Archive for March 2010

Happy Birthday Relief Society! 168 Years!   Leave a comment

What a marvelous time of year it is, not just by season, but also because twice during this month are there monumental anniversaries of great things. First and fore most, The Relief Society was organized 168 Years ago today! How exciting! What great things I have seen that wonderful and powerful institution do for the world…. and even for me brethren. The Church has provided this wonderful video (The following link) to commemorate that special anniversary!

Relief Society Video

Finally here is some more Relief Society Facts to ponder:

1842— Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society of Nauvoo, with Emma Smith, his wife, as the president. History of the Church, 4:552–53, 567

March 1976 Ensign Talk By Spencer W. Kimball

It is very fitting that this issue of the Ensign should pay special attention to the women of the Church, for March 17 marks the 134th anniversary of the founding of their unique organization, the Relief Society. “I will organize you … after a pattern of the priesthood,” the Prophet Joseph Smith told that small group of women who wished to have a society of their own. 

Later, he added, “The Church was never fully organized until the women were thus organized.” (“Story of the Organization of the Relief Society,” Relief Society Magazine, March 1919, p. 129.) Thus, Latter-day Saint women everywhere were united in a sisterhood; and today the Relief Society blesses every woman who accepts the gift of activity in that sisterhood just as the young women’s organization blesses their younger sisters. 

I wonder if women who do not participate fully in Relief Society realize the great promises that come with their membership. Let me enumerate some of these blessings, pronounced upon the Society by the Prophet Joseph Smith: 

1. This society, a society of sisters, is organized “according to your natures. … You are now placed in a situation in which you can act according to those sympathies which God has planted in your bosoms.” (HC, 4:605.) 

2. “If this Society listen to the counsel of the Almighty, through the heads of the Church, they shall have power to command queens in their midst.” (HC, 4:605.)

3. “If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.” (HC, 4:605.)
4. “Knowledge and intelligence shall flow down from this time henceforth.” (HC, 4:607.)

5. “This Society shall rejoice.” (HC, 4:607.)

I think there are many ways in which these promises are being fulfilled. I think of the spirit of revelation that my own dear wife invites into our home because of the hours she has spent every year of our married life in studying the scriptures, so that she can be prepared to teach the principles of the gospel in her Relief Society calling. I think of the sweet and tender spirit that accompanies her after she spends her time in compassionate service or in the loving fellowship of visiting teaching. Our Relief Society sisters acknowledge by their deeds their willingness to follow the Savior and to make sacrifices for the kingdom of God. They strengthen each other as they grow and learn together. They share their testimonies about the magnitude of their callings to care for others and their knowledge that the Lord aids them as they seek help with those responsibilities.

I marvel at the faithfulness of so many of our sisters and their unswerving devotion to the cause of righteousness. My own wonderful mother’s journal records a lifetime of being grateful for the opportunity to serve and sorry only that she couldn’t do more. I smiled when I recently read one entry dated January 16, 1900. She was serving as first counselor in our Relief Society in Thatcher, Arizona, and the presidency went to a sister’s home where a sick baby had prevented the mother from doing her sewing. Mother took her machine, a picnic lunch, her baby, and a high chair, and they began work. She wrote that night, we “made four aprons, four pairs of pants and started a shirt for one of the boys.” They had to stop at 4 p.m. to go to a funeral, so we “did not get any more than that done.” I would have been impressed by such achievement, rather than thinking, “Well, that’s not much.” Then two days later, the Relief Society met in our home for a work meeting. “We had quite a turnout,” wrote my mother, and “accomplished considerable.” Then after that work meeting, she went uncomplainingly to a board meeting. 

That’s the kind of home I was born in, one conducted by a woman who breathed service in all her actions. That is the kind of home my wife has made. That is the kind of home that thousands of wonderful women all over the Church make for their husbands and children, and I firmly feel that much of that success rests in the ideals and work of the Relief Society. 

As the First Presidency, we feel strongly enough about the blessings that come through Relief Society that we have asked presidents of stakes, missions, and districts to foster Relief Society attendance, to help the brethren understand the great strength to the priesthood and to families that comes from the activity of the sisters in Relief Society. We have particularly asked them to encourage single sisters to participate in Relief Society.

The Relief Society is the Lord’s organization for women. It complements the priesthood training given to the brethren. There is a power in this organization that has not yet been fully exercised to strengthen the homes of Zion and build the Kingdom of God—nor will it until both the sisters and the priesthood catch the vision of Relief Society. 

There is a wonderful lesson for all of us in the minutes of the Fifteenth Ward Relief Society here in Salt Lake. This organization was presided over for forty years, beginning in 1868, by Sarah M. Kimball, a great woman, but not related to me. During the late 1870s when Relief Societies were being organized in all the wards, some of the brethren occasionally did not understand the program and thus failed to lend it their full support, but the bishop of this ward understood and respected the Relief Society. On January 8, 1878, he sent his counselor to speak to the Relief Society. Brother Binder transmitted the love of the bishop and said he had “no fear of the sisters transcending the bounds of the Priesthood.” Instead, he extended to them his “support and faith.” Then he added something very significant. He hoped that the sisters would sustain their officers “as faithfully as they would be sustained by the bishop and counsel[ors].” (Minutes, Fifteenth Ward Relief Society, Church Archives.) 

We echo this message. We hope that you sisters will support your leaders in the Relief Society as faithfully and as fully as we support them. Sister Smith and her counselors are noble women. They seek the direction of the Spirit in their lives and decisions. They are faithful stewards in the great and weighty responsibilities that they have been called to. They work harmoniously with their advisors in the Council of the Twelve and sustain the priesthood in every way. They have our love, our confidence, and our support. 

It is a great blessing to be a woman in the Church today. The opposition against righteousness has never been greater, but the opportunities for fulfilling our highest potential have also never been greater. 

What is our greatest potential? Is it not to achieve godhood ourselves? And what are the qualities we must develop to achieve such greatness? We might consider some: 

First, intelligence, light and knowledge. What special opportunities do women have in this area? These qualities, you will remember, are part of the promise given to the sisters by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Since we learn best by teaching others, we think our Relief Society sisters see the fulfillment of that promise daily as they teach children at home, in Sunday School, and in Primary, in Relief Societies, in sacrament meetings, and in daily conversation. We urge our sisters who are called to teach to magnify their callings through study and prayer, recognizing the eternal values they are building for themselves, as well as for those they teach. We encourage all our sisters to take advantage of their opportunities to receive light and knowledge in school, in personal study, and in Relief Society. 

Second, leadership. Women have unique opportunities to grow in leadership skills. Do you think of leadership as telling others what to do, or as making all the decisions? Not so. Leadership is the ability to encourage the best efforts of others in working toward a desirable goal. Who has more significant opportunities to lead than a mother who guides her children toward perfection, or the wife who daily counsels with her husband that they may grow together? The tremendous contribution in leadership made by women in the auxiliaries of the Church and in their communities is likewise beyond measure. 

And finally, perhaps the most essential godlike quality: compassion and love—compassion shown forth in service to others, unselfishness, that ultimate expression of concern for others we call love. Relief Society indeed provides women with special opportunities to express their feelings of charity, benevolence, and love. There are other avenues of service—the community and particularly the home. Wherever women are true to their feminine natures and magnify their opportunities for loving service, they are learning to become more like God. 

I have mentioned only a few of the special blessings God gives his daughters in helping them to become like him. His sons have their own special opportunities. And in his wisdom and mercy, our Father made men and women dependent on each other for the full flowering of their potential. Because their natures are somewhat different, they can complement each other; because they are in many ways alike, they can understand each other. Let neither envy the other for their differences; let both discern what is superficial and what is beautifully basic in those differences, and act accordingly. And may the brotherhood of the priesthood and the sisterhood of the Relief Society be a blessing in the lives of all the members of this great Church, as we help each other along the path to perfection.

****************************************************
D&C 3:16–20 . “Nevertheless, My Work Shall Go Forth”

President Joseph Fielding Smith explained the significance of this prophecy and its fulfillment: “Joseph Smith, in his own strength, would scarcely have dared to predict to a bitterly hostile world that no power could stay this work and that it would go forth as a witness to all the world. The Lord has decreed that his work would be established. He called it a ‘Marvelous work and a wonder,’ even before the organization of the Church. If Joseph Smith had been guilty of practising a fraud; if he had endeavored to palm off the Book of Mormon on this hostile, unbelieving world, he never would have dared to say that it would go forth to the convincing of Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ. Even if he had been foolish enough to make such a declaration, and the work being spurious, it would have come to a speedy and ridiculous end. It never would have survived the first year of its existence. It would have been so filled with flaws that the scrutinizing gaze of the world would have exposed it in all its folly. The truth remains that, after the thousands of attacks and scores of books that have been published, not one criticism or attack has survived, and thousands have borne witness that the Lord has revealed to them the truth of this marvelous work.” ( Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:28–29.)

Posted March 17, 2010 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Relief Society Turns 168

Healing From Depression Through Jesus Christ   Leave a comment

Hello Brethren,

What a joy it is again to post more videos… more things to help solidify my testimony to you. A witness that these things are true. I do this blog, not just as a means of enlightening those of my brethren in Plainview, Texas Branch….. but also the world. A broad range I know. We have a given mandate to do that of which the Apostles have done, both in days of old and in the Latter-Days.

“…behold, I command all men everywhere to repent, and I speak unto you, even as unto Paul mine apostle, for you are called even with that same calling with which he was called.” (D & C 18:9)


So it is my pleasure to share my testimony and witness to all concerning the truthfulness of this work. I know it is true!

Take notice brethren that ALL 5 videos (Feature 5 Videos- 1 at top of blog & 4 at bottom) have been changed. I also have posted a newer and special video from my friend Seth Adam Smith below. Its great, I hope you enjoy!

 

Posted March 12, 2010 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Healing

Interview With God – Video –   Leave a comment

Use The Link (Above) To Watch this video sent to me by grandfather Beardsley. Its worth it!

The Creation: Lesson 5 For March 14th, 2010   Leave a comment

“Chapter 5: The Creation,” Gospel Principles, (2009),22–25

God’s Plan for Us

  • • Why did we need to come to the earth?

When we lived as spirit children with our heavenly parents, our Heavenly Father told us about His plan for us to become more like Him. We shouted for joy when we heard His plan (see Job 38:7). We were eager for new experiences. In order for these things to happen, we needed to leave our Father’s presence and receive mortal bodies. We needed another place to live where we could prepare to become like Him. Our new home was called earth.

  • • Why do you think we shouted for joy when we learned of the plan of salvation?

For teachers: Some class members or family members may not feel comfortable reading aloud. Before asking them to read aloud, you may want to ask, “Who would like to read?” Then call on individuals who have volunteered.

Jesus Created the Earth

Jesus Christ created this world and everything in it. He also created many other worlds. He did so through the power of the priesthood, under the direction of our Heavenly Father. God the Father said, “Worlds without number have I created; … and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten” (Moses 1:33). We have other testimonies of this truth. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw Jesus Christ in a vision. They testified “that by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:24).

Carrying Out the Creation

  • • What are the purposes of the Creation?

The earth and everything on it were created spiritually before they were created physically (see Moses 3:5). In planning to create the physical earth, Christ said to those who were with Him, “We will go down, for there is space there, … and we will make an earth whereon these [the spirit children of our Father in Heaven] may dwell” (Abraham 3:24).

Under the direction of the Father, Christ formed and organized the earth. He divided light from darkness to make day and night. He formed the sun, moon, and stars. He divided the waters from the dry land to make seas, rivers, and lakes. He made the earth beautiful and productive. He made grass, trees, flowers, and other plants of all kinds. These plants contained seeds from which new plants could grow. Then He created the animals—fish, cattle, insects, and birds of all kinds. These animals had the ability to reproduce their own kind.
Now the earth was ready for the greatest creation of all—mankind. Our spirits would be given bodies of flesh and blood so they could live on earth. “And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so” (Moses 2:26). And so the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, were formed and given bodies that resembled those of our heavenly parents. “In the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). When the Lord finished His creations, He was pleased and knew that His work was good, and He rested for a time.

God’s Creations Show His Love

  • • How do God’s creations show that He loves us?

We are now living in this beautiful world. Think of the sun, which gives us warmth and light. Think of the rain, which makes plants grow and makes the world feel clean and fresh. Think of how good it is to hear a bird singing or a friend laughing. Think of how wonderful our bodies are—how we can work and play and rest. When we consider all of these creations, we begin to understand what wise, powerful, and loving beings Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are. They have shown great love for us by providing for all of our needs.
Plant life and animal life were also made to give us joy. The Lord said, “Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul” (D&C 59:18–19). Even though God’s creations are many, He knows and loves them all. He said, “All things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them” (Moses 1:35).

  • • What are some things you appreciate about God’s creations?

Additional Scriptures

Learning through Life’s Trials   Leave a comment

From a devotional address given at Brigham Young University—Idaho on October 30, 2007.

The trials of this life will ultimately lead to joy if we patiently trust in God’s plan and discover how to use adversity to grow stronger.

I’ve learned that the way I respond to trials can have a great effect on whether they become roadblocks in my life or expressways to learning and growth. When I anguish over difficulties, the experiences only serve to weigh me down. But remembering that these trials are part of the great plan of happiness helps me to see them as opportunities to grow and learn.

As children of a loving God, we accepted our Father’s plan to obtain a physical body, gain earthly experience, and qualify to return to His presence and enjoy eternal life. In fact, we “shouted for joy” at the chance to participate in this “plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8, 16). Here on earth, there is a lot of joy, but there are also times of trial, misfortune, and grief.

A common misunderstanding among members of the Church is that if we strive with all our might to live the commandments, nothing bad will happen to us. We may believe if we are married in the temple, our marriage will automatically be heaven on earth, or if we live the Word of Wisdom, we will never get sick. But the truth is that bad things may happen to the best of people. The consequences of good and bad actions will come, but they do not always come immediately, and they may not even come in this life.

Origins of Adversity

Much suffering comes as a direct result of sin. When we use our agency to disregard the commandments of God, we follow Satan’s plan of misery rather than God’s plan of happiness.
Other trials come as a result of unwise choices. For example, many people are burdened with financial debt because they choose to make purchases on credit rather than delay purchases until they can afford to pay in cash.

Yet other challenges come as a natural result of mortality and the world we live in. We are mortals with bodies that will age and may become ill or injured.

Degree of Fault for Problems in Life

As mortals, we try to assign fault for every situation. Often, we judge ourselves harshly, concluding that problems occur because of something we did wrong or because we failed to do something to prevent them.1
As we consider the degree of our personal fault for the tribulations in our lives, it may be helpful to think of a continuum with sin at one end and adversity at the other.2
 
Our degree of fault is high at the end of the spectrum marked as sin. We should accept responsibility for problems caused by sin by repenting and continually striving to do better. However, as we continue down the spectrum, our fault drops to zero at the end marked by adversity, where we may bear no responsibility at all. These trials may come to us regardless of any conscious action on our part. If we blame ourselves for things that are not our fault, we make a bad situation worse by seeing ourselves as bad people who deserve bad things.

It is difficult to judge our level of responsibility for problems that fall between these two ends of the spectrum. In these cases, it may be unproductive to try to establish blame because it may cause us to lose focus on the very reason for the trial.

The Purposes of Adversity

Apostle Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.”3
 
Trials give us opportunities to show the Lord and ourselves that we will be faithful. We can choose to feel sorry for ourselves and ask, “Why me?” or we can grow from our trials, increase our faith in the Lord, and ask, “How can I be faithful in the midst of this trial?” We can let adversity break us down and make us bitter, or we can let it refine us and make us stronger. We can allow adversity to lead us to drift away from the things that matter most, or we can use it as a stepping-stone to grow closer to things of eternal worth.

Spiritual growth can often be achieved more readily by trials and adversity than by comfort and tranquility. Trials can teach us that faith in God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ is the source of inner strength. President David O. McKay (1873-1970) recounted the testimony of one of the survivors of the ill-fated Martin handcart company, who said: “We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but … [we] came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities.”4

Benefitting from Adversity

Since adversity will come to us all, consider the following ideas to help face trials and benefit from them.

•Rely on Christ

One of the purposes of trials is to help us come to know Christ, understand His teachings in our minds, feel them in our hearts, and live them in our lives. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explains that God loves us perfectly and “would not require [us] to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for [our] personal benefit or for that of those [we] love.”5 President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) once remarked: “Sometimes when [we] are going through the most severe tests, [we] will be nearer to God than [we] have any idea.”6
 
When we turn to Christ, we will not only find the comfort we seek, but in so doing we will also gain an increased testimony of the reality of the Savior and His Atonement, which can heal all suffering. We often speak of the Atonement in terms of relief from sin and guilt. But the Atonement is more. Alma taught that Christ suffered pains, afflictions, and temptations of every kind so He could be filled with mercy and know how to succor His people according to their infirmities (see Alma 7:11–12).

The Atonement can heal the effects of all pain and affliction in mortality.7 When suffering is our fault, we can be cleansed through repentance, and “after all we can do,” the Atonement can compensate for the consequences of our sins. It can also compensate for the harmful effects of our ignorance or neglect, the pain caused by the willful actions of others, and the suffering that comes as a result of living in a natural world.
God lets us have difficult days, months, or lives so we can grow from these experiences. I believe that the specific challenges I have faced in my life were the specific ways I had to learn the lessons I needed to learn. I believe I am the man I am today because of the trials I’ve experienced, not in spite of them.

Elder Richard G. Scott taught that “the Lord is intent on [our] personal growth and development. … Progress is accelerated when [we] willingly allow Him to lead [us] through every growth experience [we] encounter. … If [we] question [every unpleasant challenge], … [we] make it harder for the Lord to bless [us].”8 But if we center our hearts and minds on the Lord’s will, we will gain more happiness in the journey and more fulfillment in life.

•Rely on Others

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught, “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”9 We need to allow other people to be instruments in the Lord’s hands to help us through the challenges in life.

•Let Adversity Make You a Better Person

A woman in my stake fought a battle with cancer. Although she endured pains and heartache that few people understood, she remained cheerful and optimistic.10
 
She wrote her own obituary, which, in part, reads: “Today at the young age of 33 I left this mortal existence to a holier sphere. I was born … to wonderful parents … who taught me to live life well. … We have three sweet children who I will miss greatly. At the young age of 29, I was introduced to something called cancer. Cancer was my great adversary, but I have learned that in this life our enemies can become our choicest friends; the secret is in learning what to do with the conflict.”

We are not always healed from pain and sickness. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve has said, “Sometimes we are ‘healed’ by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us.”11

•Live with Integrity

When faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, we may be tempted to take the easy way out. Although my friend Cody (name has been changed) has felt same-gender attractions his entire life, he doesn’t listen to the world’s view that he was born that way and has no accountability for his actions. He knows that the commandments and blessings of the gospel are as real and relevant to him as to anyone else. Cody is living his life with integrity to the principles he knows to be true. He knows that if he lives faithfully, all the blessings of the gospel will be his, either in this life or in the next. He knows that his present trials don’t determine who he really is, but his responses to them will influence who he will become.

Yielding to adversity makes us weaker. Keeping the commandments—no matter how trying—makes us stronger and helps us overcome every challenge in life. Through faith and obedience, we qualify for the divine spiritual guidance we need to guide us along unknown roads.

•Be Patient

We live in a world of instant gratification. We want fast food, quick loans, and instant solutions to our problems. However, the Lord may ask us to show our faith by enduring some problems patiently. Today, we may not be able to grasp all the reasons for our challenges or the opportunities they will give us to grow. We may have to learn line upon line. As we patiently endure in righteousness, He may reveal to us greater understanding about our trials and the purpose of them in our lives.

•Keep an Eternal Perspective

Some of the challenges we experience in this life are conditions of mortality that will not continue into the next life. President Brigham Young (1801–1877) taught: “We talk about our trials and troubles here in this life; but suppose that you could see yourselves thousands and millions of years after you have proved faithful to your religion during the few short years in this time, and have obtained eternal salvation and a crown of glory in the presence of God? Then look back upon your lives here, and see the losses, crosses, and disappointments, the sorrows … ; you would be constrained to exclaim, ‘but what of all that? Those things were but for a moment, and we are now here. We have been faithful during a few moments in our mortality, and now we enjoy eternal life and glory, with power to progress in all the boundless knowledge and through the countless stages of progression, enjoying the smiles and approbation of our Father and God, and of Jesus Christ our elder brother.’”12

Facing Adversity

If we turn to Christ with faith and patience, we can have the strength we need to face adversity. The doctrines of the restored gospel give us an eternal perspective that provides hope and courage to bear all of life’s trials. Each of us has the strength to bear our challenges in life because of who we are, who God is, and who we are together.
For the full text in English, see web.byui.edu/devotionalsandspeeches.
Photography by Jerry Garns

Notes

1. See Richard G. Scott, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 17.

2. See Bruce C. Hafen, “Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 1990, 10.

3. Quoted by Spencer W. Kimball in Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972), 98. Also, Brigham Young taught, “Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation,” Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 262.

4. Quoted by David O. McKay, Relief Society Magazine, Jan. 1948, 8.

5. “Trust in the Lord,” 17.

6. Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, Munich Germany Area Conference 1973, 114.

7. Bruce C. Hafen, “Beauty for Ashes,” Ensign, Apr. 1990, 7–13; see also Dallin H. Oaks, “He Heals the Heavy Laden,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2006, 6–9.

8. Richard G. Scott, “Finding Joy in Life,” Ensign, May 1996, 25.

9. Spencer W. Kimball, “Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, Dec. 1974, 5.

10. See Joanne D. Smith, “Annette’s Halo,” Ensign, Sept. 1991, 71–73.

11. “He Heals the Heavy Laden,” 7–8. See also Mosiah 24:13–15.

12. Brigham Young, in Deseret News, Nov. 9, 1859, 1.

***********************************
(Wisdom From Elder Jeffrey Holland)

Paul put it candidly, but very hopefully. He said to all of us:

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but [only] that which is good . . . [and] edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God. . . .

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you. . .

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Ephesians 4:29–32

[First Presidency Message: March] Lesson for 3-7-10   Leave a comment

LDS.org – Liahona Article – Moral Courage

Image

One of the purposes of mortal life is to prove to God that we will keep His commandments when that takes courage. We passed that test in the spirit world. But a third of the hosts of heaven rebelled against the proposal that they be tested in a mortal existence where there was a risk that they would fail.

Before we were born, we knew God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, personally. We could see Them and listen to Them as They taught and encouraged us. Now a veil has been placed over our minds and memories. Satan, the father of lies, has an advantage because we must see the reality of who we are through the eyes of faith, while our bodies make us subject to carnal temptation and to physical weakness.

We have great helps to give us courage in this life. The greatest is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because of what He did, sins can be washed away in the waters of baptism. We can renew that blessing when we partake of the sacrament in faith and with a repentant heart.

Spiritual gifts are another help. We receive the Spirit of Christ at birth. That gives us the power to know when a choice before us would lead toward eternal life. The scriptures are a sure guide when we read them with the Holy Ghost as our companion.

The Holy Ghost lets us express thanks and ask for help in prayer with the clarity and confidence we once enjoyed with our Heavenly Father and which we will have when we return to Him. That communication with God helps banish fear from our hearts as it builds faith and love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

The holy priesthood gives us courage in our service. In its ordinances we receive power to serve God’s children and to withstand the influence of evil. When He calls us to serve, we have this promise: “And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88).

The Prophet Joseph Smith in his service had reason to be fearful. But God gave him courage with this assurance of the example of the Master:

“And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” (D&C 122:7–8).

God has given us more than enough help to banish fear and give us courage, whatever we may face in life. As we reach out for His help, He can lift us toward that eternal life we seek.

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************

(Wisdom From Elder Jeffrey Holland)

Paul put it candidly, but very hopefully. He said to all of us:

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but [only] that which is good . . . [and] edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God. . . .

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you. . .

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Ephesians 4:29–32

Posted March 5, 2010 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized

Earthquake in Chile: Faith prevails over fear   Leave a comment

Ana Torres Henriquez is a reluctant earthquake veteran. As a Chilean,she’s learned first-hand that her country is a seismically-active land.Geologically, the Latin term “Terra Firma” does not apply to Chile. In1985, Sister Torres Henriquez survived a deadly quake at its epicenter inthe coastal city of Valparaiso. Still, nothing from the past prepared thisward Relief Society president for the massive magnitude-8.8 temblor thatrattled the central coast of Chile on Feb. 27.

AP Photo
 
Aftermath of the magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile.
 
 

“It seemed like the movement of the earthquake was eternal — itnever quit,” wrote Sister Torres Henriquez in an e-mail shared withfriends.

The disaster — which claimed more than 700 lives and left manymore without power, water and food — “has been a great blow for all,and event of much reflection,” she added. “Chile is a country of manyearthquakes, but I think this has been devastating.”

Counted among the quake’s mortally wounded is one Latter-day Saint. (Thename has not been released to the media.)

All missionaries serving in the country’s nine missions were reported assafe and many have been enlisted in ongoing relief efforts. Some missionaryapartments were severely damaged, so affected missionaries were staying inthe homes of members or in meetinghouses, according to a Church newsrelease.

Church-led efforts to provide relief to those in need following what isbeing called one of the most powerful earthquakes of the last century wereimmediate. “Local leaders and members began relief efforts shortly afterthe quake distributing food and water already located in Concepcion [wheredamage was severe],” the news release said.

“Church leaders have identified that food, water, tents, blankets,hygiene kits and sleeping mats are needed to assist people in the affectedregion. Representatives of the Church in Chile have been in contact withthe country’s Interior Ministry to determine how the Church can mostappropriately assist in relief efforts. Emergency response personnel atChurch headquarters are poised to provide assistance as appropriate.”

On March 2, the Church delivered six tons of food from local bishops’storehouses to the city of Talca to help feed those impacted by the quakein several cities north of Concepcion. A second shipment of 20 tons of foodwas also sent to Concepcion, according to Church spokesman ScottTrotter.

Two additional shipments of food were also sent to affected areas southof Concepcion.

Lynn Samsel, the Church’s director of emergency response, said that anyloss of life and destruction is a tragedy. Still, he added, “we don’tanticipate that the situation in Chile will be nearly as devastating aswhat we’ve seen in Haiti.”

More than a half-million homes in Chile reportedly sustainedconsiderable damage following the main quake and its multiple, powerfulaftershocks. Most Church buildings “fared well” in the quake, though manyare filled with dust. At least three meetinghouses suffered extensivestructural damage and another was severely flooded, according to theChurch. A house that served as a meetinghouse near the Chilean coastlinewas swept away in the tsunami triggered by the quake.

Meanwhile, the Santiago Chile Temple was spared any significant damage.The trumpet from the statue of the Angel Moroni that stands atop the templedid fracture and fall to the ground.

Communication in quake-affected regions of Chile proved unreliable fordays after the disaster. Many members utilized text messaging and otherforms of online social networking to communicate with worried relatives andloved ones. Some shared terrifying first-hand accounts of the early-morningcatastrophe.
“The movement of the earth was terrible,” wrote Carmen Luz LamosLastres, who lives about an hour southwest of Santiago in the TalaganteBranch of Chile’s Talagante District. “I have been in several earthquakesover the course of my life, but this surpasses anything expected.

“[During the quake] I walked to the door of my house to open it and bein a safe place. The ground was moving up and down, like the movement of aboat.”

Sister Lamos Lastres wrote that she found comfort in the midst of thepanic “knowing that our Father in Heaven loves us and protects us.”

Eighteen-year-old Susana Fuentes of Penaflor, Chile, shared thisaccount:

“I was awakened by the rumblings and jumped in bed with my sisters towait for the shaking to stop. My older sister said it would be wise to moveunder the door as a precaution. We all held hands and moved to a placeoutside on the patio where we would not be hit by any falling objects.

“We could see the cars on the road moving and going up and down. Iprayed that God would help us and protect my family and all who needed Him.I remained calm. The floor was moving from one side to the other like awave.”

Sister Cheryl Lyon is the matron of the Santiago Chile Temple, where sheserves with her husband, President Ted Lyon. Sister Lyon wrote that she andthe many others who work and worship in the temple were relieved todiscover the edifice remained largely unscathed. Electrical service wasinterrupted in Santiago on the morning of the quake, so the decision wasmade to close the temple once the gas that fuels the temple generator wasexhausted.

“Then, just in the second that the lights began to dim, the power cameback on!” wrote Sister Lyon.

They proceeded with an endowment session and sealings for the benefit ofthree couples from out of town who had stayed Friday night in patronhousing on the temple grounds. Workers, who typically serve on Friday’slate shifts and generally stay in the housing and serve early on Saturdays,were on hand for temple work Saturday morning.

“We had a most moving morning. The quake has brought such a sense ofunity to workers and patrons, and the Spirit was amazing. I’ve seldom hadsuch a moving experience [in the temple] — with three consecutiveyoung sisters receiving their endowments.”

Guillermina Guerra, a member in Santiago, wrote that following thedirection of inspired leaders to store emergency food and provisions hashelped sustain her family in the quake’s desperate aftermath. “Many peopledon’t have food now that the supermarkets have been closed. It is then whenthe members remember the welfare plan that is inspired of God in order toprotect us. We have our emergency things that helped us.”

Posted March 5, 2010 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Faith Endures Forever