Archive for April 2010

A Blessing For Plainview: The Mission President & Stake Presidency Visit   Leave a comment

On Sunday, April 25th 2010 we had a momentous occasion! It was (From the recollection of our Branch President Williams) the first fireside Plainview had seen in over twelve years.

I would love nothing more than to elaborate on how this came to be, before I discuss the fireside in actuality. On January 10th, 2010 , I received a calling that would be the last I’d ever think the Lord would have inspired our Branch Presidency to call me to; Branch Mission Leader. Truly, it was a calling that humbled me deeply as I looked well into the responsibilities of such a great calling. I went straight to work (Amidst A Re-organization of the Stake Presidency.) trying to get the info that I needed from deep reflection and humble prayer in the Lubbock Temple… I began to ask to what extent or specific that the Lord wished me to approach this new calling. Little was I aware that the Lord wasn’t going to Fed-Ex all my needed wisdom, but did indicate to me (Or caused me to reflect on) a particular scripture;

“Study it out in your mind; then … ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” (D&C 9:8; italics added.)

Now, that simply states you need to pray, but not some monotonous casual prayer that the Zoramites of old would be tickled pink to hear! This prayer that was needed of me by the Lord, was His way of telling me to continue steadfast in prayer, not meant to cease. Said the Lord,

“Cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 37:36–37; emphasis added).

So I set out just to do that very thing, sadly, having to deal day in and day out with doubt concerning my ability to fulfill this new calling. Often, almost every time the Stake Presidency visited (Mostly President Kimball) I would ask for the assurances that I should have been able to realize without them breathing a word in my direction. But, such is the way the adversary works against me. Finally, a special moment came for me, but I must first tell you concerning January and February of this year.

I went to the Temple 6 or 7 times in those two months. Each time I began to get more and more insight and testimony of the Holy Ghost that the Lord indeed was guiding me. In the process of that, on January 16th 2010 I I finally got affirmation as I read D & C section 42 that I needed to become more familiar with the word of God, and free of fear that comes from teaching the Gospel to investigators with the Missionaries. I went out as often as possible with the Missionaries. Most weeks this meant at least 4 or 5 outings with the Elders.

Sometime close after all this, several ideas of possible things we could do to help the Member Missionary Effort get better came and went. One idea was frequented and prayed about, a Fireside to help give counsel to the members of the branch. I presented this information at some point to Brother Brown and President Kimball and slowly started to make arrangements for the Fireside. Initial planning on my part targeted May 22nd to deliver this grand Fireside to the Branch. Taken aback, it was not long after the idea was initially presented, that I was informed for a change to make it on April 25th. The enthusiasm of the Stake Presidency, and even Mission President was grand.

The special occasion that I eluded to (earlier) was that a General Authority, alongside our Stake Presidency took time from their busy schedule and gave me a blessing. Never had I previously felt so honored… and it made a great difference for me (still continues to as well). Weeks of preparation still had me short of anxiety free living when I conducted that Fireside. But what an incredible Fireside it was. The Porters (Who are our Branch Missionaries) expertly helped me in planning to put the wonderful thing together.

As I stood there, giving my talk, I was frequently with emotions near the  surface as I stressed significance of our study of the Book Of Mormon. I was overwhelmed by this great Spiritual lift of the Spirit, to me, it felt that my speaking held no distinct pattern and I feared many would believe that. So far as I know, nobody has thought that. After I spoke, President McCombs (I hope I spelt that right) was asked by President Shumway to bear short testimony regarding this work. He did so, and he did command the attention of all whom were there. I personally was touched by his testimony as I silently reflected about my life of the past 2 years.

We were then blessed to hear testimony of President Kimball, and in that a great parable (if that is best means of referring to his relation of a story:) he spoke that like a basketball being shot towards a hoop, it may not always go in on the first time, but it will eventually go in. The same he related to Missionary work; Not every time we knock, or invite an investigator to our church do they come, or take lessons, but the Lord will provide that means of eventually that person coming around… even if we aren’t around to see it.

President Robinson then spoke after we had our congregational hymn, and I think the best and most significant thing he spoke concerning, was that even Missionaries in the field, on their mission call, suffered from the anxiety just as we did. It was great to perceive this, and I don’t believe I am the only one whom took that talk, and made it a Spiritual reason to try harder, to “lengthen our stride”.

The last speaker that addressed us, was President Shumway himself. His command of the audience was without words to best explain. He wanted us all to focus on “Inviting” people to come out… and even spoke after the Fireside was over, to me personally describing it simply as, “Invite, Invite…… Invite”. All whom attended this meeting were moved upon by the power of the Spirit, and some (visibly to me) had made resolutions to themselves to take it up a notch.

I must say that the Lord has blessed us Brethren… let us do all we can to preach the Gospel to every “Nation, Kindred, Tounge and People” , because the Lord said that his glory was to bring about the immortality and Eternal Life of man. Thats a charge we need to be keen on remembering. I love you all brethren. Truly we are all going to make things happen here in Plainview, and I look forward to every single moment of it!!

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

Elder Jeffrey Holland at the 180th annual General Conference, said the following: • Above all, start by separating yourself from people, materials, and circumstances that will harm you. As those battling something like alcoholism know, the pull of proximity can be fatal. So too in moral matters. Like Joseph in the presence of Potiphar’s wife,4 just run—run as far away as you can get from whatever or whoever it is that beguiles you. And please, when fleeing the scene of temptation, do not leave a forwarding address. * • Acknowledge that people bound by the chains of true addictions often need more help than self-help, and that may include you. Seek that help and welcome it. Talk to your bishop. Follow his counsel. Ask for a priesthood blessing. Use the Church’s Family Services offerings or seek other suitable professional help. Pray without ceasing. Ask for angels to help you. * • Along with filters on computers and a lock on affections, remember that the only real control in life is self-control. Exercise more control over even the marginal moments that confront you. If a TV show is indecent, turn it off. If a movie is crude, walk out. If an improper relationship is developing, sever it. Many of these influences, at least initially, may not technically be evil, but they can blunt our judgment, dull our spirituality, and lead to something that could be evil. An old proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,5 so watch your step. * • Like thieves in the night, unwelcome thoughts can and do seek entrance to our minds. But we don’t have to throw open the door, serve them tea and crumpets, and then tell them where the silverware is kept! (You shouldn’t be serving tea anyway.) Throw the rascals out! Replace lewd thoughts with hopeful images and joyful memories; picture the faces of those who love you and would be shattered if you let them down. More than one man has been saved from sin or stupidity by remembering the face of his mother, his wife, or his child waiting somewhere for him at home. Whatever thoughts you have, make sure they are welcome in your heart by invitation only. As an ancient poet once said, let will be your reason.6 * • Cultivate and be where the Spirit of the Lord is. Make sure that includes your own home or apartment, dictating the kind of art, music, and literature you keep there. If you are endowed, go to the temple as often as your circumstances allow. Remember that the temple arms you “with [God’s] power, … [puts His] glory … round about [you], and [gives His] angels … charge over [you].”7 And when you leave the temple, remember the symbols you take with you, never to be set aside or forgotten.

Solar-Powered Construction Design Gets “Green” Light from Church Leaders   Leave a comment

The Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints introduced the latest environmentally friendly construction efforts by the Church at its first solar powered meetinghouse in the Northern Hemisphere. The new building in Farmington, Utah symbolizes the continued innovative use of technology by the Church in its construction design. The roof-mounted solar panels are projected to generate enough electricity to completely power the structure, saving an estimated $6000 in energy costs annually.

“It’s about creating a place of worship that works in harmony with the environment,” said H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and responsible for the physical facilities of the Church. “For decades we have looked for innovative ways to use natural resources in our meetinghouses that reflect our commitment as wise stewards of God’s creations.” 
The Farmington meetinghouse is part of a new pilot program that demonstrates the Church’s ongoing commitment to stewardship and conservation. Four other meetinghouse prototypes located in Eagle Mountain, Utah, Apache Junction, Arizona, Logandale, Nevada, and Pahrump, Nevada are also currently under construction. In addition to Farmington, Apache Junction and Logandale are solar powered.
Upon completion, these meetinghouses will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified; built to the construction industry’s highest standard. Journalists were given a tour of the Farmington building to highlight some of its conservation features which included the high efficiency heating and cooling system that can interface with the solar power equipment, landscaping designs and plumbing fixtures that cut water use by more than 50 percent, and Low-E Solarban 70 windows that block 78 percent of the sun’s heat energy. 
 “These buildings are designed to last many, many years,” said Dean Davies, managing director of the Physical Facilities department of the Church, “It may actually cost more up front to put certain systems in but because they have lower operating costs and longer life cycles in the long run they are better for us and better for the environment.” 
In fact, around 75 percent of the technologies qualifying for LEED certification have been used in existing Church buildings for several years.  
“I clearly think we’ve ramped it up,” said Davies, “We use emerging technologies in our building design, from the use of materials to computer aided design, to energy management systems.” 
For example, Church buildings in the Baltic Nation of Latvia are built with radiant heated floors for greater energy efficiency during the harsh winter months, the tabernacle in Vernal, Utah was rebuilt into the Vernal Temple by reusing existing materials from the historic structure, and a meetinghouse in Susanville, California, is heated exclusively through geothermal energy produced from a well located on the property. 
Emerging technologies also extends to landscaping. Moisture sensors monitor weather conditions via satellite to shut off Church sprinkler systems during rainfall at many meetinghouses across the country. The Church Office Building in Salt Lake City even utilizes several underground spring wells for heating and cooling.
Jared Doxey, director of architecture, engineering and construction for the Church, said, “It’s important that buildings are designed to be a reflection of the community in which they are constructed.”  He added that “conservation is a natural built-in part of the planning process. We’ve always been interested in following best practice in industry. Whatever the best thinking is, we want to latch on to that. If there is a new technology that reduces total cost of ownership, makes good business sense, we want to tie into that.” 
That’s especially true when the Church operates 17,000 meetinghouses and is building or expanding a new facility every working day of the week. Bishop Burton said, “As the Church continues to grow globally, and there is a greater demand for meetinghouses, more than ever we need to engage in wise construction practices to benefit both the environment and our members.” 
 “This is a member-driven initiative,” said Davies, “it’s representative of how our members feel about the communities in which they live.”

**************************************************** Elder D. Todd Christofferson @ 180th Annual General Conference, said the following concerning the scriptures…”God uses scripture to unmask erroneous thinking, false traditions, and sin with its devastating effects. He is a tender parent who would spare us needless suffering and grief and at the same time help us realize our divine potential. The scriptures, for example, discredit an ancient philosophy that has come back into vogue in our day—the philosophy of Korihor that there are no absolute moral standards, that “every man prosper[s] according to his genius, and that every man conquer[s] according to his strength; and whatsoever a man [does is] no crime” and “that when a man [is] dead, that [is] the end thereof” (Alma 30:17–18). Alma, who had dealt with Korihor, did not leave his own son Corianton in doubt about the reality and substance of a divine moral code. Corianton had been guilty of sexual sin, and his father spoke to him in love but plainly: “Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?” (Alma 39:5).””In a complete reversal from a century ago, many today would dispute with Alma about the seriousness of immorality. Others would argue that it’s all relative or that God’s love is permissive. If there is a God, they say, He excuses all sins and misdeeds because of His love for us—there is no need for repentance. Or at most, a simple confession will do. They have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior.2 But a God of love does not leave us to learn by sad experience that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10; see also Helaman 13:38). His commandments are the voice of reality and our protection against self-inflicted pain. The scriptures are the touchstone for measuring correctness and truth, and they are clear that real happiness lies not in denying the justice of God or trying to circumvent the consequences of sin but in repentance and forgiveness through the atoning grace of the Son of God (see Alma 42).””Scripture tutors us in principles and moral values essential to maintaining civil society, including integrity, responsibility, selflessness, fidelity, and charity. In scripture, we find vivid portrayals of the blessings that come from honoring true principles, as well as the tragedies that befall when individuals and civilizations discard them. Where scriptural truths are ignored or abandoned, the essential moral core of society disintegrates and decay is close behind. In time, nothing is left to sustain the institutions that sustain society.”

"The Plainview Ward" : The Prophetic Revelations Of Stake Presidency [Part 2]   Leave a comment

PLEASE visit blog @ http://plainvieweq.blogspot.com – There is a video attached to this message.

On February 28th, 2010 , Plainview witnessed its first Branch Conference under its newly organized Stake Presidency, which consists of President(s) Shumway, Kimball, McCombs (I hope im spelling that right). It was a memorable gathering. This was the day where our numbers were less than a few from one hundred people in attendance, which is a large amount considering our average is between 60 – 75 persons. Members were called upon to reach outwards to the inactive, and the non-members alike and invite them to come and partake of the wonderful spirit.

Our Stake Presidency promised the Spirit would be in full effect (and it was). All the Presidencies in the Branch cast their own personal nets (their testimonies and love) out into the Sea (the surrounding area of Plainview and all that her Branch covers) and became “Fishers of men…” (Matthew 4:19). For the weeks leading up to it, members were dedicated and focused, despite the adversary, and found purpose in commiting themselves to come, and to get others to join this. This all made for a great meeting. On March 3rd, (which fell on a Wednesday) 2010, I posted what was called…

“The Plainview Ward” : The Prophetic Revelations Of Stake Presidency [Part 1]

http://plainvieweq.blogspot.com/2010/03/plainview-ward-prophetic-revelations-of.html

I had many ideas, thoughts, prayers, temple trips, conversations and study sessions as to how best convey the second portion of what I have to say is the greatest written work that the Lord has ever inspired me to give. Such preparation, (One may think) may be a little lengthy or un-needed… but let me assure you that every second of preparation was well worth it! Void of Hasty pressure, or timetables, I have studied much more to give the “Part 2” of “The Plainview Ward”.

The mission of any locale of the Church is always the same. No requirements will be expected of one set of Saints and yet not for another… we know that is not how the Lord works, for as he has said,
Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.” (D & C 132:8).

So just how important is it for us ALL to follow the counsel of our leaders, as they receive counsel of their leaders and so on up to the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and even to the Lord? Extremely important!! Said the Lord, “What I say unto one I say unto all…” (D & C 93:49) Therefore brethren, we are duty bound to keep the commandments and heed the council of President Shumway, and learn from him what it is the Lord, through the ministering of the Holy Ghost, has for us to do, and even how we are to do it. Without deviation!

President Shumway’s vision included a few great and significant things but there is a specific that he talked about that I wish to focus on. First, “Rescue” (Also recently advocated by President Monson). We as members of the only true church, one that bears His name and His restored Priesthood, are duty-bound to Preach His Gospel, and invite all those lost sheep back unto Him whom is our Shepard. This message is a message that touches my soul deeply. Allow me to explain;

In the year 1998, while I was yet still in High School (Santa Rita High School in Tucson AZ) there was a horrible meltdown of yet another relationship that my mother could not seem to change, neither my Step-Father could fix. Seeing this meltdown, for the second time in my life , I became bitter, angry, depressed and empty. I could not understand (for at the time I was only 16, and did not have a strong foundation on the Gospel, because my mother and step-father didn’t do much to solidify me) how the Lord would let this happen… again.

I left home at 17 years of age, unable to cope with life. I picked up all the worst habits of substance abuse one could think of, save only anything that had to do with needles. I fell away, but needed the help of the Lord more than I knew. It wasn’t until I was here, in this wonderful Oasis of Spirituality, that I was rescued by a few Elders, Tripp, Philpot, Rusk, Colton, Gibb and some members. Once I came back, I saw how miserable I truly was, and wished I would have responded to other Missionaries attempts to re-convert me. Nobody gave up on me. So now, I am compelled to do the same for any and all that suffer.  

The Atonement did it all for me, and it will for any and all mankind whom apply their lives to its purpose. Thats why this message I am posting below (video) means so much.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/coef8G5ax6E&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x2b405b&color2=0x6b8ab6&hd=1



Let us all remember when we needed help, and remember how we felt… and let us share the joy of the atonement. Doing this, bringing in lost souls, will help us achieve that prophetic call for Plainview to be a ward. I know we can do it brethren! May the Lord grant us all the means to do so is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!!

******************************************************
Lubbock Texas Stake Announcements:

Sunday, April 18th 2010: PEC (Plainview Elders Quorum Lesson, Chapter 10 Gospel Principles Book)
Sunday, April 18th 2010: 6:00am Stake Presidency
Sunday, April 18th 2010: 7:00am High Council
Sunday, April 18th 2010: 5:00pm Stake Youth Com.
Sunday, April 18th 2010: 6:00pm Stake Missionary Correlation
Monday, April 19th 2010: Family Home Evening
Wednesday, April 21st 2010: 7:00pm YW Camp First Aid Clinic- All YW
Thursday, April 22nd 2010: 6:00pm Stake President Interviews
Friday, April 23rd 2010: 6:00am Seminary Morningside
Sunday, April 25th 2010: **FAST SUNDAY**
Sunday, April 25th 2010: 7:00pm Plainview “Called To Serve” Missionary Fireside
Sunday, April 25th 2010: 9:00am Welfare
Sunday, April 25th 2010: 6:00am Stake Presidency

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

Elder D. Todd Christofferson @ 180th Annual General Conference, said the following concerning the scriptures…

“God uses scripture to unmask erroneous thinking, false traditions, and sin with its devastating effects. He is a tender parent who would spare us needless suffering and grief and at the same time help us realize our divine potential. The scriptures, for example, discredit an ancient philosophy that has come back into vogue in our day—the philosophy of Korihor that there are no absolute moral standards, that “every man prosper[s] according to his genius, and that every man conquer[s] according to his strength; and whatsoever a man [does is] no crime” and “that when a man [is] dead, that [is] the end thereof” (Alma 30:17–18). Alma, who had dealt with Korihor, did not leave his own son Corianton in doubt about the reality and substance of a divine moral code. Corianton had been guilty of sexual sin, and his father spoke to him in love but plainly: “Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?” (Alma 39:5).”

“In a complete reversal from a century ago, many today would dispute with Alma about the seriousness of immorality. Others would argue that it’s all relative or that God’s love is permissive. If there is a God, they say, He excuses all sins and misdeeds because of His love for us—there is no need for repentance. Or at most, a simple confession will do. They have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior.2 But a God of love does not leave us to learn by sad experience that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10; see also Helaman 13:38). His commandments are the voice of reality and our protection against self-inflicted pain. The scriptures are the touchstone for measuring correctness and truth, and they are clear that real happiness lies not in denying the justice of God or trying to circumvent the consequences of sin but in repentance and forgiveness through the atoning grace of the Son of God (see Alma 42).”

“Scripture tutors us in principles and moral values essential to maintaining civil society, including integrity, responsibility, selflessness, fidelity, and charity. In scripture, we find vivid portrayals of the blessings that come from honoring true principles, as well as the tragedies that befall when individuals and civilizations discard them. Where scriptural truths are ignored or abandoned, the essential moral core of society disintegrates and decay is close behind. In time, nothing is left to sustain the institutions that sustain society.”

A Great Work of God: April’s First Presidency Message For Home Teaching   Leave a comment

April 6, 1830

One hundred eighty years ago, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and a handful of others gathered together to organize The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. By all accounts it was a simple but spiritual meeting. Joseph records that following the sacrament, “the Holy Ghost was poured out upon us to a very great degree—some prophesied, whilst we all praised the Lord, and rejoiced exceedingly.”1
The events of this day went unnoticed by the world; they were not accompanied by headlines or heralds. Nevertheless, how the heavens must have rejoiced and glorified God—for on that day, the Church of Jesus Christ returned to earth!

Solomon Chamberlain

From that day to this, millions of faith-filled sons and daughters of Heavenly Father have followed the promptings of the Holy Ghost and entered the sacred waters of baptism. One such man was Solomon Chamberlain.

Solomon was a spiritual man and had spent many hours in prayer, seeking for the remission of his sins and pleading with Heavenly Father to lead him to the truth. Sometime around 1816, Solomon was promised in a vision that he would live to see the day when the Church of Christ would be organized after the apostolic order was established once again on the earth.

Years later Solomon was traveling by boat toward Canada when his vessel stopped in the small town of Palmyra, New York. There he felt a compelling force urging him to disembark. Not knowing why he was there, he began speaking with the townspeople. It wasn’t long before he heard talk of a “gold Bible.” He said those two words sent “a power like electricity [that] went from the top of my head to the end of my toes.”
His inquiries led him to the Smith home, where he spoke with those present about the wonderful news of the restored gospel. After spending two days there and receiving a testimony of the truth, Solomon resumed his journey to Canada, taking with him 64 newly printed, unbound pages of the Book of Mormon. Everywhere he went, he taught the people, “both high and low, rich and poor, … to prepare for the great work of God that was now about to come forth.”2

A Great Work of God

Since that day in April 1830, millions have discovered the truth of the restored gospel and have entered the waters of baptism. I testify that this “great work of God” is on the earth today. I bear witness that the Lord watches over His Church and directs it through His prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. It is no ordinary blessing to live in these latter days. These are glorious times, foreseen by ancient prophets and attended by watchful, angelic hosts. The Lord is mindful of His Church. He is also mindful of those who, like Solomon Chamberlain, follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and join with their brothers and sisters the world over in helping to bring forth this great work of God.

******************************************************
Lubbock Texas Stake Announcements:

Sunday, April 18th 2010: PEC (Plainview Elders Quorum Lesson, Chapter 10 Gospel Principles Book)
Sunday, April 18th 2010: 6:00am Stake Presidency
Sunday, April 18th 2010: 7:00am High Council
Sunday, April 18th 2010: 5:00pm Stake Youth Com.
Sunday, April 18th 2010: 6:00pm Stake Missionary Correlation
Monday, April 19th 2010: Family Home Evening
Wednesday, April 21st 2010: 7:00pm YW Camp First Aid Clinic- All YW
Thursday, April 22nd 2010: 6:00pm Stake President Interviews
Friday, April 23rd 2010: 6:00am Seminary Morningside
Sunday, April 25th 2010: **FAST SUNDAY**
Sunday, April 25th 2010: 7:00pm Plainview “Called To Serve” Missionary Fireside
Sunday, April 25th 2010: 9:00am Welfare
Sunday, April 25th 2010: 6:00am Stake Presidency

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

Elder D. Todd Christofferson @ 180th Annual General Conference, said the following concerning the scriptures…

“God uses scripture to unmask erroneous thinking, false traditions, and sin with its devastating effects. He is a tender parent who would spare us needless suffering and grief and at the same time help us realize our divine potential. The scriptures, for example, discredit an ancient philosophy that has come back into vogue in our day—the philosophy of Korihor that there are no absolute moral standards, that “every man prosper[s] according to his genius, and that every man conquer[s] according to his strength; and whatsoever a man [does is] no crime” and “that when a man [is] dead, that [is] the end thereof” (Alma 30:17–18). Alma, who had dealt with Korihor, did not leave his own son Corianton in doubt about the reality and substance of a divine moral code. Corianton had been guilty of sexual sin, and his father spoke to him in love but plainly: “Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?” (Alma 39:5).”

“In a complete reversal from a century ago, many today would dispute with Alma about the seriousness of immorality. Others would argue that it’s all relative or that God’s love is permissive. If there is a God, they say, He excuses all sins and misdeeds because of His love for us—there is no need for repentance. Or at most, a simple confession will do. They have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior.2 But a God of love does not leave us to learn by sad experience that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10; see also Helaman 13:38). His commandments are the voice of reality and our protection against self-inflicted pain. The scriptures are the touchstone for measuring correctness and truth, and they are clear that real happiness lies not in denying the justice of God or trying to circumvent the consequences of sin but in repentance and forgiveness through the atoning grace of the Son of God (see Alma 42).”

“Scripture tutors us in principles and moral values essential to maintaining civil society, including integrity, responsibility, selflessness, fidelity, and charity. In scripture, we find vivid portrayals of the blessings that come from honoring true principles, as well as the tragedies that befall when individuals and civilizations discard them. Where scriptural truths are ignored or abandoned, the essential moral core of society disintegrates and decay is close behind. In time, nothing is left to sustain the institutions that sustain society.”

First Quarter 2010   Leave a comment

Visit http://plainvieweq.blogspot.com ! This post contains videos!

After carefully pondering the words to this song, and feeling of the Spirit, I will hope you can feel the Love I have for all of you. This great Stake, the Lubbock TX Stake, is the Stake on which many many people will be getting baptized, and soon. Last confirmed reports (As of Wednesday the 7th of April) we have had 22 baptisms in the Stake in the first quarter so far! What a marvelous work that is! My heart is full of joy for those individuals whom have accepted the Gospel and demonstrate their willingness to follow the Savior in getting Baptized and confirmed a member of his church!

I never could have spent enough time pondering and ever have been able to guess just how great the Lord has blessed our Missionary efforts. For the past 4 months I have been the Branch Mission Leader. For the last 4 months I have born testimony, witnessed the Spirit work in my life, and in the life of many many others, and all this merely because the Lord has seen our efforts and as he has said, is willing to bless those whom keep his commandments.

Also, for the last 4 months I have felt it deep in my heart… a conviction that has continued to grow. When I hear music that invites the Spirit, or experience great talks or even missionary moments, I have my emotions near the surface on a frequent basis.

I am so very glad that the Lord has heard my prayers , and has heard the prayers of the Saints here in our wonderful community, by allowing the Mission President and Stake Presidency to come and speak to our Branch… and continue to help build up our faith, and hope is the eventual graduation to a ward. I thank the Lord for his love, and consideration for the people, the world over. May he continue to bless us all is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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

Elder D. Todd Christofferson @ 180th Annual General Conference, said the following concerning the scriptures…

“God uses scripture to unmask erroneous thinking, false traditions, and sin with its devastating effects. He is a tender parent who would spare us needless suffering and grief and at the same time help us realize our divine potential. The scriptures, for example, discredit an ancient philosophy that has come back into vogue in our day—the philosophy of Korihor that there are no absolute moral standards, that “every man prosper[s] according to his genius, and that every man conquer[s] according to his strength; and whatsoever a man [does is] no crime” and “that when a man [is] dead, that [is] the end thereof” (Alma 30:17–18). Alma, who had dealt with Korihor, did not leave his own son Corianton in doubt about the reality and substance of a divine moral code. Corianton had been guilty of sexual sin, and his father spoke to him in love but plainly: “Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?” (Alma 39:5).”

“In a complete reversal from a century ago, many today would dispute with Alma about the seriousness of immorality. Others would argue that it’s all relative or that God’s love is permissive. If there is a God, they say, He excuses all sins and misdeeds because of His love for us—there is no need for repentance. Or at most, a simple confession will do. They have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior.2 But a God of love does not leave us to learn by sad experience that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10; see also Helaman 13:38). His commandments are the voice of reality and our protection against self-inflicted pain. The scriptures are the touchstone for measuring correctness and truth, and they are clear that real happiness lies not in denying the justice of God or trying to circumvent the consequences of sin but in repentance and forgiveness through the atoning grace of the Son of God (see Alma 42).”

“Scripture tutors us in principles and moral values essential to maintaining civil society, including integrity, responsibility, selflessness, fidelity, and charity. In scripture, we find vivid portrayals of the blessings that come from honoring true principles, as well as the tragedies that befall when individuals and civilizations discard them. Where scriptural truths are ignored or abandoned, the essential moral core of society disintegrates and decay is close behind. In time, nothing is left to sustain the institutions that sustain society.”

Posted April 13, 2010 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized

Church Opens New Website: "Combatting Pornography"   Leave a comment

In light of Elder Holland’s address on Saturday (PM Session) of General Conference, the church opens a newer updated site showing the significance of the serious need to fight off the plague of Pornography. This has always been a subject, sensitive to the concerns of the General Authorities and the focus of some major resources of the church’s LDS Family Services. Visit the link by either going to http://www.lds.org or by clicking on the title to this blog!

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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 April 7, 2010 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized

"Prophets Of God" – Chapter 9 (From Gospel Principles Lesson) For Elders Quorum   Leave a comment

“Chapter 9: Prophets of God,” Gospel Principles, (2009),39–43

Prophets Are God’s Representatives on the Earth

  • • What powers and gifts does a prophet have?

“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
Many people live in darkness, unsure of God’s will. They believe that the heavens are closed and that people must face the world’s perils alone. How fortunate are the Latter-day Saints! We know that God communicates to the Church through His prophet. With grateful hearts, Saints the world over sing the hymn, “We thank thee, O God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter days” (Hymns, no. 19).
A prophet is a man called by God to be His representative on earth. When a prophet speaks for God, it is as if God were speaking (see D&C 1:38). A prophet is also a special witness for Christ, testifying of His divinity and teaching His gospel. A prophet teaches truth and interprets the word of God. He calls the unrighteous to repentance. He receives revelations and directions from the Lord for our benefit. He may see into the future and foretell coming events so that the world may be warned.
A prophet may come from various stations in life. He may be young or old, highly educated or unschooled. He may be a farmer, a lawyer, or a teacher. Ancient prophets wore tunics and carried staffs. Modern prophets wear suits and carry briefcases. What, then, identifies a true prophet? A true prophet is always chosen by God and called through proper priesthood authority (see Articles of Faith 1:5).
Latter-day Saints sustain the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles as prophets. However, when we speak of “the prophet of the Church,” we mean the President of the Church, who is President of the high priesthood.

Through the Ages God Has Called Prophets to Lead Mankind

  • • In what ways have prophets guided God’s children in the past?

There have been prophets on the earth since the days of Adam. Experiences of these great men excite and inspire us. Moses, an Old Testament prophet, led thousands of his people out of Egypt and slavery to the promised land. He wrote the first five books of the Old Testament and recorded the Ten Commandments. Nephi, a Book of Mormon prophet, journeyed from Jerusalem to the Americas 600 years before the birth of Christ. This great leader and colonizer gave us many important writings in the Book of Mormon. John the Baptist was chosen to prepare the world for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Joseph Smith, a latter-day prophet, the Lord restored the Church. Joseph Smith also translated the Book of Mormon while a young man.

  • • What have you learned from the lives and teachings of prophets?

We Have a Living Prophet on the Earth Today

  • • Why do we need a living prophet today?

We have a prophet living on the earth today. This prophet is the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has the right to revelation for the entire Church. He holds “the keys of the kingdom,” meaning that he has the authority to direct the entire Church and kingdom of God on earth, including the administration of priesthood ordinances (see Matthew 16:19). No person except the chosen prophet and President can receive God’s will for the entire membership of the Church. The Lord said, “There is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred” (D&C 132:7). The President of the Church is assisted by his counselors in the First Presidency and the members of the Quorum of the Twelve, who are also prophets, seers, and revelators.
We should do those things the prophets tell us to do. President Wilford Woodruff said that a prophet will never be allowed to lead the Church astray:
“The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff [2004], 199).

  • • In what ways has the living prophet influenced the Church?

We Should Sustain the Lord’s Prophet

  • • What can we do to follow and sustain the prophet?

Many people find it easy to believe in the prophets of the past. But it is much greater to believe in and follow the living prophet. We raise our hands to sustain the President of the Church as prophet, seer, and revelator.
How can we sustain the prophet? We should pray for him. His burdens are heavy, and he needs to be strengthened by the prayers of the Saints.
We should study his words. We can listen to his conference addresses. We can also subscribe to the Ensign or Liahona so we can read his conference addresses and other messages he gives.
We should follow his inspired teachings completely. We should not choose to follow part of his inspired counsel and discard that which is unpleasant or difficult. The Lord commanded us to follow the inspired teachings of His prophet:
“Thou shalt give heed unto all his [the prophet’s] words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;
“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith” (D&C 21:4–5).
The Lord will never allow the President of the Church to lead us astray.

  • • What has the President of the Church taught or emphasized recently?

Great Blessings Follow Obedience to the Prophet

If we obey, the Lord promises, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory” (D&C 21:6). When we do as our prophet directs, blessings pour down from heaven.
In order to stand, the true Church must be “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20). We are blessed in this insecure world to have a prophet through whom the Lord reveals His will.

  • • What experiences have you had when you have obeyed the counsel of the prophet?

For teachers: Sharing experiences and bearing testimony invite the Spirit. As you conclude this lesson, consider sharing an experience you have had when you have followed the counsel of the President of the Church. Share your testimony of the living prophet.

Additional Scriptures

  • Numbers 12:6 (God speaks through prophets)
  • 1 Samuel 9:9 (prophet called a seer)
  • Amos 3:7 (God reveals His secrets to the prophets)
  • Mosiah 8:16–18 (a seer can know of things past and things to come)
  • Luke 1:70 (God speaks through prophets)
  • D&C 45:10, 15 (God speaks today as in days of old)
  • 1 Nephi 22:2 (by the Spirit things are made known to prophets)
  • D&C 68:3–5 (when the Lord’s servants speak as moved by the Holy Ghost, it is the mind, will, and voice of the Lord)
  • D&C 107:65–67, 91–92 (duties of the President of the Church)
  • D&C 43:1–7 (only the prophet is authorized to receive revelations for the Church)

Joseph Smith
Brigham Young
John Taylor
Wilford Woodruff
Lorenzo Snow
Joseph F. Smith
Heber J. Grant
George Albert Smith
David O. McKay
Joseph Fielding Smith
Harold B. Lee
Spencer W. Kimball
Ezra Taft Benson
Howard W. Hunter
Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson

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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.)