Archive for August 2011

Lesson For 8/21/11 – The Oath And Covenant Of The Priesthood   1 comment

The Lesson For 8/21/11 Was Originally To Be From The Gospel Principles Manual But Through Trial And Prayer, I have Found The Need To Make This A Focus For The Elders Quorum, Both For Review And For The Prospective Elders In The Quorum. Included In This Post Will Be Some Videos That Specifically Describe The Details That Come From The 84th Section Of The Doctrine And Covenants.

Before I Proceed With My Insight, Understanding, And Counsel, Let Us Hear From An Apostle Of The Lord:
(Note: Those Who Receive This Via Email Will Need To Visit The Blog To Watch The Videos:)
Elder Perry On The Priesthood: Part 1:
He mentioned some great verses from the 84th Section of the Doctrine & Covenants in that video, and I would like to list them here, then briefly discuss them after the second video by Elder Perry.

 40 Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.
 41 But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come.
 42 And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.
Now Elder Perry On The Priesthood Part 2:
There are some great things discussed in these videos, and also many things for us to ponder and pray about. In thinking about the Oath And Covenant of the Priesthood, I look back on my own mistakes, not to dwell on them but to learn from them. In the past, I asked myself, When I messed up….. when I did fall on my face, was I doing everything I should have been doing? 
Was I reading my personal scriptures, as well as scriptures with my wife, and scriptures as a family? Was I participating in Family Prayer twice a day (at least)? Was I honoring and magnifying my calling and trying to serve others? Was I paying my tithing? Was I giving a full and “Generous” fast offering? I add Generous in there because if there have ever been times in my life where the church has helped me with finances, they have always helped me without a moment of hesitation. There are others who find themselves leaning upon the welfare resources of the Church, and so it’s important that I pay a fast offering that may help another family, nomatter how or what type of help they need. Was I attending the Temple enough? I remember hearing some type of statistic, (I could be wrong about the location) but I think one time I heard that the Lubbock Stake only had 3% of its Temple Recommend Holders in active attendance. With a Temple So Close, and so readily accessible why are we not striving more to help with Baptisms for the dead? Why arent we doing endowment sessions for our kindred dead? We grow every time we enter the Holy House of the Lord.
I recognize my own need for improvement, and only pray I can serve you better. For that, I am praying. What I wish for my wonderful brethren of the Priesthood is that we might be spoken of in this loving regard:
Augusto A. Lim was a General Authority in the Church back in October of 1992 when he gave a Conference Address that spoke of how the missionaries who came to Philippines were referred to by many there, and I quote:

“Like the sons of Mosiah, “they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.” (Alma 17:2.) And “they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.” (Alma 17:3.) And “they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit.” (Alma 17:5.) But after the completion of an honorable mission, like Ammon, one of the sons of Mosiah, these missionaries can also say, “My joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.” (Alma 26:11.)”

Perhaps we all can strive to be like this. The Priesthood is in no way, a thing to be casually looked upon. There is great responsibility that comes with the Oath the Lord gives us. When the keys of the Priesthood are exercised in righteousness, and the will of the Father is in affirmation of the blessings invoked upon others, the Lord will come through for us. I have seen that very miracle already, in my life with a dear beloved Father Figure, Brother Olmsted!
In referring back to those verses of the 84th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants (Verses 40-42) President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in The First Presidency said:

Now, if you are like I was when I first heard those words as a young man, the challenge of accepting the Melchizedek Priesthood could seem daunting. There are at least two reasons why you should be confident rather than discouraged with the penalties that would follow either failing to keep the oath and covenant or deciding not to accept it. Whether you accept the oath and covenant and find it too difficult or if you fail to try, the penalty is the same. There is no question, therefore, that your best course and mine is to receive the holy priesthood and try with all of our hearts to keep its covenants. If we choose not to try, we would certainly lose the opportunity for eternal life. If we try and with God’s help succeed, we will gain eternal life.

There is yet another reason to decide now that you will try with all your heart to qualify for that oath and covenant and have confidence that you will succeed. God promises you the help and power which, if you exercise faith, will give you success.

I can admit I felt very…. weary for lack of a better term. I had hoped that as I took upon me this great responsibility, that I would not fall short of anything but pleasing to the Lord. Looking back on it now, it is obvious now the Lord is telling me (and perhaps others) that this is a blessing, rather than a mandate. All men should look upon this prestigious opportunity because greater blessings come of it! All this in combination with what is said in that same Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, but in verse 57, the Lord mentions that we need to  

“…remember the new covenant, even the Book Of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written-” (D & C 84:57)

I also recall back to when I received my Melchizedek Priesthood, the comfort that came to me in reading the words of the Lord which are also in the same section that says:

“…whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” (D & C 84:88)

Why would he go so far to aid us? Well, a fraction of understanding can be found in verse 77 when He says, “….I say unto you my friends, for from henceforth I shall call you friends…”

Continuing with what President Henry B. Eyring spoke of…. he said:

Let me describe some of the blessings you will receive as you go forward in faith.

First, the very fact that you have been offered the oath and covenant is evidence that God has chosen you, knowing your power and capacity. He has known you since you were with Him in the spirit world. With His foreknowledge of your strength, He has allowed you to find the true Church of Jesus Christ and to be offered the priesthood. You can feel confidence because you have evidence of His confidence in you.
Second, as you will try to keep your covenants, the Savior has promised His personal help. He has said that as you go forward in honoring the priesthood: “There I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” 2
You may at times need reassurance, as I do, that you will have the strength to meet your obligations in this sacred priesthood. The Lord foresaw your need for reassurance. He said, “For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.”
We can see that the importance of our obtaining the Priesthood, and then striving to live worthy of it, is crucial to our Eternal progress. Without the Melchizedek Priesthood, we cannot be sealed to our beloved spouse and be bound together for all time and eternity. If we dont get sealed in the Temple to our spouse then we lose additional blessings and promises. (See D & C Section 132) 
There is so much more that could be included in this particular blog, but I invite 
you all to read and study not just The Oath and Covenant Of The Priesthood but all 
of the standard works. Your testimony will grow, your affinity for feeling the Spirit, 
and doing the will of the Father will become more prevalent. This I know to be 
despite my imperfections. I leave that testimony with you in the name of Jesus
Christ, Amen.

Accountability For Our Actions, Accountability For Our Stake   2 comments

Brothers and Sisters,

Coming up in October of this year (2011) marks a pivotal and monumental time for me in my personal life. Next to the decision of marriage, I cannot see where there ever was a more important time in my life where a decision to own up for my sins, shortcomings, offenses, mistakes and any other word that could fit into the vocabulary of those who literally live with enmity between themselves and the Supreme Being, The Lord Jesus Christ, could mean so much. Indeed, could have so much more profound an impact on how the future of my life would pan out. 
The scriptures remind us that, “…the natural man is an enemy to God…” and the scripture that reminds us of this, also tells us why, “…and has been from the fall of Adam…”. (Mosiah 3:19) And though Adam did fall, there was a greater purpose behind all things that happened in that fashion. In short, the Book Of Mormon Prophet said it best, when he said, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2nd Nephi 2:25)

This is a basic reminder of a common fault that all mankind has, but we sometimes forget that though we have made the mistake, we can correct it. 

That brings me back to the first item on the list which is also the first word of the title of this blog entry. Where does accountability sit in the list of things that the scriptures list are needed to return to our Heavenly Father? Let us look back at the first scripture I mentioned in this blog. I encourage you to open to it in your personal scriptures, and if you do not have this scripture marked, mark it now. Turn to Mosiah 3:19. It reads as follows:

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

Let us first address the “…yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit…”. I know in this day and age, the word “yield” or anything close to it, say “submit”, is far from anything that any “Man” (Speaking more directly of the imperfection and impurity that we are naturally full of, and not so much towards gender) in this day and age would ever want to surrender. Our pride, indeed our very nature demands -the world might say- that we are opposed to anything that is something outside of what we can see, or touch and feel. Very rarely do we realistically wish to completely look far enough down the road to see just whether or not we can make it without putting our vehicle at a complete stop when the sign only reads “Yield”. So what does the word “Yield” mean?

If we use Yield as a verb with reference to an object, some definitions read:

1) : “to give up, as to superior power or authority”
2) : “to give up or surrender (oneself)”

Now, if we use Yield as a verb without reference to an object, some definitions read:

1) : “to surrender or submit, as to superior power”
2) : “to give way to influence, entreaty, argument, or the like”
3) : “to give place or precedence”

In all of those definitions, you will notice “To give up”, or “To surrender”, and even, “To give way or place”. Are those any words of which any man likes to use in reference to himself doing the will of another? If we yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, nothing but good can come of it. But why is that thought so unpopular? 

Allow me to share with you, a powerful way that Elder Jeffrey Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once shared the significance of yielding to the will of another. In his reference, he refers to the Savior, and we can tie that into yielding to the enticing of the Holy Spirit, because that Spirit helps us to know and then do the Lords will.

“I Have Suffered the Will of the Father”
Let me take a moment to set the stage. I use the word advisedly. I want to imply divine theater. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown [them]!” (Nature [1836], section 1).
In the spirit of that very provocative thought, I invite you to consider another startling–and much more important scene that should evoke belief and adoration, a scene which, like the stars at night, we have undoubtedly taken too much for granted. Imagine yourselves to be among the people of Nephi living in the land of Bountiful in approximately A.D. 34. Tempests and earthquakes and whirlwinds and storms, quickened and cut by thunder and sharp lightning, have enveloped the entire face of the land.
Some cities–entire cities–have burst into flames as if by spontaneous combustion. Others have disappeared into the sea, never to be seen again. Still others are completely covered over with mounds of soil, and some have been carried away with the wind.
The whole face of the land has been changed, the entire earth around you has been deformed. Then, as you and your neighbors are milling about the temple grounds (a place that has suddenly seemed to many like a very good place to be), you hear a voice and see a man clothed in a white robe descending out of heaven. It is a dazzling display. He seems to emanate the very essence of light and life itself–a splendor in sharp contrast to the three days of death and darkness just witnessed.
He speaks and says simply, with a voice that penetrates the very marrow of your bones, “I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world” (3 Nephi 11:10).
There it is–or, more correctly speaking, there he is! He is the focal point and principal figure behind every fireside and devotional and family home evening held by those Nephites for the last six hundred years, and by their Israelite forefathers for thousands of years before that.
Everyone has talked of him and sung of him and dreamed of him and prayed–but here he actually is. This is the day, and yours is the generation. What a moment! But you find you are less inclined to check the film in your camera than you are to check the faith in your heart.
“I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.” Of all the messages that could come from the scroll of eternity, what has he brought to us? Get a pencil. Where’s my notebook? Turn on every tape recorder in town.
He speaks:
I am the light and the life of the world; . . . I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of. the world, . . . I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

That is it. Just a few lines. Only fifty-two words. “And. . . when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth” (3 Nephi 11:11-­12).
This introductory utterance from the resurrected Son of God constitutes my only text today. I have thought very often about this moment in Nephite history. I cannot think it either accident or mere whimsy that the Good Shepherd in his newly exalted state, appearing to a most significant segment of his flock, chooses first to speak of his obedience, his deference, his loyalty, and loving submission to his father. In an initial and profound moment of spellbinding wonder, when surely he had the attention of every man, woman, and child as far as the eye could see, his submission to his father is the first and most important thing he wishes us to know about himself.
Frankly, I am a bit haunted by the thought that this is the first and most important thing he may want to know about us when ‘we meet him one day in similar fashion. Did we obey, even if it was painful? Did we submit, even if the cup was bitter indeed? Did we yield to a vision higher and holier than our own, even when we may have seen no vision in it at all?
One by one he invites us to feel the wounds in his hands and his feet and his side. And as we pass and touch and wonder, perhaps he whispers, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
If such cross-bearing self-denial was, by definition, the most difficult thing Christ or any man has ever had to do, an act of submission that would, by the Savior’s own account, cause him, “God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit” –if yielding and obeying and bowing to divine will holds only that ahead, then no wonder that even the Only Begotten Son of the true and living God “would that [he] might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink” (D&C 19:18)!
Even as we rehearse this greatest of all personal sacrifices, you can be certain that with some in this world it is not fashionable nor flattering to speak of submitting–to anybody or anything. At the threshold of the twenty-first century it sounds wrong on the face of it. It sounds feeble and wimpish. It just isn’t the American way.
As Elder Neal A. Maxwell wrote recently,
In today’s society, at the mere mention of the words obedience and submissiveness hackles rise and people are put on nervous alert. . . . People promptly furnish examples from secular history to illustrate how obedience to unwise authority and servility to bad leaders have caused much human misery and suffering. It is difficult, therefore, to get a hearing for what the words obedience and submissiveness really mean–even when the clarifying phrase, “to God,” is attached. [“Not My Will, But Thine” (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), p. 1]
(The will of the Father In All Things; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland BYU devotional 17th January 1989)

Accountability is shown of the Savior when he speaks about doing all that the Father has asked to be done. And the Savior, being that great and shining example to us all- indeed the Israelites forefathers, the Nephites and every man woman and child who has lived or ever will yet live. So what does Accountable mean? If we check our dictionaries, I feel the definition that will suffice is : 

responsible to someone or for some action; answerable

The Lord is sure to help us answer for what we ourselves could not do. He led the way in that example, a great sacrifice it was…. a powerful and profound amount of pain and suffering to answer for our actions as mankind was from the beginning, an enemy to God.

Now that we have the understanding of yield, and submission, and accountability- I suppose we ought to know for what and unto what degree we are to be accountable for. The Lord, throughout the entire standard works of his Gospel, the Scriptures, gives us laws and commandments. We learn precepts, wisdom, traditions and the means of making them all to work for our benefit. 

Did I just say benefit? Yes! The Gospel is for our benefit! Its not a code of restrictions, although some of the people in the world, perhaps a few of us here and there see the Gospel as a restrictive lifestyle as opposed to the real way it should be viewed- a real guide to the real path of happiness. Its no wonder why the scriptures, the word of God is referenced the way it is. As Nephi said:

“… I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.”

Every portion of his description was of a good thing. The word of God, the scriptures…. His very Gospel led to the tree of life: “The Love Of God.” how much better could we hope to get? None.

Our beloved Stake President, President Shumway, has expressed the will of the Lord for the Lubbock Texas Stake- And make no mistake, it is the will of the Lord. All things in “The Vision Of The Vine” are in store for the Lubbock Texas Stake and the will of the Lord will happen whether we are on the bandwagon or not. Though this work is not going to be easy, it certainly will be worth it.

It reminds me of a phrase my Step-Father continually told me and my siblings growing up. In talking about all the work involved in the Gospel, he said that the Lord could probably be quoted somewhere along the lines of eternity as saying, 

I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.”  

Really, the keys to “The Vision Of The Vine” are told us not just by President Shumway’s council, but also throughout the scriptures. No man can be taught a doctrine he is not willing to learn, and to learn something, one must understand it. You cannot understand something unless you dedicate some portion of time in studying it. It’s a principle that we all know well, because it was the first thing that allowed us to take Moroni’s challenge. Like our fore bearers, we read, then asked our Heavenly Father, in the name of Christ if those things of which we were reading were true. In doing so, we demonstrated to the Father that we were Humble enough to seek direction outside our own temporal wisdom. 

Humility is the first of those three keys, and make no mistake, we cannot even touch the door handle of the next step, or key, in “The Vision Of The Vine” until we have adopted and put into action that first key. 

The second key that President Shumway has said was crucial to “The Vision Of The Vine” , is one that we all should know well, because it is “The first law of Heaven” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland; The will of the Father in all things: 17 Jan 1989) That first law of Heaven is “Obedience”. We can all too easily push off the significance of just how important this law is, and in doing so, rob ourselves the chance to grow more- even when that law of obedience means throwing all we have thought was wisdom in us, and seeking for the wisdom of the Lord. To best illustrate this law, allow me to share another segment where  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland talks about just how hard and uncomfortable that can be!

It is as follows:

As the Great Exemplar and Daystar of our lives, is it any wonder that Christ chooses first and foremost to define himself in relation to his father–that he loved him and obeyed him and submitted to him like the loyal son he was? And what he as a child of God did, we must try very hard to do also.

Obedience is the first law of heaven, but in case you haven’t noticed, some of these commandments are not easy, and we frequently may seem to be in for much more than we bargained for. At least if we are truly serious about becoming a saint, I think we will find that is the case.

Let me use an example from what is often considered by foes, and even by some friends, as the most unsavory moment in the entire Book of Mormon. I choose it precisely because there is so much in it that has given offense to many. It is pretty much a bitter cup all the way around.

I speak of Nephi’s obligation to slay Laban in order to preserve a record, save a people, and ultimately lead to the restoration of the gospel in the dispensation of the fulness of times. How much is hanging in the balance as Nephi stands over the drunken and adversarial Laban I cannot say, but it is a very great deal indeed.

The only problem is that we know this, but Nephi does not. And regardless of how much is at stake, how can. he do this thing? He is a good person, perhaps even a well-educated person. He has been taught from the very summit of Sinai “Thou shalt not kill.” And he has made gospel covenants.

“1 was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but . . . I shrunk and would that I might not slay him” (1 Nephi 4:10). A bitter test? A desire to shrink? Sound familiar? We don’t know why those plates could not have been obtained some other way–perhaps accidentally left at the plate polishers one night or maybe falling out the back of Laban’s chariot on a Sabbath afternoon.

For that matter, why didn’t Nephi just leave this story out of the book altogether? Why didn’t he say something like, “And after much effort and anguish of spirit, I did obtain the plates of Laban and did depart into the wilderness unto the tent of my father?” At the very least he might have buried the account somewhere in the Isaiah chapters, thus guaranteeing that it would have gone undiscovered up to this very day.

But there it is, squarely in the beginning of the book–page 8–where even the most casual reader will see it and must deal with it. It is not intended that either Nephi or we be spared the struggle of this account.

I believe that story was placed in the very opening verses of a 531-page book and then told in painfully specific detail in order to focus every reader of that record on the absolutely fundamental gospel issue of obedience and submission to the communicated will of the Lord. If Nephi cannot yield to this terribly painful command, if he cannot bring himself to obey, then it is entirely probable that he can never succeed or survive in the tasks that lie just ahead.

“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” (1 Nephi 3:7). I confess that I wince a little when I hear that promise quoted so casually among us. Jesus knew what that kind of commitment would entail, and so now does Nephi. And so will a host of others before it is over. That vow took Christ to the cross on Calvary, and it remains at the heart of every Christian covenant. “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.” Well, we shall see.

Did you catch the significance of what Elder Holland was sharing?

That is just what Obedience is! Now, Am I, or anyone else on this planet perfect? Absolutely not. Can we do more to secure the blessings the Lord has prepared only through obedience to the principles of which He has set? You bet we can!

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:

Joseph Smith taught the following in April 1843, later recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 130:20–21: “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”

He also taught in similar manner:

“All blessings that were ordained for man by the Council of Heaven were on conditions of obedience to the law thereof.”  (Discourse given by Joseph Smith on July 16, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Franklin D. Richards, in Franklin Dewey Richards, Scriptural Items, ca. 1841–44, Church Archives.)

That is a good measure of what Obedience is, but the Prophet Joseph Smith taught much more on that subject. I invite you to read about it, in The teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Chapter 13: Obedience, “When The Lord Commands, Do It.”

The final of the three keys to “The Vision Of The Vine” is Teach (And might I add Live) the pure doctrine. There was a phrase mentioned by President Gordon B. Hinkley, in which he said, “Keep the doctrine pure.” We are all teachers in some way and teachers can keep the doctrine pure by using the scriptures, as well as official words and documents that have been written and given to us from the prophets and apostles. They also share the fruits and blessings that will be received as the doctrine is taught with purity.

It is my testimony to you that we can see “The Vision Of The Vine” through. Plainview is that torch between the Lubbock and Amarillo Stakes, and when we adhere to the 3 Keys Of The Vision Of The Vine, Tied In harmony with our living the principles that President Shumway has placed great emphasis on, which I later drafted into a document I named “The Shumway Sequence” we will see the hand of the Lord work miracles in our lives. I know we will see it, but we must be willing to do all things the Lords way, as instructed to us through our beloved Stake President, President Shumway, and his wise counselors President Kimball and President McCombs. I know this to be true, down to the fibers of my soul. I leave that testimony with you, in the only name under Heaven in which mankind can be saved, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Lesson For 8/14/11 : Family Responsibilities   Leave a comment

Responsibilities of the Parents

    What responsibilities do husbands and wives share in raising their children?
Each person has an important place in his or her family. Through prophets the Lord has explained how fathers, mothers, and children should behave and feel toward one another. As husbands, wives, and children, we need to learn what the Lord expects us to do to fulfill our purpose as a family. If we all do our part, we will be united eternally.

For teachers: As with chapter 36, be sensitive to the feelings of those who do not have ideal situations at home. Emphasize that with guidance from the Lord and help from family members and the Church, single parents can successfully raise their children.

In the sacred responsibilities of parenthood, “fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). They should work together to provide for the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical needs of the family.
Some responsibilities must be shared by the husband and the wife. Parents should teach their children the gospel. The Lord warned that if parents do not teach their children about faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, the sin will be upon the heads of the parents. Parents should also teach their children to pray and to obey the Lord’s commandments. (See D&C 68:25, 28.)
One of the best ways parents can teach their children is by example. Husbands and wives should show love and respect for each other and for their children by both actions and words. It is important to remember that each member of the family is a child of God. Parents should treat their children with love and respect, being firm but kind to them.
Parents should understand that sometimes children will make wrong choices even after they have been taught the truth. When this happens, parents should not give up. They should continue to teach their children, to express love for them, to be good examples to them, and to fast and pray for them.
The Book of Mormon tells us how the prayers of a father helped a rebellious son return to the ways of the Lord. Alma the Younger had fallen away from the teachings of his righteous father, Alma, and had gone about seeking to destroy the Church. The father prayed with faith for his son. Alma the Younger was visited by an angel and repented of his evil way of living. He became a great leader of the Church. (See Mosiah 27:8–32.)
Parents can provide an atmosphere of reverence and respect in the home if they teach and guide their children with love. Parents should also provide happy experiences for their children.
    How can husbands and wives support each other in their roles? Where can single parents turn for support?

Responsibilities of the Father

    What positive examples have you seen of fathers raising their children?
“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). A worthy father who is a member of the Church has the opportunity to hold the priesthood, making him the priesthood leader of his family. He should guide his family with humility and kindness rather than with force or cruelty. The scriptures teach that those who hold the priesthood should lead others by persuasion, gentleness, love, and kindness (see D&C 121:41–44Ephesians 6:4).
The father shares the blessings of the priesthood with the members of his family. When a man holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, he can share these blessings by administering to the sick and giving special priesthood blessings. Under the direction of a presiding priesthood leader, he can bless babies, baptize, confirm, and perform priesthood ordinations. He should set a good example for his family by keeping the commandments. He should also make sure the family prays together twice daily and holds family home evening.
The father should spend time with each child individually. He should teach his children correct principles, talk with them about their problems and concerns, and counsel them lovingly. Some good examples are found in the Book of Mormon (see 2 Nephi 1:14–3:25Alma 36–42).
It is also the father’s duty to provide for the physical needs of his family, making sure they have the necessary food, housing, clothing, and education. Even if he is unable to provide all the support himself, he does not give up the responsibility of the care of his family.

Responsibilities of the Mother

    What positive examples have you seen of mothers raising their children?
President David O. McKay said that motherhood is the noblest calling (seeTeachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay [2003], 156). It is a sacred calling, a partnership with God in bringing His spirit children into the world. Bearing children is one of the greatest of all blessings. If there is no father in the home, the mother presides over the family.
President Boyd K. Packer praised women who were unable to have children of their own yet sought to care for others. He said: “When I speak of mothers, I speak not only of those women who have borne children, but also of those who have fostered children born to others, and of the many women who, without children of their own, have mothered the children of others” (Mothers [1977], 8).
Latter-day prophets have taught, “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). A mother needs to spend time with her children and teach them the gospel. She should play and work with them so they can discover the world around them. She also needs to help her family know how to make the home a pleasant place to be. If she is warm and loving, she helps her children feel good about themselves.
The Book of Mormon describes a group of 2,000 young men who rose to greatness because of the teachings of their mothers (see Alma 53:16–23). Led by the prophet Helaman, they went into battle against their enemies. They had learned to be honest, brave, and trustworthy from their mothers. Their mothers also taught them that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them (see Alma 56:47). They all survived the battle. They expressed faith in the teachings of their mothers, saying, “We do not doubt our mothers knew it” (Alma 56:48). Every mother who has a testimony can have a profound effect on her children.

Responsibilities of the Children

    How do children help their parents build a happy home?
Children share with their parents the responsibilities of building a happy home. They should obey the commandments and cooperate with other family members. The Lord is not pleased when children quarrel (seeMosiah 4:14).
The Lord has commanded children to honor their parents. He said, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land” (Exodus 20:12). To honor parents means to love and respect them. It also means to obey them. The scriptures tell children to “obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1).
President Spencer W. Kimball said that children should learn to work and to share responsibilities in the home and yard. They should be given assignments to keep the house neat and clean. (See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 120.)
    What should children do to honor and respect their parents?
    What did your parents do that led you to honor and respect them?

Accepting Responsibilities Brings Blessings

    What can each member of the family do to make home a happy place?
A loving and happy family does not happen by accident. Each person in the family must do his or her part. The Lord has given responsibilities to both parents and children. The scriptures teach that we must be thoughtful, cheerful, and considerate of others. When we speak, pray, sing, or work together, we can enjoy the blessings of harmony in our families. (See Colossians 3.)
    What are some traditions and practices that can make home a happy place?

Additional Scriptures and Other Sources

    Proverbs 22:6 (train up a child)
    Ephesians 6:1–3 (children are to obey parents)
    D&C 68:25–28Ephesians 6:4 (responsibilities of parents)
    “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” (available on and in many Church publications, including Ensign, Nov. 1995, page 102;For the Strength of Youth [item number 36550], page 44; and True to the Faith [item number 36863], pages 59–61)
    Family Guidebook (item number 31180)

Posted August 14, 2011 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in 8/14/11 Lesson

Elder Marion D. Hanks dies at age 89   Leave a comment

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}




/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;


The news I have here is sad news…. one of our great General Authorities,
Elder Marion D. Hanks has passed away. (This happened Friday- But I got the
news today. In light of getting this news, regardless of the hour, I knew the
information needed to be shared.)

Before I list the story, here is some information to shed some brief light
on the extent of Elder Hanks service just up until 1980:

He served for several years as a Presidential Appointee on the United
States President’s Citizens Advisory Committee on Children and Youth, and on
the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In 1978 he was
presented the Distinguished Service Award of the President’s Council “in
recognition of outstanding contributions to the National Program of Physical
Fitness and Sports.” 

He has been a speaker and consultant at youth conferences
throughout the United States and in foreign countries and has participated in a
number of White House Conferences on Children and Youth.

In Scouting, Elder Hanks serves as a member of the National Executive
Board, as Chairman of the National Camping and Outdoors Committee, and as a
member of the Business and Finance Committees of the Boy Scouts of America. He
has been awarded the Silver Beaver, the Silver Antelope, the Order of the
Arrow, and in 1973 was presented the first honorary award of the National Eagle
Scout Association “in recognition of his distinguished service to scouting.”

Past president of Salt Lake City Rotary Club, he was District Governor of
Rotary for 1977–78.

Among his civic services, Elder Hanks was the first chairman of the Utah
Committee on Children and Youth, board member of Weber State College and
Southern Utah State College, and member of the Snow College Institutional
Council. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Brigham Young
University and the Church Board of Education. He has served on numerous civic
boards and committees, and holds the Minuteman Award from the Utah National

Elder Hanks holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Utah. He
has been for many years a teacher and has been awarded honorary degrees or
awards from Utah State University, Weber State College and Ricks College. He
and his family spent several years in England and Europe in Church leadership

During World War II Elder Hanks served aboard a submarine chaser in the
Pacific. He has since visited servicemen at their bases in many parts of the world.
He is now serving as Military Relations Representative of the Church; and has
served as Director of the Youth Program, worldwide.

Elder Hanks married Maxine Christensen in the Mormon Temple in Hawaii.
They are the parents of four married daughters and one son.

Here is the story:

A submarine chaser in the Navy during World War II, Elder Marion D. Hanks
risked his life to fly into hot combat zones during the Vietnam War to minister
to LDS soldiers.

When a few of the first letters he wrote back to the families of soldiers
didn’t arrive until after the soldiers were killed in action, Elder Hanks took
to staying up late into the night dictating the letters. Each morning, he put
the tapes on a plane back to Utah, where his secretary would immediately type
and send the letters.

“I can tell you by experience in my own family that a letter from a
General Authority who has recently visited your ‘loved one’ in the field in
Vietnam is a morale-builder,” Army Col. Russell Meacham said in the book
Saints at War about the letter sent by Elder Hanks to Meacham’s family.

Elder Hanks, who served for nearly 40 years as a General Authority of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Friday in Salt Lake City, a
week after suffering a stroke, surrounded by family members who recalled his
remarkable capacity for ministering to the one.

“His intellect was just incredible, enormous, but his ability to touch
the individual person in a personal way was his greatest legacy,” his son
Richard D. Hanks said Friday night. “The person before him always had his
full devotion.”

A mentor to apostles, a teacher and an athlete, Elder Hanks was the oldest
living member of the Quorum of the Seventy nearly 60 years after joining what
then was the First Council of the Seventy on Oct. 4, 1953, at the tender age of
31, one of the youngest men called to serve as a General Authority in the
latter half of the 20th Century.

“The church lost a valued and respected leader, educator and friend
with the passing of Elder Marion D. Hanks,” the church’s First Presidency
said in a statement released late Friday afternoon. “He was an admired
leader who served in numerous church callings, including the Presidency of the
First Quorum of the Seventy and as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles. We extend our sincere condolences to his wife, Maxine, and their

In the early 1960s, Elder Hanks served as president of the British Mission.
Among the missionaries he mentored were Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder
Quentin L. Cook, now both members of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve.

“President Hanks had a profound influence on my life,” Elder
Holland once said, “as he did upon all the missionaries.”

“Elder Hanks was the most incredible teacher and learner that I have
ever known,” said Richard G. Whitehead, who also served as a missionary
under Elder Hanks.

“I don’t know of anyone who has had an influence on me — or believes in
youth — like this man,” said Whitehead, now vice president of
Institutional Advancement at Southern Virginia University. “He just had
the capacity to instill in everyone the desire to do their  best.”

Whitehead recalled that Elder Hanks encouraged the missionaries to memorize
worthwhile writings that could help shape their lives. “Thankfully, I
did,” Whitehead said Friday, recalling this quote from Samuel Johnson:

 “The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who
hath so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing
anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and
multiply the grief he proposes to remove.”

 Elder Hanks also served as an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve
from 1968 to 1976 and twice served in the presidency of the Seventy — from 1976
to 1980, and from 1984 until he was given emeritus status on Oct. 3, 1992.

 Elder Hanks had been the oldest living member of the First Quorum of
Seventy and the second-oldest General Authority. Former church patriarch Eldred
G. Smith, also an emeritus General Authority, is 104.

Born in Salt Lake City on Oct. 13, 1921, Elder Hanks was a son of Stanley
Alonzo and Maude Frame Hanks. His father was a prominent municipal judge who
died when Elder Hanks was 2. His widowed mother reared six of the seven
children to maturity. Elder Hanks was the youngest.

 Elder Hanks returned from World War II to earn a law degree at the University
of Utah. He and his wife, the former Maxine Christensen, are the parents of
five children.

 An author and compelling speaker, he also wrote the lyrics to one of
the church’s hymns, “That Easter Morn,” was honored with the Silver
Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America and served as president of the Salt
Lake Temple from 1982-85.

 Asked in 1993 by Dennis Lythgoe of the Deseret News what he thought
his epitaph could read, Elder Hanks was hesitant to answer but offered a few

 “A teacher affects eternity. (It’s definitely the most fun I’ve
ever had.)”

 “We live on in the lives we have influenced for good.”

 “Through Christ he early caught a glimpse of what man might be.
His generous investment as a teacher produced rich dividends in the lives of

 “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be
withholden from thee … but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.” — Job 42:1-6.

 “I would have ended my last general conference address with Job
but didn’t have the time. I think these verses mean that Job sees that what he
did pales beside that of the Savior. If I had anything on my epitaph, I would
be happy with these verses from Job.”

 Funeral services are being planned for Aug. 13.

 After receiving emeritus status, Elder Hanks became chairman of the
Ouelessebougou Mali-Utah alliance group, which has supported a program of
community service for a consortium of villages in Mali, West Africa.

In addition, he chaired the International Enterprise Development Foundation,
which assists people in the Philippines and Third World countries in
establishing small-business and other economic improvement efforts.

 In April 1993, he received an honorary doctorate of Christian service
as the main speaker at BYU’s graduation.

 Elder Hanks had also continued as a public speaker in his later years.
For example, in 2002, he gave a talk titled, “I Do Not Do My Work in the
Spirit of Benefaction but of Atonement” (a quotation from Albert
Schweitzer), at Utah Valley State College in Orem.

 He received BYU’s David M. Kennedy Public Service Award in 1995. When
he received that award, Ray Hillam, Kennedy Center associate and emeritus BYU
faculty member. said, “The career of Marion D. Hanks has been a career of
service. We cannot recognize all of his accomplishments. They are legion.
However, the center wishes to honor Marion D. Hanks for his service in two
specific areas: refugee work and rural and free enterprise development.”

 LDS-oriented Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista has also
honored Elder Hanks with its Leader-Servant Award.

 Elder Hanks was executive director of the Priesthood Department at the
time he received emeritus status. He had also been executive director of the
Correlation Department and chairman of the Communications Coding Committee.

 As a youth, he won the Utah State Marble Championship, attended West
High School and was offered a basketball scholarship to the University of Utah,
but declined to serve a church mission.

 His mission to the Northern States was cut short by World War II. He
served in the Navy where he was group leader of 600 LDS servicemen.

 On another assignment, while on an extended tour through the South
Pacific, he was the only LDS member aboard a submarine chaser. Appointed acting
chaplain by the ship’s captain, he conducted weekly services, attracting many
of the crew. He achieved the rank of first class petty officer.

 He received a law degree from the University of Utah. in 1948. While
at the university, he was active in Delta Phi, the returned missionaries’
social fraternity. He later was an adviser to this group.

 He never practiced law, but worked for the church’s seminary and institute
system until becoming a general authority.

 As a general authority, he served for a number of years as military
relations representative of the church.

His service in the Navy is credited with his introduction to his wife-to-be,
Maxine Christensen, who was living in Hawaii with her parents at the time.
Their four-year courtship led to marriage in the Hawaii Temple on Aug. 27,
1949. They were the parents of four daughters and a son.

 After returning from the service, Elder Hanks continued his schooling
and entered the teaching profession, becoming a principal and teacher of the
seminary at West High. He was also an instructor at the Institute of Religion
at the University of Utah.

 He held these positions at the time of his call to the First Council
of the Seventy. He remained as an institute teacher until 1970.

“I grew up participating in all kinds of sports, partly because of the
example of my brother, who was an outstanding athlete, and partly because it
was born in us, I guess,” Elder Hanks said in a 1984 Church News
interview. He was a member of the 19th Ward basketball team that won the
all-Church championship in 1947.

 Elder Hanks also earned his Master M-Man award and during June
conferences of the MIA performed a number of special services for the MIA
general boards.

 For a number of years at the Mission Home, Elder Hanks taught classes
in the Book of Mormon and conducted a “difficult” questions class.

 He was a popular fireside speaker at the time of his call as a general
authority and was noted for his attention-holding style of speech and for his
rapport with audiences, especially young people.

 Elder Hanks was active in numerous civic programs and was especially
active in Scouting. He formerly served on Scouting’s National Executive Board
and International Committee and also was a member of the National Advisory
Board. In 1988, he received the Silver Buffalo, the highest honor of the Boy
Scouts of America, for nationwide service to youth.

 He also was chairman of the Deseret Gym board and in February 1995
spoke at the gym’s 85th anniversary open house.

 Elder Hanks and his wife also founded the Hanks Foundation, a Salt
Lake humanitarian group.


This news is monumental, and as sad as the loss is here for us, it’s only a
temporary loss. We simply must recognize how the other side of the Veil now has
another missionary ready to preach the gospel alongside other prophets and
apostles who have also fulfilled their callings here on earth, to answer the
call on the other side.

May our prayers be with the Hanks family, and may the Lord bless him

"Love at Home—Counsel from Our Prophet" : Lesson For August 7th, 2011   Leave a comment

Love at Home

Blessed Family Life

“When we have sampled much and have wandered far and have seen how fleeting and sometimes superficial a lot of the world is, our gratitude grows for the privilege of being part of something we can count on—home and family and the loyalty of loved ones. We come to know what it means to be bound together by duty, by respect, by belonging. We learn that nothing can fully take the place of the blessed relationship of family life.”1

Sharing Our Love

“Give your child a compliment and a hug; say, ‘I love you’ more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Friends move away, children grow up, loved ones pass on. It’s so easy to take others for granted, until that day when they’re gone from our lives and we are left with feelings of ‘what if’ and ‘if only.’ …
“Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey and share our love with friends and family. One day, each of us will run out of tomorrows. Let us not put off what is most important.”2

Showing Our Love

“Brethren, let’s treat our wives with dignity and with respect. They’re our eternal companions. Sisters, honor your husbands. They need to hear a good word. They need a friendly smile. They need a warm expression of true love. …
“To you who are parents, I say, show love to your children. You know you love them, but make certain they know it as well. They are so precious. Let them know. Call upon our Heavenly Father for help as you care for their needs each day and as you deal with the challenges which inevitably come with parenthood. You need more than your own wisdom in rearing them.”3

Expressing Our Love

“To you parents, express your love to your children. Pray for them that they may be able to withstand the evils of the world. Pray that they may grow in faith and testimony. Pray that they may pursue lives of goodness and of service to others.
“Children, let your parents know you love them. Let them know how much you appreciate all they have done and continue to do for you.”4

What Is Most Important

“What is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, ‘They do not love that do not show their love.’ We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.”5

Bringing Heaven Closer

“May our families and homes be filled with love: love of each other, love of the gospel, love of our fellowman, and love of our Savior. As a result, heaven will be a little closer here on earth.
“May we make of our homes sanctuaries to which our family members will ever want to return.”6

A Prayer for Families

“Inasmuch as the family unit is under attack in the world today, and many things long held sacred are ridiculed, we ask Thee, our Father, to make us equal to the challenges we face, that we may stand strong for truth and righteousness. May our homes be havens of peace, of love and of spirituality.”7

Teaching from This Message

In one type of learning activity, “the teacher presents a question or situation and gives learners a short amount of time to freely suggest solutions or ideas” (Teaching, No Greater Call [1999], 160). As you read this article with the family, ask them to listen for counsel or ideas that impress them. Family members could then suggest ways to increase love in their home. Consider inviting the family to review these ideas in an upcoming family home evening.

Mother Rescued Us

When I was six, my little sister and I were watching our older sister’s basketball game. My dad left, and then we decided that we wanted to go home with him, so we ran after him in the rain. When we couldn’t find him, we went back to the gym to go home with our mom, but by the time we entered the gym, everyone in the building was gone.
I remember huddling in a doorframe, trying to get my little sister and me out of the rain, praying that someone would come. Then I remember hearing the door to our red van slam shut, and we went running toward the sound. Then came one of the most vivid childhood memories I have: our mother enfolding us in her arms “as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings” (3 Nephi 10:4). My mother had rescued us, and I never felt more secure than I did at that moment.
As I think of her influence on me, I see that my mother’s life has pointed me toward the Savior and has shown me what it means to “lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5). She relied on Jesus Christ, who gave her strength “beyond [her] own” (“Lord, I Would Follow Thee,” Hymns, no. 220).
I never felt more secure than I did at the moment my mother enfolded us in her arms.

The Shumway Sequence


“…Humble yourselves before the Lord…call upon His holy name…watch and pray continually… and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all longsuffering.” (Alma 13:28)


“Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall see and know that which was conferred upon you.” (Doctrine & Covenants Section 67:14)


“And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17)


“…exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.” (Alma 32:27 –Faith)

“I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good- yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously ; and this is my Spirit.”(Doctrine & Covenants Section 11:12 – Trust)


“And this is the manner after which [we] were ordained – being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; …therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling…which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.” (Alma 13:3)