Sunday, March 30, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 30 March 2014

Joint Priesthood/Relief Society Meeting on Genealogy
I gave five minutes at the end on indexing.

Sunday School
A new ruler came to Egypt and he did not know how good Joseph had been.  He was nervous about how numerous the children of Israel were.  He was concerned that they were a larger army than his own.

Moses as a savior is a foreshadowing of Christ.

The Lord showed Moses that he had control over anything Moses is afraid of, so the fact that he was slow of speech became of no consequence.

Sacrament Service
When we go to the temple it affects not only us, but all those in our lives.

“Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay (2003), 208)

"Brethren, within the confines of whatever circumstances we find ourselves, we will always have the right to choose." (President Thomas S Monson, The Three Rs of Choice, October 2013 General Conference)

With the right to choose comes the responsibility to choose.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 23 March 2014

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith chapter 7
We have a clear picture of God and Jesus through the first vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  We get many hints in the scriptures to the characteristics of God, but the first vision spells several things out very clearly.  It tells us about the body of God.  It tells us of the Father and Son's relationship to one another.  It sets aside several no scriptural traditions.

There are many lessons in the relationship of Joseph and Hyrum about sustaining our leaders.  There are also lessons on relationships with siblings.

What does it mean to be an older brother or a younger brother?  What perspective do we gain about our siblings perspective from the life of Joseph and Hyrum and their relationship?

Sunday School
Lesson 12 - Genesis 40-45
Trials are tailored to you.  While it is nice to have someone to understand what you are going through, it is customized for you and you may need to get something different out of that trial than someone else did.

We have to remember when the Lord strengthens us that it is not all us.  Beware of pride and ingratitude.

Jacob’s son’s  looked at Joseph’s vision as oppression and not a blessing.  We often view our trials the same way.

Sacrament Service
The Sister missionaries assigned to our ward spoke to us.

Elder M Russell Ballard’s talk
Reasons we don't share the gospel:
  • Fear -
    • pray - Alma 17:9
    • Practice -
    • Trust the Lord
    • "In the very moment what thee shall say" - scripture
    • Love - Moroni 8:16
  • Misunderstanding of what missionary work is -
    • “What does the Atonement have to do with missionary work? Any time we experience the blessings of the Atonement in our lives, we cannot help but have a concern for the welfare of others. … A great indicator of one’s personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others.” (President Howard w Hunter, “The Atonement and Missionary Work,” seminar for new mission presidents, June 1994).
    • “Missionary work is but home teaching to those who are not now members of the Church, and home teaching is nothing more or less than missionary work to Church members” (President Harold B Lee, Improvement Era, Dec. 1964, 1078).

Some of the bishopric also spoke to us briefly.

3 Nephi 5:1
1 And now behold, there was not a living soul among all the people of the Nephites who did doubt in the least the words of all the holy prophets who had spoken; for they knew that it must needs be that they must be fulfilled.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 16 March 2014

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith chapter 6, The Significance of the Sacrament
Physical and spiritual death came upon mankind because of the fall.  Jesus overcame physical death for all regardless of their choices.  He overcame spiritual death for all that choose to partake of that.  It requires baptism to covenant with Christ and then repenting when we fall short of that covenant and partake of the sacrament to renew that covenant.

Partaking of the sacrament replaced partaking of the paschal lamb.  We no longer sacrifice an animal and consume it, but we still consume something as part of the ordinance.

It’s the duty of the members of the Church to walk humbly and faithfully in the knowledge and understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ. … I have the feeling, I’d like to be wrong but I don’t think I am, that a very, very large percentage of the members of the Church do not realize what it means to eat a little morsel of bread, drink a little cup of water in remembrance of the shedding of the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice upon the cross. (From the manual)

When we sin we put value to that thing we sin with above the Lord.  If we always remember Him, we remember His value and the value of what he has for us.  If we remember that value, then the worth of that sin has perspective.

In order to have a miracle happen in our lives we have to be there.  We have to show up

Sunday School
Lesson 11 - Joseph sold into Egypt

Joseph was the 11th born of Jacob, but the 1st born of Rachel.

Joseph's brothers thought Joseph thought he was better than them because of what he shared about his dreams.  His father was also put off by it.  It made his brothers angry.

The first dream was about Joseph delivering his family temporally.  The second is about delivering them spiritually.

The dreams are a type of Christ as he delivers his people temporally and spiritually.

The second dream includes his father and mother.

The brother's reject him and try to kill him prompted by Judah.  Much like the Jews (the house of Judah), killed the Savior and the leaders of the Jews were jealous and threatened by Him.

We should be careful not to confuse reverence for the Lord's perfection with an excuse that we can not be perfect because we are not Jesus.  We can do what our best and be more that what we are, even if we are not the Son of God.  We can draw on the strength of the Son of God and be a little closer to perfect every day.

Joseph was tempted with great temptation, at a much smaller degree, similar to that which the Savior was tempted.

Ephraim's responsibility in the last days is to spread the Gospel.

Sacrament Service
A missionary that just returned from the Missouri Saint Louis mission spoke to us.

2 Nephi 10:24
24 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

Elder Gene R Chidester of the seventy spoke to us.

John 15:16
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Look for the word chosen in your patriarchal blessing.  Chosen means you have a responsibility.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 9 March 2014

Stake Priesthood Meeting
The stake presidency spoke on things that Elder Perry and Elder Scott shared with them.  When they met with Bishops and Stake Presidents in Layton.

Elder Perry was concerned about the relationship between husbands and wives.

Have we been actively engaged in making our wives happy and fulfill her needs?

Let your family know how the Lord has blessed your life.

It was expressed that the meeting with the apostles was kind of like being fed with a fire hose.

Genealogy is not a program, but a core of the Gospel.

The priesthood needs to be strong in our homes.

“We have done very well at distributing the authority of the priesthood. We have priesthood authority planted nearly everywhere. We have quorums of elders and high priests worldwide. But distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood. The priesthood does not have the strength that it should have and will not have until the power of the priesthood is firmly fixed in the families as it should be.” (President Boyd K Packer, The Power of the Priesthood, April 2010 General Conference)

The stake presidency told us that if the priesthood brethren of our stake step up and fulfill their duty our stake will be greatly blessed.

Judges 7:19-21
19 ¶So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.
20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.
21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.

"As important as our many programs and organizational efforts are, these should not supplant the home; they should support the home.” (Harold B. Lee, “Preparing Our Youth,” Ensign, Mar. 1971, 3)

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith Chapter 5
Faith is more powerful than a sure knowledge.

Repentance is not a punishment, but an privilege through which we gain access to the atonement.

"The mere desire to obtain faith will not bring faith any more than the desire to be skilled in music or painting will bring proficiency in these things without intelligent action." - from the lesson

James 1:18
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Doctrine and Covenants 59:8
8 Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

"There can be no true repentance without sorrow and the desire to be freed from sin.
Contrition is manifestation of a broken, or humbled, spirit because of sin and a sincere sense of the baseness of sin and realization of the mercy and grace of God granted to the repentant sinner." (From the lesson manual)

Sunday school
Lesson 10
Rebecca was compassionate and hardworking.  She was also virtuous and had great faith.

Abraham's servant was  trustworthy and loyal.  He put his commitment ahead of his own needs.

Set standards for our children when they are young and hold them to it, then they will not find a hard change when they are grown.  For example, standards of dress.  The immodest outfit that we find so cute on a toddler or young child we will perhaps not find so cute when we have to try to explain to our teenager why it is inappropriate for them.

"We can have eternal life if we want it, but only if there is nothing else we want more.” (Elder BRUCE C. HAFEN, THE ATONEMENT: ALL FOR ALL, General Conference April 2004)

What in our life can we change to live to our privilege and worthy of our birthright?

James 2:19
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Even the devils believe, but they do not repent. They do not change, progress and become more like God.

Sacrament Service
Four members of my family spoke on genealogy today.  Here are some portions of our talks.

There are many topics that I have had in mind that I have a lot to say on.  Genealogy is not one of those.  I have done a lot of genealogy and was a family history consultant before we moved to this ward, but I just have never thought of anything I could share from the pulpit.

One thing I can say about genealogy is that I often feel more of a sense of accomplishment when I take my own names to the temple, even if they are from lines I don't know well.

I know that many people have a lot of work already done on their direct lines and often feel like they don’t have much to do.  But I have found there is a lot more to do than it looks on the surface.

Aunts and Uncles
My parents are the first generation to join the Church in my family and their relatives are not members of the Church, so there were a lot of uncharted waters to go down with our family history work.  Nonetheless, we have hit some lines that are pretty fleshed out beyond what we know how to research and we have a few lines that dead end when they came from overseas, like from Germany.

What I have found is that there are many lines that branch from the main line through aunts and uncles and spouses that need fleshing out.  This does take some effort to keep track of where you are in the tree and which line they are a part of, but you can find huge pockets of families that need names and dates entered and that need their work done.  These pockets quickly turn into a pool for you to choose from as you go to the temple.  We’ve been swimming in our pool for the last five years or so and easily have a decade or more of work to do before the pool shallows, if we do it alone.

In April 2009 General Conference Elder Richard G Scott said, “I strive to participate in all the different ordinances available in the temple.”

When I first heard him say that it struck me as good council for me to do that as well.  The pool of individuals and extended families has given us opportunities to do all the ordinances for our family.

Step Families and Adoptions
Another area that one can work in family history, when it begins to feel that all has been done that can be done, is work for stepfamilies and also for birth parents of adopted children.

My father's mother died when I was four.  His stepmother, my other grandma, has a lot of work that needs doing.  My dad was also adopted as a baby.  There is tons of work to do on his birth family.  My parents only slightly touched the work in these areas while they worked on the main lines.

The Familysearch web site seems to do a good job of allowing one to add step, adopted, and birth families to the data and mark which they are.

What If I Have Climbed All the Branches I Can Reach?
So what do we do to stay engaged in genealogy when we have climbed as high on the branches of our family tree as we can for the moment?

There are many other ways we can be involved in genealogy.
  • We can take other ward members' family names to the temple.
    • As I have related, we have a large amount of work to do in our genealogy and have many names that need temple work done.  If anyone is lacking names to take to the temple, I can put you to work.
    • I’m sure there may be several in the ward and stake that also could use some help getting their work done.
  • We can also seek out members of the ward and stake that perhaps have genealogy work that needs done who are stuck in an area of genealogy research in which we have some level of expertise.
    • For example, if anyone wants to take a swing at some of my German immigrants and connect them to their German families, I would love the help.
  • Additionally, We can help create a searchable database for others to use via the Church's indexing program, where people read handwritten records and enter them into a form on their computer that can be searchable on the internet.

What Is the Value of Genealogy?
The scriptures spend a lot of time outlining genealogy.  This person begat that person.

Jarom tells us something about the records he kept in Jarom 1:1-2
1 Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept.
2 And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me.

Jarom tells us that he doesn't have much room on the plates, so he is not going to fill them with his prophesying, but he is going to fill what little room he had with his family group records?  Why?

Is it possible that genealogy records are sacred and valuable?  More valuable than just names and dates on a page.  Many times genealogy and scriptures were kept in the same records.  We even see this tradition happening in our day by those who perhaps do not believe in temple work, but they keep genealogy records in the front of a family Bible.  Some in the Church may have this tradition as well.

We remember the story of Nephi and his brothers trying to get the plates from Laban. They continue after those plates, almost being killed in the process.  But they kept going back and eventually Nephi has to kill Laban.  Why?

1 Nephi 4:17 says:
17 And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause—that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.

What were in the records?  Their scriptures and their genealogy.  Many of the scriptures I read in preparing this talk showed scriptures and genealogy being kept together and being valued similar to each other.

The Guide to the Scriptures in our scriptures defines genealogy as follows::
"A record tracing the line of descent in a family. Where priesthood offices or certain blessings were restricted to a particular family, genealogies in the scriptures were very important."

In our genealogy records we keep track of our bloodline, but we also keep track of our spiritual heritage.

In our genealogy records we keep track of baptisms and sealings.  Those ordinances bring us into the lineage of Abraham with the privileges and responsibilities that brings with it.  In our genealogy we record, and hopefully hold sacred, those who can have those certain blessings made available to them as children of Abraham.

Character Building
There is likely some value in our genealogy to help us in molding our character.

Some people in the scriptures had ancestors of valor like Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob.  Some had ancestors with a dark past.

Several of my ancestors are alcoholics and several were stalwarts in the community.  I can mold my character from both of these to my good or to my detriment.

Obviously, the stalwarts I can look to for examples of how to behave, but as I learn more about them I can find that they had struggles as I do and how they were people of good character inspite of life.

Frequently people with ancestors with a dark side get mired by their ancestors behaviors and think they can not be more than that.  Or feel they have no hope because of the early life those ancestors may have put them through.  This does not have to be the case.  I have been dealt many trials and stumbling blocks that arguably have made life harder to live or even understand at times.  But I have my agency to choose the man I want to be today, no matter what I was dealt.

Even Luke Skywalker found an understanding of himself and the man he needed to be through learning about and assessing his genealogy.

We can be inspired by the triumphs of our ancestors or be frozen by their mistakes.

Generation upon generation have struggled as we do.  They have had varying different levels of technology at their disposal, but similar struggles nonetheless.

My Testimony
I know that family history and temple work is a sacred thing.  We should approach the work in a sacred and dedicated manner and hold the work and results very sacred to us.


D&C 128:15
15 And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect.

“Some persons have asked me, ‘Just what is my personal responsibility in this work?’ I answer that your individual responsibility is to be, or to become, worthy to enter the temple of God to participate in ordinances of salvation for yourself and for others. Youth are to be baptized in behalf of the dead. Young adults are to receive an endowment of power and to be married in the Lord’s appointed way. Wives are to be sealed to husbands and have their children sealed to them for all eternity. Thus, just as you can be saviors for the living through active missionary work, so you are to qualify yourselves to become saviors for those who are dead who rely on you for help and assistance.” - THEODORE M. BURTON

D&C 110:12
12 After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.

Romans 14:9
9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

I liked spending time with my dad while he worked on genealogy.

They let me have a computer all to myself when we were at the family history center.  Sometimes my dad would give me stuff he found online that I would enter into the Church’s genealogy web site.
I like to see how the temples are designed.
“Temple and family history work is one work divided into two parts. They are connected together like the ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
—Elder Richard G. Scott
“Many of your deceased ancestors will have received a testimony that the message of the missionaries is true. When you received that testimony you could ask the missionaries for baptism. But those who are in the spirit world cannot. The ordinances you so cherish are offered only in this world. Someone in this world must go to a holy temple and accept the covenants on behalf of the person in the spirit world. That is why we are under obligation to find the names of our ancestors and ensure that they are offered by us what they cannot receive there without our help. …

“Remember that the names which will be so difficult to find are of real people to whom you owe your existence in this world and whom you will meet again in the spirit world. When you were baptized, your ancestors looked down on you with hope. Perhaps after centuries, they rejoiced to see one of their descendants make a covenant to find them and to offer them freedom. In your reunion, you will see in their eyes either gratitude or terrible disappointment. Their hearts are bound to you. Their hope is in your hands. You will have more than your own strength as you choose to labor on to find them.”
—Henry B. Eyring

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 2 March 2014

Elders Quorum
The lesson was based on the March Ensign first presidency message, Service and Eternal Life
When we are in relationships if all in the relationship serve each other the relationship will be successful.  This is true of family relationships as well as work and other relationships.

Ether 12:15-16
15 Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites.
16 Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.

As you become more like God you will desire to serve more and will find joy in it.

Sunday School
Lesson 9 - Sacrifice
The trial to sacrifice Isaac came late in Abraham's life.  The Lord had prepared him all his life for this trial.

The sacrifice of Isaac was a similitude of Christ.  Many things in this sacrifice point to the sacrifice of Christ.
Abraham was one of the few that could deeply understand what it was like for Heavenly Father to sacrifice His son.

“How can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, 'Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then, let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!' ”
—Neal A. Maxwell, "Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds," Ensign,May 1991, 8
Sacrament Service
Testimony Meeting
We can draw closer to God through trials.