Sunday, November 30, 2014

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

Elders Quorum
Chapter 25 -  Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith
Our Savior was a God before he was born into this world, and he brought with him that same status when he came here. He was as much a God when he was born into the world as he was before. But as far as this life is concerned it appears that he had to start just as all other children do and gain his knowledge line upon line. Luke says he ‘increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’ [Luke 2:52.] John records that ‘he received not of the fulness at the first,’ but had to progress ‘from grace to grace, until he received a fulness.’ [D&C 93:13.] …”

“Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come. And he served under his father, and he spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him. And after many years, the hour of his ministry drew nigh.” [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 3:24–26.]

Sunday School
We watched a video about a BYU basketball player, Tyler Haws, called A Work in Process.

L. Tom Perry, “Raising the Bar,” Ensign, Nov. 2007, 46–49

If we can aim higher than our goal then we can for sure meet our goal.

The Church raised the bar for missionary service, but it also raised the preparation for a mission to make you higher than than the minimum requirements.

Sacrament Service
Repentance, conversion and commitment are intertwined

Our temptations interrupt our spiritual gifts.

The speaker recommended the book Your Endowment by Mark Shields

Sunday, November 23, 2014

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

Elders Quorum
Some of the lesson was based on Lynn G Robbins, Which Way Do You Face?
Trying to please others before pleasing God is inverting the first and second great commandments (see Matthew 22:37–39).”

"We seek respectful coexistence with those who [do not respect our beliefs and standards], but when this...tempts us to condone sin, it becomes a “snare” according to the book of Proverbs (see Proverbs 29:25). The snare may be cleverly baited to appeal to our compassionate side to tolerate or even approve of something that has been condemned by God.”

“Decisions of character are made by remembering the right order of the first and second great commandments (see Matthew 22:37–39).”

A tattle tail is motivated by selfishness.   If we report on an activity to protect from danger and out of love that is a very different thing.

You could save someone's mission or job or even life by bringing bad behavior to light early before or turns into a mess that that person can't get out of without disaster.

How often are we a resemblance of Christ when we go through life?   How often are we not?

Sunday School
My lesson on making good decisions.
Youth Sunday School Lesson on How can I learn to make my own decisions?

Do you understand the concepts of physically or temporally and spiritually? What's the difference between the two?

The idea of temporal education like high-school and college is to prepare us to be physically self sufficient.   Would you agree with that? How so?

The idea of church classes and other church programs is to teach us to be spiritually self sufficient.   Would you agree with that? How so?

The Church’s website says, "An important part of being self-reliant is learning how to make decisions for ourselves. Heavenly Father is willing to guide us, but He does not always tell us exactly what to do."

Do you ever find that there are things in the gospel you don't entirely understand and it seems like you have to work really hard to understand?  Do you find that there are things in the gospel that are not spelled out as precisely as you would like? What are some things that are basic doctrines that we are left to understand more deep through prayer and study?   The word of wisdom, the sabbath.

Father has designed earth life and the gospel to help us reach for answers through study and the spirit.   Using our agency makes us stronger, rather than having everything laid out exactly for us.

He tells us in DnC 58:26 and 29 why we have to search many things for ourselves.
 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.
29 But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.

Being commanded in all things prevents us from gaining wisdom and learning to use our agency.  This life is about learning to make proper choices.  Agency is a strong power.  If it is used wisely, it builds people up.  If it is used poorly it is destructive.

The Lord said we are slothful if we only do just what we are commanded to do and do not learn to behave better than the basic commandment instructed us to live.

In DnC 107:100 the Lord defines what slothful is.
 100 He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen.

Notice how the scripture states that one that is slothful is not worthy to stand and then states that one who does not learn his duty is not worthy to stand.  This is a pattern in the scriptures to teach us something.

We thus get the definition that one who is slothful does not learn his duty.  If we only learn what the Lord had exactly spelled out for us then we are not learning our duty, we are a blind follower.  The Lord does not want us to remain blind followers. He wants us to know what He knows and have all that He has. Much of what He knows and has is only learned and obtained through experiences of doing it ourselves and thus improving our character.  As we change our character and become like God, we naturally learn what He knows and obtain what He has.

When we learn to work hard to seek for the things of God, we are better prepared for more knowledge and responsibility. We also learn better to comprehend the spirit.  Many of the changes to our character are not obtained through what we think, but get encoded on our spirits by having interactions with the Holy Ghost, thus our we are taught and our character is changed in a different and more lasting way.

Learning to Be Like God Takes Work
If you ever have to go in for surgery, do you want your surgeon to be the guy that partied all the time when he was in school and just barely did enough to pass medical school or do you want the guy that studied hard to try to understand surgery and how it works and how to fix all the complications that could occur while he is cutting on you?

That is what earth life is about, learning to understand the things of God and how they work and how to deal with the complications of life. Some of those complications are painful.

So again, how do we understand the mysteries of God?

Let’s look at DnC 9:8-9 for some idea on how we learn the mysteries of God.
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.

Here he is describing some of the hard work that is required to understand the mysteries of God.  He is also describing how the Holy Spirit speaks to us.  He talks of the burning or warmth or just very different kind of feeling in the your core.  Much like what the men who met Jesus on the road after he was resurrected, but was prevented from recognizing him with their physical senses.  After they were kind of kicking themselves, because they had felt the Spirit telling them who he was and they did not pay attention.

Peer Pressure
Pressure from those around us can make it hard to use our agency wisely.   Sometimes we just get carried away in having fun and realize we have made some bad choices.

Sometimes we feel the need to be accepted by people, because we feel that if we are not then we may miss out on something or we will have a hard time reaching our life goals if we are cast out from the group or if people don’t like what we believe or how we act.

What are some things that people fear when trying to make good choices?

Captain Moroni talks about keeping our perspective and not costing ourselves more important things to get short term success.

“Behold, I am Moroni, your chief captain. I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country”

Elder Lynn G Robbins of the Seventy talked in general conference about Joseph Smith's struggles carrying the weight of the things he had seen and starting the Church alone.   He talks of some of the mistakes he made as he let his struggles in life become more important to him than seeking and understanding the Lord's will and understanding of the future.

Elder Robbins also talks of others who have had similar struggles.

Lynn G Robbins, Which Way Do You Face?, General Conference October 2014
“At the youthful age of 22, even Joseph Smith forgot which way he faced when he repeatedly importuned the Lord to allow Martin Harris to borrow the 116 manuscript pages. Perhaps Joseph wanted to show gratitude to Martin for his support. We know that Joseph was extremely anxious for other eyewitnesses to stand with him against the distressing falsehoods and lies being spread about him.
“Whatever Joseph’s reasons were, or as justified as they may appear, the Lord did not excuse them and sharply rebuked him: ‘How oft you have transgressed … and have gone on in the persuasions of men. For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God’ (Doctrine and Covenants 3:6–7; emphasis added). This poignant experience helped Joseph remember, forever after, which way he faced.”
"While it certainly takes courage to face perils, the true badge of courage is overcoming the fear of men. For example, Daniel’s prayers helped him face lions, but what made him lionhearted was defying King Darius (see Daniel 6). That kind of courage is a gift of the Spirit to the God-fearing who have said their prayers. Queen Esther’s prayers also gave her that same courage to confront her husband, King Ahasuerus, knowing that she risked her life in doing so (see Esther 4:8–16)."
“King Saul disobeyed the word of the Lord by keeping the spoils of war because he ‘feared the people, and obeyed their voice’ (1 Samuel 15:24). To appease rebellious Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai, Aaron crafted a golden calf, forgetting which way he faced (see Exodus 32). Many of the New Testament chief rulers ‘believed on [the Lord]; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God’ (John 12:42–43).”

Do you remember Elder Oaks’ Good, Better, Best talk (Dallin H. Oaks, “Good, Better, Best,” Ensign, Nov. 2007, 104–8)?  What was it about?

Good things might be treating people nice.  Better might be loving and serving them.  The best would be praying and studying to have the spirit tell you how you can serve best and who needs that service now.

Good things would be eating so your body functions.  Better would be not drink, not smoke, and not drink coffee and tea.  The best would be to really study the word of wisdom to see what else it says and really understand what the Lord is tell us and pray for guidance on how to best take care of your body.

We are familiar with the Aaronic Priesthood, are we not?  What is another name for the Aaronic Priesthood?  The preparatory priesthood.  Why is it called the preparatory priesthood or lesser priesthood?

It prepares its holders for the Melchizedek Priesthood.  It is lessor not only because it has less responsibilities, but it is more basic.  It is a step in which we build on.  Even within the Aaronic Priesthood there is a progression of responsibility.  Deacon have responsibilities.  Teachers have the responsibilities of a Deacon as well as other responsibilities.  Priests have all the responsibilities of Deacons and Teachers and more.  Would it be reasonable to say that a Deacon’s responsibilities are preparing him to be a Teacher and a Priest?  Would it be reasonable to say that the responsibilities of the Aaronic priesthood prepare men to carry the responsibilities of the Melchizedek priesthood?

The same is true for the doctrines of the gospel.  Some are very clearly and directly spelled out and some could be called the mysteries of God. The very clearly spelled out doctrines prepare us for the mysteries of God.
The mysteries of God are are things we have to work for and have to spend a lot of time with God to understand them or to get a testimony that that is how we need to live our lives.

For example, fast Sunday.  We go without food for two meals and give the money we would have spent on those meals to the poor.  We hear that all the time and it is very clear instructions, right?  Don’t eat for two meals and calculate the cost of that food and put it in a tithing envelope.  Done, right?  Those are the exact, specific directions the Lord has spelled out to us precisely.

But if we study the instructions more carefully and look at what the prophets and apostles have said and pray about how we need to live our lives we might come to understand fast Sunday more deeply and have more power in our lives and strengthen our ability to use our agency without as much of a struggle.

Have someone read the section titled “How Should You Pray?” from Elder Richard G. Scott’s talk “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,”.

Have someone else read the section titled “How Are Prayers Answered?”

Sacrament Service
"Isn’t it ironic, brethren, that we will often travel many miles to see the wonders of nature or the creations of man, but yet ignore the beauty in our own backyard?
It is human nature, I suppose, to seek elsewhere for our happiness. Pursuit of career goals, wealth, and material rewards can cloud our perspective and often leads to a lack of appreciation for the bounteous blessings of our present circumstances." (Elder Steven E Snow, Gratitude, General Conference October 2001)

It is easy to be grateful for things when we are coming off of hard times, but we should learn to be grateful always. We will not always have adversity to remind us how good we have had it.  In eternity adversity will likely not exist and we will have to be grateful without reminders.

One of the speakers compared God's interview with Adam and Eve after partaking of the forbidden fruit to a temple recommend interview.

"Perhaps it is reasonable to assume.. Unworthy of blessings... When we dwell on our weaknesses.. Hope and work... No longer put limitations on ourselves... "

“Perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that personal measurement or judgment oftentimes may be severe and inaccurate. We may get bogged down as we try to understand and define worthiness. All of us are particularly aware of our shortcomings and weaknesses. Therefore, it is easy for us to feel that we are unworthy of blessings we desire and that we are not as worthy to hold an office or calling as someone next door.”
“When we dwell on our own weaknesses, it is easy to dwell on the feelings that we are unworthy. Somehow we need to bridge the gap between continually striving to improve and yet not feeling defeated when our actions aren’t perfect all the time. We need to remove unworthy from our vocabulary and replace it with hope and work. This we can do if we turn to quieter, deeper, surer guidelines—the words of our prophets and leaders, past and present.”
As we measure our worthiness, let us no longer put limitations upon ourselves. Rather, let us use those strengths and powers that are available to make us worthy to gain great heights in personal development.”

Alma 37:13
 13 O remember, remember, my son Helaman, how strict are the commandments of God. And he said: If ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land—but if ye keep not his commandments ye shall be cut off from his presence.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah Regional Teacher Training 20 November 2014

Regional Teacher Training
He played basketball for BYU and in the NBA for a short time.  He also played professionally in Spain and France.

He served his mission in the Madrid Spain Mission.  He served as president of the Texas Dallas Mission.  He is now the second counselor in the General Sunday School Presidency.

Be a little better and try a little harder.

Take teaching from the classroom to the home.

Ask thought provoking questions.

Luke 24:17
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

Jesus was receiving revelation to know where students were at in their thinking and what was on their minds.  He guided them to work out the issues they were pondering in their minds and in their hearts with questions and moments to let them ponder.

Teaching the saviors way. Find the core teaching principles.

1, Love those your teach
2, Prepare yourself spiritually
3, Teach by the spirit
4, Teach doctrines from the scriptures
5. Discover the doctrine together
6. Invite to act

Allow others to express themselves by asking them questions. Questions promote thought,  not only in the one being asked,  but also in the whole class.

Do not be afraid of silence that questions might temporarily bring.

Don't stifle participation because we have a lot of material to get through.

He is now the second counselor in the General Sunday School Presidency.

He has been a professor and has contributed to The Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

He is a published poet and wrote the words to the hymn "Bless Our Fast We Pray".

Most great teachers are great learners.

Make frequent eye content with the students.

Give opportunities for the students to take what they need,  rather than just dumping material on top of them.

If you are ultra focused on what you are teaching,  then you may miss what your students are learning.

We need to help students understand with their hearts and not just with their minds.

Youth can go through the church programs and come out the other side without a testimony if they are just spectators.

Find ways to invite students to act.

Create an environment where our students feel safe to ask questions.

He is the General Sunday School President.

He is a lawyer and went to BYU.  He served in the Eastern Atlantic States Mission as a young missionary.  He a general authority for a time and in the presidency of the Seventy.

The two great teaching Commandments
1. Prepare yourself spiritually
2. Love those your teach.

Prepare yourself
-live what you teach
-treasure up continually
-study the gospel first

Keep files of things we learn that we can refer back to when we have lessons or talks.

Love those your teach
-reach out to those not attending

We are here to build disciples of Jesus Christ.

The lesson does not have to be dull,  but should be more than whipped cream.

Samuel W Clark Jr
I believe he is our regional general authority.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

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

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith Chapter 24-The Work of Latter-day Saint Women: “Unselfish Devotion to This Glorious Cause”
"I say there is no limit to the good that our sisters can do."

"My children and I were at her bedside as she slipped peacefully into eternity. As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams." (President Gordon B Hinckley, The Women in Our Lives, General Conference October 2004)

"I am grateful to be able to say that in our long life together I cannot remember a serious quarrel. Small differences occasionally, yes, but nothing of a serious nature. I believe our marriage has been as idyllic as anyone’s could possibly be." (President Gordon B Hinckley, The Women in Our Lives, General Conference October 2004)

"’God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. 1:31).
“But the process was not complete.
“‘For Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
“‘And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
“‘And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
“‘And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman’ (Gen. 2:20–23).
“And so Eve became God’s final creation, the grand summation of all of the marvelous work that had gone before."(President Gordon B Hinckley, The Women in Our Lives, General Conference October 2004)

"’Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord’ (1 Cor. 11:11).
“There is no other arrangement that meets the divine purposes of the Almighty. Man and woman are His creations. Their duality is His design. Their complementary relationships and functions are fundamental to His purposes. One is incomplete without the other." (President Gordon B Hinckley, The Women in Our Lives, General Conference October 2004)

"The girl you marry will take a terrible chance on you. She will give her all to the young man she marries. He will largely determine the remainder of her life. She will even surrender her name to his name." (President Gordon B Hinckley, Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Marry, General Conference April 1998)

Look for opportunities to serve your wife this week.

Sunday School
Part of The lesson was based on Elder Holland's talk "Lord, I Believe" from April 2013 General Conference.
Mark 9:24
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

“When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith.”

“You have more faith than you think you do.”

“...what we know will always trump what we do not know.”

“So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work”

“I told this boy that belief was always the first step toward conviction and that the definitive articles of our collective faith forcefully reiterate the phrase ‘We believe.’”

“Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.”

Sacrament Service
A guy that returned from the Texas Houston mission a year or so ago spoke to us.

A high councilman also spoke to us.