Monthly Archives: April 2012

LDS Printables

My wife loves to have little sayings/phrases printed up and put around the house. I recently came across the Mormon Mommy Blogs web site. They have a tag called “free lds printables” that has all sorts of neat things to print. There are some phrases from General Conference, things for visiting teaching, and more. As I type this, my wife isn’t home, so I’ve emailed her the link. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled 🙂

“Have I Done Any Good?” Hymn 223

The annual HP Quorum meeting of our stake is this coming Sunday. For some reason, our ward was asked to form a choir to sing a hymn. Now, if there was anything that would make me question the inspiration of our stake leaders, this has got to be it! 🙂  We have about 20 HP in the ward, and my guess is that there will be 10 or less of us there. Out of those 10, I have no idea who are decent singers and who aren’t. We haven’t practiced, other than singing the hymn that was chosen as the opening hymn in Priesthood opening exercises. We’ll see how it goes…

Anyway, one of the reasons why I wanted to mention this, as it is a chance to plug the Interactive Music Player that the Church uses. It is awesome. I went on the site this evening to see if I could sing any of the parts (I can’t). You can play the whole song with all parts, or you can isolate a part. So if you want to learn the alto, you just play that part of the music. You can change the key and tempo as well. It is very cool!

The truest thing said at the most recent General Conference

As I commented before, I quite enjoyed General Conference. I felt the Spirit often as I listened to the speakers.

There was lots of eternal truths spoken during the conference, but one of the “truest” things said was just an unscripted throw-away line. Brother Adrián Ochoa spoke during the Priesthood Session. The talk was called Aaronic Priesthood: Arise and Use the Power of God. About halfway through the talk, he mentions that the Church has a section of their web site where you can hear stories about youth. The official transcript records it this way:

You can find some of these stories and many others like them on the Church’s youth website, youth.lds.org. By the way, the Internet, social media, and other technologies are tools the Lord has placed in your hands to help you exercise your priesthood duties and extend the influence of truth and virtue.

However, that’s not what he said exactly. If you watch the video of the talk, you’ll see that he says the following (it starts at about 8:45):

You can find some of these wonderful stories and many others like them on the Church’s youth web site. Just Google it. Be careful. By the way, the Internet, social media, and other technologies are tools the Lord has placed in your hands to help you exercise your priesthood duties and extend the influence of truth and virtue.

Google it, and be careful

Moroni: A Prophet’s Resume

Was reading in this book entitled “Scriptures for the Modern World” put out by BYU studies and I came across this interesting chapter that examined the prophet Moroni and gave a hypothetical resume for him. I hope you all get a kick out of it like I did. Some interesting stuff for sure.

-S

Number: 9-21-22-23

Refile:     X__   

Reason: New Calling

 

Priesthood Resume

Planet: Earth

Earth Year A.D. 1823

 

Name: Moroni ben Mormon

Date of Mortal Birth: A.D. 4th Century

Date of Mortal Death: A.D. 5th Century

Nationality: Nephite

Hemisphere: Promised Land

Tribal Identity: House of Joseph

 

Education Experience and Degrees:

  1. Elementary education in various Nephite schools
  2. Advanced training in scripture, history, language and engraving
  3. Language proficiency:
    1. Hebrew (native tongue)
    2. Reformed Egyptian (language of the plates)
    3. Jaredite (studied the writings of Ether)
    4. Spanish and Portuguese (worked with Columbus and his crews)[1]
    5. English (worked with U.S. revolutionary officers)[2]
    6. Adamic (language of heaven)
  4. Degrees attained:
    1. Elementary grades – army schools and elementary schools
    2. Advanced degree – school of technology
    3. Highest degree attained to date: Celestial degree with highest honours

 

Military Experience:

  1. Raised in a military setting – son of Mormon, Nephite commander-in-chief
  2. Active duty (Nephite regular army)
  3. Considerable combat experience
  4. Highest rank attained: major-general
  5. Led 10,000 troops at Cumorah; responsible simultaneously for a large civilian population
  6. Special advisor to American Revolutionary forces, A.D. 18th Century

 

Church Callings and Responsibilities:

  1. Called to ministry
  2. Assistant to the Church President
  3. General Authority – Prophet, seer and revelatory
  4. Scripture writer – engraved Mormon 8-9 and Moroni 1-10 on the plates of Mormon (contain several visions of the latter days); wrote the sealed portion of the plates of Mormon (several hundred pages) which contains the spiritual experiences of Mahonri Moriancumer; given a superior rating
  5. Abridger – Jaradite record (book of Ether)
  6. Archivist – responsible for golden plates; length of service: fourteen hundred years and continuing to serve
  7. Dedicated several temple sites
  8. Present keys: keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim
  9. Present calling: guardian angel of America

 

Travel:

  1. Mortality – Traveled extensively throughout the promised land, including New York via Utah overland; also traveled throughout Zarahemla, Bountiful and Desolation
  2. Postmortal – Considerable Atlantic and Caribbean Sea travel (assisted Columbus in discovering America; guided Columbus’s vessels to designated haven); traveled with the Revolutionary Army troops while assisting them in establishing the United States of America
  3. Air Travel – Many round trips between heaven and earth fulfilling his various responsibilities

 

Philosophies of Education:

               Moroni emphasizes the scriptures, assured of their divinity. His pupils must read them prayerfully and seek answers through authorized channels. Moroni utilizes a variety of approaches, but favours face-to-face contact, narration, field trips, and hilltop instructions. Moroni reasons well with his pupils. If it is deemed wise, he uses extraordinary methodology to arouse attention and to maintain it.

 

New Assignment:

Teach Joseph Smith (prophet designate of the last dispensation) the gospel. Specifically, teach him what the Lord is going to do, and how and in what manner His kingdom is to be conducted in the last days.

 

Future Assignments:

  1. Archivist – sealed plates (continuing)
  2. To deliver the sealed portion to the Prophet for translation
  3. The fifth angel of the Apocalypse
  4. A prominent angel at Adam-ondi-Ahman
  5. Guardian angel of America (continuing)
  6. Angelic aide to the Nephites and Lamanites
  7. Services at the judgment bar

[1] Orson Hyde, in Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., 6:368.

[2] Ibid, 368.

“Satan stirreth them up continually to anger one with another”

As I’ve posted before, since being released as a bishop, I have been a Stake Institute Teacher. During this past school year, we studied the Book of Mormon. We finished the course last week, and I have to admit that in all my years in the Church, it was the best time I’ve had reading the Book of Mormon. I saw things that I’ve missed before, I learned from the students, and I felt the power in the Book.

I could probably do hundreds of posts about what I learned, but I’ll start with this…

As we finished the Book of Mormon, we read Moroni 9: 3. This is part of one of the letters that Mormon wrote to Moroni. He mentions the wickedness of the people and the destruction of the people around him. The verse reads:

And now behold, my son, I fear lest the Lamanites shall destroy this people; for they do not repent, and Satan stirreth them up continually to anger one with another.

We talked about anger for a bit, and I shared this great quote from Elder Robbins of the Seventy about anger.

“A cunning part of his [Satan’s] strategy is to dissociate anger from agency, making us believe that we are victims of an emotion that we cannot control. We hear, ‘I lost my temper.’ Losing one’s temper is an interesting choice of words that has become a widely used idiom. To ‘lose something’ implies ‘not meaning to,’ ‘accidental,’ ‘involuntary,’ ‘not responsible’—careless perhaps but ‘not responsible.’

“‘He made me mad.’ This is another phrase we hear, also implying lack of control or agency. This is a myth that must be debunked. No one makes us mad. Others don’t make us angry. There is no force involved. Becoming angry is a conscious choice, a decision; therefore, we can make the choice not to become angry. We choose! To those who say, ‘But I can’t help myself,’ author William Wilbanks responds, ‘Nonsense.’

“‘Aggression, . . . suppressing the anger, talking about it, screaming and yelling,’ are all learned strategies in dealing with anger. ‘We choose the one that has proved effective for us in the past. Ever notice how seldom we lose control when frustrated by our boss, but how often we do when annoyed by friends or family?’ (‘The New Obscenity,’ Reader’s Digest, Dec. 1988, 24)”

Lynn G. Robbins in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 105; or Ensign, May 1998, 80

I love this quote. It is so true. We used this is the basis for our Family Home Evening this past week, and my family has tried a lot harder not to be angry with one another. It’s a slow process, but it seems to be helping.

Why do we need prophets?

Portrait of the Prophets (Temple Prophets) by D O Christensen

That was the title of the first article in the March 2012 Ensign. The first article is the one we are to use when home teaching. I reviewed the article before going out a couple of weeks ago, and it definitely got me thinking. I understand the theory of why we need prophets… they are God’s representatives on the Earth… it is the way God communicates with His people, etc. However as I thought about how prophets affected me on a daily basis, I thought of them more as inspirational speakers. I thought to myself that my life is generally in line with the teachings of the Church. I read and pray and the Holy Ghost guides me. So why do we need prophets? Is it just for the “big” revelations?

As we discussed this topic while home teaching, one of the people we visit said she sees one of the most important reasons is so that there is a consistent message to the world declaring what the standards of God are. I thought this was a good point. But in my mind I wondered if prophets had a greater role for non-believers than for me, since I know what the standards are.

Let me interrupt here and say that I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t know the role and importance of prophets. I do. But it was an interesting question for me to think about. Before thinking about this question, I don’t know if I would have been able to explain clearly why they are important to me.

We visited three people that one night, and I had the question in my mind for 4 days and then General Conference came along. There was nothing new taught at General Conference, but I felt the Spirit consistently throughout every session. It was perhaps the most inspiring conference for me. It became very clear to me that our prophets, seers, and revelators are NOT just inspirational speakers. They are not a version of Tony Robbins or Jim Fannin. They are speaking for God. They are the watchmen on the towers. They speak of love, kindness and compassion. The talk of Christ and preach of Christ. They do inspire people, but it is not just a feel-good seminary. Our spiritual intelligence increases as we are enlightened by the Spirit.

Why do we need prophets? We need prophets so that we will always have an authorized representative from God who warn the people of the consequences of not following His commandments. We need prophets to help us have hope in the atonement of Jesus Christ. We need prophets so that all of the keys of the priesthood, with the associated ordinances, can be on the Earth. We need prophets so there are always those on the Earth who will speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. We do indeed need prophets. We thank thee, O God, for a prophet!

A couple of comments from Fast & Testimony Meeting recently

Since General Conference as at the beginning of April, the monthly Fast Sunday was on March 25. As is usually the case, there were some testimonies I found to be very touching, and others not so much. That isn’t meant to criticize anyone, it’s just the truth. I’m sure there were people who didn’t appreciate the things I enjoyed, and there were people who did appreciate the things I didn’t.

There were a couple of interesting quotes that I figured I’d share.

One older man said that the word BIBLE stood for Basic Instructions Before Leaving the Earth. I’m sure that wasn’t something he made up, but I’d never heard it before.

My wife stood up and shared a blurb from President Monson at the General Young Women Meeting. She summarized the thought, but I have the benefit of being able to look at the text of the talk. President Monson said:

I have spoken over the years with many individuals who have told me, “I have so many problems, such real concerns. I’m overwhelmed with the challenges of life. What can I do?” I have offered to them, and I now offer to you, this specific suggestion: seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch.

182nd Annual General Conference – Post-conference notes

A few random thoughts as the conference comes to an end:

  • I say this after each conference, and I think I will say it forever… I have a hard enough time staying awake for 10 hours, how do these men in their 70s and 80s?!?!
  • General Conference was fantastic. I always enjoy it, but there was something different this year. I’m not sure why, but I welcome it. I felt the Spirit through many of the talks, and loved the music.
  • We are so blessed to hear from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir regularly.
  • In between sessions on Sunday I watched The World Report. It’s always interesting. I like seeing some of the “behind the scenes” activities around the world.
  • I’m sure other goofy people have thought this before, but I noticed that Elder Malm offered the benediction of the Sunday Morning session. We have a dresser in one of our dressers from Ikea that is called Malm.
  • I can’t get over how great Elder Perry looks. He’s going to be 90 this year!
  • Before I die I hope to make it to Temple Square to hear the choir sing in person
  • More than half of births to American woman under 30 occur outside of marriage. Nearly half of marriages end in divorce.
  • Elder Ballard spoke powerfully to both male and female YSA about marriage
  • I’ve never heard of Elder Wilson before, but I really enjoyed his style (as well as substance)

It was a long, but enjoyable 10 hours. I’m grateful that we have prophets, seers, and revelators and other Church leaders who can help us feel the Spirit in this way.


Read the recaps and other notes from the 182nd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

182nd Annual General Conference – Sunday Afternoon General Session

Well, here we are at the last session. I didn’t go into the conference with any particular question in mind, but wow, I have felt the Spirit through so many talks, and especially during the music in the session this morning. It is going to be tough to top Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing!


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang On This Day of Joy and Gladness

Elder W Craig Zwick offered the invocation

The choir sang Come unto Jesus

Elder L Tom Perry (Note: Can you believe Elder Perry is 89 years old, turning 90 this year?!?! Wow! I hope I look that good at that age)

  • the Book of Mormon is the most correct book
  • it is important for the world to have both the Bible and the Book of Mormon
  • we can be delivered from evil by turning to the teachings of the scriptures
  • “It’s a great book”
  • much of the greatness comes from its harmony with the Book of Mormon

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • the Liahona was a ball of curious workmanship
  • compared it to a GPS
  • 100 years ago Joseph F Smith connected happiness and the family. There can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from the home
  • when people make the family and religious commitments to gospel principles they being to do better spiritually and often temporally as well
  • commitments to family and values are the basic cause. Nearly everything else is effect
  • society at large is strengthened as families grow stronger
  • prioritize… put everything outside your own in subjection to what happens inside your home
  • do things in the right order… marriage then family
  • to the YM bachelorhood carries to the superficial mind the idea that it is desirable because it brings with it a minimum of responsibility.
  • to the YW you must also not lose sight of this responsibility. No career can bring you as much fulfillment as raising a family
  • husbands and wives are equal partners… no one owns their spouse or children
  • use the family resources of the church… the church is the scaffolding with which we build eternal families

Elder O Vincent Haleck

  • where there is no vision the people perish
  • we must see ourselves as the Savior sees us
  • focus on the things that matter most

The choir and congregation sang Hope of Israel

Elder Larry Y Wilson

  • we must lead with principles of righteousness
  • compulsion builds resentment
  • women too may exercise unrighteous dominion
  • if parents hold onto all decision-making power they severely limit the growth and development of their children
  • prepare children to get along without you

Elder David F Evans

  • what can I do to build up the Lord’s church?
  • the most important work is within our own home and family
  • we must be faithful ourselves so our children can see our joy in the gospel
  • it is the worth of souls, no matter their condition, that is great in the sight of God and our Savior
  • was it worth it? Was all the effort over all the years worth it to have just one baptism. The answer is yes!

Elder Paul B Pieper

  • our experiences with the diving may not be like a prophet, but our strength to endure faithfully depends on holding sacred that which we receive from above
  • finding things to be sacred takes an act of agency
  • we can’t be affected by secular things
  • the sacred cannot be selectively abandoned in life
  • those who chose to abandon sacred things will have their minds darkened

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • what think you of Christ? what thinks Christ of me?
  • being a discipline in these days of destiny will be a badge of honor throughout the eternities
  • we receive customized direction from the Holy Ghost
  • discipleship is not a competition, but an invitation to all
  • wherever you are on the road of discipleship, you are on the right road
  • whether in this life or the next, all will be made right

President Thomas S Monson

  • he thanked everyone who helped make the conference possible
  • the gospel gives our lives meaning, purpose and hope
  • settle contentions now

The choir sang I Need Thee Every Hour

Elder Jairo Mazzagardi offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 182nd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

182nd Annual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

The Sunday morning of General Conference is the best! I’m in the Eastern time zone, so General Conference starts at noon. We got up late, had a nice breakfast, and then relaxed for the rest of the morning. Nice!

The family is gathered together now, and we’ll watch the session together. The other sessions we ask the kids to watch the first half hour, but they watch the entire Sunday morning session with us.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Come, Ye Children of the Lord (I love this hymn)

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (my wife loves this hymn… she attended a meeting where she first felt that the Church was true and this song was sung at the meeting, so it has a special place in her heart)

Elder Brent H Nielson offered the invocation

The choir sang Teach Me to Walk in the Light (a beautiful arrangement)

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • everyone has been affected by resentment
  • we feel hurt, angry or envious and judge other people
  • Christ’s atonement is infinite and eternal
  • The Lord will forgive whom he will forgive, but we are required to forgive all (that includes ourselves)
  • If you are gossiping, criticizing, judging, just STOP IT
  • He saw a bumper sticker that said “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you”
  • We need to forgive others, as we want to be forgiven
  • the pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment from our eyes
  • the merciful will receive mercy
  • let us be know as a people who have love one to another
  • there is enough heartache and sorrow in the world than to have us add to it

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • are we like fish, and are oblivious to the source of our food (the bread of life)?
  • our degree of gratitude is a measure of our love for him
  • we are not required to have a perfect body in order to achieve our divine potential
  • could an explosion in a printing shop create a dictionary? It is remote, but it couldn’t heal itself if the pages were torn (Note: What a great analogy!!)
  • just as the body needs food, our spirit needs nourishment

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • he spoke of his grandson who is missing a chromosome
  • some people are born with physical ailments
  • with infinite love and ever last compassion God loves your afflicted one and he loves you
  • this life is training for eternal exaltation
  • trusting in God’s will is central to our mortality
  • the worth of souls is great in the sight of God
  • do we offer to help a drowning person, or do we jump in to save them?
  • The offer of “let me know if I can help” is really no help at all

The choir and congregation sang Rejoice, the Lord Is King!

Sister Julie B Beck

  • the Relief Society increases faith
  • the Relief Society strengthen families and homes
  • the Relief Society seeks those in need
  • faith, family, and relief have come to express the vision of prophets for the sisters of the Church
  • Relief Society is not a program, it is part of the Church
  • there is no other organization to match the Relief Society

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • we’ve seen a growing interest in the Church as of late
  • there is still some confusion with our doctrine and how it is established
  • establishing the doctrine of Christ is not done through scholarship
  • the Lord communicates with his servants by personal visits, but messengers, by voice, and by feeling
  • the prophet is a prophet only when acting as such
  • the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimonies of the prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ

The choir sang Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words

President Thomas S Monson

  • he will speak of eternal truths
  • we are so busy, and often are worried about the trivial things of life
  • we get caught up in the race of life
  • we need to reach heavenward for assistance
  • the prize belongs to him who belongs to the end
  • we enter mortality not to float with the current of life, but with the power to think and reason and to achieve

The choir sang Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Elder Per G Malm offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 182nd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: