Archive for November 2010

That Our Children Might See the Face of the Savior: Sunday 11-28-10   Leave a comment

That Our Children Might See the Face of the Savior

Cheryl C. Lant, “That Our Children Might See the Face of the Savior”, Ensign, May 2010, 81–83

Cheryl C. Lant

It is our sacred responsibility as parents and leaders of this rising generation of children to bring them to the Savior.

Several years ago I was teaching a group of nursery leaders how to give a short gospel lesson to very young children. One of the leaders had her young son on her lap. I held a picture of the Savior in my hand and, demonstrating how to speak to young children, began talking about Jesus. The tiny boy slid off his mother’s lap, toddled over to me, looked intently at the picture, and touched the face. At that point in the dialogue, I asked the question, “Who is this?” With a smile on his face, the child responded, “Jesus.”
This child was not old enough to really even say his own name, but he recognized the image and knew the name of the Savior. As I watched this sweet response, I thought of the words of the Savior when He said, “Seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life” (D&C 101:38). 
What does it mean to seek the face of the Savior? Surely it means more than just recognizing His picture. Christ’s invitation to seek Him is an invitation to know who He is, what He has done for us, and what He has asked us to do. Coming to Christ, and eventually seeing His face, comes only as we draw close to Him through our faith and our actions. It comes through a lifetime of effort. So how do we seek Him in this life so that we might see His face in the next? 
We have the account in 3 Nephi of a people who actually saw the face of the Savior in this life. And while we may not see Him now, perhaps we can learn from their experience. After the Savior’s death, He appeared to these people, taught them, and blessed them. And then “it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought” (3 Nephi 17:11). 

It is our sacred responsibility as parents and leaders of this rising generation of children to bring them to the Savior so that they might see His face and the face of our Father in Heaven as well. As we do so, we also bring ourselves.

Again the question, how do we do this, especially in a world that is full of distractions? In 3 Nephi, the parents loved the Lord. They were believers. They had faith in the miracles Jesus performed. They loved their children. They gathered them to hear the words of the Lord and obeyed His commandment to bring the children to Him.

After the children had been brought, Christ bid the parents kneel down. Then He did for them that which He has done for all of us. He prayed for them to the Father, and as He did, His prayer was said to be “so great and marvelous” that words could not describe it (3 Nephi 17:16). By coming to the Savior and accepting His Atonement, these parents were strengthened to do all that was necessary to “bring” their children.
Another of the things Christ asked these parents to do is found in 3 Nephi 22:13: “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”

And so, following their own experiences with the Savior, these Nephite parents taught their children about Him. They taught them to love the Lord. They taught them His gospel. They taught them how to live it. They taught them so well that there was righteousness and peace in the land for 200 years (see 4 Nephi 1:1–22).
Now, I would ask you to look around you at those you love. This is what matters most—our families. I am sure that more than anything, you want this family to be yours eternally. The account in 3 Nephi can help us bring our children to Him because it gives us a pattern to follow. First, we must love the Lord with all our hearts, and we must love our children. Second, we must become a worthy example to them by continually seeking the Lord and striving to live the gospel. Third, we must teach our children the gospel and how to live its teachings.

Following this pattern to bring our children to the Savior is a process. Let’s look at the pattern again. First, we must learn how to love the Lord and our families. This takes time, experience, and faith. It requires selfless service. Then, as we are filled with the love of the Lord, we can love. He might weep over what we do, but He loves us and is always there to help us. That is how we must learn to love our children.

Second, we must become worthy examples. This is also a process. If we want our children to come to Christ so that they might see His face, it is important that we seek to see it as well. We have to know the way in order to show it to them. We must put our own lives in order so that the children can look to us and follow. We might ask: “What do my children see when they look at my face? Do they see the image of the Savior in my countenance because of how I live my life?”

Now remember, none of us will be the perfect example for our children, but we all can become worthy parents and leaders. Our striving to be worthy is an example in itself. We may feel as though we are failing at times, but we can keep on trying. With the Lord and through Him, we can be strengthened to be who we need to be. We can do what we need to do.
 
And third, we have the process of bringing our children to the Savior by teaching them the truths of the gospel from the scriptures and the prophets and by helping them to feel and recognize the Spirit. Even very young children can understand and accept things of an eternal nature. They love the scriptures, and they love the prophet. They intuitively want to be good. It is up to us to help them keep that connection to heaven open. It is up to us to protect them from influences that detract from the Spirit. We can find help and direction in the scriptures. Then we can teach our children to find their own answers there. We can teach our children correct principles and help them apply those principles to their lives. We can direct them toward the Spirit so that they can receive their own witness of the truths they are learning. We can help them find the joy of living the gospel. This will build a firm foundation of faith and obedience in their lives that will strengthen them.

Now, all of this does not come easily. The Nephite account says that those families had 200 years of peace. But surely it took great effort. It takes a lot of hard work and patience and faith, but nothing is more important or rewarding. And the Lord will help us, for He loves these children even more than we do. He loves them, and He will bless them.

You will remember that He blessed the Nephite children individually and by praying for them (see 3 Nephi 17:14–17, 21). Then “he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.

“And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them” (3 Nephi 17:23–24).

How can our children experience blessings like these today? Elder M. Russell Ballard has said, “Clearly, those of us who have been entrusted with precious children have been given a sacred, noble stewardship, for we are the ones God has appointed to encircle today’s children with love and the fire of faith and an understanding of who they are” (“Behold Your Little Ones,” Tambuli, Oct. 1994, 40; “Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children,” Ensign, Apr. 1994, 60).

Brothers and sisters, we are the angels that Heavenly Father has sent today to bless the children, and we can help them to one day see the face of the Savior as we teach the principles of the gospel and fill our homes with the joy of living them. Together we can come to know Him. We can feel of His love and His blessings. And through Him we can return to the presence of the Father. We do this as we are willing to be obedient, faithful, and diligent in following His teachings.

“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am” (D&C 93:1).

Brothers and sisters, I know that God lives. Jesus Christ is His Son, our Savior and Redeemer. He has invited us to come unto Him and has commanded us to bring our children that we, together, might see His face and live eternally with Him and with our Father in Heaven. It is my prayer that we might all work to receive this great blessing in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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Lubbock Texas Announcements:
*****************
Plainview Branch Elders & High Priest Lessons By Date:
.
11-28-10 : “That Our Children Might See The Face Of Our Savior” – By Cheryl C. Lant – April 2010

12-5-10 : “Only An Elder” – by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in 1974

12-12-10 : Chapter 23 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sacrament”

12-19-10 : Chapter 24 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sabbath Day”

12-26-10 : To Be Announced

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Elder David A. Bednar: An Apostle’s Role   Leave a comment

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

We are quite fortunate for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in the latter-days, and in that restoration, came the restoration of Apostles and Prophets! Hear from Elder David A. Bednar as he explains “An Apostle’s Role”.

New Spiritual Videos – A Must Watch   Leave a comment

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

Do you have room for the Savior? Watch this touching video!

LDS Public Affairs : Laie Hawaii Temple Rededicated

Thanksgiving Daily

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Plainview Branch Elders & High Priest Lessons By Date:

11-28-10 : “That Our Children Might See The Face Of Our Savior” – By Cheryl C. Lant – April 2010

12-5-10 : “Only An Elder” – by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in 1974

12-12-10 : Chapter 23 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sacrament”

12-19-10 : Chapter 24 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sabbath Day”

12-26-10 : To Be Announced

“Chapter 22: The Gifts of the Spirit” – Sunday 11-21-10 Lesson   Leave a comment

The Gifts of the Spirit

  • • What spiritual gifts does the Lord give us?

Following baptism, each of us had hands laid on our heads to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. If we are faithful, we can have His influence continually with us. Through Him, each of us can be blessed with certain spiritual powers called gifts of the Spirit. These gifts are given to those who are faithful to Christ. “All these gifts come from God, for the benefit of the children of God” (D&C 46:26).They help us know and teach the truths of the gospel. They will help us bless others. They will guide us back to our Heavenly Father. To use our gifts wisely, we need to know what they are, how we can develop them, and how to recognize Satan’s imitations of them.

The scriptures mention many gifts of the Spirit. These gifts have been given to members of the true Church whenever it has been on the earth (see Mark 16:16–18). The gifts of the Spirit include the following:

The Gift of Tongues (D&C 46:24)

Sometimes it is necessary to communicate the gospel in a language that is unfamiliar to us. When this happens, the Lord can bless us with the ability to speak that language. Many missionaries have received the gift of tongues (see the picture in this chapter). For example, Elder Alonzo A. Hinckley was a missionary in Holland who understood and spoke very little Dutch even though he had prayed and studied hard. When he returned to a home he had visited before, a lady opened the door and spoke to him very angrily in Dutch. To his amazement he could understand every word. He felt a strong desire to bear his testimony to her in Dutch. He began to speak, and the words came out very clearly in Dutch. But when he returned to show his mission president that he could speak Dutch, the ability had left him. Many faithful members have been blessed with the gift of tongues. (See Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 2:32–33.)

The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues (D&C 46:25)

This gift is sometimes given to us when we do not understand a language and we need to receive an important message from God. For example, President David O. McKay had a great desire to speak to the Saints in New Zealand without an interpreter. He told them that he hoped that the Lord would bless them that they could understand him. He spoke in English. His message lasted about 40 minutes. As he spoke, he could tell by the expression on many of their faces and the tears in their eyes that they were receiving his message. (See Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:30–31.)

The Gift of Translation (D&C 5:4)

If we have been called by the leaders of the Church to translate the word of the Lord, we can receive a gift to translate beyond our natural ability. As with all gifts, we must live righteously, study hard, and pray to receive it. When we do these things, the Lord causes us to feel a burning inside concerning the correctness of the translation (see D&C 9:8–9). Joseph Smith had the gift of translation when he translated the Book of Mormon. This gift came to him only when he was in tune with the Spirit.

The Gift of Wisdom (D&C 46:17)

Some of us have been blessed with the ability to understand people and the principles of the gospel as they apply in our lives. We are told:
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
“For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:5–7).
The Lord said, “Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you” (D&C 6:7).

The Gift of Knowledge (D&C 46:18)

Everyone who becomes like Heavenly Father eventually knows all things. The knowledge of God and His laws is revealed by the Holy Ghost (see D&C 121:26). We cannot be saved if we are ignorant of these laws (see D&C 131:6).
The Lord revealed, “If a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:19). The Lord has commanded us to learn as much as we can about His work. He wants us to learn about the heavens, the earth, things that have happened or will happen, things at home and in foreign lands (see D&C 88:78–79). However, there are those who try to gain knowledge by their own study alone. They do not ask for the help of the Holy Ghost. They are those who are always learning but never arrive at the truth (see 2 Timothy 3:7). When we receive knowledge by revelation from the Holy Ghost, His Spirit speaks to our minds and our hearts (see D&C 6:15, 22–24; 8:2; 9:7–9).

The Gift of Teaching Wisdom and Knowledge (Moroni 10:9–10)

Some people are given a special ability to explain and testify of the truths of the gospel. This gift can be used when we teach a class. It can be used by parents to teach their children. This gift also helps us instruct others so they can understand the gospel.

The Gift of Knowing That Jesus Christ Is the Son of God (D&C 46:13)

This has been the gift of prophets and apostles who have been called as special witnesses of Jesus Christ. However, others are also given this gift. Every person can have a testimony through the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. President David O. McKay taught: “It is given unto some, says the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants, to know by the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Son of God and that He was crucified for the sins of the world [see D&C 46:13]. It is to these I refer who stand firm upon the rock of revelation in the testimony that they bear to the world” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay [2003], 166).

The Gift of Believing the Testimony of Others (D&C 46:14)

By the power of the Holy Ghost we may know the truth of all things. If we want to know whether someone else is speaking the truth, we must ask God in faith. If the thing we are praying about is true, the Lord will speak peace to our minds (see D&C 6:22–23). In this way we can know when someone else, even the prophet, has received revelation. Nephi asked the Lord to let him see, feel, and know that his father’s dream was true (see 1 Nephi 10:17–19).

The Gift of Prophecy (D&C 46:22)

Those who receive true revelations about the past, present, or future have the gift of prophecy. Prophets have this gift, but we too can have it to help us govern our own lives (see 1 Corinthians 14:39). We may receive revelations from God for ourselves and our own callings, but never for the Church or its leaders. It is contrary to the order of heaven for a person to receive revelation for someone over whom he or she does not preside. If we truly have the gift of prophecy, we will not receive any revelation that does not agree with what the Lord has said in the scriptures.

The Gift of Healing (D&C 46:19–20)

Some have the faith to heal, and others have the faith to be healed. We can all exercise the faith to be healed when we are ill (see D&C 42:48). Many who hold the priesthood have the gift of healing the sick. Others may be given a knowledge of how to cure illness.

The Gift of Working Miracles (D&C 46:21)

The Lord has blessed His people many times in miraculous ways. When the Utah pioneers planted their first crops, a plague of locusts nearly destroyed them. The pioneers prayed that the Lord would save their crops, and He sent seagulls to devour the locusts. When we need help and ask in faith, if it is for our good the Lord will work miracles for us (see Matthew 17:20; D&C 24:13–14).

The Gift of Faith (Moroni 10:11)

The brother of Jared had great faith. Because of his faith, he received other gifts. His faith was so great that the Savior appeared to him (see Ether 3:9–15). Without faith, no other gift can be given. Moroni promises, “Whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him” (Mormon 9:21). We should seek to increase our faith, find out our gifts, and use them.
Some people lack faith and deny that these gifts of the Spirit actually exist. Moroni says to them:
“And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healings, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;
“Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them” (Mormon 9:7–8).

  • • Why does the Lord give us spiritual gifts?

We Can Develop Our Gifts

  • • How can we “seek … earnestly the best gifts”? (D&C 46:8).

The Lord has said: “For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God. To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby” (D&C 46:11–12).
To develop our gifts, we must find out which gifts we have. We do this by praying and fasting. We should seek after the best gifts (see D&C 46:8). Sometimes patriarchal blessings will help us know which gifts we have been given.
We must be obedient and faithful to be given our gifts. We then should use these gifts to do the work of the Lord. They are not given to satisfy our curiosity or to prove anything to us because we lack faith. Of spiritual gifts, the Lord said, “They are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do” (D&C 46:9).

  • • Think about some spiritual gifts that would strengthen you personally or help you serve the Lord and others. What will you do to seek these gifts?

Satan Imitates the Gifts of the Spirit

  • • How can we discern between the true gifts of the Spirit and Satan’s imitations?

Satan can imitate the gifts of tongues, prophecy, visions, healings, and other miracles. Moses had to compete with Satan’s imitations in Pharaoh’s court (see Exodus 7:8–22). Satan wants us to believe in his false prophets, false healers, and false miracle workers. They may appear to be so real to us that the only way to know is to ask God for the gift of discernment. The devil himself can appear as an angel of light (see 2 Nephi 9:9).
Satan wants to blind us to the truth and keep us from seeking the true gifts of the Spirit. Mediums, astrologers, fortune tellers, and sorcerers are inspired by Satan even if they claim to follow God. Their works are abominable to the Lord (see Isaiah 47:12–14; Deuteronomy 18:9–10). We should avoid all associations with the powers of Satan.

We Must Be Careful with Our Gifts of the Spirit

  • • How can we respect the sacredness of spiritual gifts?

The Lord said, “A commandment I give unto them, that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world; for these things are given unto you for your profit and for salvation” (D&C 84:73). We must remember that spiritual gifts are sacred (see D&C 6:10).
In return for giving us these gifts, the Lord asks that we “give thanks unto God in the Spirit for whatsoever blessing [we] are blessed with” (D&C 46:32).

Additional Scriptures

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Plainview Branch Elders & High Priest Lessons By Date:

11-21-10 : Chapter 22 Gospel Principles Manual “The Gifts Of The Spirit”

11-28-10 : “That Our Children Might See The Face Of Our Savior” – By Cheryl C. Lant – April 2010

12-5-10 : “Only An Elder” – by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in 1974

12-12-10 : Chapter 23 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sacrament”

12-19-10 : Chapter 24 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sabbath Day”

12-26-10 : To Be Announced

"O Ye Fair Ones…" (Mormon 6: 17)   Leave a comment

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

Brethren, I pray some benefit will come to you, or to another in the watching of this short video below, and the context of which I will try to explain will help you in some way… in any way. So, here is the video:

At the conclusion of this video, you hear the heartfelt, inquiry of Mormon as his son Moroni helps him along to discover just the grave reality of the destruction of nearly all the Nephites.

The gravity of the great fall of the Nephites had been discounted by many, even though the voice of the Lord foretold it. (3rd Nephi)

In this plea, Mormon (In the video) speaks in a manner of near disbelief because I assume the gravity of the situation finally set in. In fact, you hear the fear and anguish in his voice. First, go to Mormon 6: 17 where Mormon writes:

O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you!

Mormon then appeals to the wishful thinking if they had only remained righteous. We see this in verse 18 of the very same chapter, when Mormon says:

Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen….

Regretfully, many prophets, including Nephi of old, saw this same disaster- This certainly must have been discouraging but I marvel how, seeing these prophecies, these prophets in the Book of Mormon still held firm, never giving doubt a home to root in their hearts. To understand the magnitude of the anguish that Mormon, Moroni and the 24 final standing Nephites must of felt as they beheld this scene from the Hill Cumorah, seek out and read the words of Nephi in 1st Nephi 15:4; Just before Nephi writes this verse on the plates, he alerts us (At the beginning of the chapter) that he was “…carried away in the Spirit, and seen all [these] things…” (Verse 1) and what he saw among many other things was the utter destruction of his people. So says Nephi: (Verse 4)

And it came to pass that I was overcome because of my afflictions, for I considered that mine afflictions were great above all, because of the destruction of my people, for I had beheld their fall.”

So honorable a man Nephi was! Nephi, if he was anything short of a dedicated servant of the Lord, would not have mentioned this great vision of future tragic events to overcome his people. He did use caution in refraining from much additional information concerning their fall, and seeing the report given of Mormon and Moroni in the 6th chapter of Mormon, it is no wonder Nephi was pained and overcome… mentioning the fall of his people as his personal “affliction.”

What personal “affliction” you might ask? Read verses 10 through 16 which read:

10 “And it came to pass that my men were hewn down, yea, even my ten thousand who were with me, and I fell wounded in the midst; and they passed by me that they did not put an end to my life.”

  
11And when they had gone through and hewn down all my people save it were twenty and four of us, (among whom was my son Moroni) and we having survived the dead of our people, did behold on the morrow, when the Lamanites had returned unto their camps, from the top of the hill Cumorah, the ten thousand of my people who were hewn down, being led in the front by me.”
  
12 “And we also beheld the ten thousand of my people who were led by my son Moroni.”
  
13And behold, the ten thousand of Gidgiddonah had fallen, and he also in the midst.
  
14And Lamah had fallen with his ten thousand; and Gilgal had fallen with his ten thousand; and Limhah had fallen with his ten thousand; and Jeneum had fallen with his ten thousand; and Cumenihah, and Moronihah, and Antionum, and Shiblom, and Shem, and Josh, had fallen with their ten thousand each.
 15And it came to pass that there were ten more who did fall by the sword, with their ten thousand each; yea, even all my people, save it were those twenty and four who were with me, and also a few who had escaped into the south countries, and a few who had deserted over unto the Lamanites, had fallen; and their flesh, and bones, and blood lay upon the face of the earth, being left by the hands of those who slew them to molder upon the land, and to crumble and to return to their mother earth.

 16 And my soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain of my people…”

Now, should you not have counted the amount of men that Mormon lost in battle to the Lamanites at the Hill Cumorah, I  did. Total cost of souls that viciously left this world completely un-prepared to meet their maker (On this particular day) 230,000 people!

I now see, and feel for the sorrow that must have existed in the soul of Nephi as he saw ahead, in vision, of the destruction to come to his people… and 230,000 people is tremendous. This story can readily be applied to our lives, but in this battle, is the battle against Spiritual death…

The difference between the situation of our day and the days of Nephi or Mormon, is the greater level of Faith. Indeed, we also have the records engraved upon the plates of brass, by these very before-hand mentioned Prophets ; Translated to the Book of Mormon. Thus we know what will come of us, should the majority of us become wicked, and how to prevent it. As the Lord mentions in the 38th Section of the Doctrine & Covenants, verse 39:

“…beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.”

We simply must do all we can, to serve as best as we can – because the battle for souls is significant, and many will be lost, but many can be saved. President Henry B. Eyring once said at a General Conference:

“…since the creation of Adam and Eve, the conflict has continued. We have seen it intensify. And the scriptures suggest that the war will become more violent and the spiritual casualties on the Lord’s side will mount.” (Henry B. Eyring, ““Man Down!””, Ensign, May 2009, 63–66)

We will beat the adversary, and it is vital we rescue all that we can, as soon as we can. For, like the above mentioned talk “Man Down” suggests, no soldier wounded on the battle field wishes to die, and they readily cry “Man Down” so that a medic, or rescue comes- We should approach the goal of “Immortality and Eternal Life” (Moses 1:39) for all souls seriously!

I hope this has been helpful, and meaningful for you brethren. I love this gospel, and the blessing that is ours as we share it with others. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior, the Messiah- the man who atoned for both my sins and the sins of the world. He is our life, of which this testimony I thankfully share with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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

*****************Plainview Branch Elders & High Priest Lessons By Date:

11-21-10 : Chapter 22 Gospel Principles Manual “The Gifts Of The Spirit”

11-28-10 : “That Our Children Might See The Face Of Our Savior” – By Cheryl C. Lant – April 2010

12-5-10 : “Only An Elder” – by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in 1974

12-12-10 : Chapter 23 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sacrament”

12-19-10 : Chapter 24 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sabbath Day”

12-26-10 : To Be Announced

"Receive The Holy Ghost" – Study Aid For Sunday Lesson   Leave a comment

David A. Bednar
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles


David A. Bednar

These four words—“Receive the Holy Ghost”—are not a passive pronouncement; rather, they constitute a priesthood injunction—an authoritative admonition to act and not simply to be acted upon.

My message focuses on the importance of striving in our daily lives to actually receive the Holy Ghost. I pray for and invite the Spirit of the Lord to instruct and edify each of us.     UAdd a Note 

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

In December of 1839, while in Washington, D.C., to seek redress for the wrongs done to the Missouri Saints, Joseph Smith and Elias Higbee wrote to Hyrum Smith: “In our interview with the President [of the United States], he interrogated us wherein we differed in our religion from the other religions of the day. Brother Joseph said we differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 97).     UAdd a Note 
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead; He is a personage of spirit and bears witness of all truth. In the scriptures the Holy Ghost is referred to as the Comforter (see John 14:16–27; Moroni 8:26), a teacher (see John 14:26; D&C 50:14), and a revelator (see 2 Nephi 32:5). Revelations from the Father and the Son are conveyed through the Holy Ghost. He is the messenger for and the witness of the Father and the Son.     UAdd a Note 
The Holy Ghost is manifested to men and women on the earth both as the power and as the gift of the Holy Ghost. The power can come upon a person before baptism; it is the convincing witness that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, sincere investigators can acquire a conviction of the truthfulness of the Savior’s gospel, of the Book of Mormon, of the reality of the Restoration, and of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith.     UAdd a Note 
The gift of the Holy Ghost is bestowed only after proper and authorized baptism and by the laying on of hands by those holding the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Lord declared:     UAdd a Note 
“Yea, repent and be baptized, every one of you, for a remission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost. …     UAdd a Note 
“And whoso having faith you shall confirm in my church, by the laying on of the hands, and I will bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost upon them” (D&C 33:11, 15).     UAdd a Note 
The Apostle Paul made this practice clear to the Ephesians when he asked:     UAdd a Note 

“Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
“And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

“Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.     UAdd a Note 

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
“And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them” (Acts 19:2–6).

Baptism by immersion is “the introductory ordinance of the gospel, and must be followed by baptism of the Spirit in order to be complete” (Bible Dictionary, “Baptism”). The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that “baptism is a holy ordinance preparatory to the reception of the Holy Ghost; it is the channel and key by which the Holy Ghost will be administered. The Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, cannot be received through the medium of any other principle than the principle of righteousness” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 95–96).     UAdd a Note 
The ordinance of confirming a new member of the Church and bestowing the gift of the Holy Ghost is both simple and profound. Worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders place their hands upon the head of an individual and call him or her by name. Then, by the authority of the holy priesthood and in the name of the Savior, the individual is confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and this important phrase is uttered: “Receive the Holy Ghost.”     UAdd a Note 
The simplicity of this ordinance may cause us to overlook its significance. These four words—“Receive the Holy Ghost”—are not a passive pronouncement; rather, they constitute a priesthood injunction—an authoritative admonition to act and not simply to be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:26). The Holy Ghost does not become operative in our lives merely because hands are placed upon our heads and those four important words are spoken. As we receive this ordinance, each of us accepts a sacred and ongoing responsibility to desire, to seek, to work, and to so live that we indeed “receive the Holy Ghost” and its attendant spiritual gifts. “For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift” (D&C 88:33).     UAdd a Note 
What should we do to make this authorized admonition to seek for the companionship of the third member of the Godhead an ongoing reality? Let me suggest that we need to (1) sincerely desire to receive the Holy Ghost, (2) appropriately invite the Holy Ghost into our lives, and (3) faithfully obey God’s commandments.     UAdd a Note 

Sincerely Desire

We first should desire, yearn for, and seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost. You and I can learn a great lesson about righteous desires from the faithful disciples of the Master described in the Book of Mormon:     UAdd a Note 
“And the twelve did teach the multitude; and behold, they did cause that the multitude should kneel down upon the face of the earth, and should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus. …     UAdd a Note 

“And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them” (3 Nephi 19:6, 9).

Do we likewise remember to pray earnestly and consistently for that which we should most desire, even the Holy Ghost? Or do we become distracted by the cares of the world and the routine of daily living and take for granted or even neglect this most valuable of all gifts? Receiving the Holy Ghost starts with our sincere and constant desire for His companionship in our lives.     UAdd a Note 

Appropriately Invite

We more readily receive and recognize the Spirit of the Lord as we appropriately invite Him into our lives. We cannot compel, coerce, or command the Holy Ghost. Rather, we should invite Him into our lives with the same gentleness and tenderness by which He entreats us (see D&C 42:14).     UAdd a Note 
Our invitations for the companionship of the Holy Ghost occur in many ways: through the making and keeping of covenants; by praying sincerely as individuals and families; by searching the scriptures diligently; through strengthening appropriate relationships with family members and friends; by seeking after virtuous thoughts, actions, and language; and by worshipping in our homes, in the holy temple, and at church. Conversely, casualness about or the breaking of covenants and commitments, failing to pray and study the scriptures, and inappropriate thoughts, actions, and language cause the Spirit to withdraw from or to avoid us altogether.     UAdd a Note 
As King Benjamin taught his people, “And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved” (Mosiah 2:36).     UAdd a Note 

Faithfully Obey

Faithfully obeying God’s commandments is essential to receiving the Holy Ghost. We are reminded of this truth each week as we listen to the sacrament prayers and worthily partake of the bread and water. As we pledge our willingness to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments, we are promised that we may always have His Spirit to be with us (see D&C 20:77). Thus, everything the Savior’s gospel teaches us to do and become is intended to bless us with the companionship of the Holy Ghost.     UAdd a Note 
Consider the reasons we pray and study the scriptures. Yes, we yearn to communicate in prayer with Heavenly Father in the name of His Son. And yes, we desire to obtain the light and knowledge available in the standard works. But please remember that these holy habits primarily are ways whereby we always remember Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son and are prerequisites to the ongoing companionship of the Holy Ghost.     UAdd a Note 
Reflect on the reasons we worship in the house of the Lord and in our Sabbath meetings. Yes, we serve our kindred dead in the temple—and our families and friends in the wards and branches in which we live. And yes, we enjoy the righteous sociality we find among our brothers and sisters. But we primarily gather together in unity to seek the blessings of and instruction from the Holy Ghost.     UAdd a Note 
Praying, studying, gathering, worshipping, serving, and obeying are not isolated and independent items on a lengthy gospel checklist of things to do. Rather, each of these righteous practices is an important element in an overarching spiritual quest to fulfill the mandate to receive the Holy Ghost. The commandments from God we obey and the inspired counsel from Church leaders we follow principally focus upon obtaining the companionship of the Spirit. Fundamentally, all gospel teachings and activities are centered on coming unto Christ by receiving the Holy Ghost in our lives.     UAdd a Note 
You and I should strive to become like the stripling warriors described in the Book of Mormon, who did “perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them. …     UAdd a Note 
“… And they are strict to remember the Lord their God from day to day; yea, they do observe to keep his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments continually” (Alma 57:21; 58:40).     UAdd a Note 

Testimony

The Lord has declared that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (D&C 1:30). This restored Church is true because it is the Savior’s Church; He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). And it is a living church because of the workings and gifts of the Holy Ghost. How blessed we are to live at a time when the priesthood is upon the earth and we can receive the Holy Ghost.     UAdd a Note 
Several years after the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred, he appeared to President Brigham Young and shared this timeless counsel: “Tell the people to be humble and faithful and [be] sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach [you what] to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits. It will whisper peace and joy to their souls, and it will take malice, hatred, envying, strife, and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness, and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 98).     UAdd a Note 
I pray we will sincerely desire and appropriately invite the Holy Ghost into our daily lives. I also pray each of us will faithfully obey God’s commandments and in reality receive the Holy Ghost. I promise the blessings described by the Prophet Joseph Smith to Brigham Young are applicable to and attainable by every individual who hears or reads this message.     UAdd a Note 

I bear witness of the living reality of the Father and the Son. I testify the Holy Ghost is a revelator, a comforter, and the ultimate teacher from whom we should learn. And I witness that the blessings and gifts of the Spirit operate in the restored, in the true, and in the living Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days. I so testify in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

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Plainview Branch Elders & High Priest Lessons By Date:

11-14-10 : Chapter 21 Gospel Principles Manual “The Gift Of The Holy Ghost”

11-21-10 : Chapter 22 Gospel Principles Manual “The Gifts Of The Spirit”

11-28-10 : “That Our Children Might See The Face Of Our Savior” – By Cheryl C. Lant – April 2010

12-5-10 : “Only An Elder” – by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in 1974

12-12-10 : Chapter 23 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sacrament”

12-19-10 : Chapter 24 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sabbath Day”

12-26-10 : To Be Announced

Chapter 21: The Gift of the Holy Ghost – Sunday 11/14/10   Leave a comment

The Holy Ghost

In chapter 7 we learned that the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead. He is “a personage of Spirit” (D&C 130:22). He does not have a body of flesh and bones. His influence can be everywhere at once. His mission is to bear witness of the Father and the Son and of all truth. Furthermore, the Holy Ghost purifies, or sanctifies, us to prepare us to dwell in the presence of God. The Holy Ghost purifies our hearts so we no longer have the desire to do evil.

There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. In this chapter we will learn what the gift of the Holy Ghost is and how we can receive this great gift from God.

The Gift of the Holy Ghost

  • What is the difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost?
The gift of the Holy Ghost is the privilege—given to people who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, been baptized, and been confirmed as members of the Church—to receive continual guidance and inspiration from the Holy Ghost. 
Joseph Smith said we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost being enjoyed now as much as it was enjoyed in the days of the first Apostles. We believe in this gift in all its fulness, power, greatness, and glory. (See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 97–98.) 
A person may be temporarily guided by the Holy Ghost without receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (see D&C 130:23). However, this guidance will not be continuous unless the person is baptized and receives the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. We read in Acts 10 that the Roman soldier Cornelius received inspiration from the Holy Ghost so that he knew the gospel of Jesus Christ was true. But Cornelius did not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that if Cornelius had not received baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost would have left him (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 97). 
Today people who are not members of the Church learn by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true (see Moroni 10:4–5). But that initial testimony leaves them if they do not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. They do not receive the continuing assurance that can come to those who have the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost

  • What must we do to receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost?
After people are baptized, they are confirmed members of the Church and given the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. The Lord said, “Whoso having faith you shall confirm in my church, by the laying on of the hands, and I will bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost upon them” (D&C 33:15). 

Every worthy elder of the Church, when authorized, may give the gift of the Holy Ghost to another person. However, there is no guarantee that the person will receive inspiration and guidance from the Holy Ghost just because the elders have laid their hands on his or her head. Each person must “receive the Holy Ghost.” This means that the Holy Ghost will come to us only when we are faithful and desire help from this heavenly messenger.
To be worthy to have the help of the Holy Ghost, we must seek earnestly to obey the commandments of God. We must keep our thoughts and actions pure.

Recognizing the Influence of the Holy Ghost

The Holy Ghost usually communicates with us quietly. His influence is often referred to as a “still small voice” (see 1 Kings 19:9–12; Helaman 5:30; D&C 85:6). President Boyd K. Packer explained: “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear. … While we speak of ‘listening’ to the whisperings of the Spirit, most often one describes a spiritual prompting by saying, ‘I had a feeling …’” He continued: “This voice of the Spirit speaks gently, prompting you what to do or what to say, or it may caution or warn you” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 77; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 60).

One of God’s Greatest Gifts

  • What blessings can we receive through the gift of the Holy Ghost?

The gift of the Holy Ghost is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Through the Holy Ghost we may know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that His Church has been restored to the earth. We may have the promptings of the Holy Ghost to show us all the things we should do (see 2 Nephi 32:5). The Holy Ghost sanctifies us to prepare us for God’s presence. We may enjoy the gifts of the Spirit (see chapter 22 in this book). This great gift from our Heavenly Father can also bring peace to our hearts and an understanding of the things of God (see 1 Corinthians 2:9–12).

  • Why is the gift of the Holy Ghost one of God’s greatest gifts to us?

Additional Scriptures

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Plainview Branch Elders & High Priest Lessons By Date:
11-14-10 : Chapter 21 Gospel Principles Manual “The Gift Of The Holy Ghost”

11-21-10 : Chapter 22 Gospel Principles Manual “The Gifts Of The Spirit”

11-28-10 : “That Our Children Might See The Face Of Our Savior” – By Cheryl C. Lant – April 2010

12-5-10 : “Only An Elder” – by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in 1974

12-12-10 : Chapter 23 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sacrament”

12-19-10 : Chapter 24 Gospel Principles Manual “The Sabbath Day”

12-26-10 : To Be Announced