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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 5 – Michael T. Ringwood, of the Seventy
- What causes mighty change? As in the Laminites?
- Easiness and willingness to believe in god comes from the softness of heart that is: Sensitive to the Holy Ghost, can love, will make and keep sacred covenants, feel the power of the atonement of Christ.
- The daily living of the gospel brings about a soft heart that brings an easiness and willingness to believe.
- Periods with a soft heart: marriage, birth a child, intense service from a calling or mission, in our youth with leaders and bishop, trials, growth from learning for the first time of the Gospel.
- Most significant period is childhood, easy to receive the world of god taught by parents and grand parents.
- Obedience will bring soft hearts, scripture study and prayer will bring soft hearts.
Sunday Session 5, Talk 3 – Brent H. Hielson, of the Seventy
- Kimball’s Prophetic Address that challenged the Church to stronger missionary work.
- The rising generation is the fulfillment of prophesy of the Gospel blanketing the earth.
- Scripture Quote Matthew 28:18-20 – Teach all nations
- Jacob – Olive Tree Story, working in the vineyard.
- The Savior said to Peter and Andrew: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”
- The new generation should do their part and teach all nations.
Saturday Session 1, Talk 4 – Elder Russel T. Osguthorpe, Sunday School General President.
- Missionaries save lives, spiritual lives.
- Joseph F Smith said “when we receive the truth, we will be saved by it, will be saved not merely because someone taught it to us, but because we received it and acted upon it”.
- When missionaries and teachers draw on the spirit they teach the appropriate principle, invite the learners to learn that principle and then bear witness of promised blessings which will follow.
- Elder David A. Bednar shared three simple elements of affective teaching:
- Key doctrine
- Invitation to action
- Promised blessings
- The guide “Preach My Gospel” helps missionaries teach key doctrine.
- The guide”Teaching, No greater call” helps parents and teachers do the same.
- President Monson has taught:
The goal of gospel teaching is not to ‘pour information’ into the minds of class members….The aim is to inspire the individual to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles.
-”Teaching Helps Save Lives”
During the 178th General Conference, the following statistics were given about the Church:
- Stakes: 2,790
- Missions: 348
- Districts: 618
- Wards and Branches: 27,827
- Members: 13,193,999
- Children added to record in 2007: 93,698
- Converts Baptized in 2007: 279,218 (Hey, I was one of those! )
- Full Time Missionaries: 52,686
- Temples in operation: 124
These statistics seem to be more up to date than what is listed at the Official Church Website.
I look forward to helping and seeing these numbers increase for 2008!
I envy the missionaries that serve a mission to spread the gospel. As a convert past his teenage years and with a family to take care of, I felt that I had missed out on this amazing experience. I thought I could only hope for the many opportunities to help other people learn more about the full gospel of Jesus Christ as I have.
One question I often hear among the brethren is: “Where did you go for your mission?” It seems like such an ice breaker, which is something I definitely have a need for.
There is hope though! Early on I learned that seniors can go on missions as well. In Mike’s parents are on a two year mission! When I retire, I would like to go somewhere on a mission. It would be amazing to put everything away and concentrate on the gospel and serving. But that time seems so far away. I can’t wait.
It is said that “every member is a missionary.” That is true, but it didn’t feel the same. Not until I read a chapter in the Doctrine & Covenants that really get my pumped up:
Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen. (D&C 4)
The verse that stands out to me is:
…if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work
And there you go, I’m on a mission!
I believe that this book, There Is No Death, brought me closer to understanding the truths that my friend Mike touched upon when he began teaching parts of the Gospel. I believe this book softened my heart and also prepared me for the missionaries that I met three years later.
I remember after a few weeks after reading the book we were discussing it during lunch when it hit me; that all the things Mike had been teaching me were in fact true; that there was something more going on than just this life. It is a moment in my life that I will not forget. As I look back now, knowing what I knew, it was the spirit confirming what he was teaching and what was in this book as true.
Why I didn’t follow up on this? I guess I did not know what to do with this testimony at the time. I did not plant it and nourish it. (See Alma 32:28-43)
It did not fall on good ground, perhaps stony ground. (Matthew 13:3-8) I did not act on it. I’m thinking it was out of fear for change.
Tasting of the truth was exciting and I was eager to learn of all the great and wonderful things of the gospel. I often went way ahead of myself. In a way, I wasn’t ready. I wanted to have my friend personally teach me all he knew, but he insisted that I have the missionaries over.
I now realize why missionaries should be involved. They are set apart to spread the gospel. They are more prepared to answer questions that come up. They are divinely inspired and assisted to share their great message. I did not have the fundamentals that the missionaries teach. The important fundamentals like: Who we are, who Heavenly Father is, who the holy spirit is, and who Jesus Christ is – and why what he did was so important, the plan of salvation (the plan of happiness).
I see why things are taught in a certain order now and why it is said “concept upon concept, precept upon precept.” That used to annoy me when I didn’t receive all my answers, but now it makes perfect sense.
After my friend Mike came back from his mission, we ended up working at the same company and he would share bits and pieces of the LDS Church beliefs with me. I remember sitting in my office over three years ago when my friend Mike started talking about a book that he borrowed and read.
Before he even started speaking I began to have what I described at the time as just cold chills, now that I look back it was more like the spirit talking to me. I was extremely excited to hear about the book he had just read and I knew I just HAD to read it.
The name of the book is called There Is No Death: The Extraordinary True Experience by Sarah Lanelle Menet.
I believe I read all 128 pages TWICE in one weekend, both times in one sitting. I usually don’t do that, but this book has something to it.
This is a story about a women that had a sad and abusive childhood. After attempting to commit suicide due, she leaves her body and enters the spirit world learning much about the beauty and peace that follow this life for those that have lived good lives. She then visits ‘hell’ where her abusive father resided. She learns about forgiveness and the importance of it in our lives. She returns to her body and tells her story after keeping it to herself for several years.
Menet answers many questions in her writings, such as:
- Why we are here on earth?
- What Deja Vu is?
- Why do bad things happen to good people?
- Where we lived before being born?
- What happens to us when we die and the degrees of heaven?
- Who are guardian angels?
- What is the basis of people claiming reincarnation?
The book does a few dark topics such as events that have happened (and haven’t happened) which will lead up to Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ to Earth. However, the the positives in her book greatly outweigh the negatives.
One more note that I’d like to add – At the time of reading the book, I did not know she was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until the very end. Also, she was not a member when she had her experiences as well. She later found that the teachings of the Church matched what she had saw during her experience.
This book definitely had an impact on my life. I recommend this book to everyone, whether you are: an Investigator, a recent convert or a long-time member.
I’ve come across an important message in Alma chapter 34, taught by Amulek, son of Alma, in the Book of Mormon a few times while studying in the past nine months since.
The gist of the message is: Do not procrastinate!
Don’t put things off that you can do today, for tomorrow. Especially for things of a spiritual matter.
For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. (Alma 34:32-34)
We came to Earth to obtain a body so that we may learn to control it and display obedience to Heavenly Father. Doing so during this probationary period prepares us for the blessings to come: Living with Heavenly Father and receiving all that he hath.
One who is not aligned with the Gospel can start changing today and should not wait for tomorrow. How do you change? Salvation comes by taking advantage of the atonement of Jesus Christ, repenting of your sins and obeying the commandments and living gospel.
In the preceding verses, the day is our life on Earth. Our labor is works that show our faith and obedience. Night is when we die. The state of your spirit, whether it be dirty or clean, becomes its permanent state after death. Who wants a dingy spirit in their perfect and brand new body? Labor cannot be performed after death. How can you show faith or obedience when you know you’ve already died and still exist?
This is why we must live righteous every single day. We do not know what day will be our last.
And what if you live good for your whole life and then so happen to pass away during an off day or off week?
What if you put off your labors until night?
That didn’t seem right to me.
I remember my missionaries answering that the labor can still be done, it will just be more difficult. Things that take ten minutes to do with a body may take ten years without one.
The severity can be seen by a scenario setup by my missionaries:
Take for example smoking. What happens if you’re a regular smoker and don’t have a cigarette for a day? You begin to crave it. If you don’t kick the habit of smoking in this life, imaging having cravings for a cigarette when you do not have a body? If it takes you one month to quit smoking in this life, it may take you one hundred years!
The Official Church Newsroom released the following press release a few days ago: Video Challenges Public Misperceptions, Explains Myths vs. Reality
The Church had produced a ten minute video originally for journalists visiting Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics. It was reposted in the Church Newsroom as well as YouTube today to help counter the constant myths about the Church.
- Church Openness
- Whether Church Members are Christian