Personal Online Journal

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Priesthood Power of Women

Who has the privilege of the ministering of angels?

What does it mean that the Aaronic Priesthood holds “the key of the ministering of angels” and of the “gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins”? The meaning is found in the ordinance of baptism and in the sacrament. Baptism is for the remission of sins, and the sacrament is a renewal of the covenants and blessings of baptism. Both should be preceded by repentance. When we keep the covenants made in these ordinances, we are promised that we will always have His Spirit to be with us. The ministering of angels is one of the manifestations of that Spirit. ("The Aaronic Priesthood and the Sacrament", Dallin H. Oaks, Oct 1998) 
the ministering of angels can also be unseen. Angelic messages can be delivered by a voice or merely by thoughts or feelings communicated to the mind. President John Taylor described “the action of the angels, or messengers of God, upon our minds, so that the heart can conceive … revelations from the eternal world” (Gospel Kingdom, sel. G. Homer Durham [1987], 31). 
Nephi described three manifestations of the ministering of angels when he reminded his rebellious brothers that (1) they had “seen an angel,” (2) they had “heard his voice from time to time,” and (3) also that an angel had “spoken unto [them] in a still small voice” though they were “past feeling” and “could not feel his words” (1 Ne. 17:45). The scriptures contain many other statements that angels are sent to teach the gospel and bring men to Christ (see Heb. 1:14; Alma 39:19; Moro. 7:25, 29, 31–32; D&C 20:35). Most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen. 
How does the Aaronic Priesthood hold the key to the ministering of angels? The answer is the same as for the Spirit of the Lord.

In general, the blessings of spiritual companionship and communication are only available to those who are clean. As explained earlier, through the Aaronic Priesthood ordinances of baptism and the sacrament, we are cleansed of our sins and promised that if we keep our covenants we will always have His Spirit to be with us. I believe that promise not only refers to the Holy Ghost but also to the ministering of angels, for “angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ” (2 Ne. 32:3). So it is that those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood open the door for all Church members who worthily partake of the sacrament to enjoy the companionship of the Spirit of the Lord and the ministering of angels.
The Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys of the “gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins” (D&C 84:27). The cleansing power of our Savior’s Atonement is renewed for us as we partake of the sacrament. The promise that we “may always have his Spirit to be with [us]” (D&C 20:77) is essential to our spirituality. The ordinances of the Aaronic Priesthood are vital to all of this. I testify that this is true, and I pray that our brethren of the Aaronic Priesthood will understand the importance of their sacred responsibilities and act worthily in them, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Monday, October 07, 2019

Jesus at the center of it all

The reason we have general conference two times a year.

35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:
36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.
37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,
41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.
42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.  (Luke 18:35-43
The blind man had the good sense to have spiritually sensitive people around him.

Those of us with sight.

What does it all mean?

General Conference "will mean little or nothing unless we find Jesus at the center of it all. To grasp the vision we are seeking, the healing that He promises, the significance we somehow know is here, we must cut through the commotion (joyful as it is); and fix our attention on Him.

The prayer of every speaker, the hope of all who sing, the reverence of every guest; we are all dedicated to inviting the spirit of Him whose church this is: the Living Christ, the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace. But we don't have to be in a conference center to find him. When a child reads the Book of Mormon for the first time and is enamored with Abinadi's courage or the march of 2,000 stripling warriors. We can gently add that Jesus is the central, omnipresent figure in this marvelous chronicle standing like a colossus over virtually every page of it; and providing the link to all the other faith promoting figures in it."

(Jeffrey R. Holland 5 Oct 2019, at 1:15:31)

Likewise, when a friend is learning about our faith.

Jeffrey R. Holland 1:15:31

Pent up in an Acorn Shell

From "Joseph Smith Through the Eyes of Those Who Knew Him Best", Truman & Ann Madsen
Latter-Day Saint Scholar and Author & BYU Professor of Ancient Scripture, Joseph Smith Lecture
November 13, 2003

Heber C. Kimball once said that Joseph's greatest sorrow, amidst all his other afflictions, was his inability to communicate.  He said, "I will remark that you will have here with you a few of us that have traveled with him here from the beginning.  And we know his trials.  And we know that the greatest torment he had, and the greatest mental suffering, was because this people would not live up to their privileges.  There were many things he desired to reveal that we have not learned yet, but he could not do it.   He said sometimes he felt pressed upon, as though he was pent up in an acorn shell, and all because the people did not and would not prepare themselves to receive the rich treasures of wisdom and knowledge that he had to impart." 
In one of his climactic discourses, the Prophet said, "Knowledge through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the grand key that unlocks the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven."  (Truman G Madsen)

Friday, September 13, 2019

What does the Church believe about evolution?

From "What does the Church believe about evolution?", New Era Oct 2016
The Church has no official position on the theory of evolution. Organic evolution, or changes to species’ inherited traits over time, is a matter for scientific study. Nothing has been revealed concerning evolution. Though the details of what happened on earth before Adam and Eve, including how their bodies were created, have not been revealed, our teachings regarding man’s origin are clear and come from revelation. 
Before we were born on earth, we were spirit children of heavenly parents, with bodies in their image. God directed the creation of Adam and Eve and placed their spirits in their bodies. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve, our first parents, who were created in God’s image. There were no spirit children of Heavenly Father on the earth before Adam and Eve were created. In addition, “for a time they lived alone in a paradisiacal setting where there was neither human death nor future family.” They fell from that state, and this Fall was an essential part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us to become like Him. (See Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet,” Apr. 2015 general conference.)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

"Joseph, what do you want me to do?"

The story is told of a council meeting involving the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Twelve Apostles. During the meeting, the Prophet rebuked Brigham Young from head o toe in front of the others, accusing him of something he had not done. When Joseph had finished his rebuke, the other brethren sat silently awaiting Brigham Young's response. Brigham Young rose to his feet. He was a strong man. He could have reacted and said: "Now, look here, haven't you read how you're not supposed to rebuke in public, but only in private?" Or, "Brother Joseph, doesn't it say something in the revelations about persuasion, and long-suffering, and gentleness and meekness?" Or, "Joseph, you are dead wrong. I would never do that." But Brigham Young did not react in any of those ways. He acted and said simply, "Joseph, what do you want me to do?" Joseph burst into tears, approached Brigham Young, threw his arms around him and said, "Brother Brigham, you passed [the test]" (See Truman Madsen, Joseph Smith the Prophet, p. 88). [From "Resolving Conflict", by Lon A. Pyper, Accessed Sep 2019]

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Seeing Green
After Jill Thomas lost her daughter Penny in a tragic accident, her world seemed to crumble. Her husband was having a crisis of faith in God, her little girl was gone, and hope seemed all but lost.

“I felt nothing. I believed that the ‘answers’ to read your scriptures, say your prayers, and go to church were inspired and true. Yet I was doing those things—I was doing those things very earnestly—and I was feeling nothing. I had a sense that a critical aspect of spirituality was missing, but I didn’t know how to be inspired or guided anymore. I was lost.”

Join Jill in this Hope Works presentation as she explores the creative thought process that taught her to have faith, hope, and joy even in the midst of her suffering.

Hope Works is a series of videos captured at live events where presenters share interesting insights about hope and faith and how it works in their lives.

From "Seeing Green", Jill Thomas, November 3, 2016

Thursday, September 05, 2019

The Hope of God's Light

Many of us have wondered if God knows us or if He even exists. Todd was someone who made fun of people who thought God was real, and he wasn’t surprised when he didn’t get an immediate answer to a prayer. But could God be giving us small but obvious answers? And how patient do we need to be to get those answers?  
You can find hope in God & Jesus Christ and know for a surety that they exist and love you.


Thursday, August 29, 2019

If Thou Endure Well

Notes from “If Thou Endure Well”, Neal A. Maxwell, December 4, 1984 • BYU Devotional, BYU Link to MP3

"We all have enough strength to endure the misfortunes of others." Francois de La Rochefoucauld (Francois de La Rochefoucauld Quotes.

"For there was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently" (Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5 Scene 1, William Shakespeare, )

“I can endure my own despair, but not another's hope”(William Walsh, From

“Some of your hurts you have cured, and the sharpest you've even survived. But what torments of grief you've endured from evils which never arrived" (Ralph Waldo Emerson, From

“That toil of growing up; The ignominy of boyhood; the distress Of boyhood changing into man; The unfinished man and his pain.” (William Butler Yeats, From

And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
(2 Nephi 31:16,20)
"We are not simply to exist to the end. Rather we are to persist in following the example of the Son of the Living God. " - Neal A. Maxwell

“There is no disappointment we endure one-half so great as what we are to ourselves.” (Philip James Bailey, from

Especially for Latter-day Saints, where we have great expectations; and then must endure the difference of what we could be and what we are. And try to make of that some useful, divine discontent rather than corrosive affliction of the self. 

This quality about which we are speaking therefore is graceful endurance. And it includes becoming and growing. It includes but is not limited to hanging on for one moment more. It is, as has been observed, a circumstance in which all virtues at the testing point, take the form of courage. And then after you and I have passed breaking points without breaking, our virtues take the form of endurance.

Besides, this life is not lineal. It is experiential. It is not really chronological, though we use clocks and calendars and wristwatches.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Standard of Truth

The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done. (Joseph Smith, The Wentworth Letter, 1 Mar 1842, History of the Church, 4:540, p 540)

Sunday, August 18, 2019

"Seeketh so to do"

When there was a controversy in the early Church regarding who was entitled to heaven’s blessings and who wasn’t, the Lord declared to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “Verily I say unto you, [the gifts of God] are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep … my commandments, and [for them] that seeketh so to do.” Boy, aren’t we all thankful for that added provision “and … seeketh so to do”! That has been a lifesaver because sometimes that is all we can offer! We take some solace in the fact that if God were to reward only the perfectly faithful, He wouldn’t have much of a distribution list. 
Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going. If you fall, summon His strength. Call out like Alma, “O Jesus, … have mercy on me.” He will help you get back up. He will help you repent, repair, fix whatever you have to fix, and keep going. Soon enough you will have the success you seek. ("Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You", Jeffrey R. Holland, Apr 2016)


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Founding Fathers Appear to Wilford Woodruff in the St George Temple

Matthias E. Cowley records the account of Wilford Woodruff and the appearance of the founding fathers of the USA in the St.George temple.
Two weeks before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, “You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God. Everyone of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence, with General Washington, called upon me as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George, two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the House of God for them. I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon Brother McCallister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others. When Brother McAllister had baptized me for the 100 names I baptized him for 21, including General Washington and his forefathers and all the Presidents of the United States–except three. Sister Lucy Bigelow Young went forth into the font and was baptized for Martha Washington and her family and 70 of the ’eminent women’ of the world. 1 In the April 1898 General Conference, President Woodruff again recalled this sacred experience: ““I am going to bear my testimony to this assembly, if I never do it again in my life, that those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men. General Washington and all the men that labored for the purpose were inspired of the Lord. Another thing I am going to say here, because I have a right to say it.  Everyone of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence, with General Washington, called upon me, as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George, two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the House of God for them.  Men are here, I believe, that know of this, Brother J. D. T. McAllister, David H. Cannon and James S. Bleak.  Brother McAllister baptized me for all those men, and then I told these brethren that it was their duty to go into the Temple and labor until they had got endowments for all of them.  They did it.  Would those spirits have called up on me, as an Elder in Israel to perform that work if they had not been noble spirits before God?  They would not.” 2 On the night of March 19th, 1894, he [Wilford Woodruff] had a dream which followed his meditations upon the future life and the work that he had done for the dead.  In his dream there appeared to him Benjamin Franklin for whom he had performed important ceremonies in the House of God.  This distinguished patriot, according to his dream, sought further blessings in the Temple of God at the hands of his benefactor.  President Woodruff wrote:  ‘I spent some time with him and we talked over our Temple ordinances which had been administered for Franklin and others.  He wanted more work done for him than had already been done.  I promised him it should be done.  I awoke and then made up my mind to receive further blessings for Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.’ The appearance, therefore, in his dream of Franklin was to him a satisfying conclusion that he had at least received joyfully the blessings that came to him from the ordinances of the Lord’s House.
(Matthias E. Cowley, Wilfrod Woodruff–His Life and Labors, p. 585-9, found at )
You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God. (Wilford Woodruff, in a Conference Report, April 10, 1898; Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 160-61; Wilford Woodruff Journal, August 21, 1877. found at

President George Washington was ordained a high priest at that time. You will also be interested to know that according to Wilford Woodruff’s journal, John Wesley, Benjamin Franklin, and Christopher Columbus were also ordained high priests at that time. (Ezra Taft Benson, Sandy, Utah, 30 December 1978; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 603, found at )

Why we need Law

James L. Ferrell explains why Law is necessary.
God, like my friend the judge, might wish that he could waive the law in the case of those whom he loves, but to do so would frustrate the whole plan of happiness. Why? Because to waive the consequences of law would be to render law meaningless. What’s wrong with that? one might respond, hopefully. If we got rid of law, wouldn’t we get rid of our problems? And wouldn’t that make life so much easier and more enjoyable? To which I would answer: “No, the law is a gift to us. Getting rid of it would mean that you and I would be doomed to an eternal hell.” 
Why is that? 
Think about it. Even if God could waive the law without frustrating the plan of happiness, that would solve only the first of our problems—the problem of needing to be justified or forgiven of our sins. Waiving the law would not sanctify our hearts, and we therefore would still be separated from God. It turns out that laws or commandments are necessary in order for us to become sanctified. Here’s why: We can overcome the desire for sinfulness only by being allowed to choose sinfulness. Where there is no choice to sin, there also can be no choice not to, and therefore no opportunity to overcome the desire for it. It was the establishment of the law that “created” the possibility of sin in the first place, for without the presence of the “right,” there would be nothing that could be considered “wrong.” “If . . . there is no law,” Lehi taught, “there is no sin. [And if] there is no sin, [then there can be] no righteousness.” (2 Nephi 2:13, See also Alma 42:13, 17–18)
("Falling to Heaven: The Surprising Path to Happiness", James L. Ferrell,  Chapter 8: The Big Picture, p. 52)

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Love, Law and Illegal Immigration

The church I belong to  released this statement, 18 Jun 2018.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long expressed its position that immigration reform should strengthen families and keep them together. The forced separation of children from their parents now occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border is harmful to families, especially to young children. We are deeply troubled by the aggressive and insensitive treatment of these families. While we recognize the right of all nations to enforce their laws and secure their borders, we encourage our national leaders to take swift action to correct this situation and seek for rational, compassionate solutions.
President Dallin H. Oaks spoke on "The Paradox of Love and Law" (Official Transcript, Page to dowload MP3, MP3)

Friday, July 12, 2019

An Effectual Struggle

There are times in my life when I discover another layer of work to be done. I have been working on a certain aspect of my character. I get to the point where I feel like I am getting it mastered.

Then I see the layer underneath. I see more work to be done. At times, I have felt discouraged, thinking I have already done the hardest thing I felt like I could do.

I was reflecting on this today and the following passage came to my mind.
17 And now, it came to pass on the morrow that king Limhi sent a proclamation among all his people, that thereby they might gather themselves together to the temple, to hear the words which he should speak unto them. 
18 And it came to pass that when they had gathered themselves together that he spake unto them in this wise, saying: O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made
19 Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; and also, that God who brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and caused that they should walk through the Red Sea on dry ground, and fed them with manna that they might not perish in the wilderness; and many more things did he do for them.
(Mosiah 7:17-19, emphasis added)
The phrase "I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made" had not stood out to me before. My friend Melanie Price Wellman, mentioned this in one of her podcasts. She said that, for her, it stood out in contrast to the previous struggles she had had. Struggles that had not been effective in getting her the results she wanted.

This phrase,"I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made" can mean that we can have hope in Jesus Christ. Hope that even though any previous struggles we may have had. Ones that did not get us out of the mud. We continue to hope for an effectual struggle. We will be victorious as we stay tethered to Jesus Christ. As we stay in relationship to him by the renewal of our covenants.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Living in a Wheat and Tares Situation

Church members will live in this wheat-and-tares situation until the Millennium. Some real tares even masquerade as wheat, including the few eager individuals who lecture the rest of us about Church doctrines in which they no longer believe. They criticize the use of Church resources to which they no longer contribute. They condescendingly seek to counsel the Brethren whom they no longer sustain. Confrontive, except of themselves, of course, they leave the Church, but they cannot leave the Church alone (Ensign, Nov. 1980, 14). Like the throng on the ramparts of the “great and spacious building,” they are intensely and busily preoccupied, pointing fingers of scorn at the steadfast iron-rodders (1 Ne. 8:26–28, 33). Considering their ceaseless preoccupation, one wonders, Is there no diversionary activity available to them, especially in such a large building—like a bowling alley? Perhaps in their mockings and beneath the stir are repressed doubts of their doubts.
(“Becometh As a Child”, Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference,Apr 1996 )

Wife Never Expected Her Husband To Do This When Their Marriage Was Coming To An End. This Is Gold.


Monday, July 01, 2019

More than Meat Machines

"We are more than mere meat machines programmed by our genes, past or environment. We are moral agents, and our lives are full of possibility" (Post on FB group Latter-day Saint Philosopher Group, Jeffrey Thayne, 19 Jun 2019

Mortal embodiment and gender

From "Embodied cognition and the content of our minds" Latter-day Saint Philosopher, 30 Jun 2019
When the Proclamation on the Family states that “gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose,” most Latter-day Saints (rightly) take this to mean that gender is more than a social construct or personal preference — it reflects something essential about our natures as sons and daughters of God. Further, embodied cognition hints that the lived experiences of being male and female are rooted not merely in different social norms and constructs, but also in differences in embodied experience and what those entail in the social world. 
When we strip away historically situated social norms and conventions (many of which may be important), most of what we know and experience about gender is somehow related to our physiology. If we take embodied cognition seriously, it might be that mortality is an important step towards more fully realizing gender — as in, making real or bringing to fruition what was before more of an expectation, anticipation, or foreordination. It may be that physical embodiment is a way of becoming gendered. And as such, at birth, we are stepping into, realizing, or taking up our eternal identity as sons and daughters of God. 
Some Latter-day Saints have argued that gender dysphoria may be due to a mismatch of spirit and physical gender; it is possible (they argue) that a “female spirit” to be trapped in a “male body”, or vice versa. This legitimizes gender dysphoria by treating it as a signal that a person’s biological sex is a defect that does not match their eternal gender identity. We have observed this idea spread and take root among some corners of Latter-day Saint thought, as a way of legitimizing the idea of gender transition and transgender identity — it is seen as a way of changing one’s physical sex to match the gender of their spirit. 
Embodied cognition may bring some clarity on that issue. What does it mean, we might wonder, for a man to say he “feels like a woman”? Prior to alterations done to his body, does he have any idea what it feels like when his breasts began to firm up, what it was like to have that first period (especially when it came on unexpectedly in class one afternoon), what it felt like to worry about whether or not he was pregnant the morning after, what it means to feel vulnerable in the presence of sexually aggressive males? All of these are physiological experiences, or psychological / social experiences that have roots in physiological differences. What would a pre-embodied spirit know (or correctly anticipate) of physical embodiment, such that it can later conclude that its gendered experience is “wrong”? 
The primary takeaway — which is wholly uncontroversial from a doctrinal point of view — is that, as male and female, our world of experience is shaped in part by the physiological possibilities and constraints of our gendered bodies, and the social and societal norms which arise from those differences. Gender is an essential component of our eternal identity at least in part because it is intrinsic in the experience of mortal (and resurrected) embodiment. Our entrance into this world as male and female is full of divine purpose, and not mere happenstance. Furthermore, physiological embodiment gives vast new dimensions to gender that were certainly not available to premortal spirits (at least, not fully).

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Teaching Age-Appropriate Sexuality

"Progressive developmental facts over time"

"This is a normal feeling. You're going to learn how to experience it without fear and without avoidance."

Monday, June 17, 2019

Recovering from the Trap of Pornography

I love that Dallin H. Oaks described levels of involvement in pornography in the Oct 2015 Ensign article, "Recovering from the Trap of Pornography".  They are important distinctions.

1. Inadvertent Exposure
2. Occasional Use
3. Intensive Use
4. Compulsive Use (Addiction)

There is power in labeling ourselves. If you find yourself anywhere in these levels of involvement, ask for help.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

The Meaning of Repentance

We studied the talk of President Nelson from Apr 2019 given to the Priesthood today in church. "We Can Do Better and Be Better" Russell M. Nelson. This phrase stood out to me "Too many people consider repentance as punishment—something to be avoided except in the most serious circumstances."

I looked up "repentance as punishment" and I found "The Meaning of Repentance" Ensign Aug 1988 by Theodore M. Burton.

It shares the same definition that President Nelson shared
The word for repentance in the Greek New Testament is metanoeo. The prefix meta- means “change.” The suffix -noeo is related to Greek words that mean “mind,” “knowledge,” “spirit,” and “breath.”
Thus, when Jesus asks you and me to “repent,” He is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, our spirit—even the way we breathe.
Elder Burton also includes
Confusion came, however, when the New Testament was translated from Greek into Latin. Here an unfortunate choice was made in translation; the Greek word metaneoeo was translated into the Latin word poenitere. The Latin root poen in that word is the same root found in our English words punish, penance, penitent, and repentance. The beautiful meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words was thus changed in Latin to a meaning that involved hurting, punishing, whipping, cutting, mutilating, disfiguring, starving, or even torturing! It is no small wonder, then, that people have come to fear and dread the word repentance, which they understand to mean repeated or unending punishment. 
The meaning of repentance is not that people be punished, but rather that they change their lives so that God can help them escape eternal punishment and enter into his rest with joy and rejoicing. If we have this understanding, our anxiety and fears will be relieved. Repentance will become a welcome and treasured word in our religious vocabulary.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

The Price of Laziness and Rebellion

"I had known that when my parents told me to wear shoes, they did not mean flip-flops; I was old enough to know that flip-flops did not provide the same protection as a pair of shoes. But that morning in the desert, I disregarded what I knew to be right. I ignored what my parents had repeatedly taught me. I had been both lazy and a little rebellious, and I paid a price for it."
(“Come unto Me with Full Purpose of Heart, and I Shall Heal You”,
Patrick Kearon, GC Oct 2010, emphasis added)

Children Chat Deposit

I listened to an ad on the Mormon Talk Radio. It said that when we chat with our children we make deposits in our bank account of trust with them. They can draw on that when they need to. They will trust us.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Wrestling with Comparisons

Notes from "Wrestling with Comparisons" BYU Devotional J.B. Haws, Associate Professor of Church History and Doctrine, May 7, 2019

From the story in John 21 and D&C 7
"Our perfect, loving God makes no horizontal comparisons in this story. In this verse, Jesus only compared John with John's former self, John with old John. He only compares Peter with old Peter, former Peter. He only compares me with old me."

comparisons "can fuel envying and coveting or self-loathing and the paralysis of inaction can really be just that debilitating can keep us from play the vital role that has been allotted to us."

Do not exceed the time allotted to us

Years ago, I remember Ben Stevenson during a teacher development class. He said that we should not "exceed the time allotted to us". That the attention of those in a class will begin to wander. Better to focus in on what you feel inspired to teach or lead in discussion. When the time is up, close the meeting.

Thank, Ben

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Rage in the hearts of the children of men

What am I enraged about? Where does this feeling come from?

"For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good."

Thursday, April 18, 2019

What habits do I want?

“Work as though you would live forever, and live as though you would die today. Go another mile!” ― Og Mandino

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” ― Og Mandino

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy. ”
― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World (2001): 2001 Gift Edition

“Only a habit can subdue another habit.”
― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World

“I determine to render more and better service, each day, than I am being paid to render. Those that reach the top are the ones who are not content with doing only what is required of them.”
― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World

“And so long as I can laugh never will I be poor.”
― Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman In The World

What habits do I want?

Today, I start a new life.
Today, I create a new, positive habit.
The only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits.
Good habits are the key to all success.
Thus, the first law I will obey is: I will form good habits and become their slave.
Today, I take control of my actions and behaviors. With these, I create my life and destiny.
- Greatest Salesman Og Mandino

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Peter, My Brother

Peter, My Brother
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
July 13, 1971 • Devotional BYU

Several years ago a newspaper carried an Easter editorial written by a minister of religion. The editorial lamented the career of the apostle Peter, denouncing, among other things, his indecisiveness, lack of humility, fear of man, and failure to pray. The minister concluded his Easter appeal: “Let us as people, especially those who are Christians and claim to abide by the Word of God, not make the same mistakes and fall as Peter fell.”
This editorial came to the attention of another “Peter,” another resolute chief apostle. President Spencer W. Kimball, then acting president of the Council of the Twelve, saw this journalistic piece and shuddered.
“I had some strange emotions,” he recounted before an audience of young adults. “I was shocked, then I was chilled, then my blood changed its temperature and began to boil. I felt I was attacked viciously, for Peter was my brother, my colleague, my example, my prophet, and God’s anointed. I whispered to myself, ‘That is not true. He is maligning my brother.’”  ("The Lengthening Shadow of Peter", Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign Sep 1975) 

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Stand Forever

Melanie Price Wellman referred to this talk in her podcast. Lawrence E. Corbridge talks about primary questions and secondary ones. I recommend this talk.

"We must be grounded on the rock of revelation, and although we may not know the answer to every question, we must know the answers to the primary questions. And if we do, the gates of hell shall not prevail against us and we will stand forever."

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Mormon Channel Talk broadcast on Radio

We recently bought a new car. I noticed that it had an HD, digital radio. I realized that Mormon Channel Talk is broadcast on the channel 2 of 92.3 KTAR.

It has been a welcome light as I have been driving to and from work.

See a list of other radio stations that broadcast Mormon Channel Talk

Everyone can download or stream the programs. Some of them are here.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Connecting Daughters of God with His Priesthood Power

My son Sam gave a talk about the priesthood today. He referred to this article in the March 2019 Ensign, "Connecting Daughters of God with His Priesthood Power", By Barbara Morgan Gardner. Associate professor of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University

Following are some quotes that stood out to me.
Sheri Dew, former counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, asked, “What does it mean to have access to priesthood power? It means that we can receive revelation, be blessed and aided by the ministering of angels, learn to part the veil that separates us from our Heavenly Father, be strengthened to resist temptation, be protected, and be enlightened, and made smarter than we are—all without any mortal intermediary.”11 What is the most important outcome of this power and how is it received? The Lord has revealed that “the power of godliness,” including the power to become like Him, is manifested through priesthood ordinances (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:20).
Do not give “authoritative” answers to questions the Lord Himself hasn’t answered.
President Oaks has cautioned Church members to avoid answering questions the Lord has not answered: “Don’t make the mistake that’s been made in the past, … trying to put reasons to revelation. The reasons turn out to be man-made to a great extent. The revelations are what we sustain as the will of the Lord and that’s where safety lies.”22 
President Ballard gives a perfect example of this: “Why are men—and not women—ordained to priesthood offices? … The Lord has not revealed why He has organized His Church as He has.”23 President Ballard also warned us “not to pass along faith-promoting or unsubstantiated rumors or outdated understandings and explanations of our doctrine and practices from the past. It is always wise to make it a practice to study the words of the living prophets and apostles; keep updated on current Church issues, policies, and statements through and; and consult the works of recognized, thoughtful, and faithful Latter-day Saint scholars to ensure you do not teach things that are untrue, out of date, or odd and quirky.”24 Remember that sometimes, “I don’t know” really is the best answer. We must search diligently in the light of faith to learn divine truth.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Here are several resources on polygamy or plural marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

• “Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Gospel
• “Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo,” Gospel Topics,
• “Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah,” Gospel Topics,
• “The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage,” Gospel Topics,

The description of a video in a Facebook post with a  on Jan 13 2019 by "My Life By Gogo Goff":
"Dispelling the Anti-Mormon lies, myths, rumors, and cultural about Polygamy. Today I address Joseph Smith, marriage to underage girls, and the process of polygamy."

Here is a pdf file from Gogo Goff that has more information

Friday, March 08, 2019

Video of a Tour of the Rome, Italy Temple

What a beautiful video and message.

"Members of the Church of Jesus Christ declare that a temple is literally the house of the Lord. Each temple is a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed—by and for the living and also in behalf of the dead.

I invite you to enjoy this video and see inside one of our temples. In this recording, made in the Rome Italy Temple, you will hear from two Apostles of the Lord about promises devout members make there to become better people by following our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."
(Russell M. Nelson, FB Post, 7 Mar 2019)

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Lose Ourselves in Service and Our Pride Diminishes and Begins to Die

“We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves. It comes as we go about our work with an attitude of serving God and our fellowman.

“… The moment we stop obsessing with ourselves and lose ourselves in service, our pride diminishes and begins to die” (“Pride and the Priesthood,” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 58, GC Link).

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Will God Reject Me If I Don't Go To Church?

You have a friend named Lauren who has not come to church for several months. You and some other members of your Sunday School class decide to visit her at her home to encourage her to attend church this coming Sunday. When you tell her that you’ve missed her at church, she replies, “I’ve been going on hikes on Sundays instead of coming to church. I feel closer to God in nature.” When you try to tell her about how it will bless her and others if she attends church, she says, “I don’t need the Church in order to be a good person. And I don’t think God is going to reject people from being with Him just because they don’t go to church and do all the things the Church tells them to do.”
(“Ordinances and Covenants, Part 2,” Doctrinal Mastery Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Teacher Material (2017))
The lesson refers to this quote from  D. Todd Christofferson
“If one believes that all roads lead to heaven or that there are no particular requirements for salvation, he or she will see no need for proclaiming the gospel or for ordinances and covenants in redeeming either the living or the dead. But we speak not just of immortality but also of eternal life, and for that the gospel path and gospel covenants are essential. And the Savior needs a church to make them available to all of God’s children—both the living and the dead” (D. Todd Christofferson, “Why the Church,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 110).
I recommend the whole talk.

If we are to receive all that the Father has, we must be willing to follow what he asks of us. We bind ourselves to act in according to His will when we accept the covenants of the Lord through the authorized servants of the Lord.

If we are to improve each week, we need to recommit to the Lord in a way that brings power into our lives. I like this example from "Missionary Preparation Teacher Manual, Chapter 8",
Show a blank check, and tell students that you would like to financially reward one of them for attending class. Hand the check to a student and ask him or her to write a check for a student sitting nearby. Remind the student to sign his or her name to the check before giving it to the recipient. After the check is written, show it to the class and ask if the student who received it will have any problems
lawfully cashing it.
• Legally, how important is the proper signature on a check?
• Why must one have proper authority to perform a legal transaction, such
as writing a check?
• How might this relate to the need for proper priesthood authority?
• Why is authority necessary in dealing with the things of God?
The check in this example is like the key to the power God want to give us. The power to effect the most good in the world. M. Russell Ballard tells us how to obtain and keep that power:
Sometimes we are tempted to let our lives be governed more by convenience than by covenant. It is not always convenient to live gospel standards and stand up for truth and testify of the Restoration. It usually is not convenient to share the gospel with others. It isn’t always convenient to respond to a calling in the Church, especially one that stretches our abilities. Opportunities to serve others in meaningful ways, as we have covenanted to do, rarely come at convenient times. But there is no spiritual power in living by convenience. The power comes as we keep our covenants.
(Emphasis added, "Like a Flame Unquenchable", M. Russell Ballard, General Conference, Apr 1999, Video Clip of this quote)

Abraham wanted more righteousness, more happiness. Being in a covenant relationship is required to receive all the blessing the father desires to give us.
finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.
(Abraham 1:2)


See also


Work with People you Disagree with

From an interview with the Arizona Republic:

Nelson adding that church members should spend more time working with people they disagree with instead of arguing with them. 
"'You don't have to hate your enemy,' he said. 'We would like to spend our time building bridges of cooperation rather than walls of separation.'" 
("As Long as We're Alive, We'll Be Changing": President Nelson Talks Church Changes, Immigration + More in Rare Interview, LDS Living, 19 Feb 2019 )
('Ours is a message of hope': LDS president, counselor talk immigration, youth, in Glendale interview, BrieAnna J Frank, Arizona Republic, 12 Feb 2019)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Prophesies of Adam and Eve

I love these prophesies of Adam and Eve
And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God. 
And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.
(Moses 5:10-11)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Word are Inexhaustible Magic

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion,
our most inexhaustible source of magic.
Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
(Harry Potter, #7)
What kind of magic do you practice?


Discipline says, "I'll teach you how to do it right,"
While punishment says, "I'll make you regret doing it wrong"
- Leah Martin 
This reminds me of this quote

A large crowd followed the Savior as He ministered by the shore of the Sea of Galilee. So that more could hear Him, He got into Peter’s fishing boat and asked to be taken a little way out from the shore. After He had finished speaking, He told Peter, who had fished all night without success, to go out in the lake and let down his nets in the deep water. Peter obeyed, and he caught so many fish that the nets broke. Peter called to his partners, James and John, to come and help. All were amazed at the number of fish that were caught. Jesus said to Peter, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” Luke then tells us, “When they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”1 They became the Lord’s disciples. 
The word for disciple and the word for discipline both come from the same Latin root—discipulus, which means pupil. It emphasizes practice or exercise. Self-discipline and self-control are consistent and permanent characteristics of the followers of Jesus, as exemplified by Peter, James, and John, who indeed “forsook all, and followed him.” 
What is discipleship? It is primarily obedience to the Savior. Discipleship includes many things. It is chastity. It is tithing. It is family home evening. It is keeping all the commandments. It is forsaking anything that is not good for us. Everything in life has a price. Considering the Savior’s great promise for peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come, discipleship is a price worth paying. It is a price we cannot afford not to pay. By measure, the requirements of discipleship are much, much less than the promised blessings. ("Discipleship", James E. Faust, Oct 2006 General Conference)
- ("What Is Discipleship?", LDS Media Library)

All Things Hungary

Hungarian is of a different language family that many other European languages.

(Screen shots from "The Uniqueness of Hungary", WhatsTheStory on YouTube)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Keep All the Commandments


"Keep All the Commandments", LDS Media Library
Teach of faith to keep all the commandments of God, knowing that they are given to bless His children and bring them joy.4 Warn them that they will encounter people who pick which commandments they will keep and ignore others that they choose to break. I call this the cafeteria approach to obedience. This practice of picking and choosing will not work. It will lead to misery. To prepare to meet God, one keeps all of His commandments. It takes faith to obey them, and keeping His commandments will strengthen that faith. ("Face the Future with Faith", Russell M. Nelson, Apr 2011 General Conference)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Disciplinary Councils


President Hinckley teaches about disciplinary Councils (D&C 102:9-33)
In times of disciplinary councils, the three brethren of the bishopric, or the three brethren of the stake presidency, or the three brethren of the presidency of the Church, sit together, discuss matters together, pray together, in the process of reaching a decision. I wish to assure you, my brethren, that I think there is never a judgment rendered until after prayer has been had. Action against a member is too serious a matter to result from the judgment of men alone, and particularly of one man alone. There must be the guidance of the Spirit, earnestly sought for and then followed, if there is to be justice. (“In … Counsellors There Is Safety”, Gordon B. Hinckley, GC, Oct 1990)

From “Lesson 107: Doctrine and Covenants 102,” Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual (2013) President Harold B. Lee tells the following account:

“Some years ago … I served as a stake president. We had a very grievous case that had to come before the high council and the stake presidency that resulted in the excommunication of a man who had harmed a lovely young girl. After a nearly all-night session that resulted in that action, I went to my office rather weary the next morning and was confronted by a brother of this man whom we [met with in council] the night before. This man said, ‘I want to tell you that my brother wasn’t guilty of what you charged him with.’ 
“‘How do you know he wasn’t guilty?’ I asked. 
“‘Because I prayed, and the Lord told me he was innocent,’ the man answered” (Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1996], 420–21).
President Lee continued the account:

 “I asked him to come into the office and we sat down, and I asked, ‘Would you mind if I ask you a few personal questions?’ 
“He said, ‘Certainly not.’ … 
“‘How old are you?’ 
“‘What priesthood do you hold?’ 
“He said he thought he was a teacher. 
“‘Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?’ 
“‘Well, no.’ … 
“‘Do you pay your tithing?’ 
“He said, ‘No’—and he didn’t intend to as long as that … man was the bishop of the Thirty-Second Ward. 
“I said, ‘Do you attend your priesthood meetings?’ 
“He replied, ‘No, sir!’ … 
“‘You don’t attend your sacrament meetings either?’ 
“‘No, sir.’ 
“‘Do you have your family prayers?’ and he said no. 
“‘Do you study the scriptures?’ He said well, his eyes were bad, and he couldn’t read very much. … 
“‘Now, then,’ I said, ‘fifteen of the best-living men in the Pioneer Stake prayed last night. … and every man was united. … Now you, who do none of these things, you say you prayed and got an opposite answer. How would you explain that?’ 
“Then this man gave an answer that I think was a classic. He said, ‘Well, President Lee, I think I must have gotten my answer from the wrong source’” (Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 421–22).


Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Sacrifice: give up something good for something of far greater worth

An acceptable sacrifice is when we give up something good for something of far greater worth. 
Giving up a little sleep to help a child who is having a nightmare is a good sacrifice. We all know this. Staying up all night, jeopardizing our own health, to make the perfect accessory for a daughter’s Sunday outfit may not be such a good sacrifice. 
Dedicating some of our time to studying the scriptures or preparing to teach a lesson is a good sacrifice. Spending many hours stitching the title of the lesson into homemade pot holders for each member of your class perhaps may not be. 
Every person and situation is different, and a good sacrifice in one instance might be a foolish sacrifice in another. 
How can we tell the difference for our own situation? We can ask ourselves, “Am I committing my time and energies to the things that matter most?” There are so many good things to do, but we can’t do all of them. Our Heavenly Father is most pleased when we sacrifice something good for something far greater with an eternal perspective. Sometimes, that may even mean nurturing small but beautiful forget-me-not flowers instead of a large garden of exotic blooms. ("Forget Me Not", Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Oct 2011, Timestamp 5:45,

Friday, February 01, 2019

A Savior to Fall in Love With

or "Shepherding Hearts" or "Ministering to Souls"

From "Episode 5: From Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord" of the Come Follow Me for Us podcast.

When they are all alone, when they are feeling sad, they can remember our words. Maybe we can remember the words of the scriptures when we are feeling low. That the power and strength (grace) of Jesus is available to us. We can draw on His power.

"For the Love" By Jen Hatmaker

A kid that Melanie knows said, "Jesus doesn't love us all the time...Well, guess if you repent, he does." Melanie said, "What have we (inadvertently) done? ... Maybe we push the rules too hard and not enough about how the Savior love them." From "For the Love" By Jen Hatmaker:
If they don't love Jesus and people, it matters zero if they remain virgins and don't say the f-word, we must shepherd their hearts and not just their hemlines. 
Do we say "You are bad" or "Jesus is amazing"? Jen Hatmaker continues:
Jesus operates beyond the tidy boundaries of good behavior. Rather than simply enforce his rules, we should show our kids His kingdom. That's where they will discover a Savior to fall in love with. 
I love this message. We must do all we can to encourage them (and ourselves) to learn about Jesus and know him.  Show them the Savior, His kingdom. Let them fall in love with him. 

This reminds me of Nephi, he said:
having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father (1 Nephi 2:16)
He asked God to soften his heart. We must act as agents.
"the power of the Spirit carries the message unto but not necessarily into the heart. A teacher can explain, demonstrate, persuade, and testify, and do so with great spiritual power and effectiveness. Ultimately, however, the content of a message and the witness of the Holy Ghost penetrate into the heart only if a receiver allows them to enter." (“Seek Learning by Faith,” David A Bednar, Ensign, Sept. 2007)

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Uprooting The Evil In The Fields That We Know

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule." 
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Friday, January 25, 2019

Come and See

Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
(John 1:45-46)

Formatting URL to Position the Browser to a Particular Verse

This is the current format for scripture references:
  • OR gospellibrary://content – or the Gospel Library app.
  • /scriptures – section of or content type.
  • /nt – testament / work / volume of scripture (ot / nt / bofm / dc-testament / pgp).
  • /1-cor – scripture book.
  • /1 – chapter.
  • ?verse=21-25 – verse(s) to put a callout box around, optional. If not specified, no callout boxes will be drawn. This can be a single verse, a range, or a series (for example, "2-5,7" is valid).
  • &lang=eng – language, optional. If not specified, link will default to the browser/device language (which could give an error if the content doesn't exist in that language).
  • #p21 – verse to scroll to, optional. If not specified, chapter will load to the top.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.
("Formatting url to search for specific verses", 10 Dec 2017

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A United Voice


“I have discovered in my ministry that those who have become lost [and] confused are typically those who have most often … forgotten that when the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve speak with a united voice, it is the voice of the Lord for that time. The Lord reminds us, ‘Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same’ [D&C 1:38]” (M. Russell Ballard, “Stay in the Boat and Hold On!” 90).


See also “Lesson 2: Prophets and Apostles Solemnly Proclaim,” The Eternal Family Teacher Manual (2015)

Neither the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency, nor the united voice of the First Presidency and the Twelve will ever lead the Saints astray or send forth counsel to the world that is contrary to the mind and will of the Lord. 
An individual may fall by the wayside, or have views, or give counsel which falls short of what the Lord intends. But the voice of the First Presidency and the united voice of those others who hold with them the keys of the kingdom shall always guide the Saints and the world in those paths where the Lord wants them to be. ("Eternal Keys and the Right to Preside", Joseph Fielding Smith, Apr 1972)
The prophet and President of the Church can receive revelation individually that becomes doctrine when it is sustained by the united voice of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (see Acts 10; Official Declaration 2). ("How Is Doctrine Established?", LaRene Porter Gaunt, Sep 2013 Ensign)
In trying all matters of doctrine, to make a decision valid, it is necessary to obtain a unanimous voice, faith and decision. In the capacity of a Quorum, the three First Presidents must be one in their voice; the Twelve Apostles must be unanimous in their voice, to obtain a righteous decision upon any matter that may come before them…. Whenever you see these Quorums unanimous in their declaration, you may set it down as true. (Journal of Discourses 9:91-92)
It is not definitive because it does not purport to declare the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or even to give any official Church position on the meaning of any particular scripture. Only the President of the Church or the First Presidency can perform those sacred functions. Modern revelation clearly declares that an Apostle can write "by wisdom," but not by commandment (D&C 28:5). (His Holy Name, Dallin H. Oaks, (1998) p. viii-ix)
The doctrines of the restored gospel are found in the standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the teachings of the living prophets and apostles, and in the authorized declarations and proclamations of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ultimately, however, only the President of the Church and the Quorum of the First Presidency have the authority to define the doctrines of the Church....
True ... doctrine... comes from God and is correct and accurate. The sources of such doctrine are the authorized teachings of the Lord's anointed servants and the scriptures. (Increase in Learning, David A. Bednar, (2011) p. 152-153)

Sunday, January 13, 2019

What Is The Purpose Of The Book Of Mormon?


To convince Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ and the Savior of the world
"to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God" ("Title Page of the Book of Mormon")
the Book of Mormon exists to bear witness of Jesus Christ—who He is, what He taught, why He died, and His resurrection from the dead. There are more than 6,000 verses in the Book of Mormon. Nearly 4,000 of those verses mention Jesus. 
The culminating event in the Book of Mormon is the appearance of Jesus Christ sometime shortly after His Resurrection in the old world to a group of people living in the Americas (3 Nephi 11).  ("What is the Book of Mormon About?", 7 Dec 2017)
The major mission of the Book of Mormon, as recorded on its title page, is ‘to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.’ 
“The honest seeker after truth can gain the testimony that Jesus is the Christ as he prayerfully ponders the inspired words of the Book of Mormon.
“Over one-half of all the verses in the Book of Mormon refer to our Lord. Some form of Christ’s name is mentioned more frequently per verse in the Book of Mormon than even in the New Testament. 
“He is given over one hundred different names in the Book of Mormon. Those names have a particular significance in describing His divine nature
(“Come unto Christ”, Ezra Taft Benson,  Oct 1987)
[Isaiah] verily saw my Redeemer, even as I [Nephi] have seen him.
And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words.
Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ
(2 Nephi 11:3)

To persuade people to come unto Christ and be saved
"the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved." 1 Nephi 6:4

To show that God fulfills all his promises that he makes to his children. (To increase faith in God)
"to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers" ("Title Page of the Book of Mormon")
"that they may know the covenants of the Lord" ("Title Page of the Book of Mormon")


That the readers and their peoples "might not be destroyed" 
See "Title Page of the Book of Mormon"

Moroni has seen two peoples of the Lord be eliminated from the earth. He is warning us on how to not repeat what they did.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

To Become

"the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become. "(Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge to Become" Oct 2000)