Sunday, April 29, 2012

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah 29 April 2012

Ward Council
Mosiah 5: 5.
 5 And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, that we may not bring upon ourselves a never-ending torment, as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God.

Church Handbook 2 p13 3.3.3 - 3.3.4
Prepare Others to Be Leaders and Teachers

In some wards, leaders rely repeatedly on a small group of people to give service in priesthood and auxiliary organizations. This can overburden the faithful few, and it can also deprive others of experiences that could help them learn and grow. Effective leaders give all members opportunities to serve.

As presiding officers prayerfully consider members to fill leadership and teaching positions, they should remember that the Lord will qualify those He calls. Members do not need to be highly experienced before serving as teachers and leaders. They can learn from experience, by exercising faith and working diligently, and by receiving instruction and support from their leaders.

Presiding officers look for ways to give service opportunities to new members, members who are returning to Church activity, and young single adults. New and returning members are excited about the restored gospel, and they are often ready for opportunities to serve others and learn about the Church. Young single adults need opportunities to contribute to the Lord’s work and grow spiritually.

For information about recommending members to serve in Church callings, see 19.1.1 and 19.1.2.

Delegate Responsibility and Ensure Accountability

Individual leaders cannot and should not do everything themselves. Leaders who try to do too much will “surely wear away” (Exodus 18:18), and so will the people they serve. Leaders should delegate service opportunities to others, such as counselors, clerks, and members of councils or committees.

Delegation includes more than giving someone an assignment. It includes the following elements:

◼ Explaining the purposes of the assignment, suggesting ways it could be done, and explaining when it should be completed. The assigned person should understand and accept accountability to perform the assignment and report on it.
◼ Keeping a written record of the assignment and checking progress from time to time.
◼ Respecting the assigned person’s efforts to develop plans and fulfill the assignment. Leaders provide encouragement and assistance as needed.
◼ Asking the person to report back about the assignment. After receiving the report, the leader accepts the person’s best efforts and expresses appreciation for the good things the person has done.

Elders Quorum
Lesson was based Elder Oaks’ April 2102 General Conference talk titled Sacrifice.
What is sacrifice?

  • Giving up something in exchange for something better.
Why is sacrifice critical to heavenly father's plan?
  • “A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life” (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, comp. N. B. Lundwall [Salt Lake City: N. B. Lundwall, n.d.], p. 58).
How do we sacrifice?
  • Service
What is difficult about sacrifice?
What is the reward for sacrifice?

Spiritual sacrifice is much like investing in a retirement account.  Many people bail on their retirement account when it drops, even though the shares are cheap and they are able to buy many many more
shares than otherwise.  When the value comes back up closer to the time for them to retire a large number of shares return great rewards.

If we are short sighted, calling it a waste of time or money in spiritual things, then we miss long term greater returns on those investments of time and money.

Sunday School
Mosiah 3-6
Mosiah 3:11
 11 For behold, and also his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned.

Those who sin without knowing any better are covered by the atonement.  Those who know the truth and sin, they must repent.

Mosiah 5:2
2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.

Sacrament Service
Family history work is much like being a shepherd.  A good shepherd knows his sheep by name.

We strive in our lives to be like the Savior.  Family history work allows us to assist the Savior in the work of salvation.

Once a man receives the gospel he is not content, considering all is done..

When Lehi partook of the fruit of the tree of life, he immediately looked around for his family to have them partake also.  He did not have to read a talk or be told to look for them.  It came naturally to him.

"You can fulfill your obligation to your kindred dead and to the Lord without forsaking your other Church callings. You can do it without abandoning your family responsibilities. You can do this work. You can do it without becoming a so-called ‘expert’ in it." (Boyd K Packer,  “Someone Up There Loves You,” Ensign, Jan. 1977, 8–9 )

"“Family history work has the power to do something for the dead. It has an equal power to do something to the living." (Boyd K Packer, Ensign December 2010)

From the Bulletin
“We each can learn much from our early pioneer ancestors, whose struggles and heartaches were met with resolute courage and an abiding faith in a living God. … Youth and children were among the thousands who pulled and pushed handcarts or walked along that pioneer trail, just as they are among the Saints today who are pioneering in their own areas throughout the world. I think that there is not a member of this Church today who has not been touched by the accounts of the early pioneers. Those who did so much for the good of all surely had as their objective to inspire faith. They met the goal in a magnificent manner.”  (President Thomas S Monson, “Teaching Our Children,” Ensign, Oct. 2004, 4)

“We honor those who endured incredible hardships. We praise their names and reflect on their sacrifices.
“What about our time? Are there pioneering experiences for us? Will future generations reflect with gratitude on our efforts, our examples? You young [people] can indeed be pioneers in courage, in faith, in charity, in determination.
“You can strengthen one another; you have the capacity to notice the unnoticed. When you have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to feel, you can reach out and rescue others of your age.” (President Thomas S Monson, “Pioneers All,” Ensign, May 1997, 93)

“One sentence from the book of Acts speaks volumes: Jesus ‘went about doing good … for God was with him’ (Acts 10:38). …” (President Thomas S Monson,“Led by Spiritual Pioneers,” Ensign, Aug. 2006, 7–8)

“Jesus Christ, Savior of the world—even the Son of God—was and is the ultimate pioneer, for He has gone before, showing all others the way to follow. May we ever follow Him.” (President Thomas S Monson, “Led by Spiritual Pioneers,” Ensign, Aug. 2006, 8)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah 22 April 2012

Elders Quorum
Doctrine and Covenant 101:43-54 - what need have my lord of this tower in a time of peace
44 A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants: Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive trees;
45 And set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.
46 Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower.
47 And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves: And what need hath my lord of this tower?
48 And consulted for a long time, saying among themselves: What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace?
49 Might not this money be given to the exchangers? For there is no need of these things.
50 And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord.
51 And the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive trees.
52 Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil?
53 Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and—after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof—built the tower also, and set a watchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you?
54 And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off; and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.

Do we sometimes feel that our families are active (peace time) and we are busy, so our time could be used elsewhere (rather than in watching from the tower)?.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:26
26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

Even if one isn’t prepared yet to go in the temple one should remember that the grounds are dedicated and you can go sit outside the temple and get some clarity and peace.

Sunday School
Mosaih 1-3
Mosiah 1:5
5 I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct.

Does having them in our minds and having them readily come to mind when needed, the same as having them always before our eyes.  Can Having them in the front of our mind be termed always before our eyes?

Is the Liahona an artifact at this time of the book of Mosiah or was it still being used to direct the people in some manner?

We should strive to be servant leaders.

Mosiah 2:17
 17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
"only in the service of your god"

Sacrament Service
Helaman 5:40-41
40 And it came to pass that the Lamanites said unto him: What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?

41 And Aminadab said unto them: You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and Amulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you.

2 Nephi 31:19
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

We can have all things that God has and all we have to do is claim it.   We claim it through covenants.

A covenant life is a life of apprenticeship.

One of the speakers said, “...based on a host of scriptures, the most well known being Moses 1:39, that the reason why God and Jesus exist is to serve you and me -- to assist you and me to become as they are.”

Romans 8:16-18
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings  of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.

The speaker, commenting on Romans 8, said, “‘Sufferings’ is also translated to mean ‘adversity, pain, self-sacrifice.’

“So AS we are willing to sacrifice to become as Jesus is, to do what He would do if HE was in our place, we show them that we are ready to receive of the their greatest gifts – eternal life and exaltation……or, in short, to have everything and be everything that they are.”

Ephesians 4:13 (Emphasis added by the speaker)
11 And he gave some (TO BE), apostles; and some (TO BE), prophets; and some (TO BE), evangelists; and some (TO BE), pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto THE measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.

Mosiah 2:41 (Emphasis added by the speaker)
41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal (or daily affairs) and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.

Commenting on Mosiah 2:41, the speaker said, “Essentially, all we need to do is show up, step up, serve up, and live up to our baptismal and temple covenants and they give us everything.”

From the Bulletin
"Now is the time to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, which means accepting His invitation to 'come, follow me' (Luke 18:22). This is the decision we made in our premortal lives. Now we must make it again here in mortality, every day, in every situation by taking the Savior's name upon us, remembering His atoning sacrifice, and keeping His commandments. This we covenanted to do when we were baptized, and we have the opportunity to renew those covenants each week as we partake of the sacrament."
Robert D. Hales, "To the Aaronic Priesthood: Preparing for the Decade of Decision," Ensign, May 2007, 49

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah 15 April 2012

Ward Council
“Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed.

“By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance. For example, how much faith do we really have? How repentant are we? How meaningful are the ordinances in our lives? How focused are we on our covenants?
I repeat: we need the gospel and the Church. In fact, the purpose of the Church is to help us live the gospel.

“We often wonder: How can someone be fully active in the Church as a youth and then not be when they are older? How can an adult who has regularly attended and served stop coming? How can a person who was disappointed by a leader or another member allow that to end their Church participation? Perhaps the reason is they were not sufficiently converted to the gospel—the things of eternity.” (Donald L. Hallstrom, “Converted to His Gospel through His Church”, General Conference April 2012)

“It is common to confuse leadership with telling people what to do.”  “...a true leader does not give direction and expect it to be followed simply because of position. Rather, priesthood leadership is about invitation. A kind invitation, based in pure knowledge and love unfeigned, will always be a greater motivation than ‘Because I said so.’” (Craig Merrill, “Leadership the Lord’s Way”, Ensign January 2012)

Elders Quorum
“I sometimes have said to my friends when they seemed to be at the crossroads, uncertain as to which way they wanted to go, ‘Today is the beginning of eternal happiness or eternal disappointment for you.’” (George Albert Smith, In Conference Report, Oct. 1944, 94)

Some ask things like, “Why would a righteous God allow this or that hard thing to happen us?”  Some might also ask, “Why would a righteous father not buy a snowblower and instead buy snow shovels for his kids, intentionally inflicting hardship on them that he has the power to remove?  The answer is the same.  It is to make our children stronger.

Sunday School
Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon

1 Nephi 9:2-5
2 And now, as I have spoken concerning these plates, behold they are not the plates upon which I make a full account of the history of my people; for the plates upon which I make a full account of my people I have given the name of Nephi; wherefore, they are called the plates of Nephi, after mine own name; and these plates also are called the plates of Nephi.
3 Nevertheless, I have received a commandment of the Lord that I should make these plates, for the special purpose that there should be an account engraven of the ministry of my people.
4 Upon the other plates should be engraven an account of the reign of the kings, and the wars and contentions of my people; wherefore these plates are for the more part of the ministry; and the other plates are for the more part of the reign of the kings and the wars and contentions of my people.
5 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.

2 Nephi 4:15-16
15 And upon these I write the things of my soul, and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon the plates of brass. For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children.
16 Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.

Enos 1:9-11
9 Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them.
10 And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind again, saying: I will visit thy brethren according to their diligence in keeping my commandments. I have given unto them this land, and it is a holy land; and I curse it not save it be for the cause of iniquity; wherefore, I will visit thy brethren according as I have said; and their transgressions will I bring down with sorrow upon their own heads.
11 And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites.

After enos gets forgiveness of his sins his thoughts turn to his brethren.

The numbers of the Nephites are still small at the time of Enos.  When he prays for the Nephites or his brethren, he is talking about his cousins.

The people of Mosiah find the city of Zarahemla which was established by Mulek.  Mulek came out of Jerusalem at the same time as Lehi during the reign of Zedekiah.  Mulek was one of Zedekiah’s sons.

Sacrament Service
A missionary that just returned from the Paris France mission spoke to us.

He said to the young men that you need to prepare for your mission daily.  He said that it is hard to be prepared adequately and things will be new to them in the mission field, but they should be trying anyway.

The missionary's father spoke as well.

“...feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all, wherever he finds them” (Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, 15 Mar. 1842, 732)

From the Bulletin
“Some people say, “I can’t afford to pay tithing.’  Those who place their faith in the Lord’s promises say, ‘I can’t afford not to pay tithing.’ “  (Dallin H Oaks, Tithing, Ensign, May 1994, 34)

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Church Services This Week at Sullivan Hollow Second Ward Weber Heights Stake Ogden Utah 8 April 2012 Easter

Elders Quorum
“I recently visited with a woman who has been battling a life-threatening disease for over two years. She indicated that prior to her illness, her days were filled with activities such as cleaning her house to perfection and filling it with beautiful furnishings. She visited her hairdresser twice a week and spent money and time each month adding to her wardrobe. Her grandchildren were invited to visit infrequently, for she was always concerned that what she considered her precious possessions might be broken or otherwise ruined by tiny and careless hands.

“And then she received the shocking news that her mortal life was in jeopardy and that she might have very limited time left here. She said that at the moment she heard the doctor’s diagnosis, she knew immediately that she would spend whatever time she had remaining with her family and friends and with the gospel at the center of her life, for these represented what was most precious to her.

“Such moments of clarity come to all of us at one time or another, although not always through so dramatic a circumstance. We see clearly what it is that really matters in our lives and how we should be living.” (President Thomas S Monson, “The Race of Life”, General Conference April 2012)

Alma 5:27
27 Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? That your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins?

Matthew 6:19-20
 19 ¶ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

1 Nephi 8:10-12
 10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
 11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
 12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

Lehi partakes of the fruit and then wants to share it with his family.

“The spirits of all men are literally His ‘begotten sons and daughters.’5” (President Thomas S Monson, “The Race of Life”, General Conference April 2012)

The gospel gives us the context of our life.  If you walk into the middle of a conversation we likely will not understand what is going on around us.  If you don't understand the question, you will not understand the answer.

Some of the purposes of this life are experienced through body, agency, and consequences.

Sunday School
Jacob 5 & 6 - The Allegory of the Olive Tree
Jacob quotes the prophet zenos.  This article has some good information on Zenos, THE PLATES OF BRASS: A WITNESS OF CHRIST

Here is a visual that a friend of mine put together on the Allegory of the Olive Tree.

A class member noted a few things about olive trees.  Olive trees can take up to 40 years to begin to bear fruit, they can bear fruit for hundreds of years.  They can produce offspring for thousands of years.

The scattering of Israel is often viewed as a punishment.  It could be viewed as a strategic move for the Lord to preserve his people.

The missionary program could be an example of a temporary grafting. Similarly the population churn we have in the Church where people from other parts of the country and world come to Utah and people from Utah move elsewhere.  It gives us perspective, since our perspective can be very different in Utah vs outside of Utah or in the US vs the rest of the world.  Bringing those perspectives to other parts or going to
other parts and getting perspective can be very healthy for individuals and for the Church.  We just must be cautious not to perpetuate irrelevant, distracting, or unhealthy traditions.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ or being the family of christ is the culture that is our priority.

Sacrament Service
One of the speakers suggested that sin is like an open wound.  If you let them alone and treat them they will heal.  If you keep going back to them and keep the wound open it will not heal and will fester and can turn deadly.

From the Bulletin
In the Garden Gethsemane
by Lowell M. Durham, Jr.
In the Garden Gethsemane,
Our Savior bled from every pore,
And in his prayer remembered me.
Then flung wide open death’s dark door
And lo, I am with you alway,
To follow thee, to follow thee.
My soul to heaven you will lift
And guide my heart so gently to
Remember that atoning gift.
Wash thou my heart, my soul is new.
And lo, you are with me alway,
To shelter me, to shelter me.
My Savior, thou hast blessed us here.
And with your noble sacrifice,
Have beaten death and conquered fear.
A gracious gift, my heart suffice.
And lo, I am with you alway,
I follow thee, I follow thee.