Posted in Finances, Gospel Doctrine 2017, LDS Doctrine

Gospel Doctrine 2017 – Lesson 17: The Law of Tithing and the Law of the Fast

1. The Lord has commanded us to pay tithing. He has promised great blessings to those who obey this commandment.

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See: Revelations in Context: The tithing of my people

D&C 119:4 One tenth of all their interest annually

‘Tithing is so simple and straightforward a thing. The principle, as it applies to us, is actually set forth in one verse of section 119 of the Doctrine and Covenants. That fourth verse consists of thirty-five words. Contrast that with the cumbersome and complex tax codes enacted and enforced by governments. In the one case it is a brief statement from the Lord, the payment left to the individual and motivated by faith. With the other it is a tangled web created by men and enforced by law. ‘(Gordon B Hinckley, “The Miracle Made Possible by Faith,” Ensign, May 1984, 47)

D&C 59:21 Gratitude

‘The payment of tithing helps us develop a submissive and humble heart and a grateful heart that tends to “confess … his hand in all things”  D&C 59:21 Tithe-paying fosters in us a generous and forgiving heart and a charitable heart full of the pure love of Christ. We become eager to serve and bless others with an obedient heart, submissive to the Lord’s will. Regular tithe payers find their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ strengthened, and they develop a firm, abiding testimony of His gospel and of His Church. None of these blessings are monetary or material in any way, but surely they are the Lord’s richest blessings.’ (Carl B Pratt, General Conference, April 2011)

D&C 120:1 The Council on the Disposition of the Tithes

‘Before my call to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, I read many times in the Doctrine and Covenants about the council appointed to oversee and disburse sacred tithing funds. The Council on the Disposition of the Tithes was established by revelation and consists of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric (see D&C 120). As I prepared in December of 2004 to attend my first meeting of this council, I eagerly anticipated a most remarkable learning opportunity.

I still remember the things I experienced and felt in that council. I gained a greater appreciation and reverence for the Lord’s laws of finance for individuals, for families, and for His Church. The basic financial program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—for both income and disbursement—is defined in sections 119 and 120 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Two statements found in these revelations provide the foundation for the fiscal affairs of the Church.

Section 119 simply states that all members “shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, … saith the Lord” (verse 4).

Then, concerning the authorized disbursement of the tithes, the Lord said, “It shall be disposed of by a council, composed of the First Presidency of my Church, and of the bishop and his council, and by my high council; and by mine own voice unto them, saith the Lord” (D&C 120:1). The “bishop and his council” and “my high council” referred to in this revelation are known today as the Presiding Bishopric and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, respectively. These sacred funds are used in a rapidly growing church to spiritually bless individuals and families by constructing and maintaining temples and houses of worship, supporting missionary work, translating and publishing scriptures, fostering family history research, funding schools and religious education, and accomplishing many other Church purposes as directed by the Lord’s ordained servants.

I marvel at the clarity and brevity of these two revelations in comparison to the complicated financial guidelines and administrative procedures used in so many organizations and governments around the world. How can the temporal affairs of an organization as large as the restored Church of Jesus Christ possibly operate throughout the entire world using such succinct instructions? To me the answer is quite straightforward: this is the Lord’s work, He is able to do His own work (see 2 Nephi 27:20), and the Savior inspires and directs His servants as they apply His directions and labor in His cause.

In that first council meeting I was impressed by the simplicity of the principles that guided our deliberations and decisions. In the financial operations of the Church, two basic and fixed principles are observed. First, the Church lives within its means and does not spend more than it receives. Second, a portion of the annual income is set aside as a reserve for contingencies and unanticipated needs. For decades the Church has taught its membership the principle of setting aside additional food, fuel, and money to take care of emergencies that might arise. The Church as an institution simply follows the same principles that are taught repeatedly to the members.

As the meeting progressed, I found myself wishing that all members of the Church could observe the simplicity, the clarity, the orderliness, the charity, and the power of the Lord’s own way (see D&C 104:16) for conducting the temporal affairs of His Church. I have now participated in the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes for many years. My gratitude and reverence for the Lord’s pattern has grown each year, and the lessons learned have become even more profound.

My heart swells with love and admiration for the faithful and obedient members of this Church from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. As I travel the earth, I learn about your hopes and dreams, your varied living conditions and circumstances, and your struggles. I have attended Church meetings with you and visited in some of your homes. Your faith strengthens my faith. Your devotion makes me more devoted. And your goodness and willing obedience to the law of tithing inspires me to be a better man, husband, father, and Church leader. I remember and think of you each time I participate in the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes. Thank you for your goodness and faithfulness as you honor your covenants.

The leaders of the Lord’s restored Church feel a tremendous responsibility to care appropriately for the consecrated offerings of Church members. We are keenly aware of the sacred nature of the widow’s mite.

“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

“And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

“And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

“For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mark 12:41–44).

I know from firsthand experience that the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes is vigilant in caring for the widow’s mite. I express appreciation to President Thomas S. Monson and his counselors for their effective leadership in discharging this holy stewardship. And I acknowledge the voice (see D&C 120:1) and hand of the Lord that sustain His ordained servants in fulfilling the duty to represent Him.’ (David A Bednar, “The Windows of Heaven,” Ensign, November 2013)

2. The Lord has commanded us to fast and to pay generous fast offerings.

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D&C 59:13 That Thy fasting may be perfect

“Now, while the law requires the Saints in all the world to fast from ‘even to even’ and to abstain both from food and drink, it can easily be seen from the Scriptures, and especially from the words of Jesus, that it is more important to obtain the true spirit of love for God and man, ‘purity of heart and simplicity of intention,’ than it is to carry out the cold letter of the law. The Lord has instituted the fast on a reasonable and intelligent basis, and none of his works are vain or unwise. His law is perfect in this as in other things. Hence, those who can are required to comply thereto; it is a duty from which they cannot escape; but let it be remembered that the observance of the fast day by abstaining twenty-four hours from food and drink is not an absolute rule, it is no iron-clad law to us, but it is left with the people as a matter of conscience, to exercise wisdom and discretion. Many are subject to weakness, others are delicate in health, and others have nursing babies; of such it should not be required to fast. Neither should parents compel their little children to fast. I have known children to cry for something to eat on fast day. In such cases, going without food will do them no good. Instead, they dread the day to come, and in place of hailing it, dislike it; while the compulsion engenders a spirit of rebellion in them, rather than a love for the Lord and their fellows. Better teach them the principle, and let them observe it when they are old enough to choose intelligently, than to so compel them.

“But those should fast who can, and all classes among us should be taught to save the meals which they would eat, or their equivalent, for the poor. None are exempt from this; it is required of the Saints, old and young, in every part of the Church. It is no excuse that in some places there are no poor. In such cases the fast donation should be forwarded to the proper authorities for transmission to such stakes of Zion as may stand in need.” (Joseph F Smith, Gospel Doctrine, pp. 243–44.)

Posted in General Conference, Holy Ghost, Inspirational

Sunday Afternoon session April 2017

Elder D Todd Christofferson

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It becometh every man who has been warned to warn his neighbour.

Who is my neighbour that I should warn? [The parable of the Good Samaritan].

The motivation for raising the warning voice is love.

It means teaching children the doctrine of Christ.

Jesus was not hesitant to warn.

He devoted time to sinners.

His warnings and commandments were direct.

[Shame culture]. A culture of over sensitivity, over reaction and moral panics.

As watchmen and disciples we cannot be neutral.

Do not abandon those who would welcome truth to flounder and flail in ignorance.

Psalms 40:10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.

Elder Joaquin E Costa

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[Story of conversion]

  1. Once you meet the missionaries please take them seriously.

2. If this is the first time you have attended a Church meeting …do not worry I was clueless too….Remember the feelings you have experienced. They come from God.

3. Reading the Book of Mormon. Moroni 10:4.

4. Repenting. Alma 42:1. [Reading it with his name in it]. We continued reading slowly verse by verse…The book spoke directly to me. ..I had expected to receive revelation without paying the price….Every decision I have made in my life was influenced by that moment…Nothing brings you closer to Jesus Christ than a desire to change.

[A simple but effective and moving talk aimed at investigators}

Elder S Mark Palmer

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[Experience as a Mission President. Missionary who didn’t like people. New Testament story of rich young man. Noticed 6 words.] ‘Then Jesus beholding him loved him”

He felt an overwhelming love and compassion for this young man and because of this love he asked even more of him.

How can I be filled with Christ like love so that the missionary can see that in me and want to change.

I prayed for the gift of charity that I might see each missionary as the Lord sees them.

  1. As we learn to see others as the Lord sees them our love for them will grow. We will never give up.
  2. No teaching or learning will will ever be done in frustration or anger.
  3. Love should never be withdrawn when a child, friend or family member fails to live up to our expectations.
  4. Because He loves us the Lord expects much of us.

Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Elder Gary E Stevenson

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[Story of 9 year old teaching a family home evening] How can the Holy Ghost help you?

[Story of his father telling him not to climb on a rock. Later found rattle snake there. Was warned by the Holy Ghost] see https://www.lds.org/ensign/2016/06/elder-gary-e-stevenson-an-understanding-heart?lang=eng

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead.

The Holy Ghost has a spirit body.

The gift of the Holy Ghost comes by the laying on of hands.

[Story of missionaries kept safe in Japan following tsunami and nuclear accident]

The Holy Ghost will help you by warning you.

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another aComforter, that he may babide with you for ever;

[The role of the Holy Ghost as Comforter]

The Holy Ghost will help you by comforting you.

The Holy Ghost will help you by testifying to you.

It is vital that we keep the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Stay close to the Spirit and the Spirit will stay close to you.

Elder C Scott Grow

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[Addressed to Young Adults]

  1. For aGod so bloved the cworld, that he dgave his eonly begotten fSon, that whosoever gbelieveth in him should not perish, but have heverlasting ilife.
  2. And this is alife beternal, that they might cknow thee the only true dGod, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast esent.

[Final testimony of Bruce R McConkie]

[Scripture study]

Helaman 10:4 aBlessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with bunwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine cown life, but hast sought my dwill, and to keep my commandments.

Through our faith in his atoning sacrifice the Saviour cleanses us.

He can make more of us than we could ever make of ourselves.

[Role model – Elder Neal A Maxwell]

Knowing God is the quest of a lifetime.

God knows you and invites you to know him.

Elder Benjamin De Hoyos

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[Would we have followed Christ if we had lived in His day]

One of the great standards of these latter days is this great General Conference.

What has the Lord revealed to President Monson that we need to be doing?

Line upon line and precept upon precept.

[Ways to shine a light]:

1.Observing the sabbath day

2. Serving those on both sides of the veil

3, Teaching in the Saviour’s way

Elder Quentin L Cook

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Personal foundations are usually laid slowly.

Malcolm Gladwell – the 10000 hour rule.

10000 hours of practice are required to obtain the mastery to be a world call expert on anything.

Spiritual guidance is received when needed in the Lord’s time and according to his will.

Weekly participation in weekly sacrament meetings has spiritual implications that we do not fully understand.

[Story of the woman with the issue of blood]

The foundations of faith should be the great desire of our heart.

The completion of the Kirtland Temple was foundational for the entire church.

[Story of Parley P Pratt’s disaffection from Joseph Smith] Joseph frankly forgave Parley.

Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavour of the Lord or a withdrawal of his blessings.

D&C 122:7 if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to chedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of dhell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee eexperience, and shall be for thy good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in General Conference, Inspirational

Saturday Afternoon Session April 2017

[Why bother to go to Conference if you are opposed to the Brethren?]

[Excited that our friend Roy Tunnicliffe was called as an Area Seventy]

Statistical report

The First Presidency has issued the following statistical report concerning the growth and status of the Church as of December 31, 2016.

CHURCH UNITS

Stakes

3,266

Missions

421

Districts

556

Wards and branches

30,304

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

Total membership

15,882,417

New children of record

109,246

Converts baptized

240,131

MISSIONARIES

Full-time missionaries

70,946

Church-service missionaries

33,695

TEMPLES

Temples rededicated
(Suva Fiji, Freiburg Germany)

2

Temples dedicated
(Provo City Center, Sapporo Japan, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Fort Collins Colorado, Star Valley Wyoming, Hartford Connecticut)

6

Temples in operation at the end of 2016

155

Elder Robert D Hales

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[Looking gaunt and frail but voice was strong]

Genuine discipleship is a state of being. This suggests more than studying and applying a list of individual attributes. Disciples live so that the characteristics of Christ are woven into the fiber of their beings, as into a spiritual tapestry.

Listen to the Apostle Peter’s invitation to become a disciple of the Savior:

“Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

“And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

“And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” [2 Peter 1:5–7].

As you can see, weaving the spiritual tapestry of personal discipleship requires more than a single thread.

In the Saviour’s day there were many…who practised selective obedience.

The attributes of the Savior, as we perceive them, are not a script to be followed or list to be checked off. They are interwoven characteristics, added one to another, which develop in us in interactive ways. In other words, we cannot obtain one Christlike characteristic without also obtaining and influencing others. As one characteristic becomes strong, so do many more.

D&C 4 – faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation.

Faith is the catalyst.

Virtue is more than sexual purity.

Virtue is also a power.

We embody Christ not only in what we say and do but in who we are.

As tempered disciples we live the gospel in a tempered and balanced way.

When faced with the storms of tribulation we ask ‘What wouldst thou have me learn from this experience?’

We delight in the agency of others and the opportunity it gives them to grow.

We bless them that curse us. We do good to them that spitefully abuse us.

Brothers and sisters, now more than ever, we cannot be “part-time disciples”! We cannot be a disciple on just one point of doctrine or another.… The constellation of characteristics that result from faith in Christ—including the ones we have talked about today—are all necessary to our standing strong in these last days

I testify that everyone can be a disciple of the Savior. Discipleship is not constrained by gender, age, ethnic origin or calling. …Now is the time to recommit ourselves to being His disciples with all diligence.

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

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Among the realities we face as children of God living in a fallen world is that some days are difficult, days when our faith and our fortitude are tested. These challenges may come from a lack in us, a lack in others, or just a lack in life, but whatever the reasons, we find they can rob us of songs we so much want to sing and darken the promise of “springtime in [the] soul” that Eliza Hewitt celebrates in one of her verses [“There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today,Hymns, no. 227].

So what do we do in such times?

Hope for that which we see not and in patience wait for it.

We should stand as close as humanly possible to the Saviour and Redeemer of the world who has ‘perfect pitch’.

On those days when we feel a little out of tune…remember that it is by divine design that all the voices in God’s choir are nor the same.

Diversity is not cacophony and choirs do require discipline.

Our Heavenly Father delights to have us sing in out own voice and not in someone else’s.

When I see the staggering economic inequality in the world I feel guilty…

…guns and slurs and vitriol are not the way to settle human conflict.

Brothers and sisters, we live in a mortal world with many songs we cannot or do not yet sing. But I plead with each one of us to stay permanently and faithfully in the choir, where we will be able to savor forever that most precious anthem of all—“the song of redeeming love” [Alma 5:26; see also Alma 26:13]. Fortunately, the seats for this particular number are limitless.

There is room for the single, the married, for those with large families and for the childless.

There is room in this choir for all who wish to be there.

“Come as you are,” a loving Father says to each of us, but He adds, “Don’t plan to stay as you are.” We smile and remember that God is determined to make of us more than we thought we could be.

In this great oratorio that is His plan for our exaltation, may we humbly follow His baton and keep working on the songs we cannot sing, until we can offer those “carol[s] to [our] King” [Hymns, no. 227].

And then one day we will sing and we will shout with the armies of heaven Hosanna Hosanna to God and the Lamb as Jesus descends in his chariot of fire.

[Another masterful address by Elder Holland]

Elder Gary B Sabin

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The Lord requires the heart and a willing mind [see D&C 64:34]. Our whole heart! When we are baptized, we are fully immersed as a symbol of our promise to fully follow the Savior, not half-heartedly. When we are fully committed and “all in,” heaven shakes for our good [see D&C 21:6]. When we are lukewarm or only partially committed, we lose out on some of heaven’s choicest blessings [see Revelation 3:15–16].

[Story of taking scouts camping in the desert – boy freezing all night because he didn’t want to unroll his sleeping bag]

When we are complacent with our covenants, we are complicit with the consequences. The Lord has counseled us “to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life” [D&C 84:43]. And He further declared, “My blood shall not cleanse them if they hear me not” [D&C 29:17].

In reality, it is much easier to be “all in” than partially in. When we are partially in or not in at all, there is, in the Star Wars vernacular, “a disturbance in the force.” We are out of sync with God’s will and therefore out of sync with the nature of happiness [see Alma 41:11].

‘My strength is as the strength of 10 because my heart is pure’ – Tennyson

It is time to stand up and defend His plan again.

We may need to let go of the world so that we can hang onto immortality.

It is far better to follow the Creator than the crowd.

Elder Valeri V Cordon

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Language loss may happen when families move to a different land.

I noticed a similarity between preserving a mother tongue and preserving the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives.

  1. Be more diligent in speaking the language at home.

One factor that influences language loss is when parents don’t spend time teaching their children the native language. It is not enough to merely speak the language in the home. If parents desire to preserve their language, it must be taught. Research has found that parents who make a conscious effort to be preserve the native language tend to be successful in doing so.

We can therefore conclude that powerful teaching is extremely important to preserve the gospel in our families, and it requires diligence and effort.

2. Strong modelling in the home.

You need to bring the language alive for the children.

[Story of father’s business going bankrupt. Choosing to pay tithing or buy food for the family.]

Another way language can be altered or lost is when other languages and traditions are mixed with a mother tongue.

As families, we need to avoid any tradition that will prevent us from keeping the Sabbath day holy or having daily scripture study and prayer at home. We need to close the digital doors of our home to pornography and all other evil influences. To combat the worldly traditions of our day, we need to use the scriptures and the voice of our modern prophets to teach our children about their divine identity, their purpose in life, and the divine mission of Jesus Christ.

It is my testimony that Heavenly Father will bless us in our efforts as we strive to embrace His language, even until we become fluent in this higher level of communication, which always was our mother tongue.

Elder Neal L Andersen

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Jesus said, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” [John 16:33].

Later He added, “I will that ye should overcome the world” [D&C 64:2].

Overcoming the world is not one defining moment in a lifetime, but a lifetime of moments that define an eternity.

It can begin as a child learns to pray and reverently sings, “I’m trying to be like Jesus” [Children’s Songbook, 78]. It continues as a person studies the life of the Savior in the New Testament and ponders the power of the Savior’s Atonement in the Book of Mormon.

Praying, repenting, following the Savior, and receiving His grace lead us to better understand why we are here and who we are to become.

Overcoming the world is not a global invasion, but a private, personal battle, requiring hand-to-hand combat with our own internal foes.

Overcoming the world is keeping our promises to God.

Overcoming the world leads us to the sacrament every week.

Overcoming the world means turning ourselves outward.

The happiness of our spouse is more important than our own pleasure.

The world builds its universe around itself.

Overcoming the world will always mean that we will have some beliefs that will be ridiculed by the world.

The Lord gives us safety as we listen to the words of his living Prophet and apostles.

Overcoming the world is remembering the times we have felt the love and light of teh Saviour

Overcoming the world does not mean we live a cloistered life, protected from the unfairness and difficulties of mortality. Rather, it opens the more expansive view of faith, drawing us to the Savior and His promises.

[Tribute to Bruce D Porter]

May we each try a little harder in our efforts to overcome the world, not excusing serious offenses yet being patient with minor slips and falls, eagerly hastening our speed and generously helping others.

Elder M Russell Ballard

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It is my assignment is to speak to you and your assignment is to listen. My goal is to finish my assignment before you finish.

[Difference between a goal and a plan]

Our greatest and most overriding goals should fit into Heavenly Father’s eternal plan. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” [3 Nephi 13:33].

Experts on goal setting tell us that the simpler and more straightforward a goal is, the more power it will have. When we can reduce a goal to one clear image or one or two powerful and symbolic words, that goal can then become part of us and guide virtually everything we think and do. I believe that there are two words that, in this context, symbolize God’s goals for us and our most important goals for ourselves. The words are return and receive.

To return to His presence and to receive the eternal blessings that come from making and keeping covenants are the most important goals we can set.

We return and receive by having “unshaken faith in [the Lord Jesus Christ], relying wholly upon” His merits, pressing “forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men [and women] … , feasting upon the word of Christ, and endur[ing] to the end” [2 Nephi 31:19–20].

Lucifer did not accept our Father’s plan…in fact he rebelled and attempted to completely modify our Father’s plan.

Because of his premortal choices Satan can neither return nor receive.

I have found that to stay focused..I need to regularly take time to ask myself ‘How am I doing?’

I like to read and ponder the introspective words found in the 5th chapter of Alma…Alma’s questions are a reminder of what our goals and plans should include in order to return and receive.

Place a copy of the Living Christ where you can see it.

Without the Living Christ our fondest expectations will be unfulfilled.

Our long term goal and plans should be that when we return to our Heavenly Father we will receive all that he has prepared for us.

 

 

 

 

Posted in General Conference, Inspirational

General Priesthood Session April 2017

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President Thomas S Monson

[President Monson appeared somewhat weak and frail but spoke well. Subtitles for his talk. Haven’t seen that before.]

The prophet Mormon outlined one of the key characteristics of the Savior and which is to be emulated by His disciples. Said he:

“And if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.

“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked. …

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

“But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him” [Moroni 7:44–47].

Brethren, we do not honor the priesthood of God if we are not kind to others. …

The scriptures teach us that righteous exercise of the priesthood is dependent upon our living the principles of kindness, charity, and love. …

Brethren, let us examine our lives and determine to follow the Savior’s example by being kind, loving, and charitable. As we do so, we will be in a better position to call down the powers of heaven for ourselves, for our families, and for our fellow travelers in this sometimes difficult journey back to our heavenly home.

{As in recent conferences, a very short message from the Prophet]

Elder David A Bednar

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[Subtitles gone]

Mission call letters – You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

A missionary is not called to a place; rather, he or she is called to serve. … “If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work” [D&C 4:3].

Each mission call and assignment, or a later reassignment, is the result of revelation through the Lord’s servants. A call to the work comes from God through the President of the Church.

The spiritual gifts of revelation and prophecy extend to all mission calls.

An assignment to labour in a specific place is essential and important but is secondary to a call to serve.

My experience has taught me that these principles are not generally understood by the members of the Church.

I have learned over time about the concern, worry, and even guilt felt by many missionaries who for various reasons were reassigned to a different field of labor during their time of service. Such reassignments sometimes are necessary because of events and circumstances such as physical accidents and injuries, delays and challenges in obtaining visas, political instability, creating and staffing new missions, or the evolving and ever-changing needs around the world.

When a missionary is reassigned to a different field of labor, the process is precisely the same as for the initial assignment. Members of the 12 seek inspiration and guidance in making such reassignments.

For all of the members of the Twelve, nothing affirms the reality of ongoing latter-day revelation more powerfully than seeking to discern the Lord’s will as we fulfill our responsibility to assign missionaries to their respective fields of labor. I witness the Savior knows and is mindful of each of us “one by one” and name by name.

Pattern of preparation – Priesthood, Temple, Mission.

Priesthood and temple blessings..also are necessary to fortify and strengthen us throughout our entire lives.

Please learn to live being and remaining worthy.

Going to the temple and having the spirit of the temple go through you precedes faithful service as a missionary.

Be worthy, stay worthy.

Maintaining your temple recommend demonstrates your worthiness.

Sometimes … we focus so extensively upon missionary preparation for young men that we may neglect to a degree the other vital steps along the covenant pathway. …

In our homes and at church, we should give balanced emphasis to all three elements of the Lord’s pattern of preparation and progression for faithful sons of God: priesthood, temple, mission. All three require us to love being and remaining worthy. Be worthy. Stay worthy.

I promise the spiritual gift of revelation will attend your call and your assignment to specific fields of labour.

As you learn to love being worthy you will become a mighty instrument in teh hands of the Lord.

Bishop Gerald Causse

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[Story of boss offering him a managing director position]I –  know your principles and I know what you have learned in your Church and I need you.

This gathering of generations offers a marvelous vision of the unity and brotherhood that exist between the two priesthoods of God. Even though they are vested with different missions and authority, the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood are inseparable partners in the work of salvation. They go hand in hand and have great need of each other.

The perfect model of the close relationship that exists between the two priesthoods is found in the interaction between Jesus and John the Baptist. Can one possibly imagine John the Baptist without Jesus? What would the Savior’s mission have been like without the preparatory work performed by John?

John the Baptist was given one of the most noble missions that ever existed.

People flocked to John to hear him and to be baptised by him.

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Just think of what would take place in our priesthood quorums if the relationships between the holders of the two priesthoods were inspired by the pattern established by Jesus and John the Baptist.

[Duties and role of the Aaronic Priesthood]

[Story of Alex, a young priest]

Too often we relegate our young men to a spectator role.

Let us put the Aaronic Priesthood in its rightful place.

My dear brethren of the Melchizedek Priesthood, I invite you to strengthen the essential link that unites the two priesthoods of God. Empower your Aaronic Priesthood youth to prepare the way before you. Tell them with confidence, “I need you.” To you young holders of the Aaronic Priesthood, I pray that as you serve with your older brethren, you will hear the voice of the Lord telling you: “Thou art blessed, for thou shalt do great things. Behold thou wast sent forth, even as John, to prepare the way before me” [D&C 35:4].

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

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[Story of not receiving invitation to dedication of Spain Madrid temple when serving as Area President.]

[James and John – Sons of Thunder. Suggested calling down fire on a village in Samaria. Men of action. Grant unto us that we may sit on the left and right hand in they glory.]

You can’t get honour in the kingdom of Heaven by campaigning for it.

In God’s kingdom, greatness and leadership means seeing others as they truly are—as God sees them—and then reaching out and ministering to them. It means rejoicing with those who are happy, weeping with those who grieve, lifting up those in distress, and loving our neighbor as Christ loves us. The Saviour loves all of God’s children….and so should we.

God’s greatest reward goes to those who serve without expectation of reward. It goes to those who serve without fanfare; those who quietly go about seeking ways to help others; those who minister to others simply because they love God and God’s children [see Matthew 6:4].

[Accompanying President Faust to a stake reorganisation. Be grateful for graciousness of church members but ‘never inhale it’.]

Leadership is not so much about directing others as being directed by God.

Opportunities to go about doing good and serving others are limitless.

The Church is designed to help us become true and faithful disciples of Christ.

We accept callings with grace, humility and gratitude. When we are released we accept the release with the same grace, humility and gratitude.

One kind of service is not above another.

Sometimes we desire positions of prominence…There is nothing wrong with wanting to serve the Lord..When we inhale the praise of others, that praise will be our compensation.

What is the most important calling in the Church? It is the one you currently have. No matter how humble or prominent it may seem to be, the calling you have right now is the one that will allow you not only to lift others but also to become the man of God you were created to be.

Lift where you stand.

Seeking honour and celebrity in the Church…is the trade of Esau.

Let us follow the example of our Savior, who was meek and lowly, who sought not the praise of men but to do the will of His Father [see John 5:41; 6:38].

 

Let us serve others humbly—with energy, with gratitude, and with honor. Even though our acts of service may seem lowly, modest, or of little value, those who reach out in kindness and compassion to others will one day know the value of their service by the eternal and blessed grace of Almighty God [see Matthew 25:31–46].

May we meditate upon, understand, and live the paramount lesson of Church leadership and priesthood governance: “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”

[Another wonderful talk from President Uchtdorf]

President Henry B Eyring

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My beloved brethren of the priesthood, my purpose today is both to reassure you and to invigorate you in your priesthood service.

[Story of the rich young man in the New Testament]. I trust that you will go on your way rejoicing.

None of us can do the work of the Priesthood and doing it well relying on our own talents.

[The interaction between Jehovah and Enoch. ‘All thy words shall I justify’ ‘Walk with me’.]

Brethren, our ordination to the priesthood is an invitation from the Lord to walk with Him. And what does it mean to walk with the Lord? It means to do what He does, to serve the way He serves. He sacrificed His own comforts to bless those in need, so that’s what we try to do. He seemed to take particular notice of people who were overlooked and even shunned by society, so we try to do that too. He testified boldly yet lovingly of the true doctrine He received from His Father, even if it was unpopular, and so must we. He said to all, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28), and we say to all, “Come unto Him.” As priesthood holders, we are His representatives. We act not for ourselves but for Him. We speak not our words but His. The people we serve come to know Him better because of our service.

As soon as we accept the Lord’s invitation “Walk with me,” the nature of our priesthood service changes. It becomes all at once higher and nobler but also more achievable, because we know that we are not alone.

[Story of drunk driver crashing car into bank window – ‘Don’t shoot, I’m a Mormon’. ..’I’m going to let you see him as I see him.]

God notices and will support event the youngest and new deacon.

The Lord’s work is not just to solve problems, it is to build people. If you will listen he will teach you his ways.

Walking with Saviour in priesthood service will change the way you will see others.

If you walk with the Saviour long enough you will learn to see everyone as a child of God.

I testify that when we walk the path of priesthood service, the Savior Jesus Christ goes with us, for it is His path, His way. His light goes before us, and His angels are round about us.

 

[Some great messages on service and leadership in this session]

[I remember when Priesthood sessions were 2 hours long!]