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.)”
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“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.”
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“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.”
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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.

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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.

Holy Ghost

Doctrine and Covenants 88:66
66 Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wilderness—in the wilderness, because you cannot see him—my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound.

Elder Dallin H Oaks, The Godhead and the Plan of Salvation, General Conference April 2017
“The third member of the Godhead is the Holy Ghost, also referred to as the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Lord, and the Comforter. He is the member of the Godhead who is the agent of personal revelation. As a personage of spirit (see D&C 130:22), He can dwell in us and perform the essential role of communicator between the Father and the Son and the children of God on earth.”

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 David A Bednar, Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins, April 2016 General Conference
“The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit and bears witness of all truth. In the scriptures, the Holy Ghost is referred to as the Comforter,
10 a teacher,11 and a revelator.12 Additionally, the Holy Ghost is a sanctifier13 who cleanses and burns dross and evil out of human souls as though by fire.”

Francisco J Vinas,
The Pleasing Word of God, October 2015 General Conference
“With the influence of the Holy Ghost, we will not be offended, nor will we offend others; we will feel happier, and our minds will be cleaner. Our love for others will increase. We will be more willing to forgive and spread happiness to those around us.

“We will feel grateful to see how others progress, and we will seek the good in others.

“It is my prayer that we may experience the joy that comes from striving to live in righteousness and that we may keep the companionship of the Holy Ghost in our lives through sincere and continuous repentance. We will become better people, and our families will be blessed.”



Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, Chapter 2

"Now those people at Samaria had been born of water—they had received the first birth, therefore, they were in a state of seeing the kingdom of God, of contemplating with the eye of faith its various blessings, privileges, and glories; but as they had not been born the second time, that is, of the Spirit, they had not entered into the kingdom of God—they had not entered into possession of Gospel privileges in their fulness. When the apostles at Jerusalem heard of the success of Philip, they sent Peter and John to Samaria, for the purpose of administering the laying on of hands. Accordingly, when they arrived at Samaria, they laid their hands upon those that had been baptized, and they received the Holy Ghost. [See Acts 8:5–8, 12, 14–17.]5"

Boyd K. Packer, “How to Survive in Enemy Territory,” New Era, Apr. 2012, 3

No member of this Church—and that means each of you—will ever make a serious mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

President Deiter F Ucktdorf - 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency, Of Regrets and Resolutions, General Conference October 2012

"Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents."


Elder Craig C Christensen of the Seventy, An Unspeakable Gift from God, General Conference October 2012

Before baptism, all honest and sincere seekers of truth can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost from time to time. However, the opportunity to receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and the fulness of all the associated blessings is available only to worthy, baptized members who receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands through those holding the priesthood authority of God.”

Boyd K. Packer, “Personal Revelation: The Gift, the Test, and the Promise,” Liahona, June 1997, 10Ensign, Nov. 1994, 60

"The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. …"

Elder Craig C Christensen of the Seventy, An Unspeakable Gift from God, General Conference October 2012
“He causes the truth to be indelibly written in our souls and can cause a mighty change to occur in our hearts. As we share these truths with our families, with fellow members of the Church, and with friends and neighbors in our community, the Holy Ghost becomes their teacher as well, for He carries the message of the gospel ‘unto the hearts of the children of men.’”



Elder Quentin L Cook, In Tune with the Music of Faith, General Conference April 2012
Please understand that having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments are and always will be the defining test of mortality. Above all else, each of us must realize that when one is tone-deaf to the music of faith, he or she is out of tune with the Spirit. As the prophet Nephi taught, “Ye have heard his voice … ; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words.”
25

Jacob 4:1313 Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the
Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old.

My Commentary: We perceive lots of things in out lives that aren't entirely accurate. The holy ghost can help us see things are they really are.


Dallin H. Oaks, Fundamental to Our Faith, Ensign January 2011
"Personal revelation—sometimes called 'inspiration'—comes in many forms. Most often it is by words or thoughts communicated to the mind by sudden enlightenment or by positive or negative feelings about proposed courses of action. Usually it comes in response to earnest and prayerful seeking. Jesus taught, 'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you' (
Matthew 7:7). Revelation comes when we keep the commandments of God and thus qualify for the companionship and communication of the Holy Spirit."


Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 132
“no man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations”


President Deiter F Uchtdorf, Waiting on the Road to Damascus, General Conference April 2011"Often He speaks to us in ways that we can hear only with our heart. To better hear His voice, it would be wise to turn down the volume control of the worldly noise in our lives. If we ignore or block out the promptings of the Spirit for whatever reason, they become less noticeable until we cannot hear them at all. Let us learn to hearken to the promptings of the Spirit and then be eager to heed them."


John 14:15-18
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.


Doctrine and Covenants 20:77, 79
77 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
79 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

John 14:26
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.


Moroni 10:5
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.


Doctrine and Covenants 8:2
 2 Yea, behold, I will
tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.


Doctrine and Covenants 11:13
 13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall
enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;


Alma 5:45-46
45 And this is not all. Do ye not suppose that I
know of these things myself? Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?
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.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Are Mormons Christian

Elder Robert D Hales - Apostle, Being a More Christian Christian, General Conference October 2012
To be who Heavenly Father wants us to be, we follow Jesus Christ. “

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Journal Keeping

President Thomas S Monson, Consider the Blessings, General Conference October 2012
“My daily journal, kept over all these years, has helped provide some specifics which I most likely would not otherwise be able to recount.”