I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from The Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.
- President Marion G. Romney

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Latter-Day Saint Voices-Ensign July 2009

Last night was one of those perfect nights. The boys went to bed early, the kitchen was clean and I had time to lay in bed and read church magazines before falling asleep.

I was reading from the friend looking for ideas for family night lessons for the month. My husband passed me the Ensign with the page opened to this article and said I think you need to read this. I did, twice. Maybe even three times. (Repetition is good) I learned something new each and every time I read it.

Was I Living the Gospel Fully?

By Carolynn R. Spencer

Carolynn R. Spencer, “Was I Living the Gospel Fully?,” Ensign, July 2009, 71

My scripture study would have to wait. All three of our sons had awakened—and much earlier than usual. The youngest, Caden, then 18 months old, was screaming in his crib. I went into his room and saw instantly that he was sick.

Thus began a Monday of one challenge after another. At one point, shortly after I had changed Caden’s clothes and tried to feed him, he flung a large jar onto the floor, spilling applesauce everywhere and sending shattered glass across the kitchen. As I was cleaning up the mess, I thought about all the things I wasn’t getting done: family history, service, home storage, missionary work.

“How in the world can I do everything I know I should be doing when I am barely managing the basic tasks of my day?” I wondered. By early evening I was exhausted, but I set aside discouraging thoughts during dinner, family home evening, and the boys’ bath and bedtime routine.

Finally, with the children in bed, I sat down to do what I had not had time for earlier. I picked up the May 2006 Ensign, which was open to a talk by President Henry B. Eyring titled “As a Child.” My eyes fell on a passage I had previously marked: “To keep the blessing of [changed natures] in our hearts will require determination, effort, and faith. King Benjamin taught at least some of what that will require. He said that to retain a remission of our sins from day to day we must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually and temporally” (Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 17).

Immediately, I again felt that I wasn’t living the gospel fully. I wondered, “How can I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually and temporally when I can scarcely take care of my own family?”

That’s when I experienced an overwhelming feeling of divine approval. It was so clear, precise, and tangible that I knew I had to write it down so I wouldn’t forget. I could see my day replay in my mind—full of feeding the hungry, doing laundry to clothe the naked (I changed Caden’s outfit multiple times), gently caring for our sick baby, helping our five-year-old prepare a family home evening lesson on missionary work, and then discussing the power of example with my family—in other words, helping people spiritually and temporally.

The impression flowed with such an overpowering feeling of peace that I knew the Lord was telling me He had accepted my offering. In caring for my family, I was fulfilling the admonitions of King Benjamin and President Eyring.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Song of the Righteous; A prayer unto Me- Hymn 223

I've been thinking about an idea for about a week now. And I've decided enough thinking! Time to act. Even if I'm the only one who comments; it's like a church lesson, often times it's the teacher that needs to hear it most. But I'd like to encourage everyone to comment, we can learn a lot from each other.

So my idea was that I would pick a church Hymn. I love the Hymns. I once made it a goal to memorize my 25 most favorite hymns, all the verses. And I did. And then I picked 25 more. And 25 more. And then I decided to memorize the first and last verses of 25 more. I love it. It's a work in progress, but I have seen the blessings of it numerous times over.

Often times I've found myself in a scary situation; driving in a snow storm, riding in a taxi with my baby in anaphylactic shock, driving home late and I'm tired. Other times I've been in need of an answer to a prayer, a reminder that I'm loved or a way to calm a sad child. At those times (and countless others) I've been able to recall the beautiful words of the hymns. And I can testify that the song of the righteous is indeed a prayer. One that gives strength and delivers peace.

I LOVE the hymns. If you look on lds.org and search hymns you'll find that there are several references to blessings and power of hymns. The following was in the Liahona and the Ensign in 2007.

The Nourishing Power of Hymns by Elder Jay E. Jensen Of the Seventy

Last Sunday, as I was thinking about our Julie A. and Brigham and the rest of the family, I was feeling very far away from the situation. Boston-Utah. I felt completely helpless. I knew my prayers would be heard and felt, but how could my prayers become answers without physically being able to serve them, in person.

The situation was weighing heavily on my mind as I went to Sacrament meeting.

And then as our closing hymn, we sang 223 Have I Done any Good.

The words in the second verse resonated in my mind and heart all afternoon. "there are chances for work all around just now, opportunities right in our way. Do not let them pass by, saying Sometime I'll try. But go and do something, TODAY."

I knew I could do something right then. And something we did, but not all on our own. I was amazed at the effect our prayers had, doors were opened hearts were made available and many were blessed by serving. Even serving someone they didn't know directly. I was once again reminded that we are the serving hands of the Lord here on earth, when our hearts are able and willing, mountains can be moved.

The scriptures that go along with the hymn are

James 1:22, 27

27 Pure areligion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To bvisit the cfatherless and dwidows in their eaffliction, and to keep himself funspotted from gthe hworld.

22 But be ye adoers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.


Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord, for the time is at hand that all men shall reap a areward of their bworks, according to that which they have been—if they have been righteous they shall creap the salvation of their souls, according to the power and deliverance of Jesus Christ;

Please share your thoughts on the hymns and then pray to have your heart and mind open to the opportunities that are all around just now.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Living Scripture- Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually by Elder Robert D. Hales

Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually by Elder Robert D. Hales

Lets read this talk and discuss what we've learned, in the comments section.

I have yet to read it again, today, but I remember being greatly touched by the words that were spoken.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Living Scripture- Honorably Hold a Name and Standing by Elder David A. Bednar

I love Elder Bednar. I love the plainness with which he speaks. I love the way he invites the hearer to learn by the Spirit, with him. Hearing Him talk in Conference reminds me of many devotional Tuesdays (at Ricks College) spent learning with him. Even then he invited the Spirit to accompany us as we opened our scriptures and learned together. I love the way he teaches that the learning never stops.

In Conference Elder Bednar spoke about Temples. Honorably Hold a Name and Standing As you read think about your answers to the following questions.

  • Why is gathering important in the church?
  • How does this gathering help us as a members of the church?
  • How do temples help us to gather?
  • How does the temple help protect us?
  • What was it the gave the early Saints such great strength amidst great adversity?
  • Can we obtain the Fire of the Covenant?
Please feel free to share any observations or thoughts you had while reading.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lesson 16 "Thou Shalt...Offer Up Thy Sacraments upon My Holy Day"

Reading assignment: Doctrine and Covenants 50;
Bible Dictionary, "Sabbath," pages 764-765

And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day. (D&C 59:9)

As you read Section 59, think about these questions
  • Why do you think it is important to meet together to worship God on the Sabbath?
  • What can you do to prepare yourself for Sunday meeting?
  • Why is it important to partake of the sacrament each week?
  • What does it mean to rest from our labors? How does resting from our labors show our devotion to God? (D&C 59:10)
President John Taylor said: "To serve the Lord, is one of the great objects of our existence; and I appreciate as a great privilege the opportunity we enjoy of worshipping God on the Sabbath day. And when we do meet to worship God, I like to see us worship him with all our hearts. I think it altogether out of place on such occasions to hear people talk about secular things; these are times, above all others perhaps, when our feelings and affections should be drawn out toward God. If we sing praises to God, let us do it in the proper spirit; if we pray, let every soul be engaged in prayer, doing it with all our hearts, that through our union our spirits may be blended in one, that our prayers and our worship may be available with God, whose Spirit permeates all things, and is always present in the assemblies of good and faithful Saints."

My favorite verse was verse 9. I love how it begins "And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world" I love the feelings I have after attending church on Sunday. I come away wanting to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. My testimony is strengthened. I feel stronger and better prepared to face temptation. I am reminded of the covenants I have made. I feel the spirit. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lesson 15 – Final Thoughts

We discussed this lesson in our Gospel Doctrine class today, and our teacher related this quote from Elder Bruce R. McConkie: “Spiritual gifts are endless in number and infinite in variety. Those listed in the revealed word are simply illustrations.”  So in addition to the gifts listed in D&C 46, and 1 Corinthians 12 & 13 some others are:

  • less-conspicuous gifts” include “the gift of asking; the gift of listening; the gift of hearing and using a still, small voice; … the gift of avoiding contention; the gift of being agreeable; … the gift of seeking that which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to God for guidance; the gift of being a disciple; the gift of caring for others; the gift of being able to ponder; the gift of offering prayer; the gift of bearing a mighty testimony; and the gift of receiving the Holy Ghost”   -Marvin J. Ashton

At the end of the lesson, he shared with us this video from the Mormon Messages channel on YouTube, and it was very fitting:


My favorite part from the lesson was when we read D&C 46:13-14 :

“To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

“To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if continue faithful.”

Some people get up to bear their testimony and they know certain things about the church, and others don’t know these things but they have a belief; and this scripture reminds us that belief is enough ~ whether you know or believe, you may have eternal life.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and thanks for studying with me this week!

Another article that might be of interest is here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lesson 15 – Part 2

I wanted to start today with sharing some answers to the questions I asked in part 1.   As I read the chapter from Tuesday, I kept thinking that there was a conference talk on seeking the best gifts recently, but I couldn’t find one. 

I did find this article from the General Relief Society Presidency though.  In it  they tell us that spiritual gifts are different from blessing such as talents, relationships or specialized learning.  These gifts are given to us when we are keeping the commandments and are available to us as a help to serve and lead others in our lives. 

I love sitting back and considering the different gifts in my life.  For me, it seems that I have had some at different points in my life and others later on.  Some of the gifts mentioned are: the power to heal, the power to be healed, testimony, faith, knowledge, speaking in tongues, the interpretation of tongues, etc.

The article mentions six qualifications to gaining these gifts:

  1. They are not sought as signs
  2. They are to be used in the service of others
  3. We should “ask in the spirit”
  4. They are to be used in the “name of Christ”
  5. We must thank God for the blessings (gifts) that we receive
  6. We must “practice virtue and holiness” before the Lord always

For today, let’s read 1 Corinthians chapters 12 & 13.  As you study, ponder the gifts in your life.  Consider how a patriarchal blessing can help in understanding what blessings or gifts the Lord may have given us or may yet give to us.  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lesson 15 – Part 1

“We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.”

-Articles of Faith #7

“…seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;  For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts.”

-Doctrine and Covenants 46:9-10

For today’s reading we’ll study all of Doctrine and Covenants 46 so that we may understand why we have been counseled to earnestly seek the best gifts.

As you study, try to answer these questions:

Are this gifts different from blessings?  How?

What are the purposes of the gifts of the Spirit?

What can you do to seek gifts of the spirit?  Does everyone in the church have these gifts?

What are the six qualifications listed in the verses in order for us to receive theses gifts?

What types of gifts are available?

Have you had any personal experience with these gifts that you are willing to share?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Until We Meet Again

President Monson ended conference with a wonderful talk in which he admonished us to "long remember that which we have heard during this conference." He also said, "I urge you to study the messages and to ponder their teachings and then to apply them in your life."

Now that the text of conference is online we can begin studying the talks and discussing them. Video and audio of conference can be found here.

Let us begin with President Monson's ending talk, Until We Meet Again. In it, he gives us a wide variety of wise counsel. I was touched by when he advised that parents pray for their children, pray that they will grow in faith and service. I liked that he told children to thank their children. The reminders of the dangers of the internet were good too- it started a good conversation with my 8 year old son who is starting to be on the computer more. For me, it seemed like so many of the speakers were talking right to me ~ getting after me to be more diligent in my temple worship. It's been longer than it should have been since I went, and so many reminders to get out there and do it were helpful to me.
Were there any bits that struck you in particular? Anything that touched you from this talk? Do you have any questions about any of it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Lesson 13

I'd like to talk about Conference this week as well, so I'm going to break this lesson up into 2 days. The reading is below. Does it help to have questions to lead thoughts? Or do you like to read and then make your own comments and come up with questions for others to consider in the comments?

This Generation Shall Have My Word through You”

Lesson 13: “This Generation Shall Have My Word through You”, Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Class Member Study Guide, 9

Reading assignment: The scriptures listed in the following questions and in the scripture chain; Bible Dictionary, “Joseph Smith Translation,” 717; Our Heritage,pages 23–25, 41, 58.

  • • Joseph Smith’s role in restoring and receiving the Lord’s word was foretold on several occasions. What prophecies are found in Moses 1:40–41 and 2 Nephi 3:11–15? What scriptures have come to us through the Prophet Joseph Smith?

  • • Identify some plain and precious doctrines of the gospel that were restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. (See the following scripture chain.)

Scripture Chain: Doctrines and Practices Restored through Joseph Smith

D&C 84:19–25 (Melchizedek Priesthood)

D&C 88:15–24 (Three kingdoms of glory; see also D&C 76:50–112)

D&C 93:29 (Premortal existence)

D&C 107:23, 33, 35 (Apostles and prophets)

D&C 124:37–42 (Temples)

D&C 128:16–18 (Baptism for the dead)

D&C 130:22 (The Godhead)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lesson 11 cont... sort of....

Sorry about the lack of posts, but I've had a nasty head cold the past few days.... I swear what I'm about to write is related to the gospel - bare with me! :)

While I was watching TV the other night, I saw a special on Nightline. They created a panel of four people coming from very different backgrounds. Two of the individuals believed that Satan exists and the other two did not.  

I found it most intriguing to listen to the arguments of those who did not believe in Satan. The most heated portions of the debates came when those without belief in Satan asked for proof of Satan's existence. The two men who did not believe kept hammering away at those that did, belittling them and making their faith-based belief seem small. There really was some dark power behind them and their words. 

What I got out of the 'face-off' were these main points- 

1st: One of the people on the panel, a preacher, pointed out a fundamental belief that we hold. That is, belief in God implies a belief in Satan. You cannot know good without evil, you cannot know pleasure without also knowing pain. This knowledge is not just something created in the universe. It is real.  

2nd: I think that one of the most powerful tools Satan has is convincing people that he doesn't exist. How better way is there to creep into someone's life if you won't or can't even recognize his presence?

3rd: Faith is enough. I don't know how else to put this. If you have a confirmation, if you believe in something, have faith in it, you don't need tangible proof. Throughout the history of the church, even through the scriptures, this has proven to be the case. We cannot be the generation of sign-seekers. 

4th- What is so terrible about being 'old-fashioned'. I got the impression through watching the debate that those who believed in God and believed in Satan were painted as naive. This is what Satan wants. When we are painted into a corner, when those around us make us feel like less than we are, that we are not as enlightened, we are at risk of forgetting the truth we know. 

Forgive me for getting off topic, but I felt that this was relevant and I hope that you think it is too! I would love to hear feedback on what has been discussed or if you watch the face-off (you can just watch certain segments of it). 

Click here to read more about it or here to watch the full 'face-off'.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lesson 11

One of the things that I found most interesting about this lesson was in D&C 4:2, which means a lot to me personally.

~ "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day" ~

We are taught to serve God with all that we have. I imagine myself someday standing before God, and being asked what I have done to serve him. I have read this scripture many times. Years ago, I felt that serving God meant serving dutifully in whatever church calling I am serving in. But I have realized that serving God means much more.

I am serving God when I am an example in the workplace. I am serving God when I go to the temple. I am serving God when I read my scriptures. I am serving God when I support or grieve with others. I am serving God when I strive to help the spirit reside in my home.

I would ask everyone to consider how they serve God. What do we do everyday to serve God with all that we have? Are there ways that we can serve with more of our faculties? 

Monday, March 23, 2009

This Week

Hello Everyone! I just wanted to post something and let everyone know that I'll be posting my thoughts on the lesson tomorrow and probably Thursday. Until then!


Friday, March 20, 2009

Lesson 10, Part 3: Pride

Emma was warned in verse 14 of D&C 25 to avoid pride:

"Continue in the spirit of meekness, and beware of pride..."

President Benson gave a talk called "Cleansing the Inner Vessel" during General Conference in May 1986.

Pride does not look up to God and care about what is right. It looks sideways to man and argues who is right. Pride is manifest in the spirit of contention.

Was it not through pride that the devil became the devil? Christ wanted to serve. The devil wanted to rule. Christ wanted to bring men to where He was. The devil wanted to be above men.

Christ removed self as the force in His perfect life. It was not my will, but thine be done.

Pride is characterized by “What do I want out of life?” rather than by “What would God have me do with my life?” It is self-will as opposed to God’s will. It is the fear of man over the fear of God.

Humility responds to God’s will—to the fear of His judgments and the needs of those around us. To the proud, the applause of the world rings in their ears; to the humble, the applause of heaven warms their hearts.

Someone has said, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.” Of one brother, the Lord said, “I, the Lord, am not well pleased with him, for he seeketh to excel, and he is not sufficiently meek before me.” (D&C 58:41.)

The two groups in the Book of Mormon that seemed to have the greatest difficulty with pride are the “learned, and the rich.” (2 Ne. 28:15.) But the word of God can pull down pride. (See Alma 4:19.)

With pride, there are many curses. With humility, there come many blessings. For example, “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.” (D&C 112:10.) The humble will “be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge.” (D&C 1:28.) The Lord is “merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts.” (D&C 61:2.) Humility can turn away God’s anger. (See Hel. 11:11.)

Blessings for those who are humble:

D&C 1:28

D&C 19:23

D&C 112: 10

D&C 124:97

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lesson 10, part 2 "Likening the Scriptures to Ourselves"

The scripture chain in this lesson is "Likening the Scriptures to Ourselves". Did you see the article in this month's Ensign under the same name?

Some of the suggestions in the article were:
  • • What situations in my life are like the situations in these verses?

  • • What are the principles in this chapter that will help me in my own circumstances?

  • • What events or circumstances in my day are like the events or circumstances in these verses?

  • • Is there something in this chapter that helps me with a current personal problem, question, challenge, or concern?

  • • Is there something taught that is similar to what the living prophet and apostles are teaching today?

  • • Is there something taught that could help with an issue the world is struggling with today?

Do you have other ideas that we can use to help us personalize our scripture study? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Scripture Chain:
1 Nephi 19:23
D&C 25:13–16
D&C 61:36–37
D&C 82:1–6

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lesson 10 "This is My Voice Unto All"

Reading Assignment: Doctrine and Covenants 25

Today I just want to look at verse 2, in this revelation to Emma Smith:
"A revelation I give unto you concerning my will; and if you art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion."

Take a minute and reread this talk by Sister Dalton from last October's conference, "A Return to Virtue."

A return to virtue must begin individually in our hearts and in our homes. What can each of us do to begin our return to virtue? The course and the training program will be unique to each of us. I have derived my personal training program from instructions found in the scriptures: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly.” “Stand . . . in holy places.” “Cleave unto [your] covenants.” “Lay aside the things of [the] world.” “Believe that ye must repent.”“Always remember him and keep his commandments.” And “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, . . . seek after these things.” Now more than ever before, it is time to respond to Moroni’s call to “awake, and arise” and to “lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.”

What parts of that talk stuck out most to you? Please share you thoughts in the comments.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Lord's expectations of us as Church Members

*Read D&C 20:68-69. what do these verses reveal about the Lord's expectations of us as Church members?
These verses reminded me to live as I believe, "by a godly walk and conversation". They make me want to watch more closely the things I am saying and be a better representative of this only true and living church that I am blessed to be a member of.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lesson 9 "The Only True and Living Church"

Reading assignment: Doctrine and Covenants 20:1-36, 68-69, 75-79; 21; 27; 115:1-4; Our Heritage, pages 14-16.

Just a few thoughts: 

In section 20 verse 5 we read: "After it was truly manifested unto this first elder that he had received a remission of his sins, he was entangled again in the vanities of the world;"

This is the verse that I kept thinking about after I finished reading the assignment. How easy it is to be entangled by the vanities of the world. What can we do to keep from being entangled? Why do the vanities of the world seem so enticing? In the Doctrine and Covenants student manual I found the paragraph below. 

What is Meant by "Entangled Again in the Vanities of the World"?
The Prophet Joseph Smith described the time period involved and the activities referred to by the Lord: "During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three--having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends, and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me,--I was left to all kinds of temptations; and mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to commit such was never in my nature. But I was guilty of levity, and sometimes associated with jovial company, etc., not consistent with that character which ought to be maintained by one who was called of God as I had been. But this will not seem very strange to any one who recollects my youth, and is acquainted with my native cheery temperament." (History of the Church, 1:9-10.)

I like the advice the we are given in verse 6  - repentance, humility, faith

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lesson 8 - Part 2

First, thank you for your comments on yesterday's post. As members of the church we are blessed to have the priesthood and sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, I think we take it for granted. Taking a few minutes to remember the blessings was a good thing for me to do; and as I read the other comments, I found myself nodding my head in agreement.

Today we will go over the Aaronic & Melchezidek Priesthood. Hopefully you will learn something that you didn't know before. First, from the "Serving in the Church section" of the church's website, I found this explanation of the Aaronic Priesthood:

"Priesthood offices are divisions of authority with different rights and responsibilities of service. Offices in the Aaronic Priesthood are deacon, teacher, priest, and bishop. The bishop oversees ordinations to these offices.

Deacon ~ Worthy brethren may be ordained deacons when they are at least 12 years old. A deacon follows counsel, sets a good example, and may (1) pass the sacrament, (2) collect fast offerings, (3) care for the poor and needy, (4) be a standing minister appointed to "watch over the church" (D&C 84:111), (5) assist the bishopric, (6) serve as a messenger, (7) participate in quorum instruction, (8) serve in quorum leadership positions, (9) fellowship quorum members and other young men, (10) be baptized and confirmed for the dead, (11) speak in meetings, (12) share the gospel, (13) bear testimony, and (14) care for the meetinghouse and grounds.

Teacher ~ Worthy brethren may be ordained teachers when they are at least 14 years old. A teacher has all the responsibilities of a deacon. A teacher follows counsel, sets a good example, and may (1) prepare the sacrament, (2) "watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them" (D&C 20:53), (3) serve as a home teacher, (4) "see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking" (D&C 20:54), (5) "see that the church meet together often, and . . . that all the members do their duty" (D&C 20:55), (6) usher reverently in ward meetings and stake conference, (7) assist the bishopric, and (8) participate in seminary, where available.

Priest ~ Worthy brethren may be ordained priests when they are at least 16 years old. A priest has all the responsibilities of a deacon and teacher. A priest follows counsel, sets a good example, and may (1) "preach, teach, expound, exhort, . . . and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties" (D&C 20:46-47), (2) "administer the sacrament" (D&C 20:46) by worthily officiating at the sacrament table and offering the sacrament prayers when authorized (see D&C 20:77, 79), (3) baptize when authorized by the bishop (see D&C 20:46), (4) confer the Aaronic Priesthood and ordain deacons, teachers, and priests when authorized by the bishop (see D&C 20:48), and (7) assist the bishopric.

Bishop ~ The office of bishop is the highest in the Aaronic Priesthood. The bishop is the president of the priests quorum, the president of the Aaronic Priesthood, and the presiding high priest in the ward.

The Melchizedek Priesthood is the greater priesthood. Associated with it are all the authority, knowledge, and covenants that are necessary for the exaltation of God’s children.

Some weeks after John the Baptist restored the Aaronic Priesthood, Peter, James, and John appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and conferred upon them the Melchizedek Priesthood. An account of this experience is not included in the Doctrine and Covenants, but references to it can be found in the heading to D&C 13; 27:12–13; 128:20; and Our Heritage,page 14.

Melchizedek Priesthood includes the authority to govern the Church, preach the gospel, and administer the ordinances of salvation.

We'll end the discussion of this lesson with these questions: How can parents, grandparents, and others help boys and young men prepare to receive the priesthood? How can others help instill within boys and young men a deep appreciation for the priesthood?

How can we encourage our husbands to be spiritaul leaders in our homes?

How are women blessed by the priesthood? How are children blessed by the priesthood? How can we show our appreciation for the blessings of the priesthood?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lesson 8

Julie asked me earlier in the week to host the discussion for lesson 8, and I agreed and then spaced it. I spent a couple days feeling sorry for myself and a day worrying about a talk in sacrament and then realized that I needed to get this done. So, sorry for the delay.

Lesson 8 is about the Restoration of the Priesthood.

The priesthood is one of the main themes in the Doctrine and Covenants. Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord gave many revelations that add greatly to our understanding of the keys, offices, organization, ordinances, duties, and blessings of the priesthood. These revelations provide guidance in using the priesthood to move forward God’s work on the earth.

What is priesthood? The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. It is the power by which He created and governs the heavens and the earth. It is also the power by which He redeems and exalts His children. He gives a portion of His priesthood power and authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern His kingdom on earth.

What are some ways in which priesthood holders act on behalf of God to bless His children? See D&C 20:38–55; 107:8–12, 23, 35.

And now for some discussion questions:
How have you been blessed through the service of priesthood holders?
What influence has the priesthood had on you?
How have you seen the power of the priesthood manifested in your life?
How has the priesthood blessed and strengthened your family?
How can you make the influence and power of the priesthood more effective in your life and for your family?

Tomorrow: The difference in the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Living Scripture - Even a Child...

This week's conference talk is Even a Child Can Understand by Elder Gerald Causse.

"God...has ensured that the truths regarding God are understandalbe to all His children, whatever their level of education and intellectual faculty."

I have a child getting baptized this month so this talk in particular spoke to me. It talks of how the gospel is understandable for all. Elder Causse says, "...At eight years of age a child can have sufficient understanding to enter the waters of baptism and make a covenant with God with complete understanding."

When you have a minute, read the talk. Ponder it, then come back and post your thoughts. What parts struck you in particular?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Jeepers! I'm so sorry I've been so bad here this month! How's this for a rotation for the next few months?

This week (3/1-3/7): Amanda Lesson 8
3/8-3/14: Pam Lesson 9
3/15-3/21: Julie P. Lesson 10
3/22-3/28: Tricia Lesson 11
3/29-4/4: Janelle Lesson 12
4/5-4/11: TaLaisa Lesson 13
4/12-4/18: Julie A. Lesson 14
4/19-4/25: Amanda Lesson 15
4/26-5/2: Pam Lesson 16
5/3-5/9: Julie P. Lesson 17
5/10-5/16: Tricia Lesson 18
5/17-5/23: Janelle Lesson 19
5/24-5/30: TaLaisa Lesson 20
5/31-6/6: Julie A. Lesson 21

Any objections? Let me know if this works. We can be flexible throughout the months if we need to, but let's use this as a rough draft. Amanda...are you okay with going this week?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Create - President Uchtdorf

I saw this at Mormon Women and at Blog Segullah, and it is beautiful so I thought I would share it here as well. It is from President Uchtdorf's "Happiness, Your Heritage" talk at the last General Relief Society Meeting. Down load the video here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I've been off the radar this past week or so...my apologies. I'll get a new rotation up this week.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Living Scripture - The Ministry of Angels

This weeks conference talk is from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. It is "The Ministry of Angels". In this talk Elder Holland reminds us that the Lord knows sometimes we have hard, lonely days and explains that the Lord sends angels to comfort us. He tells some of the history of angels, and reminds us that often times angels are the people that walk among us, that live in our neighborhoods.

Elder Holland closes his talk with this urging: "...May we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves - with a kind word, a strong arm, a declaration of faith and the 'covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.'"

After you had read the talk, ponder it and share any thoughts that struck you. Have you had any experience with angels in your life? What can we do to be angles to someone else?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I the Lord Remember Them No More

Please read the following scriptures regarding the second principle of the Gospel: Repentance.

Doctrine & Covenants 58:42-43, & 2 Nephi 2:6-9, as well as the following scripture chain:

Scripture Chain: Repentance and the Atonement

2 Nephi 25:23

D&C 19:15–19

Alma 42:13–24

Articles of Faith 1:3

D&C 18:10–13

What are your feelings about repentance? How do we make a part of our every day life? What role does the Atonement play in personal repentance? Any other thoughts?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Living Scripture - Come What May...

This week's conference talk is Come What May, and Love It by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin.

This talk focuses on how we react to adversity and how it is a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the talk:

"...Every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don't sing and bells don't ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times to become stronger, wiser and happier as a result."

"The next time you're tempted to groan, you might try laughter instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable."

"Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training."

"The Lord Jesus Christ is our partner...He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful."
What are some of the quotes that really speak to you? Have you had any times when you have said, "come what may"? Please, share your thoughts on this wonderful talk.

Learn of Me and Listen to My Words

We're going to be jumping around again this week. We'll be discussing the basics (hooray!): faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Today let's talk about faith. Our reading assignment is Doctrine & Covenants 19:23, 88:118, and Alma 32:27. We can read and ponder 3 verses in a day, right??!!! Yes, we can.

As you think about these verses, consider what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. Really. What does that mean to you? How does it influence you? Does it influence you?

Also, how can you strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ? The verses we're reading give some great guidance in this regard. What stands out to you?

Please share your thoughts in the comments. And if you haven't commented before (or it's been a while), consider this your personal invitation to enrich our discussion with your point of view.

Also, if you'd like to get started on the reading for tomorrow, we'll be in Doctrine & Covenants 58:42-43, & 2 Nephi 2:6-9, as well as the following scripture chain:

Scripture Chain: Repentance and the Atonement

2 Nephi 25:23

D&C 19:15–19

Alma 42:13–24

Articles of Faith 1:3

D&C 18:10–13

Let's keep discussion for today focused on the faith scriptures.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Lesson 6 - Part 3

Today we will cover the last bit of lesson 6. These verses teach us how to recognize the still, small voice. Read the following scripture chain:

Did any of these verses jump out at you? For me, I know that when I go to the Lord with a decision, if it is not right then I feel doubt and confusion; and I know that this is the still, small voice speaking to me {see section 9:8-9}.

I'll end with this quote from Neal A. Maxwell, "My humble praise flows not only to God the Father for his loving plan of salvation and to Jesus, the Lord of the universe, for His marvelous and remarkable Atonement, but also to the Holy Ghost, about whom we speak less. Among His many roles I express my particular and personal gratitude for the recent ways in which He has been the precious Comforter, including in the mid-night moments!" (Ensign, May 1997, pg. 12; italics added)

Share your thoughts...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lesson 6 - Part 2

We have read sections 6; 8; 9; and 11, so now we will dive into the questions in the assignment.

"Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
"Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground." --D & C 8:2-3
"Yea, thus sayeth the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest..." --D&C 85:6

These verses teach us how the Holy Ghost communicates with us. Why is it important for us to understand how the Holy Ghost communicates? How can we be more trusting of the peace that the Spirit speaks to our minds? Why should we submit our will to God's will when we seek personal revelation? How can we know whether a revelation is from God?

"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.
"Verily, verily I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
"And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive." --D&C 11:12-14

Please, feel free to share your thoughts. Tomorrow : A scripture chain on recognizing the still, small voice.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Doctrine and Covenants~Lesson 6

Last week, during lesson 5, we learned about personal revelation and how it is vital to all of us. Together we read sections six (for discussion on this section click here) and eight (for discussion click here). Today, we will read sections nine and eleven.

Section 9 ~ This is revelation given through Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery; and he is admonished to be patient and be content with being a scribe rather than the translator.

Section 11~ This is revelation given through Joseph Smith to his brother, Hyrum Smith. In these thirty verses, we are taught to seek wisdom, repent and to trust in the Spirit.

I urge you to read these sections today, and think about what they mean to you. Then, return and share your thoughts and insights with us.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Living Scripture- The Infinite Power of Hope by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The Infinite Power of Hope by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I'm thrilled that this is the talk that is next in the line up. I remember hearing the talk and feeling the testimony of his words during conference. It answered many prayers both spoken and unspoken and calmed my troubled heart.

Please read the section, even if you don't feel like sharing your thoughts, you will be greatly uplifted. For those interested, we'd love to hear your thoughts, feelings and impressions.

I've read this talk 5 times since posting this. My thoughts are all over the place. I have hesitated to post, for fear of tainting the swimming pool before anyone else has a chance to get their feet wet.

I love the simple way that he defines hope. The simple way that he talks about hope, charity and faith being a 3 legged tripod. No matter how hard we try too much focus on anyone of the 3 legs will create an imbalance.

I was also touched by the part where he said we must avoid the temptation to give up hope, I've always thought of temptation as tempting to sin. But I now know that it can be to give up something good and make room for something less.

Another point that I truly loved was when he spoke about his mother, I imagine searching for my children under those circumstances and the temptation to stop and cry is great. But like he said she put her faith and hope to work. And got busy doing. Like the scriptures say, 'faith without works is dead'. I believe that it goes the same for hope. Hope without action does us no good.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

JSH 1:8-17

In the class member study guide this is the question asked for the reading today:
What do these verses teach about how to receive personal revelation?
I like how Joseph starts out in verse 8 saying "my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness;" I think that often this is how the spirit nudges us to take action. I also loved how he found his answer in the scriptures. I think that this is also a lesson for us today in how to receive personal revelation. Verses in the scriptures can also come with power to our hearts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

D&C Section 8

It seems like all of the reading this week gives us a better understanding of what we need to do to receive personal revelation.  Asking in faith and having an honest heart and  keeping the commandments are mentioned in today's reading. What else do we need to do to receive personal revelation? My favorite verse is 10- "Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore ask in faith." How powerful is faith? I found this quote in the D&C student manual. 
President J. Reuben Clark Jr. declared:
"As I think about faith, this principle of power, I am obliged to believe that it is an intelligent force. Of what kind, I do not know. But it is superior to and overrules all other forces of which we know...
"We have had this great power given unto us, this power of faith. What are we doing about it? Can you, can we, do the mighty things that the Savior did? Yes. They have been done by the members of the Church who had the faith and the righteousness so to do. Think of what is within your power if you but live the Gospel, if you but live so that you may invoke the power which is within you." (In Conference Report, Apr. 1960, p. 21)

Living Scripture ~ Sacrament Meeting…

OaksDH_04 I just finished reading this week’s talk from the October 2008 General Conference.  It’s a good one.  It is Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.  {Page 17 in the November Ensign, or online here.}

Elder Oaks reminds us how sacrament meeting is the most sacred and important meeting in the church.  He starts out telling about how those of us trying to walk the straight and narrow path, see detours regularly.  It’s easy to be distracted, degraded, downhearted or depressed.  He goes on to tell us that the Spirit of the Lord can help us with these problems.  He also gently reminds us that by participating in the ordinance of the sacrament correctly, we qualify to have the Spirit with us always.

Elder Oaks continues with five points.

  • A reminder of how the sacrament meeting is the meeting for the whole family to participate in. 
  • Personal preparation for the sacrament.
  • How we dress and act for the sacrament.
  • A reminder of the importance of the sacrament.
  • Advice for the priesthood holders that participate in the giving of the sacrament.

So, take a few minutes and read through this talk.  It’s full of good advice and gentle reminders.  It has given me a lot to think about as far as the way my family does things for that hour of church.  My oldest is almost 8, and before I know it, he will be 12.  I’m glad that I read through and discovered the things that he needs to know and do so that he can help with the passing of the sacrament. 

Please, share your thoughts.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lesson 5 "This is the Spirit of Revelation"

Reading assignment:
Monday - Doctrine and Covenants 6
Tuesday - Doctrine and Covenants 8
Wednesday - Doctrine and Covenants 9
Thursday - Joseph Smith History 1:8-17

This week we can learn a lot about personal revelation. Today lets consider the question "Why is personal revelation vitally important in our day?" One of the reasons that I appreciate personal revelation  so much in my life is to help me raise my children in righteousness. My children are also His children and when there is something important that I need to know about them, the spirit has always let me know. One of my favorite verses was verse 20. "Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love." Many of us may have felt these arms before and it is something you never forget.
If you have any favorite verses or insights to D&C 6, please comment.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

JSH 1:27-65

Hey everyone - it's Janelle. Today we'll study JSH 1:27 - 65

Here we find Joseph a few years after the First Vision admitting to us that in his youth he was jovial and cheerful and thus was led into situations that are common to youth and human nature. (vs. 28) This description reminds me a lot of my husband. Nothing too bad, but mischievous enough he wouldn't want his own kids doing it.

So what did Joseph do about it? Pray. Here is what he writes:

29 In consequence of these things, I often felt condemned for my weakness and imperfections; when, on the evening of the above-mentioned twenty-first of September, after I had retired to my bed for the night, I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him; for I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I previously had one.

He was bothered in his spirit and felt the need to reconcile himself with the Lord in prayer. I love that he had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation as I had previously had one.

I think that when I sincerely pray that I have some anticipation of a divine manifestation as well. Whether it be peace in my heart or an answer to a question or a desperate plea for another being answered with a solution. All I'm saying is that it doesn't take a visit from Angel Moroni for us to have confidence that the Lord will let us know our standing with Him.

Do any of you have similar experiences to share?

When Moroni comes to Joseph he quotes heavily from the Old Testament. I don't have a particular love for the OT and these verses Moroni quoted made me conscious of that oversight.

Why these verses from Malachi, Joel, Isaiah? Did Joseph understand then better than I do now? Do any of you have insight into Moroni's message?

After visiting Joseph in the field, Moroni commanded Joseph to share his experience with his father. Joseph Smith Sr. recognizes it a message from God and tells Joseph to obey.

Have you ever had a prayer answered by a parent? How do you think it helped Joseph that his family embraced his divine call so early and completely?

In these verses Joseph explains how he met Emma.

57 During the time that I was thus employed, I was put to board with a Mr. Isaac Hale, of that place; it was there I first saw my wife (his daughter), Emma Hale. On the 18th of January, 1827, we were married, while I was yet employed in the service of Mr. Stoal.

58 Owing to my continuing to assert that I had seen a vision, persecution still followed me, and my wife’s father’s family were very much opposed to our being married. I was, therefore, under the necessity of taking her elsewhere; so we went and were married at the house of Squire Tarbill, in South Bainbridge, Chenango county, New York. Immediately after my marriage, I left Mr. Stoal’s, and went to my father’s, and farmed with him that season.

Gee, I would not have been too pleased with a young man that "of necessity" brought my daughter off to another county to be married. I wonder what Emma's family thought. I am quite certain she was ok with it but that does not start things off on the right foot.

In these verses Joseph explained what it was like to be in charge of the Gold Plates while translating.

At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate. On the twenty-second day of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, having gone as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to ame with this charge: that I should be bresponsible for them; that if I should let them go carelessly, or through any cneglect of mine, I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to dpreserve them, until he, the messenger, should call for them, they should be protected.

60 I soon found out the reason why I had received such strict charges to keep them safe, and why it was that the messenger had said that when I had done what was required at my hand, he would call for them. For no sooner was it known that I had them, than the most strenuous exertions were used to get them from me. Every stratagem that could be invented was resorted to for that purpose. The persecution became more bitter and severe than before, and multitudes were on the alert continually to get them from me if possible. But by the wisdom of God, they remained safe in my hands, until I had accomplished by them what was required at my hand. When, according to arrangements, the messenger called for them, I delivered them up to him; and he has them in his charge until this day, being the second day of May, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight.

I am sure Joseph was more than willing to give them back to Moroni. What a relief!

Tomorrow: D&C 3, 5 & 10

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Living Scripture ~ Because My Father…

This week’s conference talk is “Because My Father Read the Book of Mormon” by Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis.

Grab your copy of the November 2008 Ensign (page 15) or find the talk here.  Let’s discuss this modern scripture.

From the introduction: I invite all who hear me today to read the Book of Mormon and to apply the promise it contains.  Those who do will know that the book is true.

In this talk, Elder Aidukaitis tells the story of his father’s conversion after reading the Book of Mormon.  He also tells of what else a person can know when they know that the Book of Mormon is true.  He bears his testimony of the Book of Mormon and ends with a challenge for those hearing his voice to read, pray and gain a testimony of this book. 

Read, ponder and share your thoughts.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lesson 3: “I Had Seen a Vision”

Lesson 3: “I Had Seen a Vision”, Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Class Member Study Guide, 4

Reading assignment: Joseph Smith—History 1:1–26; Our Heritage,pages 1–4.

After Jesus Christ was crucified, His Apostles presided over the Church. But soon persecution, divisions, and apostasy increased. Within a few decades, there was a falling away from the Church, as the Apostles had prophesied (Acts 20:28–30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1–3; 2 Timothy 4:3–4). This falling away is known as the Great Apostasy.

Scripture Chain: The Apostasy and the Restoration

Amos 8:11–12

D&C 1:14–17

Acts 3:20–21

D&C 128:20–21

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Living Scripture - You Know Enough

I hope that I am not stepping on any one's toes by posting this but I have so enjoyed reading the conference talks and discussing them so I am picking up where TaLaisa left off. My hope is to have a new conference talk posted each week for discussion.

This talk come from the Saturday morning session of October's conference. It was given by Elder Neil L. Anderson. The title is You Know Enough. Find it here. Here's an introduction: "As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have enormous spiritual reservoirs of light and truth available to us... In our days of difficulty, we choose the road of faith."

Please, read through the talk. Ponder it. Then return here, and share your thoughts. We have all week.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

...I am the light which shineth in darkness...

One of the things I've really grown to appreciate over the years is a person who can be honest about himself -- for better or worse. It seems that some of us have no problem confessing the best of ourselves. On the other hand, many of us find it much easier to profess only the things we are worst at. Christ, of course, had no "worsts." That should make listening to Him list His own attributes sort of frustrating, shouldn't it? But it doesn't. I love reading him talk about Himself. I feel the sincerity and humility in His words. I feel inspired to be a better version of myself. I feel inspired to be more like Him.

So, today let's read a scripture chain describing Christ's attributes.

D&C 6:20–21

D&C 45:3–5

D&C 6:32–37

D&C 50:44

D&C 19:1–3

D&C 93:5–19

D&C 29:1–2

D&C 133:42–52

D&C 38:1–3

Sorry that's huge. I cut & pasted it from the lesson manual.

What attributes are especially meaningful to you? Of them, which come easy to you? Which are more difficult to obtain or refine? What is it about these attributes that makes Christ who He is? Or more capable of doing what He did?

If you feel so inclined (even if you don't feel inclined to share, per se), choose one of these attributes you'd like to obtain or refine and work on it over the next little bit. And please do share any progress or experiences you'd like as you do this.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

...these shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever...

We're going to revisit a bit of Monday's discussion today. Let's read Doctrine & Covenants 18:11-12, 19:16-17 & 20, 58:42, and 76:62-70.

I like the "whys" we are taught in 18:11-12 -- don't you sometimes just wonder why Jesus did what He did? Think about the "whys" in these verses and where you fit into them. Why did He suffer, die, and resurrect for you?

19:16-17 & 20 give another good "why," don't they? For me, this gives a glimpse of what charity really means. This is real love. In what ways does parenthood give us an opportunity to better understand this "why?"

Okay, remember our discussion yesterday about "a bright recollection of all our guilt?" Maybe I really was onto something there. Read 58:42 and think about how that will affect our time at the judgement bar. What do you think?

Finally, 76:62-70 -- here's the best motivation EVER to repent, right? I get the feeling from the passages we've studied this week that Christ wants us to realize that repentance -- receiving and accepting this incredible gift He's given us -- is a GREAT thing. A really super wonderful thing that's better than any present we ever opened on any Christmas morning ever. And it'll last a whole lot longer than the Barbie Corvette ever did.
What are your thoughts about these verses? What do they make you feel?

What can we possibly do to show our gratitude for this perfect gift? I wonder if this is perhaps a silly question -- I mean, duh, just use it, right? But let's get specific -- how can we really show we're thankful for Christ's Atonement?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It works better when you comment!

Just sayin'....


...the spirit and the body are the soul of man...

Today we'll be jumping around a bit. Doctrine & Covenants 88:14-18, 93:33, and Alma 11:42-44.

These passages all discuss the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Kind of fun, considering the newness of life we all seem to crave at the beginning of a new year.

What do you learn about the Resurrection in these passages? What are your thoughts on 88:17-18? Is the "it" in verse 18 (...it must needs be sanctified from all unrighteousness...) the earth or the soul? I lean toward the earth, but I'd like to study a little further and hear your thoughts on it as well.

What do you make of 93:33?

And Alma, wonderful Alma -- the part of my Book of Mormon that was beautifully worn and marked just a few months ago before I fell off the study wagon for the umpteenth time in my life. I love Alma 11. Verses 42-44 took on new meaning for me this last time we studied them together. Share your feelings about these verses.
What do you think humankind's "perfect form" is? Is it a collective "this is the perfect body" sort of thing, or do you suppose it's more individual...maybe "this is you at your best" or something entirely different. What are you hoping for?
What about the "bright recollection of all our guilt?" I have some thoughts about this one. What are yours? I used to fear that moment -- I still do a bit, I suppose, considering all that I have yet to repent for -- but I think I may have misunderstood the meaning of this phrase for a time. I feel now that this is not a recollection of ALL our guilt (as in everything I've ever done wrong EVER, even if I've repented of it), but a recollection of the guilt we still possess -- the things we haven't asked forgiveness for. I have a greater motivation to repent when I think of it this way. What are your thoughts?

As always, discussion is open in the comments.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

...that they might not suffer if they would repent...

Today we're going to study Doctrine & Covenants 19:16-19, 18:10-11, 19:19 & 24, and 34:3.

Section 19 is one of those greats, don't you think? Christ really paints a descriptive picture of the suffering He experienced for us. Verse 18 is always particularly painful for me to contemplate.

What have you learned from verses 16-19? What do you know about His Atonement that you didn't know before?

Reading the remaining passages, think about "why." Why did Jesus do this? Why was He willing? Why did He need to? Why do you need Him?
And think about "how." How did He do what He did? How can you show your gratitude for His gift?

Discussion is open in the comments. Please share your thoughts.

Shall We Try This Again????

With the New Year come renewed desires to get this going. As always, if you'd like to take a turn hosting, please email me at julierallen at me dot com and I will invite you to be a contributor.

For now, how does this hosting schedule sound?

For the month of January:

Week of 1/4-1/10: Julie (Lesson 2)
Week of 1/11-1/17: TaLaisa (Lesson 3)
Week of 1/18-1/24: Janelle (Lesson 4)
Week of 1/25-1/31: Pam (Lesson 5)

Sound okay? Let me know.