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This last Saturday, I had the privileged of baptizing my 2nd son, Dylan. It was quite a different experience than the other baptisms that I have been to. This time, it seems like it was HIGHLY organized by our stake and there were so much people that it filled the entire chapel of the stake center.
This time around, each ward took turns at the font and split up into different areas of the stake center afterwards. Since Dylan was the only one being baptized for our ward, we ended up in the small family history / employment center room.
I also found myself referring back to my posts: My Son’s Baptism, A Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect BEFORE your Baptism and A Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect AFTER your Baptism to reference the prayers and procedures needing to be performed.
During the opening of the baptism service, I was impressed that my son was eager to answer all the questions by the speaker in the chapel for the service before the ordinance was performed. The baptism had to be done twice because his toe poked out of the water. The 2nd time I dunked him, I made sure to push him down to the very bottom of the font by his chest and knees.
Next during his confirmation, my heart was full of joy and I know my son felt the same way when telling him to “receive the holy ghost.”
I am thankful that my best friend Mike and his family could come and support Dylan in his decision. Also glad that Mike was on hand for being a witness in the baptism and part of the confirmation as well. I am glad to have the privilege to hold the priesthood and minister unto my family and those around me.
My son’s baptism has given me another person to look up to when living the gospel. Together I know we will help each other grow closer to Jesus Christ.
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 1 – M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
- Priesthood is the divine power that seals
- How to Talk between Father and Son:
- Most Nurturing
- Who Sons and Fathers Become
- Applies to All Mentors
- 3 Suggestions for the Son:
- 1. Trust Your Father:
- Not Perfect, but loves you and is looking out for your best interests.
- Your Father will feel responsibility and will make him work harder.
- 2. Take an interest in your father’s life.
- How he met your mother?
- Watch your father, you’ll understand your father better.
- 3. Ask for your father’s advice:
- Ask on Church, Classes, School, Assignments, Missions, Callings.
- Asking says to him: “I appreciate your knowledge and experience.”
- 1. Trust Your Father:
- 3 Suggestions for the Father:
- 1. Listen to your sons. Ask the right questions and what to know.
- Connect with your son: Driving, Fishing, Conversations before bed, working in the yard.
- Have one deep conversation with your son at least once a month.
- Where and when is not important. Just that it happens.
- Ask how they “feel”
- Just listen. You don’t have to fix everything.
- 2. Pray with and for your sons.
- Important events: New School Year, Birthday, One and One Prayer, Testimony Sharing.
- Never give up. Even when you can’t do anything.
- 3. Talk about and warn about bad things: Drugs, Pornography. Discuss the priesthood and moral cleanliness.
- 1. Listen to your sons. Ask the right questions and what to know.
- Trust will flourish. Be open about Sexual Behavior with open and frequent discussions. Be positive about sexual relations in the bounds of marriage.
- Return Missionaries – All this advice applies to them as well.
- Pray to Heavenly Father. Honor your Earthy Father.
- Most important decision is to marry the right girl in the temple.
- Fathers of return missionaries, this applies to them too.
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 2 – Walter F. Gonzalez, of the Seventy
- USE the Book of Mormon
- Take the Book of Mormon Test: Is it of man or of God?
- 3 Activities to best read and apply:
- Feast Upon the Words of Christ. READ IT.
- Implement the Teachings
- Teach From the Book of Mormon
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 3 – Yoon Hwan Choi, of the Seventy
- Story of 9 Rowdy Boys, Baptized and went on missions.
- They went from 9 Boys to a family of 45 members.
- The boys sang in a group.
- Choi prayed about them and was inspired to teach them to be missionaries.
- “Attend all church meetings” – Taft
- Teach them to change their lives
- Adam did not always have to know why, he just obeyed.
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 4 – President Deter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor, First Presidency
- Must remain steadfast in faith.
- Work Hard.
- Trust in God.
- Uchtdorf was teased as a young child. When he looks back, he sees that being teased gave him personal growth.
- Adversity, when faced with faith, can be overcome.
- 1. WORK.
- If you keep at it, steady and constant, things will improve.
- In the sweat of thy face, thou shalt eat bread.
- Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we are able. Don’t compare your performance to others, he does not.
- When your wagon is stuck in the mude, God is more likely to help one who gets out to push, than those who pray.
- Righteous work in the home is sacred and has eternal results. It cannot be delegated.
- Spend your days growing.
- Spiritual Wings – as sons of God, we should grow to the horizons.
- Retirement is not part of God’s plan. You should always be doing something.
- Excuses with age: Skateboarding, biking, spicy food at the buffet… should not keep you from working.
- No retirement from priesthood.
- Wanting to retire from work is not a thought of a disciple.
- 2. LEARN.
- Old saying: “Education is not so much a filling of a bucket as a lighting of a fire.”
- Learning is a commandment.
- Joseph Smith said as a mortal part of our journey that knowledge in this life crosses into the resurrection.
- Knowledge takes away anxiety, doubt and darkness.
- 1. WORK.
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 5 – President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor, First Presidency
- Keeps olive oil on him at all times.
- Keeps it in his desk (He has a desk!)
- Keeps it on his nightstand.
- The olive oil has a date on it: The day it has been concecrated.
- Always ready.
- Story: A father called him about his three year old daughter. She had been hit by a car. He plead for a priesthood blessing. He had to fight the doctors to place a drop of oil on her head amidst bandages. Doctors said she was dying. They were wrong. She lived and also learned to walk again.
- Those prepared are ready to answer.
- Preparation begins at home, quorums, etc.
- Steady Obedient Service.
- To have faith, authority to act in the name of God.
- Nephi – Given the authority to do miracles. He brought drought/rain, god gave him power and trust.
- D&C 121 – Moves are pure, Gentleness, Love, Not Selfish. D&C 121 contains a promise in there.
- Prepare for days when heaven needs you. Service & Opportunity.
Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 6 – President Thomas S. Monson, President and Prophet
- Story of a couple fighting and a child who got hurt as a direct result.
- Anger doesn’t solve anything.
- Destroys everything.
- Heber grant story about work.
- “Man is a fool who takes insult that is not intended”
- Anger is Satans tool.
- Story about Brother Marsh, how a result of a quarrel over milk and cream lead to the extermination order.
- Story about two brothers who shared a 1 room cabin in New York. They got into a fight and drew a line down the center of the room. They did not speak or cross the line for 62 years. This story was told at a funeral.
- Reads “School Thy Feelings Poem”
Sunday Session 5, Talk 2- Quentin L. Cook, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
- Rationalization will be seen in their true light.
- Repentance means the Lord will forgive and FORGET your sins.
- Our Family/Children:
- Remember that having religious observance at home is as important as providing food, clothing and shelter.
- Children are accountable for time/talents are increasingling subject to foolishness and unrighteousness that are pervasive in the world.
- Family Proclamation: “Individuals who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand responsible before God.”
- Caring for the poor and those in need
- We are Stewards of those in need. “If any man shall take of the abundance which I have made and impart not his portion of the poor and the needy, he shall with the wicked lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment.
- Accountable as stewards of earthly blessings the Lord has provided.
- Our Family/Children:
- Emulate Jesus
Sunday Session 4, Talk 6 – Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church, Prophet
- “Often we live side by side, but do not communicate heart to heart.”
- Story of Father who asked “What did you do for someone today?” at the dinner table each night.
- King Benjamen “When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only int he service of your God.”
- Savior taught us “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it. But whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”
- He is telling us that unless we lose ourselves for service to others, there’s little purpose to our own lives.
- “Man’s greatest happiness comes from losing himself for the good of others.” – President David O. McKay
- At Baptism – covenanted to bear one another’s burden that they may be light.
- Warm Fuzzies! Embodied by little things in a jar!
- Notes from children who helped others:
- “My grandpa had a stroke and i held his hand”
- “My sister and I served my family by organizing and cleaning the toy closet. It took us a few hours and we had fun. The best part was that we surprised my mom and made her happy because she didn’t ask us to do it!”
- “There was a family in my ward that did not have a lot of money. They have 3 little girls and mom and dad had to go somewhere, so I offered to watch the three girls. The dad was just about to hand me a 5 dollar bill. I said “I can’t take it”. My service was that I watched the girls for free.”
- Mongolia – “Brought water from a well so his mother would not have to do so”
- “My dad has gone for army training for a few weeks. My special job is to give my mom hugs and kisses”
- “I picked strawberries for my great grandma. I felt good inside.”
- “I played with a lonely kid.”
- “I went to a ladies house and asked her questions. And sang her a song. It felt good to visit her. She was happy because she never gets visitors.”
- Elder Richard L. Evens of the Quorum of the Twelve:”It isn’t easy for those who are young to understand the loneliness that comes when life changes from a time of preparation and performance to a time of putting things away. To be so long the center of a home, so much sought after, then almost suddenly to be on the sidelines watching the precession pass by, this is living into loneliness. We have to live a long time to learn how empty a room can be that is filled only with furniture. It takes someone beyond hired service, beyond institutional care, or professional duties to thaw out the memories of the past and keep them warmly living in the present. We cannot bring them back, the morning hours of youth. But we can help them live in a warm glow of a sunset made more beautiful by our thoughtfulness and unfeigned love.”
- Matthew Chapter 25 quoted.
Sunday Session 4, Talk 5 – Russell M. Nelson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
- Technology allows us to communicate rapidly.
- Even more amazing than modern technology is our opportunity to access information directly from heaven. Without: hardware, software or monthly service fees.
- It’s one of the most marvelous gifts the Lord has offered to mortals.
- Wrote down an idea for General Conference and arose from sleep and wrote down his impressions. The next morning he looked at the paper and his writing was illegible. He writes more carefully now.
- To access information from Heaven you need:
- have a firm faith and deep desire.
- Ask with a sincere heart and real intent having faith in Jesus Christ. Real intent means that one really intends to follow divine direction given.
- Study the matter diligently. Study it out in your mind. The ask God if it is right. If it is right, he will cause a burning in your bosom, therefore you shall FEEL that it is right.
- Know and obey the teachings of the Lord.
- The natural man knows very little of God and even less of his prophet.
- Paul wrote: “The natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can they know them because they are spiritually discerned.”
- Another Prophet said: “The natural man is an enemy to God and has been from the fall of Adam and will be forever and ever unless he yields to the enticings of the holy spirit and puteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord. And becometh as a Child: Submissive, Meek, Humble, Patient, Full of Love, Willing to submit of all things with the Lord see fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doths submit to his father.”
- Gives the Definition of Discernment:
- Gift of Discernment is a Spiritual is a supernal gift: it allows members of the Church to see things not visible and to feel things not tangible. Bishops are entitled to this gift to seek out the poor and care for the needy.
- Sisters may view trends in the world and detect those, however popular, are shallow or even dangerous.
- Members can discern between schemes that are flashy and fleeting – and those refinements which are uplifting and enduring.
- Discernment was implicit, in important instructions President John Taylor gave long ago, taught stake presidents, bishops and others :
“It is the right of those holding these positions to obtain the word of God with regard to the duties of their presidencies , that they more effectually carry out his holy purposes. None of the callings or positions int he priesthood are intended for the personal benefits, monuments and fame of those who hold them. But are expressly given to fulfill our purposes of our heavenly father and build up the kingdom of god upon the earth. We seek to understand the will of God and then carry it out and then see that it is carried by those over whom we have the charge.”
- To receiving revaluation unique to our needs and responsibilities, Certain Guidelines prevail:
- Develop faith, hope, charity and love with an eye single to the glory of god. then with your firm faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility and diligence you may ask and you will receive, knock and it will be upon unto you.
- Revelation from god is always compatible with his eternal law, never contradicts his doctrine. facilitated by proper reverence for Deity. “I the Lord am merciful and gracious to those who fear me and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. Great shall be their reward, and eternal shall be their glory. to them i will reveal all mysteries. and my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.
- Revelation need not come all at once, may be incremental:
“I will give unto the children of men, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom, for unto him who receiveth, i will give more.”
- Patience, perseverance are part of our eternal progression
- Prophets describe what it feels like when receiving revelation:
- Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery: “The veil was taken from our minds and the eyes of our understanding were opened”
- Joseph F Smith: “As I pondered over these things which were written, the eyes of my understanding were opened and the spirit of the lord rested upon me”
Sunday Session 4, Talk 3 – H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop
- Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.
- 13th Article of Faith
- Stand tall and be firmly fixed in perpetuating Christ like virtues, even the “ity” virtues.
- Teaching virtuous traits begins in the home with parents who care and set the example. A good parent example encourages emulation. A poor example give license to disregard and even expand. An hypocritical example destroys credibility.
Sunday Session 4, Talk 1 – President Henry B. Eyring, 1st Counselor of the First Presidency
- Become Better than you are now
- Do not feel like you are good enough.
- Do not give up trying to be better.
- The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we CAN and we must expect to become better as long as we live.
- We believe that through living the Gospel, we can become like the saviour who is perfect.
- “I’m trying to be like Jesus” Primary Song
- Family is the testing ground for learning Love
- Love is putting others above ourselves.
- Sorrow comes primarily from selfishness, which is the absence of love.
- The idea God holds for us is to form families in a way that is most likely to lead to happiness and away from sorry.
- A man and a woman are to make sacred covenants that they will put the welfare and happiness of the other at the center of their lives.
- Children are to be born into a family where parents hold the needs of the children equal to their own in importance.
- Children are to love parents and each other.
- That is the idea of a loving family.
- Choices to qualify that there will be no empty chairs in our families in the world to come:
- Pray for the love that allows you to see the good in your companion. Pray for the love that makes the weaknesses and mistakes seem small. Pray for the love to make your companions joy your own. Pray for the love to want to lessen the load and soften your sorrows of your companion.
- Council to the parents of a wandering child. The savior is the perfect example of persisting in love. Story of Jesus re-inviting the Nephites to come to him. Story of the Prodigal Son gives us hope.
Elder Orson F. Whitney, General Conference in 1929, to the faithful parents that honor temple sealings to their children:
“Though some of the sheep may wonder, the eye of the Shepard is upon them and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of divine providence reach out after them and drawing them back to the fold…Pray for your careless and disobedient children, hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on ’till you see the salvation of God. You can pray for your children. Love them. Reach out to them with confidence that Jesus reaches for them with you. When you keep trying, you are doing what Jesus does.”
- Council to the children. Lord gave you a commandment with a promise. The only commandment with a promise… Honor thy Father and Mother.
- “Try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and thought.”
Saturday Session 2, Talk 6- Neil L. Anderson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
- Repentance and the invitation is not chastisement, it is a loving appeal to turn around and return to God.
- It is a beckoning of a Loving Father and Son to be more than we are.
- Repentance is for all of us, no matter how righteous we are.
- The Savior is able and eager to forgive our sins.
- Except for those few who choose perdition after having known a fullness, there is no sin that cannot be forgiven.
- To Change, petition the Father for what to do. He tells us in our mind and in our heart. Then we can choose to repent or we can pull the shades down over our open window into heaven.
- Alma warned “Do not endeavour to excuse yourself in the least part.”
- Realize where you need to change. Have sincere and heartfelt confession to the lord and when needed, to others. When possible, restore what was wrongfully harmed or partaken.
- Weekly taken of Sacrament is so important. To come humbly, meekly before the lord, acknowledging our dependence on him, asking him to forgive and to renew us. And promising to always remember him.
- The scriptures do not say that we will forget our forsaken sins in mortality, rather they declare that the lord will forget. The forsaking means “never returning.” This requires time.
- Bishop has the power of discernment to help us repent.
- Do not procrastinate the date of your repentance, but in this life, it is never too late to repent.
- Story of a married couple who left the church 50 years ago, comes back and was sorry their children do not have the gospel.
- Repentance always mean that there is greater happiness ahead.
- Church is growing around the world.
- Most think of us as honest, helpful and hard working.
- Some have images of clean cut missionaries, loving fa miles and friendly neighbors who don’t smoke or drink.
- People who attend church every Sunday for 3 hours. Where everyone is a brother or a sister. Where the children sing songs about streams that talk, trees that produce popcorn and every child that wants to become sun beams.
- Of all the things we want to be known for? Disciples of Jesus Christ.
- How do we become true disciples of Jesus Christ?
- If ye love me, keep my commandments.
- Keep it simple.
- When asked the greatest commandment? Jesus said to “thou shalt love the lord thy god with all thy heart, all thy soul and all thy might.”
- When we truly understand what it is to love as Jesus Christ love us, our confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more Joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy, rather than a burden.
- Why should we love God? God does not need us to love him, but, O, how we need to love God. For what we love determines what we seek, what we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are and who we will become. We are created in the image of our Heavenly Parents, we are God’s spirit children.
- Therefore, we have a vast capacity of love. It is part of our spiritual heritage. What and how we love not only defines us as individuals, it also defines us as a Church.
- Love truly is a defining characteristic of a disciple of Jesus Christ.
- We are important to God not because of our resume but because we are His children.
- How can we increase our love for God? Because he is love, the closer we get to him, the more profoundly we experience love.
- What attribute should define us as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. Let us be known as a people who love God with all our heart, soul and mind. And who love our neighbors as ourselves.
Saturday Session 1, Talk 3 – L. Whitney Clayton, Presidency of the Seventy
- How long can we carry burdens?
- Burdens form three sources:
- Natural product of the world we live in (illness, earthquakes, etc.) that we cannot control.
- Imposed upon us by the misconduct of others. Abuse, additions, sin, incorrect traditions, repression, crime. Gossip, unkindness can cause others genuine suffering.
- Our own mistakes and shortcomings produce many of problems and the most burden is sin. Pain from keeping commandments.
- No matter our burdens, we are children of god who sent us to earth for growth and progress. our experiences prepare us to return him.
- Diversity and afflictions last (from heavens perspective) for a small moment, if we do bear it well, we will be exalted.
- Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues of perfection, invite us to yield to the Holy Spirit and put of the natural man and become a saint through atonement of Christ. Become a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things that the lord see fit to afflict to us, even as a child to the father.
- Burdens become blessings. Need time, effort and faith to understand.
- Cursed by be the ground for thy sake.
- By the sweat of thy face thou shall eat bread.
- Work is a continual burden, but a blessing for our sake. It teaches us lessons we can only learn by the sweat of our face.
Alma observed poverty and afflictions of the Zoromites humbled them to prepare them to hear the word.
- “Because ye are compelled to be humbled, blessed are ye.”
- Economic challenges can bless us to hear the word.
Because of the length of the way between Laminites and Nephites, were softened because of their inflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before god.
- Political unrest, social disorder and modern Gadianton Robbers may humble us and motivate us to seek shelter from societal storms.
Joseph Smith was told that the terrible things he suffered for years from his enemies would give him experience and be for his good.
- The suffering we experience from the offences of others is a valuable and painful school to improving our own behavior.
- Bearing our burdens will develop a reservoir of empathy for the problems of others.
- Bear one an other’s burdens that they me light.
- Keeping baptismal covenants help us with our burdens and others.
- Matthew Quote (When did we clothe thee, etc…) ye have done it on my brethren, you have done it unto me.