Monthly Archives: June 2012

Slow posting for a week or so

Over the last month or two I’ve kept up a pretty good pace of posting 3 times a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday). Unfortunately, I won’t be able to keep that pace for the next week or two. I am in the process of moving, so things are pretty busy around here. Hopefully I’ll be back posting again very soon. Thanks for your patience!

Alma 5 questions

I substituted in Sunday School today and taught lesson 22 from the Book of Mormon. This covers Alma 5 – 7. Obviously we spent the whole time on Alma 5, and we only got halfway through.

I had prepared 30 copies of a handout that included all of the questions. There are 42 question marks, so I’ve left it at 42 questions. There are some long questions that are multi-part, so at one point I counted that there were 47 questions.

Anyway, here are the questions.

  1. Have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? (v6)
  2. Have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? (v6)
  3. Have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell? (v6)
  4. Were they destroyed? (v8)
  5. Were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? (v9)
  6. On what conditions are they saved? (v10)
  7. Grounds had they to hope for salvation? (v10)
  8. Is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death, yea, and also the chains of hell? (v10)
  9. Did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi? (v11)
  10. Is he not a holy prophet? (v11)
  11. Did he not speak the words of God, and my father Alma believe them? (v11)
  12. Have ye spiritually been born of God? (v14)
  13. Received his image in your countenances? (v14)
  14. Have you experienced this mighty change in your hearts? (v14)
  15. Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? (v15)
  16. Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body? (v15)
  17. Can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth? (v16)
  18. Do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say -Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth-and that he will save you? (v17)
  19. Can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God? (v18)
  20. Can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? (v19)
  21. Can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances? (v19)
  22. Can ye think of being saved when you have yielded yourselves to become subjects to the devil? (v20)
  23. What will these things testify against you? (v22)
  24. Do ye suppose that such an one can have a place to sit down in the kingdom of God, with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, and also all the holy prophets, whose garments are cleansed and are spotless, pure and white? (v24)
  25. How will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? (v22)
  26. Will they not testify that ye are murderers, yea, and also that ye are guilty of all manner of wickedness? (v23)
  27. If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? (v26)
  28. Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? (v27)
  29. Can ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? (v27)
  30. Can ye say that your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? (v27)
  31. Are ye stripped of pride? (v28)
  32. Is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? (v29)
  33. Is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions? (v30)
  34. If ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? (v39)
  35. If you are not sheep of the good shepherd, the devil is your shepherd. Who can deny this? (v39)
  36. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? (v45)
  37. Do ye suppose that I know of their surety? (v45)
  38. Can ye withstand these sayings; yea, can ye lay aside these things, and trample the Holy One under your feet; yea, can ye be puffed up in the pride of your hearts; yea, will ye still persist in the wearing of costly apparel and setting your hearts upon the vain things of the world, upon your riches? (v53)
  39. Yea, will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another; yea, will ye persist in the persecution of your brethren, who humble themselves and do walk after the holy order of God, wherewith they have been brought into this church, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and they do bring forth works which are meet for repentance-Yea, and will you persist in turning your backs upon the poor, and the needy, and in withholding your substance from them? (v54-55)
  40. What have ye to say against this? (v58)
  41. What shepherd is there among you having many sheep doth not watch over them, that the wolves enter not and devour his flock? (v59)
  42. If a wolf enter his flock doth he not drive him out? (v59)

2012 Canada-wide Stake Conference

On Sunday, May 27, 2012 we had what appears to be a bi-annual Canada-wide Stake Conference. The Saturday portion of Stake Conference was still a local event, but the Sunday morning session was broadcast from one of the studios at the Conference Centre.

In the morning while still at home, my 9-year-old son offered our family prayer, and he prayed that the speakers at the conference wouldn’t be nervous speaking in front of a lot of people. Cool!

Elder William R Walker conducted and President Boyd K Packer presided. They were accompanied by D Todd Christofferson and Sister Carole M Stephens.

A couple of days before the conference I asked my wife which of Elder Ballard or President Monson would be speaking. She said Elder Ballard for sure, but thought both of them would be there, seeing as they have such a connection to Canada. Well, neither of them was there.

Apparently there was something like 47 stakes and 3 districts participating in the conference.

The opening and closing of the conference were done locally.

Here are my notes from the meeting:

Elder William R Walker

  • We need to point our children to the temple
  • In 1912 there were 7,000 members in Canada, most of them from Southern Alberta
  • The Alberta Temple was announced in October 1912 and the ground-breaking ceremony was on July 27, 1913 by Joseph F Smith
  • The temple was dedicated by Heber J Grant in August 1923
  • There are now temples in Cardston, Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. Calgary will be open soon, and Winnipeg has been announced
  • There will soon be 9 temples in Canada, the same number of temples that were in all the Church in 1955
  • The temple should be the great symbol of our membership

Sister Carole M Stevens

  • We need to prepare our children for the evil world ahead of them
  • We need to act with faith, not fear
  • Don’t waste time with “I wish I would have…” Start today!

The intermediate/congregational hymn was “How Firm a Foundation

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • He recounted his connection to Canada
  • Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life is made
  • Why must we be commanded to serve one another?
  • Even though President Monson can’t reach everyone, he still does what he can
  • We are a church of service
  • The most crucial services is in our own home
  • The Savior is the great Exemplar of service

President Boyd K Packer
Note: President Packer did NOT sound good. He was hard to understand, and didn’t seem to be able to remember things. He would try to speak without looking at his notes, but then had to refer back to them

  • He spoke of his experiences of Canada
  • He was President of the New England Mission, and that involved trips to Eastern Canada
  • We have to remember the Gospel is true
  • When we get that feeling in our hearts, we know what we need to know
  • It’s not an easy thing to be a member, but it is easier than anything else if we do what is right
  • Never be ashamed of the Church
  • He blessed us to “take faith”

The bald-headed guy

A couple of weeks ago in High Priests Group we had a lesson about making the temple a priority in our lives. We were discussing why it isn’t always a priority. One of the members tried to mention a talk he remembered and said:

You know… what’s his name? The bald-headed guy…

Of course he meant Elder Dallin H Oaks, and he was referring to the Good, Better, Best talk he gave in the October 2007 General Conference. Gotta love those forgetful High Priests ๐Ÿ™‚

(Note: the brother who said this is a super nice guy, and is always really “with it”, so this must just have been one of those forgetful moments, but it was still funny)

Charles A Sankey Lecture in Masonic Studies

A while ago I went with a friend to attend a lecture at the local university. Apparently Brock University has a fairly extensive collection of Masonic texts, and this was called the Charles A Sankey Lecture in Masonic Studies (click here for the program). The main part of the lecture was supposed to be about Perceptions of Freemasonry from the 18th century to the Internet. Seeing as there is a connection between Mormons and Masons, I was interested to hear about what was going to be shared.

Unfortunately, it did not really shed much light on anything for me. There was no introduction to what Masons do, why it exists, how they work today, or much of anything. I think part of the problem was that the presenter is a Mason himself, but this was not mentioned in the information. I think that should have been disclosed.

I really don’t have much to share, other then these few brief points:

  • Charles A Sankey was a Chancellor at Brock, and was a participating Mason. At one point he said, “Science and art find a common dwelling place in man’s mind”
  • There is a difference between outside and inside perceptions. The outside world may thing that their is opacity (things are secret), while the inside world thinks they are being transparent
  • In the classic world, the 7 liberal arts were necessary to help us understand the universe in which we live
  • While talking about some older texts, there was a short discussion about secret space and public space. This made me think of the more religious term “sacred space”
    margaret jacobs will be next year
  • The present suggested that we read The Lost Symbol a couple of times

This lecture was in 2010, and I never heard anything about the 2011 or 2012 lecture or if there was even another one.

Music and the Spoken Word

The only time I ever see Music and the Spoken Word is right before the Sunday Morning session of General Conference. I always listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the morning off my MP3 player, but never think to see if it available anywhere on the radio dial. Well, I checked out the Music and the Spoken Word web site today to see if it is available in my area. It’s not. So I guess it is still MP3’s for me for now.

Anyway, the main reason for this post was to let you know the web site for the program. It has information on the broadcasters that do have the program. If you have some sort of satellite TV, then you can always get it. If you are dependent on your local cable company, then you probably need to live in an area with a lot of members.

A couple of good quotes from Ward Conference

As is often the case, I’m late in posting things, but as they say, better late than never.

Our Ward Conference was last Fall (September I think) and I made note of a couple good quotes that I figured I’d share.


The primary kids sang “I Know That My Savior Loves Me” and one of the lines is:

I did not touch Him or sit on His knee,
Yet, Jesus is real to me.

What a beautiful thing to have the kids sing. I’m sure very few of them grasp the seriousness and beauty of what they are saying, but I still love the fact that my kids sing it. Hopefully I can help Jesus become even more real to them.


Someone shared a phrase that President Monson has shared many times:

You can’t be right by doing wrong and you can’t be wrong by doing right

It is a pretty simple phrase, but I’d have a pretty hard time understanding how anyone could disagree with it


Someone shared the quote “Donโ€™t let the things that matter most suffer because of the things that matter least.” I liked the sound of it, and looked online for who said it. It was actually a German writer and scholar named Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 โ€“ 22 March 1832) who said:

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least

This kind of goes along with my post on using our time wisely from a couple of weeks ago. We do need to focus on what matters most!