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.
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?
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.
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?
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 62:33 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.