Sunday, January 25, 2015

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 25 January 2015

Sacrament Service
Doing Your Duty
One of the speakers talked about his grandfather's and home teachers' example after his parents divorced.

"Priesthood is the means whereby the Lord acts through men to save souls." - The Powers of Heaven,  David A. Bednar, April 2012 General Conference

The speaker talked of a story where racing greyhounds were trained so much to chase a mechanical rabbit so much that when a real rabbit came onto the track they ignored it.

How trained do we get on chasing things that when real, important things cross our path that we don't attend to them.

“We chase mechanical rabbits, too.
“We chase paychecks, and don’t give a second look to the glint of the rising sun on a snow-topped peak.
“We chase our way through the appointments of a crowded desk calendar, and fail to take time to chat with the next-door neighbor or to drop in on a sick friend.
“We chase social pleasures on a glittering noisy treadmill—and ignore the privilege of a quiet hour telling bedtime stories to an innocent-eyed child.
“We chase prestige and wealth, and don’t recognize the real opportunities for joy that cross our paths. …”
The world is full of foolish schemes. They contravene and hinder the purposes of the Lord. Some seek to change the God-given roles of the sexes. Some invite mothers to leave the home to work. Others entice fathers to find recreation away from their families. These questionable practices weaken the home!

“Some fathers provide a good house, clothing, cars, and food, and forget what real fatherhood is. Fatherhood is a relationship of love and understanding. It is strength and manliness and honor. It is power and action. It is counsel and instruction. Fatherhood is to be one with your own. It is authority and example.” (A Theodore Tuttle, The Things That Matter Most, Ensign December 1971)

“The father is the protector of the home. He guards it against the intrusion of evil from without. Formerly he protected his home with weapons and shuttered windows. Today the task is more complex. Barred doors and windows protect only against the intrusion of a corporeal creature. It is not an easy thing to protect one’s family against intrusions of evil into the minds and spirits of family members. These influences can and do flow freely into the home. Satan can subtly beguile the children of men in ways we have already mentioned in this conference. He need not break down the door.

“Fathers, you will have to live close to the Lord. Develop a sensitivity to the impressions of the Spirit.

“There is yet another intrusion into the home that needs to be mentioned. It is an unwise father who carries to his family his daily business cares. They disturb the peace existing there. He should leave his worries at the office and enter his home with the spirit of peace in his heart and with the love of God burning within him. If there is friction, his presence should soothe it. If there is turmoil, he should resolve it.” (A Theodore Tuttle, The Role of Fathers, October 1973 General Conference)

By the way you love her mother, you will teach your daughter about tenderness, loyalty, respect, compassion, and devotion. She will learn from your example what to expect from young men and what qualities to seek in a future spouse. You can show your daughter by the way you love and honor your wife that she should never settle for less. Your example will teach your daughter to value womanhood. You are showing her that she is a daughter of our Heavenly Father, who loves her.” (Elaine S. Dalton, Love Her Mother, October 2011 General Conference)

Even when we can't bring a lot of religion into our professional environment we can be an example of righteousness.

Alma 38:12
12 Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.

Duty is what others expect of you, but more importantly it is what you expect of yourself.

"Only if a citizen is allowed to make decisions of conscience and lifestyle free from state control or coercion can he be held totally accountable for his actions."

"If men and women of character fail to participate in the political decisions that shape their lives, others with more selfish motives will inevitably rush in to fill the void."

Sunday School
John the Baptist was to prepare the way for the Savior and then testify of the Savior.

The Jews perhaps needed to be eased into the idea of the Christ. They had different ideas of what the Messiah was going to be.

For a time John and Jesus both had their own sets of followers. Perhaps John had more of a new investigator class or a gospel principles class. Perhaps he was finding people to teach, teaching them very basic doctrines, and baptizing them.

After John was killed was there a missionary program that still taught people and prepared them for the deeper doctrines of Christ?   It is likely not possible that Christ, in his human form, could find all the people that were to be taught and teach them all of the basics while still setting up his church and teaching all of the advanced doctrines he had for the people.

John was in the wilderness to protect him from Herod's decree to kill all children under 2.  His parents had taken him to the wilderness to hide him and that is where he was raised.

John preached repentance because he was baptizing and you had to repent first.

Also,  to prepare the way of the Lord people's hearts need to be softened through repentance to accept Him.

Priesthood leaders are necessary to focus on what the people don't understand. Often we do not know that we are off track and it is throwing the rest of our lives off track.   Some of what John was telling the people were things they didn't understand was wrong and they needed to raise their life to a higher level in preparation for the higher law the Savior was bringing.

In order to truly repent we must have a mighty change of heart and not just not doing the sin.

"Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world." ()

Proverbs 3:5
5 ¶Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Elders Quorum
Agency -  Teachings of Presidents of the Church:  Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 3, Freedom of Choice, an Eternal Principle
"[Ezra] saw that when he made the choice to work hard, local farmers hired him to thin their beets and pitch their hay."

Galatians 6:7 - “applies to spiritual pursuits as well as physical labor.”
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

“[President Benson] spoke of agency as the ability to ‘make important decisions that will have bearing on our salvation’ and that will ‘affect our happiness in eternity.’”

“The premortal Jesus Christ followed Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation, which preserved our freedom of choice.”

“Lucifer is the enemy of all righteousness and seeks the misery of all mankind.”

“The central issue in that premortal council was: Shall the children of God have untrammeled agency to choose the course they should follow, whether good or evil, or shall they be coerced and forced to be obedient? Christ and all who followed Him stood for the former proposition—freedom of choice; Satan stood for the latter—coercion and force.”

Revelation 12:7-9
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

“The war that began in heaven over this issue is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality.”

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 18 January 2015

Sacrament Service
A sister missionary that recently returned from one of the Texas missions spoke to us.

She shared that she had thought missionaries were perfect before she went on her mission. I had similar thoughts before I went on my mission.   I heard rumors of missionaries being sent home or making bad choices,  but I thought it was just urban legend.

Sunday School
My teaching partner taught about How can I help others learn about Heavenly Father.

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church:  Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 3
Let's not slack in giving thanks for our food when we eat, even in casual meals or meals where we are alone.

When we live in a home that is less nice than what we would like,  do we still give thanks for it? When we have a dumpy car that runs,  do we give thanks for it?

Prayer is not bound by time. Often prayers are starting to be answered long before we pray, because God already knows that we are going to ask..

Fathers are accountable for making sure family prayer happens in their home.

Pray frequently.
Pray anywhere and everywhere. That doesn't mean you have to make a spectacle of it in public place, but pray wherever you are inspired.
Prepare to pray.
Make prayer meaningful.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 11 January 2015

Sacrament Service
Give service to people even if it might make you late to school,  or class,  or work.   Maybe it won't make you late or something will good will come to you out of it.

"Hal, when we had done all we knew how to do, when we had our backs to the wall, then God gave us the revelation. Hal, if you want to get revelation, do your homework." (Henry B Eyring quoting Harold B Lee, “Waiting upon the Lord,” in Brigham Young University 1990–91 Devotional and Fireside Speeches[1991], 16–17)

“A story shared by our beloved associate, Elder Henry B. Eyring, illustrates this principle of commitment still further. This story is about his father, the great scientist Henry Eyring, who served on the Bonneville Stake high council. He was responsible for the welfare farm, which included a field of onions that needed to be weeded. At that time, he was nearly 80 and suffering from painful bone cancer. He assigned himself to do weeding even though the pain was so great that he pulled himself along on his stomach with his elbows. The pain was too great for him to kneel. Yet he smiled, laughed, and talked happily with the others who were there that day weeding that field of onions. I now quote what Elder Eyring said of this incident:” (Elder James E Faust, “Some Great Thing”, October 2001 General Conference)
“After all the work was finished and the onions were all weeded, someone [said to] him, ‘Henry, good heavens! You didn’t pull those weeds, did you? Those weeds were sprayed two days ago, and they were going to die anyway.’
“Dad just roared. He thought that was the funniest thing. He thought it was a great joke on himself. He had worked through the day in the wrong weeds. They had been sprayed and would have died anyway.
“… I [asked] him, ‘Dad how could you make a joke out of that?’ …
“He said something to me that I will never forget. … He said, ‘Hal, I wasn’t there for the weeds.’” (Elder Henry B. Eyring, “Waiting upon the Lord,” Brigham Young University 1990–91 Devotional and Fireside Speeches, 22)

Sunday School
My lesson on the Holy Ghost helping us learn.
Have you had any questions come up in your personal study of the gospel that you would like to ask our discuss?

Invite the youth to share an experience in their families that has taught them something about God.

We are going to talk today about how the Holy Ghost can help us learn.

Let's start by reading from Preach My Gospel p18 the section heading “Learning by the Holy Ghost”
“Your gospel study is most effective when you are taught by the Holy Ghost. Always begin your gospel study by praying for the Holy Ghost to help you learn. He will bring knowledge and conviction that will bless your life and allow you to bless the lives of others. Your faith in Jesus Christ will increase. Your desire to repent and improve will grow.”

Always begin you gospel study by paying for the Holy Ghost to help you learn.   Do you think that works with your school studies too? How so?

Let's continue in Preach My Gospel.
“This kind of study prepares you for service, offers solace, resolves problems, and gives you the strength to endure to the end. Successful gospel study requires desire and action. “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old” (1 Nephi 10:19). Like Enos, as you hunger to know the words of eternal life and as you allow these words to “[sink] deep into [your] heart” (Enos 1:3), the Holy Ghost will open your mind and heart to greater light and understanding.”

Does this really happen or is it just a primary answer that the Holy Ghost will give you?

Let’s finish off what Preach My Gospel had to say:
“Learning the gospel is also a process of receiving revelation (see Jacob 4:8). To Oliver Cowdery the Lord said: “Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. 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” (D&C 9:7–8). As you study, pay careful attention to ideas that come to your mind and feelings that come to your heart, particularly regarding the people you are teaching.”

If we want the Holy Ghost to reveal something to us we have to put in some leg work of our own.  What are some things we could do on our own to help us get revelation from the Holy Ghost?

Have you had any experiences that you would like to share about where you have pray for guidance and then worked to get that guidance?

Let's read John 14:26
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

What are the things in that scripture that Jesus says the Holy Ghost will do?   Have you had the Holy Ghost do any of those things for you?

In order for the Holy Ghost to help us learn, we have to be able to hear him. One way we hear him better is to be reverent. When we give reverence to sacred things we are more able to hear the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

We are trying to learn through the Holy Ghost in this class right now. All of us are responsible for making it so the Holy Ghost can be here and teach us. Have we, as a group, created an environment today where the Holy Ghost would be? Is there anything we could do better? What are some thing we have done well?

One principle we are taught is that If we have the Holy Ghost with us more and we can hear Him better, we become smarter.  Here are some scriptures that talk about the Holy Ghost making us smarter.

D&C 11:13-14
13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
14 And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.

It says the Holy Ghost will enlighten your mind,  which means it will make your mind learn things easier.   If you pray for the Holy Ghost's help and live so He can be with you, you will learn things more quickly and more easily.

Moroni 10:5
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

It says the Holy Ghost will help you know truth. If someone is trying to deceive you, the Holy Ghost can tell you the truth.   In order for Him to show you the truth you must live so he can be with you.

If you ever feel like you are lacking in knowing or having trouble in your studies, find ways to get closer to the spirit and you will be smarter and you will learn more about how smart you really are and you will gain confidence.

How do we understand the Holy Ghost.  Sometimes it can be hard to explain.

Here is a story from President Boyd K Packer that talks about trying to explain the Holy Ghost to someone who hasn't felt it.
I will tell you of an experience I had before I was a General Authority that affected me profoundly. I sat on a plane next to a professed atheist who pressed his disbelief in God so urgently that I bore my testimony to him. “You are wrong,” I said. “There is a God. I know He lives!”
He protested, “You don’t know. Nobody knows that! You can’t know it!” When I would not yield, the atheist, who was an attorney, asked perhaps the ultimate question on the subject of testimony. “All right,” he said in a sneering, condescending way, “you say you know. Tell me how you know.”
When I attempted to answer, even though I held advanced academic degrees, I was helpless to communicate.
When I used the words Spirit and witness, the atheist responded, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” The words prayer, discernment, and faith were equally meaningless to him. “You see,” he said, “you don’t really know. If you did, you would be able to tell me how you know.”
I felt, perhaps, that I had borne my testimony to him unwisely and was at a loss as to what to do. Then came the experience! Something came into my mind. And I mention here a statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas … and thus by learning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.”1
Such an idea came into my mind, and I said to the atheist, “Let me ask if you know what salt tastes like.”
“Of course I do,” was his reply.
“Then,” I said, “assuming that I have never tasted salt, explain to me just what it tastes like.”
After some thought, he said, “Well, I, uh, it is not sweet and it is not sour.”
“You’ve told me what it isn’t, not what it is.”
After several attempts, of course, he could not do it. He could not convey, in words alone, so ordinary an experience as tasting salt. I bore testimony to him once again and said, “I know there is a God. You ridiculed that testimony and said that if I did know, I would be able to tell you exactly how I know. My friend, spiritually speaking, I have tasted salt. I am no more able to convey to you in words how this knowledge has come than you are to tell me what salt tastes like. But I say to you again, there is a God! He does live! And just because you don’t know, don’t try to tell me that I don’t know, for I do!”

To understand the Holy Ghost we have to reach out for was to have Him interact with our lives.

I cannot see air, but I can perceive it's effects. When I hold my breath and then breathe I can feel the effects of air.   When a breeze causes the air to go over my skin I can feel air. When a wind comes up I
can see the trees move and I know air is there.

The Holy Ghost is very similar. We cannot see him,  but we can see His effects on our life. We can see the effects of our choices when we follow His promptings.

Mysteries of God only understood through the Holy Ghost
Do you ever have things about God or the scriptures that you can’t quite understand?  Do you ever have things about God that you can’t figure out why they work the way they do.

There are things that can only be understood by the Holy Ghost filling in the blanks for us.  These things are sometimes called the mysteries of God.  They are not dark and creepy like an Indiana Jones mystery of God, but these are things that man has trouble understanding on his own, especially when Satan is throwing stuff in to confuse us.

These are things that we don’t understand by going on a quest into some ancient forest or cave.  These mysteries of God are understood by doing the things and being the type of people that God has instructed us allows us to be instructed by the Holy Ghost.

Here are some scriptures that talk about understanding the mysteries of God.

1 Corinthians 2:9-14
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Nephi 10:19
19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

President Dieter F Ucktdorf - 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency, Of Regrets and Resolutions, General Conference October 2012
"Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents."

Boyd K. Packer, “Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” Liahona, June 1997, 10; Ensign, Nov. 1994, 60
"The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. …"

My Thoughts
We feel it because it is communication that is different than our ears or our eyes.  It is direct communication with our spirit, so it works in whatever way our spirits work.  We know that it has happened and we can know what was communicated, but we can not describe it to someone that has not has an experience with the Holy Ghost themselves.

People have to choose to do what is necessary, what Heavenly Father has instructed, if they want such experiences.

Elder Craig C Christensen of the Seventy, An Unspeakable Gift from God, General Conference October 2012
“He causes the truth to be indelibly written in our souls and can cause a mighty change to occur in our hearts. As we share these truths with our families, with fellow members of the Church, and with friends and neighbors in our community, the Holy Ghost becomes their teacher as well, for He carries the message of the gospel ‘unto the hearts of the children of men.’”

Thoughts By General Authorities About the Holy Ghost
Boyd K. Packer, “How to Survive in Enemy Territory,” New Era, Apr. 2012, 3
No member of this Church—and that means each of you—will ever make a serious mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 132
“no man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations”

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, Chapter 1
“I wish that every Latter-day Saint could say and mean it with all his heart: ‘I’ll go where you want me to go. I’ll say what you want me to say. I’ll be what you want me to be’”

How often have we found ourselves putting an asterisk next to "I'll go where you want me to go"?  An asterisk like a footnote that says, “*unless this or that”.

"I'm only human" is where we are at, not our destination.   We recognize we are human, but we need to be more today than we were yesterday.   We should not use being human as an excuse and we should not be content to remain human.

Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us.”
“Despite the changes which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days—as much as we can—with those things which matter most.” (President Thomas S Monson, “Finding Joy in the Journey”, October 2008 General Conference)

It's Great to Be Eight
Picking good friends helps you prepare for baptism.

Youth Fireside
Youth theme for the year Doctrine and Covenants 4:2
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

Our heart is the core of who we are.

Service should not be what we do, but who we are.

Might is our strength and abilities.

Mind is everything we think about.

Dnc 4:2 is a reminder of our baptismal covenant.

We serve with all our might even when we are exhausted.

What would it take for you to walk across a beam between two tall building? For money? For fame ? For family? For what? Whatever your answer is is where your heart is.