Archive for March 2011

Christlike Qualities In Captain Moroni – Part Two   Leave a comment

Brethren,

I do a great deal of pondering on those qualities I mentioned concerning the great Captain Moroni in Part One of this series. Getting to this portion of the story concerning the great Captain, we have a little study aid that can be found on the Book Of Mormon study videos- I believe originally made for seminary classes. Indeed, that is where I remember first seeing the two videos that will follow my initial text. Care to know how Moroni is described in the Book Of Mormon? Open your scriptures to Alma Chapter 48.

Starting in verse 11, the scriptures tell us:

And Moroni was a strong and a mighty man; he was a man of a perfect understanding; yea, a man that did not delight in bloodshed; a man whose soul did joy in the liberty and the freedom of his country, and his brethren from bondage and slavery;” (Alma 48:11)

Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God, for the many privileges and blessings which he bestowed upon his people; a man who did labor exceedingly for the welfare and safety of his people.” (Alma 48:12)

Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights, and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of his blood.” (Alma 48:13)

Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” (Alma 48:17)

Behold, he was a man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea, and even the other sons of Mosiah, yea, and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God.” (Alma 48:18)

I hope you can see for yourself, just how great a man Moroni was, both in good faith and character, giving mercy to those whom would listen to the counsel of the Lord, and honorably dealing with all men, regardless of their particular roots…. be it Nephite, Lamanite, Zoramite… etc.

Watch these two videos (And if you are getting this by auto email post, you will have to go to the blog site to watch them) and see if you can’t come to the conclusion that Moroni was an honorable man of God.

PART ONE

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/TzTZA5AXsdQ?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0&hd=1

PART TWO

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/a_5xc50wKl8?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0&hd=1

Brethren, I bear you my testimony, that I know the Book Of Mormon to be true. I know that many great men and women in both these the latter-days and in times before- fought to preserve these records so that we could have an understanding… and a chance to have and partake of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This I gratefully share with you all, 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

Film about Joseph Smith Now Available Online   Leave a comment

People around the world now have a new way to learn about Joseph Smith, the founder and first president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A film called Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration is now available online, marking the first time the Church has shared a full-length film on the Internet.

A similar film has been shown since 2005 in Salt Lake City and 19 Church visitors’ sites around the world. Now the film is available to everyone on MormonChannel.org/Joseph and has been revised to be more easily understood by a wider audience.

Ron Munns, who produced the original film, said, “The first Joseph Smith film was excellent and was well received by many. However, some parts were not easily understood if you did not already know the story.
Everyone comes to the film with different backgrounds and knowledge, and we wanted to make sure that every person who sees the film walks away with a better understanding of the Prophet Joseph and what he did.”

The film will also help people better understand Latter-day Saint belief in modern prophets, the purpose of temples, and the eternal nature of family relationships. There is also additional context around historical events such as the First Vision — when God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith when he was 14 years old.

“Our hope is that people who aren’t familiar with the story will come away with an increased understanding of the role Joseph Smith played in restoring the Church of Jesus Christ,” John Garbett, who produced the new movie, said.

Garbett said this focus on Joseph’s prophetic role prompted many of the changes. For example, a scene showing a leg operation Joseph had as a young boy was removed because it was less essential to the purpose of the film.

“There is less focus on Joseph the man and more focus on Joseph the prophet. It’s the same story, just with a different emphasis,” Garbett said. “There are some things in the old version that people might miss, but there are things in the new version that people will be thrilled to see.”

Those who have seen the film will notice that the revised version has a new narrator: an actress representing Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph’s mother.

“We chose this device to tell the story because Lucy Mack Smith was an eyewitness to everything that happened,” Garbett said. “This is a mother talking about her son in her own words.”

The revised version is five minutes shorter than the original, and about 40 percent of the movie is new. Footage from the first version was re-edited to fit the revised storyline, and Garbett and his team also shot some new scenes. Regardless of where the footage came from, the crew took great care to ensure that every moment of the film has the same look and feel.

“Someone who sees the movie will not be able to tell what was shot then and what was shot now,” Garbett said.

David Nielson, managing director of the Church’s Media Services Department, said he is thrilled that the movie will now be available online.

“The beauty of having the new Joseph film available on the Internet is that you can see it at home at a time that is convenient for you,” Nielson said. “Even if you have seen the previous version, don’t miss the opportunity to see the new one. It will help enhance your understanding of the life and mission of Joseph Smith.”
Munns too is excited to have the film seen by a wider audience.

“This is a version that can be easily shared by Church members with their friends not of our faith,” he said.
The full-length version of Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration can be seen on MormonChannel.org/Joseph. The revised film can also be seen in the Legacy Theater at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City and at some Church visitors’ centers. Currently, the film is only in English but may expand to additional languages in the future.

* 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

Lesson 3-27-11 – "Of Things That Matter Most"   Leave a comment

It’s remarkable how much we can learn about life by studying nature. For example, scientists can look at the rings of trees and make educated guesses about climate and growing conditions hundreds and even thousands of years ago. One of the things we learn from studying the growth of trees is that during seasons when conditions are ideal, trees grow at a normal rate. However, during seasons when growing conditions are not ideal, trees slow down their growth and devote their energy to the basic elements necessary for survival.
At this point some of you may be thinking, “That’s all very fine and good, but what does it have to do with flying an airplane?” Well, let me tell you.
Have you ever been in an airplane and experienced turbulence? The most common cause of turbulence is a sudden change in air movement causing the aircraft to pitch, yaw, and roll. While planes are built to withstand far greater turbulence than anything you would encounter on a regular flight, it still may be disconcerting to passengers.
What do you suppose pilots do when they encounter turbulence? A student pilot may think that increasing speed is a good strategy because it will get them through the turbulence faster. But that may be the wrong thing to do. Professional pilots understand that there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence. And most of the time that would mean to reduce your speed. The same principle applies also to speed bumps on a road.
Therefore, it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.

The Pace of Modern Life

This is a simple but critical lesson to learn. It may seem logical when put in terms of trees or turbulence, but it’s surprising how easy it is to ignore this lesson when it comes to applying these principles in our own daily lives. When stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.
One of the characteristics of modern life seems to be that we are moving at an ever-increasing rate, regardless of turbulence or obstacles.
Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives.
It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks.

What Is the Solution?

The wise understand and apply the lessons of tree rings and air turbulence. They resist the temptation to get caught up in the frantic rush of everyday life. They follow the advice “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” 1 In short, they focus on the things that matter most.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, in a recent general conference, taught, “We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.” 2
 
The search for the best things inevitably leads to the foundational principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ—the simple and beautiful truths revealed to us by a caring, eternal, and all-knowing Father in Heaven. These core doctrines and principles, though simple enough for a child to understand, provide the answers to the most complex questions of life.
There is a beauty and clarity that comes from simplicity that we sometimes do not appreciate in our thirst for intricate solutions.
For example, it wasn’t long after astronauts and cosmonauts orbited the earth that they realized ballpoint pens would not work in space. And so some very smart people went to work solving the problem. It took thousands of hours and millions of dollars, but in the end, they developed a pen that could write anywhere, in any temperature, and on nearly any surface. But how did the astronauts and cosmonauts get along until the problem was solved? They simply used a pencil.
Leonardo da Vinci is quoted as saying that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” 3 When we look at the foundational principles of the plan of happiness, the plan of salvation, we can recognize and appreciate in its plainness and simplicity the elegance and beauty of our Heavenly Father’s wisdom. Then, turning our ways to His ways is the beginning of our wisdom.

The Power of Basics

The story is told that the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi had a ritual he performed on the first day of training. He would hold up a football, show it to the athletes who had been playing the sport for many years, and say, “Gentlemen, … this is a football!” He talked about its size and shape, how it can be kicked, carried, or passed. He took the team out onto the empty field and said, “This is a football field.” He walked them around, describing the dimensions, the shape, the rules, and how the game is played. 4
 
This coach knew that even these experienced players, and indeed the team, could become great only by mastering the fundamentals. They could spend their time practicing intricate trick plays, but until they mastered the fundamentals of the game, they would never become a championship team.
I think most of us intuitively understand how important the fundamentals are. It is just that we sometimes get distracted by so many things that seem more enticing.
Printed material, wide-ranging media sources, electronic tools and gadgets—all helpful if used properly—can become hurtful diversions or heartless chambers of isolation.
Yet amidst the multitude of voices and choices, the humble Man of Galilee stands with hands outstretched, waiting. His is a simple message: “Come, follow me.” 5 And He does not speak with a powerful megaphone but with a still, small voice. 6 It is so easy for the basic gospel message to get lost amidst the deluge of information that hits us from all sides.
The holy scriptures and the spoken word of the living prophets give emphasis to the fundamental principles and doctrines of the gospel. The reason we return to these foundational principles, to the pure doctrines, is because they are the gateway to truths of profound meaning. They are the door to experiences of sublime importance that would otherwise be beyond our capacity to comprehend. These simple, basic principles are the key to living in harmony with God and man. They are the keys to opening the windows of heaven. They lead us to the peace, joy, and understanding that Heavenly Father has promised to His children who hear and obey Him.
My dear brothers and sisters, we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most. Let us be mindful of the foundational precepts our Heavenly Father has given to His children that will establish the basis of a rich and fruitful mortal life with promises of eternal happiness. They will teach us to do “all these things … in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that [we] should run faster than [we have] strength. [But] it is expedient that [we] should be diligent, [and] thereby … win the prize.” 7
 
Brothers and sisters, diligently doing the things that matter most will lead us to the Savior of the world. That is why “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, … that [we] may know to what source [we] may look for a remission of [our] sins.” 8 In the complexity, confusion, and rush of modern living, this is the “more excellent way.” 9

So What Are the Basics?

As we turn to our Heavenly Father and seek His wisdom regarding the things that matter most, we learn over and over again the importance of four key relationships: with our God, with our families, with our fellowman, and with ourselves. As we evaluate our own lives with a willing mind, we will see where we have drifted from the more excellent way. The eyes of our understanding will be opened, and we will recognize what needs to be done to purify our heart and refocus our life.
First, our relationship with God is most sacred and vital. We are His spirit children. He is our Father. He desires our happiness. As we seek Him, as we learn of His Son, Jesus Christ, as we open our hearts to the influence of the Holy Spirit, our lives become more stable and secure. We experience greater peace, joy, and fulfillment as we give our best to live according to God’s eternal plan and keep His commandments.
We improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father by learning of Him, by communing with Him, by repenting of our sins, and by actively following Jesus Christ, for “no man cometh unto the Father, but by [Christ].” 10 To strengthen our relationship with God, we need some meaningful time alone with Him. Quietly focusing on daily personal prayer and scripture study, always aiming to be worthy of a current temple recommend—these will be some wise investments of our time and efforts to draw closer to our Heavenly Father. Let us heed the invitation in Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.” 11

 

Our second key relationship is with our families. Since “no other success can compensate for failure” 12 here, we must place high priority on our families. We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like family dinner and family home evening and by just having fun together. In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time. Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home. We talk with, rather than about, each other. We learn from each other, and we appreciate our differences as well as our commonalities. We establish a divine bond with each other as we approach God together through family prayer, gospel study, and Sunday worship.
The third key relationship we have is with our fellowman. We build this relationship one person at a time—by being sensitive to the needs of others, serving them, and giving of our time and talents. I was deeply impressed by one sister who was burdened with the challenges of age and illness but decided that although she couldn’t do much, she could listen. And so each week she watched for people who looked troubled or discouraged, and she spent time with them, listening. What a blessing she was in the lives of so many people.
The fourth key relationship is with ourselves. It may seem odd to think of having a relationship with ourselves, but we do. Some people can’t get along with themselves. They criticize and belittle themselves all day long until they begin to hate themselves. May I suggest that you reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know yourself better. Walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations, ponder the truths of the restored gospel, and find out what they mean for you personally. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you—as His precious daughter or son with divine potential.

Rejoice in the Pure Gospel

Brothers and sisters, let us be wise. Let us turn to the pure doctrinal waters of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us joyfully partake of them in their simplicity and plainness. The heavens are open again. The gospel of Jesus Christ is on earth once more, and its simple truths are a plentiful source of joy!
Brothers and sisters, indeed we have great reason to rejoice. If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.
Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most.
Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace. For this I pray, as I leave you my blessing, in the sacred 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

New Mormon Messages Video: "You Will Be Freed"   Leave a comment

This Is A Video That Means More To Me Than I Can Ever Express.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/ry8-YIwnEcU?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0&hd=1

Stay True Brethren!

* 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

Posted March 20, 2011 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized

Christlike Qualities In Captain Moroni – Part One   Leave a comment

Brethren,

I began to ponder this evening / early morning, the account of which I have poured my thoughts through over the past few days of my scripture study.

Many of us are adequately familiar with the Moroni, who delivered the Plates Of Brass to the young Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. Rightly so, as this Moroni was, prior to Joseph Smith, the one to place them into the earth which makes up part of what we know as the Hill Cumorah.

This Moroni is one whom was a valiant man of God, but the Moroni I speak of, is the righteous Moroni whom we are introduced to in Chapter 43 of Alma. This is the Moroni that most of the youth, of this, our great church- The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints- are very familiar with. Such integrity and honor rested upon the heart and soul of this man… and it must have been very apparent to all who knew him and all who read of him to this day.

Moroni was a man completely void of any pusillanimous description, and certainly could never be described as anything close to it. Even more unique to his particular story being told in the scriptures, is where he bursts on to the scene with such efficacy in casting asunder all the feeble carnal strategists, and then almost without a real notice of transition, seems to abscond into the night without much mention of his post Nephite Army leading life.


All this being said, there is much mentioned of Moroni that I feel I have overlooked and failed to actually weigh in of its true significance. If you don’t have your scriptures now, go get them, and grab a colored pencil. 


The first characteristic I wish for you to weigh in on, that Moroni “MUST” of had, was a level of “Trust” previously never seen before. This distinction I make, because of what is mentioned in Alma, Chapter 43: 17.


It simply reads, “And Moroni took all the command, and the government of their wars. And he was only twenty and five years old when he was appointed chief captain over the armies of the Nephites.” 


Ponder that as you mark it in your scriptures, and somewhere on there, place the word “Trust”. 


The next characteristic I wish for you to consider, is “Faith.” You may even wish to also add his respect for the Lord’s admonishment to have all things in order. In the same Chapter of Alma (43), in reading verses 19 through 22, you gain and appreciate Moroni being prepared for all things which certainly he was diligent in trying to be; as his preparedness frustrated and circumvented the vast numbers of Lamanites that stood under the command of Zerahemnah. Even the Zoramites and the Amalekites were frustrated by the smarts of Moroni.


Moroni had “Trust” not just invested in him by the very people he served, but he also had “Trust” and “Faith” that the Lord had the order of things carefully articulated to work perfectly when all his commandments were followed faithfully. Being a great strategist, Moroni certainly could have tried to figure much about the tactics of the Lamanites, and their plans himself. But now look to verse 23 in Alma, chapter 43:\


…and Moroni, also, knowing of the prophecies of Alma, sent certain men unto him that he should inquire of the Lord whither the armies of the Nephites should go to defend themselves against the Lamanites.” 


I’d say that was a great measure of Faith, seeing as prior to this, Alma was not so much involved in the matters of temporal welfare as he was the spiritual matters. 


…it came to pass that the sons of Alma did go forth among the people, to declare the word unto them. And Alma, also, himself, could not rest, and he also went forth. 

Now, we shall say no more concerning their preaching, except that they preached the word, and the truth, according to the Spirit of prophecy and revelation; and they preached after the Holy Order of God by which they were called.” (Alma 43: 1-2)

So, mark Faith by verse 23, as you have now seen that even the great leader and strategist that he was, he was humble enough and had Faith that the Lord would direct him, through his prophet Alma, to do what was best in defending what was at the heart of his later known, and well rehearsed story of the “Title of Liberty”.


We get a clear understanding, in verse 30, of Alma chapter 43, of the only reason that the Nephites were fighting the Lamanites, Zoramites and Amalekites. It reads:


…knowing that it was the only desire of the Nephites to preserve their lands, and their liberty, and their church…


The next quality we should attribute to Moroni, can be his ability to “Inspire” the people towards the righteous cause of which they should stand for always. And though verse 30 does give us a general idea of what the Nephites fought for, it is described in detail in verse 45, even after the Lamanites were said to have been “…fight[ing] exceedingly; yea, never had the Lamanites been known to fight with such exceedingly great strength and courage, no, not even from the beginning.” (Alma 43:43)


Just how well did Moroni’s chief opponent inspire his armies?


And they [The Lamanites] were inspired by the Zoramites and the Amalekites, who were their chief captains and leaders, and by Zerahemnah, who was their chief captain, or their chief leader and commander; yea, they did fight like dragons, and many Nephites were slain by their hands….”  (Alma 43:44)


But the Inspiration given by Moroni, and through the Holy Ghost which will accompany any who keep the commandments, was enough to supplant any existing fear, and remind the Nephites again, just what they were doing. The next verse, says it all:


Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church.

To end the entry of this blog, but certainly not the end of the many great characteristics Moroni had, he exhibited one thing that im sure many other men never could in battle, “Mercy”.

Therefore the armies of Moroni encircled them about, yea, even on both sides of the river, for behold, on the east were the men of Lehi. Therefore when Zerahemnah saw the men of Lehi on the east of the river Sidon, and the armies of Moroni on the west of the river Sidon, that they were encircled about by the Nephites, they were struck with terror. Now Moroni, when he saw their terror, commanded his men that they should stop shedding their blood.” (Alma 43: 52-54)


* 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

Lesson For 3-20-2011 Chapter 30: Charity   Leave a comment

What Is Charity?

  • How would you define charity?

The life of the Savior reflects His pure love for all people. He even gave His life for us. Charity is that pure love which our Savior Jesus Christ has. He has commanded us to love one another as He loves us. The scriptures tell us that charity comes from a pure heart (see 1 Timothy 1:5). We have pure love when, from the heart, we show genuine concern and compassion for all our brothers and sisters.

Charity Is the Greatest of All Virtues

The prophet Mormon tells us, “Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—but charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever” (Moroni 7:46–47; see also 1 Corinthians 13; 2 Nephi 26:30; Moroni 7:44–45, 48).

The Savior gave us the example of His life to follow. He was the Son of God. He had perfect love, and He showed us how to love. By His example, He showed us that the spiritual and physical needs of our fellowmen are as important as our own. Before He gave His life for us, He said:

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12–13).

Speaking to the Lord, Moroni said:

“I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world. …

“And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father” (Ether 12:33–34).

It may not be necessary for us to give our lives as the Savior did. But we can have charity if we make Him the center of our lives and follow His example and teachings. Like the Savior, we too can bless the lives of our brothers and sisters here on earth.

  • Why is charity the greatest of all virtues?

Charity Includes Giving to the Sick, Afflicted, and Poor

The Savior gave us many teachings in the form of stories or parables. The parable of the good Samaritan teaches us that we should give to those in need, regardless of whether they are our friends or not (see Luke 10:30–37; see also James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. [1916], 430–32). In the parable, the Savior said that a man was traveling to another city. On the road he was attacked by bandits. They stole his clothes and money and beat him, leaving him half dead. A priest came along, saw him, and passed him by. Then a temple attendant walked over, looked at him, and went on. However, a Samaritan, who was despised by the Jews, came along, and when he saw the man he felt compassion (see the picture in this chapter). Kneeling beside him, the good Samaritan bandaged his wounds and took him on a donkey to an inn. He paid the innkeeper to take care of the man until he recovered.

Jesus taught that we should give food to the hungry, shelter to those who have none, and clothes to the poor. When we visit the sick and those who are in prison, it is as if we were doing these things for Him instead. He promises that as we do these things, we will inherit His kingdom. (See Matthew 25:34–46.)

We should not try to decide whether someone really deserves our help or not (see Mosiah 4:16–24). If we have taken care of our own family’s needs first, then we should help all who need help. In this way we will be like our Father in Heaven, who causes rain to fall on the just and on the unjust alike (see Matthew 5:44–45).
President Thomas S. Monson reminded us that there are those who need more than material goods:

“Let us ask ourselves the questions: ‘Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need?’ [Hymns, no. 223]. What a formula for happiness! What a prescription for contentment, for inner peace—to have inspired gratitude in another human being.

“Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2001, 72; or Ensign, Nov. 2001, 60).

  • In the parable of the good Samaritan, how would you describe those who passed the injured man? How would you describe the Samaritan? In what ways can we apply the message of this parable in our lives?

Charity Comes from the Heart

  • How can we love people in spite of their sins and faults?

Even when we give to those in need, unless we feel compassion for them we do not have charity (see 1 John 3:16–17). The Apostle Paul taught that when we have charity we are filled with good feelings for all people. We are patient and kind. We are not boastful or proud, selfish or rude. When we have charity we do not remember or rejoice in the evil others have done. Neither do we do good things just because it is to our advantage. Instead, we share the joy of those who live by truth. When we have charity we are loyal, we believe the best of others, and we are kind to them. The scriptures teach that “charity never faileth.” (See 1 Corinthians 13:4–8.)

The Savior was our example of how to feel toward and treat others. He despised wickedness, but He loved sinners in spite of their sins. He had compassion for children, the elderly, the poor, and the needy. He had such great love that He could beg our Heavenly Father to forgive the soldiers who drove the nails into His hands and feet (see Luke 23:34). He taught us that if we do not forgive others, our Father in Heaven will not forgive us (see Matthew 18:33–35). He said: “I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. … For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?” (Matthew 5:44, 46). We must learn to feel toward others as Jesus did.

Developing the Virtue of Charity

  • How can we become more charitable?

For teachers: Under the heading “Developing the Virtue of Charity,” each of the first four paragraphs teaches one way we can become more charitable. If the setting allows for small group discussion, consider dividing class members or family members into groups of four. Assign one of the four paragraphs to each member of each group. Invite participants to study their assigned paragraphs individually. Ask them to think of examples, from the lives of people they know or people in the scriptures, that represent this way of becoming charitable. Then ask them to share their examples with each other in their groups.

 
One way we can become charitable is by studying the life of Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments. We can study what He did in certain situations and do the same things when we are in the same kinds of situations.

Second, when we have uncharitable feelings, we can pray to have greater charity. Mormon urges us, “Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love [charity], which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ” (Moroni 7:48).

Third, we can learn to love ourselves, which means that we understand our true worth as children of our Heavenly Father. The Savior taught that we must love others as we love ourselves (see Matthew 22:39). To love ourselves, we must respect and trust ourselves. This means that we must be obedient to the principles of the gospel. We must repent of any wrongdoings. We must forgive ourselves when we have repented. We will come to love ourselves better when we can feel the deep, comforting assurance that the Savior truly loves us.
Fourth, we can avoid thinking we are better than other people. We can have patience with their faults. Joseph Smith said, “The nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 428–29).

In the Book of Mormon we read of Enos, a young man who wanted to know that his sins had been forgiven. He tells us:

“My soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.

“And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed” (Enos 1:4–5).

The Lord explained to Enos that because of his faith in Christ his sins had been forgiven. When Enos heard these words he no longer was concerned about himself. He knew the Lord loved him and would bless him. He began instead to feel concern for the welfare of his friends and relatives, the Nephites. He poured out his whole soul unto God for them. The Lord answered and said they would be blessed according to their faithfulness in keeping the commandments they had already been given. Enos’s love increased even further after these words, and he prayed with many long strugglings for the Lamanites, who were the enemies of the Nephites. The Lord granted his desires, and he spent the rest of his life trying to save the souls of the Nephites and the Lamanites. (See Enos 1:6–26.)

Enos was so grateful for the Lord’s love and forgiveness that he willingly spent the rest of his life helping others receive this same gift. Enos had become truly charitable. We too can do so. In fact, we must do so to inherit the place that has been prepared for us in our Father’s kingdom.

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

Posted March 17, 2011 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Charity

Church’s Missionaries in Japan All Safe and Accounted For!   Leave a comment

My dear brethren,

Over the past few years, we have begun to see many of the prophetic signs given by prophets of old concerning earthquakes in diverse places come to pass, and our hearts and souls have been poured out in support through prayer, and the rapid response of both rescue workers- and other great people across the world of all faiths.

We see fulfillment of these prophetic disasters, and become quite perplexed, and suffer from the pains of knowing that good men, women and children have died or are suffering.

I know not all of us are able to do much outside of prayer (For various financially rooted hardships) but I wish to emphasize the power of prayer. Prayer is our means of communication with the Lord, and is also a commandment given of the Lord; It is no commandment to bind us down, or take away from free time, no it is all the more opposite of that. In praying, we receive blessings that simply don’t come any other way. Even though our appeals to our Father in Heaven are already known before our knees hit the ground, know that He rejoices when we lift our hearts and souls up asking for his help. He acts on fulfillment of promises he makes, of that we can be absolutely certain. Remember, in all things the Lord keeps his end of the agreement!

When addressing how he keeps his end of the agreement, the Lord said, “ I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (D & C 82:10)

In a great scriptural example of the power of prayer, we see what can happen when we do not follow the admonition to pray always. Allow me to address a story from the Book of Ether. I have mentioned this story a few times in blogs, and in classes taught, but for the purpose of placing emphasis on them, allow me yet again to remind everyone.

Many of us are very familiar with the great story of the Jaredites, both from their humble beginnings, and their horrible tragic end. This is a story that has been known since King Limhi was brought, with his people, to join the Nephites while they were under the reign of the final King of the Nephites, Mosiah. Mosiah was the seer of which Ammon said could translate the 24 plates found by the people of King Zeniff (Who was the Father of King Noah, who was the Father of King Limhi) as they sent out parties in an attempt to find the land of Zarahemla, but found only the land of Desolation.

In this great account, we see the faith of both the brother of Jared, and Jared himself, as they began to appeal to the Lord for help and direction in the face of many others who sought to build the infamous tower of Babel. The curse of the Lord came upon the people, to scatter them all- and to confound their language. Where does it begin? Lets start in Ether, Chapter 1 Verse 34. (The portions highlighting where prayer played a role, are emphasized in bold, italicized, underlined print.)

And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord, Jared, his brother, said unto him: Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words.” (Ether 1: 34)

And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared; and Jared and his brother were not confounded.” (Ether 1:35)

Then Jared said unto his brother: Cry again unto the Lord, and it may be that he will turn away his anger from them who are our friends, that he confound not their language.” (Ether 1: 36)

And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon their friends and their families also, that they were not confounded.” (Ether 1: 37)

And it came to pass that Jared spake again unto his brother, saying: Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth? And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance.” (Ether 1: 38)

So what happened? It then reads,

And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord according to that which had been spoken by the mouth of Jared.” (Ether 1: 39)

And what was the end result? The record says,

And it came to pass that the Lord did hear the brother of Jared, and had compassion upon him…” (Ether 1: 40)

It should be mentioned that not every person who prays unto the Lord will receive a response anything like unto this, but what should be understood about all our prayers is the bold, italicized and underlined portion of the last verse mentioned above (Verse 40) that, “the Lord did hear” his prayer. So let us diligently pray unto the Lord for the relief of these good people in Japan, both member and non-member alike.

We need not be utterly discouraged by disaster, and to know why I say that, seek out the 24th chapter of Matthew. The Apostles had many questions for the Lord, but the answer he gave following their appeal for enlightenment; “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24: 3)

The Master then said:

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” 
(Matthew 24: 6-7)
The focal point of those verses, is where he said, “…see that ye be not troubled…”

Let us all see to it that we are not troubled, and trust and believe that the Lord has everything under control. Let us keep faith and hope, and never fail to remember that the Lord is mindful of everyone, just as we all should be. We are commanded to love our neighbor, and in praying for our dear brethren across the world, surely the Lord will hear us. Of that we can be sure, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Below is the recent press release from the church about the disaster in Japan.

12 March 2011 — Salt Lake City

Church leaders confirmed this morning that all missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in Japan are safe and accounted for. The Church had been working diligently to make contact with missionaries in Sendai despite difficulty with communication systems and traveling in and around the city. Families and friends of the missionaries in the Sendai area had been anxiously awaiting word that their loved ones were safe. The Church released a statement yesterday saying, “our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan following the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami.”

The Church is assessing the needs of its members and others in the communities impacted by the earthquake. Hundreds of individuals have been confirmed dead and tens of thousands have been displaced. Hundreds of homes and buildings have been destroyed and strong aftershocks continue to shake the area. The 8.9 magnitude quake was the strongest quake on record in Japan.

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* 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