Tag Archives: courage

Elizabeth Smart is my hero

I hope that didn’t sound sarcastic, because I mean it. Let me explain why…

When the 14-year-old Mormon Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped in 2002, it got a fair amount of attention in my part of the world. I live in Canada near Buffalo, and so a lot of our radio and TV stations come from “over the river”. The Canadian media also reported on things a fair bit.

I only had 1 child at the time (a baby) and I could only imagine what her parents must have been going through. When she was found, it seemed like a miracle.

I wondered how “messed up” this young woman would be. She had to try to get back to a normal life after almost daily rapes. Her life was threatened and she was forcibly removed from her home. Could she grow up and be “normal”?

I have no idea how difficult it was, but it was great to hear that she was going on a mission (to France). Then later came word that she was getting married (I think in the Hawaii Temple).

Now she has written a book, and apparently she tells it all. I read somewhere that she figured there would be no point in writing a book if she only shared half the story.

So after all of that, I thought, “Good for her! What a nice person.” Then earlier this week she was interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air. That is when she truly became my hero. She was so calm; so well-spoken; a person who didn’t seem to be full of hate or bitterness; a person who cherished her family; a person who knows that God loves her. She showed her faith, and represented her family and the Church well.

People like Elizabeth are heroes. Movie stars, athletes and pop stars generally aren’t. I’ve been lucky enough in my life to know a couple of people who have overcome huge challenges and I marvel at how they managed. Faith played a large part. The support of loved ones (family, friends, and community) helped.

If these people can survive what they have gone through, and even flourish afterwards, then it inspires me to keep slogging through my difficulties.

Thank you Elizabeth and others for being such an example to us all.

“Positive Messages in Movies” Youth Fireside

20130217 Youth FiresideSo, now that I am the YM President, that means I have to come up with interesting/entertaining ways to teach the youth. As you can imagine, this is not always an easy task!

I did a fireside with the youth back when I was bishop and it has been long enough that I figured none of the youth were in the youth program at that time, so I went ahead and did the same sort of thing again. For the fireside I showed clips from some movies and asked the youth to think about a gospel principle or scripture that would relate to the movie. It seemed like a good way to talk about a few different gospel themes, and to have fun. I think it went well.

Here are my notes from the fireside. If you wanted to do something like this, you can find lots of movie clips on YouTube.


Introduction

Have a youth read pg 11 “Entertainment and Media” from For the Strength of Youth.

Satan uses media to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal, humorous, or exciting. He tries to mislead you into thinking that breaking God’s commandments is acceptable and has no negative consequences for you or others. Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable. Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit.

How can you decide what movies are appropriate?

Read Moroni 7: 12

Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

The thought is expanded in Moroni 7: 13

But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

Why does it lead to do goo? Because of the Holy Spirit that accompanies it. Read D&C 11: 12

And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.

So, the media we watch/listen to needs to motivate us to do good, to be better.

I’m not saying that these movies are the best and are of God. I’m just highlighting a small clip. Only you and your family can decide what is appropriate.

The Movies

  1. Star Wars Episode 1 (YouTube clip) – 8 s
    Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering

    1. 2 Nephi 2: 25 –  25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
    2.  1 John 4: 8 – He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
    3.  2 Timothy 1: 7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
  2. The Lion King (1:03:34-1:05:10) – 1 m 35 s
    He lives in you;  remember who you are

    1. Genesis 1: 27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    2. 1 John 3: 2 – Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
  3. Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix (YouTube clip) – 21 s
    Sirius says to Harry “we’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

    1. Mosiah 3: 19 – For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
    2. 2 Nephi 2: 11 – For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
    3. 2 Nephi 2: 27 – Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
  4. Kung-Fu Panda (0:30:36-0:31:12) – 36 s
    Master Oogway  says today is a gift that it is why it’s called the present

    1. Mark 1: 15 – And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
    2. Alma 34:32 – For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
    3. Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
  5. Spider-Man (YouTube clip, 01:00-1:33) – 33 s
    with great power comes great responsibility

    1. Luke 12: 48 – But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
    2. D&C 82: 3 – For of him unto whom much is given much is required; and he who sins against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation.
  6. Aladdin (YouTube clip) – 1 m 14 s
    just bee yourself

    1. John 8: 32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
    2. 1 Samuel 16: 7 – But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
  7. Batman Forever (0:19:25-0:19:39) – 14 s
    Caffeine’ll kill ya

    1. D&C 89: 9 – And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.
  8. Finding Nemo (0:13:15-0:16:08) – 2 m 53 s
    Nemo hates father, touches boat (butt), gets captured. Marlin will do anything to save him
    NOTE: The YM thought the “butt” part was relevant (don’t touch the butt) 🙂

    1. D&C 18: 10 – Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
    2. Exodus 20: 12 – Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
    3. Luke 15: 4 – What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
    4. Luke 15: 32 – It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
  9. Harry Potter: The Half-Blood Prince (0:30:51-0:31:55) – 1 m 2 s
    The dark sides greatest weapon is you

    1. Joshua 24: 15 – And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
    2. Matthew 6: 24 – No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
    3. Luke 22: 31 – And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat
  10. Finding Nemo (0:32:00-0:32:39) – 39 s
    Just keep swimming (persevere, endure)

    1. Matthew 24: 13 – But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
    2. 2 Nephi 31: 20 – Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
  11. Wreck-It Ralph (1:31:00-1:33:03) – 2 m 3 s
    be happy/thankful with who you are as there are benefits you might not expect

    1. 2 Nephi 32: 5 – For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
    2. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice evermore.
      Pray without ceasing.
      In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
    3. D&C 78: 19 – And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.
  12. The Dark Knight Rises (2:29:08-2:29:44) – 36 s
    Just before Batman takes the nuclear bomb away, he tells Commissioner Gordon that a hero can be anyone, including people who do simple things

    1. Alma 37: 6 – Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
    2. 1 Timothy 1: 4 – Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
      (BD says “The reference is probably to exaggerated stories of the heroes and patriarchs of early Hebrew history”)
  13. Tarzan (1:17:00-1:17:50) – 50 s
    Kerchak is about to die. He apologizes to Tarzan

    1. D&C 64: 10 – I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
    2. Alma 4: 19 – And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.
    3. D&C 54: 2 – Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, my servant Newel Knight, you shall stand fast in the office whereunto I have appointed you.
  14. Batman Begins (YouTube clip, 0:00-2:31) – 2 m 31 s
    always mind your surroundings; sacrificed sure footing for a killing stroke

    1. 1 Samuel 15: 22 – And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
    2. D&C 87: 8 – Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.

I saved this one for the end, not because it is the best one, but because it kind of is related to this year’s theme. We had a mutual activity where we talked about what it meant to be on firm ground, how to stand properly, and the importance of good footing. We need to make sure that we are not sacrificing our sure footing for something that will put us in danger.

182nd Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

In between sessions, I went out with my father to a Chinese food buffet. Usually the women and children at home do something together. Since they were going to be spending money on food, my father suggested that we all go, so that’s what we did. There were 9 of us all together, and it was nice. In case you are interested, my fortune was “Get to the point and keep it clear and simple.”


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A priesthood choir from the Ogden Utah area sang Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Elder Jay E Jensen offered the invocation

The choir sang Love One Another

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • in the world today men and boys get conflicting advice on how they should be
  • some thing that life is a competition between man and woman
  • some take the negative signals and use them as an excuse
  • it cannot be this way with us
  • we must be men that women, children, and God can trust
  • whatever you do, be proficient
  • be worthy models and help the rising generation
  • we need strong quorums
  • the Church, the world and women are calling for us
  • rise up, o men of God

Bishop Gary E Stevenson

  • spoke of Helaman’s stripling soldiers
  • be valiant for courage
  • have the conviction to courageously do what is right
  • story of a friend named John who went to Japan for school; attended a party where marijuana was about to be used but left; those “caught” were expelled and sent home
  • teens are 3x to 5x more likely to use drugs or alcohol if seen on social media
  • to click or not to click
  • what you do and where you go shapes who you become

Elder Anthony D Perkins

  • young men need to prepare
  • don’t squander priesthood power
  • deep personal conversion and family relations keep is on the path
    1. pray always
    2. study ancient and modern scriptures to connect us to God
    3. worthily participate in ordinances prepares us to take the Holy Spirit as our guide
    4. showing genuine love is at the heart of personal conversion and family relations
    5. obeying the law of tithing is an essential element
    6. fully living the Law of Chastity gives us the confidence to stand in the presence of God with the Holy Ghost as our constant companion
  • obeying these principles prepares us to make and keep temple covenants
  • if our soul is drifting to an edge of a spiritual cliff, stop and steer back in the right direction

The choir and congregation sang Guide Us O Thou Great Jehovah

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • years ago he and a couple of friends restored an old airplane
  • recently got to fly in a fighter jet
  • these experiences were very similar, yet very different
  • our individual service in the gospel can be quite different
  • some live in areas that are fully staffed; others in areas with very few people
  • no matter your circumstances you and I know there is joy from dedicated priesthood service
  • it is easy to find things to complain about, but as His servants, we need to act in His name
  • as a pilot, he touched the sky; as a member of the Church he has felt heaven’s embrace
  • know the doctrine
  • be wise and act up on the gained knowledge
  • deepen your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

President Henry B Eyring

  • help your children understand the spiritual gifts they were born with
  • shared story of height boards he carved for his sons
  • we all have gifts to serve Him

President Thomas S Monson

  • there is nothing that will provide more comfort than a testimony of the truth
  • there are those without a testimony who would have one if we shared ours
  • we all need to be told we amount to something
  • mentioned the story of Warden Duffy (see my notes Leadership Training Conference with Elder Ballard post)
  • we need to see men as what they will become
  • to each of us comes the mandate to share the gospel of Jesus Christ

The choir sang Hope of Israel

Elder Patrick Kearon offered the benediction


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