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

 Brethren,

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

The Gifts of the Spirit

  • • What spiritual gifts does the Lord give us?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gift of Healing (D&C 46:19–20)

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

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

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

The Gift of Faith (Moroni 10:11)

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

  • • Why does the Lord give us spiritual gifts?

We Can Develop Our Gifts

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

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

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

Satan Imitates the Gifts of the Spirit

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

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

We Must Be Careful with Our Gifts of the Spirit

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

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

Additional Scriptures

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Plainview Branch Elders & High Priest Lessons By Date:

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

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

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

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

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

12-26-10 : To Be Announced