Posted in Doctrine and Covenants, Family, Gospel Doctrine 2017, LDS Doctrine, Teachings of Gordon B Hinckley

Teachings of Gordon B Hinckley -Chapter 5: Daughters of God

From the Life of Gordon B. Hinckley

This section talks about the great blessings that came into President Hinckley’s life through his mother, Ada, and his wife Marjorie Pay.

Video: President Hinckley – The Women in Our Lives

From the manual:

“How thankful I am, how thankful we all must be, for the women in our lives. God bless them. May His great love distill upon them and crown them with luster and beauty, grace and faith.”

Who are the great women who have blessed your life?

1 Women have a high and sacred place in the eternal plan of God.

The Church is publishing a series of in depth essays on its website on certain gospel topics. One that may be relevant to this lesson is on Mother in Heaven.
From the manual:
‘You are very precious, each of you. … You occupy a high and sacred place in the eternal plan of God, our Father in Heaven. You are His daughters, precious to Him, loved by Him, and very important to Him. His grand design cannot succeed without you.’
Why is it important for us to understand the “high and sacred place” of women in God’s eternal plan?

2 The Lord’s counsel to Emma Smith applies to all.

For useful background information on Emma Smith and D&C 25 see the Revelations in Context article Thou Art an Elect Lady
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From the manual:
What aspects of the Lord’s counsel to Emma Smith are especially helpful to you?

3 Mothers have a sacred calling to bring up their children in righteousness and truth.

From the manual:
‘I remind mothers everywhere of the sanctity of your calling. No other can adequately take your place. No responsibility is greater, no obligation more binding than that you rear in love and peace and integrity those whom you have brought into the world.’

Russell M. Nelson (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles): The earth was created and this Church was restored so that families could be formed, sealed, and exalted eternally. (“Celestial Marriage,” Ensign, Nov 2008, p. 93)

For parents, why is “no obligation more binding” than rearing their children “in love and peace and integrity”?
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4 Women have great responsibilities in the work of salvation.

From the manual:
‘Women in the Church are associates with their brethren in carrying forward this mighty work of the Lord. … Women carry tremendous responsibilities and they are accountable for the fulfillment of those responsibilities. They head their own organizations, and those organizations are strong and viable and are significant forces for good in the world. They stand in an associate role to the priesthood, all striving together to build the kingdom of God in the earth. We honor and respect you for your capacity. We expect leadership, and strength, and impressive results from your management of the organizations for which you are responsible. We uphold and sustain you as daughters of God, working in a great partnership to assist him in bringing to pass the immortality and the eternal life of all of the sons and daughters of God.’

‘Blessings of the priesthood are shared by men and women. All may qualify for baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. All may take upon themselves the name of the Lord and partake of the sacrament. All may pray and receive answers to their prayers. Gifts of the Spirit and testimonies of the truth are bestowed regardless of gender. Men and women receive the highest ordinance in the house of the Lord together and equally, or not at all (see  D&C 131:1–3)

Opportunities for development of spiritual and intellectual potential are equal. Masculinity has no monopoly on the mind, and femininity has no exclusive dominion over the heart. The highest titles of human achievement—teacher, educated professional, loyal employee, faithful friend, student of the scriptures, child of God, disciple of Christ, trusted companion, loving parent—are earned under a uniform requirement of worthiness.’ (Russell M Nelson, General Conference, October 1989)

Why is it important that men and women work together to move the Lord’s work forward? What are some examples you have seen of this?

5 Relief Society is a source of immeasurable blessings.

Relief Society helps prepare women for the blessings of eternal life as they:

  • Increase faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement;
  • Strengthen individuals, families, and homes through ordinances and covenants; and
  • Work in unity to help those in need.
    Handbook 2: Administering the Church, [2010], 9.1.1
From the manual:
‘God bless the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. May the spirit of love which has motivated its members … continue to grow and be felt over the world. May their works of charity touch for good the lives of uncounted numbers wherever they find expression. And may light and understanding, learning and knowledge, and eternal truth grace the lives of generations of women yet to come, throughout the nations of the earth, because of this singular and divinely established institution.’
How can you strengthen the Relief Society in your ward?

6 Rise to the stature of the divinity within you.

We know we shall reap
Whatsoever we sow
We promise, we keep
Wherever we go
We need not look far
To find gratitude
We share a bright star
For good attitude,
To live as we should

It’s time to rise
With stature divine,
With virtuous eyes,
And a wholesome mind
With love for the land
And the sky above
We labor by hand,
We give and we love,
And we do not shove

A struggling mother
Much marred by abuse,
Needs hope not smother
To feel she’s of use
As a morning star
We shouted for joy
For just where we are-
With life to enjoy
For each girl and boy

With minds full of light,
We’re full of glory
The oppressed now bright
Know a new story
A broad horizon
Can master one’s fate
For daughter and son-
It is not too late-
For love’s bloom, not hate!

We can cultivate
Beauty all around
Through prayer and not fate
We are safely sound
To safeguard from sin,
Stand above evil
And rise and begin (clean the drab within)
Speak against what’s ill-
And, harvests then fulfill

– Gordon B Hinckley

From the manual:
‘I feel to invite women everywhere to rise to the great potential within you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourselves with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not try to set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass.’
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Patricia T. Holland:

“On a pristinely clear and beautifully bright day, I sat overlooking the Sea of Galilee and reread the tenth chapter of Luke. But instead of the words on the page, I thought I saw with my mind and heard with my heart these words: ‘[Pat, Pat, Pat,] thou art careful and troubled about many things.’ Then the power of pure and personal revelation seized me as I read, ‘But one thing-only one thing-is truly needful.’ (See Luke 10:40-41.) …As I sat pondering my problems, I felt that same sun’s healing rays like warm liquid pouring into my heart, relaxing, calming, and comforting my troubled soul.

“Our loving Father in heaven seemed to be whispering to me, ‘You don’t have to worry over so many things. The one thing that is needful-the only thing that is truly needful-is to keep your eyes toward the sun-my Son.’ Suddenly I had true peace. I knew that my life had always been in his hands, from the very beginning! The sea lying peacefully before my eyes had been tempest-tossed and dangerous-many, many times. All I needed to do was to renew my faith and get a firm grasp of his hand, and together we could walk on the water.” (Jeffrey R. Holland and Patricia T. Holland, On Earth As It Is in Heaven [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 81.)

How can we gain a better vision of what God sees our potential to be? How can we progress toward reaching our potential?
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Posted in Doctrine and Covenants, Gospel Doctrine 2017

Gospel Doctrine 2017 -Lesson 10: “This Is My Voice unto All”

1. Husbands and wives should support and comfort each other.

D&C 25:5 Consoling words

‘There is so much of argument in the homes of the people. It is so destructive. It is so corrosive. It leads only to bitterness, heartbreak, and tears. How well advised we would be, each of us, when there is tension, when there is friction, when there is affliction, to speak with consoling words in the spirit of meekness. ‘ (Gordon B Hinckley, “If Thou Art Faithful,” Ensign, Nov. 1984, 91)

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D&C 25:14 Spirit of meekness

“Let us continue to live in humility and meekness before God, seeking in faith and good works to get an increased portion of his Holy Spirit, that we may comprehend the laws of God and live according to the principles of eternal truth….” (John Taylor, JD, 18:334-335, December 31, 1876)

2. We should be meek and avoid pride.

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D&C 23:1 Beware of pride

‘Three times in the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord uses the phrase “beware of pride,” including a warning to the second elder of the Church, Oliver Cowdery, and to Emma Smith, the wife of the Prophet. (D&C 23:1; see also D&C 25:14; D&C 38:39.)

Pride is a very misunderstood sin, and many are sinning in ignorance. (See Mosiah 3:11; 3 Ne. 6:18.) In the scriptures there is no such thing as righteous pride-it is always considered a sin. Therefore, no matter how the world uses the term, we must understand how God uses the term so we can understand the language of holy writ and profit thereby. (See 2 Ne. 4:15; Mosiah 1:3-7; Alma 5:61.)

Most of us think of pride as self-centeredness, conceit, boastfulness, arrogance, or haughtiness. All of these are elements of the sin, but the heart, or core, is still missing.

The central feature of pride is enmity-enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.

Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.” As Paul said, they “seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philip. 2:21.)

Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled.

The proud cannot accept the authority of God giving direction to their lives. (See Hel. 12:6.) They pit their perceptions of truth against God’s great knowledge, their abilities versus God’s priesthood power, their accomplishments against His mighty works.’ (Ezra Taft Benson, “Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989, 4)

D&C 38:39 Beware of pride

‘Let us note that, although the Lord can bestow on us ‘the riches of the earth,’ the riches he most wants to bless us with are ‘the riches of eternity.’ As he counsels elsewhere, ‘Seek not for riches, but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich.’ (D&C 6:7.)

“One of the problems with material wealth is that it sometimes corrupts those who have it. It is for this reason that the Lord’s promise of riches in section 38 cited above ends with the warning: ‘But beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.’ (D&C 38:39.)

“If we set our minds on the ‘treasures of earth’ rather than on the things of eternity, we will lose our spirituality and begin to rely on our own wisdom. Indeed, it was the Nephites’ pride and lust for riches and their failure to dedicate their blessings to the Lord’s work that stirred Jacob to condemn them for failing to ‘think of [their] brethren like unto [them]selves’ and for not being ‘familiar with all and free with [their] substance.’ (Jacob 2:17.)” (Alan Webster, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Apr. 1990, 52-53)

“Some fall victim to greed when they think that the Lord and his church are failing them economically. Paul describes the result in his love-of-money passage: ‘They have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’ (1 Tim. 6:10.)

“… Our greed begins when we think more about what God owes us than what we owe him. The Lord has promised the faithful the ‘riches of eternity.’ We should be content with that promise and serve for the joy of serving.” ‘(Richard Tice, “Greed: When Enough Is Not Enough,” Ensign, June 1989, 34)

D&C 90:17 Be admonished

‘Although this counsel is valuable to all members of the Church, it was perhaps especially significant for Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, who both later opposed the Prophet and left the Church, though Frederick G. Williams eventually returned.’ (D&C Institute Manual)

D&C 98:19 I, the Lord, am not well pleased

‘On the 11th of December (1836), the Prophet sharply rebuked the Kirtland Saints for their sins and backsliding. He warned them to repent, lest judgment should come upon them as it had come upon the Saints in Jackson County, Missouri. Those were trying times. They were days of separation when it became necessary to separate the unworthy from those who were of the household of faith. Kirtland was not to be the abiding place of the Saints. They must give up their possessions and their love for the city they had striven so hard to adorn.’ (Wilford Woodruff, His Life and Labors, comp. Matthias F. Cowley [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1916], 65 – 66)

D&C 1:28 They were humble

‘Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught us that “all progress in spiritual things is conditioned upon the prior attainment of humility.1 [Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. (1966), 370.] Humility has been described as having the “desire to submit to the Lord,” the “desire to seek the Lord’s will and glory,” and the “desire to remove pride.”2 [Gospel Principles (1997), 4.] King Benjamin told his people that they should “always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility”  Mosiah 4:11 The Lord counseled in the Doctrine and Covenants that “inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time”  D&C 1:28

May we each develop our humility by submitting to the will of the Lord in all things so that we may retain a remission of our sins.'(Keith Crockett, General Conference, October 2000)

D&C 19:23 Learn of me, and listen to my words

‘These words give me the feeling of such closeness to, such intimacy with the Savior, looking at him, listening to him, learning from him, walking with him, and feeling his peace like his very arms around me. Within each of us is an intense hunger for this intimacy with and closeness to him. I think we all want to feel his spirit around us.’ (Chieko N Okazaki, Lighten Up! [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1993], 199.)

D&C 112:10 Be thou humble

‘I believe, brothers and sisters, that only those who are humble are able to acknowledge and understand the Lord’s answers to their prayers. The humble are teachable, recognizing how dependent they are on God and desiring to be subject to His will. The humble are meek and have the ability to influence others to be the same. God’s promise to the humble is that He will lead them by the hand. I truly believe that we will avoid detours and sadness in our lives as long as we walk hand in hand with the Lord.’ (Ulisses Soares, General Conference, October 2013)

3. We should rejoice and be of good cheer.

D&C 29:5 Your advocate with the Father

‘Jesus Christ came upon the scene as the Mediator between man and God, and the Advocate for man with the Father. He pleads our cause. As our Mediator, through his ministry, he labors to reconcile us, to bring us into agreement with God his Father.

An advocate is one who defends or pleads for or in behalf of another. A mediator is one who reconciles or brings about agreement between parties.

That is part of his great mission. He stands between the Father and man. When he was upon earth, he prayed frequently for his disciples, pleading with his Father in their behalf, and he has been pleading ever since, and he stands between us and God our Father.’  (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols., edited by Bruce R. McConkie [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954-1956], 1: 26.)

D&C 6:36 Be of good cheer

‘If we by nature are not happy, something is wrong with us. We ought to find out what it is and correct it as soon as possible, because until we do, we will not enjoy the Spirit with us as much as if we were of good cheer. Developing an attitude of gratitude for our many blessings can be a giant step forward in fostering happiness.’ (Joe J Christensen, “Toward Greater Spirituality: Ten Important Steps,” Ensign, June 1983,9)

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D&C 68:6 I the Lord am with you

‘You are not alone on this journey. Your Heavenly Father knows you. Even when no one else hears you, He hears you. When you rejoice in righteousness, He rejoices with you. When you are beset with trial, He grieves with you.

Heavenly Father’s interest in you does not depend on how rich or beautiful or healthy or smart you are. He sees you not as the world sees you; He sees who you really are. He looks on your heart. [See  1 Samuel 16:7 And He loves you [See  1 Peter 5:6–7 because you are His child.

Dear sisters, seek Him earnestly, and you will find Him. [See  Jeremiah 29:13

I promise you, you are not alone.’ (Dieter F Uchtdorf, General Conference, April 2013)

D&C 78:18 I will lead you along

‘Brothers and sisters, it is my testimony to the Church that the Lord will lead us along, just as promised. He balances giving to the Church and its people the needed, specific directions, with providing the relevant learning experiences, including having our faith and patience tried in order to be strengthened. Thus He leads us along, but He desires that during that process we take His yoke upon us in order to learn of Him by our personal experiences. We surely feel the weight of that yoke at times, but the path is clear.

Jesus, our Shepherd, has “marked the path and led the way, And ev’ry point defines” (Hymns, 1985, no. 195). His clearly defined footprints are easy to see. They are pressed distinctly and deeply into the soil of the second estate, deeply and distinctly because of the enormous weight which pressed down upon Him, including the awful burden of all of our individual sins.’  (Neal A Maxwell, “For I Will Lead You Along,” Ensign, May 1988, 9)

Posted in Doctrine and Covenants, LDS Church History

Gospel Doctrine 2017 -Lesson 9: “The Only True and Living Church”

1. The Church is organized in the latter days.

D&C 20:1 Being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years

“Does this give the exact year of Christ’s birth? That calculation places too much weight on what may have been an elaborate phrase of dating or an incidental statement. The first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants Commentary (Hyrum M. Smith) cautioned against using this to prove that Christ was born at the exact beginning of the Christian Era; so have Bible scholars J. Reuben Clark and Bruce R. McConkie. Part of the problem is that Christ was alive at the death of Herod the Great, an event of 4 B.C. in careful chronologies.” (Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson, eds., Studies in Scripture, Vol. 1: The Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 114 – 115.)

D&C 21:3 6th April 1830

See The Sixth Day of April 1830 by Howard W Hunter

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D&C 20:9 The fulness of the gospel

“Our revelations say that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel. (D. & C. 20:9; 27:5; 42:12; 135:3.) This is true in the sense that the Book of Mormon is a record of God’s dealings with a people who had the fulness of the gospel, and therefore the laws and principles leading to the highest salvation are found recorded in that book.” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine)

What changes have been made in the name of the Church? Its full designation does not appear in the revelations until 1838. (D&C 115:4)

Richard Lloyd Anderson, professor of religion and history, Brigham Young University A concise answer to this question is found by comparing the name of the Church on the title pages of the first three printings of the revelations: ‘The Church of Christ’ (Book of Commandments, 1833), ‘The Church of the Latter Day Saints’ (Doctrine and Covenants, 1835), and ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ (Doctrine and Covenants, 1844).

“The Savior told the Nephites that his church should be called in his name. (See 3 Ne. 27:8.) As a result, the restored Church’s official title from 1830 to 1834 was ‘The Church of Christ.’ That title is found in the revelation on the organization and government of the Church (D&C 20:1) and in early minute books. During this period, however, members of the Church regularly called themselves ‘saints’; the word saint is used approximately three dozen times in the D&C before 1834.

“On 3 May 1834, official action modified the name of the Church. In a priesthood conference presided over by Joseph Smith, a motion passed ‘by unanimous voice’ that the Church be known as ‘The Church of the Latter Day Saints.’ (See The Evening and the Morning Star, May 1834, 2:160.) This alteration was not seen as a de-emphasis of Christ; on the contrary, it was done in hopes that the name of the Church would more clearly reflect the fact that Christ was at its head.

“In the same issue of the Kirtland newspaper in which the announcement appeared, an editorial explained that the change stemmed from a misleading nickname: the ‘Mormonite’ church. The new name also had these advantages: (1) Since American Christians, including Congregationalists and reformers, frequently designated themselves as ‘The Church of Christ,’ that title did not distinguish the restored gospel from a host of Protestant sects. (2) Since Paul and Peter used the Greek word saint (‘a holy person’) to refer to believers in Christ, the term Latter-day Saints implied that Church members were modern followers of Christ. Thus it also asserted the claim of restoration.

“Just as the term saint flourished when the official name was ‘The Church of Christ,’ the name of Christ regularly supplemented the official name of ‘The Church of the Latter Day Saints.’ For example, in 1835, the church was referred to as ‘the church of Christ’ and the Twelve apostles were commissioned as ‘special witnesses of the name of Christ.’ (D&C 107:59, 23) The Saints certainly did not feel that the Church was leaving out the name of Christ.

“Sometimes during this period the first and second titles would be combined-‘the church of Christ of Latter Day saints’-as they were in priesthood minutes (Messenger and Advocate, Feb. 1836, 2:266) and in the publication of the first high council minutes (see headnote, D&C 5, 1835 edition).

“A vivid illustration of the way members then understood the official name of the Church is found in a letter from John Smith, the Prophet’s uncle, to his son Elias before the latter was converted. Writing 19 Oct. 1834, Uncle John answers the question of why the name could be changed:

‘The Church of Christ is the Church of Saints and always was. This is the reason why the apostle directed letters sometimes to the Church of God, others to the Church, and again to the Brethren, sometimes to the Saints, always meaning the Church of Christ.’ (Archives, University of Utah)

“Thus, the final version of the Church’s name was no radical shift from the previous practice of using both ‘Christ’ and ‘Saints’ in designating the restored Church and its members. Revealed on 26 April 1838 (D&C 115:4), the full title, ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,’ is striking by comparison to the names of the scores of churches that obscure their Christianity under the label  of their founders or of some characteristic belief or aspect of church organization. It is a highly effective name, for while it is distinctive, it indicates that Jesus is at its head. It is also descriptive of divine restoration. And it is more than a name-it is a public commitment to a holy life through the Savior’s power.” (Richard Lloyd Anderson, “I Have a Question,” Ensign, Jan. 1979, 13-4)

2. The Lord commands Church members to follow the prophet.

D&C 1:38 Or by the voice of my servants

‘I do not believe members of this Church can be in full harmony with the Savior without sustaining His living prophet on the earth, the President of the Church. If we do not sustain the living prophet, whoever he may be, we die spiritually. Ironically, some have died spiritually by exclusively following prophets who have long been dead. Others equivocate in their support of living prophets, trying to lift themselves up by putting down the living prophets, however subtly.

In our lifetime we have been favored with ongoing communication from the heavens, which have been open to the prophets of our time…This process of revelation comes to the Church very frequently. President Wilford Woodruff stated, “This power is in the bosom of Almighty God, and he imparts it to his servants the prophets as they stand in need of it day by day to build up Zion” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, 56). This is necessary for the Church to fulfill its mission. Without it, we would fail.’ (James E Faust, “Continuing Revelation,” Ensign, Aug. 1996, 5)

D&C 21:4-5 Give heed unto all his words and commandments

‘Brigham Young was a great defender of the Prophet Joseph Smith. There were Judases in the ranks in that day, just as there were in the Savior’s day, and just as we have today, some who are members of the Church who are undercutting us, who are betraying their trusts. We are shocked when we see the places from which some of these things come.

Brigham Young was invited by some of these men who were trying to depose the Prophet Joseph from his position as President of the Church; but they made a mistake by inviting President Brigham Young into their circle. And after he had listened to what their motives were, he said something to this effect: “I want to say something to you men. You cannot destroy the appointment of a prophet of God, but you can cut the thread that binds you to the prophet of God, and sink yourselves to hell.”‘ (Harold B Lee, “Admonitions for the Priesthood of God,” Ensign, Jan. 1973, 107)

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D&C 21:6 The gates of Hell

“The gates of hell are the entrances to the benighted realms of the damned where the wicked go to await the day when they shall come forth in the resurrection of damnation. Those beckoning gates prevail against all who pass through them. But those who obey the laws and ordinances of the gospel have the promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:388–89.)

D&C 21:9 Believe on his words

‘We must learn the will of our Father in Heaven by earnest study. Next, we must act upon it. Study alone is not sufficient; we must act upon the words of revelation before we know of a surety of the truthfulness of the doctrines. On the day the Church was organized in 1830, the Lord gave a wonderful promise to those who labor in the vineyard:

“For, behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing, and they shall believe on his [Joseph Smith’s] words, which are given him through me by the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world, yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart.”

If we will follow, with diligence, the counsel and instruction that is the united voice of these Brethren, we will know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether they speak of themselves.’ (L. Aldin Porter, “The Revelations of Heaven,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 64-5)

3. The Lord encourages Church members to meet together often to partake of the sacrament.

D&C 20:75 The sacrament

‘Usually once a week, for a little more than an hour, we have the opportunity to attend sacrament meeting and reflect on the life of our Savior; to recall with deep gratitude and reverence His life of purity, kindness, and love; to reflect upon the great atoning sacrifice; and to partake of the broken bread, symbolic of His torn flesh, and drink of the cup, symbolic of His blood that was shed on the cross.

The Savior taught the Nephites that ‘I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.

‘And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; … that I might draw all men unto me.’ (3 Ne. 27:13-14.)

As we partake of the sacrament and reflect upon His sacrifice for each of us, we make a solemn commitment to keep the commandments which He has given us, that by so doing we might always have His spirit to be with us. By partaking of the sacrament each Sunday we receive the encouragement and strength to keep the commandments of God, to live uprightly, virtuously, and honestly. Did not Jesus Himself sum them all up as follows: ‘Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.’ (Luke 10:27.)

This is what every person who partakes of the sacrament is committed to do. Living God’s commandments obligates a person to a life of goodness-goodness to society and a genuine helpfulness to humanity, and excluding from one’s life hatred, enmity, immorality, selfishness, drunkenness, jealousy, and dishonesty.

May we experience the joy of regular attendance at sacrament meeting and feel the blessings of eternal progression in our personal lives through wholehearted compliance, in spirit and actions, with the sacred words of the sacrament.’ (David B Haight, “The Sacrament,” Ensign, May 1983, 14)

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D&C 20:77,79 The sacrament prayers

‘Because of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the restored gospel, another blessing we can count is that we have the opportunity to take the sacrament each week—prepared, blessed, and passed by authorized servants of God. We can be grateful when the Holy Spirit confirms to us that the words of the sacrament prayers, offered by those authorized priesthood holders, are honored by our Heavenly Father.

Of all the blessings we can count, the greatest by far is the feeling of forgiveness that comes as we partake of the sacrament. We will feel greater love and appreciation for the Savior, whose infinite sacrifice made possible our being cleansed from sin. As we partake of the bread and water, we remember that He suffered for us. And when we feel gratitude for what He has done for us, we will feel His love for us and our love for Him.

The blessing of love we receive will make it easier for us to keep the commandment to “always remember him.”  Moroni 4:3 5:2  Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79 You may even feel love and gratitude, as I do, for the Holy Ghost, who Heavenly Father has promised will always be with us as we remain faithful to the covenants we have made. We can count all those blessings every Sunday and feel grateful.’ (Henry B Eyring, General Conference, October 2016)

D&C 27:2 Always remember him

My brothers and sisters, I solemnly witness to you that these doctrines and principles are true. In view of these truths, I plead with all members of the Church, young and old, to attend sacrament meeting each Sabbath day and to partake of the sacrament with the repentant attitude described as “a broken heart and a contrite spirit”  (3 Ne. 9:20) I pray that we will do so with the reverence and worship of our Savior that will signify a serious covenant to “always remember him” ( D&C 20:77) The Savior himself has said that we should partake “with an eye single to my glory—remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins”  (D&C 27:2)

4. The Lord explains the duties of Church members.

D&C 28:68-69 A godly walk and conversation

“The call to discipleship is a call to a higher righteousness. The Saints are asked to put off the natural man, put away the toys of a telestial world, and grow up in the Lord. They are summoned to be obedient, to keep the commandments, to manifest ‘by a godly walk and conversation that they are worthy’ of membership in the Church and kingdom of God (D&C 20:69). They covenant to take upon them the sacred name of Jesus Christ, to bear the same with fidelity and devotion, and to behave as becomes Christians. In short, they covenant before God and man to see to it that their actions evidence their Christian commitment. Disciples are expected to have clean hands.” (Robert L. Millet, An Eye Single to the Glory of God: Reflections on the Cost of Discipleship [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 55.)