Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
I will freely admit that when I read the Course Notes, with the warnings about doubling up on the assignments because we would be doing a full semester’s worth of work in just seven weeks, I almost bailed. I’m still getting used to the idea that I’m back in school, even if it’s online, from home. I graduated from Ricks in 1979. took three quarters at Utah State and then settled in to raise my family. I’ve been a life-long learner, but not with weekly deadlines, and specific readings and assigned writings. This course has reminded me that I love to learn, and I love to study the scriptures. Each week, finding the doctrines was such a joy. I had forgotten how to constantly look for principles as I read through the scriptures. These findings can change from one reading to the next, depending on our needs. I also came to see Paul in a completely different light. I had thought of him as kind of a cranky fellow, who thought women should not cut their hair, should be subject to their husbands, and shouldn’t make a peep in church. Not so!
A second principle, taken from a doctrine that I found in 2 Thessalonians, is the concept that we are counseled to watch over and care for one another. As I was reading back through my notes, preparing for this essay, I was surprised to see that a verse that I used this final week as one of my Teaching Truth verses, was also a verse that I used as a cross-reference in Lesson 2. It must be a scripture that I need to internalize right now. The original doctrine is “There is a difference between being our brother's keeper and being a busy body! (2 Thes 3:11, 12). I’ve recently been called to serve in our ward’s relief society presidency. I freely admit that I prefer to think that “all is well in Zion. I like to sit at my perch at the organ (which is still my calling) and look out over the congregation, and just figure that everyone is happy. Now, I’m in a position where I have to know some things. This scripture—For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.—has been just what I needed. It was cross-referenced with “And of some have compassion, making a difference.” (Jude 1:22). Compassion isn’t always my strong suit, I tend to figure that people simply bring consequences on themselves. Now I am in a position where compassion comes first. I while back, a friend, who had recently been called as RS president showed me what she had learned about compassion from King Benjamin: And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you…I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. (Mos 4:26) Compassion doesn’t necessarily differentiate between wants and needs. This has helped me accept that I will find out about welfare needs and such, but I can quietly serve, and support the RS president, give encouragement, and tend to my own responsibilities.
The third principle, which I am constantly reminding myself of, is the fact that we are dependent on the Lord's mercy for forgiveness of our own sins; we have no business, right, or time, to be concerned about whether or not someone else deserves our forgiveness. We are commanded to forgive others and then leave it up to the Lord to decide whether or not repentance has really taken place. If we choose not to forgive, we are under greater condemnation. (D&C 64:9,10) What a relief this is, if you think about it. I have enough in my life to keep track of. On the list of all my things to do on any given day, deciding whether or not someone, deserves my forgiveness is NOT on that list of things with which I must be concerned! Sadly, that is easier said than done sometimes, but it certainly comes with a great promise-- and I am in constant need of being forgiven by the Lord of my trespasses. As our group discussed this on our group discussion board, I found these two thoughts by Elder Samuelson, given in a Womens’ Conference address, May 2009, at BYU. He is speaking of Nephi’s lament found in 2 Ne 4:28, and then Nephi’s words of self-encouragement—“Awake, my soul! No linger droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. … O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and will trust in thee forever” (2 Ne 4:34) Nephi still had plenty of problems, and wasn’t always sure about why certain things were happening to him. Earlier in the book, he told the angel—“I know that [God} loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things”. (1 Ne 11:17) I won’t always know the meaning of all things, but we must trust that the Lord loves us and that I can trust in the Atonement and in His grace as we endure trials and struggles. I can’t allow discouragement to enter our heart during the hard times. I need to be grateful that the Savior knows me better than I know ourself and that He gave us covenants that I can renew when I regularly partake of the Sacrament and when I return to the temple often to perform ordinances for others. I can “follow the pattern that allows us to ‘live after the manner of happiness’.”
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
How they pleased the Lord
How they needed to repent
They: Don't tolerate evil, Don't follow apostates.
Labor diligently, and are patient
In trials, they have not given up,
Don't tolerate secret
Have forgotten the importance of preaching and missionary work
Hard Work, patience in
Tribulation and poverty
Don't fear the sufferings--prison, death
Be faithful unto death
Crown of Eternal life
Holding fast to the name of Christ, been true to the faith, one was martyred,
Stop deceiving the faithful, revere sacred things, no idol worship, stop fornicating, no blasphemy
The bread of life,understanding eternal concepts, a new name (temple ordinances)
Charity, service, faith, patience, works
Stop Fornication and adultery, No idol worship
Hold fast to the Gospel
Power unto the nations, rule with an iron rod
Good works, alive in Christ
Remember! Hold fast! Watch!
Clothed in white, name in the Book of Life, acknowledged before the Father
Good works, strength, have kept His word, have not denied the Savior,
Other nations will worship at their feet. They will be loved of Christ.
Will be kept from temptation,
Will be a leader in the house of God, a new name--temple blessings,
It didn't seem like He was pleased at all with this bunch!
Be ZEALOUS! Be more humble, Come to Christ to be "tried in the fire", to keep their covenants -- become "clothed in white raiment", to have their eyes "anointed" that they may see, to endure chastening.
Christ will come to them, they will be invited to sit with the Savior at His throne, with the Father
Counsel given to these Seven Churches that applies to me--
I don't keep missionary work at the top of my list of priorities. I try to be a good example, but I don't always seek opportunities to share the Gospel. I hope that I would be able to faithful in the face of prison or death. I've never been tried to that extreme. I could probably revere sacred things more carefully. I need to Remember! Hold fast! And Watch! I seem to go in spurts with my zealousness. These past few weeks, I have been very zealous about my study of the New Testament! When I'm choir director, I'm very zealous about choir participation. I could use a bit more balance! I can always work to be more humble, to be mindful of my covenants, and to endure chastening.
I love the image that Christ will invite us to sit with him at His throne, with the Father, near the Father. I like to envision my parents there, waiting for me to join them. And I would love to gather my own children to join me, with their little families.
D&C 14:7 -- Those who endure to the end will receive Eternal life, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God
D&C 63:20 -- He who endures in faith and keeps the commandments, shall overcome and shall receive an "inheritance upon the earth"-- the Celestial Kingdom.
I chose to do this assignment because I've always shied away from Revelations. I wanted to work my way through this assignment and makes discoveries and find principles!
To improve, I maybe could have put those last comments in essay form, instead of just answering the questions. But I really enjoyed cross-referencing with the D&C and making sense of those two chapters in Revelations.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Rev 14:2 --And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.
This isn't actually a doctrinal scripture, I just tossed it in because my daughter plays the harp. She begins her practice as I leave to take my son to early morning seminary. When I come home, there she is, a harper, harping with her harp!
Friday, March 30, 2012
A Peculiar People, A Royal Priesthood
- Chosen generation – By embracing the new Gospel, the house if Israel is now a “new Israel”, chosen and purchased by the Lord through the Atonement.
- Royal priesthood – not a congregation of lay members, with a minister at the head, but an entire Church in which every man is his own minister, in which every man stands as a king in his own right, reigning over his own family-kingdom.
- Holy nation – A kingdom of priests, a “new Israel”
- Peculiar people – Peculiar = peculium meaning private property, the footnote f indicates purchased or preserved; Hebrew segulah meaning special possession or property A people that has been purchased through Christ shedding his blood.
The price of becoming a "peculiar" people:
We are "redeemed with precious blood. " (1 Peter 1:18-19) Christ was precious…as a lamb without blemish.
Christ suffered temptations, pain, hunger, thirst, fatigue, more than man can suffer, blood cometh from every pore, anguish (Mos 3:7-8)
Our Redeemer suffered death in the flesh, suffered the pain of all men, that we might repent and come unto him. (D&C 18:11)
Principles to help us remain God’s peculiar people (1Peter 1:13–25; 2:1–17; 3:10–11; 4:8; 5:6–8)
- Gird up the loins of your mind
- Be sober
- Hope to the end for grace
- Be obedient
- Be holy in conversation
- Call on the Father – pray
- Believe in God, have faith in God
- Unfeigned love of brethren, love one another with a pure heart
- Be born again through the word of God
- Lay aside malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, evil speaking
- Desire the sincere milk of the word—true doctrine
- Build upon a spiritual house, spiritual sacrifice
- Praise God
- Abstain from fleshly lusts
- Honest conversations, good works
- Submit to ordinances—put to silence the ignorance of evil men
- Be an example of a servant of God
- Honor all men, love brotherhood, fear God, Honor Christ
- Refrain the tongue, speak no guile
- Eschew –Abstain from, shun, avoid—evil
- Do good, seek peace, ensue –follow eagerly—peace
- Have fervent charity
- Be humble
- Cast your cares upon the Lord,
- Be sober, be vigilant
Proclamation to the World and 1 Peter 3:1-12 regarding husbands and wives:
- Wives maintain a meek and quiet spirit (?) ;) (Oh dear! Maybe that will be my goal for the week, maybe not!)
- Husbands honor the wife
- Be of one mind, have compassion one of another, love one another, be tenderhearted, compassionate, and be courteous