Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday afternoon and Priesthood sessions

Saturday Afternoon Session

This special session was held in the tabernacle for the building's rededication. I was really happy to hear about it, as I wasn't sure whether or not the renovation would be finished before my mission. Here's what some of our leaders had to say:

Boyd K. Packer
The still small voice is felt more than heard.
The Comforter is over all who will listen.
Music helps maintain the simplicity of the gospel.
The Word of Wisdom is a shield and protection.
Satan can drown out the still small voice with loud music and all manner of other temptations.
Even little children can receive a testimony of Jesus Christ and the Restoration.
It is not so much what is heard in a sermon, but what is felt; the Holy Ghost will testify to truth.
The tabernacle stands as a standard of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Earl C. Tingey
Brigham Young's prophecy has come to pass: that the desert land of the Rocky Mountains would be a fruitful place.
Gordon B. Hinckley and Brigham Young are connected by their prophetic vision of the future, and both are prophets who have led the Church by inspiration and revelation.

H. David Burton
Like many of the speakers at this session, Bishop Burton spoke on a variety of things pertaining to the tabernacle. Because of this, I had difficulty keeping notes throughout the session; however, it was a very good talk about various items of importance which had been spoken of over the years in that building.

Bonnie D. Parkin
The women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enjoy grand and wonderful privileges.
The more you express gratitude, the more there is to be grateful for.
Those who murmur do not know the dealings of their God who created them.
Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence.
Gratitude is an expression of our faith.
We should also show gratitude for adversity.

Marlin K. Jensen
When we are told to remember, it is a call to action in our thoughts, words, and deeds.
The history of the Church and its people must be remembered.
We keep records to help us remember.
Our past and future are emphasized to help us live more righteously in the present.
We are to remember covenants, ordinances, and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Coming unto Christ is the ultimate purpose of all remembering.

James E. Faust
Joseph Smith envisioned the tabernacle; Brigham Young built it.
The Lord will always provide means to meet the needs of the members of the Church.

Thomas S. Monson
I loved this talk. President Monson is a wonderful speaker, and he told a lot of stories about his own spiritual experiences in the tabernacle. My favorite was the one where he was speaking at a Conference session, and was prompted by the Spirit to aim the talk at this young girl who was sitting in the balcony. He did this, and after the meeting, this girl and her family surprised him at his office. The girl had been praying over whether she should get baptized, and her family had come from California for Conference. She then let President Monson know that when he spoke to her in that Conference session, her prayers were answered, and she'd decided to be baptized. Really cool. :-D

Gordon B. Hinckley
The tabernacle is the only building of its kind in the world. It will again be home to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Orchestra at Temple Square, and many other shows of culture and the arts.

After this, President Hinckley gave a beautiful dedicatory prayer for the tabernacle. This was definitely a time of great happiness for the Saints; we have our tabernacle back. ^_^

Priesthood Session

Joseph B. Wirthlin
Stay focused on your goals.
The light of Christ helps us determine right and wrong.
Avoid temptations.
"Priesthood means service; bearing the Priesthood, I will serve."
In the body of the Church, all of the spiritual gifts are present.
Heavenly Father will shower blessings upon all those who walk in obedience to His commandments.

Robert D. Hales (to the Aaronic Priesthood holders especially)
We decided in the pre-earth life to obey the will of the Father.
How you bear the Priesthood now will prepare you for the most important decisions later.
You must know what to do and when to do it when each decision presents itself.
Now is the time to organize and prepare ourselves to have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion.
Now is the time to decide who your friends are. True friends make it easier to live the gospel.
A mission is a valuable time to keep temple covenants by living the law of consecration.
Decide now to do your best in school and in work in order to prepare you for future opportunities.
Don't practice selective obedience.
"Learn wisdom in thy youth."
Be firm as a rock in living the gospel.

Keith B. McMullin
You are in charge of your world.
The Lord has shown us how to avoid foolishness.
Be prepared.
Be faithful, unencumber your life, and lay up in store.
A cardinal principle of the gospel is to prepare for the day of scarcity.
Begin in a small way, then build to that which is reasonable.
Over time you can expand modest efforts into a sustenance that will get you through the hard times.

James E. Faust
The Priesthood is an authority beyond all human power to create.
The Priesthood is a very real power.
The Melchizedek Priesthood was prior to the formation of the earth.
Serving a mission prepares us for the rest of our life's work and our eternal work.
We are all accountable for our actions.
It is our duty to protect women.
To be married to a woman who loves the Lord, loves you, and respects the Priesthood is one of the greatest blessings of all.
It is family life on which the government of the Church is based and perpetuated.
Any kind of skill requires specialized learning.
The best formula for success is seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Thomas S. Monson
It is a blessing to hold the Priesthood.
The Priesthood is sacred, and it must be held sacred by the people.
Courage counts.
The call for courage comes constantly to each of us.
Wherever we go, our Priesthood goes with us.
If we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to the Lord's help.

Gordon B. Hinckley
This cause needs work. Let no one shirk.
Cleanliness is next to godliness.
Be clean in your language, thoughts, body, and dress.
Sloppy dress leads to sloppy manners; when you administer the sacrament, look your very best.
Live in the world, but don't be of the world.
Continue in your education.
Speak to the Lord in prayer and cultivate kinship with Him.

The next session starts tomorrow morning at 10:00 Mountain Daylight Time. It's gonna be good. :-D

Saturday morning session

Today was the start of the 177th Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you missed the first session, here's some of what was said:

Richard G. Scott
Prayer is a gift to every soul from our Heavenly Father to converse with Him.
No matter our station, we can always pray.
God has created and populated many worlds, yet each of us can talk with Him personally.
A key to effective prayer is to ask the right questions.
Pray even when you have no desire to pray.
Never think you're too unworthy to pray.
Pray with humility, and with no vain repetitions.
Seldomly will you receive a complete response all at once; it will usually come in pieces. Have faith during this.
A response will seldom come immediately, while you're on your knees.
The Lord will answer you in your mind and in your heart by the Holy Ghost.
--Feelings of peace, comfort, and assurance will tell you that what you have asked for is right.
--A stupor of thought and an unsettling feeling will tell you that what you have asked for is not right.
--If you feel as if there's no response, act with trust. The Lord will not let you go too far without giving you the answer you need.
Pray with gratitude.

Jay E. Jensen
Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns.
Hymns play an essential part in spirituality, revelation, and conversion.
We grow closer to God through music.
Music becomes a mere performance when it calls attention to itself rather than to the Spirit.
The hymns are a course of doctrine.
Latter-day Saints should fill their homes with the spirit of worthy music.
Sing often.
The song of the righteous is a prayer unto God (D&C 25:12).

John B. Dickson
Be committed to the Lord.
The Holy Ghost will help you make right decisions.
Happiness will come from following the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet.
If mistakes are made, we can repent; God loves us and wants us back with Him.
Every commandment is designed for our eternal happiness.
Decide now to commit to the Lord; start where you are.
You can gloriously succeed if you sincerely commit to following the Lord.

Jeffrey R. Holland
Words are sacred, and must be spoken with constraint of the Spirit.
The stroke of the whip makes marks in the flesh, but the stroke of the tongue breaks bones.
Some things we say are destructive and venomous.
Verbal and emotional abuse ought not to be.
There is no place for abrasive expression.
What we say, how we say it, and when we say it is crucial to the growth of a child.
Don't "compare" your children.
Negative speaking flows from negative thinking.
The spirit of the gospel is optimistic.
Speak hopefully and encouragingly, including about yourself.
No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse.
"Speak with a new tongue"--Our words should be filled with faith, hope, and charity.

David A. Bednar
Steps for a cucumber to become a pickle:
--Preparing and cleaning
--Immersing in brine
--Sealing in purified jars
This takes time and cannot be hurried.
We are as the cucumber; we must experience this change in ourselves.
The gospel of Jesus Christ entails permanent change within ourselves.
The Lord has established a high standard of cleanliness.
Spiritual rebirth is an ongoing process and requires time, persistence, and patience.
Covenants are essential to our spiritual rebirth.
Even after baptism, we must continue to be immersed in the gospel of Christ.
Ordinances are binding on earth and in Heaven.

Thomas S. Monson
Death is an essential part of our existence.
The deceased still live.
Because of Christ, death has no hold on any of us.
Life is everlasting.

The next session starts at 2:00 today (not sure what that is everywhere else, but you can access it on the Church's website).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fear Not

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Doctrine and Covenants 68:6
Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.

These past few weeks have been trying, but someone very close to me reminded me that as long as we stay close to our Heavenly Father, everything will be alright. Math tests, the ACT, AP testing, problems with friends or family, troubles at work... The Lord can and will help us through all of these, as long as we turn to Him. So fear not. Be of good cheer. He will be with us, and as long as we do our very best, He will strengthen us and help us.
And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ,

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Seek learning in all things

And, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should hasten to translate my scriptures, and to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen.

D&C 93:53

Intelligence, as stated in D&C 130, rises with us in the next life, and the more knowledge we have, the better advantage we attain. This is not limited to knowledge of spiritual things; the Lord has commanded us to study and know His Gospel, but we must also learn as much as we can in this life about temporal things. God wants us to study history, science, math, literature, music, art, culture . . . everything we can. It was He who created these things, after all.

So, there is more to school than its face value. There is more to books, newspapers, broadcasts, films, and even the Internet. God wants us all to get the highest education we can. I'm grateful that He loves us enough to let us know that; we may become annoyed with our earthly parents when they "remind" us of our homework, but really, Heavenly Father is doing the same thing for us. And, considering that we can take it with us into eternity, I'd say that's pretty important. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.

I'm gonna post mine in this color of red. That way y'all know if its mine or not. :D

D&C 121:45 says:
"Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God."

This is our years theme. I love this scripture. It strengthens my testimony in so many ways. I love the Scriptures. I love the way that it says GARNISH, rather than SPRINKLE, DECORATE, PEPPER, TAPE ON, PUT TO THE SIDE, PUT IT ON FOR A SECOND AND THEN TAKE IT OFF, or DON'T EVEN PUT IT ON. I love the way it says Garnish. To Garnish something you don't just put a little bit on, you don't just put it on to look pretty, you don't just put it on and then take it off. When you garnish something, it is an art to perfection. You work at it till its just right. There isn't just a tinge of the flavor you garnish with, it is filled beyond your imagination. There is no room for any other unclean flavors. Know that the Lord loves you. UNCEASINGLY means you don't stop trying. When you are constantly working at something for good, that is obedient to the commandments of God, your confidence can wax strong because you are doing as the lord asks. Because you do as the lord asks, you have no reason to fear.

Know that your Bishop is there. Know that he loves you unconditionally. Know that no matter what you do, they can not think of you differently, its in their blessing as a bishop.

When you don't know what to do, where to turn, when you feel like you have no one to talk to, know that the Lord is always there. Know that he will answer, no matter how hard you think that he doesn't or won't, know that I know he will.

And also know that I am here too. :D

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, and bare whiteness that he lives. That this is his true Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Amen.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Verse of the Week-March 3, 2007

Hello Friends. I thought I'd beat Nathan to the punch this week by posting Saturday night. :D Plus, I just really wanted to post a scripture. :D What can I say? I love the scriptures. In fact, I think one post a week is not enough for this blog, especially considering we have a bunch of people working on it. But hey, it's Nathan's blog. Right?

Anyway, here's our Verse of the Week.

Alma 37:36-37

36. Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yeah, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and withersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

37. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct the for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

What more can I say? Prayer is the most wonderful thing. When you have nothing else, you have prayer. It's like having a cell phone with Heavenly Father's phone number programed into it, only with this cell phone you don't have to worry about a phone bill, roaming, service, dropped calls, or anything else. At the times where I've been the most frightened, the most afraid, I've always known that I can pray. Establishing a relationship with our Heavenly Father is of utmost importance. After all, He is our Father. Knowing that I can always turn to my Father in Heaven brings so much peace and confidence into my life. He knows my every thought and feeling. Not only does He know them, He understands them! He knows why I'm mad, or angry, or insanely happy! Knowing this makes talking to Him that much easier. With Him I can celebrate every victory, cry at every sadness, and vent every frustration without having to explain why I feel the way I feel. I truly believe that if we follow this scripture, if we do everything with a prayer in our heart, we will be so blessed. We will be lifted up at the last day, and what's better than that?

At that, brothers and sisters, I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ.