Sunday, November 20, 2016

Church Services This Week at Oak Ridge Ward Layton North Stake Layton Utah 20 November 2016

From the Bulletin
Doctrine and Covenants 98:1
Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted, yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks.

“I am filled with awe, with an overwhelming sense of duty to prepare my life (and to the extent that I can, to help prepare the lives of the members of the Church) for that long-prophesied day, for that transfer of authority, for the time when we will make a presentation of the Church to Him whose Church it is.

“When Christ comes, the members of His Church must look and act like members of His Church are supposed to look and act if we are to be acceptable to Him. We must be doing His work, and we must be living His teachings. He must recognize us quickly and easily as truly being His disciples. As President J. Reuben Clark Jr. (1871–1961), former First Counselor in the First Presidency, once advised: our faith must not be difficult to detect.” (Elder Jeffrey R Holland, “Preparing for the Second Coming”, New Era December 2013)

Sacrament Service
The Lord wants you to have a spirit of gratitude in all you do and say.” ("Gratitude," For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God, (2001))

Alma 34:20
20 Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.

A young man called to the Washington Tacoma Mission spoke to us.

Some experiences will come as serious challenges and heavy trials that test our ability to cope with them. No matter what the experience may be, each gives us a chance for personal growth, greater wisdom, and, in many cases, service to others with more empathy and love.” (Elder Ronald A. Rasband, “Special Experiences”, April 2008 General Conference)

Doctrine and Covenants 8:3-4
3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
4 Therefore this is thy gift; apply unto it, and blessed art thou, for it shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies, when, if it were not so, they would slay you and bring your soul to destruction.

The Godhead is in our prayers.  We pray to the Father in the name of the Son and the Holy Ghost speaks back to us.

Sometimes the details of our baptism get fuzzy, but we can get new experiences of the gift of the Holy Ghost often.

Sunday School
3 Nephi 20:26

The house of Israel are all that covenant with Christ and keeps those covenants.

The gentiles are those that have not made covenants or who have not kept their covenants.
The Book of Mormon is central to this work. It declares the doctrine of the gathering.19 It causes people to learn about Jesus Christ, to believe His gospel, and to join His Church. In fact, if there were no Book of Mormon, the promised gathering of Israel would not occur.20“ (Elder Russell M Nelson, “The Gathering of Scattered Israel”, October 2006 General Conference)

You may enjoy music, athletics, or be mechanically inclined, and someday you may work in a trade or a profession or in the arts. As important as such activities and occupations can be, they do not define who we are. First and foremost, we are spiritual beings. We are sons of God and the seed of Abraham:“ (Elder David A Bednar, “Becoming a Missionary”, October 2005 General Conference)

Elders Quorum
My lesson
Howard W Hunter  Chapter 21 - Faith and Testimony
Page 267 2nd and 3rd paragraph
“Howard’s testimony grew over the years. When he was in his 20s and living in Los Angeles, California, he began to recognize the importance of serious gospel study. He wrote: ‘Although I had attended Church classes most of my life, my first real awakening to the gospel came in a Sunday School class in [the] Adams Ward taught by Brother Peter A. Clayton. He had a wealth of knowledge and the ability to inspire young people. I studied the lessons, read the outside assignments he gave us, and participated in speaking on assigned subjects. … I think of this period of my life as the time the truths of the gospel commenced to unfold. I always had a testimony of the gospel, but suddenly I commenced to understand.’2
“Many years later, President Hunter explained: ‘There comes a time when we understand the principles of our creation and who we are. Suddenly these things are illuminated to us and the cords of our hearts do vibrate. This is the time when testimony enters into our very souls and we know beyond a question of a doubt that God is our father—that he lives, that he is a reality, that we are literally his children.’3”

While this talks of an awakening in things of the gospel in general, I think if we are progressing as we should, we will have little awakenings about pieces of the gospel. Either in gaining a testimony of a doctrine that we haven't really accepted or in gaining a testimony that there is more to a doctrine that we have a testimony of than we previously understood.

Have you even experienced an awakening to a change you need to make in the way you live a doctrine that you thought you previously understood?

Page 269 1st paragraph under Teaching of Howard W Hunter
“The supreme achievement of life is to find God and to know that He lives. Like any other worthy accomplishment, this can only be obtained by those who will believe and have faith in that which at first may not be apparent”

Let’s break this down in a couple of ways.  First, it says, “those who believe AND have faith”.  Does anyone have anything to say about the phrase, “those who believe AND have faith”?

The second thing we should talk about is the phrase, “that which at first may not be apparent”.   What does the word apparent mean?  What do you think about “that which at first may not be apparent”?

John 9:1-3
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

What do you think about the man being blind from birth “that the works of God should be made manifest in him”?

Doesn’t that make God mean to make a child blind just so he can use him?  Do we take the answer to this question for granted, that obvious it does not make God mean, but actually means that he is loving?  Have we stopped to ponder what people that don’t understand the world we live in from that perspective.  Many people are lost and hurting trying to make sense of the pain and suffering and turmoil around them.  We have information like this snippet about one man that was born blind that strengthen their knees and bind their wounds.

Do we look for ways that our trials can manifest the truth to us or to others?  Examples?

Page 270 2nd Paragraph under section 2
“. . . Sometimes faith means believing a thing to be true where the evidence is not sufficient to establish knowledge. We must continue the probe and follow the admonition: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt. 7:7–8.) . . .”

How do you handle that, when something in the Church perhaps doesn't make sense to you and you haven't collected enough data yet to make it make sense yet?  Or when someone presents a criticism of the church, past or present, that you don't have an explanation for?

What is the longest you have waited on the Lord explain something to you?  How has that affected your testimony?

Page 271 2nd Full Paragraph
“When a man has found God and understands his ways, he learns that nothing in the universe came by chance, but all things resulted from a divinely prearranged plan. What a rich meaning comes into his life! Understanding which surpasses worldly learning is his. The beauties of the world become more beautiful, the order of the universe becomes more meaningful, and all of God’s creations are more understandable as he witnesses God’s days come and go and the seasons follow each in their order.”

“Understanding which surpasses worldly learning”.  What does the word surpasses mean?  Does it mean that it replaces worldly understanding?  Could it mean that in some cases it encompasses what man already understands and extends it?  The beauties of the world, that we can already see, become more beautiful.

What about fears?  When we take God’s plan out of the equation are the problems of the world sometimes scary and perplexing.  When learn His plan and His doctrine more and more, does it give us comfort and hope and knowledge about how things work and a glimpse at why things are happening?

John 20:24-29
24 ¶But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 ¶And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Thomas was an apostle.  He had been called by the Lord and was a special witness of Him and yet he is called doubting Thomas.  What was it like to be the first apostles, with only just a very short time to watch the Master and see how things work.  They did not have generations of apostles to show them things.  They were not raised with the knowledge of apostle since they were born.

Do any of you understand what Thomas was going through?  Tell me about Thomas.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Church Services This Week at Oak Ridge Ward Layton North Stake Layton Utah 13 November 2016

From the Bulletin
“As you choose to live on the Lord’s side, you are never alone.” (Elder Russell M Nelson, Ensign January 2015)

“The greatest lesson we can learn in mortality,” President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “is that when God speaks and we obey, we will always be right.”
“God’s commandments are not given to frustrate us or to become obstacles to our happiness. Just the opposite is true. He who created us and who loves us perfectly knows just how we need to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest happiness possible. He has provided us with guidelines which, if we follow them, will see us safely through this often treacherous mortal journey.” (President Thomas S Monson, “The Blessings of Obedience”, Ensign October 2016)

Sacrament Service
Apple cider is good, but it only comes after hard work.

Life and also eternity takes hard work to have the best things.

Work is a blessing in spite of its undesirable exterior.

John 14:27
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Luke 21:19
19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

Sunday School
No matter where the Savior was he taught and was prepared to teach.

We often speak of the Savior in the past tense, but he still is the same today.

The way that we teach like the Savior is to follow his example.

A teacher is a discussion leader. A teacher is a guide.

Matthew 10:5-8
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

What is given to us we must freely give to others.

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W Hunter - Walking the Savior's Path of Charity
A touch stone is a high-level test of the purity of gold.

We should love the Lord and others as we love ourselves. We should additionally be nice to ourselves and treat ourselves correctly, not selfishly, but correctly, so we know how to treat others.

In the parable of the good Samaritan the priest is a general priesthood holder. The levite is the equivalent of a bishop. The Samaritans were lower class citizens and often enemies to Israelites.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Church Services This Week at Oak Ridge Ward Layton North Stake Layton Utah 6 November 2016

Sacrament Service

Sunday School
3 Nephi 11
Matthew 5:48
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

We continue to work toward perfection even if we don't always gain it. We can have moments of perfection.

Someone in class suggested that not being able to be perfect or overcome all of our weaknesses perhaps gives us more time to learn in this life.

October 2014 Elder George…
“No matter what your current status, the very moment you voluntarily choose honest, joyful, daily repentance by striving to simply do and be your very best, the Savior’s Atonement envelops and follows you, as it were, wherever you go. Living in this manner, you can truly “always retain a remission of your sins” (Mosiah 4:12) every hour of every day, every second of every minute, and thus be fully clean and acceptable before God all the time.

“Yours is the privilege, if you want it, to come to know for yourself, today or soon, that you are pleasing God in spite of your shortcomings.” (Elder Jörg Klebingat, Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence, October 2014 General Conference)

We will make mistakes and fall, but fall forward and not backward.

Ether 12:27
 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

“Cultivate a spirit of thanksgiving for the blessing of life and for the marvelous gifts and privileges each of us enjoy. The Lord has said that the meek shall inherit the earth. (See Matt. 5:5.) I cannot escape the interpretation that meekness implies a spirit of gratitude as opposed to an attitude of self-sufficiency, an acknowledgment of a greater power beyond oneself, a recognition of God, and an acceptance of his commandments. This is the beginning of wisdom. Walk with gratitude before him who is the giver of life and every good gift.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, “With All Thy Getting Get Understanding”, Ensign August 1988)

Pure heart refers to our thoughts.  Pure hands refer to our actions.

Elders Quorum
Lesson was based on Elder Jeffrey R Holland’s October 2016 General Conference talk, Songs Sung and Unsung”
Home teachers have a sacred duty to be the Church’s first source of help to individuals and families“ (True to the Faith, (2004), 124–28)

WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.“ (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Church Services This Week at Oak Ridge Ward Layton North Stake Layton Utah 30 October 2016

From the Bulletin
“...the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others.” (President Gordon B Hinckley, “Whosoever Will Save His Life”, Ensign August 1982)

“In these latter days, we know there will be earthquakes in diverse places.16 Perhaps one of those diverse places will be in our own homes, where emotional, financial, or spiritual “earthquakes” may occur. Priesthood power can calm the seas and heal fractures in the earth. Priesthood power can also calm the minds and heal fractures in the hearts of those we love.” (Russell M Nelson, “The Price of Priesthood Power”, April 2016 General Conference)

Sacrament Meeting
Mosiah 2:17
 17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

Jesus was the perfect example of service.

You can serve by doing temple and family history work.” (“For the Strength of Youth”, “Service”)

Service is the secret to happiness.

We need to be grateful for everything the Lord had blessed us with.

We become prideful when we stop saying thank you.

A part of gratitude is receiving.

If you want to be happier, then count your blessings.

Sunday School
3 Nephi 8-10
Helaman 14:21-23
 21 Yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;
 22 Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.
 23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

3 Nephi 8:5-7
 5 And it came to pass in the *thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.
 6 And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.
 7 And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.

The three days of darkness are the same as the three days Christ's body was in the tomb.

Everything in the temple and the gospel is related to the atonement.

Repentance is not something we do once, but everyday.

“What was the object of gathering the … people of God in any age of the world? … The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose.“ (History of the Church, 5:423–25, 427; paragraph divisions altered; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on June 11, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards;)

Joint Relief Society and Priesthood Meeting
They introduced us to FamilySearch Zoning.  It is a tool to let you identify zones in scanned newspapers that contain data about people.  For example, identifying where an obituary is on a page.  This is especially useful if it spans columns or is interrupted by other things on the page.

Doctrine and Covenants 128:8
 8 Now, the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Church Services This Week at Oak Ridge Ward Layton North Stake Layton Utah 16 October 2016

Sacrament Service
A couple that recently returned from a humanitarian mission to Central America,  specifically Guatemala, spoke to us.  They served for 18 months.

“In contrast to welfare assistance, Church humanitarian aid is intended primarily for those who are not members of [the Church]. It is distributed without any strings attached. To avoid any risk that humanitarian aid might be misunderstood as a subtle inducement for recipients to join the Church, humanitarian aid is not distributed by bishops or other local leaders, by proselyting missionaries, or through the Church’s missionary organization. The Church does not seek ‘rice Christians.’ Humanitarian assistance is a loving gift to help those in need without regard to their religious beliefs or interest in Mormonism. It is separately administered by professional workers and by specially called humanitarian missionaries” (Dallin H. Oaks, Deseret News, 11 Nov. 2006).

“When President Gordon B. Hinckley first read ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ 20 years ago this year, we were grateful for and valued the clarity, simplicity, and truth of this revelatory document. Little did we realize then how very desperately we would need these basic declarations in today’s world as the criteria by which we could judge each new wind of worldly dogma coming at us from the media, the Internet, scholars, TV and films, and even legislators. The proclamation on the family has become our benchmark for judging the philosophies of the world, and I testify that the principles set forth within this statement are as true today as they were when they were given to us by a prophet of God nearly 20 years ago.” (Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Defenders of the Family Proclamation”, April 2015 General Conference)

The entire theology of our restored gospel centers on families and on the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in a premortal life where we all lived as literal spirit children of God our Heavenly Father. We believe that we were, and still are, members of His family.

“We believe that marriage and family ties can continue beyond the grave—that marriages performed by those who have the proper authority in His temples will continue to be valid in the world to come. Our marriage ceremonies eliminate the words ‘till death do us part’ and instead say, ‘for time and for all eternity.’“ (Elder L Tom Perry, “Why Marriage and Family Matter—Everywhere in the World”, April 2015 General Conference)
“In building Zion in our hearts and homes, we need to emphasize religious observance in the home by having daily family prayer and scripture study and by holding weekly family home evening. In this context, we can teach and train our children. We do this with love and kindness, avoiding undue criticism of our children and our spouse.“
“If we do this, when our children make unwise choices, they will know that all is not lost and that they can find their way home. I want to assure you that you and your family will be blessed as you strive to strengthen each member of your family through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.“ (By Elder Quentin L. Cook, “Reaping the Rewards of Righteousness”, Ensign July 2015)

Sunday School
3 Nephi 1-7
If we don't know the signs of the second coming, how can we watch steadfastly for them to come to pass?

Satan will try to convince us that the prophecies will not be fulfilled and that when they are fulfilled that they have not been fulfilled.  He can't stop it from happening. He can only try to make us not see it or forget that we saw it.

“The adversary, however, will try to convince us that we have never felt the influence of the Spirit and that it will be easier just to stop trying.”(Elder Vern P. Stanfill, “Choose the Light”, October 2015 General Conference)

The adversary has a better chance to persuade us that what we believe is foolish if we worry about looking foolish in front of our fellowmen” (Elder Neal A Maxwell, Things As They Really Are[1978], 41)

Sometimes the Lord tells us things and we forget and then he has to remind us.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:23
23 Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?

It seems to be human nature: as we become more familiar with something, even something miraculous and awe-inspiring, we lose our sense of awe and treat it as commonplace.”
“Taking for granted our modern technologies and conveniences may be a relatively small matter. But, sadly, we sometimes take a similar attitude toward the eternal and soul-expanding doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Church of Jesus Christ, we have been given so much. We are surrounded by such an astonishing wealth of light and truth that I wonder if we truly appreciate what we have.

“Think of those early disciples who walked and talked with the Savior during His earthly ministry. Imagine the thanksgiving and reverence that must have flooded their hearts and filled their minds when they saw Him risen from the tomb, when they felt the wounds in His hands. Their lives would never be the same!” (President Dieter F Uchtdorf, “O How Great the Plan of Our God”, October 2016 General Conference)

It was nine years from the Savior's birth before the people of Nephi began falling away.  What have we experienced in the last nine years?  Which of those things have faded in our memories?  Which of those things have we minimized their importance?

There are many parallels between those before the Savior's birth and us who are here before the service coming.

Elders Quorum
My lesson
Howard W Hunter Chapter 19 - Our Commitment to God
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

What do you think Joshua is saying in this scripture?

What are some ways Joshua might phrase this verse if speaking it those in our day or to you specifically?

Think about how would you respond?

This lesson is on our commitment to God. What is our level of commitment? Do I say,  “Me and my house will serve the Lord “? I have to admit that if I take a hard look at myself I sometimes say, me and my house will serve the Lord... unless there is a movie we really want to see or I will serve the Lord unless traffic gets in my way while I am driving.

Do I obey all of God's commandments or all of them, except that one that really inconveniences me?

Page 244, First Two Full Paragraph
“As I think of the blessings God has given us and the many beauties of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am aware that along the way we are asked to make certain contributions in return, contributions of time or of money or of other resources. These are all valued and all necessary, but they do not constitute our full offering to God.
Ultimately, what our Father in Heaven will require of us is more than a contribution; it is a total commitment, a complete devotion, all that we are and all that we can be.

“Please understand that I do not speak only of a commitment to the Church and its activities, although that always needs to be
strengthened. No, I speak more specifically of a commitment that is shown in our individual behavior, in our personal integrity, in our loyalty to home and family and community, as well as to the Church. . . .”

Why does a father require things of his children at times and not just always give them everything freely?  Does a good earthly father expect certain commitment from their children?  How so?

Why does Heavenly Father expect commitment and work from us?

Continuing on page 244
“Approximately 586 years before Christ, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, marched against the city of Jerusalem and conquered it. So impressed was he with the qualities and learning of the children of Israel that he had several of them brought to the king’s court [in Babylon].

“Trouble came to the Israelites the day Nebuchadnezzar made a golden idol and commanded all in the province of Babylon to worship it, a command that the three young Israelites—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego—quietly refused. The king was full of ‘rage and fury’ and demanded that they be brought before him. (Dan. 3:13.) He informed them that if they did not fall down before the golden image at the appointed moment, ‘ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.’ Then with some self-satisfaction he asked, ‘And who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?’ [Dan. 3:15.]

“The three young men responded courteously but without hesitation:

“‘If it be so,’ they said, ‘[that you threaten us with death,] our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
“‘But if not [if for whatever reason he chooses not to save us from the fire], be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.’ [Dan. 3:17–18.]

“Of course Nebuchadnezzar was more furious than ever and ordered that one of the furnaces be heated to seven times its normal temperature. Then he commanded that these three valiant young men be thrown fully clothed into the midst of the fire. Indeed, the king was so insistent and the flame so hot that the soldiers who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego fell dead from the heat of the furnace as they cast their captives forward.

“Then transpired one of those great miracles to which the faithful are entitled according to the will of God. These three young men stood and walked about calmly in the midst of the furnace and were not burned. Indeed, when they were later called out of the furnace by the astonished king himself, their clothing was untarnished, their skin was free from any burn, not a hair of their head was singed. Not even the smell of smoke had come upon these courageous, committed young men.

“‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego,’ said the king, ‘who hath … delivered his servants that trusted in him, … [who] yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

“‘… Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of Babylon.’ (Dan. 3:28, 30.)”

We’ve probably heard this story quite a few times.  Have we ever thought about what our actions would have been at that time?  We live in America and as bad as things get here we don’t really know what it is like to live under a king, especially a dictator king like Nebuchadnezzar.

Would we have just bowed down to stay out of the kings way, knowing he was a tyrant and never had the confrontation in the first place?  We wouldn’t really be worshipping it.  We would just be following the law.  Every choice has consequences.  Sometimes good consequences and sometimes bad.  What could have been possible consequences of them just going through the motions and doing what the king had said?

Perhaps we would’ve not bowed down, but then what would we do if we were arrested, possibly very forcefully arrested, and brought before an angry man, who had power to do whatever he wanted to do us.  He could have tortured us in many different ways or this fiery furnace thing.  Would we be scared?  Would we be intimidated?

What are we really talking about here?  Was this just being told to bow and then saying no thank you and then being asked to come see the king at 3:30 on Thursday so the king can hear your case?

President Benson once said, “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.” (In Donald L. Staheli, “Obedience—Life’s Great Challenge,”Ensign, May l998, 82).  The king and the fiery furnace were potentially a bit more than an irritant.  How much less than that would it take for me to waiver in my commitment?

Elder Robert D Hales in last conference asked, “If we love the Savior more, will we suffer less?”.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego indeed did, in the end, suffer less.

Perhaps this is a good challenge to close the lesson with.  Do an experiment on the words contained in Daniel and the words of Elder Hales.  See if we increase our love for and commitment to the Savior just a little bit, if he doesn’t some of the things that are troubling us.