Saturday, March 28, 2015

Teaching

Choice 2: 2 Peter 2. Teaching
1.       Read 2 Peter 2:1–19. Record the characteristics of false teachers described by Peter. Explain in writing how your list helps you recognize false teachers today.
·         Bring others down with them
·         Deny the Lord
·         Stick to it
·         Covetousness
·         Liars
·         Walk in darkness
·         Sexually immoral
·         Hate government
·         presumptuous
·         self-willed
·         evil speaking
·         adulterous
·         sinners
·         forsaken right
·         gone astray
As I was writing this list I started to see some similarities with these false teachers and with people I know who have left the church and are trying to pull others along with them. I still stand by what I have said about being grateful for prophets who direct us to the right paths.
2.       Read 2 Peter 2:20–22; Doctrine and Covenants 82:3, 7. In your own words, write a few sentences describing the dangers of returning to the “pollutions of the world.”
Those who would never follow doctrines are better off never knowing them. Once we have learned and embraced doctrines, repented of sin and then gone back to sin and ignoring doctrine we will be held accountable. Our fall will be much worse than it was. Knowing more will bring us greater punishment if we leave the path. After being forgiven if we just brush that away and return to sin it’s like we haven’t repented.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Wisdom from James

In James 1 it says that if you lack wisdom you should ask of God who gives to all men liberally. It says we should ask in faith boldly and without hesitation. I love that he adds “nothing wavering” which means without doubt or hesitation. If we doubt that God will give it to us why even ask. The Lord wants us to come to Him for blessings.

In Matthew 6:24 we are reminded that we cannot serve two masters because our loyalties will be divided and eventually we will lean to one side or the other. In James 1:8 it says that we shouldn't be double minded, meaning that we should say what we mean, and do what we say. In 1 Kings 18:21 we are told to just follow the Lord and not worry about heeding conflicting opinions.

If we remember that temptations do not come from God we will do well. Knowing that these addictions do not come from the Lord can help us to steer clear of them. Following temptations lead to sin and the end of happiness.

We should listen to others and really understand before responding. Really thinking about what we are going to say before we say it will help keep our tempers under control. Our wrath is not from God. We should be meek and follow the commandments of the Lord. We should also act on those commandments and promptings to further the work of the Lord. We will be blessed for the righteous actions we take. Charity is the pure love of Christ.

Bishops are good examples of doers of the word. Our recent outpouring of missionaries is another good example. My friends Jody Palmer, Diane Jeppson and Heather Burton are great examples of doers of the word. Even though these women have large families they take time from their busy homeschooling lives to bless the lives of other mothers.

Reasons why James 1:5-6 has “had a greater impact … upon mankind that any other” scripture.
1.       It brought for the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith heeding it’s words.
2.       It teaches us the way to receive revelation for ourselves.
3.       It leads us to the straight and narrow path and to eternal life.

4.       It opened the heaven in modern times.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

righteousness

Hebrews 13. Works of Righteousness

Paul concluded his epistle to the Hebrews with some brief teachings and statements of counsel. Read Hebrews 13 and find statements about the following questions:
How should we treat strangers and those “in bonds”?
  • We should be hospitable to strangers and to those who are in bonds we should treat them as if we were bound with them

How is marriage looked upon?
  • Marriage is honourable. Unfortunately in today's world this doesn't seem to be the case.

What warnings are given about covetousness?
  • We should not speak about things that we covet. We should be content with what we have.

What is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”?
  • Our Savior, Jesus Christ?
How are we sanctified?
  • We are only sanctified through Jesus Christ.

How do we respond to those who rule over us?
  • We should obey them and submit ourselves to them.

Who did Paul ask the people to pray for?
  • He says pray for us. This could be the apostles or all members of the church.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Melchizedek and the Priesthood

I am grateful that the Priesthood is still on the earth today and that worthy men can receive it through the laying on of hands by those who are in authority. After holding the Aaronic Priesthood one can receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.

We can know who has authority in the church today when they hold the proper keys and have been given the Priesthood through someone with the authority to give it.

Melchizedek was considered a great high priest because he was full of love and service. He didn’t charge money for what he did. He has been compared to Joseph Smith who worked side by side with the laborers in the field.

In the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 14:25-40 it mentions that Melchizedek was able to stop the mouths of lions and quench the violence of fire as a child.

Melchizedek blessed Abraham, gave him the priesthood and even collected tithes from him, his family, and other church members.

My classmate Casey said, “Up to the time of Melchizedek, the priesthood he held was called “the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.” But to avoid using God’s sacred name too frequently, and to honor this faithful high priest, it became known from his time forth as the Melchizedek Priesthood.”

In Hebrews 6:1 Joseph Smith makes an important doctrinal correction. He adds the word “not” so that it reads “therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ…” Taking away faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost would leave us without foundational principles which would leave us floundering for truth.

To become a son of perdition one must know Jesus and then forsake him, essentially “crucifying” him again. This sin will earn one “outer darkness”.

Hebrews 7:1-6 teaches us that Abraham was so great that the patriarch, Abraham gave him his tithing. He was called the King of Peace. He was always a priest from the beginning of time.

Hebrews 7:3 speaks of Melchizedek and Jesus Christ. It also points out in the Joseph Smith Translation that those who are ordained to the priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually.


Christ is perfect and through the Priesthood and the Atonement He is able to save us all when we repent.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Be Thou an Example of the Believers

Paul talks about modesty in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 he says that we should wear modest apparel, be modest and sober in our daily lives, and not go out of our ways to spend hours doing our hair or spending tons of money on clothing, makeup and jewelry.

Even though Paul is talking to women in this verse, Doctrine and Covenants 61:18 tells us that what God says to one he is really saying to all. Men should be modest as well, in both dress and character. Being boisterous or showy is not modest.

Three reasons that our bodies could be considered sacred:

Our bodies are created in the image of God’s own body. He created us and blessed us. (Moses 6:9)

When we are blessed with the Holy Ghost we have a comforter. If we do anything contrary to what we should be doing that Holy Ghost withdraws from us leaving us vulnerable. (Alma 41:2)

Alma 41:3 says that we need to be restored back to our proper order, our souls will be restored to our bodies which implies that our bodies will be considered sacred in our next lives.

In understanding that our bodies are sacred we should be more careful to treat them like our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ would. I imagine they would be very modest in their attire. Their focus would be more on people than what they looked like.

When we dress immodestly it can lead to other evils that would take away from our righteousness and our Godliness. (Alma 1:32)

To apply these principles in my life I will need to make sure that I look nice but that I don’t put too much focus on fitting in with society or keeping up with the trends. I should put my focus into other more important areas.

Some evidences that Paul mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 show that some were already practicing false doctrines and that an apostasy was already starting to occur. Here are a few:

Speaking lies
Hypocrisy
Spiritual blindness
Forbidding marriage
Being commanded to abstain from meat
Paul counseled Timothy to stand strong as a young man even though some may question wisdom from a youth. He said that their examples would shine through if they were strong in charity, spirit, faith, and purity, which would lead others to conversion. Taking this counsel into our own lives today can help us to be good missionaries, especially young men and women who are called to serve missions.
In Timothy 6:7-11 Paul taught that we were brought into the world with nothing and that we can take nothing out, here he is referring to money and physical possessions. He also counsels that we should not love money or covet after it. The love of money is the root of all evil when it takes us away from our faith or when we covet after others things. We should instead follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.
In 1 Timothy 6:17-19 and Jacob 2:18-19 we are given some guidelines that when followed can help us not focus too much on money or material wealth:
Trust first in God,
Be rich in good works,
Share our riches with others,
Communicate well with others,
Set aside money and food for the future,
Search for the kingdom of God before searching for wealth (in other words follow the commandments and strive to be Christ-like), and
After becoming Christ-like if we seek for riches we should “seek them for the intent to do good – to clothes the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Live as Saints Should Live

Romans 13:11, Ezekiel 3:20, and Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 give us some insight on what we should be doing to work out our salvation.

We need to “wake out of sleep” or shake off our apathy and actively pursue our salvation. We need to repent of our sins and be ready to meet our Lord at all times. We need to keep the commandments and stay steadfast in the church to be exalted.

In Romans 12-13 Paul gave much counsel that leads to salvation. Each of the following verses list what Paul taught would help lead to salvation:

  • Romans 12:1 – Give our bodies to God. In other words stifle our passions and work in service for him.
  • Romans 12:2 – Renew our minds or be spiritually reborn.
  • Romans 12:9 – Love sincerely. Shun evil. Cling to good.
  • Romans 12:13 – Be hospitable.
  • Romans 12:16 – Be humble.
  • Romans 12:21 – Overcome evil with good.
  • Romans 13:1 – Be obedient to God.
  • Romans 13:3 – Follow good leaders. Be good leaders.
  • Romans 13:8 – Stay out of debt. Love everyone.
  • Romans 13:9 – Do not commit adultery. Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. Don’t covet. Love everyone including yourself.
  • Romans 14:1-13; 15:1-3 hold the answers to these questions:

What cautions did Paul give about judging?
·            Everyone is different; we all have the power to choose what we want for this life. We should not judge those who choose differently than us. It’s is the Lord’s right to judge us, we should reserve that right for Him.

People may have different opinions and practices, but what is most important to remember?
·            We are all given agency. We all have the power to choose. We should help our fellowman with good works, not try to tear them down.

What additional insight comes from reading Doctrine and Covenants 38:25-27?
·            We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We should treat everyone equally.


The term Paul commonly used to refer to the members of the church was “the Saints”.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Baptism

Recently my third son Mosiah was able to get baptized and was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was a beautiful day.

Romans chapter six gives us some insight on baptism.

Before baptism can occur we must destroy the body of sin (Romans 6:6)

Baptism is in similitude of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

A true baptism must happen by immersion because it symbolizes the burial and raising of Christ. 
When you are sprinkled you do not go completely under the water so the symbolism falls short.

We can maintain the “newness of life” by yielding ourselves unto God and bring instruments of righteousness unto God.

According to Mosiah 3:19, the natural man is what should ideally die at baptism.

We can know whose servants we are by who we obey. The actions that we create, the paths that we take are indications of who we serve. We can claim to be followers of Christ, but if our actions are not Christ-like the truth shines through. To be servants of the Lord we must seek to serve Him by serving our fellow man.


True freedom comes from a sinless life. Sin keeps us bound. Addiction binds us. Repentance and re-commitment to our Savior are what will set us free.


Friday, February 6, 2015

God Comforts us in Tribulation

Why were Paul and Timothy able to avoid despair despite being troubled, perplexed, persecuted, and cast down?
The Lord comforts us in our tribulations. We are never alone, there is always at least one (Jesus Christ) who has felt our pains and knows how we are feeling. Knowing what they knew about Jesus helped them to keep a positive perspective as well. They were representatives of Christ and so he kept them buoyed up despite their persecutions. These men were willing to die for Jesus, so it seemed like all these hard trials were not as bad. They understood that our trials in this life are nothing compared to the wonderful eternities of what lies beyond this life.

2 Corinithians 4:17-18 can help during our own tribulations. It tells us what Paul and Timothy knew, that our afflictions are for but a moment when compared to the eternities. Having an eternal perspective and knowing that this life is for trials and tests can help us keep our wits about us, fight through pain, and be ready and willing to keep serving the Lord.

Paul and Joseph Smith went through very similar things in their lives. Both were persecuted by the people around them. They both suffered through physical ailments at the hands of others. Both knew though, that they were called of God to profess the gospel to the world and worked hard despite their challenges. Both men learned to “glory in tribulation” because they knew that the Lord would have a special place for them in the next life.

How does grace play a role in overcoming our tribulations?
Paul said that when we are weak we become strong. Jacob in Jacob 4:7 points out that the Lord shows us our weaknesses so that we know that it is by His grace that we are able to accomplish hard things. In Ether 12:27 it goes on to point out that through the grace of God, if we are humble, our weaknesses will become strong. Grace is the help or strength from the Lord. Without the grace of God we could get through nothing, we would not be resurrected, we would have reason to despair because there would be no hope.

In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 the Lord answers Paul’s prayer by telling him that His grace is sufficient enough. His strength can get Paul through his weakness.
In Mosiah 24:13-15 God helps the people through their afflictions. He says that He will deliver them from bondage, and while they are in bondage their burdens will feel light. Literally, the loads they carry on their back will feel light. He made them stronger so that they could bear their burdens with ease.
  I chose this assignment this week because I desperately needed these words. I have been struggling with something for a while and this assignment has helped me to realize, even more, that I just need to ask the Lord for help, submit myself to his will, and carry on. He will help me. He will even carry me when I need to be carried. If Paul, Joseph Smith, Alma and his brothers can work through incredible pain, I can be carried through my discomforts as well.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Sacrament

An important word that Luke and Nephi use to describe the sacrament is that Jesus’ body was “given” for us. Paul did not use this word. It is important to remember that the Lord gave of his own blood and flesh for us.
When not to partake of the sacrament:
Corinthians 11:27-29 - Do not partake of if you are unworthy
3 Nephi 18:28-29 - Do not let anyone partake of the sacrament if you know that they are not worthy.

     We talked about these things in my discussion group this week and we decided that the 3 Nephi           reference is mostly referring to the duty of Priesthood holders, especially Bishops.

If we partake unworthily we are guilty of the blood of the Lord. We will be damned if we do so.
It is important for me to remember that the Savior actually instituted the sacrament Himself. It was that important for Him to have us remember what He did for us. If I keep that in my mind it is easier for me to have a meaningful experience during sacrament meeting and throughout the week.

My thoughts: The sacramental prayer is one of the only prayers that needs to be recited as it is written. It is important that it be done right, or it has to be re-done.

From the prophets: Joseph Smith was told not to purchase alcohol form enemies so the church focused on producing its own wine until he received the Word of Wisdom which said that alcohol consumption is harmful to the body. In the late 19th century church leaders started to take the Word of Wisdom as a commandment and changed the wine to water. (Taken from Wikipedia).


Elder Dallin H. Oaks says, “Those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood open the door for all Church members who worthily partake of the sacrament to enjoy the companionship of the Spirit of the Lord and the ministering of angels.” My oldest son, Liam, will turn 12 this summer and he is so looking forward to holding the Priesthood so that he can pass the sacrament in our meetings. 
This is Liam with his little brother Mosiah and their Daddy (my awesome, amazing, wonderful Hubby.) Liam will be 12 in August.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Proper Authority

In Acts 19:1-12 and 20:7-12 Paul performed five priesthood ordinances. They were:
  •  Baptism
  • Giving the gift of the Holy Ghost
  • Healing
  •  Casting out evil spirits
  •  Raising the dead

In Acts 19:3-5 Paul finds out that the Corinthian saints have not been baptized under the right authority so he re-baptizes them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Side note, I was looking for a picture of Paul baptizing the Saints, but all I could find were pictures of him sprinkling them. I personally think that Paul would baptize by immersion, in the same way that John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. So I posted a picture of Jesus’ baptism.)

Some people who are investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints wonder why they would need to be baptized to join our church when they have already been baptized. This question is answered in these verses. The answer is, they were not baptized under the correct authority. After the saints were baptized Paul laid his hands upon their heads and gave them the gift of the Holy Ghost.

In the LDS church members are baptized at the age of 8. They are baptized by immersion and are given the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands afterwards.



On the first day of the week Paul met with the saints to break bread, or have the sacrament with them. This would be Sunday. In John 20:1 we find that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week which became the new Sabbath. Jesus also appeared to His disciples on this new Sabbath day.