Posted in atonement, General Conference, Jesus Christ, Melchizedek Priesthood Lessons 2018, Relief Society Lessons 2018

Study helps: Neill F. Marriott, “Abiding in God and Repairing the Breach”

From http://www.lds.org

This message can help members who may feel separated from Heavenly Father or from those around them. What would help those you teach understand what a breach is? Maybe you could bring pictures of different kinds of breaches.

  • How does Sister Marriott define breach?
  • What can cause breaches in our relationships with God and others?
  • Invite members to search Sister Marriott’s message for suggestions about what we can do to repair breaches in our lives. Give members time to write down what the Spirit prompts them to do to draw closer to God and others.

Abiding in God

Sister Marriott speaks of God’s everlasting love and quotes Jeremiah 31:3 and Moses 6:34. She asks: Do we trust Him enough to abide in Him and walk with Him?

Elder Christofferson explains that ‘everlasting love’ is a more accurate description than ‘unconditional’ love:

‘There are many ways to describe and speak of divine love. One of the terms we hear often today is that God’s love is “unconditional.” While in one sense that is true, the descriptor unconditional appears nowhere in scripture. Rather, His love is described in scripture as “great and wonderful love,”  (Doctrine and Covenants 138:3) “perfect love,”  (1 John 4:18  Moroni 8:16) “redeeming love,”  (Alma 5:26) and “everlasting love.”  (Jeremiah 31:3). These are better terms because the word unconditional can convey mistaken impressions about divine love, such as, God tolerates and excuses anything we do because His love is unconditional, or God makes no demands upon us because His love is unconditional, or all are saved in the heavenly kingdom of God because His love is unconditional. God’s love is infinite and it will endure forever, but what it means for each of us depends on how we respond to His love.’ (Elder D Todd Christofferson, General Conference October 2016).

Reading Abiding in God and Repairing the Breach - By Neill F. Marriott in Voice Dream http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/abiding...

Sister Marriott suggests some ways that we can abide in God’s love:

  • We are here on this earth to learn and grow, and the most important learning and growing will come from our covenant connection to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
  • We need to know that Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation is that we obey the laws and ordinances of the gospel and gain eternal life and thus become as God is.
  •  We can lose our trusting connection to God if trials drive us to distraction instead of sending us to our knees.
  • Some things matter; some things don’t. A few things last, but most things won’t.

  • It is now, with our mortal limitations, that the Father asks us to love when loving is most difficult, to serve when serving is inconvenient, to forgive when forgiving is soul stretching. 

See John 15:4, John 15:10, D&C 88:22

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Definition of ‘abide’

1a :to bear patiently :tolerate
b :to endure without yielding :withstand
2:to wait for :await
3:to accept without objection (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Watch: Abide in me – Jeffrey R Holland (1:56)
Repairing the breach
Sister Marriott says: Our sins and pride create a breach—or a gap—between us and the font of all love, our Heavenly Father.

 

How do we repair that breach?

  • Only the Savior’s Atonement can cleanse us of our sins and close that gap or breach. (See Jacob 4:11)
  • Sacrifice of our personal agendas is required to make room for the eternal plans of God. 
  • Drawing near unto the Father can mean learning of His truth through the scriptures, following prophetic counsel, and striving to do His will more completely. (See D&C 88:63)
  • When we give our heart to the Father and the Son, we change our world—even if circumstances around us do not change. We draw closer to Heavenly Father and feel His tender acceptance of our efforts to be true disciples of Christ. 
  • Mormon tells us to pray with all energy of heart for this love and it will be bestowed upon us from its source—Heavenly Father. (See Moroni 7:48)

‘When you reach up for the Lord’s power in your life with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours. When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him—when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life—you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do.’ (Elder Russell M Nelson, General Conference, April 2017)

See: The Infinite Atonement

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Posted in General Conference, Melchizedek Priesthood Lessons 2018, Relief Society Lessons 2018

Study helps: Sharon Eubank, “Turn On Your Light”

From http://www.lds.org:

Ask members of your quorum or Relief Society to think about how their lives have been influenced for good by a righteous and faithful woman.

Consider inviting a few members to share how this woman illustrates one or more of the characteristics of righteous women outlined in Sister Eubank’s message.

What do we learn from Sister Eubank about how we can become “a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days”?

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Righteous and faithful women:

Sister Eubank refers to 5 attributes identified by President Kimball:

  1. Be righteous (See Matthew 6:33-34)
  2. Be articulate (See Proverbs 21:36)
  3. Be different (See Galatians 1:10)
  4. Be distinct (See Psalm 84:10)
  5. Do the above in happy ways (See Colossians 3:23)

Proverbs 31:25-31

25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses?” [Neal A Maxwell, “The Women of God,” Ensign, May 1978, 10–11.]

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A significant force:

Sister Eubank quotes President Kimball:

“Finally, my dear sisters, may I suggest to you something that has not been said before or at least in quite this way. Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world … will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.

“Among the real heroines in the world who will come into the Church are women who are more concerned with being righteous than with being selfish. These real heroines have true humility, which places a higher value on integrity than on visibility. …

“… It will be … female exemplars of the Church [who] will be a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.”

Consider the story of Mary and Martha from the New Testament. Daughters in My Kingdom (pages 2-3) explains:

 “Luke 10 contains an account of Martha opening her home to Jesus. She served the Lord by taking care of His temporal needs, and Mary sat at the Master’s feet and absorbed His teachings.

“In an age when women were generally expected to provide only temporal service, the Savior taught Martha and Mary that women could also participate spiritually in His work. He invited them to become His disciples and partake of salvation, ‘that good part’ that would never be taken from them.”

 “The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.” (Margaret D Nadauld, Ensign, November 2000)

See:

Psalm 27:3-5

Proverbs 31:17

A Long Line of Faithful Righteous Women

Noble Women, Righteous Lives

Posted in General Conference

General Conference Oct 2017 – Sunday afternoon session

President Eyring announced the passing of Elder Robert D Hales.

Elder M Russell Ballard

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Brigham Young – This is the right place.

Among the first saints to arrive in Utah was Jane Manning James.

She said: I want to say right here, that my faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is as strong today, nay, it is if possible stronger than it was the day I was first baptized. I pay my tithes and offerings, keep the word of wisdom, I go to bed early and rise early, I try in my feeble way to set a good example to all.

If we lose our ties to those who have gone before us…we will lose a very valuable treasure.

When they could they lifted the downtrodden.

We need to remember that the trek through life continues for each of us.

More than 30,000 congregations around the world.

Many of us are on amazing journeys of discovery…some of us however are on a trek that leads to sorrow, sin and despair.

The trek back to our Heavenly Father is the most important trek of our lives.

Keep the doctrine of Christ pure and never be deceived by those who tamper with the doctrine.

Do not listen to those who entice you with get rich schemes.

“We urge Church members to be cautious about participating in any group that promises-in exchange for money-miraculous healings or that claims to have special methods for accessing healing power outside of properly ordained priesthood holders.”

Stay on the gospel path by having faith in every footstep.

Welcome and embrace anyone who is making his or her own trek today no matter where they are on their journey.

We need to embrace God’s children compassionately and eliminate any prejudice.

Elder Tad R Callister

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The Book of Mormon is not only the keystone of the Church, it can also be the keystone of our testimony.

Emma Smith: He had neither manuscript nor book to read from.

God’s fingerprints are all over the Book of Mormon.

The critics must make the argument that he was a theological genius.

The critics must also make the claim that Joseph was a skilled writer.

Use of cement in ancient America.

Joseph must have been a very, very lucky guesser.

The Book of Mormon is one of God’s priceless gifts to us.

It is God’s compelling witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ

[A great defence of the  Book of Mormon]

Elder Joni L Koch

Be one.

As we enter a meeting house we should leave behind our differences.

Oftentimes we put permanent labels on people.

We have no right to portray anybody…as a badly finished product.

Symonds Ryder.

Story of his father supporting bishop following a disagreement about construction of a new chapel.

Elder Stanley G Ellis

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The Lord trusts us.

Do we trust him?

It seems clear that ‘hard’ is ‘good’.

The hard things in our lives should come as no surprise…Joseph Smith:  “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.”

We all have challenges. The variable is our reaction to the ‘hard’

We each choose our reaction to ‘hard’.

Do we have the faith to trust him? …Do we have sufficient faith that he will visit us in our afflictions…He wants what is best for us, he will answer our prayers.

The Lord’s answer to hard times is to go forward with faith.

Hard can be good for those who will move forward with faith and trust the Lord.

Elder Adilson Parella de Paula Parrella

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Story of conversion to the church.

The First Vision. 3 truths:

  1. God calls prophets…By strictly following their counsel we will be protected…

Story of seeking a wife in Brazil. Making a list of 10 girls.

2. The true nature of God. God is a being with flesh and bones as tangible as ours…He is a God who hears and answers our prayers..A God who gave us agency to decide for ourselves to follow him and obey his commandments without coercion…

3. The role of Jesus.

Elder Ian S Ardern

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Caterpillars who eat away at our spiritual roots.

We must do all we can to fortify ourselves spiritually.

The increase in sabbath day observance is just one example of people fortifying themselves spiritually.

Robert D Hales: Unless you are fully engaged in living the gospel—living it with all of your “heart, might, mind and strength”—you cannot generate enough spiritual light to push back the darkness.

Story about the converting power of the Book of Mormon – missionaries in Fiji. Fisherman converted by the Holy Ghost.

As we study from the best books we protect from the menacing jaws of those who seek to gnaw at our spiritual roots.

Jeffrey R Holland: “Hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. You have more faith than you think you do.”

Elder Jose L Alonso

‘As I have loved you’

The greatest example of God’s love for his children is found in the atonement.

Love is a combination of actions as well as deep feelings.

Love without service is like faith without works – it is dead.

Story of young boy killed by car. Forgiveness of young driver.

Our Heavenly Father loves us. He knows that being able to forgive is as sweet as being forgiven.

We can have joy and happiness as we forgive and serve others.

What kind of family are we? We are a happy family!

Elder Neil L Andersen

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Yes, this is the last session and yes, I am the last speaker.

Trusting and believing in the words of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve is vital.

We come to be taught from on high.

When and how does the inspiration for General Conferences come?

At times the central idea may come quickly…direction often comes in the night…specific words and phrases flow as pure revelation.

Thoughts and feelings will come into your mind.

The teachings of General Conference are the considerations that the Lord would have before us now and in the months ahead.

A message from Elder Hales: When we choose to have faith we are prepared to stand in the presence of God….Our faith prepares us to be in the presence of the Lord.

Elder Nelson prompted to quickly leave the Conference to be at Elder Hales’ bedside.

There is a treasure chest of heavenly direction awaiting your discovery in the messages of General Conference.

Story of Elder Nelson learning Mandarin at age 54 in response to President Kimball’s suggestion that we should reach out to China.

Reference to Elder Nelson and Pesident Eyring responding to President Monson’s challenge to read the Book of Mormon.

 

 

Posted in General Conference, Jesus Christ

General Conference Oct 2017 – Sunday Morning Session

Another session, another tie from President Uchtdorf:

“It is kind of a family tradition that started years ago when between conference sessions, I stained my tie and worriedly searched for a replacement. Fortunately, I had one in my office. My grandsons enjoyed it so much that they changed their ties too, and since then it became almost a sport to do it.”

For this session it is pink with an American stripe. Perhaps we will see a European stripe in the evening session.

Beautiful singing by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir directed by Mack Wilberg.

Sister Jean B Bingham

Having a fulness of joy.

It seems the whole earth is in commotion…It can be difficult to feel the joy that Lehi taught is the purpose of life….Lasting joy is found in our Saviour Jesus Christ and in living the gospel as taught by him.

Memorising the Living Christ document.

Jesus truly is the Light, the Life and the Hope of the world.

As you study the life and teachings of Jesus Christ in a myriad if ways your faith in him will increase.

Story of bird flying into house.

Jesus Christ is also the source of peace….Peace will come as we trust that God’s Only Begotten Son can soothe our aching souls.

When we put  our faith into action the Holy Ghost bears witness of truth.

Are our testimonies built on the bedrock of Jesus Christ and his gospel?

What brings you joy?….Take a private moment to reflect on your blessings.

As you centre your life on Jesus Christ you will find joy in your circumstances whatever they may be.

Elder Donald L Hallstrom

Story of man injured falling off a mountain. Miracles in his rescue. Multiple fractures, punctured lung. Described by agnostic surgeon as a miracle.

What about those…..whose miracle never comes?

What about those who die so very young?

‘Has the day of miracles ceased?’

Perhaps we lack an understanding of what constitutes a miracle.

Ether 12:18 And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith;

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego  – Daniel 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to adeliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not aserve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Being a child of God is a miracle.

The atonement of Jesus Christ is a miracle.

Our supreme focus should be on the spiritual miracles.

All of us have equal access to these miracles.

Elder David A Bednar

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We can be too easily diverted from focusing on essential spiritual priorities.

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

Proclamation on Family: ‘ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.’

As we press forward submissively with faith in the Saviour…we are born again…being redeemed of God

Priesthood ordinances and covenants are essential.

God promises us according to our faithfulness the  constant companionship of the third member of the Godhead.

Lorenzo Snow: One of the chief difficulties that many suffer from is, that we are too apt to forget the great object of life, the motive of our Heavenly Father in sending us here to put on mortality, as well as the holy calling with which we have been called; and hence, instead of rising above the little transitory things of time, we too often allow ourselves to come down to the level of the world without availing ourselves of the divine help which God has instituted, which alone can enable us to overcome them.

The sabbath is God’s time…We can look to God and live.

The Lord has always commanded his people to build temples…A temple, literally is the House of the Lord, a sacred space…

A principle purpose of the temple is to elevate our vision.

Sabbath day and temple – sacred time and sacred space – two divine sources of help.

Our sabbath and temple experiences should be spiritual catalysts…..The sabbath and the temple can help us to establish in our homes ‘a more excellent way’

The gospel is….a magnificent tapestry of truth.

The exceeding great promises connected with our ordinances and covenants are sure.

Bishop W Christopher Waddell

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There will be times in our life when we will find ourselves on an unexpected path.

Story of blinded soldier Hyrum Shumway. Served as bishop, stake patriarch and senior missionary.

Hope and peace are always available through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The Saviour not only sympathises with us but also empathises with us perfectly.

Mosiah 24: 13 And it acame to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

14 And I will also ease the aburdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as bwitnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their cafflictions.

The brazen serpent – we have a choice when faced with difficult circumstances.

We are invited to look to the Saviour and live.

Whatever change in life circumstances may come our way…how we respond is always a choice.

Elder W Craig Zwick

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The Lion King. ‘Look beyond what you can see’

We must look at others through the eyes of the Saviour.

We must look past the easy assumptions and stereotypes.

Story of missionary who wanted to go home…Elder, what is hard for you? President, I can’t read.

Elisha and the invisible chariots of fire.

We live in a world that feeds on comparisons…we need to look inward..

Truth…should never be a barrier to kindness.

Story of Beau Richey – teenager killed in ATV accident. Had reminder on phone to read scriptures every day.

Story of wife keeping list on her phone of things that irritated her about her husband. It took me a while to hit select all and even longer to select delete… Her vision changed.

Through the power of Jesus Christ we become able to look spiritually beyond what our eyes can see literally.

President Henry B Eyring

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President Monson’s challenge last conference to read the Book of Mormon.

I have read the Book of Mormon every day for over 50 years.

The spirit he promised has produced a sense of optimism.

We have felt an increase in the desire to go to the rescue of others.

D&C 6:33-37

33 aFear not to do bgood, my sons, for whatsoever ye csow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow dgood ye shall also reap good for your ereward.

34 Therefore, fear not, little aflock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are bbuilt upon my rock, they cannot prevail.

35 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and asinno more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.

36 aLook unto me in every bthoughtcdoubt not, fear not.

37 aBehold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the bnails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall cinherit the dkingdom of heaven. Amen.

Story of Teton Dam breaking in Idaho in 1976. Service given by family who had lost their own home.

Aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The Yellow Angels.

Joseph Smith: A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.

Our hearts remain changed only as long as we continue to follow the Prophet’s counsel.

We know that in the last days the world will be in commotion…the Lord will need faithful latter-day saints to take the gospel to every nation, tongue and people.

The Lord expects more from us and from the generations after us.

We are to ponder and apply the Book of Mormon and the words of prophets.

We are to be consistent and persistent in following prophetic counsel.

The best days are ahead for the kingdom of God on the earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in General Conference, Priesthood

General Conference Oct 2017 – General Priesthood Session

The session began with a rousing rendition of Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel  by a mixed age priesthood choir. This was followed by Secret Prayer

Elder Dale G Renlund

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A rocket being manouvered for take off – valuable payload. The rocket’s mission is simply to deliver the payload. Rocket=priesthood. Payload =blessings of the atonement. [An interesting analogy further developed in the talk]

Because of His atoning sacrifice, Jesus Christ has the power and authority to redeem all mankind. To make His atoning power accessible, He has delegated a portion of His power and authority to men on earth. This delegated power and authority is called priesthood. It permits priesthood holders to help Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in Their work—to bring about the salvation and exaltation of God’s children. It does so because it provides His children the opportunity to receive the blessings of the Savior’s atoning power. …

We need the Saviour’s atoning power so that we can be reconciled with Heavenly Father.

Christ’s atoning power needs to be delivered to his children.

God intends priesthood to …deliver the payload.

… Priesthood is essential because necessary ordinances and covenants on earth are administered only by its authority. …

… Priesthood conferral is safeguarded by priesthood keys which are the rights of presidency given to men.. … Priesthood use is likewise safeguarded by priesthood keys but also by covenants that the priesthood holder makes. …

Priesthood is not an amorphous source of autonomous power.

The purpose of the priesthood is to help others come unto Christ…

God’s atoning power is made accessible through the priesthood which delivers the payload.

Both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods are received by covenant. God determines the terms and man accepts. Broadly speaking, priesthood holders covenant to help God in His work. …

To each man who receives the Melchizedek Priesthood, God affirms His covenant promises with an oath. This oath pertains only to the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is God who swears the oath, not the priesthood holder. …

Being casual or apathetic in a priesthood calling…jeopardises the priesthood covenant.

Story of restoring priesthood blessings to a ‘young’ man.

D&C 58:42 Behold, he who has arepented of his bsins, the same is cforgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will aconfess them and bforsake them.

The priesthood delivers the gospel of Jesus Christ.

… I invite you to make and keep priesthood covenants. Receive God’s oath and his promise… Use the priesthood to help deliver the opportunity to benefit from the Savior’s atoning power to someone else! As you do, great blessings will come to you and to your family.

Elder David F Evans

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Our individual search for truth.

Through study, prayer, and keeping the commandments, I found that there are answers to all of my important questions. I also found that for some questions, continuing faith, patience, and revelation are needed. …

… Willingness to be patient is part of our search for truth and part of the Lord’s pattern of revealing truth. …

President Monson: If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far.

I came to know that constant nourishment and continuing effort to repent and keep the commandments is needed. …

President Monson: a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study.

To know the truth, we need to live the gospel and “experiment” on the word. We are cautioned to not resist the Spirit of the Lord. Repentance, coupled with a determination to keep the commandments, is an important part of each individual’s search for truth. In fact, we may need to be willing to “give away all” our sins in order to know the truth.

We are commanded to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” and to “seek … out of the best books words of wisdom” [D&C 88:118]. Our search for truth should focus on “the best books” and the best sources. Among the very best are the scriptures and the words of living prophets. President Monson has asked each of us to do what is necessary to obtain and keep a strong testimony.

… What is necessary for your testimony to deepen and strengthen? Each of us has a personal responsibility to do what is necessary to obtain and keep a strong testimony.

Patient covenant keeping brings the blessings of Heaven into our lives.

Elder Richard J Maynes

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Brethren, perhaps there is no greater compliment we could receive from the Lord than to know He trusts us to be worthy priesthood holders and great husbands and fathers.

One thing is for certain: earning the Lord’s trust is a blessing that comes through great effort on our part. Trust is a blessing based on obedience to God’s laws. Earning the Lord’s trust comes as a result of being true to the covenants we have made in the waters of baptism and in the holy temple.

I love both ancient and modern-day scriptures that use the phrase “integrity of heart” when describing a righteous person’s character. Integrity or the lack of integrity is a fundamental element of one’s character. Men who have “integrity of heart” are men to be trusted—because trust is built on integrity.

Family Proclamation – responsibilities of fathers.

Unity with our wives.

2 Nephi 4:34 O Lord, I have atrusted in thee, and I will btrust in thee forever. I will not put my ctrust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his dtrust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

Trust brings, peace, love and an environment where that love can grow.

Trust plays an important part in creating a Christ-centred home.

Story of going on a business trip to Los Angeles with his father. Offered a bribe.

Brethren, it is my prayer this evening that we might all first place our trust in the Lord, as Nephi exemplified, and then through the integrity of our hearts earn the trust of the Lord, as well as the trust of our wives and children. As we understand and apply this sacred principle of trust built on integrity, we will be true to our sacred covenants. We will also succeed in presiding in our families with love and righteousness, providing the necessities of life, and protecting our families from the evils of the world.

Hymn: How Firm a Foundation

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

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Story of elderly man buying stamps at post office. Young woman offered to show her how to use machine. He replied that he preferred waiting – ‘The machine won’t ask me about my arthritis.’

We accept aging and illness as part of our earthly journey.

We also face spiritual challenges.

Spiritual wellness.

Sometimes spiritual illness comes because of sin.

..we lose sight of the joy of the gospel. We might even feel that we have no more to give.

We can heal spiritually. Even the deepest spiritual wounds…can be healed. The healing power of Jesus Christ is not absent in our day.…

Whatever causes our spiritual ailments, they all have one thing in common: the absence of divine light.

Darkness reduces our ability to see clearly. It dims our vision of that which was at one time plain and clear….When we are in darkness we are more likely to lose hope.

Light, on the other hand, allows us to see things as they really are. It allows us to discern between truth and error.…We will find spiritual healing as we step away from the shadows of the world and into the everlasting light of Christ.

John 8:12 I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

D&C 84:45-46 For the aword of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is blight, and whatsoever is light is cSpirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

46 And the aSpirit giveth blight to cevery man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.

Matthew 6:22 if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

What is night? Night is nothing more than a shadow.

The absence of light causes darkness.

Darkness is not an indication that there is no light. Most often, it simply means we are not in the right place to receive the light. During the recent solar eclipse many made great efforts to get into the narrow band of shadow…

Satan will make every effort to create a shadow or get us into a shadow of our own making.

Even in moments of grearest darkness God hears our humble petitions.

It is up to us to be in the right place to see and feel the divine light and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even when night has fallen and the world seems dark, we can choose to walk in Christ’s light, keep His commandments, and courageously testify of His reality and His greatness.

As a bearer of God’s priesthood and as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are a bearer of light. Keep doing the things that will nurture His divine light. Hold up your light and let it shine before men…

My dear brothers, you are instruments in the hands of the Lord with the purpose of bringing light and healing to the souls of Heavenly Father’s children. Perhaps you do not feel qualified to heal those who are spiritually ill…maybe you face spiritual challenges of your own Nevertheless the Lord has called you…. to uplift and bless God’s children.…

Every time you reject temptation and choose purity…the light chases away darkness and attracts others who are seeking light and truth…..

Our young people are seeking light and they need to hear from you…

Christ’s light brings hope, happiness, and healing of any spiritual wound or ailment. Those who experience this refining influence become instruments in the hand of the Light of the world to give light to others…

It is my prayer and blessing that you will succeed in fulfilling your destiny as priesthood holders of Almighty God and always be joyful bearers of His heavenly light.

[Another wonderful talk from President Uchtdorf that I suspect will repay greater study]

President Henry B Eyring

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Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church

He leads his church by speaking to men called prophets

He gives confirming revelation to those who serve under the leadership of his prophets.

The Lord’s leadership of His Church requires great and steady faith from all who serve Him on earth. …

It takes faith to believe that he knows the people that he calls perfectly.

… You have the capacity to receive revelation and to act on it fearlessly.

It takes faith to do so. It takes even greater faith to believe that the Lord has called imperfect human servants to lead you. My purpose..is to build your faith…that the Lord is inspiring the imperfect persons that he has called as your leaders…

Faith is essential.

Story of secretary in teachers quorum sent to a less active boy.

A bishop is sometimes called to serve people who know him well…These members have to know that the call to serve as a bishop came from the Lord by revelation.

Mosiah 2:10-11 I have not commanded you to come up hither that ye should fear ame, or that ye should think that I of myself am more than a mortal man.

11 But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen by this people, and aconsecrated by bmy father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people; and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me.

Your leader in the Lord’s Church may seem to you weak and human or may appear to you strong and inspired. The fact is that every leader is a mixture of those traits and more. What helps servants of the Lord who are called to lead us is when we try to see them as the Lord did when He called them.

The Lord sees His servants perfectly. He sees their potential and their future. He knows how their very nature can be changed. He also knows how they can be changed by their experiences with the people they will lead. …

I try not to judge servants of the Lord.

James E Faust: We also need to support and sustain our local leaders, because they also have been “called and chosen.” Every member of this Church may receive counsel from a bishop or a branch president, a stake or a mission president, and the President of the Church and his associates. None of these brethren asked for his calling. None is perfect. Yet they are the servants of the Lord, called by Him through those entitled to inspiration. Those called, sustained, and set apart are entitled to our sustaining support……Disrespect for ecclesiastical leaders has caused many to suffer spiritual weakening and downfall. We should look past any perceived imperfections, warts, or spots of the men called to preside over us, and uphold the office which they hold.

Brigham Young: Joseph was a Prophet, and I knew it, and that they might rail and slander him as much as they pleased, they could not destroy the appointment of the Prophet of God, they could only destroy their own authority, cut the thread that bound them to the Prophet and to God and sink themselves to hell.

There is a thread that binds us to the Lord in our service. It runs from wherever we are called to serve in the kingdom, up through those called to preside over us in the priesthood, and to the prophet, who is bound to the Lord. It takes faith and humility to serve in the place to which we are called, to trust that the Lord called us and those who preside over us, and to sustain them with full faith.

[An emotional and powerful address by President Eyring]

Closing hymn: We Ever Pray For Thee

Posted in General Conference

General Conference Oct 2017 – Saturday Afternoon Session

Elder Gary E Stevenson

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Mentioned total solar eclipse 21 August 2017.

Spiritual eclipse – minor disruptions blocking out the light of Jesus Christ.

Preventing spiritual eclipse:

Look through the softening and protecting lens of the Spirit…Gospel glasses – partaking of the sacrament, daily scripture study and prayer… Look at challenges through the lens of the gospel…President Uchtdorf – Any virtue when taken to extreme can become a vice…

Risks of social media. ‘What’s the point of being happy if you’re not going to post it’.

2 Corinthians 10:12 but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

When prideful we tend to take honour to ourselves rather than giving it others, including the Lord.

Humility and meekness fit hand in glove.

Avoid the spiritual eclipse of pride by embracing the virtue of humility.

Don’t let life’s distractions eclipse Heaven’s light.

Elder Stephen W Owen

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We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Repentance is always positive.

The story of the Prodigal Son. I have often wondered about the son’s long walk home.

We are all prodigals. We all have to come to ourselves and usually more than once…Repentance is for everyone..Repentance both puts us on the right path and keeps us on the right path.

It is not enough just to gain a testimony – you have to maintain it and strengthen.

Repentance is a lifetime pursuit and not just a once in a lifetime experience…The reward is worth the effort.

Elder Quentin L Cook

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I have enjoyed British humour. I love the British summer – it is my favourite day of the year.

Our precious life on earth is a very short time. As fleeting as a British summer.

We are all equal unto God…All are invited to come to the Lord.

Much of society has lost its moorings and does not understand why we are on the earth.

While this life is relatively short it is incredibly significant.

Alma 5:26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a achange of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the bsong of redeeming love, I would ask, ccan ye feel so now?

June 1837 – call of Heber C Kimball to England. “The idea of being appointed to such an important mission was almost more than I could bear up under,” he wrote later. “I truly felt my weakness and unworthiness.”

Church service requires humility. At every level of the Church it is important to understand the Christ-like virtue of humility.

Some misuse authenticity as a celebration of the natural man.

The humblebrag – an ostensibly modest or self-deprecating statement whose actual purpose is to draw attention to something of which one is proud.

Micah 6:8 …and what doth the Lord arequire of thee, but to do bjustly, and to love cmercy, and to dwalk ehumbly with thy God?

Holding a grudge is poisonous to ours souls.

Humility also includes being grateful for our many blessings and divine assistance.

‘The test of greatness is the way. One meets the eternal Everyday.’

Elder Ronald A Rasband

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Coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God.

Looking back we can see His hand in our lives.

Events and associations unfold in our lives that further God’s work.

The Lord will move us on that seeming chess board to do His work.

The Lord is in the small details of our lives.

Think of those times, some daily, when the Lord has acted in your life and then acted again…Treasure his involvement.

Heavenly Father can put us in situations with specific intention in mind.

We have a choice to follow or not to follow our Saviour and his chosen leaders.

The Lord knows what each of us is capable of doing and becoming.

Each of us has divinity within us.

The Lord’s hand is guiding you.

Elder O Vincent Haleck

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Story of the widow’s mite.

Heart of the widow – stories of Samoan Saints.

Building of the Samoan temple. Members asked to prayerfully consider what they could give. Modern day widow’s mites. These families had consecrated all they could to the Lord.

The heart of a widow is defined by a willingness to give all for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth.

President Russell M Nelson

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Story of meeting with an African king in Ghana.  Given a Book of Mormon. ‘This is more precious than diamonds or rubies’ ‘If I am converted and join the Church I will bring my whole people with me’

President Monson’s challenge to read the Book of Mormon every day.

I have tried to follow his counsel.

3 questions:

  1. What would your life be like without the Book of Mormon?
  2. What would you not know?
  3. What would you not have?

Death allows us to progress to the next world.

The full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ is contained within the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon gives purpose to life.

It abolishes forever the false concepts that revelation ended with the Bible and that the heavens are sealed.

We need to feel deep in the inmost parts of our heart that the Book of Mormon is unequivocably the word of God.

This is the book that will help to prepare the word for the Second Coming of the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in General Conference

General Conference Oct 2017 – Saturday Morning Session

President Eyring announced that President Monson was watching the proceedings from his home.

The choir sang ‘God Bless Our Prophet Dear’

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

Inbuilt longing for our spiritual home.

God is our Father, he cares for us and there is a way to return to him.

You are not alone, God still calls to you.

2 reasons why you should turn to the Lord:

  1. Your life will be better. Following our Saviour will not remove all our trials. It will remove the barriers between us and God. Those who incline their hearts to God will be encircled by his peace.
  2. It will help you bless the lives of God’s other children. Blessings will come not so much because of our abilities but because of our choices.The history of God’s work is filled with people who consider themselves inadequate.

How encouraging it is to know that God was able to use them anyway (talking about people in Church history who were imperfect).

Those who love and serve God and fellow man and actively participate in his work will see wonderful things happen in their lives and the lives of those they love.

Life is not a self-driving car, it is not an aeroplane on auto pilot……Discipleship requires a willingness to swim upstream when needed.

Please heed the call of your Saviour, follow him.

The gospel…is the pathway that leads us home.

Sister Bonnie L Oscarson

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Losing ourselves in service to others.

Need to be diligent in the way in which we use our personal devices.

It is sometimes easy to miss opportunities for service because we are distracted.

Serving those who are closest to us.

Changing the world begins with strengthening your own family.

Serving in the ward family.

Ask your Heavenly Father to show you who around you needs your help.

Remember that some of the greatest needs might be those right in front of you….You can find ways to serve, lift and strengthen. Begin where you are.

Who needs me today?

Elder Dallin H Oaks

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John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Thomas S Monson: We must be vigilant in a world which has moved so far from that which is spiritual. It is essential that we reject anything that does not conform to our standards, refusing in the process to surrender that which we desire most: eternal life in the kingdom of God.

Elder M Russell Nelson:  In God’s eternal plan, salvation is an individual matter; exaltation is a family matter.

Latter-day Saints have distinctive priorities and practices.

Isaiah 51:7 …fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.

The Family Proclamation defines the nature of family relationships.

We sometimes face but need not fear what Isaiah calls the reproach of men.

[Description of what led to the Proclamation]

Gordon B Hinckley: Now, in closing, I see a wonderful future in a very uncertain world. If we will cling to our values, if we will build on our inheritance, if we will walk in obedience before the Lord, if we will simply live the gospel we will be blessed in a magnificent and wonderful way. We will be looked upon as a peculiar people who have found the key to a peculiar happiness.

Elder John C Pingree Jr

Fulfilling divine assignments
4 principles:
1. Focus on others.
2. Discover and develop spiritual gifts. As we discover our gifts we have a responsibility to develop our gifts.
3. Make use of adversity.
4. Rely on God .
D&C 30:2 But your mind has been on the things of the aearth more than on the things of me, your Maker, and the ministry whereunto you have been called; and you have not given heed unto my bSpirit,

 

Elder D Todd Christofferson

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Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life.

John 6: 56  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, adwelleth in me, and I in him.

57 As the living Father hath asent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall blive by me.

58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

The symbolism of the sacrament.

As the bread is broken we remember the Saviour’s torn flesh.

As we drink the water we think of the blood that he shed

Jesus could not have atoned for the sins of others unless he was sinless…This suggests the need for a mighty striving in our life…We must be willing to give away all of our sins.

To eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ means to pursue holiness.

Marion G Romney: Service is not something we endure on this earth so we can earn the right to live in the celestial kingdom. Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made.

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

Be ye therefore perfect.

Such celestial goals seem beyond our reach.

I’m just not good enough…I’ll never measure up.

As children of God we should not demean or vilify ourselves.

We live in a fallen world, and for now we are a fallen people.

I am grateful that God is merciful and a peacemaker because I need mercy and the world needs peace.

From the beginning the gospel has been for the perfecting of the Saints.

Our only hope for true perfection is in receiving it as a gift from Heaven, We won’t earn it.

Every one of us is a debtor.

While in mortality let’s strive for steady improvement.

Give your help to anyone trying to walk the path back to God.

May we refuse to let our own mortal follies…make us cynical.

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!]