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Friday, September 27, 2013

Book of Mormon class ~ Helaman chapter 10 (continued)

Helaman 10:8-10

Remember the game of Red Rover?  What is the value of having two strong people stand next to each other?

Questions to think about....

*Where would Satan try to run through?

*What advantage would there be to having a strong person holding hands with those who were not so strong?

*What would happen if you tried to run through two pieces of steel welded together?

President Boyd K Packer:  Peter was to hold the sealing power, that authority which carried the power to bind or seal on earth or to loose on earth and it would be so in the heavens.  Those keys belong to the President of the church - to the Prophet, seer and revelator.  That sacred sealing power is with the Church now, nothing is regarded with more sacred contemplation by those who know is more closely held.  There are relatively few men who have been delegated this sealing power upon the earth at any given time.  In each Temple are brethren who have been given the sealing power.  No one can get it except from the Prophet, seer, and revelator and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints.

How can the sealing power "weld families together so that Satan can't break through and destroy them?
Helaman 10:7 

Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Daughter of a God

Taught by Leila J.

What does it mean to be a "daughter of God?"

Church leaders have explained what is means in the following quotes:

“To be a daughter of God means that you are the offspring of Deity, literal descendants of a Divine Father, inheriting godly attributes and potential.”  --James E. Faust

“Each of you, as a daughter of Zion, radiates faith and goodness.”  --James E. Faust

“You are second to none.  You are daughters of God.”  --Susan W. Tanner

“There has come to you as your birthright something beautiful and sacred and divine.  Never forget that.”  --Susan W. Tanner

“No greater recognition can come to you in this world than to be known as a woman of God.  No greater status can be conferred upon you than being a daughter of God....”  --President Spencer W. Kimball

“No matter what else we are or do in life, we must never forget that we are God’s literal spirit children.  This basic truth should change the way we look at ourselves, our brothers and sisters, and life itself.”  --President Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Being a righteous daughter of God comes with responsibility.

President Howard W. Hunter tells us that we "are chosen to be faithful women of God in our day, to stand above pettiness, gossip, selfishness, lewdness, and all other forms of ungodliness.”

And President James E. Faust testified that "never in the history of the world has there been a greater need for your righteousness, your example, and your good works to move forward this holy work than now.”

“To be a righteous woman during the winding up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling....She has been placed here to help to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home--which is society’s basic and most noble institution.”  --Spencer W. Kimball

We must remember who we are.  Missionaries wear a badge as a constant reminder that they are to treat people with politeness, and to strive to have Christ’s image in their countenances.  They must do these things because they wear that name tag, an outward sign of their identity.  What if we wore a badge every day that said "Daughter of God."  Would we act differently, or make better decisions, or treat others with more respect without judging?

It is a privilege to know that we are daughters of a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to be happy and has given us the gospel of Jesus Christ to follow.  We need to live up to that privilege.

Joseph Smith has given us this beautiful promise:  “You are now placed in a situation where you can act according to those sympathies which God has planted in your bosoms.  If you live up to these principles how great and glorious!--if you live up to your privilege, 
the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.”

Book of Mormon ~ Helaman chapter 9

Taught by Sue G.

Five men will now run to the judgement seat to see if Nephi's words are true.  They talk as they run, saying that if it is true they will become believers.  They will be accused by the people of being the ones who murdered the chief judge. You will see much speculation, jumping to conclusions and misinformation which will quickly cloud the simple fact that Nephi is a prophet of God.  Satan uses the same methods today to confuse the simple fact that the Gospel is true and that God exists.

We will see that the wicked will believe almost anything else in order to avoid facing the truths that God exists and he does have prophets on earth. 

First, some of the corrupt government officials who heard what Nephi said from his garden tower and tried to incite the people to grab Nephi, now wonder where the 5 men are whom they sent to check out Nephis statement that their chief judge was dead. What these 5 men tell these government officials is not what they want to hear.

How can you know that someone is a prophet?
What is the difference between 
predictions and prophecies?
How can you tell that a prophecy is actually from God

What did Nephi say occured?

What did the Nephites do to see whether Nephi's 
prediction was true?
What does Helaman 9:3 testify about Nephi?

Testimony of Elder Boyd K. Packer some weeks before the Last April , I left the office one Friday afternoon thinking of the weekend conference assignment  I waited for the elevator to come down from the fifth floor.  As the elevator doors quietly opened, there stood President Joseph Fielding Smith. There was a moment of surprise in seeing him since his office is on a lower floor.  As I saw him framed in the doorway, there fell upon me  a powerful witness of God that sweet voice of Spirit that is akin to light, that has something to do with pure intelligence, affirming to me that this was the prophet of God.  I need not try to define that experience to Latter-day Saints.  That kind of witness is characteristic of the Church.  It is not something reserved to those in high office.  It is a witness not only available but vital to every member.

How quickly these wicked judges twist the facts in an attempt to keep the people from believing that Nephi is a true prophet which would ruin their power over them.  They claim that the whole thing is an elaborate plot set up by Nephi and another man to fool the people into thinking that he is a prophet so that he can gain power and control over them himself.

Much to the disappointment of these judges who were trying to discredit Nephi, the five men who were set free came to his defense.

It is often the case that wicked people assume that all people think basically the same way they do since they will accept bribes themselves. These judges assumed that everyone including Nephi will accept bribes if offed enough money.

Nephi now tells these men that the real reason they are trying to frame him is they do not want to believe that God inspired him to know that the chief judge had just been murdered.  If they believe that God inspired him on this matter, they would have to believe that what he said about their wickedness is also true.  They don't want to believe.

As the intensity of this situation continues to increase, Nephi tells these men that he has yet another sign to show them.  He tells them in great prophetic detail what will happen when they confront the murderer of the chief judge.

We would hope that all these people would humble themselves and believe the obvious, that Nephi truly is a prophet of God.  The evidence is irrefutable to the rational mind.

Upon seeing Nephi's knowledge of secret and hidden things, there were those who wanted to proclaim him to be God.  This is understandable given the universal acknowledgment of certain characteristics of God.  Elder Neal A Maxwell taught that omniscience is one of the characteristics of God.

The Lord in a revelation for John Whitmer spoke of that which was in the latters heart, which only the Lord and John Whitmer knew, witnessing that God was omniscient concerning the needs of that individual. (D&C 15:3)

Paul said to the Saints at Corinth, (1 Corinthians 3:20)

Hence omniscience is one of the characteristics of the living God as we read in Helaman 9:41 and D&C 6:24

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book of Mormon class ~ Helaman chapter 10

Taught by Sue G.

Being completely trusted by God is a 
great honor. 

The Lectures on Faith teach that awareness of Gods approval is necessary for ones faith.  An actual knowledge to any person, that the cause of life which he pursues is according to the will of God is essentially necessary to enable him to have that confidence in God without which no person can obtain eternal life.

Trust and approval come by obedience to all of Gods commandments.  Helaman chapters 10-12 highlight how important it is to heed the promptings of the Spirit. Only by doing so can we be sure we are living according to Gods will.  These chapters also highlight how important it is to want what God wants. 

As we prove faithful in the small things the Lord will trust us with the greater things.
Helaman 10:1-3

*To ponder is to meditate and think deeply, often upon the scriptures or other things of God.  When combined with prayer, pondering may bring revelation and understanding.  Nephi and other prophets received revelation while pondering.  

Elder M Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles taught that all of us would benefit from time to ponder and meditate.  In the quiet moments of personal introspection, the spirit can teach us much.

Elder Richard G Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles suggested that a quiet pace is conducive to pondering, "Find a retreat of peace and quiet where periodically you can ponder and let the Lord establish the direction of your life."

Elder Russell M Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles share with us the benefits of pondering as you ponder and pray about doctrinal principals, the Holy Ghost will speak to your mind and your heart (D&C 8:2)  From events portrayed in the scriptures new insights will come and principles relevant to your situation will distill upon your heart.
Helaman 10:4-5

Like Nephi, if we learn to ask "In the spirit" and according to Gods will, then, it is done as we ask. 
(D&C 46:30, D&C 50:29-30)

President Marion G. Romney shared some necessary aspects of proper petitions:  When we pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus for specific personal things, we should feel in the very depths of our soul that we are willing to subject our petitions to the will of our Father in Heaven.

The time will come when we shall know the will of God before we ask, then everything for which we pray will be expedient.  Everything for which we ask will be right.  That will be when as a result of righteous living, we shall so enjoy the companionship of the Spirit that he will dedicate shall we ask.
Pres. Romney had an experience in which the Lord gave him a promise similar to Nephi's.  Elder Jefferey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about it...

In 1967 Sister Ida Romney suffered a serious stroke. The doctors told then-Elder Romney that the damage from the hemorrhage was severe.  They offered to keep her alive by artificial means but did not recommend it.  The family braced for the worst. 

Brother Romney confided to those closest to him that in spite of his anguished, personal yearning for Ida's restored health and continued companionship, above all he wanted the Lord's will to be done and to take what he needed to to take without whimpering. As the days wore on, Sister Romney became less responsive.  She had, of course, been administered to, but Elder Romney was 'reluctant to counsel the Lord about the matter'.  Because of his earlier unsuccessful experience of praying that he and Ida might have children, he knew that he could never ask in prayer for something that was not in harmony with the will of the Lord.  He fasted that he might know how to show the Lord he had faith and would accept God's will in their lives.  He wanted to make sure he had done all he could do, but she continued to fail.

One evening in a particularly depressed state, with Ida unable to speak or recognize him, Brother Romney went home and turned, as he always had, to the scriptures in an effort to commune with the Lord. He picked up the Book of Mormon and continued where he had left off the night before.  He had been reading in Helaman about the prophet Nephi, who has been falsely accused an unfairly charged with sedition.  Following a miraculous deliverance from his accusers, Nephi returned home pondering the things he had experienced.  As he did so, he heard a voice.

Although Marion Romney had read that story many times before, it now struck him this night as a personal revelation.  The words of the scripture so touched his heart that for the first time in weeks, he felt he had tangible peace.  It seemed as if the Lord were speaking directly to him.  The scripture read; Blessed art thou,...for those things which thou hast done...thou has not....sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this with such un-wearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever, and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works, yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.  (Helaman 10:4-5)

There was the answer.  He had sought only to know and obey the will of the Lord, and the Lord had spoken.  He fell to his knees and poured out his heart, and as he concluded his prayer with the phrase, "Thy will be done", he either felt or actually heard a voice that said, "It is not contrary to my will that Ida be healed."

Brother Romney rose to his feet quickly.  It was past two o'clock in the morning, but he knew what he must do.  Quickly he put on his tie and coat, then went out into the night to visit Ida in the hospital.  

He arrived shortly before three o'clock.  His wife's condition was unabated.  She did not stir as he placed his hands upon her pale forehead.  With undeviating faith, he invoked the power of the priesthood in her behalf.  He pronounced a simple blessing and then uttered the incredible promise that she would recover her health and her mental powers and would yet perform a great mission upon the earth.

Even thought he did not doubt, Elder Romney was astonished to see Ida's eyes open as he concluded the blessing.  Somewhat stunned by all that had happened, he sat down on the edge of the bed only to hear his wife's frail voice for the first time in months.  She said, "For goodness sake, Marion, what are you doing here"?  He didn't know whether to laugh or to cry.  He said, "Ida, how are you"?  With that flash of humor so characteristic of both of them, she replied, "Compared to what, Marion? Compared to what"?

Ida Romney began her recovery from that very moment, soon left her hospital bed, and lived to see her husband sustained as a member of the First Presidency of the Church, 'a great mission upon the earth', indeed.  (F. Burton Howard, Marion G. Romney: His Life and Faith)

* Just an interesting note:  And it came to pass...   A phrase used frequently in the scriptures to join consecutive events in historical narrative.  In the Old Testament, the phrase, "And it came to pass", reflects the Hebrew expression, wa-yhee which means "and it was".  In the Book of Mormon as it is in the Old Testament, it is often followed by a time phrase.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Relief Society Encampment ~ Project Joy

~Project Joy~

We started out doing a Service Project making 
"Clean Birth Kits" 
for Third World Countries. 
The mortality rate for babies as well as mothers in these countries suffers from infection contracted during births.

They consisted of:
1 square yard of plastic
rubber gloves
razor blade
string to tie the cord
and a small bar of soap

*Stuff we definitely take for granted here in the 
United States!!

All total we put together 100 kits!
Thats a lot of lives that can be helped

We did some great visiting and playing games.

Dinner was Happy Hawaiian Haystacks

Pierce the Moose,
"affectionately named for piercing Bishop Salmon in the backside" last year,
put his smily face boxers out for all to see!

Great times put happy faces on 
everyone there!!

Katie gave the Project Joy devotional
Friday Evening.
She talked about how the things of the world can bring us temporary happiness, but true joy comes through the atonement of
Jesus Christ.
She used the scripture: Mosiah 3:7-13
(click on scripture to read)

We each shared something about ourselves that 
no one knew.

We also said one thing we admired about the person to our right.

It was really fun and soooo interesting to learn new things about each other!!

Everyone got settled in for bed, 
regardless of whether there would be any sleeping or not, teehee!!

There were a few who got some shut eye.

Nothing like waking up to a 
Happy Hotcakes Breakfast!!!

There was soooo many snacks and good food!!

We had Bishop Salmon's 
two Rino four Wheelers 
two horses to play on Saturday.

Soooo much fun!!!

Until next time!
It's back home with renewed Happy Hearts!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

Lesson taught by Jeanine M.

We had a great discussion with a panel of sisters that shared with us thoughts and testimony of the different topics addressed in President Boyd K. Packer’s talk, These Things I Know.

The Invasion of the Adversary:  
Boyd K. Packer says “We will not always be safe from the adversary’s influence, even within our own homes.  We need to protect our nestlings.”
What are the adversary’s greatest threats?
How do we keep these influences away from ourselves and our ‘nestlings’?
How do we strive to live so the adversary cannot steal into our homes?

Our panel agreed that one of the biggest threats from the adversary today is aimed at the family.  President Packer says, “We find safety and security for ourselves and our children in honoring the covenants we have made and living up to the ordinary acts of obedience required of followers of Christ.”  Nicole shared an experience where her teenage son was questioning the practice of Family Home Evening.  She responded that she was trying to be obedient to what the prophets have asked us to do. These ordinary acts of obedience are the protection our families need. 

Mothers and Fathers:
President Packer bears testimony of the power of the priesthood and the faithful prayers of righteous mothers.  “I have come to know that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief.  

There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother.”  

Women can have a great influence for good as they pray for those around them.  They can also give encouragement to draw upon the power of the priesthood. We are so blessed to have access to this power.  Parents together have the responsibility to teach their children about the Holy Ghost and the Atonement.   One of the best ways to do this is by example. Hannah shared how important it is for parents to testify of truths often and especially during teaching moments.

Alma 56:47, 48 tells us of the stripling warriors that had courage because they had ‘mothers that knew’.  Sister Julie B. Beck says, “When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with him, they will have great power and influence for good…”

Click and watch the Mormon Message by Jeffrey R. Holland entitled: 
Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

Boyd K. Packer states, “Agency is defined in the scriptures as ‘moral agency’, which means that we can choose between good and evil.  The adversary seeks to tempt us to misuse our moral agency.”
What are lessons you have learned about agency?
Syd gave us her advice to not ‘react’ strongly to some of the negative choices or statements our children might make, rather talk calmly about their actions and the consequences.  If we listen and love we build our relationships, then we can become a greater influence on them than the world or their friends.  This allows us to communicate and share our beliefs more easily.  We must make our short time with them a comfortable loving place,  allowing us to be more influential than the outside influences of the long hours they are away.  Many of us agreed that children need the opportunity to make choices and let them have natural consequences to go with those choices.  We also believe that each child is different and we need to listen to the Spirit as we give them experiences with agency.

“Tolerance is a virtue, but like all virtues, when exaggerated, it transforms itself into a vice.  We need to be careful of the ‘tolerance trap’ so that we are not swallowed up in it.”  President Packer
What are things we need to be careful of ‘tolerating’?  How do we deal with family members who have fallen into these traps?
To tolerate is so politically correct now that we need to be careful to not tolerate sin.  As we stand up for truths that are correct, we also need to remember to love the sinner. 

Holy Ghost:
Boyd K. Packer says, “Teach yourself and teach your families about the gift of the Holy Ghost and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  You will do no greater eternal work than within the walls of your own home.”
What have you done to learn about the Holy Ghost?
What can we do to teach our families about the Holy Ghost?
Elder Packer uses the term “stay in condition” to respond to promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Do you have any ideas about how to do that?

Some thoughts on these questions:
Do the important ‘dailys’ such as scripture reading and prayer.  Come to church. Notice changes in your life and be willing to change with those changes.  For example, when you were in college, nightly scripture study worked, with little ones at home, maybe the first few minutes of naptime is devoted to studying; with teenagers at home, you might want to try studying in the morning.

Click the title and watch the Mormon Message: 

We can rely on the atonement to make up for our weaknesses as we journey through life’s experiences.  Remember to not dwell on past mistakes and know that Christ will be there if our intents and attempts to live the gospel are pure.

“At the end of my life’s story,
I’ll kneel before His wounded feet;
I’ll feel His spirit glow.
My whispering, quivering voice will say,
My Lord, my God, I know.”   
Boyd K. Packer

Neil L. Andersen reminds us to be patient in our quest, 
“Our spiritual journey is the process of a lifetime.  You don’t know everything, but you know enough.”