We have to conduct ourselves properly, and seek the assistance of the Almighty to direct us in all our affairs, and the Lord has promised if we would do that, he would show us that the wisdom of God is greater than the cunning of the devil. Well, he does keep showing that from time to time, and if we do right he will keep on doing it. But to ensure this there is something devolving upon us.Says one, “If I could have so much money, such a farm, or this, that, and the other, I would feel satisfied.” I say, get the Spirit of God in your hearts! Let the light of revelation burn in your bosoms like living fire, then you will know something about God, something about the blessings of salvation, something about the benefits that will accrue to Zion.“But, sometimes, I have to make a little sacrifice if I carry out the counsel given.” Well, make it then. If it is a sacrifice, it ought to be a pleasure to help build up the kingdom of God, establish righteousness, plant the standard of truth, and to be on the side of God, angels and eternal realities, to be saviors of men. To be thus situated is the most honorable position in this world or the world to come.Now, God could not get the world to do anything towards building up his kingdom, they would not do it, they could not see it, and he had to get you baptized before you could see it; and seeing it now, will you barter it away for the follies of this world, for the smiles and promises of the ungodly? Or are you going to cleave to the truth, live by it, and, if necessary, die by it? What are you going to do?
Category Archives: Prophets/Apostles studies
From his talk, “Come, Follow Me” by Practicing Christian Love and Service
We should not worry that we are not professionally trained gospel teachers. No training class or manual is as helpful as personally studying our scriptures, praying, pondering, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will lead you along. I promise you: the calling to be a parent includes the gift to teach in the ways that are right for you and for your children. Remember, God’s power to influence us righteously is His love. “We love him, because he first loved us.”
The scriptures tell us that when some of Heavenly Father’s spirit children chose not to follow His plan, the heavens wept. Some parents who have loved and taught their children also weep when their grown children choose not to follow the Lord’s plan. What can parents do? We cannot pray away another’s agency. Remember the father of the prodigal son, who patiently waited for his son to “[come] to himself,” all the while watching for him. And “when he was yet a great way off,” he ran to him. We can pray for guidance about when to speak, what to say, and yes, on some occasions, when to be still. Remember, our children and family members already chose to follow the Savior in their premortal realm. Sometimes it is only by their own life’s experiences that those sacred feelings are awakened again. Ultimately, the choice to love and follow the Lord has to be their own.
There is another special way disciples show their love for the Savior. Today I pay tribute to all who serve the Lord as caregivers. How the Lord loves you! In your quiet, unheralded service, you are following Him who promised, “Thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.”
BYU Women’s Conference 2011
Julie B. Beck
Something in one of Sister Beck’s talks stuck me years ago, and I’m realizing I’m in a ward where it applies very well. She describes sitting in a park with some women who were very well educated, but who had also decided to become mothers. But these weren’t two separate parts of their lives: they were using their gifts and bright minds to think through mothering. She doesn’t say whether or not these women also worked for some portion of their time; that isn’t the point of her comment, I think. The point is that they saw that their work in the home deserved much thinking just as their advanced education did.
Here’s the part of the talk “A Mother Heart” that includes this story:
Female roles did not begin on earth, and they do not end here. A woman who treasures motherhood on earth will treasure motherhood in the world to come, and “where [her] treasure is, there will [her] heart be also” (Matt. 6:21). By developing a mother heart, each girl and woman prepares for her divine, eternal mission of motherhood. “Whatever principle of intelligence [she] attain[s] unto in this life, it will rise with [her] in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through [her] diligence and obedience than another, [she] will have so much the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:18–19).
I was recently at a park where I met a group of women with mother hearts. They were young, covenant-keeping women. They were bright and had obtained advanced degrees from respected universities. Now they were devoting their considerable gifts to planning dinner that evening and sharing housekeeping ideas. They were teaching two-year-olds to be kind to one another. They were soothing babies, kissing bruised knees, and wiping tears. I asked one of those mothers how it came about that she could transfer her talents so cheerfully into the role of motherhood. She replied, “I know who I am, and I know what I am supposed to do. The rest just follows.” That young mother will build faith and character in the next generation one family prayer at a time, one scripture study session, one book read aloud, one song, one family meal after another. She is involved in a great work. She knows that “children are an heritage of the Lord” and “happy is the [woman] that hath [a] quiver full of them” (Ps. 127:3, 5). She knows that the influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily mothering is far more lasting, far more powerful, far more influential than any earthly position or institution invented by man. She has the vision that, if worthy, she has the potential to be blessed as Rebekah of old to be “the mother of thousands of millions” (Gen. 24:60).
Every girl and woman who makes and keeps sacred covenants can have a mother heart. There is no limit to what a woman with a mother heart can accomplish. Righteous women have changed the course of history and will continue to do so, and their influence will spread and grow exponentially throughout the eternities. How grateful I am to the Lord for trusting women with the divine mission of motherhood. Like Mother Eve I am “glad” (see Moses 5:11) to know these things. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
President George Q. Cannon: “The Presidency of the Church have to walk just as you walk,” he said. “They have to take steps just as you take steps. They have to depend upon the revelations of God as they come to them. They cannot see the end from the beginning, as the Lord does.”
I feel like Elder Holland’s talk wouldn’t be very popular today. We are very concerned -understandably – that those who have been victims of abuse and also those who have experimented don’t feel left out or unnecessarily guilty. So, many Mormons don’t like any talk of virtue and cleanliness.
To talk, for example, of the future blessings of being clean when entering marriage such that one can deeply bind with one’s spouse, is to put some people on a pedestal and to tell the rest, “Well, sorry, you’re second class forever.” That is the concern many Mormons have.
I always wonder why we can’t have talk of virtue and say that there are no second class members? Why can’t we say, in full honesty and full exhortative fashion, that entering marriage ready and willing to give fully to each other is fantastic and momentous and beautiful and superb? And why can’t we say that those who haven’t prepared themselves (and sexual purity is only one form of preparation — one must also be willing to share emotions and private thoughts and so forth) will miss the full realization of the blessings of marriage? Is that not true? Do we believe that is true? Are we going to argue against that point?
I almost feel like we are arguing against that point when we say that talk of virtue is hurtful to those who have experimented.
I hear the point more clearly when we say that talk of virtue is hurtful to those who have been abused.
But, isn’t that part of why the situation of the abused is so worth mourning? So heart-wrenching? Someone has taken something from them – and I know I shouldn’t say that, in today’s climate – but someone has. Emotionally they have been drained, mentally they have been drained, physically they have been drained. That’s precisely why it is wrong! So very, very wrong. They have been exploited.
But now, now comes the other shoe that needs to drop before this conversation goes on. The other shoe is that God’s atonement really, really can make us clean. Really! Clean. Clean. Clean. As if, in some way, it never happened. But of course, passing through the fact that it really did happen. But clean.
And if clean, then ready to participate fully in marriage or any other endeavor that requires our whole souls.
And this atonement – as has been preached continually – heals both those who have sinned knowingly, unknowingly, and have not sinned at all, but been victims to those who have sinned. It really can. It’s hard, harder than anything, but it can. That is the promise.
Now, it may seem unfair of me to suggest that those who have been victims of abuse need to be cleansed. But I know I have had need of that cleansing in other circumstances (not sexual, in my case, but other times where I have been hurt by other’s sins). And I am not ready to give myself fully/100% in certain circumstances. I am distracted by my pain, or my worries. Legitimately, plainly, I am not 100% myself because I have been affected by someone else’s actions. But, as a totally shock, it has been possible for the atonement to cleanse my mind and my heart and restore to me that which was lost, taken, changed, hurt, affected. There really was damage done, and it really was restored. Really.
That’s not to say that if someone has offended me at Church, for example, I will necessarily stop going to meetings. But I will hold back from full friendship and communion with my ward members. The promise of the blessings of unity with the saints is not fully realized. Just like in marriage, there are greater blessings to be found when there is greater unity. And if I am holding back because of experimentation of how to fulfill my own needs or curiosity, or holding back because of hurt caused by others, either way, I am not enjoying the fullness of “the intimacy it is your right and privilege and delight to enjoy in marriage” (as Elder Holland puts it). I just am not. I just think that is a fact. I am not. Whether by my own purposeful actions, or my human confusion, or by the actions inflicted on me by others, I am not. And that is something to mourn! And to help heal!
I hope I am not saying things that will cause others to hate me, though fortunately not too many read this blog. 🙂 But I believe that there is something glorious about being 100% invested in a marriage, and it’s ok to say that anything less than that is less than that. And I think it is ok to say that those who aren’t 100% invested can call upon the blessings of the atonement to have that which is not there become there. At any point in their lives. On any day! I have need to be restored to full communion with my spouse, just because events of life can cause me to think of myself more than I should. That’s a minor example, but I say it because it really does mean I’m not 100% there, and I have felt myself restored to 100%. And anyone can be restored to the possibility of being 100% there. It’s ok to say the atonement can really, really do that. For anyone.
I hope I’m not being offensive to anyone who does read this, but I think to say that all this talk about virtue is hurtful is to say that we don’t quite trust that the atonement can restore everyone to this place of virtue. Virtue is so important to talk about because it is a blessing available to everyone. That is precisely why it is so important to talk about. It is good, and strong, and opens up communion with God and with other human beings in ways that are so, so strong. And it is available to everyone who has been affected by others as much as those who have sinned (and everyone has sinned). Virtue is real. It is what Zion is built on.
Such are some random rambling thoughts of the morning. Nothing new. But as I was reviewing Elder Holland’s talk this morning, they were returning to my mind over and over again so I thought I’d get them out on virtual paper. 🙂
Back to reading… (or really, in this case, back to getting kids ready for school to start)