Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Gifts of the Spirit

Elder John C. Pingree Jr., “I Have a Work for Thee”, October 2017 General Conference
“Heavenly Father gave us these gifts to help us identify, perform, and enjoy the work He has for us.”

D&C 46:11–12
11 For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.
12 To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.

Elder John C. Pingree Jr., “I Have a Work for Thee”, October 2017 General Conference
“So how do we come to know our gifts? We can reference our patriarchal blessing, ask those who know us best, and personally identify what we are naturally good at and enjoy. Most important, we can ask God (see James 1:5; D&C 112:10). He knows our gifts, since He gave them to us (see D&C 46:26).”

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sabbath

Elder David A Bednar, Exceeding Great and Precious Promises, October 2017 General Conference
"The Sabbath day and the holy temple are two specific sources of divine help instituted by God to assist us in rising above the level and corruption of the world."
...
"The Sabbath is God’s time, a sacred time specifically set apart for worshipping Him and for receiving and remembering His great and precious promises."
...
On His holy day, our thoughts, actions, and demeanor are signs we give to God and an indicator of our love for Him.”
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"Please note that the Sabbath day and the temple, respectively, are a sacred time and a sacred space specifically set apart for worshipping God and for receiving and remembering His exceeding great and precious promises to His children."

Elder Valen V Cordo, The Language of the Gospel, April 2017 General Conference

Our love for the Sabbath day does not end when the chapel doors close behind us but instead opens the doors to a beautiful day of resting from routine tasks, studying, praying, and reaching out to family and others who need our attention. Instead of breathing a sigh of relief when church is over and frantically running in search of a television before the football game begins, let our focus remain on the Savior and upon His holy day.

President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Sabbath Is a Delight,” Ensign, May 2015, 132

“Not pursuing your ‘own pleasure’ on the Sabbath requires self-discipline. You may have to deny yourself of something you might like. If you choose to delight yourself in the Lord, you will not permit yourself to treat it as any other day. Routine and recreational activities can be done some other time.”


Francisco J Vinas, The Pleasing Word of God, October 2015 General Conference
"Some examples include arriving late for sacrament meeting without a valid reason; arriving, without previously having examined ourselves, to eat the bread and drink from the cup unworthily (see 1 Corinthians 11:28); and arriving without first having confessed our sins and having asked God for forgiveness for them.
“Other examples: being irreverent by exchanging messages on our electronic devices, leaving the meeting after partaking of the sacrament, and engaging in activities in our homes that are inappropriate for that sacred day."


Elder M Russell Ballard, God Is at the Helm, October 2015 General Conference


Elder Russell M Nelson, The Sabbath Is a Delight, General Conference April 2015


Spencer W Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, 96–97
Harold B Lee, Decisions for Successful Living, pp. 147–48“Whether at home or in church, your thoughts and your conduct should be always in harmony with the spirit and purpose of the Sabbath. Places of amusement and recreation, while at proper times may serve a needed end, are not conducive of spiritual growth and such places will not keep you ‘unspotted from the world’ but will rather deny you the ‘fullness of the earth’ promised to those who comply with the law of the Sabbath. You who make the violation of the Sabbath a habit, by your failure to ‘keep it holy,’ are losing a soul full of joy in return for a thimble full of pleasure.”
Luke 6
 9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?
Doctrine and Covenants 59:9, 10, 13
9 And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
10 For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High;
13 And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.

My Thoughts

{
In Exodus 31:16 the Lord states that it is a "perpetual covenant". Dictionary.com define perpetual as "continuing or enduring forever; everlasting." Verse 17 reenforces this definition in this context: "It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever"
How is a day filled with sports and/or recreation holy?

}

Genesis 2:2-3

2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.


Exodus 31:13-17
Not pursuing your ‘own pleasure’ on the Sabbath requires self-discipline. You may have to deny yourself of something you might like. If you choose to delight yourself in the Lord, you will not permit yourself to treat it as any other day. Routine and recreational activities can be done some other time.”
Labor for your Temporal Needs
My Thoughts {
{ Many Christians seem to miss this scripture. I don't know if it is because it is in the OT and its importance is sometimes minimized. I have heard preachers tell their congregations to patronize their local business after the Sunday services to keep the women from working on Sunday by cooking. What about the guy behind the counter that would like to go to his services or at the very least stay home and keep the sabbath, but can't because his boss is making him come to work to cover the large church crowds? We have become a society of pleasure boats and football games on Sunday.

Elder Perry sates that it may not be necessary to wear "formal" Sunday clothes, but he does talk about the clothing we encourage them to wear on the Sabbath. To me formal is a suit coat and tie. Wearing a nice shirt and pants when not in a formal Sunday environment would still help us and our children remember the Sabbath throughout the day.



“What might be some of those vanities that can interfere in the process of receiving a remission of our sins and that are associated with keeping the Sabbath day holy?
"Another important doctrine that we should cling to is to observe the Sabbath day. This helps us remain unspotted from the world, provides us with physical rest, and gives each of us the spiritual refreshment of worshipping the Father and the Son every Sunday.6 When we delight in the Sabbath day, it is a sign of our love for Them.7"



Entire article on the Sabbath.


“The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things. Abstinence from work and recreation is important but insufficient. The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, sleeping, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of that day to which he is expected. To fail to do these proper things is a transgression”

Isaiah 58:13-14
13 ¶ If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

}


Exodus 20:8-11
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

Verse 13 also states: 13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Verse 8 states to keep it holy. Is a football game a holy activity?
Verse 10 states to do no work and neither your servants.  Do we have servants today?  What about the people at the grocery store or the restaurant or those that entertain us?

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

This scripture is generally used to justify doing their pleasure on the sabbath. The sabbath being made for man does not mean that it is play time for man. It means it was made for man's good. Jesus never said that there weren't rules for the sabbath. He was simply saying that the Jews had altered it to the point that it was not beneficial to man any longer.
The sabbath is so man can regroup spiritually and have a different focus than other days.
Jesus changed the day the Sabbath was held on. He didn't change that it was a holy day. 

The Savior was charging His accusers with changing God's law with their own philosophies. Our culture is doing the same thing just on the other side of the pendulum.

2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
It doesn't say that he played. It doesn't say he had a feast. It says he rested.

 13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths''' ye shall keep: for it '''''is' a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.
 14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
 15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of arest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any bwork in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
 16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant'.
 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
Appropriate Activities
Doing Good
Luke 6:8-10
 8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.


Take Inventory
“The Sabbath is a day on which to take inventory—to analyze our weaknesses, to confess our sins to our associates and our Lord. It is a day on which to fast. … It is a day on which to read good books, a day to contemplate and ponder, a day to study lessons for priesthood and auxiliary organizations, a day to study the scriptures and to prepare sermons, a day to nap and rest and relax, a day to visit the sick, a day to preach the gospel, a day to proselyte, a day to visit quietly with the family … , a day for proper courting, a day to do good, a day to drink at the fountain of knowledge and of instruction, a day to seek forgiveness of our sins, a day for the enrichment of our spirit and our soul, a day to restore us to our spiritual stature, a day to partake of the emblems of [Jesus’] sacrifice and atonement, a day to contemplate the glories of the gospel and of the eternal realms, a day to climb high on the upward path toward our Heavenly Father” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 216).'
Pray
The above scripture goes toward answering the question, “What am I supposed to do on Sunday, just sit around and read my scriptures and pray all day?”

Elder L. Tom Perry, The Sabbath and the Sacrament
“Let us prepare and conduct ourselves on the Sabbath in a manner that will call down the blessings promised us upon ourselves and our families. “


Inappropriate Activities
Routine and Recreation
Elder Russell M Nelson, The Sabbath Is a Delight, General Conference April 2015

School Work
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Blessing of Commandments,” in 'Speeches of the Year, 1974, 219
“When I left this campus [BYU] to study at the University of Chicago, my mother reminded me that my father had never studied on the Sabbath during his professional training. She said to me very casually, ‘Son, if you want to enjoy that blessing you should arrange your activities so that you never study, so that you never do anything on the Sabbath except partake of the spiritual food that is available to you on the Lord’s day.’
“I made up my mind at that time that I would observe the Sabbath faithfully so that I could qualify for the blessings of spiritual growth and the companionship of the Spirit that come from observing faithfully the Sabbath of our Lord. I testify to you that I realized those blessings in measurable ways on innumerable occasions”.

Leviticus 25:4-5
 4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
 5 That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.


Elder L. Tom Perry, The Sabbath and the Sacrament
"To keep ourselves unspotted from the world, He expects us to avoid such worldly distractions of businesses and recreational facilities on the Sabbath day."
Appropriate Dress
David A. Bednar,  devotional address given at Brigham Young University on 10 May 2005, http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=8883'
"I have a dear friend who served as a stake president. The patriarch in the stake over which he presided had experienced some health challenges and was unable to perform in his calling. The ailing patriarch had difficulty moving about and dressing and caring for himself, and his strength was limited. One Sabbath afternoon this good stake president visited the home of the patriarch to encourage him and check on his well-being. As the stake president entered the home, he found the patriarch dressed in his suit and white shirt and tie, sitting in a recliner in the front room. The stake president greeted the dear patriarch and, knowing how hard it must have been to dress himself, graciously suggested to the patriarch that it was not necessary for him to get dressed up on the Sabbath or to meet visitors. In a kind but firm voice, the patriarch reproved the stake president and said, 'Don’t you know that this is the only way I have left to show the Lord how much I love Him?'
"The stake president was quick to observe. He both heard and felt the lesson, and he applied it. Reverence for the Sabbath day and the importance of respect and appropriate demeanor and dress took on added importance in the ministry of the stake president. The spiritual ability to see, hear, remember, and act upon that lesson was a great blessing in his life—and in the lives of many others."


Elder L. Tom Perry, The Sabbath and the Sacrament


"I believe He also desires us to dress appropriately. Our youth may think the old saying ‘Sunday best’ is outdated. Still, we know that when Sunday dress deteriorates to everyday attire, attitudes and actions follow. Of course, it may not be necessary for our children to wear formal Sunday attire until the sun goes down. However, by the clothing we encourage them to wear and the activities we plan, we help them prepare for the sacrament and enjoy its blessings throughout the day.”

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Urim and Thummim

Elder Quentin L Cook, Foundations of Faith, April 2017 General Conference
What about the aids to translation—the Urim and Thummim, the seer stones? Were they essential, or were they like the training wheels on a bicycle until Joseph could exercise the faith necessary to receive more direct revelation?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Elijah

Face to Face with Elder Rasband, Sister Oscarson, and Brother Owen, January 20, 2016
"And I know there are many of you around the world who are listening to this tonight. You may not live exactly close to a temple. But you can get the temple spirit by doing family history work. This is called the spirit of Elijah. It's a spirit that broods in us to care for our departed ancestors."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Grace

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, The Gift of Grace, April 2015 General Conference 
"A powerful expression of that love is what the scriptures often call thegrace of God—the divine assistance and endowment of strength..."

2 Corinthians 6:1
 We then, as workers together with him,beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

My Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:1
If one is indeed saved by grace as a one time event of accepting Christ how could grace be in vain?


Elder David A Bednar,  In the Strength of the Lord, Ensign November 2004
"Brothers and sisters, please pay particular attention to the word grace as it is used in the verse I just read. In the Bible Dictionary we learn that the word grace frequently is used in the scriptures to connote a strengthening or enabling power:
"'The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.
"'… It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts' (p. 697).
"Thus, the enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement helps us to see and to do and to become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity. I testify and witness that the enabling power of the Savior’s Atonement is real. Without that strengthening power of the Atonement, I could not stand before you this morning."

Grace Is An Enabling Power.


  1. 10 ¶ And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of aspeech, and of a bslow tongue.

  2. 31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he abowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: bWhy is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people chate me; for I am dslow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
Alma 26:12
  12 Yea, I know that I am anothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will bnot boast of myself, but I will cboast of my God, for in his dstrength I can do all ethings; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

2 Timothy 1:7-10



  7 For God hath not given us the spirit of afear; but of bpower, and of clove, and of a sound mind.


  8 Be not thou therefore aashamed of the btestimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;


  9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy acalling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and bgrace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,


  10 But is now made amanifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished bdeath, and hath brought clife and dimmortality to light through the gospel:


2 Nephi 25:23

  23 For we labor diligently to write, to apersuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by bgrace that we are saved, after all we can cdo.

Ether 12: 27

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their aweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them.

2 Nephi 31:17
17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

Bible Dictionary - Grace

"A word that occurs frequently in the New Testament, especially in the writings of Paul. The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ."


Elder Jeffrey R Holland, The Laborers in the Vineyard, General Conference April 2012
Speaking of the Parable of the Laborers - "This parable—like all parables—is not really about laborers or wages any more than the others are about sheep and goats. This is a story about God’s goodness, His patience and 
forgiveness, and the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a story about generosity and compassion. It is a story about grace. It underscores the thought I heard many years ago that surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it."
My thought - The laborers at the end of the day partook of grace, but they still worked.  They did not get paid just for showing up at the payment table.


Elder Jeffrey R Holland, The First Great Commandment, General Conference October 2012

"After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before. The Crucifixion, Atonement, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ mark the beginning of a Christian life, not the end of it."