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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.
- Spoke about the duty of the Priesthood in the home
- Presiding Authority always vested in the Father.
- Father is to direct the administration of ordinances in his home.
- Father presides at the table, prayer and general instruction to the family whenever he is present.
- Soldier with orders to Vietnam asked president Harold B. Lee for a blessing. Turned him down and told him to ask his father.
- 2 years later, the soldier said he did as was asked and he felt the power of the priesthood.
- Another time a young man was to be set apart as an Elder, Bro. Packer, told him his father was to do it. Good thing he was an Elder, or else he would have had a “Battlefield commission.”
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 6 – Joseph W. Sitati, of the Seventy
- Speaks on the history of the Priesthood Keys from Adam to today.
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”
I can’t remember the last time I felt the spirit so strongly.
I am so excited. My ward has been planning a trip to the temple to do baptisms for the youth and new converts. When I first heard about this, I was kind of leary about going yet. There are so many things that made me want to wait and I thought I was going to do just that. I even planned on working on the Saturday that was planned.
I believe that the hand of the Lord was influencing things today as I attended Church today. We made it just as church was beginning today. We were able to sit through and take sacrament together as a family. It was ward conference and there were sustainings and a message from our bishop.
The Bishop had a message about how we are not perfect, but if we are willing we can improve every day and also the importance of us sharing the gospel with everyone.
The new stake president (the man who asked me to speak in another ward last summer) also delivered an influencing message. How we should stop concentrating on the temporal things such as having that large home or car or watching TV and focus on our spiritual needs and how to put our Heavenly Father first.
We had a combined meeting for 2nd hour – and one of the stake councilors spoke about the importance of family and the plan of happiness / plan of salvation.
The third hour we had a combined priesthood meeting and we spoke about the needs of our significant others.
Before third hour, the brother that had baptized me approached me about going to the temple next Saturday. I thought I had already made up my mind and kindly told him I wasn’t going to. But then a feeling came over me that I should go anyway. After talking with him shortly I decided it was something I should do. Everything fell into place from here.
I was found by the Bishop’s secretary and had an appointment for after church for the temple recommend interview. I was beaming with joy at this point.
The whole day so far made me realize many things:
- How much I love my wife and children and how I want to be with them forever.
- The joy that comes from coming to church every week.
- This church has brought nothing but goodness to my life.
- This church is ABSOLUTELY the Church of Jesus Christ.
After third hour, I met up with my lovely family and asked them to wait while I talked to the Bishop.
It was a wonderful meeting, full of the spirit, I was bursting at the seams with joy. My interview went well, with the usual questions which are similar if not exactly what we are asked for our baptism interview or priesthood interviews.
There is one question that is different that came up and I was waiting for it. The Bishop asked me “Are you worthy to go to the temple?” This seems like a simple question but it is not. I realize that no unclean thing can be before the Lord, let alone enter his house. I had the feeling I should have just said yes, but with trying to be honest to myself and the Lord I said “…pretty much, 95% sure.” And why did I answer this way? Because I am not a perfect person. However, the Bishop again started to explain that part of being worthy is to be willing (note the keyword willing) to be obedient to the Lord. And I do believe I am.
“We are our own worst judge.” I said, and then I said that I am indeed worthy to enter the temple.
The Bishop also mentioned that he has noticed a change in my countenance and I was glad to hear that. I felt a change in the past few weeks. I felt a change because I’ve been doing what they always say:
- Keep the commandments.
- Study the scriptures daily.
- Have family home evening.
- Pray together as a family.
- Pray while alone.
I testify that these things make an absolute difference. I’ve tried to follow the advice before.
Trying was bringing change and happiness in my life.
Doing, however, has brought immense joy and peace.
Even though I said I was going to work on a Saturday, I have to say that I am not. To make up for it, I will work late on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, I will rest and prepare to enter the temple and on the coming weekend I will dedicate it completely to spiritual things, which absolutely take importance above all temporal issues.
I am anticipating being dunk again. The feeling of being baptized is like none other. I was thinking since I was an Elder I could help by doing the baptisms, but I there is a policy that I have to be a member for a year and have a full temple recommend as well as being an Elder to do so. I am fine with that, I just want to help anyway that I can.
I am excited to enter the House of the Lord.
Preparing for school took a different turn for thousands of teenage Mormon students who, some 12 hours earlier, had learned of the death of their Church president, Gordon B. Hinckley.
The students responded to a flood of text messages from teens in at least six states, suggesting they arrive at school in their “Sunday best,” rather than their accustomed jeans or other casual clothes, as a symbol of respect and honor to their deceased leader.
A few of these students shared their thoughts about President Gordon B. Hinckley.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through twelve years of global expansion, has died at the age of 97.
President Hinckley was the 15th president in the 177-year history of the Church and had served as its president since 12 March 1995.
I feel spiritually recharged and like I can take anything on. Things are falling into place as if the Lord has prepared a way for me out of my situation.
It was past 11:00pm when I left church.
I felt relieved, with a new energy and my testimony strengthened even more.
I really appreciate my Bishop and the hard work and dedication he has to the ward.