Archive for the ‘“Chapter 31: Honesty’ Category

Lesson For 4-10-11 "Chapter 31: Honesty," Gospel Principles   Leave a comment


     Humbly I seek the direction of the Spirit before I take it upon myself to share the Lesson for next Sunday (Scheduled to be taught by President Derrick), and I wish to share with you a few things that have weighed upon my mind.
     I remember, as a member of the Branch – trying to re-develop a desire and personal affinity of the Gospel, it was requisite that I studied the Gospel regularly. I can also recall my desire to know more and more began to grow as I made it, an every day priority, to study upon the upcoming lessons. I made it a priority to frequently request the following weeks lesson in Sunday school (In Gospel Doctrine Class) so that I could fulfill my role as a Gospel Doctrine Listener and Obeyer. As I studied the following Sunday lesson during the week, I still learned many important things.
     At some point in my return to living the standard of truth, I saw the importance of my duty to understand the lesson for myself, and not just to learn for myself, but to also demonstrate my duty to the teacher to be ready to interact and be part of the classroom environment – answering questions that the teacher would ask. No, I did not wish to never give the chance to anyone else in the class to answer questions, but I did wish for the blessings of Heaven to come into my life as I better knew for myself the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
     I also understood, that as I studied the lessons, my ability to grow closer to my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ, was magnified. The Spirit became more frequently visible (At least to notice the promptings much more often) because in learning the lessons and becoming more familiar with the doctrine, I grew in my ability to help serve others.
     If there is one thing that I ever wish to be able to hear any student in a class say, it is that they felt the Spirit, and their testimony was strengthened by their decision to attempt to learn all they could each week, by both being present for the lessons taught in class, and, studying that lesson in the week prior.
     Ours is the responsibility to come to know the truthfulness of the Gospel for ourselves. We must have a desire to grow closer to the Lord. The Lord will not drop just anything in our lap. No, its quite the contrary, and to illustrate that, I wish to share with you the admonition the Lord gave Oliver Cowdery when he was trying to understand why he could no longer translate as he did when he first commenced. In Section 9 of the Doctrine and Covenants, starting in verse 5, some wisdom is imparted unto us.

“And, behold, it is because that you did not continue as you commenced, when you began to translate, that I have taken away this privilege from you.”

I believe (In part) that Oliver had a command of serious faith and because of that (or at least in part) he could do the work of translation. What may have happened, is he lost sight of the detailed requirement of continual application of the gift, (A round the clock appeal of continual faith) to get the job done right. The scriptures note his gift as “…this is the spirit of revelation…” (D & C 8:3) Then the Lord reminds him, before his application of his gift unto the desire to translate, when he says: “…this is thy gift; apply unto it, and blessed art thou…(D & C 8:4) He also reminds Oliver, “Oh, remember these words, and keep my commandments. Remember, this is your gift.”(D & C 8:5)

Having that background, look back to Section 9: 7 when the Lord reminds him:

“Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.”

Likewise, we are admonished not to just ask for an understanding of all things when we put no effort into attempting to learn them for ourselves. It is our collective duty, to search the scriptures diligently by the Lord, and our wise Stake President- President Shumway, has oft reminded me of three things that will make our ability to live and learn in the Gospel better, and those are:

1) Be Humble

2) Be Obedient

3) Teach The Doctrine

Without living the Gospel, we can in no wise “Be Humble”. Without regular learning of the Gospel, we can in no wise “Be Obedient” to a Gospel we do not know. Finally, without the former two items, not only can we not “Teach The Doctrine” , but we also can not live it.

I pray we take our duty to ourselves, our families, and most importantly to our God, with the utmost highest level of respect and regard- Let us learn the Gospel, and then teach it. To close this, I wish to share some more scriptures with you, and then the rest of this entry will be the actual Lesson for Sunday, April 10th 2011.

All seven of the following verses, constitute an entire Section in the Doctrine & Covenants, Section 4:

1) Now behold, a amarvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.

2) Therefore, O ye that embark in the aservice of God, see that ye bserve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand cblameless before God at the last day.
3) Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are acalled to the work;
4) For behold the afield is white already to bharvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in cstore that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
5) And afaith, bhope, ccharity and dlove, with an eeye single to the fglory of God, gqualify him for the work.
6) Remember faith, avirtue, knowledge, btemperance, cpatience, dbrotherly ekindness, fgodliness, charity, ghumility, hdiligence.
7) aAsk, and ye shall receive; bknock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.
Now The Lesson:

Honesty Is a Principle of Salvation

  • What would society be like if everyone were perfectly honest?
The 13th article of faith says, “We believe in being honest.” The Book of Mormon tells us about a group of people who were “distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end” (Alma 27:27). Because of their honesty, these people were noted by their fellowmen and by God. It is important to learn what honesty is, how we are tempted to be dishonest, and how we can overcome this temptation.
Complete honesty is necessary for our salvation. President Brigham Young said, “If we accept salvation on the terms it is offered to us, we have got to be honest in every thought, in our reflections, in our meditations, in our private circles, in our deals, in our declarations, and in every act of our lives” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 293).
God is honest and just in all things (see Alma 7:20). We too must be honest in all things to become like Him. The brother of Jared testified, “Yea, Lord, I know that thou … art a God of truth, and canst not lie” (Ether 3:12). In contrast, the devil is a liar. In fact, he is the father of lies (see 2 Nephi 9:9). “Those who choose to cheat and lie and deceive and misrepresent become his slaves” (Mark E. Petersen, in Conference Report, Oct. 1971, 65; or Ensign, Dec. 1971, 73).
Honest people love truth and justice. They are honest in their words and actions. They do not lie, steal, or cheat.

To Lie Is Dishonest

Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying. The Lord gave this commandment to the children of Israel: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16). Jesus also taught this when He was on earth (see Matthew 19:18). There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.
The Lord is not pleased with such dishonesty, and we will have to account for our lies. Satan would have us believe it is all right to lie. He says, “Yea, lie a little; … there is no harm in this” (2 Nephi 28:8). Satan encourages us to justify our lies to ourselves. Honest people will recognize Satan’s temptations and will speak the whole truth, even if it seems to be to their disadvantage.

To Steal Is Dishonest

Jesus taught, “Thou shalt not steal” (Matthew 19:18). Stealing is taking something that does not belong to us. When we take what belongs to someone else or to a store or to the community without permission, we are stealing. Taking merchandise or supplies from an employer is stealing. Copying music, movies, pictures, or written text without the permission of the copyright owners is dishonest and is a form of theft. Accepting more change or goods than one should is dishonest. Taking more than our share of anything is stealing.

To Cheat Is Dishonest

We cheat when we give less than we owe, or when we get something we do not deserve. Some employees cheat their employers by not working their full time; yet they accept full pay. Some employers are not fair to their employees; they pay them less than they should. Satan says, “Take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor” (2 Nephi 28:8). Taking unfair advantage is a form of dishonesty. Providing inferior service or merchandise is cheating.

We Must Not Excuse Our Dishonesty

  • What happens to us spiritually when we excuse our dishonesty?
People use many excuses for being dishonest. People lie to protect themselves and to have others think well of them. Some excuse themselves for stealing, thinking they deserve what they took, intend to return it, or need it more than the owner. Some cheat to get better grades in school or because “everyone else does it” or to get even.
These excuses and many more are given as reasons for dishonesty. To the Lord, there are no acceptable reasons. When we excuse ourselves, we cheat ourselves and the Spirit of God ceases to be with us. We become more and more unrighteous.

We Can Be Completely Honest

  • What does it mean to be completely honest?
To become completely honest, we must look carefully at our lives. If there are ways in which we are being even the least bit dishonest, we should repent of them immediately.
When we are completely honest, we cannot be corrupted. We are true to every trust, duty, agreement, or covenant, even if it costs us money, friends, or our lives. Then we can face the Lord, ourselves, and others without shame. President Joseph F. Smith counseled, “Let every man’s life be so that his character will bear the closest inspection, and that it may be seen as an open book, so that he will have nothing to shrink from or be ashamed of” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 252).
  • In what ways does our honesty or dishonesty affect how we feel about ourselves?

Additional Scriptures

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