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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.
Just something that’s been stuck in my head all week. During sacrament last Sunday, the Bishop spoke to us about what he called:
THE FABULOUS FOUR!
I like how he put it. It immediately got everyone’s attention and then he told it how it was…
If you are not doing these four things in your life, DO IT. Don’t do it half way, do all of it and you will be blessed.
- Go to Chuch EVERY Sunday, to EVERY meeting.
Do all three hours, don’t pick and choose.
- Daily Prayer
Say your prayers daily. Say them in the morning, at night and throughout the day.
- Daily Scripture Study
As you read and study your understanding and faith will grow.
- Pay a Full and Honest Tithe
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (3 Nephi 24:8–10; Malachi. 3:8–10)
There you have it. The fabulous four… or what I like to call the fantastic four. I personally feel it is wise advice in which my Bishop addressed head on.
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!
- 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 5 – Elder David A. Bednar, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
- -Joseph Smith – “More diligent and concerned at home”
- Suggestion 1: Express love and show it. Do it often.
- -”I love you” From Spouse, Parent or Child is a rich blessing.
- -Do it, even if you feel “unsure, awkward or embarrassed.”
- Suggestion 2: Bare testimony and live it. Do it often. Testimony is truth, witnessed by the Holy Ghost.
- -Testimony From Spouse, Parent or Child is a rich blessing.
- -Do it, even if you feel “unsure, awkward or embarrassed.”
- Suggestion 3: Be consistent.
- Scriptures at his home read among outburst such as:
- He’s touching me!
- Make him stop looking at me!
- Mom he’s breathing my air!
- Compares Family Home Evening, Scripture Study and Prayer as a brush strokes on the canvas of our souls…like his painting of a wheat field in his office. Close up you only see individual brush strokes, but step back and you can see a beautiful painting.
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”
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.
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.
Saturday Session 1, Talk 1 – Richard G Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
- Topic was on the Holy Ghost
- Learn to use the Holy Ghost by faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
- We become weaker as we learn to use the Holy Ghost.
- They want us to learn to use the Holy Ghost.
- Our Confidence will grow in using the Holy Ghost with practice.
- Holy Ghost Teaches Us in all situations.
- Sunday School Class – Writing Down Feelings, Review by Reading, Prayed about it, Received confirmation, received more information.
- If he had not prayed about it on the first impression, he would not have had the most precious last piece of information that he has received.
- Impression can come to pray at any time, we must exercise our agency to exercises the spirit to guide us.
- Strong emotions can overwhelm the spirit. ”Trying to save the delicate flavor of a grape, while eating a jalapeno pepper. Both flavors are present, but one overpowers the others.” – strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the holy spirit.
- Satan tries to limit our ability to use the Holy Ghost. Making us feel we can’t use the spirit or by doing other things – pornography. Pornography is selfishness.
- If you pray with all your fever of your soul and with gratitude, you can learn to be consistently guided by the holy spirit in all aspects of our life.
- We can personally learn to be guided by the Spirit.