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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.
I have been thinking about this verse that I read in the Pearl of Great Price all week:
And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him:
I know not, save the Lord commanded me. (Moses 5:6)
This verse sums it up pretty nicely by taking a concept that we ourselves complicate and simplifying it to its most basic core meaning.
I can’t believe how I never actively realized until this week how obedience is shown and taught throughout the: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.
The message is pretty clear now and I see the path I need to take as clear day.
I feel the spirit stronger than I ever have, since being baptized.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. A lot has been going on and I just haven’t had time. Here is what has been going on since I’ve last posted:
- Stake-wide Ward Boundary Reorganization
Yes, we knew it was coming since the announcement in August but I feel that once the reorganization was approved, the split came about swiftly and with an extraordinary amount of organization. The manner in how it was done bares witness to me of the divine inspiration of our church leaders have and how this church is the real deal.
- New Calling
I was happy to keep what was my current calling as a Webelos Den Leader for a whole 1 week into our newly organized ward. I was sad to get a call right after our last meeting, knowing they were going to release me from it. That feeling was quickly replaced with excitement when I learned I’d be an Assistant Scoutmaster and working with the 11 year old boys!I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the brother who baptized me and was mission leader when I was an investigator was now my partner with the 11 year old scouts! We also went to our trainings together and did a December Time camp out in below-freezing temperatures. It was a fun experience and I learned a lot.
Now every Wednesdays we have our meetings and I am excited to be helping the scouts pass off their requirements all the way up to First Class.
- Getting To Know New People
I am on my outside an introvert and I keep to myself. And seeing how church beings at 9am in the morning, it doesn’t help one bit that I am NOT a morning person. Besides the early time we have to be at church, this has given me and others a reason to throw ourselves out there. I like to think that on my inside I have a person screaming to get to know everyone and be outgoing. I was happy the other weekend when I realized that I actually knew at least half the people I pass by in the hallways now.
- New Perspective
It’s always interesting to me how differently things can be ran by the Bishopric in a ward. Whichever way they go about things, one thing is for certain. They are absolutely called by God to their positions to minister and lead the ward.
So far it seems like 2010 is off to a great start!
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 7 – D. Todd Christofferson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
- Moral Agency, the right to make choices and account for those choices.
- WW II – James E. Faust was in enlisted in the US Army.
- Asked the question “In times of war, should not the morale code be relaxed? Does not the stress of battle justify men in doing things they would not do while at home under normal situations?”
- Answered “I do not believe there is a double standard of morality.”
- Moral Discipline is the practice of exercising agency to choose the right, just be cause it is right.
- Discipline’s root word is Disciple.
- The more of God’s laws we obey, the fewer laws we need on earth.
- Morale Discipline is learned at home.
- Teach your children while you have them and convert them while they are with you.
- Book of Mormon quote: “Wickedness never was happiness”
- His mother’s quick correction put an abrupt end to his life of crime!
- Discipline needs to be founded on faith in Heavenly Father and the son and what we can achieve with atonement of Jesus Christ.
- God is our Father, his son Jesus is our redeemer. Their law is immutable, truth everlasting and love is infinite.
Sunday Session 5, Talk 1 – Jeffery R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
- There is one kind of latter day destruction that has sounded more personal … spiritual destruction
- Held in his hand the very Book of Mormon that Hyrum had read.
- Direct Testimony and Quote:
“One cannot come into full faith in this latter day work and thereby find the fullness measure of peace of comfort of these are times until he or she embraces the divinity of the book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a here before unknown text, teaming with literary and symbolic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages somehow. Especially, without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and their profound spiritual impact, that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers…if that’s the case, then such persons, elect or otherwise have been deceived. And if they leave this church, they must do so by crawling over or under or around the book of Mormon to make their exit. In that sense, the book is what Christ himself was said to be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offensive, a barrier in a path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates…”
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.
- Salvation and Eternal live is brought by the atonement.
- It is by Grace, we are saved after all we can do.
- Do all what is in our reach to achieve what is impossible.
- Partake Worthily the Sacrament and receive the ordinances of the restored gospel.
- Do the best you can in the role as spouses, children, brothers and sisters in our callings in sharing the gospel and rescuing those who has drifted.
- Be like the Apostle Paul “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” – If we do so, we will be fulling the requirements of our Father in Heaven to bless us in this life and our life in eternity.
- Heavenly Father yearns to give us all that we have.
Saturday Session 1, Talk 2 – Vicky F. Matsumoni, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
- Missionaries feel prompted to visit one last place, home teacher prompted to call one of his families he visited a few days before, a young women going to a party to stay home.
- How did this happen? They were guided by the influence of the Holy Ghost.
- To learn about the Holy Ghost, we are affected by others when they help us and share their testimonies and provide an environment where the spirit can be felt.
- Spirit given to everyman, but the right comes by the gift of the holy ghost and the laying on of hands by the proper authority.
- Scriptures teach and bring constant companionship – “i will tell you in your heart and your mind by the holy ghost which shall come upon you and which shall well in your heart.” -
- Joseph Smith says you feel pure intelligence in you, it will give you sudden strokes of ideas.
- Henry B Eyring, says “it is peace, hope and joy. Almost always I have felt also felt a sensation of light”.
- 8 year old boy says “it felt like sunshine!”
- it is not always easy to discern sunshine feelings at first. Book of Mormon tells of Laminites who were baptised with fire and the holy ghost and knew it not.
- We can help other become more familiar with the promptings of the spirit when we share the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives.
- Some experiences are too sacred to relate, however by sharing testimony of the spirit in our lives those who are unfamiliar with the promptings are more likely to recognize when they have similar feelings.
- When she was baptised, she felt nothing but wet. When she got the Holy Ghost, she felt happy but not the Holy Ghost. The next day in F&T Meeting she felt the holy ghost. She felt a cloud of warmth flood over her. even as an 8 year old. She felt it was different. She had a peace with her and a feeling that HF was pleased with her. Places to feel the spirit, Fast & Testimony, General Conference, The Temple.
- The challenge for all of us is to have an environment where the spirit can be felt daily in our homes and weekly at church. Reasons to pray and read scriptures every day because these activities invite the spirit into our homes and lives of our family members.
- Still small voice means it’s important to have quiet time in our lives.
- “Be still and know that I am god” if we have a still time every day, we allow the still small voice an opportunity to provide personal revelation, reassurance and comfort to us.
- Spirit at church can give divine confirmation on what is being taught.
- Elder Richard G. Scott said – “If you accomplish nothing else in your relationship with your students than to help them recognize and follow the promptings of the spirit you will bless their lives immeasurably and eternally”
- Sunday school teacher wrapped each child in a blanket to teach how the spirit felt (comfort and security). Mother heard of the lesson and thanked the teacher. Mother had a miscarriage and she was grieving. She was suddenly felt great warmth and peace, like someone covered her with a warm blanket. That was the spirit and she knew Heavenly Father was aware of her and that he loved her.
- The spirit will help us recognize the answers to our prayers and know how to live the gospel more fully each day. We will have witness of the father and the son.
Earlier this month, my wife and I had the opportunity to go to the temple and get our endowments and sealed together…on the same day!
It was quite and experience and I tried to prepare by taking the whole prior week off to not worry about work and to read the Book of Mormon and spend time with my family. After all, I was thinking, that I will be able to spend time and all eternity with my children, who are gifts from Heavenly Father, to raise, love and teach the gospel to.
It was like a first wedding for ourselves as well. When we were younger, we tied the knot in a drive through wedding chapel in Las Vegas!
We had people from our ward there, the Brother and Sister who were there as Ward Missionary Leaders to host us and have the Missionaries teach us the discussions. Our Bishop, who I admire greatly for his example he sets and his hard work and love he pours upon the people of his Ward. Our friends that we’ve made in the 21 months we’ve been going to Church. Our friends that I have from work, who are coincidentally members of the church as well and instrumental to our growth in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The day was perfect for us. It was gloomy and rainy in Las Vegas, just how we’d hope our wedding day would have been. We met my friends, Joey and Sabrina, and Mike and Crystal. I felt guided the whole time I was in the temple, by the brethren who are there to make me feel welcomed and help me learn.
There was a lot to take in and we definitely need to go back many, many more times to figure things out. Because we were doing our endowments and sealing the same day, we were whisked away to the Sealing room to be married forever just as soon as we made it to the Celestial room of the Temple.
It was a great feeling to be in the House of the Lord among friends, whom I consider family. I urge those who have not yet made it to the temple to go as soon as you can. There are blessings to be had by attending.