Archive for February 2011

Modest hero: Man on a mission   Leave a comment

Brethren,

There was a lot of attention that the media gave us in years past- and very little of it was good. Since that time, 2 General Conference Sessions later, we see the bustling activity in the Romney 2012 camp. This is not all, as we have seen the church roll out new features and ideas. Which ones?

Consider the huge makeover that mormon.org got not to long ago; Consider the change of the lds.org home sites, more user friendly- and with the use of membership number, can have access to all the telephone numbers you will ever need for people in your stake.

But as I started to say, more media attention is coming our way, and therefore an increased feeling of responsibility to live the standards.

Here is a recent story about a LDS Missionary- doing as Christ would.

Missionary aided in rescue of pilot

SAN BERNARDINO – Cameron Johnson came to Southern California on a mission to save men’s souls. On Monday, he saw a chance to save a man’s life.

Johnson, 19, was one of three civilians who leapt into action Monday when a twin-engine plane crashed into an RV storage yard on Tippecanoe Avenue.

He helped pull the plane’s pilot – Lonny Wayne Rollins, 39, of San Luis Obispo – away from the craft as it was leaking fuel.

“I kind of realized in the process that if I die doing this, the best way to die is to help somebody else,” Johnson said.

Rollins and his business associate, Greg Fitzgerald, 61, of Paso Robles, were critically injured in the crash, firefighters said.

But it could have been worse.

Cameron Johnson, 19, recalls climbing this 9-foot fence at RV Storage USA in San Bernardino to access the site of aplane crash Monday. Johnson got over the fence to help rescue Lonny Rollins of San Luis Obispo. (Gabriel Luis Acosta/Staff Photographer)
 

If the wrecked plane had caught fire and Johnson wasn’t there to pull out Rollins, Rollins could have died, said Jason Serrano, spokesman for the San Bernardino Fire Department.

That’s why firefighters Tuesday were calling Johnson, a Mormon missionary, a hero.

On Tuesday, Johnson was content for that heroism to remain unsung, as he reflected on the incident and Rollins’ condition, which remained serious.

He was back on his mission – wearing a a familiar uniform – a short-sleeved white dress shirt, a necktie, black slacks and shoes and a name tag that read “Elder Johnson.”

Monday was supposed to have been a day to prepare for that work – a day off of sorts for Johnson – one of the 200 missionaries who report to The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints’ San Bernardino County mission in Rancho Cucamonga.

Johnson, who has worked in San Bernardino for about three months, and three other missionaries had just finished lunch at an In-N-Out Burger.

They were driving up to Lytle Creek for a hike when they saw the plane crash about two miles from San Bernardino International Airport.

“The plane was going sideways so it would miss the telephone lines,” Johnson said. “We saw it dive over and we kind of knew there was no way it wasn’t going to hit the ground. It was going straight down.”

They pulled over, got out of the car and that’s when Johnson, a former Boy Scout, ran down a hill and climbed a 9-foot-high wrought-iron fence designed to keep people out of the RV storage facility the plane crashed into.

“I was just freaking out,” Johnson said. “I just ran up to the fence and started climbing up it and hopped over.”
Once over the fence, Johnson and two other unidentified men braved leaking fuel from the aircraft, downed power lines and jagged metal from the wrecked plane.

Rollins’ plane was leaking fuel all over the place. Johnson said the plane’s cockpit was torn open in a way that he could see Rollins and Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald was unconscious, slumped forward in his seat. Johnson thought the man was dead.
Rollins, bleeding heavily from above his left eye, cried out for help. Johnson and two other men helped pull him out of the plane and away from the wreckage.

Johnson stayed with Rollins as the other two men pulled Fitzgerald from the plane’s cockpit. The missionary held the 39-year-old computer engineer’s hand and kept him talking and conscious until firefighters arrived.
“My first thought was, `I have to get this guy out of there before the plane blows up,”‘ Johnson said. “I was scared out of my mind.”

And then, as quickly as he hopped the fence and entered Rollins’ life, Johnson left the scene before police or firefighters could talk with him.

He said he thought that moving Rollins away from the wrecked plane could get in him in trouble.
But Johnson is not in trouble – far from it.

“His actions were definitely heroic,” Serrano said. “He put himself in harm’s way in order to try to rescue one of the occupants of that plane.”

Mormon missionary Ernesto Diaz, 20, of Modesto watched Johnson climb the fence and help Rollins. He agreed that the word “hero” was an accurate description of the young man he’s known for only a week.
“It’s just something where he chose to help someone else,” he said. “I think it was his choice.”

But Johnson, whose humility bordered on self-deprecation, shrugged off the hero label.

He was quick to remind people that two other men followed him over the fence to help Rollins and Fitzgerald.
“I think more credit actually goes to them,” he said. “I helped pull Lonny out, but I think they did most of the work. I think they did most of the saving, to be honest.”

Johnson on Tuesday said he couldn’t stop wondering about Rollins and how he was doing.

Rollins was listed in serious condition and Fitzgerald’s status was upgraded to fair condition Tuesday afternoon, said Loma Linda University Medical Center spokesman Herbert Atienza.

Growing up a Mormon, Johnson said he’s always been told to live his life as if every day would be his last.
He said the experience he had Monday brought the lesson into sharper focus than ever before.

“That’s the most real it’s ever been in my life,” he said. “(Rollins) didn’t wake up thinking he would get in a plane crash and almost die.”

And despite the courage it took to drive Johnson over the fence toward the wrecked plane, he said he might not be brave enough to get that close to an aircraft in the near future.

“I don’t think I want to fly home in 19 months,” Johnson said, laughing. “I think I might want to drive.”

* Attention Friends: Many Of You Get This Via E-Mail; I Encourage You To Visit The Actual Blog For Additional Interactive Features Such As Videos (And Many Of The Blog Entries Have Videos That Are Not Supported Through Email), News Alerts, (For Those In Plainview Branch) Lesson Schedules, Cleaning Schedules, Announcements And Much More. Find Interactive Links To Many Church Websites.To Visit The Blog, Visit The Following Web-Address:HTTP://PLAINVIEWEQ.BLOGSPOT.COMFor Additional Testimony From Personal Members Of The Branch, Visit The (Un-Official) Plainview-Review Branch Blog At The Following Web-Address:HTTP://PLAINVIEWREVIEW.BLOGSPOT.COM

Advertisements

Posted February 11, 2011 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Modest hero: Man on a mission

Lesson For 2-13-11 "Chapter 27: Work and Personal Responsibility," Gospel Principles   Leave a comment

Work Is an Eternal Principle

  • What experiences have you had that have shown you the importance of work?

Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have shown us by Their examples and teachings that work is important in heaven and on earth. God worked to create the heavens and the earth. He caused the seas to gather in one place and the dry land to appear. He caused grass, herbs, and trees to grow on the land. He created the sun, the moon, and the stars. He created every living thing in the sea or on the land. Then He placed Adam and Eve on the earth to take care of it and to have dominion over all living things. (See Genesis 1:1–28.)

Jesus said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). He also said, “I must work the works of him that sent me” (John 9:4).

We Are Commanded to Work

Work has been the way of life on earth since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. The Lord said to Adam, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” (Genesis 3:19). Adam and Eve worked in the fields so they could provide for their own needs and the needs of their children (see Moses 5:1).

The Lord said to the people of Israel, “Six days shalt thou labour” (Exodus 20:9).

In the early days of the restored Church, the Lord told the Latter-day Saints, “Now, I, the Lord, am not well pleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for there are idlers among them” (D&C 68:31).

A prophet of God has said, “Work is to be reenthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership” (Heber J. Grant, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant [2002], 115).

Family Responsibility

  • What are some responsibilities that fathers, mothers, and children have to maintain a home? What can family members do to share in the work?

Parents work together to provide for the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of their family. They should never expect anyone to take care of this responsibility for them. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith” (1 Timothy 5:8).

Couples should seek inspiration from the Lord and follow the counsel of the prophets when establishing individual responsibilities. Creating a home where principles of the gospel are taught daily and where love and order abound is as important as providing the basic necessities of food and clothing.

Children should do their part in the work of the family. It is necessary for children to have work assignments to fit their abilities. They need to be praised for their successes. Good work attitudes, habits, and skills are learned through successful experiences in the home.

Sometimes people encounter hardships when trying to provide for their families. Chronic illness, the loss of a spouse, or the addition of an elderly parent can add to the responsibilities in a home. Our Heavenly Father remembers the families in these situations and gives them the strength to carry out their duties. He will always bless them if they ask Him in faith.

We Can Enjoy Our Work

  • How does our attitude affect our work?

To some people work is a drudgery. To others it is an exciting part of life. One way to enjoy life’s fullest benefits is to learn to love work.

Not all of us can choose the kind of work we do. Some of us labor for long hours for the bare necessities. It is difficult to enjoy such work. Yet the happiest people have learned to enjoy their work, whatever it is.
We can help one another in our work. The heaviest load becomes lighter when someone shares it.

Our attitude toward work is very important. The following story shows how one man saw beyond his daily labor. A traveler passed a stone quarry and saw three men working. He asked each man what he was doing. Each man’s answer revealed a different attitude toward the same job. “I am cutting stone,” the first man answered. The second replied, “I am earning three gold pieces per day.” The third man smiled and said, “I am helping to build a house of God.”

In any honest work we can serve God. King Benjamin, a Nephite prophet, said, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17). If our work provides only enough for necessities for ourselves or our families, we are still helping some of God’s children.

  • How can we improve our attitude about work?

God Condemns Idleness

The Lord is not pleased with those who are lazy or idle. He said, “The idler shall not have place in the church, except he repent and mend his ways” (D&C 75:29). He also commanded, “Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer” (D&C 42:42).

From the earliest days of the Church, the prophets have taught Latter-day Saints to be independent and self-sustaining and to avoid idleness. True Latter-day Saints will not voluntarily shift from themselves the burden of their own support. So long as they are able, they will supply themselves and their families with the necessities of life.

As far as they are able, all Church members should accept the responsibility to care for their relatives who are unable to provide for themselves.

  • How does idleness affect an individual? a family? a community?

Work, Recreation, and Rest

  • Why is it important to keep a balance in life between work, recreation, and rest?

We should each find the proper balance between work, recreation, and rest. There is an old saying: “Doing nothing is the hardest work of all, because one can never stop to rest.” Without work, rest and relaxation have no meaning.

Not only is it pleasant and necessary to rest, but we are commanded to rest on the Sabbath day (see Exodus 20:10; D&C 59:9–12). This day of rest after each six days of labor brings refreshment for the days that follow. The Lord also promises the “fulness of the earth” to those who observe the Sabbath day (see D&C 59:16–20; see also chapter 24 in this book).

On other days of the week, in addition to working, we may spend time to improve our talents and enjoy our hobbies, recreation, or other activities that will refresh us.

  • What can we do to keep a good balance between work, recreation, and rest? How can parents help their children maintain this balance?

The Blessings of Work

  • What are some blessings that come from honest work?

God revealed to Adam, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” (Genesis 3:19). In addition to being a temporal law, this was a law for the salvation of Adam’s soul. There is no real division between spiritual, mental, and physical work. Work is essential to each of us for growth, character development, and many satisfactions that the idle never know.

President David O. McKay said, “Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that the power to work is a blessing, that the love of work is success” (Pathways to Happiness [1957], 381).

“Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). Work is a key to full joy in the plan of God. If we are righteous, we will return to live with our Heavenly Father, and we will have work to do. As we become like Him, our work will become like His work. His work is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

Additional Scriptures

* Attention Friends: Many Of You Get This Via E-Mail; I Encourage You To Visit The Actual Blog For Additional Interactive Features Such As Videos (And Many Of The Blog Entries Have Videos That Are Not Supported Through Email), News Alerts, (For Those In Plainview Branch) Lesson Schedules, Cleaning Schedules, Announcements And Much More. Find Interactive Links To Many Church Websites.To Visit The Blog, Visit The Following Web-Address:HTTP://PLAINVIEWEQ.BLOGSPOT.COMFor Additional Testimony From Personal Members Of The Branch, Visit The (Un-Official) Plainview-Review Branch Blog At The Following Web-Address:HTTP://PLAINVIEWREVIEW.BLOGSPOT.COM

"It Is Not Expedient That Ye Should Have A King…"   1 comment

     There came a time in Nephite history where many a war had been fought, and a great deal of people led astray and into iniquity due to the actions of the Kings they upheld. This is an actuality that realistically transcends nearly all of our scriptural cannon. Its a fierce set of wars that come and go, especially for those we have a biblical account of.
     But when it comes to the Book of Mormon times, we see a lot of what happened under the reigns of Kings, was nothing but bloodshed, transgression, and Satan ruining the great plan of happiness for many, simply by working upon the hearts of few. Its a concept and reality I scarce care to consider, and yet I am sure my desire to not want to think of what it all looked like, could not even hold a lamp to the way the prophet Ether must have felt in watching the literal destruction of all the Jaredites.
     In the 28th Chapter of the Book of Mosiah, the time had come, upon the return of Aaron, Ammon, Omner and Himni, when King Mosiah had to entertain the very same things that King Benjamin did, not only in knowing he was about to die soon, but knowing that he needed to set the mantle of righteous leadership up for succession sooner than any slipping away of his current righteous reign over the people. Mosiah was not in danger of misleading his people, nor were they in danger of being led astray by him, but due to the wonderful lesson of history as taught in the Holy Scriptures he wished to ensure a smooth transition.
     So what was the problem? A few items of concern quickly were tossed on the plate of the King. His sons had no sooner returned from teaching many of the Nephites the correct things of the gospel, in an attempt, like Alma the younger, to undo some of the damage that they may have caused spiritually to many of their brethren. So, they went all throughout the land of Zarahemla in teaching their brethren the Nephites with great success, but still with some losses. Nevertheless they petitioned their father, King Mosiah, to allow them to go to the land of Nephi to preach to the Lamanites.
     A reluctant Mosiah approached the Lord in prayer, and was told, “Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life; and I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites.” (Mosiah 28:7)
     So he let them go and do as they desired, and great things did come of their Missionary work, including, but not limited to, the conversion of Lamoni.
     But my account in this blog is not to cover the great and marvelous deeds of which by many scriptures we have come to know the fruits of their labors, no, in this account- I wish to display just what King Mosiah may have been prophetically hinting at when he counseled his people (As is the title of my blog today) “It is not expedient that ye should have a king…” (Mosiah 29:16)
     What did he mean by that? What I eluded to earlier was “It is not expedient that ye should have a wicked King over you…” (Mosiah 29:16-17 Some Emphasis Added) This he meant because people were always led astray. We need not look very far at all, for the Prophetic warning of Mosiah to show why we don’t need one.
     No doubt, with careful consideration and much prayer by both Alma the Elder (Then Acting High Priest Over The Church) and King Mosiah, the laws of the land were changed and formulated into a somewhat Democratic in nature…including, but not limited to common consent. What is so amazing, is the near perfect transition from a Monarchal / Patriarchal government, to a Democratically styled one- In peace! Shortly thereafter, both Alma the Elder, and King Mosiah die. All that happened in the year 92 B.C.
     Surly there were Spiritual Juggernauts in the church at that time, not to mention Alma the younger being called as the first chief judge, but Satan as we know him, never waits to pounce.
     Not but two verses into the first chapter of the Book Of Alma- we hear something disturbing. Priestcrafts are horrendously present in the land, and are introduced to the Nephites by one named Nehor. His delusions led many away from the truth, and in doing so, his character became all the more obstinate. To quote the record, it says, “…He did teach these things so much that many did believe on his words, even so many that they began to support him and give him money.” (Alma 1:5)
     After he got this far, his parasitic nature became inflamed and it says, “And he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching.” (Alma 1:6)
     The story goes on with him confronting a man of God, named Gideon (Who was instrumental in delivering the people of Limhi from bondage – See Verse 8) and he tries to convert Gideon to lies, but Gideon withstood him and confounded him- costing him his life by the hand of Nehor. Later, Nehor is punished by Alma, forced to admit his wrongs, “and there suffered an ignominious death.” (Alma 1:15)
     Had Nehor not of been stopped, a distressful situation could have arisen very quickly amongst the Nephites, but because Satan is who he is, we need not wait to see when he strikes again, in the same “order.”
     Nehor indeed was stopped, but he was only put to death (I believe) because of what Alma says to him, “Behold, this is the first time that priestcraft has been introduced among this people. And behold, thou art not only guilty of priestcraft, but hast endeavored to enforce it by the sword; and were priestcraft to be enforced among this people, it would prove their entire destruction.” (Alma 1:12) Righteously, he paid for his crime, but as the record indicates, “Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land;” (Alma 1:16)
     So, like I mentioned before, Satan was poised to strike at the foundation of faith many had- probably nearly all of which was righteously instilled by the good King Mosiah. Satan wanted to test their resolve. Fast forward to the year 87 B.C. (Now being the fifth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi)
     Out of that secretive order of Nehor, comes a man named Amlici, and guess what? He wants to be “King” over the people. Of course, he was a wicked man, and yes- he had his own agenda. He drew many followers after him, and it caused a huge uproar in all the land of Zarahemla. The thing that makes this story so neat, in the beginning anyway, is that the people took it upon themselves and “…they did assemble themselves together to cast their voices [Vote] concerning the matter…” (Alma 2:6) After doing this, the results were given to the chief judges. So what did the ballots say?
     “And it came to pass that the voice [Votes] of the people came against Amlici, that he was not made king over the people.” (Alma 2:7) Thus in doing this, affirmed the testimony of King Mosiah when he said, “Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right;” (Mosiah 29:26) Nevertheless, this did not stop the problem- it only served to fuel the fire of anger within those who followed him. The record states, “…but Amlici did stir up those who were in his favor to anger against those who were not in his favor.” (Alma 2:8)
     Amlici then has “his people” consecrate him to be a King over them, and they separate themselves from the mass of Nephites and take upon themselves the name of Amlicites. What was his first act as a “King over the Amlicites”? He ordered his people to arm themselves and fight them, “…and this he did that he might subject them unto him.” (Alma 2:10)
     The culmination of events that followed are horrible by all accounts, and when one considers it, they might be inclined to ask, “Why? Why did this all happen?”
     In verse 15 of Alma chapter 2 is the beginning of the account of the war that is waged between the Nephites and the Amlicites, and later the Lamanites join in. Many lives were lost here… far too many. The Lamanite bodies were not counted, but there were enough of them everywhere for the record to say, “And thus he [Alma] cleared the ground, or rather the bank, which was on the west of the river Sidon, throwing the bodies of the Lamanites who had been slain into the waters of Sidon, that thereby his people might have room to cross…” (Alma 2:34)
     But in verse 19, we get the numbers from the other two major parties involved in the battle. It reads, “…there were slain of the Amlicites, twelve thousand five hundred thirty and two souls; and there were slain of the Nephites, six thousand five hundred sixty and two souls.” (Alma 2:19)
     This awful wickedness was the eventual end of Nineteen Thousand and Ninety Four people. (19,904) All this because one man and a selfish desire to rule over people in unrighteousness.

     I think the moral of the story could include the basic lesson we have heard repeated many times by scriptures, prophets and apostles – Keep the commandments. May we all do this, and have joy therein is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

* Attention Friends: Many Of You Get This Via E-Mail; I Encourage You To Visit The Actual Blog For Additional Interactive Features Such As Videos (And Many Of The Blog Entries Have Videos That Are Not Supported Through Email), News Alerts, (For Those In Plainview Branch) Lesson Schedules, Cleaning Schedules, Announcements And Much More. Find Interactive Links To Many Church Websites.To Visit The Blog, Visit The Following Web-Address:HTTP://PLAINVIEWEQ.BLOGSPOT.COMFor Additional Testimony From Personal Members Of The Branch, Visit The (Un-Official) Plainview-Review Branch Blog At The Following Web-Address:HTTP://PLAINVIEWREVIEW.BLOGSPOT.COM