Monday, November 30, 2009

Teacher's Corner

This Sunday's lesson was taught by the Bishop. He encouraged us to work on our personal spirituality. Here is the video he shared.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Martyrdom: The Prophet Seals His Testimony with His Blood

God protected Joseph Smith until his earthly mission was complete.
In October 1843, the Prophet said: “I defy all the world to destroy the work of God; and I prophesy they never will have power to kill me till my work is accomplished, and I am ready to die.”
Before his death, Joseph Smith conferred upon the Twelve Apostles every priesthood key and power that the Lord had sealed upon him.
Parley P. Pratt, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, wrote: “This great and good man was led, before his death, to call the Twelve together, from time to time, and to instruct them in all things pertaining to the kingdom, ordinances, and government of God. He often observed that he was laying the foundation, but it would remain for the Twelve to complete the building. Said he, ‘I know not why; but for some reason I am constrained to hasten my preparations, and to confer upon the Twelve all the ordinances, keys, covenants, endowments, and sealing ordinances of the priesthood, and so set before them a pattern in all things pertaining to the sanctuary [the temple] and the endowment therein.’
“Having done this, he rejoiced exceedingly; for, said he, the Lord is about to lay the burden on your shoulders and let me rest awhile; and if they kill me, continued he, the kingdom of God will roll on, as I have now finished the work which was laid upon me, by committing to you all things for the building up of the kingdom according to the heavenly vision, and the pattern shown me from heaven.”
The Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum lived great and died great for their testimonies of the gospel.
Doctrine and Covenants 135:3 Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!
Joseph Smith fulfilled his earthly mission and sealed his testimony with his blood.

George Albert Smith, the eighth President of the Church, declared: “Joseph Smith performed his mission; and when the time came that he was face to face with death, he said, ‘I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men. If they take my life, I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall yet be said of me, “He was murdered in cold blood.” ‘ [See D&C 135:4.] He was not afraid to stand before the pleasing bar of our Father in heaven and answer for the deeds done in the body. He was not afraid to meet the charge that had been made against him, that he was deceiving the people and dealing unjustly with them. He was not afraid of the result of his life’s mission, and of the final triumph of the work which he knew was of divine origin, and for which he gave his life.”

Joseph Smith’s Feelings about His Prophetic Mission

Prophets teach what God reveals to them; we strive to understand and give heed to their words.
“It is my meditation all the day, and more than my meat and drink, to know how I shall make the Saints of God comprehend the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind. Oh! how I would delight to bring before you things which you never thought of! But poverty and the cares of the world prevent. … “Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to Almighty God, that rays of light begin to burst forth upon us even now. I cannot find words in which to express myself. I am not learned, but I have as good feelings as any man. Oh, that I had the language of the archangel to express my feelings once to my friends! But I never expect to in this life.”
Although prophets are men with human frailties, they are called of God to teach and lead His people.

“When did I ever teach anything wrong from this stand? When was I ever confounded? I want to triumph in Israel before I depart hence and am no more seen. I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught. Must I, then, be thrown away as a thing of naught?”

Despite opposition, prophets fulfill the missions given to them by God.
“I speak boldly and faithfully and with authority. … I know what I say; I understand my mission and business. God Almighty is my shield; and what can man do if God is my friend? I shall not be sacrificed until my time comes; then I shall be offered freely. … I thank God for preserving me from my enemies; I have no enemies but for the truth’s sake. I have no desire but to do all men good. I feel to pray for all men.”
Prophets love those they serve and desire to lead them well, even if doing so requires reproving them.
"The Saints need not think because I am familiar with them and am playful and cheerful, that I am ignorant of what is going on. Iniquity of any kind cannot be sustained in the Church, and it will not fare well where I am; for I am determined while I do lead the Church, to lead it right."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Things to be Thankful For

Hot showers & soap..Ice cold water on a hot day..air conditioning in the summer.. Heating in the winter..Clean air & sky after a rain
Smell of fresh baked bread..Smell of fresh cut grass..Sunlight, moonlight and star light..Beautiful music..Living prophet..My Savior
Life..Love..Forgiveness..Laughter..Freedom..Repentance..Colors..Restful sleep..Any sleep..Sunrises, sunsets..Modern technology
Advances in medicine..Wholesome Entertainment. ..Knowledge..Testimony..Faith..Prayer..Personal revelation..Dishwashers & washing machines & vacuum cleaners..Running water..Indoor Plumbing....Farmers..fresh stores..Friends.. family..Christmas spirit..Tender Mercies..mountain and ocean views..birds singing..ocean breezes..rain drops..snow food .transportation.. Restored Gospel..blooming flowers..random acts of kindness..comfortable bed..good books

These are just a few things I came up with. Please feel free to comment on this post and add to my list.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Live in Thanksgiving Daily

"Joy and happiness are born of gratitude" (Joseph B. Wirthlin). "Gratitude is twin sister to humility; pride is a foe to both" (James E. Talmage). I composed most of my lesson from a BYU devotional given by Joseph B. Wirthlin titled "Live in Thanksgiving Daily". When my husband and I first moved here, 15 years ago, I was a miserable wretch. Crazy as it may sound, I hated it here and wasn't willing to find anything to like. My biggest gripe at the time was the fact it was Fall and I couldn't find a single tree that was turning the rich reds, oranges or yellows I was accustomed to seeing this time of year. Pining for my homeland, I spent a weekend in Washington and soaked up the beautiful Fall colors. The day after I returned to our apartment in Escondido, I woke up and noticed right outside my bedroom window was a deciduous tree that had turned a beautiful yellow. Why hadn't I seen it before? Why do we often take for granted what is right in front of us? Joseph B Wirthlin said, "Our minds have a marvelous capacity to notice the unusual. However, the opposite is true as well. The more often we see the things around us - even the beautiful and wonderful things - the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds-even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less. Those who live in Thanksgiving daily..have a way of opening their eyes and seeing the wonders and beauties of this world as thought seeing them for the first time."
Robert Louis Stevenson said, "The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life". May we make it a habit to offer thanksgiving daily for those things we often take for granted. No matter how difficult our circumstances may be or become, an attitude of gratitude lifts our spirits and qualifies us for even more blessings.