Sunday, April 03, 2016

This Week at Church April 2016 General Conference

Women’s Conference 3-26-2016
After the opening prayer and song they played a video called “When We Were Strangers” about the exodus from Nauvoo and miracles that happened and the faith of the women.

Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, He Asks Us to Be His Hands
“I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and … lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.” - (Thomas S. Monson, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 85)

“Don’t think of your task as a burden; think of it as an opportunity to learn what love really is.” (Lola B. Walters, “Sunshine in My Soul,” Ensign, Aug. 1991, 19)

“Be someone who reaches out to know and serve others—throw away the mirrors and look through the window.”

“Often children teach the rest of us that showing love and service doesn’t have to be big and grandiose to be meaningful and make a difference.”

“All of us can incorporate some service into our daily living. We live in a contentious world. We give service when we don’t criticize, when we refuse to gossip, when we don’t judge, when we smile, when we say thank you, and when we are patient and kind.”

“if [we’ll] use [our] gifts to serve someone else, [we’ll] feel the Lord’s love for that person. [We’ll] also feel his love for [us].” (Henry B. Eyring, To Draw Closer to God (1997), 88.)

Sister Neill F Marriott, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, What Shall We Do
“Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and I hope that we also are stricken in our hearts to acknowledge the Savior, repent, and obey with gladness.”

”The Relief Society general president Eliza R. Snow declared to sisters almost 150 years ago, ‘The Lord has laid high responsibilities upon us.’2 I testify that her declaration is still true today.”

“With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can create an emotionally healing place for the discriminated against, the rejected, and the stranger. In these tender yet powerful ways, we build the kingdom of God.”

“I desire the Spirit of God to know and understand myself, that I might be able to overcome whatever of tradition or nature that would not tend to my exaltation.” (Emma Smith, in Daughters in My Kingdom, 12)

“Mothers literally make room in their bodies to nurture an unborn baby—and hopefully a place in their hearts as they raise them—but nurturing is not limited to bearing children. Eve was called a ‘mother’ before she had children.4 I believe that ‘to mother’ means ‘to give life.’ Think of the many ways you give life. It could mean giving emotional life to the hopeless or spiritual life to the doubter. With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can create an emotionally healing place for the discriminated against, the rejected, and the stranger. In these tender yet powerful ways, we build the kingdom of God. Sisters, all of us came to earth with these life-giving, nurturing, maternal gifts because that is God’s plan.”

“All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, … purifies our hearts … and makes us more tender and charitable, … and it is through … toil and tribulation, that we gain the education … which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.” (Orson F. Whitney, in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972), 98)

“Our high responsibility is to become women who follow the Savior, nurture with inspiration, and live truth fearlessly. As we ask Father in Heaven to make us builders of His kingdom, His power will flow into us and we will know how to nurture, ultimately becoming like our heavenly parents.”

Video About Service - I Was a Stranger: Love One Another

Sister Linda K Burton, Relief Society General President, “I Was a Stranger”

“On the day Relief Society was organized, Emma Smith declared: ‘We are going to do something extraordinary. … We expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls.’1 Those pressing calls and extraordinary occasions presented themselves frequently then—as they do now.”

“Last summer I met Sister Yvette Bugingo, who at age 11 fled from place to place after her father was killed and three of her brothers went missing in a war-torn part of the world. Yvette and the remaining family members eventually lived for six and a half years as refugees in a neighboring country until they were able to move to a permanent home, where they were blessed by a caring couple who helped with transportation, schools, and other things. She said they ‘were basically an answer to our prayers.’8 Her beautiful mother and adorable little sister are with us tonight, singing in the choir. I have wondered many times since meeting these wonderful women, ‘What if their story were my story?’”

His storehouse is not composed just of goods but also of time, talents, skills, and our divine nature.

“We need women who know how to make important things happen by their faith and who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world … ; women who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families. …

“… Married or single, you sisters possess distinctive capabilities and special intuition you have received as gifts from God. We brethren cannot duplicate your unique influence.”(President Russell M. Nelson "A Plea to My Sisters", General Conference October 2015)
It is our hope that you will prayerfully determine what you can do—according to your own time and circumstance—to serve the refugees living in your neighborhoods and communities. This is an opportunity to serve one on one, in families, and by organization to offer friendship, mentoring, and other Christlike service and is one of many ways sisters can serve.

Matthew 25:35-36
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Sometimes reaching out is inconvenient. But when we work together in love and unity, we can expect heaven’s help.

The Holy Ghost is sent to you and to those you care for. You will be strengthened and yet inspired to know the limits and extent of your ability to serve. The Spirit will comfort you when you may wonder, ‘Did I do enough?’” (President Henry B Eyring, “The Caregiver”, October 2012 General Conference)

Alma’s great companion Amulek also taught the truth that we must continue in our service to Him to retain forgiveness: ‘And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith’ (Alma 34:28).

You have felt love for others tonight—for friends, schoolmates, neighbors, and even someone who just came into your life, a stranger. That feeling of love is a gift from God. The scriptures call it ‘charity’ and ‘the pure love of Christ’ (Moroni 7:47). You have felt that love tonight, and you can receive it often if you seek it.

88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

You will also find that the Lord puts helpers by your side—on your right, on your left, and all around you. You do not go alone to serve others for Him.

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

My hope is that the sisters in our family will do the best they can out of love for God to serve those in need.

I witness that we grow closer to the Savior as we, out of pure love, serve others for Him.

Saturday Morning Session
President Henry B Eyring, Where Two or Three Are Gathered
“The Lord promised that even with the great number of His disciples on the earth today, He would be close to each of us. He said to His little band of disciples in 1829, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, … where two or three are gathered together in my name, … behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you” (D&C 6:32).

“Now numbering more than one or two, a multitude of His disciples are gathered in this conference, and as promised, the Lord is in our midst. Because He is a resurrected and glorified being, He is not physically everyplace where Saints gather. But, by the power of the Spirit, we can feel that He is here with us today.“

“Those who are saddened by the loss of the joy they once had are the blessed ones. Some do not see the withering of faith within themselves. Satan is clever.He tells those he wishes to be miserable that the joy they once felt was childish self-delusion.“

“If you listen with the Spirit, you will find your heart softened, your faith strengthened, and your capacity to love the Lord increased.”

“Many of you have already begun. At the start of this session, you more than listened to the prayer; you added your faith to the petition that we will enjoy the blessing of having the Holy Ghost poured out upon us. As you added your silent pleading in the name of Jesus Christ, you drew closer to Him. This is His conference. Only the Holy Ghost can bring the blessings the Lord desires for us.”

My thoughts
We should pray fervently when others pray and not just be a passive bystander.

“You can pray and add your faith each time a servant of God approaches the pulpit that the promise of the Lord in Doctrine and Covenants section 50 will be fulfilled:”

Doctrine and Covenants 50:17-22
17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.
19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
20 If it be some other way it is not of God.
21 Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?
22 Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.

“You can pray as the choir is about to sing. “

“...the great Elohim, loves and knows us, every one.”

Sister Mary R Durham, A Child’s Guiding Gift
How do we as parents increase the spiritual capacity of our little ones? How do we teach them to kick off worldly influences and trust the Spirit when we are not with them and they are alone in the deep waters of their lives?

“The simplicity of [confirmation] may cause us to overlook its significance. These four words—‘Receive the Holy Ghost’—are not a passive pronouncement; rather, they constitute a priesthood injunction—an authoritative admonition to act and not simply to be acted upon.” (David A. Bednar, “Receive the Holy Ghost,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 95)

“...we can bring to our children’s attention when they are hearing and feeling the Spirit.

“If [the Holy Ghost] comes to a little child, He will adapt himself to the language and capacity of a little child.” (Joseph Smith, in History of the Church, 3:392)

One mother discovered that since children learn differently—some learn visually, auditorily, tactilely, or kinesthetically—the more she observed her children, the more she realized that the Holy Ghost teaches her children in ways they each learn best.

“I’m teaching my [children] to focus on what they feel [and act on it].” (Irinna Danielson, “How to Answer the Toughest ‘Whys’ of Life,” Oct. 30, 2015,

As you gain experience and success in being guided by the Spirit, your confidence in the impressions you feel can become more certain than your dependence on what you see or hear.”

Donald L Hallstrom, I Am a Child of God
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

This doctrine is so basic, so oft stated, and so instinctively simple that it can seem to be ordinary, when in reality it is among the most extraordinary knowledge we can obtain. A correct understanding of our heavenly heritage is essential to exaltation. It is foundational to comprehending the glorious plan of salvation and to nurturing faith in the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus the Christ, and in His merciful Atonement.

With few exceptions, everyone participating in this meeting could right now, without written lyrics or music, sing “I Am a Child of God.”8 This beloved hymn is one of the most often sung in this Church. But the critical question is, do we really know it? Do we know it in our mind and in our heart and in our soul? Is our heavenly parentage our first and most profound identity?

When difficult things occur in our lives, what is our immediate response? Is it confusion or doubt or spiritual withdrawal? Is it a blow to our faith? Do we blame God or others for our circumstances? Or is our first response to remember who we are—that we are children of a loving God? Is that coupled with an absolute trust that He allows some earthly suffering because He knows it will bless us, like a refiner’s fire, to become like Him and to gain our eternal inheritance?

In today’s world, no matter where we live and no matter what our circumstances are, it is essential that our preeminent identity is as a child of God. Knowing that will allow our faith to flourish, will motivate our continual repentance, and will provide the strength to “be steadfast and immovable” throughout our mortal journey.

Elder Gary E Stevenson, Where Are the Keys and Authority of the Priesthood?
“Without keys, this wonderful miracle of engineering was little more than plastic and metal. Even though the car had great potential, without keys, it could not perform its intended function.”

“My young brothers and sisters, you may not realize it, but the keys of the gathering of Israel, restored by Moses, enable missionary work in our dispensation. Consider the full-time missionary force of approximately 75,000 laboring in the field under the direction of these keys. With this in mind, remember it is never too early for you to prepare for missionary service. In For the Strength of Youth, we read, ‘Young men of the Aaronic Priesthood, … work diligently to prepare yourself to represent the Lord as a missionary.’8 Young women can prepare also, but you ‘are not under the same mandate to serve.’9 All of your preparation, however, whether you serve as a full-time missionary or not, will accrue lifelong benefits to you as a member missionary.”

“Temples are getting closer and closer to you. However, for those of you who live where distance or circumstances do not allow regular temple attendance, you should always keep yourself worthy to attend.”

Elder Kevin R Duncan of the Seventy, The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness - topics: forgiveness
“All that is of God encompasses love, light, and truth. Yet as human beings we live in a fallen world, sometimes full of darkness and confusion. It comes as no surprise that mistakes will be made, injustices will occur, and sins will be committed. As a result, there is not a soul alive who will not, at one time or another, be the victim to someone else’s careless actions, hurtful conduct, or even sinful behavior. That is one thing we all have in common.”

“As we strive to forgive others, let us also try to remember that we are all growing spiritually, but we are all at different levels. While it is easy to observe the changes and growth in the physical body, it is difficult to see the growth in our spirits.”

“One key to forgiving others is to try to see them as God sees them.”

“We all have, in our own lives, Saul-like individuals with Paul-like potential. Can you imagine how our families, our communities, and the world at large might change if we all tried to see each other as God sees us?”

“To forgive is not to condone. We do not rationalize bad behavior or allow others to mistreat us because of their struggles, pains, or weaknesses. But we can gain greater understanding and peace when we see with a broader perspective.”

“None of us should be defined by the worst thing we have ever done.”

“Opportunities to listen to those of diverse religious or political persuasion can promote tolerance and learning.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Listen to Learn,” Ensign, May 1991, 23)

“The Savior’s Atonement is not just for those who need to repent; it is also for those who need to forgive.”

Elder Steven E Snow of the Seventy - Be Thou Humble - topics:  Raising children, humility, hymns, music
“Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns.” (“First Presidency Preface,” Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1985), ix.)

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.

“As we raise our own children, we need to help them remain humble as they mature into adulthood. We do not do this by breaking their spirit through unkindness or by being too harsh in our discipline. While nurturing their self-confidence and self-esteem, we need to teach them the qualities of selflessness, kindness, obedience, lack of pride, civility, and unpretentiousness. We need them to learn to take joy in the successes of siblings and friends.”

“But humility is not something reserved to be taught only to children. We must all strive to become more humble.”

“Humility enables us to be better parents, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, neighbors and friends.”

Alma 32:15-16
15 Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed—yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty.
16 Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.

“How does one get humble? To me, one must constantly be reminded of his dependence. On whom dependent? On the Lord. How remind one’s self? By real, constant, worshipful, grateful prayer.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball (1982), 233.)

Elder Dale G Renlund - “That I Might Draw All Men unto Me” - topics: caring for the poor, sacrament
“The greater the distance between the giver and the receiver, the more the receiver develops a sense of entitlement.”

“Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are the ultimate Givers. The more we distance ourselves from Them, the more entitled we feel. We begin to think that we deserve grace and are owed blessings. We are more prone to look around, identify inequities, and feel aggrieved—even offended—by the unfairness we perceive. While the unfairness can range from trivial to gut-wrenching, when we are distant from God, even small inequities loom large. We feel that God has an obligation to fix things—and fix them right now!”

“Murmuring is the scriptural equivalent of childish whining. The scripture records that ‘they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.’”

“They seemed to feel that the Lord was obligated to provide answers to questions that they had not posed.”

“To draw closer to the Savior, we must increase our faith in Him, make and keep covenants, and have the Holy Ghost with us. We must also act in faith, responding to the spiritual direction we receive. All of these elements come together in the sacrament. Indeed, the best way I know of to draw closer to God is to prepare conscientiously and partake worthily of the sacrament each week.”

“A friend of ours in South Africa shared how she came to this realization. When Diane was a new convert, she attended a branch outside of Johannesburg. One Sunday, as she sat in the congregation, the layout of the chapel made it so that the deacon did not see her as the sacrament was passed. Diane was disappointed but said nothing. Another member noted the omission and mentioned it to the branch president after the meeting. As Sunday School began, Diane was invited to an empty classroom.

“A priesthood holder came in. He knelt down, blessed some bread, and handed her a piece. She ate it. He knelt down again and blessed some water and handed her a small cup. She drank it. Thereafter, Diane had two thoughts in rapid succession: First, ‘Oh, he [the priesthood holder] did this just for me.’ And then, ‘Oh, He [the Savior] did this just for me.’ Diane felt Heavenly Father’s love.”

“Jesus did not say ‘if rain descends, if floods come, and if winds blow’ but ‘when.’ No one is immune from life’s challenges; we all need the safety that comes from partaking of the sacrament.”

“Our present circumstances may not change, but through God’s compassion, kindness, and love, we will all receive more than we deserve, more than we can ever earn, and more than we can ever hope for.”

“And, as with the disciples on the way to Emmaus, we will find that the Savior has been nearby all along.”

Saturday Afternoon Session
Elder Ronald A Rasband, Standing with the Leaders of the Church
2 Nephi 31:20
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

“We need to help each other find Heavenly Father’s answers through the guidance of the Spirit.”

“Many times in conferences, sacrament meetings, and Primary we have sung the tender words, ‘Lead me, guide me, walk beside me.’8 What do those words mean to you? Who comes to mind when you think of them? Have you felt the influence of righteous leaders, those disciples of Jesus Christ who have in the past and continue today to touch your life, who walk the Lord’s path with you?”

Elder Neil L Anderson, “Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me” - topics: raising children
“We will continue to teach the Lord’s pattern for families, but now with millions of members and the diversity we have in the children of the Church, we need to be even more thoughtful and sensitive. Our Church culture and vernacular are at times quite unique. The Primary children are not going to stop singing “Families Can Be Together Forever,”6 but when they sing, “I’m so glad when daddy comes home”7 or “with father and mother leading the way,”8 not all children will be singing about their own family.”

“Help God’s children understand what is genuine and important in this life. Help them develop the strength to choose paths that will keep them safely on the way to eternal life.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Learn of Me,” Ensign, Mar. 2016, 6.)

Elder Mervyn B Arnold, To the Rescue: We Can Do It - Topics: grandparents, raising children
11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

“Let me share four principles that will help in our rescue efforts.”
“Principle 1: We Must Not Delay Going to the Rescue”
“Principle 2: We Must Never Give Up”
“Principle 3: How Great Shall Be Your Joy If You Bring Save It Be One Soul unto Christ”
“Principle 4: No Matter Our Age, We Are All Called to Go to the Rescue”

“Our members need to be reminded that it is never too late when it comes to our … less-active members … who could have been considered a hopeless cause.” (Thomas S. Monson, October 2015 General Authority Leadership Meeting, used with permission.)

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!

Elder Jairo Mazzagardi, The Sacred Place of Restoration
“Why did the Church have to be restored in the United States and not in Brazil or Italy, the land of my ancestors?”

“At that moment, I understood how the hand of God our Father, in His immense wisdom, had prepared in His plan a place to bring the young Joseph Smith, putting him in the midst of that religious confusion,”

The prophecies regarding the Restoration began to be fulfilled: ‘And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.’ (Revelation 14:6.)

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally.

Elder David A Bednar, Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins - Topics: atonement, repentance, ordinances, priesthood, Holy Ghost
“King Benjamin described the importance of knowing the glory of God and tasting of His love, of receiving a remission of sins, of always remembering the greatness of God, and of praying daily and standing steadfastly in the faith.”

“In mortality we experience physical birth and the opportunity for spiritual rebirth.”

“Being born again, comes by the Spirit of God through ordinances.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 95.)

“The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit and bears witness of all truth. In the scriptures, the Holy Ghost is referred to as the Comforter,10 a teacher,11 and a revelator.12 Additionally, the Holy Ghost is a sanctifier13 who cleanses and burns dross and evil out of human souls as though by fire.”

“Ordinances are sacred acts that have spiritual purpose, eternal significance, and are related to God’s laws and statutes.”

“Each successive ordinance elevates and enlarges our spiritual purpose, desire, and performance.”

“Ordinances invite spiritual purpose and power into our lives as we strive to be born again and become men and women of Christ.”

“Baptism is a holy ordinance preparatory to the reception of the Holy Ghost; it is the channel and key by which the Holy Ghost will be administered.” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 95–96.)

“You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half—that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost.” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 95.)

“The baptism of water, without the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost attending it, is of no use. They are necessarily and inseparably connected.” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 90.)

“Please consider that the emblems of the Lord’s body and blood, the bread and the water, are both blessed and sanctified. ”

“To sanctify is to make pure and holy. The sacramental emblems are sanctified in remembrance of Christ’s purity, of our total dependence upon His Atonement, and of our responsibility to so honor our ordinances and covenants that we can ‘stand spotless before [Him] at the last day.’”

“The ordinance of the sacrament is a holy and repeated invitation to repent sincerely and to be renewed spiritually. The act of partaking of the sacrament, in and of itself, does not remit sins. But as we prepare conscientiously and participate in this holy ordinance with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then the promise is that we may always have the Spirit of the Lord to be with us. And by the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost as our constant companion, we can always retain a remission of our sins.”

Elder M Russell Ballard, Family Councils - Topic: Family Councils
“My brothers and sisters, the irony of being parents is that we tend to get good at it after our children are grown.”

“A family council, when conducted with love and with Christlike attributes, will counter the impact of modern technology that often distracts us from spending quality time with each other and also tends to bring evil right into our homes.”

“I believe there are at least four types of family councils:
“First, a general family council consisting of the entire family.
“Second, an executive family council consisting of a mother and father.
“Third, a limited family council consisting of parents and one child.
“Fourth, a one-on-one family council consisting of one parent and one child.
“In all of these family council settings, electronic devices need to be turned off so everyone can look at and listen to each other.”

“Inviting the Lord to be part of our family council through prayer will improve our relationships with each other. “

“A family council that is patterned after the councils in heaven, filled with Christlike love, and guided by the Lord’s Spirit will help us to protect our family from distractions that can steal our precious time together and protect us from the evils of the world.”

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Priesthood Session - Topics: men, humility, forgiveness
President Russell M Nelson, The Price of Priesthood Power
“I have marveled at Jimmy and Shawn and what they were willing to do. They have become heroes to me. If I could have the wish of my heart, it would be that each man and young man in this Church would demonstrate the courage, strength, and humility of this father and son. They were willing to forgive and let go of old hurts and habits. They were willing to submit to guidance from their priesthood leaders so that the Atonement of Jesus Christ could purify and magnify them. Each was willing to become a man who worthily bears the priesthood“

“It is a sacred trust to bear the priesthood, which is the mighty power and authority of God.”

“I fear that there are too many men who have been given the authority of the priesthood but who lack priesthood power because the flow of power has been blocked by sins such as laziness, dishonesty, pride, immorality, or preoccupation with things of the world.”

“I fear, brethren, that some among us may one day wake up and realize what power in the priesthood really is and face the deep regret that they spent far more time seeking power over others or power at work than learning to exercise fully the power of God.”

“Why would any man waste his days and settle for Esau’s mess of pottage6 when he has been entrusted with the possibility of receiving all of the blessings of Abraham?”

“Only a man who has paid the price for priesthood power will be able to bring miracles to those he loves and keep his marriage and family safe, now and throughout eternity.”

“Are you willing to pray to know how to pray for more power?”

“Are you willing to search the scriptures and feast on the words of Christ13—to study earnestly in order to have more power? If you want to see your wife’s heart melt, let her find you on the Internet studying the doctrine of Christ14 or reading your scriptures!”

“Are you willing to worship in the temple regularly? “

“Are you willing to follow President Thomas S. Monson’s example of serving others?”

“May each one of us rise up as the man God foreordained us to be—ready to bear the priesthood of God bravely, eager to pay whatever price is required to increase his power in the priesthood. With that power, we can help prepare the world for the Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. “

Stephen W Owen, The Greatest Leaders Are the Greatest Followers
“If I were to ask you, “Who is the greatest leader who ever lived?”—what would you say? The answer, of course, is Jesus Christ. He sets the perfect example of every imaginable leadership quality.
But what if I were to ask you, “Who is the greatest follower who ever lived?”—wouldn’t the answer again be Jesus Christ? He is the greatest leader because He is the greatest follower—He follows His Father perfectly, in all things.“

“Your ability to lead does not come from an outgoing personality, motivational skills, or even a talent for public speaking. It comes from your commitment to follow Jesus Christ.“

“As we follow that Man of Galilee—even the Lord Jesus Christ—our personal influence will be felt for good wherever we are, whatever our callings.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Your Personal Influence,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 20.)

President Dieter F Uchtdorf, In Praise of Those Who Save
“But strong marriage and family relationships do not happen just because we are members of the Church. They require constant, intentional work. The doctrine of eternal families must inspire us to dedicate our best efforts to saving and enriching our marriages and families. I admire and applaud those who have preserved and nourished these critical, eternal relationships.“

“Now, just one word to those of our single brethren who follow the deception that they first have to find the “perfect woman” before they can enter into serious courting or marriage.

“My beloved brethren, may I remind you, if there were a perfect woman, do you really think she would be that interested in you?“

“If it appears to take forever, remember: happy marriages are meant to last forever! So ‘be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great [marriage]. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.’”

“It may be a gradual work, but it doesn’t have to be a cheerless one. In fact, at the risk of stating the obvious, divorce rarely happens when the husband and wife are happy.

“So be happy!”

Sunday Morning Session
President Thomas S Monson, Choices
Four New Temples - Quito, Ecuador; Harare, Zimbabwe; Belém, Brazil; and a second temple in Lima, Peru

“I have been thinking recently about choices. It has been said that the door of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny.

“When we left our premortal existence and entered mortality, we brought with us the gift of agency. Our goal is to obtain celestial glory, and the choices we make will, in large part, determine whether or not we reach our goal.”

“Unlike Alice, we know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life leads to our destination in the next life.”

“May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus. May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”

Sister Bonnie L Oscarson, Do I Believe?
“Do we sometimes become so accustomed to the blessings we have been given as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that we fail to fully comprehend the miracle and majesty of discipleship in the Lord’s true Church? Are we ever guilty of being complacent about the greatest gift we can be offered in this life?”

“We believe that this Church is more than just a good place to go on Sundays and learn how to be a good person. It is more than just a lovely Christian social club where we can associate with people of good moral standing. It is not just a great set of ideas that parents can teach their children at home so they will be responsible, nice people. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is infinitely more than all of these things.”

“To believe, we need to get the gospel from our heads into our hearts! It is possible for us to merely go through the motions of living the gospel because it is expected or because it is the culture in which we have grown up or because it is a habit.”

“I am often asked, ‘What is the greatest challenge our youth face today?’ I answer that I believe it is the ever-present influence of the ‘great and spacious building’ in their lives.4 If the Book of Mormon was written specifically for our day, then surely we cannot miss the relevance for all of us of the messages in Lehi’s vision of the tree of life and the effect of those pointing their fingers and taunting from the great and spacious building.”

Bishop W Christopher Waddell, A Pattern for Peace - Topics: temple, peace
“During one especially rough class, after a number of warnings to an energetic little boy, our son-in-law escorted the four-year-old out of the classroom. Once outside the room, and about to talk to the little boy about his behavior and the need to find his parents, the little boy stopped our son-in-law before he could say a word and, with his hand up in the air, and with great emotion, blurted out, ‘Sometimes—sometimes—it’s just hard for me to think about Jesus!’”

“At one time or another, everyone must experience sorrow. No one is exempt.” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Come What May, and Love It,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 27.)

“Faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice is, and forever will be, the first principle of the gospel and the foundation upon which our hope for ‘peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come’ is built.”

23 Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.
24 I am Jesus Christ; I came by the will of the Father, and I do his will.

3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

“The world can be a challenging and difficult place in which to live. … As you and I go to the holy houses of God, as we remember the covenants we make within, we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation. In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace.” (Thomas S. Monson, “The Holy Temple—a Beacon to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 93.)

“Go to the house of the Lord and there feel of His Spirit and commune with Him and you will know a peace that you will find nowhere else.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, in “Rejoice in the Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, Dec. 2002, 63; Liahona, Dec. 2002, 33.)

“Never has the great and spacious building been more crowded or the noise coming from its open windows more misguided, mocking, and confusing than in our day.”

26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.
27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.
28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.

“A key difference between those who were ashamed, fell away, and were lost and those who did not heed the mocking from the building and stood with the prophet is found in two phrases: first, ‘after they had tasted,’ and second, ‘those that were partaking.’”

“However far we may wander from the path, the Savior invites us to return and walk with Him. This invitation to walk with Jesus Christ is an invitation to accompany Him to Gethsemane and from Gethsemane to Calvary and from Calvary to the Garden Tomb. It is an invitation to observe and apply His great atoning sacrifice, whose reach is as individual as it is infinite. It is an invitation to repent, to draw upon His cleansing power, and to grasp His loving, outstretched arms. It is an invitation to be at peace.”

Elder D Todd Christofferson, Fathers - Topics:  Fatherhood, gender roles, raising children
“Fathers are fundamental in the divine plan of happiness,”

“As a Church, we believe in fathers. We believe in ‘the ideal of the man who puts his family first.’2 We believe that ‘by divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.’3 We believe that in their complementary family duties, ‘fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.’4 We believe that far from being superfluous, fathers are unique and irreplaceable.”

“Some see the good of fatherhood in social terms, as something that obligates men to their offspring, impelling them to be good citizens and to think about the needs of others, supplementing ‘maternal investment in children with paternal investment in children. … In short, the key for men is to be fathers. The key for children is to have fathers. The key for society is to create fathers.’5  While these considerations are certainly true and important, we know that fatherhood is much more than a social construct or the product of evolution. The role of father is of divine origin, beginning with a Father in Heaven and, in this mortal sphere, with Father Adam.

“The perfect, divine expression of fatherhood is our Heavenly Father. His character and attributes include abundant goodness and perfect love.”

“Perhaps the most essential of a father’s work is to turn the hearts of his children to their Heavenly Father. If by his example as well as his words a father can demonstrate what fidelity to God looks like in day-to-day living, that father will have given his children the key to peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come.9 A father who reads scripture to and with his children acquaints them with the voice of the Lord.10

“And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents. …

“And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.”(Doctrine and Covenants 68:25, 28.)

“Certainly teaching the gospel is a shared duty between fathers and mothers, but the Lord is clear that He expects fathers to lead out in making it a high priority. (And let’s remember that informal conversations, working and playing together, and listening are important elements of teaching.) The Lord expects fathers to help shape their children, and children want and need a model.”

“Discipline and correction are part of teaching.”

“When a father provides correction, his motivation must be love and his guide the Holy Spirit:”

“To young men, recognizing the role you will have as provider and protector, we say, prepare now by being diligent in school and planning for postsecondary training”

“Take advantage of opportunities to associate with people of all ages, including children, and learn how to establish healthy and rewarding relationships. That typically means talking face to face with people and sometimes doing things together, not just perfecting your texting skills.”

“To all the rising generation, we say, wherever you rank your own father on the scale of good-better-best (and I predict that ranking will go higher as you grow older and wiser), make up your mind to honor him and your mother by your own life.“

4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

“That is the ministry of fathers today. God bless and make them equal to it,”

Elder Quentin L Cook, See Yourself in the Temple - Topics:  temples, temple ordinances
“One hundred eighty years ago, on this very day, April 3, 1836, a magnificent vision was opened to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. This occurred just one week after the dedication of that temple. In this vision they saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit in the temple.”

“Often as we experience the storms of life, we witness the Lord’s hand in providing eternal protections.”

“If we do dedicate the temple, we will have the cornerstone ceremony because Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone, and this is His Church”

“There is none to equal Him. There never has been. There never will be. Thanks be to God for the gift of His Beloved Son, who gave His life that we might live and who is the chief, immovable cornerstone of our faith and His Church.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Four Cornerstones of Faith, Ensign or Liahona, Feb. 2004, 4–5.)

President Dieter F Uchtdorf, He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home
“...if man can take the ruins, rubble, and remains of a broken city and rebuild an awe-inspiring structure that rises toward the heavens, how much more capable is our Almighty Father to restore His children who have fallen, struggled, or become lost?”

“The joyous news of the gospel is this: because of the eternal plan of happiness provided by our loving Heavenly Father and through the infinite sacrifice of Jesus the Christ, we can not only be redeemed from our fallen state and restored to purity, but we can also transcend mortal imagination and become heirs of eternal life and partakers of God’s indescribable glory.”

4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

“...what must the sheep do to qualify for this divine help?

“Does the sheep need to know how to use a complicated sextant to calculate its coordinates? Does it need to be able to use a GPS to define its position? Does it have to have the expertise to create an app that will call for help? Does the sheep need endorsements by a sponsor before the Good Shepherd will come to the rescue?

“No. Certainly not! The sheep is worthy of divine rescue simply because it is loved by the Good Shepherd.”

“While our loving Father desires that all of His children return to Him, He will force no one to heaven.”

“Over time, you will recognize His hand in your life. You will feel His love. And the desire to walk in His light and follow His way will grow with every step of faith you take.
We call these steps of faith ‘obedience.’”

“But if our faith does not change the way we live—if our beliefs do not influence our daily decisions—our religion is vain, and our faith, if not dead, is certainly not well and is in danger of eventually flatlining.”

“Obedience is the lifeblood of faith. It is by obedience that we gather light into our souls.”

“But perhaps there is a different metaphor that can explain why we obey the commandments of God. Maybe obedience is not so much the process of bending, twisting, and pounding our souls into something we are not. Instead, it is the process by which we discover what we truly are made of.”

“We are created by the Almighty God. He is our Heavenly Father. We are literally His spirit children. We are made of supernal material most precious and highly refined, and thus we carry within ourselves the substance of divinity.”

“You may feel that your life is in ruins. You may have sinned. You may be afraid, angry, grieving, or tortured by doubt. But just as the Good Shepherd finds His lost sheep, if you will only lift up your heart to the Savior of the world, He will find you.”

Sunday Afternoon Session
Elder Robert D Hales, The Holy Ghost - The light of Christ, gift of the Holy Ghost, personal revelation
“The Holy Ghost provides personal revelation to help us make major life decisions about such things as education, missions, careers, marriage, children, where we will live with our families, and so on. In these matters, Heavenly Father expects us to use our agency, study the situation out in our minds according to gospel principles, and bring a decision to Him in prayer.”

35 And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God.

“Sometimes the adversary tempts us with false ideas that we may confuse with the Holy Ghost. I testify that faithfulness in obeying the commandments and keeping our covenants will protect us from being deceived. Through the Holy Ghost, we will be able to discern those false prophets who teach for doctrine the commandments of men.”

“As we receive the inspiration of the Holy Ghost for ourselves, it is wise to remember that we cannot receive revelation for others.”

“The Holy Ghost is central to the Restoration.”

Elder Gerrit W Gong, Always Remember Him
“Each week, in partaking of the sacrament, we covenant to always remember Him. Drawing on the nearly 400 scripture references to the word remember, here are six ways we can always remember Him.”

“ having confidence in His covenants, promises, and assurances.”
“ gratefully acknowledging His hand throughout our lives.”
“ trusting when the Lord assures us, ‘He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.’”
“...remember that He is always welcoming us home.”
“...through the sacrament”
“ He always remembers us.”

“Life must be understood backward. But … it must be lived forward.” (Kierkegaard’s Journals and Notebooks: Volume 2, Journals EE–KK, Bruce H. Kirmmse and others, ed. (2008), 2:179; emphasis in original.)

“Remember, He knows all the things we don’t want anyone else to know about us—and loves us still.”

“The scriptures describe resurrection as ‘every limb and joint shall be restored to … their proper and perfect frame,’ and ‘even a hair of the head shall not be lost.’25 That being so, please consider how it is that our Savior’s perfect, resurrected body still bears the wounds in His side and the nail prints in His hands and feet.26

Elder Patrick Kearon
“As members of the Church, as a people, we don’t have to look back far in our history to reflect on times when we were refugees, violently driven from homes and farms over and over again. Last weekend in speaking of refugees, Sister Linda Burton asked the women of the Church to consider, ‘What if their story were my story?’5 Their story is our story, not that many years ago.”

27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

“If you are asking, ‘What can I do?’ let us first remember that we should not serve at the expense of our families and other responsibilities,9 nor should we expect our leaders to organize projects for us. But as youth, men, women, and families, we can join in this great humanitarian endeavor.”

“Begin on your knees in prayer. Then think in terms of doing something close to home, in your own community, where you will find people who need help in adapting to their new circumstances. The ultimate aim is their rehabilitation to an industrious and self-reliant life.”

“The Lord has instructed us that the stakes of Zion are to be ‘a defense’ and ‘a refuge from the storm.’”

Elder Dallin H Oaks, Opposition in All Things
“Central to the gospel of Jesus Christ is the Father’s plan of salvation for the eternal progress of His children. That plan, explained in modern revelation, helps us understand many things we face in mortality.”

“As President Thomas S. Monson taught us so powerfully this morning, we progress by making choices, by which we are tested to show that we will keep God’s commandments (see Abraham 3:25). To be tested, we must have the agency to choose between alternatives. To provide alternatives on which to exercise our agency, we must have opposition.”

2 Nephi 2:16
16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

39 And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet—

“From the beginning, agency and opposition were central to the Father’s plan and to Satan’s rebellion against it.”

“Satan and his followers tempt and seek to deceive and captivate the children of God(see Moses 4:4). So it is that the evil one, who opposed and sought to destroy the Father’s plan, actually facilitated it, because it is opposition that enables choice and it is the opportunity of making the right choices that leads to the growth that is the purpose of the Father’s plan.“

“Our mortal life, however, was never meant to be easy or consistently pleasant. Our Heavenly Father … knows that we learn and grow and become refined through hard challenges, heartbreaking sorrows, and difficult choices. Each one of us experiences dark days when our loved ones pass away, painful times when our health is lost, feelings of being forsaken when those we love seem to have abandoned us. These and other trials present us with the real test of our ability to endure.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Joy in the Journey” (address given at the BYU Women’s Conference, May 2, 2008), A short essay on sportsmanship and democracy by John S. Tanner, now president of BYU–Hawaii, includes this insight on a subject with which we are all familiar: “Learning how to lose gracefully is not only a civil duty; it is a religious imperative. God designed mortality to ensure ‘opposition in all things’ (2 Nephi 2:11). Setbacks and defeats are part of his plan for our perfection. … Defeat plays an integral role in our ‘quest for perfection’” (Notes from an Amateur: A Disciple’s Life in the Academy [2011], 57).)

“Our efforts to improve our observance of the Sabbath day pose a less stressful example of opposition. We have the Lord’s commandment to honor the Sabbath. Some of our choices may violate that commandment, but other choices in how to spend time on the Sabbath are simply a question of whether we will do what is merely good or what is better or best.”

20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

“Some of this opposition even comes from Church members. Some who use personal reasoning or wisdom to resist prophetic direction give themselves a label borrowed from elected bodies—’the loyal opposition.’ However appropriate for a democracy, there is no warrant for this concept in the government of God’s kingdom, where questions are honored but opposition is not (see Matthew 26:24).”

Elder Kent F Richards, The Power of Godliness
“Our responsibility is to ‘receive’ that which our Father offers.4 ‘For unto him that receiveth it shall be given more abundantly, even power’:5 power to receive all that He can and will give us—now and eternally;6 power to become sons and daughters of God,7 to know ‘the powers of heaven,’8 to speak in His name,9 and to receive ‘the power of [His] Spirit.’10 These powers become available personally to each one of us through the ordinances and the covenants of the temple.”

14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

“the blessings of the temple are priceless.”(Thomas S. Monson, “Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 93.) “No sacrifice is too great.”(Thomas S. Monson, “The Holy Temple—a Beacon to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 92.)

Elder Paul V Johnson, And There Shall Be No More Death - Topics: Resurrection
“In fact, without the Resurrection we could never receive a fulness of joy but would be miserable forever.”

“There is no salvation without both our spirit and our body.”

“Each of us has physical, mental, and emotional limitations and weaknesses. These challenges, some of which seem so intractable now, will eventually be resolved. None of these problems will plague us after we are resurrected..”

“The reality of the Resurrection of the Savior overwhelms our heartbreak with hope because with it comes the assurance that all the other promises of the gospel are just as real—promises that are no less miraculous than the Resurrection. “

“I am grateful for the blessings that are ours because of the Atonement and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. For all who have laid a child in a grave or wept over the casket of a spouse or grieved over the death of a parent or someone they loved, the Resurrection is a source of great hope. What a powerful experience it will be to see them again—not just as spirits but with resurrected bodies.”

Elder Jeffrey R Holland, Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You
“ is inevitable that after heavenly moments in our lives, we, of necessity, return to earth, so to speak, where sometimes less-than-ideal circumstances again face us.”

32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

“...if in the days ahead you not only see limitations in those around you but also find elements in your own life that don’t yet measure up to the messages you have heard this weekend, please don’t be cast down in spirit and don’t give up.”

9 For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.

“Boy, aren’t we all thankful for that added provision ‘and … seeketh so to do’! That has been a lifesaver because sometimes that is all we can offer! We take some solace in the fact that if God were to reward only the perfectly faithful, He wouldn’t have much of a distribution list.

“Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going. If you fall, summon His strength.”

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