Tag Archives: alma

186th Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

186th_semiannual_general_conference_header-450x250

We went to the chapel tonight to watch the broadcast. It is my middle child/youngest son’s first time at conference. There was a bit of a social beforehand where we could have subs and chips.

Afterwards we went to Boston Pizza for more food. It’s a great tradition!


President Henry B Eyring conducted

A choir made up of Melchizedek priesthood holders from stakes in West Valley City, Utah and Magna, Utah sang Ye Elders of Israel

The invocation was offered by Elder Paul B Pieper

The choir sang Love at Home

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • Home teaching… we struggle anywhere near an acceptable level of performance
  • Some people have 18-20 families
  • In the best of all worlds, a monthly visit in each home is still the ideal we’re striving for
  • Read from a First Presidency letter from 2001
  • Use the resources available
  • Visit the house of each home, no matter how many months it would take us
  • Prioritize our time with those who need us the most
  • If you can’t visit, make contact in any way you can
  • Watch for them at Church, make calls, send emails/texts
  • Lift your visit of home teaching
  • In newer, better ways, see youselves as emmisaries of the Lord

Elder Le Grand Curtis Jr

  • Told the story of how the Church had been “freeze’d” out of Ghana
  • Shared several stories of how some Ghana members found the Church
  • Some people have experiences like Parley P Pratt, while most people have smaller, but still powerful experiences
  • A testimony of the Book of Mormon can come slowly

The choir and congregation sang Now Let Us Rejoice

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • He recounted the story of Alma the younger
  • What can I learn from Alma?
  • How am I like Amulek?
  • Like Alma, to be successful, you must find your Amuleks
  • Who needs a call to action?
  • Who has the Lord been preparing? Find them by seeing with your heart!
  • Listen with your heart and follow the promptings of the Spirit
  • If the Lord calls, will I hear?
  • Seek out, find, inspire, and rely upon the Amuleks

President Henry B Eyring

  • The Lord grants his power to those of all priesthood offices who worthily serve in their duties
  • The Aaronic Priesthood is an appendage of the Melchizedek Priesthood. They are connected.
  • The AP prepares YM for a more sacred trust

President Thomas S Monson

  • Spoke of the Word of Wisdom
  • Told a story about someone in the war who had been given added strength and stamina
  • The Word of Wisdom is a divinely provided plan

The choir sang You Can Make the Pathway Bright

The benediction was offered by Elder Bruce D Porter




Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

“_____ is proof that God loves me”

My family has had a water cooler for years. We’ve gotten our water from a variety of places, and are currently getting it from a do-it-yourself brewery in town. I guess in order to make your own beer, you need reverse osmosis water. A 5 gallon jug of water is only $1. Not a bad price!

The other day we noticed a t-shirt hanging on the wall:

blank_is_proof_god_loves_me

Beer is proof that God loves me and wants me to be happy!!

We giggled at it, but it got me thinking. First of all, I know the shirt is supposed to be a joke, but I sure hope that the person who would wear that can feel that God loves them because of other “proof”. That then led me to wonder what “proof” I have that God loves me (kind of like a “count your blessings” thing). The list could go on and on, but here is the best “proof” that I have:

  • My wife’s love
  • My daughter’s laugh
  • My son’s innocence
  • My other son’s goodness
  • The promptings of the Holy Ghost
  • The flowers growing in our garden (I don’t spend a lot of time outside, but I love nature)
  • How I feel when I do what is right
  • The friends I have

As I mentioned, the list could be huge, but those are probably the most important things in my life right now.

I get that some people don’t know which Church is right. There are a lot of competing ideas out there. However, I don’t understand how someone can just not believe. I see God’s hand all around me. As Alma taught Korihor, “all things denote there is a God”!

“…the shaping sounds of lullabies…”

A couple of weeks ago I filled in again as a teacher in the Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class. I taught lesson 32 which covered Alma 53-63. This is the part of Alma where we read about the “army of Helaman”, those 2,000+ young men who fought in the war. There was obviously a lot of great material to cover, but I figured I’d share one quote inparticular that I love. When talking about how their mothers had taught them, I shared this quote from Elder Maxwell:

“Women… rock a sobbing child without wondering if today’s world is passing them by, because they know they hold tomorrow tightly in their arms. . . .

“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire — or the shaping sounds of lullabies?”

Neal A Maxwell, Woman [1979], 96

This reminded me of an experience from 10+ years ago. My parents family has been renting a cottage for years and years for a week in the summer. When my first child was born, we went up to the cottage with our baby boy who was only a coule of weeks old. One night my wife got up to feed our son, and was singing quietly to him. My father was awake and heard it, and to this day he talks about how special that was. He said it was like the voice of an angel. It’s not that my wife is a professional singer (she sings fine), it’s that here was a mother, all alone with her child, singing to her feeding baby. “The shaping sounds of lullabies” indeed!

A 48-year long experiment of faith?

I taught the Gospel Doctrine Sunday School class this past week and we were covering Alma 3235 (lesson 28). We spent a majority of the time discussing faith and the experiment we are to do.

One thing that has always frustrated me is that people are willing to “experiment” with all sorts of things… drugs, alcohol, alternative lifestyles, etc. However, they often aren’t willing to experiment with the things that matter most. From a Church point of view, they won’t try to keep the Word of Wisdom, or they won’t try to stay morally clean. It’s as if the experiment isn’t worth doing.

I brought up the recent sort-of discovery of the Higgs boson particle (the so-called “God particle”). The existence of such a particle was first proposed in 1964. In July of this year, it was announced that they have probably found it, but they can’t prove it yet. That means that there have been scientists around the world trying to prove the existince of this particle for 48 years. They are getting close (very close), but they still haven’t gotten there yet. Isn’t that amazing?! Can you imagine feeling so strongly about something that for decades you are working towards that goal? Well, that is exactly what we should be doing in the gospel.

The whole chapter is great, but here are a few key points about the experiment:

Alma 32: 27 …awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith…

Alma 32: 40 …looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof…

Alma 32: 41 …nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof…

Alma 32: 42 …because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it…

Do you have a testimony of the Law of Tithing? If not, obey it, then keep obeying it. If you haven’t felt the blessings being poured out on you from the windows of heaven, keep obeying the law. Exercise a particle of faith; look forward to the blessings; be patience; be diligent.

If we are willing to put in the effort, whether it be 48 minutes, 48 days, 48 weeks, or 48 years, God will help us find the results we seek from our experiment. We will be able to get the fruit “which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.” It is a beautiful promise!

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)