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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book of Mormon ~ 3 Nephi 4-7 INTRODUCTION ~ OVERVIEW

Taught by Sue G.

In chapters 4-7, we will see many things among the Nephites before the destruction of the wicked and the appearance of the resurrected Christ to them, which are also typical of our last days before the Saviors second coming and the destruction of the wicked.
It is no doubt significant that such parallels exist.  They are, among other things a pattern from which we can learn and gain stronger testimonies.

*In the Book of Mormon at this point in time, there were a great number of wicked people whose whole goal in life was to rob and plunder others. It is basically the same in our day.

There was great prosperity among the Nephites,  many who had been faithful members of the Church who became entangled in pride, while many remained humble and faithful. 

Many people divided up into ethnic groups which destroyed the central governments ability to function. Church leaders continued to speak out boldly and clearly concerning the evils of the day and the availability of forgiveness through repentance.   
Many citizens became angry because of the power and authority of Nephi.

There were a great many miracles which provide much obvious evidence that God exists and the gospel is true.  There were many convert baptisms. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book of Mormon Class ~ 3 Nephi Chapter 3

Taught by Sue G.
 (Click to read: 3 Nephi Chapter 3)
One of Satan's great deceptions 
seems to be, 
to get his followers to believe that they 
are in the right,
and that those who follow God's teachings 
are in the wrong. 

     Korihor, the anti Christ, got to the point where he believed that the words he taught which came from the devil, were true. (Alma 30:53) 
     There is another wicked leader Giddianhi, who has been likewise deceived by the devil to the point that he claims with great cloquence, that the cause of the gadiation robers is just and that the Nephites are in the wrong.  
     We see much of this today as Satan gains converts through cunning deception.  Isaiah prophesied that we would see much of calling , evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)


Look for the messages that Lucifer has succeeded in deceiving Giddianhi into believing that he is in the right. In fact Giddiahi seems to feel that he is a rather kind and generous soul and is treating Lachonoeus with respect.  Note also that Giddianhi has obviously had a lot of experience and success in using flattery which is another form of deception.

Lachoneus - Nephite chief judge governor prophet and a contemporary of Nephi, the son of Nephi  Lachoneus, described as a just and courageous man occupied the judgment seat for 29 or 30 years.

One characteristic of those who have been deceived is that they believe others cannot see through their own attempts at deceiving them.  

In verses 6 & 7 and the first part of verse 8, Giddianhi makes a ridiculous offer which he apparently thinks will sound good to Lachoneous.
There is a bit of a problem with Giddianhi's promise to the Nephites, that they can be 'partners of all our substance' because Giddianhi's people survive by robbing and plundering the Nephites.  Just where does he purpose to get 'all our substance' from if he keeps his word to the Nephites? There will be no 'substance' left.

The idea in the last part of verse 9 that something is 'good' because it is of ancient date seems to play prominently in the minds of many people.  For instance, many believe the words of ancient prophets but reject even the idea of having modern prophets.  The Jews rejected Christ because his teachings appeared to them to go against the teachings of Abraham, Moses and other ancient prophets. Satan seems to use the notion that ancient means good quite often in his winning and retaining of converts.

We see how Lachoneaus, a righteous leader of a democracy deals with the threats and demands of a terrorists like Giddianhi, whose ultimate goal is to exercise power and unrighteous dominion over others.

Remember that Gidianhi had invited the Nephites to surrender and to join with his band of robbers and share their 'substance'.  Watch what will happen now as the Nephites gather all their 'substance' and put it out of reach of these robbers.

As a righteous leader, Lachoneus preaches repentance to his people.  They listen and repent.

Next we will meet one of the great righteous military commanders of the great righteous military commanders of the Nephites.  His name is Giddiddoni.

The Nephites will request permission to attack the Gadianton robbers in their strongholds. Captain Moroni had rooted out the King-men in this manner, (Alma 51:17-18)  but the Lord will not allow these Nephites to do the same.  

This points out the importance of following the current word of the Lord,  no matter what has been done under similar circumstances by men of God in the past.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Lesson Taught by Leila J.

     In a talk by Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorom of the Twelve at the April 1992 General Conference he said: "Charity is, perhaps, in many ways, a misunderstood word. We often equate charity with visiting the sick, taking in casseroles to those in need, or sharing our excess with those less fortunate. But really it is much, much more.
     "Real charity is something you give away. It is something that you acquire and make a part of yourself. And when the virtue of charity becomes implanted in your heart, you are never the same again."
What is CHARITY?

Charity is the greatest of all virtues.
Charity is giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.
To be charitable is to be forgiving.
Being charitable is accepting other peoples weaknesses, their differences and their shortcomings.
Being charitable is hoping that another person 
is successful.
We can not only hope for their success,
but we can cheer them on.


     President Monson, in his talk Charity Never Faileth, shares the following thoughts:
Charity is the opposite of criticism and judging.
Charity manifests itself when we are tolerant of others, and lenient towards their actions, the kind of charity that forgives, the kind of charity that is patient.
Charity impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness, affliction and distress, but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others.
Charity gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, and to those who are afflicted.
True charity is LOVE in ACTION.
Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings, accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time.  It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.  Charity has been defined as "the highest,  noblest, strongest kind of love," the PURE LOVE OF CHRIST....; and whosoever is found possessed of it in the last day, it shall be well with them.

"Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don't judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt, or remain quiet." -Marvin J. Ashton

My sister in law shared the following experience:
"If we want to be charitable, we need to stop judging and categorizing other people. Years ago I drove one of my kids to the Junior High each day. Every morning, even on blustery days, we passed a young child pulling a couple of younger siblings in a wagon. I just knew that he was taking them to a babysitter on the way to school, and I judged the mother of those children. Why did she send them off to school in the cold every morning while she went off to work? She should be at home when her children needed her. My judgement was very harsh! A few weeks later I found out that the mother, who was sending her children off to the babysitter each morning, was someone I knew. I had taught her in Young Women when she was 15 years old. She had married and had children, and then she had made the decision to leave her husband when he was not providing for his family. That experience taught me a great lesson about not judging  other people."

President Monson shared this anecdote: A young couple, Lisa and John, moved into a new neighborhood. One morning while eating breakfast, Lisa looked out the window and saw her next door neighbor hanging out her wash. 
"That laundry's not clean!", Lisa exclaimed. "Our neighbor doesn't know how to get clothes clean!"
John looked on, but remained silent.
Every time her neighbor would hang her clothes to dry, Lisa would make the same comments.
A few weeks later Lisa was surprised to glance out the window and see a nice, clean wash, hanging in her neighbors yard. She said to her husband, "Look John--shes finally learned how to wash correctly! I wonder how she did it?"
John replied, "Well dear, I have the answer for you. You'll be interested to know that I got up early this morning and washed our windows!"

Matthew 7:1-3
1-Judge not that ye be not judged.
2-For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3-And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considereth not the beam that is in thy own eye?
Or, to paraphrase, why beholdest thou what thou think is dirty laundry at thy neighbors house, but considereth not the soiled window in your own house?
President Monson also shared this quote:
"Mother Teressa, a catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this profound truth: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them.' I ask: can we love one another, as the Savior has commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer--with Mother Teressa: No, we cannot."

In a ward I was visiting recently for a Primary Sacrament meeting program, I found myself judging the chorister during the opening song because of her demanding leading style. My thoughts were that she was a hard core music expert who wanted the congregation and the organist to perform to her standards. I was surprised to learn later in the meeting that she was also the Primary Chorister. What I also learned is that she was delightful, cheerful, and had the children singing with all their hearts. Because I had been preparing for this lesson at the time, I realized that I was judging a sweet charming sister, who was dutifully fulfilling her calling.

President Uchtdorf said: "The Love of Christ is not a pretend love. It is not a greeting-card love. It is not the kind of love that is praised in popular music or movies.  This love brings about real change of character. It can work miracles."
President Uchtdorf suggests that we "take a moment and look at other people around you... Everyone you see around, or at any other time, was valiant in the pre-mortal world. That un-assuming, and ordinary looking person...may have been one of the great figures you loved and admired in the sphere of spirits. You may have been such a role model yourself!
     Every person you see--no matter race, religion, political beliefs, body type or appearance...has the same Heavenly Father as you, and she left his loving presence just as you did, eager to come to this Earth and live so that she could one day return to him.
     "However, she might feel alone...She may even occasionally forget the purpose of her journey. Please remind her through your words and your actions that she is not alone... Consider this, though they do not remember, they to at one time, yearned to return to their Father in Heaven.
     I like this quote from C. S. Lewis: "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. It is immortals who we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit."

Elder Ashton once asked at a fireside: "How can you tell if someone is converted to Jesus Christ?" All the comments were worthwhile, but he taught that the best indicator that we are progressing spiritually and coming unto Christ is by the way we treat other people."

President Monson said this: "In a hundred small ways, each one of wears the mantel of Charity.  Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing their best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out."

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Drawing Closer to God ~ Elder Terence M. Vinson

Taught by Jeanine M.

Elder Vinson from the second quorum of the seventy asks many questions that give us pause. He said, “Members of this Church are entitled to, and many receive, a spiritual witness and make sacred covenants to follow the Lord. Yet, despite that, some move toward Him while others do not. In which category are you?
God should be the center of our universe—our literal focal point. Is He? Or is He sometimes far
from the thoughts and intents of our hearts?”

He shares a scripture from Enos 1:27 “…And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on
immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see His face with pleasure, and He will say
unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place for you in the mansions of my Father.”

This happens to be a scripture my own father loved as he looked forward to the day that would
happen to him. He had no fear of dying and lived a life that put God first. Elder Vinson referred to a story when Wilford Woodruff heard a voice tell him to move his carriage. He obeyed and within a few minutes a storm uprooted a huge tree that would have landed on his carriage had he not moved it. A similar even happened to my father when he was in the Army. He slept in a tent by himself and during a storm one night he heard a voice telling him to go to the kitchen (a building close by). He obeyed and in the morning, there was a big tree that had fallen on his tent.

Another small parallel is a story that Elder Vinson relates about a man in Papua New Guinea who
lit a fire to clear some land for planting. The fire began to spread too quickly and he turned to the
Lord and prayed. “Suddenly there appeared a big black cloud above where he was praying and it
rained so hard—but only where the fire was burning.” Once when I was five, we were camping near a lake. I found a box of matches floating in the lake and tried to light them. One of the matched did light and in fear I dropped in on the very dry grass. The fire quickly spread and my father quickly prayed that we could stop it. Fortunately, there were enough makeshift buckets and enough help that it was stopped. Both men turned to the Lord with problems.

We might ask, “Why does He warn any of us to remove ourselves from a source of danger when He
could simply stop the danger from happening?” “But here is the point—rather than solve the
problem himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving
our problems and trust Him. Then we can feel His love more constantly, more powerfully, more
clearly and more personally.”

Elder Vinson says, “The Lord gives us ways to help remember Him and His sustaining powers.
One way is through that common lot we all share—adversity.” We all do have trials that bring us to
our knees. If this is something we all have in common, we can help each other. My dad had a lot
of adversity. His grandmother and mother died when he was eleven. His father suffered from
mental illness so he was on his own a lot and they were very poor. He was involved in an accident
when he was 20 that took one leg, affected his eyesight and rendered one arm useless. He overcame
a lot through his handicaps. That helped him draw closer to God and he began to align his will with
the Father’s will. Why do I talk about my father? So many things in this talk reminded me of him. He really was an ordinary and extraordinary man. He was a regular guy. Yet he also loved the Lord and gave Him
his heart fully. (D&C 64:22) He, like Nephi, served faithfully with unwearingness (Helaman 10: 4-5) and left this world with confidence that He would find rest in his Savior. If a regular dad that lost his temper sometimes and had faults can live and repent and continue to try and actually come to a place where he is ready to return Home, then maybe it’s possible for me too. If it’s possible for me, then it’s possible for you.
May we all help each other to draw closer to God by providing support and encouragement and
patience, especially when adversity comes our way.

Alma 36:3 “…for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their
trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.”

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book of Mormon Class ~ 3rd Nephi Chapter 2

Taught by Sue G.


In 3rd Nephi Chapter 2 we will cover
about 11 years from AD 5 to 16. 
One of the most important means of retaining a personal testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel is the remembering of past blessings from God.

On the other hand one of the ways to lose a testimony is to forget previous blessings and spiritual experiences.
In verse 1 we catch a glimpse of one way by which people bring themselves to ignore obvious testimony building experiences. Remember that among the things they are explaining away are the day, night, and day without darkness, plus the new star which appeared.  We are again reminded that personal wickedness leads away from the ability to think rationally.

In this chapter and others in the Book of Mormon we see a simple sequence employed by the devil to deceive people.
1- The people saw the actual signs from God bearing witness of the Saviors birth
2nd - While still acknowledging that they saw something they explain it in ways that put God out of the picture
3rd - they get to the point where they no longer even believe that they saw something out of the ordinary.

We are reminded that one tool Satan uses is to convince people who believe in God that miracles, signs, and wonders have ceased.  (Mormon 9:10) This has been a common teaching of many Christian churches today and was taught under Satan's direction anciently.

We are told that the Nephites began a new calendar system following the signs accompanying Christ's birth. Up to now they had been using two calendar systems.
1- Their first calendar was based upon how many years it had been since Lehi left Jerusalem in 600 BC
2- The second method of reckoning time began with the reign of judges and was based on how many years it had been since the beginning of the reign of the judges in 92 BC.

With the signs which accompanied the birth of Jesus they began a third calendar system, counting the years from the event.  Thus, at this point in the Book of Mormon, using all three calendar systems, we are 609 years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem, 100 years from the beginning of the reign of the judges and 9 years after the birth of Christ or AD in our modern terminology.
*AD stands for Anno  Domini, which means "in the year of our Lord in other words since the birth of Christ.

Mormon condenses the Nephite history at an increasing pace. Somehow we gain the impression that the valiant Mormon felt he was running out of time.  Many of the marvelous details which he took the time to share with us throughout the Book of Alma, now disappear from the pattern of his writing.  This means that the student of the Book of Mormon must concentrate on each minute aspect of what Mormon does record so as to catch the sweep of history as it rushes by.  There is also substantial evidence that Mormon was not working from a rough draft but writing directly onto the plates as fast as he completed his research.
Note how he sets down a date and then, finding that the events of that period were of no particular significance passes on to the next year without comment

3rd Nephi 2:8-11
A sign of the times for us in our day is that people will have to decide to be on the side of right or on the side of wrong.  There will not be much "grey area". (D&C 1:34-36)

Peace will be taken from the earth and "the devil shall have power over his own dominion And also the Lord shall have power over his saints. This same condition developed among the Nephites about 19 years before the Saviors coming


Sunday, January 5, 2014

January Calendar 2014

Can you believe it's another 
New Year!!!


January is such a wonderful Month to catch our breath from all the busyness and festivities over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Generally there is less going on and we can take some time to rejuvenate and start a new.

As you contemplate making changes and resolutions for your new year, consider leaving the common list and just choose to work a little more on one thing that will truly 
bring you the most happiness.


for your spouse, 
for your children, 
for your neighbor, 
for God.
Love, by 
Being more patient
more forgiving
and thinking of others 
more often. 
Give love 
by giving service daily, 
especially to those 
closest to you, 
even so small as a 
heartfelt smile.  
Forget yourself 
and think of others 
and your year will be 
filled with happiness.


January Calendar Information

 *The Book of Mormon class is starting up again for the year. If you have never attended no worries. Each class is an individual topic. We are going through the Book of Mormon one chapter at a time, sometimes less if we have a lot of discussion. So it doesn't matter if you have never attended or if you can only come here or there. Each class stands on it's own. We have great discussions every time! 

*The Neighborhood Play Group is for anyone who wants a time to let the kids play together in the gym while Mom's get a chance to visit! Contact Shannon Page if you have questions.

Tuesday's:       Book of Mormon class
                        7:30pm @Sue Green's home

Wednesday'sNeighborhood Play Group  
                        10:00am @The Church

Thursday 9th:  Pinterest Group 
                         9am - 11am
                        Contact Melanie Phelps for info

Thursday 9thRelief Society Temple Night
                        Meet in the cafiteria at 5:30 
                        for dinner (no need to change first)
                        We will attend the 6:30 session

*Friday 10th:  Ward Game Night, 7:00pm @Church

Stake Women's Conference 
is coming up,
Saturday February 22nd, 9am @Stake House