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

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)