Friday, October 1, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
What is Agency?
- (here is my definition of agency) It is the right to act for ourselves, to make a choice between good and bad.
In the scriptures I found a verse that correlates to my definition.
2 Nephi 2:16 - Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.
So we have are given the choice to choose good or bad. Sometimes we don't always make the right choice and have to suffer the consequences of that decision, but that is how we learn.
Bro. D Todd Christofferson said, "Moral discipline is the consistent exercise of agency to choose the right because it is right, even when it is hard."
Making the right choice is hard, but it can also be rewarding.
Now, what happens if we make a bad choice? Should we try to put the blame on someone else? No! We need to take responsiblity for our own actions.
In Helman 14:30 it says, And now remember, remember, my brethern, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself . . .
We should always make a conscience decision to choice the right, no matter how hard it may be. We shouldn't be blaming someone for what we've done, take responsibilty for that bad choice and ask for forgivness.
Monday, August 23, 2010
How many times have you walked by someone that was in need but didn't stop to help or thought should I help them? I know I have and have regretted that decision later, thinking to myself, why didn't I stop? Most of the time it's out of fear on our part or not sure how that person will react to your help.
I'm bringing this up as I prepare our Family Home Evening lesson. With the new school year in full swing I feel that my son is now old even to understand the importance of service. So here are some of my notes from my lesson that I wanted to share.
- Why should we serve?
It's a commandment, Love Thy Neighbor
The Savior is the perfect example of service, that we can draw from
Not only is it a commandment, but we are blessed when we serve. Our love for our neighbors grows. We shouldn't just serve our neighbors but also our family. I've learned this principle in marriage. There were times when I was not happy with my marriage, and it was because I was to focused on me and not serving my husband. When I learned to put him first I found a greater deeper love for him than I could ever imagine!
I found a talk from President Monson in where he gives 3 simple steps to serve.
1. Decide to serve
2. Reach out
3. Look to the Savior
We should all strive to be like the Good Samaritan in the Luke. He didn't care that the man laying on the side of road was of a different race, belief or color. All he saw was someone that needed to be taken care of. We shouldn't care of what other will think, only what the Lord will think.
After mentioning that story the Hymn Have I Done Any Good comes to mind.
Monday, August 9, 2010
President Uchtdorf says "For those who cannot attend the temple now for whatever reason, I encourage you to do everything in your power to hold a current temple recommend. The temple recommend is a symbol of our faithfulness and determination to serve the Lord. It is a symbol of our love for the Lord. . . "
I just love this because we are all busy with our life. My husband and I try hard to attend the temple as often as we can. Just a couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the Temple with my parents to do some family sealings. It was such a neat experience to seal the parents to the their children, you could feel their presence as if they were saying finally we are an eternal family!
Back in May my husband and I took advantage of the open house for The Gila Valley temple and took our 6 year old son to see it. What an great family experience it was for us, to be able to share it with our son and show him the special rooms of the temple and to simply explain to him what each room represents. I don't know if he will remember what he saw on the inside but I know for a fact that he remembers what it looked like on the outside.
I'm so grateful for the Temples and what they represent. I'm especially thankful that my husband and I made the decision to be married in one 7 years ago so that we can have an eternal family and receive the blessings that come from it.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Tonight I wanted to share the lesson that I taught for Family night tonight. The lesson was on Charity. I've posted my outline and few a quotes that I used. I hope that you can take something from this and better understand what Charity is.
Moroni 7:47 - But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. (this scripture is what we will be memorizing)
- What is Charity?
It is the Pure Love of Christ
- Word that describe Charity: patient, hopeful, truth-loving, innocent, enduring (I can go on but will stop there)
- If you have Charity what will you do?
Good works, or in other words service
Alma 7:24 - And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.
- From reading the scriptures I have noticed that Charity is always accompanied by faith and hope b/c without faith and hope we cannot be charitable.
- Pres. Dietr F Uchtdorf (2nd Counselor of the 1st Presidency) describes what Charity is in his talk given in October 2008 titled 'The Infinite Power of Hope'
"The things we hope for lead us to faith, while the things we hope in lead us to charity. The three qualities - faith, hope and charity - working together, grounded on the truth and light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, lead us abound in good works."
2 Nephi 26:30 - Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.
The above scripture segways into a quote that I found by Elder Dallin H Oaks of the quorum the 12 Apostles. It is from his talk "The Challenge to Become" (Nov 2000 Ensign).
"We are challenged to move through a process of conversion toward that status and condition called eternal life. This is achieved not just by doing what is right, but by doing it for the right reason - for the pure love of Christ. The Apostle Paul illustrated this in his famous teaching about the importance of charity. The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness he cited is tht charity, the pure love of Christ is not an act but a condition or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion. Charity is something one becomes."
I have to agree with Elder Oaks in that to become charitable it takes time. We must become like Christ through our own conversions of service to our neighbors, friends and family. We must be willling to let that change happen.
Ether 12:32-34 - 32 And I also remember that thou hast said that thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared.
33 And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men.
34 And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father.
- How do we know Jesus had Charity?
He gave his life for us because he loved us.
- Who need charity?
- What happens if we don't have charity?
We can't live with our Father in Heaven
I just want to bear you my testimony that I know that Charity is the pure love of Christ and that if we are willing through our own conversions that we can become charitable and to become like Christ. We may not be perfect but I know that this is one of the ways that we can become perfect and to be able to receive the blessings of heaven.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy
Genesis 2: 1-3
(I've taken a few quotes from President James E Faust's talk "The Lord's Day" from the November 1991 Ensign)
- "Jesus reaffirmed the importance of the Sabbath day devotion, but he introduced a new spirit into this part of worship. Rather than observe the endless techincalities and prohibitions concerning what should and should not be done on the Lord's day, he affirmed that it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath."
D&C 59: 9-10
- "Keeping the Sabbath day holy is much more than just physical rest. It involves spiritual renewal and worship."
(Pres. Faust is now quoting from Pres. Spencer W Kimball)
- 'The Sabbath is a holy day in which to do worthy and holy things. Abstinence from work and recreation is important but insufficient. The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, sleeping, reading wholesome material and attending all meetings of that day to which he is expected. To fail to do these proper things is a transgression on the omission side.'
(end of quoting Pres. Faust)
Mosiah 13:16-19 (we are now learning verse 16)
- Blessings come from keeping the Sabbath day holy.
- The Lord has said that if we keep the Sabbath day with thanksgiving and cheerful hearts, we will be full of joy. (from Gospel Principles lesson #24)
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
"Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." 3 Nephi 11:25
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."
"And now as I said concerning faith – faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." Alma 32:21 - - This one we are learning this week and he is picking it up pretty quick
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
vs 5-6: Lehi is telling his son Joseph that a latter day prophet wil be born from his lineage. He is talking about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel.
vs 8: is a reference to the restoration
vs 17: gives a small description of Joseph Smith's character. He was not a very educated person but had a great presence and influence on people
vs 19: reference to the writing and translation of the Book of Mormon
vs 17-35: Psalm of Nephi, in these verses Nephi pours out his heart
- he prays to the Lord for strength and forgiveness
- he asks for help w/ his enemies
vs 2-3: Laman and Lemuel want to kill Nephi b/c they think that he wants to be their ruler
Nephi and his believers leave and begin to prosper
vs 15-16: Nephi teaches his people how to build using all kinds of materials that are available to them. they begin to build a temple.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Chaper 2 talks about opposition, agency and the fall of Adam.
vs 11 says this "For it must needs be, that there is an a opposition in all things. If not so . . . righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility." - - -I don't think that I could explain it any better than this verse does. We are all faced with opposition every day and we should use it to grow and learn from it to better ourselves.
I have broken down agency into 6 things with correlateing verses, so that I can better understand it. We were given agency so that we can choose right from wrong.
- Free to choose (vs 27)
- alternatives/opposition (vs 11)
- knowledge (vs 24,26)
- entice (vs 16)
- consequences (vs 27)
- repetance/ atonement
Side note ** Each of the verses listed next to the key word explains why. **
Most people are taught that Adam sinned when he ate the fruit, but really he trangressed, which is different.
Here are the definitions to what each one means
To transgress is to violate a law
To sin is an offense to religious or moral law
Now with that in mind, Adam had 2 things that he must do. 1) to mulitply and replenish the earth, which was commandment from God and 2) to not partake to of the forbidden fruit which was in a sense a law.
Adam had to trangress the law of eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in order to fulfil God's first commandment which was to mulitply and replenish the earth. Without that none of us would exsist and Adam and Eve would have remained in the Garden of Eden in what would be a state of innocence. For those of you who are reading this I hope this makes sense, b/c to me it does, b/c I've grown up being taught this.
One of my favorites scriptures explains this and it says (vs 25) "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."
That's all I'm going to write about today.
disclaimer - -Remember these are my notes and thoughts on what I've read.
Friday, February 5, 2010
vs 3 - If we keep the commandments the Lord will provide for us what we are in need of
Nephi chastizes his brothers and relates the story about Moses and the Israelites and how wicked they had become
vs 44 - There is a line in this verse that I really liked and it says "and the Jews also sought to take away his life." - Nephi is explaining that the Jews wanted to kill Lehi - the Jews are the ones who wanted to crucify Jesus. I love how in the scriptures many of the prophets are types for Christ! It makes the scriptures easier to understand by knowing this.
vs 45 - this is a really great verse that I wanted to share. Here is a part of the verse that I really liked "and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words." I also had a quote in my scriptures that goes along with this verse. Quote: "We can be too busy to pay attention to the promptings of the spirit . . . It is a spiritual voice that comes into your heart." Boyd K. Packer (The Cloven Tongues of Fire, May 2000 Ensign) We shouldn't keep our hearts closed b/c then we can't hear what is important
vs 10-15 - Nephi is bound and his brothers become wicked and the Liahona stops working. When we are being wicked we drive away the spirit and we tend to loose our way. We need to repent so that we can have his Spirit with us always.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
vs 12-19 These chapters talk about Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas
vs 28 The bible was changed to benefit the presiding church/ religion of the time
The Great and Abominable Church - some say that it was the Catholic church b/c it was corrupt, but I think that it's any religion that distorts the truthfulness of the God's teachings to benefit themselves. For example right now there are some Muslims who believe that a Jahid (sp?) is war for God but from what we are seeing it is only an excuse to go on a killing rampage and hide behind their religion.
Nephi sees the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine & Covenants
vs 2 - Nephi tells his brothers that "the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center." - - this is b/c they know that they are being wicked and don't want to hear about it.
vs 3 - if you are doi g what's right you are not defensive and will listen to what is being said
vs 10 - Lehi finds the Liahona - this can be likened to the a modern day GPS system to help us find our way.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Nephi is told about Christ and the Atonement, that John the Baptist will baptize Christ
I also noticed that as I read that the very first account of the Olive Branches is mentioned. (vs 12)
Part of this chapter is about Nephi's dream and another comparsion to the Tree of Life
- Tree = Love of God, Mary is also compared to the tree
- Fruit = Jesus Christ
- River = Love of God
Nephi is shown Christ's ministry and crucifixtion
In this chapter Nephi is shown the resurrection of Christ
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Sariah starts to murmur against the Lord and Lehi. Sometimes our parents will question the Lord but they should ask the Lord for comfort when they are unsure. They are not always perfect and I as a parent myself I sometimes forget and will complain but I know that if I ask the Lord for his help he will comfort my fears.
This chapter also touches on what the Brass plates contained and this is what I found.
- account of the creation (vs 11)
- account of Adam and Eve (vs 11)
- record of the Jews from the beginning (vs 12)
- prophecies fo the prophets (vs 13)
- genealogy (vs 14)
when things get tough we forget to seek out the Lord for help and sometime we rebel against what is right
Chapter 8 - The Tree of Life
This is one of my favorite chapters of first Nephi. The dream starts out with Lehi in a "dark and dreary waste" (vs 7) - - - I interpret this as the trials of our faith
Lehi prays and then he finds himself in a "large and spacious field" and sees a tree a little ways off in the distance and he walks toward to eat the fruit.- - - to me the fruit is Eternal Life or the gospel
When we have tasted the sweetness of the fruit we want everyone to partake and enjoy it, but not everyone likes it or is unsure.
Then Lehi notices that there is a rod next to the tree and this is supposed to represent the Word of God (the scriptures). And along the rod is a straight and narrow path, which can also represent the Gospel.
Across the river is large and spacious building which in this vision is representing the World and the wickedness in it. How many times have we listened to the mocking that comes from this building that we sometimes shy away from the path? Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don't but we should never let go of the rod.
When we let go the "mist of darkness" surrounds us and we get lost in the temptations of the world. We should be clinging to the rod with all our might. It's hard for us when we see a family member who lets go and can't find their way back. We should be praying for them in hopes that they do find it and grasp and hold on to it. Just like Lehi called out to Laman and Lemuel.
I just love how we can use the scriptures to liken them in our lives so that they become more personal. This is what I'm trying to do and by writing down my thoughts as I read will help me to do this.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Here is what I gathered from my reading tonight. Forgive me if this seems scattered, I just wrote down what I was thinking as I read.
I never noticed before but Lehi had a vision in which he saw Christ in his full Glory along with him were his 12 apostles (vs 9)
Lehi was shown Jerusalem's destruction
When Lehi told the Jews that they needed to repent they were angry b/c they didn't want someone telling them that they were wrong in doing wicked things. This made me think of when a child, more like a teenager, is being told by their parents that they are being disobedient and that they need to change or something bad is going to happen. (vs 19-20)
Lehi shows Laman the river and says that he should be like the river which is "continually flowing into the fountains of righteousness" (vs 9) we should always strive to be righteous and be constant in doing so.
Lehi shows Lemuel the valley and says that the he should be "firm and steadfast and immoveable in keeping the commandments of the Lord" (vs 10) We should strive to be immoveable in keeping the commandments and not faulter, but we are not always perfect but should be trying.
This chapter i think was talking about how every parent wants what's best for their child and will do what it takes to make them happy even when they are not being righteous or are struggling with their faith.
We should always keep the commandments because when we do the Lord will bless us (vs 14) Just like when Nephi trusted in the Lord to help get the plates. We should also have Faith that the Lord will help us when we need him.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
We talked about the results of the fall and I wanted to list them as a reminder.
- mortality (Moses 4:25)
- no children (Moses 5:11)
- eternal life
Without this we could never have been. Adam and Eve would have remained in the garden forever knowing no joy or pain (2Ne 2:8). What we learned was that what Adam and Eve did was part of the Plan of Salvation. First there was the Creation, then the Fall and the Fall led to Christ and his Atonement. We must Believe in Christ, Repent and then be Baptized so that we can one day enjoy the blessing of Eternal Life.