Sunday, December 23, 2012

Clerks

Doctrine and Covenants 47:3-4
3 And again, I say unto you that it shall be appointed unto him to keep the church record and history continually; for Oliver Cowdery I have appointed to another office.
4 Wherefore, it shall be given him, inasmuch as he is faithful, by the Comforter, to write these things. Even so. Amen.

Doctrine and Covenants 69:2-6

2 Wherefore, I, the Lord, will that my servant, John Whitmer, should go with my servant Oliver Cowdery;
3 And also that he shall continue in writing and making a history of all the important things which he shall observe and know concerning my church;
4 And also that he receive counsel and assistance from my servant Oliver Cowdery and others.
5 And also, my servants who are abroad in the earth should send forth the accounts of their stewardships to the land of Zion;
6 For the land of Zion shall be a seat and a place to receive and do all these things.

Doctrine and Covenants 85:1-2
1 It is the duty of the Lord’s clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a history, and a general church record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the bishop;
2 And also their manner of life, their faith, and works; and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances.

Annual Histories

Doctrine and Covenants 47:3-4
3 And again, I say unto you that it shall be appointed unto him to keep the church record and history continually; for Oliver Cowdery I have appointed to another office.
4 Wherefore, it shall be given him, inasmuch as he is faithful, by the Comforter, to write these things. Even so. Amen.

Doctrine and Covenants 69:2-6

2 Wherefore, I, the Lord, will that my servant, John Whitmer, should go with my servant Oliver Cowdery;
3 And also that he shall continue in writing and making a history of all the important things which he shall observe and know concerning my church;
4 And also that he receive counsel and assistance from my servant Oliver Cowdery and others.
5 And also, my servants who are abroad in the earth should send forth the accounts of their stewardships to the land of Zion;
6 For the land of Zion shall be a seat and a place to receive and do all these things.

Doctrine and Covenants 85:1-2
1 It is the duty of the Lord’s clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a history, and a general church record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the bishop;
2 And also their manner of life, their faith, and works; and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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.

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."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book of Mormon

Isaiah 29
About the Book of Mormon

Mormon 5:14-15 - Why do we have the Book of Mormon
 14 And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant;
 15 And also that the seed of this people may more fully believe his gospel, which shall go forth unto them from the Gentiles; for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us, yea, even that which hath been among the Lamanites, and this because of their unbelief and idolatry.

President Ezra Taft Benson, “A New Witness for Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 1984, 8
“When used together, the Bible and the Book of Mormon confound false doctrines”

 1And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
22Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well;whose branches run over the wall:
26The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
President Thomas S Monson, Priesthood Power, General Conference April 2011
"If you have not read the Book of Mormon, read it...If you do so prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Church is true. If you do not already have a testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. Once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through obedience to the commandments of God and through regular prayer and scripture study."

Tad R Callister, Of the Presidency of the Seventy, The Book of Mormon—a Book from God, General Conference October 2011“Years ago my great-great-grandfather picked up a copy of the Book of Mormon for the first time. He opened it to the center and read a few pages. He then declared, ‘That book was either written by God or the devil, and I am going to find out who wrote it.’”

“But why is the Book of Mormon so essential if we already have the Bible to teach us about Jesus Christ? Have you ever wondered why there are so many Christian churches in the world today when they obtain their doctrines from essentially the same Bible? It is because they interpret the Bible differently. If they interpreted it the same, they would be the same church. This is not a condition the Lord desires, for the Apostle Paul declared that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). To help bring this oneness about, the Lord established a divine law of witnesses. Paul taught, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1).

The Bible is one witness of Jesus Christ; the Book of Mormon is another. Why is this second witness so crucial? The following illustration may help: How many straight lines can you draw through a single point on a piece of paper? The answer is infinite. For a moment, suppose that single point represents the Bible and that hundreds of those straight lines drawn through that point represent different interpretations of the Bible and that each of those interpretations represents a different church.
What happens, however, if on that piece of paper there is a second point representing the Book of Mormon? How many straight lines could you draw between these two reference points: the Bible and the Book of Mormon? Only one. Only one interpretation of Christ’s doctrines survives the testimony of these two witnesses.”

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Zion

President Ezra Taft Benson, “Strengthen Thy Stakes”, Ensign January 1991
"The prophets likened latter-day Zion to a great tent encompassing the earth. That tent was supported by cords fastened to stakes. Those stakes, of course, are various geographical organizations spread out over the earth. Presently, Israel is being gathered to the various stakes of Zion."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Temple

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson, Chapter 18, Beware of Pride
“The central feature of pride is enmity toward God and our fellowmen.”
...
“The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.”
...
“Another major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen. We are tempted daily to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them. (See Hel. 6:17; D&C 58:41.)”
...
“Some prideful people are not so concerned as to whether their wages meet their needs as they are that their wages are more than someone else’s. Their reward is being a cut above the rest. This is the enmity of pride.”
...
“We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity toward our brothers and sisters, esteeming them as ourselves, and lifting them as high or higher than we are. (See D&C 38:24; 81:5; 84:106.)”

Alma 12:32
32 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God.

Elder Rafael E. Pino, The Eternal Perspective of the Gospel
"It is interesting to note the sequence in the teaching process. Our Heavenly Father first taught Adam and Eve the plan of redemption, and then He gave them commandments."

M. Russell Ballard, “Let Us Think Straight” (Brigham Young University Education Week devotional, Aug. 20, 2013); speeches.byu.edu

"When men and women go to the temple, they are both endowed with the same power, which by definition is priesthood power. … The endowment is literally a gift of power." 

Josh. 5: 15
 15 And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

Exodus 3:5
 5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.


Lynn G Robbins, Which Way Do You Face?, October 2014 General Conference

“I will manifest myself to my people in mercy … if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house” (D&C 110:7–8)


The Fall

Elder David A Bednar, Therefore They Hushed Their Fears, April 2015 General Conference
"Upon hearing the voice of God after partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve hid themselves in the Garden of Eden. God called unto Adam and asked, 'Where art thou? And [Adam answered], I heard thy voice … , and I was afraid' (Genesis 3:9–10). Notably, one of the first effects of the Fall was for Adam and Eve to experience fear. This potent emotion is an important element of our mortal existence."

Elder D Todd Christofferson, Why Marriage, Why Family, April 2015 General Conference

"At least four things are needed for the success of this divine plan:

"First was the Creation of the earth as our dwelling place. Whatever the details of the creation process, we know that it was not accidental but that it was directed by God the Father and implemented by Jesus Christ—“all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”11


"Second is the condition of mortality. Adam and Eve acted for all who had chosen to participate in the Father’s great plan of happiness.12 Their Fall created the conditions needed for our physical birth and for mortal experience and learning outside the presence of God. With the Fall came an awareness of good and evil and the God-given power to choose.13 Finally, the Fall brought about physical death needed to make our time in mortality temporary so that we would not live forever in our sins.14


"Third is redemption from the Fall. We see the role of death in our Heavenly Father’s plan, but that plan would become void without some way to overcome death in the end, both physical and spiritual. Thus, a Redeemer, the Only Begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, suffered and died to atone for Adam and Eve’s transgression, thereby providing resurrection and immortality for all. And since none of us will have been perfectly and consistently obedient to the gospel law, His Atonement also redeems us from our own sins on condition of repentance. With the Savior’s atoning grace providing forgiveness of sins and sanctification of the soul, we can spiritually be born again and reconciled to God. Our spiritual death—our separation from God—will end.15


"Fourth, and finally, is the setting for our physical birth and subsequent spiritual rebirth into the kingdom of God. For His work to succeed to “[exalt us] with himself,”16 God ordained that men and women should marry and give birth to children, thereby creating, in partnership with God, the physical bodies that are key to the test of mortality and essential to eternal glory with Him. He also ordained that parents should establish families and rear their children in light and truth,17 leading them to a hope in Christ."


Dnc 89

18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.


Exodus 29:4

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Abortion


Elder Dallin H Oaks - Apostle, Protect the Children, General Conference October 2012
From the perspective of the plan of salvation, one of the most serious abuses of children is to deny them birth.”
...
One cause of the diminishing birthrate is the practice of abortion. Worldwide, there are estimated to be more than 40 million abortions per year.3 Many laws permit or even promote abortion, but to us this is a great evil. Other abuses of children that occur during pregnancy are the fetal impairments that result from the mother’s inadequate nutrition or drug use.”



My Thoughts
I often here a list of reasons give for getting an abortion.

  • The Mother Was Raped. This is not the babies fault. Laying our outrage, anger, or disgust for what was done to the mother or for the father of the baby onto the baby is wrong. It would be like killing the children an ex-husband fathered once the divorce is final.
  • The Mother's Life is In Danger Who wouldn't give their life for a child, especially their own child?
  • The Mother's Life is In Danger and the Doctor's Say the Baby Will Likely Not Survive Birth Doctors do not always know the outcome of medical conditions. How often does this happen? What percentage of abortions performed fall into this category?
  • The baby is going to be born with birth defects. Is it ok to kill those with handicaps or health issues?

When did it become okay, because we are scared, overwhelmed, have been wronged, or our lives are in danger, to harm a child in anyway, let alone kill them?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Inactivity

Elder David A Bednar - Apostle, Converted unto the Lord, General Conference October 2012
We should know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel.

Alma 23:6
26 As many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, … as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.

Testimony

Robert D Hales, Eternal Life—to Know Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, General Conference October 2014
My own testimony grew as I learned about Heavenly Father and the Savior from the teachings and testimony of my parents, teachers, the scriptures—which I read diligently—and especially the Holy Ghost. As I exercised faith and obeyed the commandments, the Holy Ghost testified that what I was learning was true. This is how I came to know for myself.”


Alma 5:46
 46 Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.

Thomas S. Monson, “Priesthood Power,” Ensign, May 2011, 66
"I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior and of His gospel will … protect you from the sin and evil around you. … If you do not already have a testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far."

President Boyd K Packer, The Reason for Our Hope, General Conference October 2014

"But no matter how large the organization of the Church becomes or how many millions of members join our ranks, no matter how many continents and countries our missionaries enter or how many different languages we speak, the true success of the gospel of Jesus Christ will be measured by the spiritual strength of its individual members. We need the strength of conviction that is found in the heart of every loyal disciple of Christ."

Elder Jeffrey R Holland, “Lord, I Believe”, General Conference April 2013

"...what we know will always trump what we do not know."

Elder David A Bednar - Apostle, Converted unto the Lord, General Conference October 2012
“...a testimony is personal knowledge of spiritual truth obtained by revelation. A testimony is a gift from God and is available to all of His children.

...
"Testimony is the beginning of and a prerequisite to continuing conversion. Testimony is a point of departure; it is not an ultimate destination. Strong testimony is the foundation upon which conversion is established."

Doctrine and Covenants 6:23
23 Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?


Elder Paul B Pieper, To Hold Sacred, General Conference April 2012

Sacred means worthy of veneration and respect. By designating something as sacred, the Lord signals that it is of higher value and priority than other things. Sacred things are to be treated with more care, given greater deference, and regarded with deeper reverence. Sacred ranks high in the hierarchy of heavenly values.

Hebrews 9:5
 5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.



Matthew 17:9
9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the avision to no bman, until the Son of man be risen again from the cdead.


3 Nephi 26;9-11
9 And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the agreater things be made manifest unto them.

10 And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the agreater things be bwithheld from them, unto their condemnation.

11 Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord aforbade it, saying: I will btry the faith of my people.


Alma 12:9-11
9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to aknow the bmysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart conly according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.

10 And therefore, he that will aharden his heart, the same receiveth the blesser portion of the word; and he that will cnot harden his heart, to him is dgiven the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.

11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser aportion of the word until they bknow nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the cchains of dhell.


Men only receive what they have prepared themselves to receive. The rest they do not understand and are not given more of what God has for them.


Perhaps ones mind immediately flashes to the things of the temple when one reads this. I would propose that it is more expansive. There are times in the scriptures where the author states that they have been constrained from writing more. I would also propose that there are some int heir personal lives that have things that have been revealed to them that they feel constrained by the spirit to share, but under certain circumstances and not share them with the public at large.


Matthew 7: 6
6 ¶ aGive not that which is bholy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your cpearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.



Getting Answers to Prayers

Elder David A Bednar - Apostle, Converted unto the Lord, General Conference October 2012
Seeking for and obtaining a testimony of spiritual truth requires asking, seeking, and knocking


Elder J Devn Cornish, Of the Seventy, The Privilege of Prayer, October 2011 General Conference
Like learning a foreign language, it takes practice and effort.” - Wiki Answers to prayers ...
Because He answers me, including sometimes in predictive and miraculous ways, I know He lives.”


Elder Richard G Scott,
How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life, April 2012 General Conference Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail but to succeed gloriously. It may seem paradoxical, but that is why recognizing answers to prayer can sometimes be very difficult.

...
If you feel that God has not answered your prayers, ...carefully look for evidence in your own life that He may have already answered you.”

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gathering of Israel

President Ezra Taft Benson, “Strengthen Thy Stakes”, Ensign January 1991
"The prophets likened latter-day Zion to a great tent encompassing the earth. That tent was supported by cords fastened to stakes. Those stakes, of course, are various geographical organizations spread out over the earth. Presently, Israel is being gathered to the various stakes of Zion."


Jeremiah 16:15-16
15 But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
16 ¶Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.



John 10:15-16

  15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
  16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.




My Comments: These other sheep are the scattered tribes of Israel, including those that migrated to America and the isles of the sea.


Doctrine and Covenants 110:11
 11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.