Sunday, August 31, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 31 August 2014

Joint RS/Priesthood/Laurels
Why Temples?
Came Down To Earth To Be Proven.png

Temples focus our attention by their appearance and also by what is taught within them.

In the temple we learn fundamental things on how to be like Heavenly Father.

When temples are dedicated they are given to Heavenly Father and He is invited to come there.

“I have a session with the missionary groups as they go out, in the temple, where they are permitted to ask intimate questions that wouldn’t be proper to be discussed elsewhere. They sometimes ask, Could you tell us a certain place in the temple where the Savior has been seen? My answer is, ‘Keep in mind that this is the house of the Lord; this is the place that we try to keep as pure and holy and sacred as any building we have. This is the most likely place he would come when he comes on earth. Don’t ask for a certain place because he has walked these halls. How do you know but what he is here in your midst?” (Harold B Lee, Ensign, Nov. 1971, pp. 12–13.)

John 17:3
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Doctrine and Covenants 109:15
15 And that they may grow up in thee, and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized according to thy laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing;

John A Widsoe, in Conference Report, Apr. 1922, pp. 97–98
“Temple work … gives a wonderful opportunity for keeping alive our spiritual knowledge and strength. … The mighty perspective of eternity is unraveled before us in the holy temples; we see time from its infinite beginning to its endless end; and the drama of eternal life is unfolded before us. Then I see more clearly my place amidst the things of the universe, my place among the purposes of God; I am better able to place myself where I belong, and I am better able to value and to weigh, to separate and to organize the common, ordinary duties of my life so that the little things shall not oppress me or take away my vision of the greater things that God has given us.”

The Priesthood and You, Melchizedek Priesthood Lessons—1966, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1966, page 293
“The temple is a place of instruction where profound truths pertaining to the Kingdom of God are unfolded. It is a place of peace where minds can be centered upon things of the spirit and the worries of the world can be laid aside. In the temple we take covenants to obey the laws of God, and promises are made to us, conditioned always on our faithfulness, which extend into eternity”

Attending the temples helps us overcome selfishness.

We empower ourselves at the temple. We empower those we pray for there.  We empower our dead,  who have not received all that God had for them in this life.

If everyone was allowed in the temple the environment would be less peaceful and more of a tourist experience.

The temple is also about commitment. It would be disruptive if uncommitted people were allowed to walk around in there.

From a handout from the teacher:
We live below our previous existence...Worldly­ natural man-immorality, criticism, hate, envy, competition, pride, murder, iniquity, lying, strife, contention, hypocritical, bondage, despising others, costly apparel, robbings, whoredoms, popularity, lazy, selfishness (what's in it for me?), love of money, priestcraft, vanity, unrighteous judgement and dominion, apathy, flattery, idolatry, dissension, hardened hearts (Alma 1 and 5)
Preoccupied with things of the world, too often watching our clocks and our pocketbooks, looking down and not up, we find our "love" and focus on worshipping the works of our hands (3 Nephi 21:17), on class and rank (Mosiah 27), being critical of others, judging them to be a thing of naught. We try to climb the worldly ladder to be smarter or richer or prettier than our neighbor and seek for the praise of the worlds lowly standard.(1 Nephi 13:9).

Sunday School
Old Testament Lesson 32
What kind of man was Job?
He avoided evil,  was wealthy and humble,  had integrity,  strengthened the weak,  had compassion,  walked in the way of the Lord,  and prayed for his enemies.

What were Job's trials?
He lost his wealth and children,  had extreme pain,  had friends turn on him,  was confused as to why these things were happening to him,  people delighted in his downfall,  and had a feeling of being forsaken.

Was Heavenly Father surprised that Satan presented this plan to go against Job?   Did Father already know what trials Job would have to go through in our lives?

Could the story of Job give us a peek into how trials work behind the scenes? Does Satan need permission from God to afflict us? Are there boundaries Father gives?

We are told we are given no more than we can handle. Are we not only given what will be for our own good? To see that good we have to look beyond our current condition and even beyond the existences of this mortal life. What may be for our good in the long term, may be terribly painful in the here and now.  Satan would have you believe that God is cruel.  God has the perspective that nothing lasts forever in mortality.  Pain and suffering all pass, even death is a temporary thing.

If there is always adequate moisture for a plant, then there is no need for the plant to grow strong roots. Without strong roots a plant can be blown over or in times of severe drought, it will die.  Short periods of drought and suffering is good for the plant in the long term.

If things always go well in our lives, then we will never have need to grow stronger and little things will be massive trials in our perspective. We will also not grow the character of God within us.

Elder Joseph B Wirthlin, PERSONAL INTEGRITY, April 1990 General Conference
"I have felt impressed to speak today about the need for integrity—old-fashioned, personal, practical integrity. To me, integrity means always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences. It means being righteous from the very depth of our soul, not only in our actions but, more importantly, in our thoughts and in our hearts. Personal integrity implies such trustworthiness and incorruptibility that we are incapable of being false to a trust or covenant."

Integrity is always doing what is right even when no one is around.

A building that has integrity holds up to the forces around it.

Sacrament Service

Several people that worked on the play Savior of the World spoke of their experiences.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 24 August 2014

Elders Quorum
The lesson was based on Elder Holland’s conference talk, The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship, April 2014 General Conference

"if you haven’t already, you will one day find yourself called upon to defend your faith or perhaps even endure some personal abuse simply because you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Such moments will require both courage and courtesy on your part."

We should not be rude as we disagree. We also should not persecute non members or inactive members when we are in the majority in our workplace or community.

"Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them."

Sunday School
Old testament lesson 31
Words in Proverbs that might confuse :
-forward  -  contrary
-she /her -  often refers to wisdom
-simple -  weak in intellect or wisdom
-vanity - falsehood or deceit; empty
-scorn - contempt or disdain
-me/my - wisdom

Proverbs 23:7
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:

This speaks to that our thinking and such happens in our spirit or our heart. Heart in the sense of core.

Proverbs 13:24
24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Proverbs 14:3

3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

"rod" in the context of "thy rod and thy staff comforts me”.  A rod is used to guide sheep,  not to beat them.

Isaiah 11:4
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Doctrine and Covenants 121:43

43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

Proverbs 24:13-14
13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Here he talks about the rod of his mouth smiting the earth.  That sounds like smiting the earth with words.  Compare that to chastising a child.

Psalms 2:9
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

1 Nephi 8 also talks about a rod of iron that is the word of God.  That is further evidence that rod in the scriptures means the word of God.  Likely prophets in Old Testament times were taught of the tree of life and the rod of iron that guides people to it.

Deriving Meaning
We can derive meaning in Proverbs from comparison. When the comparison shows difference then there is meaning.   When the comparison shows similarity there is a different meaning.

Wisdom was before the world the world was created and while the world was being created.

We often do not seek after wisdom with enough zeal.  It often comes through listening more about Heavenly Father and Jesus.

“The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means ‘hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.’ It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.
“Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of ‘my will and not thine be done.’ As Paul said, they ‘seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s’ (Philippians 2:21).
“Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled (see Alma 38:12; 3 Nephi 12:30).
“The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their lives (see Helaman 12:6). They pit their perceptions of truth against God’s great knowledge, their abilities versus God’s priesthood power, their accomplishments against His mighty works.
“Our enmity toward God takes on many labels, such as rebellion, hard-heartedness, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up, easily offended, and sign seekers. The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s. …
“Pride is a damning sin in the true sense of that word. It limits or stops progression (see Alma 12:10–11). The proud are not easily taught (see 1 Nephi 15:3, 7–11). They won’t change their minds to accept truths, because to do so implies they have been wrong” (President Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 3–5; or Ensign, May 1989, 4, 6).
Fear God
Fear of God could mean fear of doing anything that would separate us from God.

Sacrament Service
One of the youth speakers said that we don't have time to just sit around and do what we want.

Always Remember
Alma 5:6
6 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell?

Proximate hope means hope in things that change.  Ultimate hope means how in things that don't change.

Man’s Wisdom
“Indeed, when we are unduly impatient with an omniscient God’s timing, we really are suggesting that we know what is best. Strange, isn’t it—we who wear wristwatches seek to counsel Him who oversees cosmic clocks and calendars.” (Neal A Maxwell, Hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, General Conference October 1998)

The War In Heaven
The war in heaven was over whether men should have agency. Today the battle continues on as Satan tries to get us to make decisions that limit or agency.

He wants us to develop addictions that bind us and limit our agency.   He wants us to get into debt that we may be bound and have our agency limited as our resources are bound toward posing of our debts and our time is taken as we have to work more to pay them.

He wants us to make choices so that we are impacted and acted upon by others rather acting of our own free will.  Things like peer pressure that makes us want to let others make our choices.   Things like making bad choices that result in loss of spouse and/or family. Our initial choices then take away or ability to choose certain things later.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 17 August 2014

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph fielding Smith chapter 17 - Sealing Power and Temple Blessings
Malachi 4:5-6
 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.

“May I remind you that when we dedicate a house to the Lord, what we really do is dedicate ourselves to the Lord’s service, with a covenant that we shall use the house in the way he intends that it shall be used.” (Joseph Fielding Smith,  “Ogden Temple Dedicatory Prayer,” Ensign, Mar. 1972, 6)

An ice cream truck could never pull you over and give you a speeding ticket because it has no authority to do so.   An ice cream truck had many good things about it,  but it will never be a police vehicle without that authority.

A church must have the Lord's authority to be able to be more than just another church.

You Can’t Be Perfect In An Instant
We are all in different places in life.   Start where we are and do as much as we can until our capacity is increased by the Lord as we work.

Sunday School
Old Testament Lesson 30
We should not trifle with sacred things.   We should not treat lightly the Temple or the scriptures or other sacred things.

Sacrament Service
A missionary recently called to serve in Taiwan spoke to us.

Having faith in God is like acting because we know wind or air is there even though we can not see it,  but we can see and feel its influence.

James 2:18-20
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

"Day after day, on your path toward your eternal destiny, increase your faith. Proclaim your faith! Let your faith show " (Russell M Nelson

Everything in the book of Mormon points to christ.

Stake theme for the month:
"I will attend the Ogden Temple open house and invite others to go with me."

Michael W Allred some to us.   He is the author of "You Might Be A Mormon If... "

A couple of youth shared experiences from a youth conference they had at Bear Lake.

Satan often can't get us to do bad things, so he will distract us with things that aren't necessarily bad,  but that keep us from paying attention to more important things.

A small amount of light can guide us through darkness.   The light of Christ even in a small portion can help us know the way.

Brother Allred's talk
When he was on his mission in Japan Gordon B Hinckley told the people there that, "The blood of Lehi runs through you."

Study journals can be helpful.

When we get inspiration it is as sacred as a patriarchal blessing,  so we should write it down.

2 Timothy  2:1-3
1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
He mentioned which is an index of the scriptures and where they have been referenced in general authority talks.

A prophet's job is not just to receive revelation, his job is also to teach you to receive your own revelation.

Nephi called himself a wretched man because he was angry because his brothers tried to kill him. He had let Satan take his peace away because of what was in his heart.

Just because people are popular doesn't mean they are well liked. There is a difference between well known and we'll liked.

If you haven't partaken of good food and are enjoying it, how will you get others to eat it.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 10 August 2014

Elders Quorum
I gave the lesson today from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith Chapter 16.  Here is the text of the lesson:

Bringing Up Children in Light and Truth

Page 203 - middle of first paragraph
“My father was the most tender-hearted man I ever knew. … Among my fondest memories are the hours I have spent by his side discussing principles of the gospel and receiving instruction as only he could give it. In this way the foundation for my own knowledge was laid in truth, so that I too can say I know that my Redeemer lives, and that Joseph Smith is, was, and always will be a prophet of the living God.”

First -  Can our children say of us that we are the most tender man they know?   Is that important?

Second - How much time do we spend discussing gospel principles with our children,  especially compared to the time we spend playing sports, watching TV,  doing hobbies, or even doing extra things for our employer.

Page 205
“He taught us at the breakfast table as he told us stories from the scriptures, and had the ability to make each one sound new and exciting though we had heard it many times before."

I am terrible about having meals at the table,  because I want to multitask or everyone is going in a million directions, but it has occurred to me that this would give me a captive audience to instruct.  What are your thoughts on this?

President Smith said, “[Satan] is using every clever device, influence, and power within his control to undermine and destroy this eternal institution. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ applied in family relationships will thwart this devilish destructiveness.”

So, if only the gospel of Jesus Christ applied in the family relationships can stop Satan and protect our children, then Satan is going to present us with things that prevent us from applying the gospel sufficiently in our home.  He is going to talk to us about all the things we want to get done on our agenda. Work, hobbies, movies we want to watch, TV shows we have to keep up on, or ball games we want to see.  He’s going to propose to us things we want to do on our vacations where we will feel we need to use the Sabbath to do them.  After all vacations don’t happen very often, so we have to use every moment we have, right?  He will press at us about work that we just have to get done and help us to justify procrastinating meaningful conversations with our children.

Page 206
“Our children will have to be taught to discern between good and evil, otherwise in many respects they will not be able to understand why they are not permitted to indulge in practices that are common with their neighbors. Unless they are instructed in the doctrines of the Church, they will not, perhaps, understand why there is any harm in the Sunday concert, a Sunday theatre, picture show, ball game, or something of that kind, when their playmates, without restraint and with encouragement, indulge in these things forbidden of the Lord on his holy day. The parents are responsible for the proper teaching of their children, [and] the Lord will condemn the parents if their children grow up outside of the influence of the principles of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Children must be taught that Sunday is a different day.  They must be taught that at some times and in some places we stop and give reverence.  Extra reverence.  Sometimes for a long period of time, like an entire day.

ISAIAH 58:13 - Please read somewhat deliberately, paying special attention to commas and semicolons.
13 ¶ If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

Call the sabbath a delight.  Most times I hear people talking like treating Sunday like the sabbath is drudgery.  “What am I supposed to do read my scriptures all day?”  Oh to have time to really dig deep into the scriptures and words of the prophets and inspired scripture scholars!

ELDER CHARLES DIDIER Of the Presidency of the Seventy in the October 1994 Ensign said, “Now is the time to ask ourselves: Is the Sabbath a holy day or a holiday? Shall I worship the Lord or worship pleasures and recreation?”

Do sometimes we spend time with family on the sabbath because that is a worthy sabbath activity, only to engage in activities that are not worthy sabbath activities in the name of spending time with family?  While spending time with family can be pleasurable and sabbath worthy I think that we have to be deliberately mindful.  We don’t need to be like the extra laws of counting how many steps we take on the sabbath, but we should be focused on our sabbath worship once we leave our Sunday meetings.


Page 206 - bottom of page
“The first duty pertaining to the training of the children of the Church belongs in the home. It is the responsibility of the parents to bring up their children in light and truth, and the Lord has declared that wherein they fail to do it, they will stand before the judgment seat to give answer.”

Page 209
“We must shelter [children] from the sins and evils of the world as much as we can so they will not be led away from paths of truth and righteousness.”

Whoa!  We must shelter our children?  Don’t people often use that as a phrase that a child is unprepared for life?  “Oh that child is so naive.  She has been sheltered her whole life..”


What are some possible techniques to shelter our children from evil and yet make them intelligent and of strong character?

It goes back to the concept presenting by President Smith earlier, teaching them to discern and to understand, as much as is possible, why this is right or why that is wrong.  They understand through knowledge that you teach them and by being taught what the Spirit sounds like and how to bring the spirit into their lives every single day at every single moment.

Page 209
“We ask parents to set an example of righteousness in their own lives.’

In many ways I have many tendencies of an irreverent teenaged boy.  As much as I need to teach my teenaged boys to get a grip and be men, I also need to better hold the reins on myself.

1 Corinthians 13:11
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

When we were kids did we have a different expectation of maturity from fathers than from our peers?  Did we have a different level of expectation of maturity from grandfathers than we did from fathers?

As life moves on we gradually realize childish things about ourselves and we set them aside or at least temper them.  I propose that in the time we live that process happens way too slowly.  We find way too many people that seek to have everything their parents have worked 30 years to obtain immediately.  We find too many that want the things of adulthood without all of the responsibility.  There are consequences to what it takes to live that way: debt(which is just another word for bondage) and  lack of respect to and from others, just to name a couple.

Page 209
“Parents must try to be, or at least put forth their best efforts to be, what they wish the children to be. It is impossible for you to be an example of what you are not”

Page 210 - middle of first paragraph
“The child who is taught in righteousness from birth will most likely follow righteousness always. Good habits are easily formed and easily followed.”

Children can be taught to pray perhaps before they can talk, just by setting the standard when they are young and being consistent.

This is also true for reverence.  A child can be taught to sit reverently at a very young age, but it takes setting the standard and being consistent.  It is very difficult, the older a child gets, to try to pull them back to reverence if we have gone many years with the attitude that they are too young to understand and so we allow, or even encourage irreverence by what we bring with us to our meetings for the child.

Yes, it is hard work to get a child to sit quietly, but if we consistently require that as the standard, within a time shorter than we think the child will begin to sit quietly a little more.  It will not be minutes or even hours, but in a matter of a few months if a child is required to sit with a limited amount of toys and snacks they start to get it.  But it is hard.  We get exhausted and often we would like to just pacify them and relax for a few minutes.  As soon as we do that, we pretty much start over, because they have found a crack in our defenses and they will realize that if they are persistent eventually they are not restricted.  If we are consistent, they soon begin to restrict themselves.

This principle applies all the way until the child is grown.  Be firm in what are standards are in raising our children and be consistent in enforcing those standards.  Have family home evening.  Have family prayer.  Have scripture study.  Have time to stop frequently and explain gospel principles.  Satan will tell you that you are too busy and too tired at times, but he is a bad counselor.

What would we do if a human came up to us and said “you are more important than your daughter you deserve to rest”?  Or if they said, “This TV show is more important than your son. You should make him be quiet and watch.  You can talk to him about what he thinks is important to him later.”?  Would you let someone talk about your kid that way and would you take their advice?  Do we take advice like this from Satan?

What if a person said similar things about your wife, like, “Your wife is rambling on about something trivial again.  Why can’t she just let you alone for five minutes?”  Would you agree with them or would you defend your wife?

These are extreme examples, but do we let Satan say stuff to us about our family that we would not let another person say to us?  And do we something act upon what he is saying instead of defending our family?  Or do we ever let what Satan said come out of our mouth?

I challenge each of us to pick at least one thing from this lesson that we can adjust in our lives to be stronger fathers and men.  I do this in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Thoughts that came out during the lesson:
The little things bring us the biggest blessings.   It is hard to have family dinner together,  but in the grand scheme is it really that hard.

Sunday School
Lesson 29
While we should all live to be able to receive revelation it is critical to have a living prophet to guide the people,  the church,  the world as a whole.

Elder Dallin H Oaks said of the heavenly army on the mountain at the time of Elisha, “When I read this wonderful story as a boy, I always identified with the young servant of Elisha. I thought, If I am ever surrounded by the forces of evil while I am in the Lord’s service, I hope the Lord will open my eyes and give me faith to understand that when we are in the work of the Lord, those who are with us are always more powerful than those who oppose us” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1992, 54; or Ensign, Nov. 1992, 39).

Nahman had to determine if he wanted to be a captain or a follower of God.   He had to decide if he was wanted to be offended or if he wanted to be healed.

Often our trials have little to do with the trial and more about making us or someone else more celestial.

Is Nahman humbling himself and washing in the river a type of Christ being humble and being baptized of John,  a lowly guy in the woods,  and being baptized in the river.

Memorize the words of prophets is like building a room for the prophet.

Elijah, the youth and the bears.
Setting aside the counsel of God and his prophet is harmful to you.

Sacrament Service
Two young women spoke about their experiences at the Ogden temple open house.

Other speakers:
"When you choose whether to make or keep a covenant with God, you choose whether you will leave an inheritance of hope to those who might follow your example."(President Henry B Eyring, A Priceless Heritage of Hope, General Conference April 2014)