Thursday, June 14, 2018

Gospel Doctrine OT c22: Look On the Heart


Gospel Doctrine OT c22 Look on the Heart
1 Samuel 9-16
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Israel wants a King. Samuel tells them it is not God’s way but they want one anyway. God gives them a king: Saul.

Who was Saul?
1 Sam 9:2- a choice, young man, goodliest of all and head and shoulders above all others.
9:21- not of high standing or prestige
Seeking his father’s lost livestock, he goes to Samuel the prophet for counsel (9:6).
The Lord told Samuel the day before that Saul would come. The day Saul arrived, Samuel was expecting him (9:17).
Samuel anointed Saul (10:1). He was accepted as king (10:24). There were those who despised him, but Saul held his peace (10:27). Saul went away with a changed heart (10:9).

Focus of the lesson is the HEART.
??What is God’s concern with the heart?? What is it about the heart that is so important??
            Physical implications- it keeps us alive, constant, strongest muscle
            Spiritual implications- true desires, spirit speaks to it/through it, capacity to love

Marvin J. Ashton- “When the Lord measures an individual, He does not take a tape measure
around the person’s head to determine his mental capacity, nor his chest to determine his manliness, but He measures the heart as an indicator of the person’s capacity and potential to bless others.

“Why the heart? Because the heart is a synonym for one’s entire makeup. We often use phrases about the heart to describe the total person. Thus, we describe people as being “big-hearted” or “goodhearted” or having a “heart of gold.” Or we speak of people with faint hearts, wise hearts, pure hearts, willing hearts, deceitful hearts, conniving hearts, courageous hearts, cold hearts, hearts of stone, or selfish hearts. (Gen Conf Oct. 1988)


What was the condition of Saul’s heart?
Based off of what we know from the beginning, his heart was humble. Humble enough to ask guidance from the prophet. His heart was not bothered by those who despised him. He didn’t care about the worldly cares of men.
Was that good enough? Once a good heart, always a good heart?

Story:
Saul was a good, righteous and courageous king. He led his people well, protected them and defended them. Nahash the Ammonite came against Jabesh of Israel. Saul waged war and won victory. The people loved him as their king. (C11)

In Chapter 12, Samuel gives a discourse and warns the people about being ruled by a king again. God then shows his great power by sending thunder and rain during the harvest, causing the people to repent and acknowledge God. In response, Samuel says,

12:20-21  And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.
12:24 Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

??What is Samuel’s warning and what is his counsel??
Serve with all your heart
2x Turn not aside (after vain things)
Vain things cannot profit nor deliver you
Those two things mean - Keep your heart right and your perspective right.
??What are we turning aside to? How does that affect our hearts?

SITUATION #1
Battle with the Philistines (C13).
The Philistines were as numerous as the sands of the sea. Israel was scared and began to scatter and hide. Samuel was going to bless and offer a sacrifice by the priesthood power but on the 7th day, when he was supposed to come, he wasn’t there, so Samuel offered the sacrifice instead (13:8-10).

Read 1 Sam 13:10-12
Elder James E. Talmage wrote, “Saul prepared the burnt offering himself, forgetting that
though he occupied the throne, wore the crown, and bore the scepter, [he had] no right to officiate … in the Priesthood of God; and for this and other instances of his unrighteous presumption he was rejected of God and another was made king in his place” (The Articles of Faith, 12th ed. [1924], 185).
?? What is unrighteous presumption? Have you experienced unrighteous presumption?

Read 1 Sam 13:13-14 A warning for us all. God would have established the kingdom on Saul and Israel forever but he lost it all. We have similar great blessings promised to us. We are required to make the same decisions Saul made. What decisions were/ are those?
            Will we turn aside from the Lord and His ways?
            Will we serve with our hearts?
            He was impatient, failed to trust God and disobeyed.
The Lord seeks men and women after his own heart. Just like Samuel counseled in 12:24 serve with all your heart and turn not aside after vain things.

Jonathan and his armour-bearer (14)
14:6 Jonathan and his friend will take on the Philistines on their own
14:7 armour-bearer believes in Jonathan’s heart
14:14-16 they were victorious, they feared not man and knew that god would be with them

SITUATION #2
Saul turns aside…
(good example of church discipline)
Going to battle against Amalek, Samuel tells Saul – read 15:2-3.
Read 15:9 Saul spared some things.
Read 15:10-11 Samuel is sad about what is coming…
Read 15:13  ?How can Saul be so confident in what he had done?
Read 15:14-15 rationalizing, presuming, pride, not trusting that God is in charge (I know that this is what God said, but it makes more sense if…. I just thought I could still…. But did the prophet think about this….?) I think often we fall into the trap of not remembering who God really is. He is the supreme creator. It is His power that created everything we see and experience. This is God’s church and He is in charge, not us. If we do not accept that, then we reject Him.
Read 15:15-21 Discussion takes place
Keypoint- 15:22-23 - 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.  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

?What is the value of obedience?
Listen and obey is the best we can give! Stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
?How is stubbornness like idolatry?
Read 15:24-29 And it wasn’t just Saul. He was the leader, the king. People followed him. And when he wasn’t obedient to the Lord, neither were his followers. His influence and example made his actions and his rejection that much more tragic.
We can be at risk of losing our eternal blessings.
15:30-31 Love and open arms are still available to those who repent.

1 Sam 16:1 – And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul? Tender hearted Samuel….

Samuel finds David
God directs Samuel to the house of Jesse to find the new king. Remember when Samuel found Saul, Saul was head and shoulders above everyone else. Maybe Samuel was still stuck on Saul a little.
Read 1 Sam 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.

After seeing 7 sons, Samuel asks Jesse if there are any more.
1 Sam 16:11-12  And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all they children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.  And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and wthal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.

Two final scriptures:
D&C137:9 – For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.
D&C 64:34 – Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.

The final question for us is found in Alma 5:26 – If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Gospel Doctrine OT c20: Virtuous Women


Gospel Doctrine OT c20 Virtuous Women
Ruth; 1 Samuel 1
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Visiting RS with mom, teacher had every one stand then said, “If your life has turned out how you planned and you haven’t had disappointment, stay standing. If your life is not how you had envisioned it, sit down. I sat. I wasn’t married, called off an engagement, didn’t have my degree yet, or a car. I looked around and saw two newly wed girls, probably 4 or 5 years younger than me, standing confidently, even proudly. I sank deeper into my chair and my disappointment. Just give them time, I thought. Life doesn’t always turn out how we planned.

This lesson is about some women who dealt with challenges that were not part of how they would have designed their lives if it were up to them.

“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman” (Gen. 2:20–23).
And so Eve became God’s final creation, the grand summation of all of the marvelous work that had gone before.
Notwithstanding this preeminence given the creation of woman, she has so frequently through the ages been relegated to a secondary position. She has been put down. She has been denigrated. She has been enslaved. She has been abused. And yet some few of the greatest characters of scripture have been women of integrity, accomplishment, and faith.
Pres. Hinckley, “The Women In Our Lives” Gen Conf Oct 2004


Start with Naomi and Ruth.
Ruth married the son of Naomi and converted to the gospel of Israel.
?What impact or difference did her conversion make in her life?
?How does our personal conversion impact us?
Mosiah 5:7-8
Ruth 1:16
What did Ruth give up by going to Bethlehem with Naomi? What did Ruth gain by going with Naomi? What can we learn from Ruth about making sacrifices for the gospel? PUT GOD FIRST. BE TRUE TO COVENANTS.

What became of Ruth’s courage to be true to her conversion and faith? (She married Boaz and had a son which was the line of Jesus Christ. Ruth 4:17).
“Now that was a kind of a prophecy which is very important to us. In a culture hostile to the leadership of women, these women—Naomi and Ruth—lived to bring about an end the scripture’s writer carefully emphasizes: Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, through whose lines, which are carefully detailed for us in the first chapter of Matthew, came Jesus who is called Christ….
 Ruth confidently met hardships not uncommon in our time—the death of a loved one, loneliness in a new place, and the need to work hard for her bread. Her small efforts, linked significantly to a later great event, tell me that each of us can take seriously the importance of our daily lives and decisions as we choose to follow God.” (Aileen Clyde, “Confidence Through Conversion” Gen Conf Oct 1992.)
Think about the influence of Ruth’s conversion and faith on generations to come…
-------------------------------------------------------

Next is Hannah, mother of Samuel.
Hannah’s testimony reaches across dispensations to our time, and her story is an invitation to apply the same principles of righteousness. Through doing so we, too, might rejoice in the Lord as we experience his innumerable blessings in our lives.
?What principles of righteousness do we learn from Hannah?
PUT GOD FIRST. BE TRUE TO COVENANTS.
We are not excused from honoring our covenants in even the most trying situations; however, we are promised that a way will always be provided for us to fulfill the Lord’s commandments (see 1 Ne. 3:7). The scriptures declare, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will … make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). In fact, the weaknesses we feel during affliction are designed to bring us to the Lord. By turning to him, we can receive power to endure each trial, and our weaknesses can thereby become strengths (see Ether 12:27).
Linda M. Campbell, “Hannah: Devoted Handmaid of the Lord”, March 1998 Ensign
Bible dictionary says, “after Eli’s death he became the great prophet and judge of Israel
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So there are two righteous women. They were not prophetesses. They were not leaders. They were good women just like us.
?What are you doing that is influencing your family and the world around you?

My plea to women and girls today is to protect and cultivate the moral force that is within you. Preserve that innate virtue and the unique gifts you bring with you into the world. Your intuition is to do good and to be good, and as you follow the Holy Spirit, your moral authority and influence will grow. To the young women I say, don’t lose that moral force even before you have it in full measure. Take particular care that your language is clean, not coarse; that your dress reflects modesty, not vanity; and that your conduct manifests purity, not promiscuity. You cannot lift others to virtue on the one hand if you are entertaining vice on the other.
Sisters, of all your associations, it is your relationship with God, your Heavenly Father, who is the source of your moral power, that you must always put first in your life. Remember that Jesus’s power came through His single-minded devotion to the will of the Father. He never varied from that which pleased His Father.11 Strive to be that kind of disciple of the Father and the Son, and your influence will never fade.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Moral Force of Women” Gen Conf Oct 2013
PUT GOD FIRST. STAY TRUE TO COVENANTS.

SUPPORTING QUOTES AND TALKS:
in our premortal life we exercised our agency when we chose Christ as our leader. He does his part and each of us can do ours to make covenants and build a partnership with him. How that happens is described by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon:

“And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.
“And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.” (Mosiah 5:7–8.)
When we are converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ we become both humble and courageous. Our conversion strengthens us greatly in our decision making. A good example of the kinds of real circumstances good people face in this life can be found in the Old Testament in the very short, five-page book of Ruth. Each time I read it I see something new. Lately I have been thinking of it as a story of conversion, of courage and decision making. It is about another time, another culture, yet it is about us too.
Naomi and her husband, Elimelech, and their two sons had gone into the enemy country of Moab because there was a great famine in Israel, their home. In due time their sons married Moabite wives, named Orpah and Ruth. Then in a ten-year period, the father and the two sons died. Naomi had heard that the famine had lifted in Judah, and she wanted to return to her people. She counsels her daughters-in-law to return to their mothers’ homes. Naomi called them her daughters and kissed them, and they wept with their love for her. (Now isn’t that quite remarkable? I fail to understand how this clear and well-known record hasn’t had more influence on all the unfunny mother-in-law jokes that abound in the world.) But eventually Orpah decides to stay in Moab, and again Naomi says to Ruth, “Behold, thy sister in law has gone back to her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.” (Ruth 1:15.)
At this point, in majestic Hebraic poetry, Ruth announces her decision and confirms her conversion. “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” (Ruth 1:16.)
When Naomi, herself realistic and wise, saw Ruth’s steadfastness, she “left off speaking to her” (see Ruth 1:18), which does not mean she stopped talking with her, but that she quit trying to convince her of the difficulties she would face in Israel. Ruth, the Moabitess, would face bigotry, poverty, and much insecurity, but she was converted, and she had decided. She and Naomi became a great team, facing together not only the problems before them, but the opportunities that would come also.
In time, Ruth married Boaz, and a child was born to them. “And the women said to Naomi, Blessed be the Lord … for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born [a child].
“And Naomi took the child … and became nurse unto it.
“And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.” (Ruth 4:14–17.)
Now that was a kind of a prophecy which is very important to us. In a culture hostile to the leadership of women, these women—Naomi and Ruth—lived to bring about an end the scripture’s writer carefully emphasizes: Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, through whose lines, which are carefully detailed for us in the first chapter of Matthew, came Jesus who is called Christ. Would you ever have expected the small book of Ruth to foretell such a great event?
Ruth confidently met hardships not uncommon in our time—the death of a loved one, loneliness in a new place, and the need to work hard for her bread. Her small efforts, linked significantly to a later great event, tell me that each of us can take seriously the importance of our daily lives and decisions as we choose to follow God
Aileen Clyde, Gen Conf Oct 1992, “Confidence Through Conversion”
--------------------------------
“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman” (Gen. 2:20–23).
And so Eve became God’s final creation, the grand summation of all of the marvelous work that had gone before.
Notwithstanding this preeminence given the creation of woman, she has so frequently through the ages been relegated to a secondary position. She has been put down. She has been denigrated. She has been enslaved. She has been abused. And yet some few of the greatest characters of scripture have been women of integrity, accomplishment, and faith.
Pres. Hinckley, “The Women In Our Lives” Gen Conf Oct 2004
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Hannah’s testimony reaches across dispensations to our time, and her story is an invitation to apply the same principles of righteousness. Through doing so we, too, might rejoice in the Lord as we experience his innumerable blessings in our lives.
First, we must choose to abide by our covenants, whatever our circumstances, until the end of our mortal probation. Samuel the Lamanite explains this accountability by stating, “Ye are free … to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free … that ye might choose life or death” (Hel. 14:30–31).
We are not excused from honoring our covenants in even the most trying situations; however, we are promised that a way will always be provided for us to fulfill the Lord’s commandments (see 1 Ne. 3:7). The scriptures declare, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will … make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). In fact, the weaknesses we feel during affliction are designed to bring us to the Lord. By turning to him, we can receive power to endure each trial, and our weaknesses can thereby become strengths (see Ether 12:27).
Linda M. Campbell, “Hannah: Devoted Handmaid of the Lord”, March 1998 Ensign
---------------------------
What I mean to say is that whether you are single or married, whether you have borne children or not, whether you are old, young, or in between, your moral authority is vital, and perhaps we have begun to take it and you for granted. Certainly there are trends and forces at work that would weaken and even eliminate your influence, to the great detriment of individuals, families, and society at large.
My plea to women and girls today is to protect and cultivate the moral force that is within you. Preserve that innate virtue and the unique gifts you bring with you into the world. Your intuition is to do good and to be good, and as you follow the Holy Spirit, your moral authority and influence will grow. To the young women I say, don’t lose that moral force even before you have it in full measure. Take particular care that your language is clean, not coarse; that your dress reflects modesty, not vanity; and that your conduct manifests purity, not promiscuity. You cannot lift others to virtue on the one hand if you are entertaining vice on the other.
Sisters, of all your associations, it is your relationship with God, your Heavenly Father, who is the source of your moral power, that you must always put first in your life. Remember that Jesus’s power came through His single-minded devotion to the will of the Father. He never varied from that which pleased His Father.11 Strive to be that kind of disciple of the Father and the Son, and your influence will never fade.

Dear sisters, we rely on the moral force you bring to the world, to marriage, to family, to the Church. We rely on blessings you bring down from heaven by your prayers and faith.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Moral Force of Women” Gen Conf Oct 2013



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Book Review: Spinning Silk



My enjoyment of “Spinning Silk” by Taya Cook began with the beautiful cover and ended with the satisfying journey of a young Japanese girl from orphan to more than anyone ever imagined. 

I love reading stories based on re-imagined fairytales and folklore. This story was particularly intriguing because it is based on Japanese folklore, which I knew nothing about, including legendary spider-warriors. 

Woven in with the folklore is the solid character arc of Furi, raised a slave, coveted for her talent in weaving silk. Her journey crosses paths with a mysterious gardener, a selective illness and a generous provider with selfish motives. Danger and death seem to follow Furi with no easy explanation. All these experiences are filled with mystery and plot twists and turns that lead Furi closer to a destiny beyond worldly understanding. I enjoyed this journey with Furi and became invested in her drive to survive and also to create beauty where ever she went and in whatever circumstance she found herself in.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for diversity and a peek inside Japanese folklore. A huge bonus is that the plot and character development are definitely worth investing in as well.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Gospel Doctrine OT C17: Beware Lest Thou Forget

Gospel Doctrine OT c17 Beware Lest Thou Forget
Supplemental Reading: “Born of God,” Ezra Taft Benson, Gen. Conf., Oct. 1985
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After testing, chastening, and teaching the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years, the Lord said they were ready to enter the Promised Land. But first, he had some important instructions for them. Moses delivered these instructions in three sermons that are recorded in Deuteronomy.

Deut 8:1-10   Children of Israel had many evidences of Christ. They saw miracles and witnessed his hand many times during their 40 years in the wilderness. They knew and had testimonies of Jesus Christ. But still, they struggled.
? How did they struggle and why?
I believe they struggled with making actions consistent with belief.
? What is the difference or makes the difference in converting belief into action?

Pres. Ezra Taft Benson said: 
“What think ye of Christ?” (Matt. 22:42) That question, posed by our Lord, has challenged the world for centuries.Anyone who will read the Book of Mormon and put it to the divine test that Moroni proposes (see Moro. 10:3-5) can be convinced that Jesus is the Christ. Once that conviction is gained, then comes the question “Will we choose to follow Him?” The devils believe that Jesus is the Christ, but they choose to follow Lucifer. (See James 2:19; Mark 5:7)Throughout the ages prophets have exhorted the people to make up their minds. “choose you this day whom ye will serve,” pled Joshua (Josh. 24:15)Elijah thundered, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him.” (1 kgs. 18:21)When you choose to follow Christ, you choose the Way, the Truth, the Life – the right way, the saving ruth, the abundant life. (See John 14:6)“I would commend you to seek this Jesus,” states Moroni. (Ether 12:41) 
?What makes it hard to choose to follow Christ consistently?
?How can we make it easier to choose to follow Christ?
Moses’ counsel to the children of Israel can help us!



Deut 6: 5-9
WHAT                                                HOW
Love the Lord                                  w/ heart, soul & might
These words (scriptures)                  in heart
Teach words                          in house, talk, while sitting, walking, lying down,                                                                            rise up
Bind words                           on hand and eyes –
    Mosiah1:5–always before our eyes–what is before              our eyes now?
                                                        Is it symbolic of relationship w/ Christ or                                                                                     longing for the world?
Write words                          on posts and gates

Ezra Taft Benson said: 
"people who are “captained by Christ will be consumed in Christ. … Enter their homes and the pictures on their walls, the books on their shelves, the music in the air, their words and acts reveal them as Christians.They stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places. (Mosiah 18:9)  They have Christ on their minds, as they look unto Him in every thought. (D&C 6:36) They have Christ in their hearts as their affections are placed on Him forever (Alma 37:36).” (Conf Rep. Nov. ‘1985)
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Deut 6:10-11           ?What does this mean? Then he says BEWARE!
Deut 6:12-18 (Also Deut 8:11-18) ?Beware of what? Why?
            Don’t forget the Lord
            Fear the Lord
            Serve the Lord
            Swear by his name
            No other gods
            Don’t tempt the Lord
            Diligently keep commandments
            Do what is right and good

In the midst of the depression, Melvin J. Ballard warned of this danger:
“We are in the age of self-indulgence. It is not peculiar to this Church; it is in the world. The spirit of it is rampant everywhere. It beats upon our shores from all points. It enters into the midst of the people. It is a deadly siege in an attempt to destroy that which persecution, mob violence, privation and hardship failed to destroy, -the integrity of this people. I am not a pessimist either. While I recognize the storms that are raging against our standards, I am as sure as that I live that the promises of the Lord will be fulfilled, and that this work shall not fail, nor shall it be given to another people. I recognize however, with my brethren, that the sorest trials that have ever come to the Church in any age of the world are the trials of peace and prosperity. But we are to do a new thing, a thing that never has before been done—We are to take the Church of Christ not only through the age of persecution and mob violence, but through the age of peace and prosperity. For we must learn to endure faithfully, even in peace and prosperity.

I am not praying for the return of persecution and poverty; I am praying for peace and prosperity; but above all things for strength and power to endure this test. For it was not the design and the intention of the Lord to have this people always in suffering, in bondage and distress. They shall come to peace and prosperity, but it is the sorest trial that will come to them. (Elder Melvin J. Ballard, April 1929 Conf. Rep.)

God will bless us. We must be cautious and careful with our blessings and testimonies. We must make our actions consistent with our beliefs.          
Deut 8:18 What does it meant to establish his covenant?

Deut 6:23 He brought us out that he might bring us in.
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Elder Ballard acknowledged that some young Church members worry about being misjudged and ridiculed for standing up for the Church’s doctrines and values.
“My dear young friends, don’t worry about those in the large and spacious building. … You are a great and important generation, and this is a great time to be alive! The future is bright. Say to yourself, “I am helping the Lord as I reach out to share my testimony and to teach the truths God has revealed in the last days.’” (CES Devotional, Sunday, May 4, 2014, San Diego, CA)
“They [handheld devices, such as smartphones] need to be our servants, not our masters.”


Rev 12:3 – 7 heads (lop one off and there’s another ready to getcha) ‘behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.’


D&C 76:28-29 (Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon had this vision while translating the Bible) ‘wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about.’

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Gospel Doctrine OT C15: Fiery serpents

Gospel Doctrine OT c15 Fiery serpents
Numbers 12-14, 21:4-9
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Activity: Stand a class member on one side of the room. Indicate the other side of the room is the Promised Land. The class member must walk to the Promised Land but he must look behind him the whole way. After all is said and done, it would be must easier to make that journey looking forward. Where we are looking is important.

LOOK TO…..
The Prophet c12
Story of Miriam and Aaron – They spoke against Moses as their presiding authority, pointing out that they too had received revelation and the Lord rebukes them.
            Num 12:1-6 – summary, rebuke
                        12:7-8 – how the Lord talks to Moses
?How are we affected when we criticize church leaders?
?How can our criticism of church leaders affect our family and friends?
                        12:9-10 – what happens to Miriam?
                        12:11-15
?How did Moses react to Miriam’s punishment?
?How can we use Moses’ reaction in our own lives? How do you respond to criticism?
?How do you follow the prophet? Bottom line question!

The Promised Land/eternal life c12-13
13:1-3, 17-20 Moses sends 12 men to scout out Canaan, which is supposed to be their promised land. They are gone 40 days. When they come back, this is their report.
13:27-33 men’s reports
?What is the difference in the reports?

Hinckley:  “Ten of the spies were victimsm of their own doubts and fears. The gave a negative report of the numbers and statue of the Canaanites. … They compared themselves as grasshoppers to the giants they had seen in the land.

“We see some around us who are indifferent concerning the future of this work, who ar apathetic, who speak of limitations, who expres fears, who spend their time digging out and writing about what they regard to be weaknesses which really are of no consequence. With doubt concerning its past, they have no vision concerning its future.” (Conf Rep Oct, 1995).

?How do some of us make the same error as the 10 spies?
14:6-9 How was Caleb’s and Joshua’s report different?
?What were Caleb and Joshua looking toward? Promised Land, hopeful future?
?What are some ways we can follow their example, especially in difficult times? Spirititual, mortal, social

Hinckley: “There is no place in this work for those who believe only in the gospel of doom and gloom. The gospel is good news. It is a message of triumph. It is a cause to be embraced with enthusiasm.

“The Lord never said that there would not be troubles. Our people have known afflictions of every sort as those who have opposed this work have ocme upon them. But faith has shown through all their sorrows. This work has consistently moved forward and has ndever taken a backward step since its inception. …

“This is an age of pessimism. Ours is a mission of faith. To my brethren and sisters everywhere, I call upon you to reaffirm your faith, to move this work forward across the world. You can make it stronger by the manner in which you live.” (Conf Rep. Oct. 1995).

14:26-35 because of murmuring- 40 days turned into 40 years. Only Caleb and Joshua were originals to see Promised land.

In the Book of Mormon we read about the Liahona. How did the Liahona work? Scriptures tell us the Liahona was a type. Alma 37:43-47

The Savior c21:4-9
Why didn’t the Lord get rid of the serpents? Because the serpents were not the problem.
?What was the problem?
1 Nephi 17:41
Alma 37:46-47
?If the way is easy-why do we make it so complicated?

Jacob 4:14
?How do we make it complicated?
?What is the mark? Simple, saving principles and ordinances. What are they?
?How can we keep our focus on Christ and not on other things?

Elder Carlos E. Asay: “We, like Israel of old, must rivet our eyes and minds upon the cross of Christ if we hope to gain eternal life, because through his resurrection e will gain the victory over physical death. And his atonement opens up to us a way to overcome our sins, a way to spiritual rebirth, and a way back to the presence of God.


“The direction of our look is critical. … Our looks must not be allowed to wander across the way or to become fixed upon the perishable things of the world. The eye … must be trained to look upward. WE must look to God and live!” (conf rep. Oct 1978)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Gospel Doctrine OT C13: Bondage, Passover, Exodus

Gospel Doctrine Old Testament C13
Bondage, Passover, and Exodus (Exodus 1-13)
____________________________________________________________________
Display stuffed lamb, tortilla, herbs, shoes – What do these represent??

Read: Hebrews 11:24-29 Faith of Moses

Summary Ex. 1-6: 
            The Lord calls Moses to deliver Israel from bondage.
            ???Is there anything you want to discuss from this section?
            1:8 new king who knew not Joseph

            1:17 midwives feared God (D&C 3:7)

            2:23-24 God hears prayers and remembers his people and covenants

            -3:3-4 Moses turned toward bush before God spoke
            3:5 Holy ground

***3:7 God will come to our aid (D&C 90:24; Mosiah 24:14-15)

            Joseph’s experience led him to give Pharaoh this answer (Gen 41:15-16)

-4:1-5 such a human reaction (rod into snake)

4:10-11 why doubt God when he is the ultimate creator. Of course he controls all and boy is he patient!

5 This Pharaoh is not Moses stepfather

5:10-13, 22-23 Moses was supposed to save them but their work just became more difficult

???How can we not doubt God when things become hard and remember that he is God? 6:8 I AM the LORD

Summary Ex. 7-10:
7 – we should beware of Satan’s false imitations
8-10 The Lord sends plagues upon Egypt.
Water to blood
Frogs
Lice or gnats
Flies
Cattle dying
Boils and blains
Hail and fire
Locusts
Darkness
Death of first born

Read: Final plague 11:1, 5-6
Identify symbolism in 12:1-14; 22

Exodus 12 details the Lord's very specific instructions to Moses for Israel to observe in order to be saved from the destroying angel's deadly work.  The elements listed below are some of the symbolic meanings beyond their historical use in Egypt; note how they point to larger realities within the Lord's redemptive work throughout all time.
  • Exodus 12:1—their life in Egypt represents bondage to sin.
  • Exodus 12:2—the "Passover" becomes the marking of their new calendar and as such points to the newness of life that we should live in Christ (see Romans 6:1-6 and the later symbolism of Israel's passing through the waters of the Red Sea and the Lord's fiery revelation at Sinai).
  • Exodus 12:3—the use of a lamb, the quintessential representation of Christ himself (see also Revelation 5:6)
  • Exodus 12:5—properties of the lamb point to Jesus' perfect life and priesthood power (note that goats could be used as well; the Day of Atonement held at the end of the Israelite harvest and festival season featured two goats described in Leviticus 16). The Savior is the firstborn Son of God, the Lamb of God without spot or blemish ( 1Peter 1:19).
  • Exodus 12:6—the slain lamb represents the "infinite and eternal" sacrifice of Jesus Christ (cf. Alma 34:10-11).
  • Exodus 12:7—the blood of the lamb marking the door of each house signified who should be spared (atone means to ‘cover'); so shall each individual be spared the fulness of punishment owed for their sins due to the blood of him who did no sin; see D&C 45:4-5. The Savior’s blood, which he shed in Gethsemane and on the cross, cleanses the faithful and saves them from spiritual death (Mosiah 4:2).
  • ***Exodus 12:7—the doorposts representing the daily acts of our lives affected by this marvelous offer in Christ's atonement. By sprinkling our Lord's blood upon the doorposts of our hearts and upon the lintels of our souls, we set our dwellings apart from the world: we make open and visible confession of our allegiance to Him whose blood has eternal saving power; we set ourselves apart from the Egyptians, the Sodomites, and the seekers after Sheol; and we place ourselves with the believing portion of mankind.” Ted Gibbons LDS Living.
  • Exodus 12:8—roasting the meat with fire symbolizes the purifying work of the Holy Ghost and the baptism of fire (see also 2 Nephi 31:13-17).
  • Exodus 12:8—the unleavened bread typified the coming Lord as the bread of life without any impurity (leaven, or yeast, is a corrupting agent). “Leaven, or yeast, was seen anciently as a symbol of corruption because it so easily spoiled and turned moldy. … For the Israelites, eating the unleavened bread symbolized that they were partaking of the bread which had no corruption or impurity, namely, the Bread of Life, who is Jesus Christ (see John 6:35)” (Old Testament Student Manual). The removal of leaven also suggested repentance or the removal of sin from a person’s life.
  • Exodus 12:10—the bitter herbs represent the suffering of sin and the bitterness of soul that results from willful rebellion against God.
  • ***Exodus 12:11— Eat in haste, loins girded, shoes on, and staffs in hand symbolize the journey out of sin and also the preparedness for the Lord's call when deliverance will be announced. Like the Israelites, we need to respond eagerly and immediately to the deliverance that the Savior offers us.
  • Exodus 12:13—the angel of death passing over represents the saving work of the Atonement providing deliverance from spiritual death.
  • ***Exodus 12:22- Warning not to wander – “Once we have installed the protective influence of the atonement in our lives, we must not leave it to go out the door to explore theh world. There is no possible concern or opportunity that could justify setting aside the protection o the blood of Christ and his atonement to become a partaker of the things of the world.” Ted Gibbons LDS Living
  • Exodus 12:30-32—Israel's actual freedom typifies the final release from mortal corruption in the resurrection and rewards granted in the Judgment.
  • ***Exodus 12:42—the injunction to hold this (and other feasts) points to the Lord's wise program of remembrance through mnemonic tools such as our latter-day Sacrament meeting where we partake of similar emblems of Christ's wondrous work of salvation.
  • Exodus 12:46—the lamb was not to have a broken bone stands as one of the more fascinatingly unusual details of an otherwise normal crucifixion when Jesus was brutally hung on the cross at Golgotha (see John 19:31-36).
Many of the above notes can be found in Elder McConkie's The Promised Messiah (pp. 431-32). 
Read: 12:29-30- the final plague is devastating. Think about how worn down they have been. All the plagues and hardship have worn them down. They are weak mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The work of taking thousands of people on a trek is astounding. Think of a time when you have been beat upon until you can’t take it any longer and you are just a hot, crying mess.  Think of preparing your family for a long trip. Then make it a camping trip. Then make it a week long, month long, year long.
Ex. 12:42 ???Why did the Lord want Israel to continue to keep the Feast of the Passover in the future years?
President Hunter talks about the final hours of the life of Christ and says:
“Finally, preparations for the Passover meal were complete, in keeping with nearly fifteen hundred years of tradition. Jesus sat down with his disciples and, after the eating of the sacrificial lamb and of the bread and wine of this ancient feast, he taught them a newer and holier meaning of the ancient blessing from God.
The bread and wine, rather than the animals and herbs, would become emblems of the great Lamb’s body and blood, emblems to be eaten and drunk reverently and in remembrance of him forever.” (Howard W. Hunter, “Christ, Our Passover”, Conf, Apr 1985).
Pres. Hunter also said:
This magnificent gesture of love and unity was a fitting prelude to the paschal meal that followed. From the time the firstborn of the faithful children of Israel had been “passed over” in the destruction brought on Egypt by Pharaoh’s intransigence, the Passover meal, with all its symbolic emblems and gestures, had been faithfully observed by Israel’s families. How fitting it was during the observance of this ancient covenant of protection that Jesus should institute the emblems of the new covenant of safety—the emblems of his own body and blood. As he took the bread and broke it, and took the cup and blessed it, he was presenting himself as the Lamb of God who would provide spiritual nourishment and eternal salvation.” (Howard W. Hunter, “His Final Hours”, 1974).
??? How is the sacrament a “new covenant of safety” for us?
??? How do we treat the sacrament?
“Perhaps we do not always attach that kind of meaning to our weekly sacramental service. How ‘sacred’ and how ‘holy is it? Do we see it as our Passover, remembrance of our safety and deliverance and redemption?

With so very much at stake, this ordinance commemorating our escape from the angel of darkness should be taken more seriously than it sometimes is. It should be a powerful, reverent, reflective moment. It should encourage spiritual feelings and impressions. AS such it should not be rushed. It is not something to ‘get over’ so that the real purpose of a sacrament meeting can be pursued. This is the real purpose of the meeting. And everything that is said or sung or prayed in those services should be consistent with the grandeur of this sacred ordinance.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “This Do in Remembrance of Me”, Conf, Oct 1995)