Sunday, February 28, 2016

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 28 February 2016

Elders Quorum
The lesson was based on Sister Rosemary M Wixom’s October 2015 talk, “Discovering the Divinity Within”.
What does divinity mean? Attributes of our Heavenly Father.

Can we see that divine nature in others? Can we see it in ourselves?

“Elaine Cannon, a former Young Women general president, said, ‘There are two important days in a woman’s life: The day she is born and the day she finds out why.’4

People sometimes feel that we accomplish things only at work. Our accomplishments are about the impact we make on the lives of people around us for the better. When we are single we make those accompaniments ourselves or with friends and to some extent our families. When we are married we are to accomplish things together through our complementary talents that make us stronger than each alone.

2 Peter 1:4
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

“God sent you here to prepare for a future greater than anything you can imagine.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Living the Gospel Joyful,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 121)

The story of the ugly duckling.

A duck is not ugly nor are ducklings. A baby swan is not ugly it is just much less majestic and capable than an adult swan.

Sunday School
My teaching partners lesson on kingdoms of glory.
Doctrine and Covenants 76

John 5:29
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Sacrament Service
The speakers talked on the talk “Blessed and Happy Are Those Who Keep the Commandments of God“ by Elder Von G Keetch from October 2015 general conference
“As you and I walk the paths of life and pursue our dreams, God’s commands and standards—like the barrier—can sometimes be difficult to understand. They may appear rigid and unyielding, blocking a path that looks fun and exciting and that is being followed by so many others. As the Apostle Paul described, ‘We see through a glass, darkly,’1 with such a limited perspective that we often cannot comprehend the great dangers hidden just below the surface.

“But He who ‘comprehend[s] all things’2 knows exactly where those dangers lie. He gives us divine direction, through His commands and loving guidance, so that we may avoid the dangers—so that we may set a course in our lives that is protected from spiritual predators and the gaping jaws of sin.3

Mosiah 2:41
41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

“None of us makes it through this life without problems and challenges—and sometimes tragedies and misfortunes. After all, in large part we are here to learn and grow from such events in our lives. We know that there are times when we will suffer, when we will grieve, and when we will be saddened. However, we are told, ‘Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.’2

Worry is today's mouse eating tomorrow's cheese.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 21 Febraury 2016

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W Hunter chapter 4
Doctrine and Covenants 1:28
28 And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.

A good parent let's their children struggle through certain problems to a point for them to grow by trying to figure it out on their own. For example, reading with them when teaching them to read. We might let them struggle with a word they are having trouble reading and not tell them immediately what it is. When we do help them with a word we might only give them part of the word to help them get the rest of it on their own. This helping them learn to be a stronger reader.

Heavenly Father also let's us struggle a bit with struggles in life at times. He also often give us a partial answer to give us a hint for us to make connections ourselves about what is going on.

Praying on our knees can make us more humble. It can also make us put forth a little more effort in our prayers.

Have gratitude and be watching for miracles in your life.

Have a positive perspective on trials. For example, don't look at the death of a loved one as God taking them from you, but think of the time God gave you with them and the blessing they were in your life.

Sunday School
My lesson on What is the role of agency in learning the gospel?
What have you learned this week in your gospel studies?

What interesting gospel discussions have you had with friends or family this week?

Do you have any questions that you have been wondering about or wanting to ask someone about the church stuff?

What did we talk about last week?

If you remember brother ___ and I had some things we weren’t sure about how it worked when we talked about parts of the plan of salvation. This week I did some reading on it and I'm not sure I entirely got an answer to what I was unsure about, but the act of using my agency to study it out I found other interesting things   God will lead us to good things we weren't even looking for when we use our agency to seek for righteous things.
This concept ties into our lesson today.
What is the role of agency in learning the gospel?

What is agency? When I said I used my agency to study, what does that mean?

Have you ever thought about how you use your agency to learn the gospel?

I saw ____ out riding his bike yesterday.  How do we use our agency when we go on a bike ride?

First we decide to go. And there are consequences to going or not going, right?

What does the word consequence mean? A consequence is the result of an action. The consequence can be good or bad.

____ went for a bike ride consequently his legs and heart got stronger.  What are other consequences of him bike riding? It took time he could've fine other things. So he used his agency to choose whether that was a good use of his time or not. He may have considered that he needs exercise and sunlight, but is it worth the amount of time it would take. He may have considered other things he might have used that time for and concluded that the positive consequences were worth the negative consequence of using up time.

So consequences of choosing to go bike riding are…
Consequences for not going are…

Something that is tied to agency is faith.

What is faith? Faith is when we choose to act upon what we believe. Many believe faith is just belief, but faith is about agency, which makes sense because earth life is all about agency. That is why we are here, you learn to use our agency correctly.

The war in heaven was about our agency. Would we be free to choose what we want or be forced to choose what we are told?

We exercised faith in Father and His plan by choosing to participate in that plan.

What was Father's plan in the preexistence?

We exercise faith when we choose to do what is necessary to execute the plan successfully.

How do we choose to execute the plan successfully?

Doctrine and Covenants 88:118
118 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.

It says we are to seek learning by study and faith .what does that mean?

First we study it out and then we got do what we have learned about. Once we act in faith and do then we more fully learn what we are studying right. So if we learn about forgiveness, we can read the words, but until we go and sincerely forgive someone we haven't truly learned about forgiveness.

Is it possible to be made to come to church by our parents or by someone else’s choice other than our own, but never really learn much because we have not used our agency to choose to learn?

When we act for ourselves and choose to do what we are taught then we understand what we are taught better.

Again think about as we talk, what is the role of agency in learning the gospel?

John 7:17
17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

Is there a difference between being taught how powerful water can be and choosing to pick up a hose and spray it at something or to watch a waterfall or massive river or the ocean?

The same is true of the gospel.  We talk about how good it is, but until you choose to act upon the things we read about discuss, then you really don’t understand the power of what we are learning.

James 1:22
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

If we choose to do what we are taught we learn more than if we just hear people’s words.  What do you think about that?

What does it mean to be hearers of the word only, deceiving our own selves?

What is the role of agency in learning the gospel?

Doctrine and Covenants 50:23
24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

When we receive truth and act on it, we receive more truth.

2 Nephi 2:26
26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

What does it mean to act and not be acted upon?

Who are some people in your life or that you know of that have used their agency to increase what they know about the gospel?

"A teacher can explain, demonstrate, persuade, and testify, and do so with great spiritual power and effectiveness. Ultimately, however, the content of a message and the witness of the Holy Ghost penetrate into the heart only if a receiver allows them to enter. Learning by faith opens the pathway into the heart."-bednar

No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right … and which I should join” (Joseph Smith—History 1:10, 18).

Notice that Joseph’s questions focused not just on what he needed to know but also on what he needed to do.

What did you hear in Sacrament meeting about people using their agency?

What did you hear in Sacrament meeting about people learning?

Sacrament Service
A missionary that recently returned from a mission to Armenia spoke to us.

Doctrine and Covenants 18:15-16
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

The first soul we bring is ourselves.  As in a commercial flight we attach our own oxygen mask and prepare ourselves before we can help others.

What can going to church do for you?

Doctrine and Covenants 62:3
 3 Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 14 Febraury 2016

Elders Quorum
Why is adversity a necessary part of life?

How have to an adversity benefit your life?

How can we see adversity in the Lord's perspective?

Story in lds living about going mother in our ward years ago who had a brainstem stroke.

Our adversity is sometimes for someone else’s benefit.

The Lord will never give us more adversity than we can handle, nor will be give us less adversity than we need.

How horrible is it for an infant to be ill for almost a year and to have open heart surgery and for its parents to go bankrupt? Why would God allow such horrible things to happen?

The reason was for the growth and salvation for the parents, the children, or for the posterity yet to be born.

Sunday School
My teaching partners lesson.

Do any resurrected beings receive glory before the Millennium. When is the judgement?

Sacrament Service
Remember that when you are choosing a spouse you are also choosing the father of mother of your children.

Sisters, few of us will ever have to face an angry mob, but there is a war going on in this world in which our most cherished and basic doctrines are under attack. I am speaking specifically of the doctrine of the family. The sanctity of the home and the essential purposes of the family are being questioned, criticized, and assaulted on every front.“ (Bonnie L Oscarson, Defenders of the Family Proclamation, April 2015 General Conference)

Moses 2:27-29
27 And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.
28 And I, God, blessed them, and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And I, God, said unto man: Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which shall be the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

I need not remind you that the world we are in is a world of turmoil, of shifting values. Shrill voices call out for one thing or another in betrayal of time-tested standards of behavior. The moral moorings of our society have been badly shaken. So many of the youth of the world, and likewise so many of their elders, listen only to the seductive voice of self-gratification.” (President Gordon B Hinckley, “Stand Strong Against the Wiles of the World”, October 1995 General Conference)

Mosiah 2:14-15
14 And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.
15 Yet, my brethren, I have not done these things that I might boast, neither do I tell these things that thereby I might accuse you; but I tell you these things that ye may know that I can answer a clear conscience before God this day.
Marriage is more than your love for each other. … In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and calls into his kingdom.” (Elder D Todd Christofferson, “Why Marriage, Why Family”, April 2015 General Conference)

Marriage helps us to not think so much about ourselves.

One hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of a car we drove, what kind of a house we lived in, how much we had in the bank account, nor what our clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because we were important in the life of a boy or a girl.” (President Thomas S Monson, “In Quest of the Abundant Life”, Ensign March 1988)

Exodus 20:12
12 ¶ Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

“God desires that all of His children come into the world as part of an eternal family with a mother and father who love and care for each other and for their children. If this is not your experience, be patient and continue to live righteously. Look for worthy role models. Prepare now to fulfill your divine roles as a husband or wife and as a parent. Commit to marry in the temple and establish your own eternal family.” (For the Strength of Youth, Page 15)

In our theology and in our practice, the family and the Church have a mutually reinforcing relationship. The family is dependent upon the Church for doctrine, ordinances, and priesthood keys. The Church provides the teachings, authority, and ordinances necessary to perpetuate family relationships to the eternities.” (Elder Dallin H Oaks, “Priesthood Authority in the Family and the Church, October 2005 General Conference)

Let me share the advice I give to couples when I perform a sealing in the temple: Never retire without kneeling together and holding hands and saying your prayers. And those prayers should be prayers of gratitude. There is something that happens, even when a husband and a wife are upset with each other, if they kneel at the end of the day and pray together. I do a lot of counseling with people troubled in their marriages. I always ask, “Do you kneel and hold hands at the end of the day, praying for Heavenly Father’s blessings in your home?” Not once in a struggling marriage is the couple still doing that. “ (Elder M Russell Ballard, “Family Councils: A Conversation with Elder and Sister Ballard”, June 2003)

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 07 February 2016

Elders Quorum
The lesson was based on the First Presidency Message from the February 2016 Ensign by Dieter F Uchtdorf.
“Experienced pilots understand that they can’t always control the things that happen around them. They can’t just turn off the turbulence. They can’t make the rain or snow vanish. They can’t cause the wind to stop blowing or change its direction.
But they also understand that it’s a mistake to fear turbulence or strong winds—and especially to be paralyzed by them. The way to land safely when conditions are less than ideal is to stay on the correct track and glide path as perfectly as possible.“

Understanding that we will encounter turbulence in our lives can help us deal with it and not be surprised by it.

Planes are designed to deal with turbulence. Father has designed the gospel to help us deal with turbulence in life or trials.

Satan attempted to keep Joseph Smith from praying with darkness and feelings of doom and destruction. Consider what smaller things than that Satan succeeds in convincing us to not pray. Things like that we are tired,  we are busy,  we are unworthy or any number of things.

Sunday School
My lesson on “Why Is Learning An Important Part of Heavenly Father's Plan?”.
What have you been learning about in your personal gospel study this week?

As we talk together today, think about why learning is an important part of God's plan?

“One of the main reasons Heavenly Father sent us to earth was to give us experiences that would help us learn and become more like Him. If we are obedient and teachable, He will help us learn what we need to know, line upon line, throughout our lives. Heavenly Father expects us to use the knowledge we gain to bless others and build His kingdom.” - From the manual

Father sent us to earth to learn. Were we only sent here to earth to learn about the scriptures? What else were we sent here to learn?

The For the Strength of Youth manual had this to say about education.  Who has their For the Strength of youth manual with them?

“Education is an important part of Heavenly Father’s plan to help you become more like Him. He wants you to educate your mind and to develop your skills and talents, your power to act well in your responsibilities, and your capacity to appreciate life. The education you gain will be valuable to you during mortality and in the life to come.

“Education will prepare you for greater service in the world and in the Church. It will help you better provide for yourself, your family, and those in need. It will also help you be a wise counselor and companion to your future spouse and an informed and effective teacher of your future children.

“Education is an investment that brings great rewards and will open the doors of opportunity that may otherwise be closed to you. Plan now to obtain an education. Be willing to work diligently and make sacrifices if necessary. Share your educational goals with your family, friends, and leaders so they can support and encourage you.”

For the Strength of Youth closes with this question for us to think about.  “How can an education benefit me and my future family?”

We learn that we may be enabled to magnify our callings and be better.
Doctrine and Covenants 88:77-80
77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;
79 Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms
80 That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.

How do you teach someone to multiply?  It is very difficult for someone to teach us to multiply numbers if we have not learned to add numbers. There are many things in life that make no sense until we learn other things first. Thus we must be diligent in always learning and perfecting our skills in the basic things of life, so that we are prepared for the more advanced things God wants to give us when we are ready.

President Uchtdorf shared in October 2014 general conference
A Parable of Dandelions
Once there was a man who enjoyed taking evening walks around his neighborhood. He particularly looked forward to walking past his neighbor’s house. This neighbor kept his lawn perfectly manicured, flowers always in bloom, the trees healthy and shady. It was obvious that the neighbor made every effort to have a beautiful lawn.
But one day as the man was walking past his neighbor’s house, he noticed in the middle of this beautiful lawn a single, enormous, yellow dandelion weed.
It looked so out of place that it surprised him. Why didn’t his neighbor pull it out? Couldn’t he see it? Didn’t he know that the dandelion could cast seeds that could give root to dozens of additional weeds?
This solitary dandelion bothered him beyond description, and he wanted to do something about it. Should he just pluck it out? Or spray it with weed killer? Perhaps if he went under cover of night, he could remove it secretly.
These thoughts totally occupied his mind as he walked toward his own home. He entered his house without even glancing at his own front yard—which was blanketed with hundreds of yellow dandelions.

Do we focus on the things we need to learn or do we spend our time telling others what they need to change?

Elder Oaks talked of our responsibility to learn in Learning and Latter-day Saints in the April 2009 Ensign:
"Our religious faith teaches us that we should seek learning by the Spirit and that we have a stewardship to use our knowledge for the benefit of mankind."

What do you think about that?

Elder Oaks continues :
"A learned Latter-day Saint should seek to understand the important religious, physical, social, and political problems of the day. The more knowledge we have of heavenly laws and earthly things, the greater influence we can exert for good on those around us and the safer we will be from scurrilous and evil influences that may confuse and destroy us."

If we are not diligent in learning true things we can end up being taught things that are not true with trying.

If we have more knowledge about how the physical world works we are less likely to be taken advantage of by people who would seek to deceive is for their gain.

Elder Oaks continued,  "As we seek to receive and apply the guidance of the Spirit in a world driven by the trends and issues of the day, we are confronted by an avalanche of often erroneous and trivial information served up by modern technology."
"We are also bombarded by popular talk show hosts, television psychologists, fashion magazines, and media commentators, whose skewed values and questionable practices can drive our opinions and influence our behavior."

One example of where people are being taught falsehoods is in defining men's and women's roles.

President Kimball said,  "“There has never been a time in the world when the role of [women and men] has been more confused.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W Kimball, p 222)

Ephesians 4:11-14 tells us of some of the tools God had given us to help us avoid being misled by ideas created without understanding God's plan.
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

By knowing and understanding the scriptures and the words of the prophets we will not be confused by what the world is trying sell us as truth.

Knowing What to Study
Sometimes as we prepare for the future parts off or life we do not know how to prepare and what we should study.

We need not fear. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, taught: “The Lord knows both what He will need you to do and what you will need to know. He is kind and He is all-knowing. So you can with confidence expect that He has prepared opportunities for you to learn in preparation for the service you will give. You will not recognize those opportunities perfectly. … But when you put the spiritual things first in your life, you will be blessed to feel directed toward certain learning, and you will be motivated to work harder.”6

Sacrament Service
The Lord often speaks of the mountain when talking about the temple. When Moses went to the mountain to speak with the Lord be was commanded to take off his shoes because it was holy ground. When we go to the temple the first thing we do is change out of our street clothes.  It made me ponder on other times we take off our shoes.

One of the people barring testimony shared Exodus 33:13
13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.