among us who are less active. I hope that these teachers will get on their knees and pray for direction, and then go to work... If home and visiting teachers respond to this challenge, I honestly believe that they will taste the sweet and wonderful feeling which comes of being an instrument in the hands of the Lord..." President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Instruments of the Lord'', Ensign March 1997, 27-39.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Church Services This Week at Weber Heights Stake Conference General Session Ogden Utah March 3-20-2011

A challenge we have in our day is that we know our children's friends’ parents less and less, because they don't call to ask where there children are.  They call their children directly.

Children are bombarded by media and other children that they are not good enough.

"Some fathers don't think they have the right to ask worthiness questions of their children. They think that is the purview of the bishop alone. Fathers, not only do you have the right to know the worthiness of your children, you have the responsibility. It is your duty to know how your children are doing with regards to their spiritual well-being and progression. You need to monitor carefully the issues and concerns they share with you. Ask specific questions of your children regarding their worthiness, and refuse to settle for anything less than specific answers" (Elder M. Russell Ballard, The Greatest Generation of Missionaries, October 2002 General Conference)

Moses 1:39
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Moses 4:3-4
3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

When we get a drivers license often we think of the freedom we gain, but we also take on tremendous responsibility.  As we come to the point of being able to go to the temple we have the freedom to go to the temple, but we also take on more responsibilities and covenants.

There has been much talk in this stake conference about not slacking while the Ogden temple is remodeled and our closest temple is a few towns away.

Don't just text your parents or children. Learn to talk to them.

"Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God." (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:134–35.)

2 Nephi 2:25
25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

“I wish to discuss our search for happiness. Having lived quite a few years now, I have concluded that since we don’t always desire that which is good, having all our desires granted to us would not bring us happiness (see Alma 41:3–7). In fact, instant and unrestrained gratification of all our desires would be the shortest and most direct route to unhappiness. The many hours I have spent listening to the tribulations of men and women have persuaded me that both happiness and unhappiness are much of our own making.” (President James E. Faust, "Our Search for Happiness", Ensign, Oct. 2000, 2)

“‘What is the price of happiness?’ One might be surprised at the simplicity of the answer.

The treasure house of happiness is unlocked to those who live the gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity and simplicity. Like a mariner without stars, like a traveler without a compass, is the person who moves along through life without a plan. The assurance of supreme happiness, the certainty of a successful life here and of exaltation and eternal life hereafter, come to those who plan to live their lives in complete harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ—and then consistently follow the course they have set” (The Miracle of Forgiveness [1969], 259).

Just as physically we are what we eat, spiritually we are what we choose.

JST:Matthew 1:22 - Compare Matthew 24:24
22 For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant.

Revelation should be happening throughout the church within our stewardship.

John 10:27
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Jacob 4:13
13 Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the  truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really  are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old.

It doesn't matter if you fall off the straight and narrow path to the right or to the left.  It doesn't matter I you are liberal or conservative if you fail to stay on course.

The straight and narrow path can be difficult because it is uphill to higher ground and a higher place.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Church Services This Week at Weber Heights Stake Conference Adult Session Ogden Utah March 3-19-2011

Doctrine and Covenants 108:2-4
2 Therefore, let your soul be at rest concerning your spiritual standing, and resist no more my voice.
3 And arise up and be more careful henceforth in observing your vows, which you have made and do make, and you shall be blessed with exceeding great blessings.
4  Wait patiently until the solemn assembly shall be called of my servants, then you shall be remembered with the first of mine elders, and receive right by ordination with the rest of mine elders whom I have chosen.

Doctrine and Covenants 108:7
7 Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings.

One of the reasons we meet together each week in church is to converse with one another.

Moroni 6:5
 5 And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.

Give opportunities to the less active to pray when they come to church.

Our looks will eventually fade, so the value that we provide to our spouses need to be more how we treat them and how we help them be closer to God.

Enos 1:1-2
1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—
2 And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.

Our testimony comes by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. The testimony received and carried within us enables us to hold a steady course in times of prosperity and to overcome doubt and fear in times of adversity. Each of us needs to know what a testimony is, how we can get it, and what our responsibilities are once we have received a testimony.” (Elder Robert D. Hales, The Importance of Receiving a Personal Testimony, Ensign, Nov. 1994, 20)  - Wiki Testimony, Rock, Prophecy

Helaman 5:12
12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Moses 4:1-4
1 And I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
2 But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me—Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.
3 Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;
4 And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.

“In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

Heavenly Father's plan of happiness revolves around the family.  Satan's primary tool to destroy and confuse Father's children is to attack the family.

Let’s review some of the threats to the family. We have to know what we’re fighting against. If
our young people don’t understand what they’re fighting against, then they can’t prepare
for the battle, and neither can you. We see evidence all around us that the family is not
important. It’s becoming less important in all societies. We know that because marriage rates
are declining, the age of marriage is rising, divorce rates are rising, and more than a fourth
of all births are out of wedlock. (Julie B. Beck, Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Satellite Broadcast , August 4, 2009)

Why does the church give us guidelines?  To prepare us to be fathers and mothers.

Youth are becoming very adept and communicating with people that are 50 miles away, but can't have a conversation with some In the same room as they are.

If Satan can't convince people to not have families then he will change the definition of what a family is.

Malachi 4:5
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Alma 32:26-29, 37-43
26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.
27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
37 And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.
38 But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.
39 Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.
40 And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.
41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.
43Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.

Just as a tree needs nourishment from soil and water so do our testimonies

Lehi's dream - what could be easier than holding onto an iron rod on a straight path, but Satan would tell us it is hard.  Just as a child can lose his family in a store by being distracted by toys, we can get distracted from the way of happiness by the pleasures of life.

Because of Christ we are free from sins dark prison.  Christ has unlocked the door, all we have to do is open the prison door, walk out, cross the courtyard, and walk out the gate.  Often we only get around to opening the door and eventually close the door on ourselves without even crossing the courtyard let alone walking out the gate.

How to prepare our young men to go on a mission.
  1. Begin talking about going on a mission 17 years before they go.
  2. Keep in front of them that the time will before they know it.
  3. Give them a copy of preach my gospel.
  4. Memorize scripture mastery scriptures.
  5. Save child teach FHE lesson from preach my gospel.
  6. Watch the movie The Best Two Years.
  7. Be a good example.

The spirituality our your ward is related to the frequency which our members attend the temple.

The stake president talked of his brother that lives in Brownsburg near Indianapolis and how he has to drive 2 hours to go to Louisville.  The stake president told us of five temples that are less that 2 hours from us and we need to not let ourselves spoiled when the Ogden temple closes for a couple of years.  His brother was in our ward when we lived there and we have made the drive he spoke of.

It takes time to read and pray, but it is worth it in order to receive guidance from one who knows all and is all powerful.