Tag Archives: missionary

186th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

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I wish I was at home watching this, but I’m working today, so I’m watching this during my lunch break (and then some). I’ll be able to get home before the next session, and then my sons and I will go out with my father and my brother-in-law for tonight’s session. We’ll watch both sessions at home tomorrow.

It is a brisk Fall day today, so it’s kind of nice to be inside. I’m looking forward to the warmth of the Spirit as we hear from the various leaders.


It looks like the First Presidency has changed the side they are sitting on. They used to sit on the left of the pulpit (when watching from the congregation). They are now on the right side. I wonder if that is so President Monson doesn’t have so far to walk.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Sweet Is the Work

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang With Songs of Praise

The invocation was offered by Sister Joy D Jones

President Dieter F Ucthdorf

  • computer analogy
  • see, that’s how you do it
  • 22 years later, he is comfortable with it
  • The more adept I get, the more I take it for granted
  • We can take the gospel for granted
  • We have been given by so much
  • we get distracted
  • we tread a path covered with diamonds, but we can’t tell the
  • ifference between them and pebbles
  • what shall we give for the flood of light and truth we have received
  • live by the truth we have received

The choir sang We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet (it sounded wonderful!)

Elder Robert D Hales

  • Elie Wiesel‘s grandson asked him, “If I loved you more, would I hurt less?”
  • If we loved the Savior more, would we suffer less
  • We may not be able to eliminate our physical suffering, but we can suffer less spiritually
  • Teach your family. Don’t let the time slip by
  • We cannot pray away another’s agency

Sister Carol F McConkie

  • We can commune with God personally
  • Prayer is a gift from god
  • We are never alone
  • Every moment of prayer can be holy time

The choir and congregation sang Redeemer of Israel

Elder Craig C Christensen

  • We don’t need to be timid about Joseph Smith’s mission
  • If any of us lack wisdom, we can ask too
  • We have prophets to this day
  • The priesthood authority of God is on the earth

Elder Juan A Uceda

  • Told a story about how he almost fell off a cliff when he was a missionary
  • Always pray with a sincere heart
  • Let us pray as Jesus taught us to pray

Elder J Devn Cornish

  • Others believe in us when we sometimes don’t believe in ourselves
  • We must stop comparing ourselves to others
  • Yes, you are good enough and yes, you will make it
  • God is not a heartless referee looking to toss us out of the game
  • The atonement is both for sinners and saints
  • This doesn’t mean sin is ok. It always has consequences
  • True repentence is not easy
  • Do not rationalize rather than repenting

The choir sang Take Time to Be Holy

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • Shared story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream
  • This church is the stone cut of out of the mountain
  • We have a great missionary responsibility
  • The gospel must go to everyone

The choir sang If the Way Be Full of Trial

The benediction was offered by Elder Marcus B Nash




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

Old Testament Institute Lesson – Week 1 (Introduction, Genesis 1-2)

Religion 301 Old Testament Student Manual
Genesis through 2-Samuel

As I’ve mentioned before, my current calling is to be a Stake Institute Teacher. It is a very rewarding calling. I love meeting with the YSA and I love teaching, so it seems like a perfect calling.

Previously we have studied the Pearl of Great Price, the Book of Mormon, The Gospel and the Productive Life and Scripture Study – The Power of the Word. This school year, the overwhelming choice was to study the Old Testament.

I’ve decided that I will post my notes each week. Let me first say that I am not an expert on Old Testament language, geography, or anything else. In fact, I probably haven’t studied the Old Testament since I was a missionary. However, I love the gospel and I do prepare for my lessons, so they seem to go ok.

The notes that I share are just that… notes. If the students are interested in a specific scripture, we’ll spend more time talking about it. If they aren’t interested in something, we may go through it quickly.


Introduction

The Old Testament is read by many different religions. It can be viewed and interpreted in many different ways. Like all scripture, it is meant to help us grow closer to Christ. It is ok to have a view of the Old Testament that might not be the same as someone else, as long as it helps you grow closer to Christ. We also must accept that some people will have less orthodox views that us.

NOTE: The manual is rather old, so some quotes are “old school”

Read:

  • 2 Timothy 3: 15-17
  • 1 Nephi 17: 17-43
  • John 5: 39

Whenever ancient scriptures talk about scriptures, it is the Old Testament they are referring to.

It is sacred scripture

If it was important to them, is it still important for us now?

If it is important for us now, why is it so difficult to study?

  • Language
  • Genealogy
  • Parts have been fulfilled
  • Seems irrelevant

So what is there for us?

Think for a moment about yourself. Does your motivation to study the scriptures come from a desire to learn more about God and His dealings with His children? Are you seeking to draw power from the scriptures in order to perfect your life by coming  to Christ? Paul and Nephi have said that, like all other scriptures, the Old Testament will help you accomplish these goals. Do you want to learn more of God and those who were faithful to Him? Then search the stories of the prophets and patriarchs. Would you be inspired by examples of men and women who overcame their weaknesses and went on to perfection? Read of Joseph and Abraham and Sarah and Job and dozens of others. Would you like to find principles of daily living that bring you closer to God? They are there in abundance. Would you like to better know Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to earth as our Redeemer? Then turn to the Old Testament, for, like the other scriptures, it is a  witness of His divinity, His love, and His mercy.

Discuss “facts” about Old Testament

  • 66 books in current bible
  • 39 books in Old Testament
  • 27 books in New Testament
  • 4 categories of books
    1. Law – Genesis through Deuteronomy
      • Also Pentateuch or Torah
      • 5 books of Moses
      • Believed by Jews, Christians, Muslims
    2. History – Joshua through Esther
      • Most books contain history
      • This section deal almost entirely with history
    3. Poetry or Writings – Job through The Song of Solomon
      • Almost 1/3 of the Old Testament is poetry
    4. Prophecy – Isaiah through Malachi
      • The prophets spoke for Jehovah

What is the purpose of the Old Testament?

  • To help us see how God led/protected His people

Who was the God of the Old Testament?

  • Jehovah

Almost everything in the Old Testament bears witness of Christ

  • He speaks
  • His prophets speak and testify of Him
  • Even if there is a question of literalness, you still learn about Christ

Genesis Chapters 1 and 2

There are 3 accounts of the creation

  • Genesis 1-2
  • Moses 1-3
  • Abraham 4-5

The story of the creation has inspired people from the beginning of civilization

GO OVER THE DAYS OF THE CREATION AND WHAT WAS CREATED WHEN

Who created the Earth?

Abraham records that in the midst of “many of the noble and great” premortal spirits was one “like unto God,” who said to them, “We will go down . . . And We will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell” (Abraham 3:22, 24; emphasis added). This passage suggests that others besides Adam may have assisted in the Creation.

Elder Joseph Fielding Smith taught:

“It is true that Adam helped to form this earth. He labored with our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a strong view or conviction that there were others also who assisted them. Perhaps Noah and Enoch; and why  not Joseph Smith,and those who were appointed to  be rulers before the earth was formed? [Abraham 3:2–4.]”

Doctrines of Salvation,1:74–75

At what point was “man” and woman” created?

  • Genesis 1: 27 – male and female were created
  • Genesis 2: 19 – woman was created from man
  • Was this before or after the 7th day?
  • Genesis 2: 23-24 is the marriage of Adam and Eve

How as the Earth created?

  • We don’t know

The Garden of Eden

  • Meaning of Eden is not certain, but it might mean “delight” or “fruitful, well-watered”
  • Was Eden a place, and a garden was there? Was all of Eden a garden?

Definitions

  • Beginning
    • President Brigham Young explained:
      “When was there a beginning? There never was one; if there was, there will be an end; but there never was a beginning, and hence there will never be an end; that looks like eternity. When we talk about the beginning of eternity, it is rather simple conversation, and goes far beyond the capacity of man.”
      Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 47
    • When was the Earth created?
    • How long did it take?
    • A day is
      • 24 hours
      • 1000 years
      • An unspecified length of time
    • The church has no official stance on how long it took
  • Create
    • Formed, prepared, fashioned
  • Dominion
    • Rule
    • Authority
    • How should we treat what we have dominion over?
  • Replenish
    • How can you replenish if it wasn’t there?
    • Proper translation is “to fill”
    • Some people would say that the Earth is full. God has not said that yet
  • Man
    • Genesis 1: 27
    • God create man, male and female he created
    • A complete man is male and female person together
    • “‘And I, God said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man [not a separate man, but a complete man, which is husband and wife] in our image, after our likeness; and it was so.’ (Moses 2:26.) What a beautiful partnership! Adam and Eve were married for eternity by the Lord. Such a marriage extends beyond the grave. All peoples should call for this kind of marriage….
      “This is a partnership. Then when they had created them in the image of God, to them was given the eternal command, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it’ (Gen. 1:28), and as they completed this magnificent creation, they looked it over and pronounced it ‘good, very good’—something that isn’t to be improved upon by our modern intellectuals; the male to till the ground, support the family, to give proper leadership; the woman to cooperate, to bear the children, and to rear and teach them. It was ‘good, very good.’
      “And that’s the way the Lord organized it. This wasn’t an experiment. He knew what he was doing.”
      Spencer W. Kimball, “Speaking Today,” Ensign, Mar. 1976, p. 71
  • Evolution
    • Must remember role of Adam
    • There was a Fall and we needed a Savior
    • Theories change; policies change
    • Doctrine is eternal

“The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life”

This is one of my all-time favourite quotes. We sometimes can get into a debate about the “spirit” of the law and the “letter” of the law. Which is better? Which is right? Which do we follow?

Apparently this was written to one of Joseph F Smith’s sons who was on a mission. He had asked his dad about whether to anoint with oil with the right hand.

The question you ask about anointing seems very simple to me. I think it is the general practice to pour the oil with the right hand. I suppose because most people are right-handed. But there is no law or rule against anointing . . . with the left. We shake with the right hand. In the endowments the signs and tokens are made and given with the right hand. When we lay but one hand on the sick it should be the right. We take the Sacrament with the right hand. The practice makes the rule. But always remember that it is not the rule, or practice, which gives life or force, but the true spirit. There is no good in splitting hairs nor in tickey-technical rules. “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”

Scott Kenney, ed., From Prophet to Son: Advice of Joseph F. Smith to His Missionary Sons, p. 93.
Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:103.

The practice makes the rule, but the rule doesn’t give force. Only truth or the Spirit gives force. I guess according to President Smith, the debate is over… the Spirit wins!

180th Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning Session

Another  General Conference is here. Time sure does fly by. Somehow or other it has worked out that I’m working again today, so I watched this session at work. I will be able to get home before the afternoon session starts.

I have no idea what the messages will be. The economy is slowly improving, but I’m sure there will still be some messages about being wise with our finances. I’m sure there will be messages about reaching out to less-actives. Of course, since it’s Easter weekend, I’m sure we’ll hear some good messages about Christ. A missionary from my ward is serving at Temple Square and helped at a General Authority luncheon. She got to meet President Monson, and he told them what he would be speaking on Sunday morning. This missionary wouldn’t tell us what it was, but said it starts with the letter “R”. We’ll see tomorrow if she’s right 🙂

As it has before, the Move Networks plug-in is amazing. It couldn’t get it to work with IE8 or Firefox 3.6.x, but I downloaded a portable version of 3.5.x and it worked fine.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Sweet Is the Work

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted the session

The choir sang Come, ye children of the Lord

The invocation was offered by Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi

President Thomas S Monson

  • 180 years since Church was organized
  • Grateful for Prophet Joseph Smith
  • Reach out to the new convert or those making their way back
  • Surround them with love
  • Church humanitarian efforts are going around the world. It’s been around for 25 years.
  • Those who suffer are in our prayers
  • We will continue to build temples as our membership grows
  • His wife is recovering well

The choir sang There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today

President Boyd K Packer (sat in his chair)

  • Speaking to the fathers
  • Correlation and restructuring started under President Lee
  • Priesthood was the key
  • Gideon’s army was successful because every man stood in his place
  • It’s not easy to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t easy in His time. It wasn’t easy when the Church was first organized
  • The priesthood will lose great power when the sisters are neglected
  • The priesthood will not be successful until the power of the priesthood is secure in the homes
  • We need to activate the power
  • Power comes from faithful living

Sister Julie B Beck

  • Has met with thousands of sisters
  • There is much distraction, not enough peace and joy
  • No one is rich enough, beautiful enough, or clever enough to avoid a mortal experience
  • Relief Society teaches and inspires women to be strong
  • If we don’t get all the appreciation we think is do, what does it matter?
  • Refine and cultivate in ourselves in all that is good
  • It is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from the proper sources

Bishop Keith B McMullan

  • This is a troubled world
  • God helps us to forgive
  • Duty does not require perfection, but it does require diligent
  • It isn’t just what is legal, but what is virtuous
  • Rests on personal responsibility, integrity and courage
  • Prayer gives us the guidance we need
  • Our path of duty is clearly marked

The choir and congregation sang Guide us, O thou great Jehovah

Elder Wilford W Andersen

  • Visited Nauvoo with his family
  • The early Saints were filled with hope
  • Hope does not depend on circumstance
  • The Haitian Saints are filled with hope for the future
  • Christ has overcome the world and will not forget or abandon us

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • Mothers and daughters play a critical role, despite the undermining influence of the world
  • Men cannot do what women can do in nurturing and influencing
  • Don’t look to contemporary culture for your role models and mentors
  • Do not model yourself after celebrities
  • Trust your mother
  • “Hold your tongues about the things of no moment”
  • Teach your daughters the importance of keeping covenants and then show them how to keep them
  • Teach them to repent and stay worthy
  • Parents and children need to learn from one another

The choir sang He Sent His Son

President Henry B Eyring

  • We help children most by helping them build faith
  • The Lord has put rescuers in place
  • Some of the best rescuers work with people in their teenage years
  • Learn what you should learn, do what you should do, be what you should be
  • We need to make plans that are not only wishes but covenants
  • The YW Personal Progress program recently was revised. AP Duty to God is also revised and there will be one common book for all quorums/ages

The choir sang How Firm a Foundation

The benediction was offered by Elder Erich W Kopischke

Read the recaps and other notes from the 180th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: