Tag Archives: scriptures

Communicating in the Lord’s way

On Saturday I was talking with my wife about communication. I suggested that the next time she was assigned to speak in Sacrament Meeting, she should talk about communication. Then the next day someone actually did speak on that in Sacrament Meeting. The person used the talk Christlike Communications by Elder L. Lionel Kendrick as the source of many of her quotes. Then on Monday the blog Entitled to Revelation had a posting called Promises: All This and Greater Also that also kind of dealt with communication. (Isn’t it interesting how those sorts of things happen?!)

You can read both of those articles/postings yourself. The main point that my wife and I were talking about, was that people need to communicate. We’re talking about this in its most basic form. People need to talk. We need to share. The scriptures are literally full of examples of people who talked/shared. They preached, they counseled, they asked questions, they communicated. Very rarely do we see examples of people who know things but don’t share them (Mary obviously being one exception in Luke 2: 19).

I’ve seen too many times where leaders get frustrated because they find something out too late. When I was a bishop, I remember one time where a family had a car accident and it was weeks before I found out. Others knew but never said anything. I know of other leaders serving with me at the time who would get frustrated when I would forget to share something with them. The end result is that people can’t serve effectively, and the people we should be helping are not getting the full benefit of the resources of the Church.

Obviously we can’t share everything. Some things are confidential. Some things just aren’t important. However, generally, we need to share. We need to be open. We need to care.

My funny kids

On Sunday we had our Ward Conference, so the Stake Presidency, along with many other stake leaders, were there. My oldest son (10-years-old) asked me after Church if I knew the Stake President. I said yes, and he said the next time I am bishop I need to ask him for his autograph. I asked why, and he said, “because he’s the stake president!”

Funny stuff! The first thing is the “next time you’re the bishop” like he just assumed it would happen. The other thing is that he thinks the Stake President is “famous” enough to get his autograph.

I sent an email to the Stake President to let him know that, and he thought it was pretty funny. He said that years ago someone had asked him to get a General Authority to sign something (he didn’t say what it was), and the GA told him that President Hinckley had asked them not to sign things since they aren’t rock stars.

The other funny thing was on Monday at Family Home Evening. My 4-year-old daughter was in charge of the lesson so we told her to get The Friend magazine and pick something. She saw a story with a picture of Jesus and she wanted to read that. I helped her with the lesson and asked a few questions about Jesus. I started off by asking where Jesus was born. My oldest son said Jerusalem. I told him it was a very close answer, but there was specific place the scriptures mention. After a few seconds my daughter blurted out, “Agrabah!” (For those that don’t know, that where Disney’s Aladdin took place). Perhaps that is why there was a party in Agrabah 🙂

Elder Holland speaks at CES Devotional

Did you watch the devotional on Sunday night? I know it was for college-aged adults, but since it available on the Church web site, anyone can watch. I figured since I am a Stake Institute Teacher, it’d be good for me to know what the leaders are saying to the YSA.

It was fantastic! There was a 10-minute section of the middle where I wanted to yell out “Amen!” at the end of every statement. I’m not sure what the “title” of his talk was, but he spoke about how the scriptures are filled with examples of how God called his people to move to a place where things would be well. They would flee or escape and then settle and build. This time in world history we are not doing that. Rather than fleeing, we are attacking. We need to stand for what is right. It was great!

Here are my notes:

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • God is always calling the children of Israel to a place where things will be well
  • They would flee and seek, run and settle and escape and build
  • Our dispensation is different
  • It is a time of might accelerated change
  • We will never again flee
  • Zion is not where you are but how you live
  • Told 3 stores of “Babylon”
    1. Basketball player
      • told a story about a basketball player who left a team to play for another
      • when he returned to the original town to play, the people booed him
      • one fan said they checked their religion at the door and just were fans
      • for the establishment of Zip in the latter-days, you never check your religion at the door
      • We stand as witness at all times and in all places
    2. Girl with rainbow hair
      • spoke of seeing a girl that had hair the colour of all the flavors of sno-cones and lots of piercings
      • how we respond to someone like her needs to make things better
      • we can still have standards, but we need to live them and defend them in a righteous way
      • this is no small task to be able to compassionate, yet still stand up for what you believe to be right
      • there is a sheepfold, and we are all supposed to be in it
      • we can never dumb down our doctrine
    3. Story of family living in awful conditions
      • told a story about visiting a location and speaking with a member who was a policeman
      • the policeman talked about a situation where the family was living in horrible conditions
      • we need to take gospel values to our communities
      • we can’t solve every problem overnight
  • Israel, Israel, God is calling
  • we aren’t fleeing; we are attacking
  • when He comes again, I want to be caught living the gospel
  • God loves you and needs you

I’m looking forward to reading the text of Elder Holland’s talk when it is available.

The fun of scripture reading

Every morning at about 7 am, we sit down as a family and read the scriptures and then pray together. We don’t read a lot (I have a 4, 8, and 10-year-old), but we think it is important to have that habit.

We usually finish without any problems. Sometimes it is hard to get the kids to focus, but they generally follow along.

This morning, my 4-year-old daughter was sitting on my wife’s lap. We had finished reading the scriptures, and just before my oldest son offered the morning prayer, my daughter blurted out, “Food becomes snot.” She said it in a super cheerful voice, just like she was saying “today is sunny” or “I like toys”. We finished reading Mosiah 28 this morning, so we have no idea what made her think/say that, but it was hilarious!

Marking my scriptures

Entitled to Revelation had a posting earlier this week about colour-coding your scriptures. That has prompted me to share how I’ve marked my scriptures in the past.

I attended Seminary when I was in high school. I had a set of scriptures that I used. They were the less expensive kind, so the quality of the binding wasn’t great. After 4 years of study, they were falling apart. Around when I turned 18 I got a new set of scriptures. They were beautiful! Unfortunately, they didn’t have any of my markings in them. That was less beautiful 🙁

I spent the next year copying over my markings, and then starting new ones. At the time, I decided on a colour coding system. I can’t remember all of them, but this is generally how it worked:

  • Blue – rightesouness
  • Orange – wickedness
  • Burgundy – prophecy
  • Green – general
  • Yellow – commandments

There may have been more, but that is what I can remember off the top of my head. Here is a page showing some of the colours.

Here I am 18 years later, and I am so grateful I marked them that way. At a glance I can see what the page is about. It also helps me look things up as I generally know where things are, and I know the type of scripture it is, so I can focus on a colour when I’m searching.

I don’t mark with colour any more. I generally underline in pen and/or make notes in the margins. But I love my work from before my mission. It has served me well!

Brick of Mormon Stories — LEGO-Illustrated Book of Mormon Stories

It is hard to keep small children interested in reading the scriptures. You can only read the scripture story books so many times. A few years ago I was looking around, and found Brick of Mormon Stories. It is a book that has a short story about many of the events in the Book of Mormon, and then it has a picture of a LEGO scene depicting the event. It is pretty cool. My oldest two sons are LEGO fanatics, and they just loved it. If you are looking for a new way to read the scriptures with your kids, then you should definitely check it out.

Count your blessings

We recently had a family home evening lesson about what we were grateful for. Here is a list of things that were mentioned by the 5 members of my family. You can probably guess which ones were from adults and which ones were from kids, but there are definitely some that could be either (I’ll leave it up to you to guess). Overall, it’s not a bad list. I’m pleased that we were able to think of such a wide range of things.

  • our home
  • priesthood
  • family
  • love
  • job
  • food
  • brothers and sisters
  • my best friend
  • the Church
  • toys
  • our fish
  • prayer
  • comfortable furniture
  • books
  • clothes
  • music
  • school
  • teachers
  • flowers
  • games
  • spring
  • movies
  • funny people
  • nature
  • animals
  • temple
  • scriptures
  • life
  • weather

180th Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon Session

I made it home from work to watch this session at home (4 PM start where I am). It was much easier to pay attention at work. Saturdays are always slow, so I could just watch the session. However, at home, there were 3 small children running around, talking, and being generally distracting. It’s hard to be mad at them for being themselves, but it was also a little frustrating. We still managed to get through it 🙂

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A choir from the Orem Institute of Religion sang Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice

The invocation was offered by Lynn G Robbins

President Dieter F Uchtdorf presented the sustaining of church officers. There is a new Primary Presidency as well as a few new members of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Second Quorum of the Seventy. There were also loads of Area Seventies released and called.

Robert W Cantwell, Managing Director of the Church Auditing Department, presented the Church audit report. It’s all good.

Brook P Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency, presented the Church 2009 Statistical Report.

  • Stakes 2,865
  • Missions 344
  • Districts 616
  • Wards and Branches 28,424
  • Members 13,824,854
  • Child of record baptism 119,722
  • Convert baptism 280,106
  • Full-time Missionaries 51,736
  • Temples dedicated 2
  • Total temples in operation 130

Elder L Tom Perry

  • Mother’s best teaching occurred at home, not with the sisters at church
  • His mother thought a mind would become weak if it was not constantly being exercised
  • Though times change, a parent’s teachings should never be devalued
  • One of the most important activities is parents teaching the children in their home

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • William Tyndale translate the bible into English and was put in jail
  • His work became the foundation for almost all future English translations of the bible
  • Through the scriptures God shows His power to save His children
  • We have the scriptural record to enlarge our memory
  • We are becoming illiterate because we aren’t opening books. We are forgetting things our grandparents knew.
  • His commandments are the voice of reality
  • The central purpose of scriptures is to fill us with faith in God the Father and Jesus Christ
  • Scriptures are revelation and will bring added revelation

The choir and congregation sang We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet

Elder Koichi Aoyagi

  • Hands that help
  • Shared story of conversion
  • “I realized that I was not praying with all of my heart, and decided to do so. One morning I woke up early and knelt in my small apartment and prayed sincerely. To my surprise, the confirmation of the Holy Ghost came upon me as promised. My heart burned, my body shook…”
  • Follow the prophet, he knows the way
  • Sometimes we feel we lack the experience to rescue others, but we need to do it
  • We are surrounded by those who need us

Elder Bruce A Carlson

  • Strict obedience to God’s law brings blessings
  • “The safety in the Church lies in the members keeping the commandments. As they keep the commandments, blessings will come”
  • If we don’t keep the commandments, we are headed for disaster
  • Faithful obedience, regardless of the apparent size of the task will bring the Lord’s guidance, assistance, and peace
  • “When the Lord commands, do it”

Elder David A Bednar

  • He was recently driving in the rain. A sign said standing water ahead. The road seemed safe, but this sign helped him prepare
  • Early warning signals are evident in many aspects of our lives
  • Spiritual warnings should lead to increased watching
  • An early warning signal consists of 3 parts:
    1. Reading and talking about the Book of Mormon  with your children
      Book of Mormon speaks to the spirit and heart of the reader more than any other volume of scripture
    2. Bearing testimony spontaneously to your children
      A naturally occurring family conversation is a great way to testify of blessings received during the day
    3. Inviting children to act, not merely to be act upon
      Be doers of the word.
  • A child is never to young to take part in this pattern of learning
  • We are not in the business of distributing fish. We are teaching people to fish
  • The best Family Home Evenings are not necessarily from purchased or downloaded packets. Search the scriptures together
  • Are we teaching our children to be anxiously engaged?

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • Why is there so much moral decay around us?
  • The Internet can blast a hole in your brain
  • The problems are no respecter of persons
  • Lust is  a deadly sin. It defiles the holiest relationship God gives us in mortality
  • True love we’re giddy about, but lust is characterized by shame and stealth
  • Love makes us reach out to Go, lust is anything but Godly
  • Start by separating yourself from people, material and circumstances that will hurt you
  • When fleeing temptation, do not leave a forwarding address
  • Ask for angels to help you
  • The only real control in life is self-control
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step
  • Remember the symbols you take with you from the temple, never to be set aside or forgotten
  • We can reject the evil one

The choir sang Nearer, My God, To Thee

The benediction was offered by Elder Craig C Christensen

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

The Last Supper!

Last night my wife did the Family Home Evening lesson. She called it “Scriptures In A Bag” (I’m not sure whether she made this up or found it online). She had several small paper bags on the floor, and each of them had an object or two in it. By seeing the objects in the bag, we were supposed to come up with a scripture that related to those objects. There were pictures of temples in one bag, a container of water in the other, a boat, notepad and pencil, and more. One of the bags that a toy peach, tomato and muffin in it. I joked with the family that I didn’t remember seeing any scripture that had a peach, tomato and muffin in it. My son that blurted out very loudly, “The last supper!”

Our motivation for doing things

I don’t have anything deep to say about this, but it’s something I’ve thought about before and figured I’d put up something quick about it.

I’m certainly not the only one who has thought of this, but there seems to be a progression of why we do things. Sometimes we do things because we have to. Sometimes we do things because we want to. I suppose there are a variety of reasons why we might do things, and I’ve listed a few of them below.

  1. We do it because we feel we have to because of family and/or friends
  2. We do it because we are scared of potential consequences
  3. We do it because we don’t see any drawback to doing it
  4. We do it because we want to be obedient, and we have a testimony that obedience to that principle really does bring blessings

Is one reason better than another? If we are being obedient isn’t that good enough? What about the good gift/bad gift scriptures? If you are doing something for the wrong reason, is it worth doing at all? If you are doing something because of someone else, does the “believe on their words” gift of the Spirit apply?