Sunday, September 29, 2013

Priesthood -- "For the Salvation of the Human Family"

After healing a young boy on President Snow's mission, he told the mother, "the God of heaven has done this for you" -- reflected his lifelong teachings about the priesthood.  He reminded the Saints that through the work of priesthood holders, "the glory and power of god [is] made manifest" for the benefit of others.

The Priesthood has been restored; it has been bestowed upon man that through that medium, all who would like to be good and happy, might have the privilege.  The gospel tells us how to be great, good and happy.  The spirit of the gospel of Christ teaches all things that are necessary for our present and future welfare.

Although President snow made this statement to the priesthood-holders of the church, how does it apply to us?  "Purity, virtue, fidelity, godliness must be sought ambitiously, or the crown cannot be won.  Those principles must be incorporated within ourselves, woven into our constitutions, becoming a part of us, making us a centre, a fountain of truth, of equity, justice, and mercy, of all that is good and great, that from us may proceed the light, the life, the power, and the law to direct, to govern and assist to save a wandering world; acting as the sons of God, for and in behalf of our Father in heaven."

Lesson taken from Teachings of the Presidents: Lorenzo Snow, Chapter 17.  Given by Kristy Bateman

Hiawatha Girls

Beautiful day.  Fun with friends and sisters.

On the way home, we hit Krispy Kreme for "Talk Like a Pirate Day"
Our fearless leader made out with a dozen!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Obedience to the Law is Liberty

A useful way to think about the commandments is they are loving counsel from a wise, all-knowing Heavenly Father. His goal is our eternal happiness, and His commandments are the road map He has given us to return to Him, which is the only way we will be eternally happy. How significant are the home and the family to our eternal happiness? On page 141 of my little brown book, it states, “Indeed our heaven is little more than a projection of our homes into eternity.”

God reveals to His prophets that there are moral absolutes. Sin will always be sin. Disobedience to the Lord’s commandments will always deprive us of His blessings. The world changes constantly and dramatically, but God, His commandments, and promised blessings do not change. They are immutable and unchanging. Men and women receive their agency as a gift from God, but their liberty and, in turn, their eternal happiness come from obedience to His laws.
In a world where the moral compass of society is faltering, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ never wavers, nor should its stakes and wards, its families, or its individual members. We must not pick and choose which commandments we think are important to keep but acknowledge all of God’s commandments. We must stand firm and steadfast, having perfect confidence in the Lord’s consistency and perfect trust in His promises.

Lesson taken from the talk, "Obedience to the Law is Liberty" by Elder L. Tom Perry, April 2013 General Conference.  Lesson given by Sister Shauna Hegwer.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Church Leadership and Selfless Service

But said he -- "Feed my sheep."  That is,"Go forth with your whole heart, be devoted wholly to my cause.  These people in the world are my brethren and sisters.  My feelings are exercised towards them.  Take care of my people.  Feed my flock.  Go forth and preach the gospel.  I will reward you for all your sacrifices.  Do not think that you can make too great a sacrifice in accomplishing this work."  He called upon them in the fervor of his heart to do this work.

"The Lord has not chosen the great and learned of the world to perform His work on the earth.  It is not those who have been trained and educated in the colleges and seminaries of learning, but humble men devoted to His cause whom He has chosen to take charge of the affairs of His Church, men who are willing to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit, and who will of necessity give the glory unto Him, knowing that of themselves they can do nothing."

He compared the Church to a great building, with individual Saints as parts of that building, saying that we should "never feel too lofty to be sometimes cut down, squared, scored, and hewed to be fitted into the place we are to occupy in the spiritual building"

Lesson given by Sister Cheryl Demke from Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, Chapter 18.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Blessings of Trials

"Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Prov. 3:11–12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."(Elder Richard G. Scott, October 1995 General Conference)

Lori referred to a BYU Hawaii Devotional given by Brad Wilcox. Referring to Ether 2:17, he says, "What we need to understand about our Father in Heaven is that He prefers to prepare us to face the storms of life, the contrary winds, rather than to still them. So if you are past your fourth watch and He has not come, don’t assume that He is not there, that He doesn’t care, He doesn’t listen, or that you are not worthy. Assume your ship is tight like a dish. You will not sink. Somewhere in the past of your life, experiences have been placed by a wise and foresighted Father in Heaven to prepare you to face the very things that you are facing. As the lion and the bear came to David, before Goliath, to prepare him to face Goliath, so will lion-and-bear moments come in your lives before the Goliath moments come. Because if your ship was not tight like a dish and you have reached the fourth watch, He will come to you and still the storm. So if the storm is not still, we must assume our ship is tight like a dish.

Elder Scott also says:  "I testify that when the Lord closes one important door in your life, He shows His continuing love and compassion by opening many other compensating doors through your exercise of faith. He will place in your path packets of spiritual sunlight to brighten your way. They often come after the trial has been the greatest, as evidence of the compassion and love of an all-knowing Father. They point the way to greater happiness, more understanding, and strengthen your determination to accept and be obedient to His will."