Sunday, December 28, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 28 December 2014

Elders Quorum
Tad R Callister October 2014 General  Conference talk, “Parents: The Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children”
Are schools and churches capable of teaching a child everything he needs to be successful in life?

The teacher said that he served his mission in the ghettos of Philadelphia and each family had satellite or cable TV.

He read a sorry from the talk of a mother raising her kids in the Detroit ghettos.   She was a maid for several affluent people and she noticed that they all had libraries in their homes.   She went home and turned off the TV and started buying them books.

In the home kids can be taught one on one much more often than at school or church. At home we are also not bound by a curriculum.   We can tailor lessons to the needs of the child.   Curriculum is critical in those other environment for learning to occurring in those settings.

Enos 1:3 -  wiki raising children
3 Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.

He had often heard his father speak.

"I remember my father stretched out by the fireplace, reading the scriptures and other good books, and I would stretch out by his side. I remember the cards he would keep in his shirt pocket with quotes of the scriptures and Shakespeare and new words that he would memorize and learn. I remember the gospel questions and discussions at the dinner table." (Elder Callister)

Sunday School
My lesson on identify sacred things and treat them with reverence.
Have you had any questions come up in your personal study of the gospel that you would like to ask our discuss?

We are going to talk about having reverence for sacred things today.

What is reverence? Is it slightly different for a toddler than for a primary kid than for teenagers and adults?

A toddler might have good reverence if they fold their arms and be quiet.

A primary child might have good reverence if they find their arms, be quiet and she still.

How should our reverence be as those who have matured beyond a primary child?

What things should we have reverence for?
D&C 63:61
61 Wherefore, let all men beware how they take my name in their lips—

The lesson mentions that we should all be mindful that the names of Deity are sacred and that we should use them with reverence and respect.

What are examples of ways we should be cautious of how we take the lord's name to our lips?
-blessing the sacrament when we are not worthy.
-partaking of the sacrament casually. Without thinking of the Savior and recommitting  to be better.

The names of Deity are sacred.   What does it mean for something to be sacred?

Elder Paul B Pieper, To Hold Sacred, General Conference April 2012
“Sacred means worthy of veneration and respect. By designating something as sacred, the Lord signals that it is of higher value and priority than other things. Sacred things are to be treated with more care, given greater deference, and regarded with deeper reverence. Sacred ranks high in the hierarchy of heavenly values.”

There are times we show extra reverence. One time would be when talking about Deity or when using their names.

Back in olden times you didn't speak the name of Jehovah ever.

Why should we be reverent when speaking of God?

There are things that are so important or sacred to us that we show reverence when they are discussed or what we are in their presence.

Here are a some scriptures that talk about being cautious as we speak of sacred things.

3 Nephi 26:9-11
9 And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.

10 And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation.

11 Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.

9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.

10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.

Sacred things are withheld from those that are not prepared partially because with great power or knowledge comes great responsibility and they will be accountable for what they know.  They are also withheld because sacred things diminish in value to those that receive them when treated lightly.

What are some other things that are sacred and we’ll talk about what makes each one sacred and why we should pay close attention and up our reverence when they are discussed or when they are near?

How about the temple,  the Chapel , the sacrament, spiritual experiences, the Sabbath, our repentance and our sins, and the priesthood?  How about womanhood?

“Woman is God’s supreme creation. Only after the earth had been formed, after the day had been separated from the night, after the waters had been divided from the land, after vegetation and animal life had been created, and after man had been placed on the earth, was woman created; and only then was the work pronounced complete and good.” (President Gordon B Hinckley, “Our Responsibility to Our Young Women”, Ensign September 1988)

This type of talk might cause girls or women to gloat a bit and say, “That’s right women are the best.” or “Girl Power!”  Does that type of talk treat womanhood with respect and reverence and as something sacred or does it treat it with contention and arrogance?

What are some ways that men show their reverence for womanhood?

Do your fathers require you to show respect to your mother?  It is my opinion that all women are mothers.  I think this is supported by the fact that the Church gives gifts to all women on Mother’s Day.

What are some ways that women show their reverence for womanhood?

How do we treat something that is sacred?  How do we act around something that is sacred?

When we give reverence to sacred things we are more able to hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  The act of giving reverence is giving focused respectful attention to something.  This means that other distractions are blocked out.  This means that our agendas and pleasures are postponed or disregarded entirely.

The Sabbath
Why is the Sabbath sacred?

How do we treat the Sabbath as sacred.

The Chapel
Why is the chapel sacred?

How do we treat the chapel as sacred?

The Priesthood
Why is the priesthood sacred?

How do we treat the priesthood as sacred?

Sacrament Service
A young man recently called to serve a mission to Little Rock, Arkansas spoke to us.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 21 December 2014

Elders Quorum
December 2014 Ensign, The Reality of Christmas, by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson
Do we have real and valuable things that we don't realize we have or that we minimize the value of? How do fake or counterfeit things get in our way of recognizing things of real value.

The teacher talked about sharing The Nutcracker with his kids and talking to them about how fun it was and asking them if they thought it was real.   They then looked at nativity scenes and read Luke 2 and asked the kids if they thought that story was true. They discussed the differences between the two stories and the difference between the feeling of fun as compared to the felling of the spirit they feel when tabling about Jesus.

Sunday School
My lesson on Youth Sunday School -  How can I understand the symbols used to teach about the Second Coming?
Have you had any spiritual conversations or experiences with friends this week?

We are going to talk today about parables and symbols in the scriptures that help us understand the second coming.

Have you had anything in your spiritual studies that has made something else make sense that you hadn’t previously understood?

Facts about the Second Coming
Elder Oaks expressed four facts about the Second Coming:
“Four matters are indisputable to Latter-day Saints: (1) The Savior will return to the earth in power and great glory to reign personally during a millennium of righteousness and peace. (2) At the time of His coming there will be a destruction of the wicked and a resurrection of the righteous. (3) No one knows the time of His coming, but (4) the faithful are taught to study the signs of it and to be prepared for it. I wish to speak about the fourth of these great realities: the signs of the Second Coming and what we should do to prepare for it.”(General Conference
APRIL 2004, Preparation for the Second Coming, DALLIN H. OAKS)

We talked the last time I taught, about who are the wicked that will be removed from the earth and who are the righteous that will remain with the Savior.

The righteous are those who are  holding to the iron rod and becoming more like Father all the time. They are those who pray always.

Being righteous is about actively finding the ways that we are not obedient to God's instructions and commandments and actively working to change our character so that we are more obedient each day.

In our morning prayers we can assess how we are going to be better today.   Throughout the day we pray for strength when we are struggling to be better as we intended and repent and try again.   At the end of the day we pray and review how the day went. We repent of where we fell short and determine how we can succeed tomorrow.

We are obedient not just because God said so, but because that is how life works.   If we don't prepare in the ways God has shown then we are not prepared to function in the Millennium.

God gives us instructions on how to live,  so we will be successful. There are laws of the universe which are just how things work and that is what he tries to show us with the commandments.  

Parables and Symbols
The Savior shared simple stories, parables, and real-life examples that made sense to those He taught. He helped them discover gospel lessons in their own experiences and in the world around them.

We could use the real life example of gravity to help us to understand spiritual laws and God's love manifested by giving us commandments.

A temporal example of a natural law of how things work is the law of gravity.

Parents lovingly try to protect their children from potential negative effects of gravity by setting rules.   Rules like don't climb on that, don't run on the stairs, and get off the roof.

A person that does not learn to live within the constraints of gravity will likely be unprepared for adulthood and to live unsupervised. Even astronauts that appear to break away from gravity cannot live as though gravity does not apply to them or that it is an old notion from a time long past.

If they ignore the earth and moon's gravity's effect on them or their effect on each other they will likely end up where they do not want to go. The effect of gravity can pull you off just the slightest and as Elder Uchtdorf has pointed out before,  being of our course by just a little bit can over time and distance be a large distance off our target.

Does that make sense that God's commandments are explaining how things work and not just a bunch of arbitrary rules to keep us from what we want?

Why Symbols
“In teaching the gospel, we do not re-create the material world around us; we deal with the intangible world within us, and there is a big difference. None of the ordinary tools are available to us. To convey to a youngster the idea of a cat is much simpler than to convey the idea of faith; faith is very difficult to describe.

“For instance, how big is faith? We soon learn that size  is not helpful. Only vaguely can we talk to a youngster who knows nothing about faith by talking about an amount, such as much faith, or little faith. We can’t tell him what color it is. We can’t tell him what shape it is. We can’t tell
him what texture it is.” (Elder Boyd K Packer, Teach Ye Diligently, rev. ed. [1991], 31–32).

Gravity is a symbol that we can use to understand God's laws. Jesus and others have used the symbols of parables to help us to understand the mysteries of God.

The Ten Virgins
Someone tell the parable of the ten virgins.

Who are the ten virgins? Who are the five foolish?

Elder Oaks explained a little bit about the ten virgins.
“The arithmetic of this parable is chilling. The ten virgins obviously represent members of Christ’s Church, for all were invited to the wedding feast and all knew what was required to be admitted when the bridegroom came. But only half were ready when he came.” (April 2004 General Conference, “Preparation for the Second Coming”)

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency said:
“If we become casual in our study of the scriptures, we will become casual in our prayers.

“We may not cease to pray, but our prayers will become more repetitive, more mechanical, lacking real intent. Our hearts cannot be drawn out to a God we do not know, and the scriptures and the words of living prophets help us know Him” (“Prayer,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 17).

Part of the preparation of the wise virgins, the righteous, is to prepare by making a meaningful relationship with God in their prayer and scripture time, rather than just rushing through.

“I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 67)

“What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow—through our premature death or through His unexpected coming—what would we do today? What confessions would we make? What practices would we discontinue? What accounts would we settle? What forgivenesses would we extend? What testimonies would we bear?” (Elder Dallin H Oaks, April 2004 General Conference, “Preparation for the Second Coming”)

The wise virgin, the righteous, do their best to not wait to do away with bad habit, to forgive people, and to confess their sins and repent.

“The movies and magazines and television that shape our attitudes are filled with stories or images that portray the children of God as predatory beasts or, at best, as trivial creations pursuing little more than personal pleasure. And too many of us accept this as entertainment.”
(Elder Dallin H Oaks, April 2004 General Conference, “Preparation for the Second Coming”)

The righteous wise virgins, are careful about their entertainment.  The righteous wise virgins do their best to not put their pleasure above the things of God.  They do their best to understand the commandments like the sabbath and set aside their own pleasures and in place do their best to understand what Father would have them participate in on Sunday, even in the privacy of our own homes and rooms.

“While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us.” (Elder Dallin H Oaks, April 2004 General Conference, “Preparation for the Second Coming”)

The righteous wise virgins raise their bar of acceptable behavior and accelerate their preparation to meet the Savior.

Doctrine and Covenants 88:88-90
88 And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people.
89 For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.
90 And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.
He sent prophets and apostles, special witness, to testify that Jesus was returning soon. He then began to send natural disasters to humble the people and get their attention that His return is soon.

Jst Matthew 1:49-50 -  the Second Coming
49 Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
50 Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing; and verily I say unto you, he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

The righteous are those that are found doing their duty.

Sacrament Service
One of the speakers said there are three levels of Christmas.
Level 1- Santa Claus and the 12 days of Christmas.
Level 2 - The baby Jesus.
Level 3 -  The adult Jesus

Level 1 is fleeting. Level 2 is fleeting if we never go beyond the baby to Jesus and the atonement and resurrection.

Moroni 7:16
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

Family home evening is an opportunity to dig deeper into doctrines of the church than what we can in our church classes and talks.

Establish good traditions, but do not let traditions get in the way of or become more important than our duty of the people in our lives.

When tradition becomes a fight or a huge cute them it has gone too far.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 14 December 2014

Elders Quorum
R Val Johnson, The Answer to All the Hard Questions, Ensign December 2014
Trials -  What are the hard questions of life?
There may be a reason why people behave the way they do. We should try to understand before we judge.

When we have trials, remember that things don't happen as random as we someone perceive. We  need to realize that this life is to be tried, so trials are the point not a road block. Our trials are often smaller in an eternal perspective than we perceive.  Life is temporary and God wants all things to be for our good.   He will not let us be tried beyond our capacity if we keep reaching for his help.

We need to rely on spiritual affirmations. We should not rely on other people for our testimonies or for our self estate.   We should rely on the spirit and not on our priesthood leaders, our employers, our parents, or even our spouses for our affirmations of faith or confidence.

"...first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. " (President Dieter F Uchtdorf, Come Join With Us, October 2013 General Conference)

Sunday School
2nd monthly lesson

One of the young women said Doctrine and Covenants has so many good answers to life.

Jeremiah 1:5-9
5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
7 ¶But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

God knew us for a long time before we were born. He spent time before we came to earth to prepare us for this life.

Mosiah 2:11
11 But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen by this people, and consecrated by my father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people; and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me.

“To consecrate is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes. True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives—that is, our time and choices—to God’s purposes (see John 17:1, 4; D&C 19:19). In so doing, we permit Him to raise us to our highest destiny.” (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Reflections on a Consecrated Life, October 2010 General Conference) - wiki set apart,  consecrated

Moses 6:31-34
 31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
 32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.
 33 Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.
 34 Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.

List people that accomplished something they would not have been able to without the Lord's help.