Friday, May 20, 2011


Carol F McKonkie, The Soul’s Sincere Desire, October 2016 General Conference

“He suffered, bled, and died to glorify His Father, and His merciful petition on our behalf opens the way for each of us to obtain peace in this life and everlasting life in the world to come. He does not want us to suffer longer or endure more trials than needed.”

Orson F. Whitney, in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972), 98
“All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, … purifies our hearts … and makes us more tender and charitable, … and it is through … toil and tribulation, that we gain the education … which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”

Richard G Scott, Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority, October 2014 General Conference
The more we develop these habits [of prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and temple attendance], the more anxious is Satan to harm us but the less is his ability to do so.

Jörg Klebingat, Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence
"Some trials come through your own disobedience or negligence. Other trials come because of the negligence of others or simply because this is a fallen world."

President Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle [1975], 97

“If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective. “… Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified? 
“If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith” 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, From a talk given at the Provo (Utah) Missionary Training Center on 20 June 2000, Missionary Work and the Atonement
"How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?"

Philippians 4:13
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

John 9:1-3
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Elder Paul V Johnson, More Than Conquerors through Him That Loved Us, General Conference April 2011
“Recently a nine-year-old boy was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. The doctor explained the diagnosis and the treatment, which included months of chemotherapy and major surgery. He said it would be a very difficult time for the boy and his family but then added, ‘People ask me, ‘Will I be the same after this is over?’ I tell them, ‘No, you won’t be the same. You will be so much stronger. You will be awesome!’ ‘
At times it may seem that our trials are focused on areas of our lives and parts of our souls with which we seem least able to cope. Since personal growth is an intended outcome of these challenges, it should come as no surprise that the trials can be very personal—almost laser guided to our particular needs or weaknesses. And no one is exempt, especially not Saints striving to do what’s right. Some obedient Saints may ask, ‘Why me? I’m trying to be good! Why is the Lord allowing this to happen?’ The furnace of affliction helps purify even the very best of Saints by burning away the dross in their lives and leaving behind pure gold. 6 Even very rich ore needs refining to remove impurities. Being good is not enough. We want to become like the Savior, who learned as He suffered ‘pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind.’ “
The Crimson Trail in Logan Canyon is one of my favorite hikes. The main part of the trail creeps along the top of tall limestone cliffs and offers beautiful vistas of the canyon and valley below. Getting to the top of the cliffs isn’t easy, however. The trail there is a constant climb; and just before reaching the top, the climber encounters the steepest part of the trail; and views of the canyon are hidden by the cliffs themselves. The final exertion is more than worth the effort because once the climber is on top, the views are breathtaking. The only way to see the views is to make the climb.

"Mothers know that the challenges of labor precede the miracle of birth. Time after time we see marvelous blessings on the heels of great trials.
The Apostle Paul taught, ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ 14 It is interesting that Paul uses the term ‘light affliction.’ This comes from a person who was beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and who experienced many other trials. 15 I doubt many of us would label our afflictions light. Yet in comparison to the blessings and growth we ultimately receive, both in this life and in eternity, our afflictions truly are light.”

Elder James B. Martino, All Things Work Together for Good, General Conference, April 2010
"Second, when we are faced with trials, we must learn to not complain or murmur. Nephi, after a great vision of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, told us: 'Wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.'4 We must always attempt to correct the problem and overcome the trial, but instead of asking 'Why me?' or “What did I do to deserve this?” maybe the question should be 'What am I to do? What can I learn from this experience? What am I to change?'"

Robert D. Hales, “Healing Soul and Body,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 14
“Pain brings you to a humility that allows you to ponder. It is an experience I am grateful to have endured. …”
Kent F. Richards, The Atonement Covers All Pain, General Conference April 2011
"Opposition is part of Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. We all encounter enough to bring us to an awareness of our Father’s love and of our need for the Savior’s help."
As I pondered, I came to understand that during His mortal life Christ chose to experience pains and afflictions in order to understand us.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith (2011), 225, 226, 228
“unkind things are not usually said under the inspiration of the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord is a spirit of kindness; it is a spirit of patience; it is a spirit of charity and love and forbearance and long suffering. …

“… But if we have the spirit of fault finding … in a destructive manner, that never comes as a result of the companionship of the Spirit of our Heavenly Father and is always harmful.

“… Kindness is the power that God has given us to unlock hard hearts and subdue stubborn souls.”

Elder Robert D Hales, “Come, Follow Me” by Practicing Christian Love and Service, October 2016 General Conference
Let us remember, the most important work we do in our families is through the power of the Holy Ghost. Whenever we raise our voices in anger, the Spirit leaves our companionships and families. When we speak in love, the Spirit can be with us. Let us remember that our children and grandchildren measure our love by how much devoted time we give them. Above all, don’t lose patience and don’t give up!

Elder Steven E Snow of the Seventy, Be Thou Humble, April 2016 General Conference
“As we raise our own children, we need to help them remain humble as they mature into adulthood. We do not do this by breaking their spirit through unkindness or by being too harsh in our discipline. While nurturing their self-confidence and self-esteem, we need to teach them the qualities of selflessness, kindness, obedience, lack of pride, civility, and unpretentiousness. We need them to learn to take joy in the successes of siblings and friends.”
“But humility is not something reserved to be taught only to children. We must all strive to become more humble.”
“Humility enables us to be better parents, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, neighbors and friends.”

President Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 286
“There should [not] be any of us so unwisely indulgent, so thoughtless and so shallow in our affection for our children that we dare not check them in a wayward course, in wrong-doing and in their foolish love for the things of the world more than for the things of righteousness, for fear of offending them”

Elder L Whitney Clayton, Marriage: Watch and Learn, April 2013 General Conference
"Their marriages are based on cooperation, not negotiation. Their dinner hour and the family time that follows become the center of their day and the object of their best efforts. They turn off electronics and forgo personal entertainment in order to help with household duties. To the extent possible, they read with their children every night and both participate in putting the little ones to bed. They retire to their bed together. As their duties and circumstances permit, husbands and wives work side by side in doing the most important work there is—the work we do in our own homes."

Elder Richard G Scott, For Peace at Home, General Conference April 2013
"Children can be responsible for improving the Christ-centered efforts in the home. It is important for parents to teach children to recognize how their actions affect each individual who lives in the home. Children who are made to feel accountable for their actions, whether righteous or otherwise, grow to become trustworthy citizens in the kingdom of God.”

Elder Quentin L Cook, Can Ye Feel So Now?, General Conference October 2012
Parents, the days are long past when regular, active participation in Church meetings and programs, though essential, can fulfill your sacred responsibility to teach your children to live moral, righteous lives and walk uprightly before the Lord.”

Larry Y Wilson, Only upon the Principles of Righteousness, General Conference April 2012
“This scripture says we must lead by “principles of righteousness.” Such principles apply to all leaders in the Church as well as to all fathers and mothers in their homes. 
3 We lose our right to the Lord’s Spirit and to whatever authority we have from God when we exercise control over another person in an unrighteous manner. 4 We may think such methods are for the good of the one being “controlled.” But anytime we try to compel someone to righteousness who can and should be exercising his or her own moral agency, we are acting unrighteously. When setting firm limits for another person is in order, those limits should always be administered with loving patience and in a way that teaches eternal principles.
“We simply cannot force others to do the right thing. “ 
Our children are in our homes for a limited time. If we wait until they walk out the door to turn over to them the reins of their moral agency, we have waited too long. They will not suddenly develop the ability to make wise decisions if they have never been free to make any important decisions while in our homes. Such children often either rebel against this compulsion or are crippled by an inability to make any decisions on their own.
Wise parents prepare their children to get along without them. They provide opportunities for growth as children acquire the spiritual maturity to exercise their agency properly. And yes, this means children will sometimes make mistakes and learn from them.”

Sister Cheryl A Esplin, Teaching Our Children to Understand, General Conference April 2012
"If we are ready and will let the Spirit guide in these situations, our children will be taught with greater effect and understanding."

25 And again, inasmuch as aparents have children in Zion, or in any of her bstakes which are organized, that cteach them not to understand the ddoctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eeight years old, the fsin be upon the heads of the parents.
28 And they shall also a
teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.

Alma 5:47
 47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

" By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation."

My Commentary:
The bishop is the father of the ward.  The Relief Society president is the mother of the ward.  They did not give birth to the members on the ward and they are likely not all their descendants, so what does it mean to be a father or mother, especially with the information in the proclamation on the family?

The duties of a bishop and a relief society president and different and generally one does not do the other's responsibilities.

Are we still fathers and mothers even if our kids are grown or if we never have had children?  If we are fathers and mothers then are duties are still the same whether we have children in our home or not.  As priesthood holders, our children are all around us.  As members of the Relief Society their children are all around them.  The father is still "to preside over [his] famil[y] in love and righteousness and [is] responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for [his] famil[y]."  Priesthood holders provide leadership and protection for everyone around them.  The mother is still "primarily responsible for the nurture of [her] children."  Relief Society sisters nurture those around them.

Do not allow the fact that there are no children in your home or the fact that you are away from your family to keep you from doing your duty as outline in The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

M. RUSSELL BALLARD, “Mothers and Daughters”, April 2010 General Conference

"If the mothers are thrifty, so are their daughters. If the mothers are modest, so are the girls. If the mothers wear flip-flops and other casual clothing to sacrament meeting, so do their daughters."

C. C. Miller, “The Echo,” in Best-Loved Poems of the LDS People, ed. Jack M. Lyon and others (1996), 312–13
"’Twas a sheep not a lamb
That strayed away in the parable Jesus told,
A grown-up sheep that strayed away
From the ninety and nine in the fold.
And why for the sheep should we seek
And earnestly hope and pray?
Because there is danger when sheep go wrong:
They lead the lambs astray.
Lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever the sheep may stray.
When sheep go wrong,
It won’t take long till the lambs are as wrong as they.
And so with the sheep we earnestly plead
For the sake of the lambs today,
For when the sheep are lost
What a terrible cost
The lambs will have to pay."

Doctrine and Covenants 68:25
25 And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.

Proverbs 22:6

6 aTrain up a bchild in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

We are perplexed when our kids have not come back. Perhaps they are not "old" yet and they will yet come back if they have been or are taught by our example. Did we pray with them every day? Did we read and teach the scriptures to them every day? Are we now reading the scriptures and praying every day on our own? Are we living lives that can be a strength to them or do we continue to wallow in our sins and think that we can somehow lift our wayward children when we are in a hole ourselves. Perhaps a different hole, but still hard to lift someone out of a hole while standing in a hole. If we have failed in some ways when our kids were sub 18, perhaps they are still not old and can have the power of our righteous life.

Mosiah 4:14-15

14 And ye will not suffer your achildren that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye bsuffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and cquarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the devil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

15 But ye will ateach them to bwalk in the ways of truth and csoberness; ye will teach them to dlove one another, and to serve one another.

Doctrine and Covenants 68:25-28

25 And again, inasmuch as aparents have children in Zion, or in any of her bstakes which are organized, that cteach them not to understand the ddoctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eeight years old, the fsin be upon the heads of the parents.

26 For this shall be a law unto the ainhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized.

27 And their children shall be abaptized for the bremission of their sins when ceight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.

28 And they shall also ateach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.

Doctrine and Covenants 93:40-43

40 But I have commanded you to bring up your achildren in blight and truth.

41 But verily I say unto you, my servant Frederick G. Williams, you have continued under this condemnation;

42 You have not ataught your children light and truth, according to the commandments; and that wicked one hath power, as yet, over you, and this is the cause of your baffliction.

43 And now a commandment I give unto you—if you will be delivered you shall set in aorder your own house, for there are many things that are not right in your house.

Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, April 1964, p. 5.

"When one puts business or pleasure above his home, he that moment starts on the downgrade to soul-weakness. When the club becomes more attractive to any man than his home, it is time for him to confess in bitter shame that he has failed to measure up to the supreme opportunity of his life and flunked in the final test of true manhood. No other success can compensate for failure in the home. The poorest shack in which love prevails over a united family is of greater value to God and future humanity than any other riches. In such a home God can work miracles and will work miracles."

Gordon B. Hinckley - General Relief Society meeting 9/23/1995

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

2 Nephi 25:23, 26

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

My Commentary - We must do our part and God does what we fall short. Must like a father might ask his son to work if he wants a bike and after he judges that the child has done his best he pays however much the child is short.

 26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

 7Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings.