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Talk, 18 Nov 2018


  • A Testimony of the Gathering of Israel
    • Quote by President Nelson “The Gathering of Israel is the most important…”
    • “This gathering is ‘the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on earth today’!”
    • “My dear young brothers and sisters, these surely are the latter days, and the Lord is hastening His work to gather Israel. That gathering is the most important thing taking place on earth today. Nothing else compares in magnitude, nothing else compares in importance, nothing else compares in majesty.”
    • Do you believe it? Do you and I understand what that means? Are we acting according to our beliefs?
    • My purpose is not to give a historical overview, but to discuss in a spiritual manner.
  • Historical Context
    • Amos 3:7, Prophets have foretold of the Gathering of Israel
    • A Brief History Lesson
    • Ezekiel 36 & Isaiah 52 are a good spiritual explanation of the significance of the Gathering.
      • (Ezekiel 36:17- 18) “when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they adefiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the buncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had ashed upon the land, and for their bidols wherewith they had cpolluted it:”
    • All of the Old Testament is a testimony of God’s covenant with Israel. To understand it, is to understand that God will restore the House of Israel according to the covenants that he made.
    • How will Israel be gathered?
    • Its about cleanliness, reconsilation to God, worthiness to return home to His presence.
    • (Ezekiel 36:26-28) “26 A anew bheart also will I cgive you, and a new dspirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony eheart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh 27 And I will put my aspirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the aland that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
  • Christ spoke of the Gathering of Israel
    • Gathered as chicks, and ye would not
    • So did Mary.
    • Parables:
      • Labors in the Vineyard
      • The Wedding Feast?
  • What invitations has President Nelson extended to us to participate in the Gathering of Israel?
  • To the women:
    • First, I invite you to participate in a 10-day fast from social media and from any other media that bring negative and impure thoughts to your mind.
    • Second, I invite you to read the Book of Mormon between now and the end of the year.
    • Third, establish a pattern of regular temple attendance.
    • My fourth invitation, for you who are of age, is to participate fully in Relief Society.
  • To the Youth:
    • First, disengage from a constant reliance on social media, in order to decrease its worldly influence upon you… by holding a seven-day fast from social media.
    • My second invitation is to make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord, for three weeks in a row, to let Him know that you want to be part of His youth battalion—more than you want anything else. For three weeks give up something you like to do and use that time to help gather Israel.
    • My third invitation is for you to do a thorough life assessment with the Lord, and perhaps with your parents and your bishop, to ensure that your feet are firmly planted on the covenant path.
    • My fourth invitation is for you to pray daily that all of God’s children might receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • My fifth invitation is for you to stand out; be different from the world. You and I know that you are to be a light to the world. Therefore, the Lord needs you to look like, sound like, act like, and dress like a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Yes, you are living in the world, but you have very different standards from the world to help you avoid the stain of the world.
  • Summary:
    • Hold a seven-day fast from social media.
    • Make a weekly sacrifice of time to the Lord for three weeks.
    • Keep on the covenant path. If you are off, repent and get back on the path.
    • Pray daily that all of God’s children might receive the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • Stand out. Be different. Be a light. Give to a friend one copy of the booklet For the Strength of Youth.
  • Do you believe it? Do we believe that the Gathering of Israel is the most important work that is happening on earth today? Do our actions reflect that priority?
  • President Nelson: “My dear sisters, we need you! We ‘need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices.’4 We simply cannot gather Israel without you.”
  • A sobering post note:
    • We know that Christ is coming, and we know that there will be a people prepared to receive him: Israel will be gathered, while Idumea will burn.
    • That the presiding councils of the Church feel that the Church is now strong enough to reduce the number of hours that we spend at Church and encourage us to replace it with a home-centered curriculum has sent me soul searching. Am I really able to make the Gospel the Center of my home life?
    • The Church is growing and thriving around the globe, especially in regions that are less encumbered with the distractions of the world. Will I be a part of it?
    • Perhaps a quote from Elder Holland sums it up well:

In John, Chapter 3, a ruler among the Jews whose name was Nicodemus, comes to Jesus by night and said:

Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:2-3

Suffer the Children – Morning Thoughts, 5 Oct 2018

This morning’s scripture study was more of a prayer and pondering session. I briefly reviewed my current Book of Mormon study post: “In the Fear of God,” Alma 39:12-19 and also a few entries from my personal blog: “Moroni 10” and  “Baptism and John the Baptist”

In my prayers, I was reflecting on what commandment that Lord would have me be aware of. The answer has been allusive for several days. Part of the answer was that it varies from day to day. Then as I pondered further on what thing God would have me do today, and how I would do anything that Lord would ask me to do, I was brought to consider my daughter Emma’s pregnancy, and how it is that I or Rachel and I could possibly shoulder some of the burden of raising another child, at least in providing childcare services for her.

This has me reflecting upon my desires in children’s media, Mr. Roger’s example, and the opportunity to influence for good the lives of my grandchildren and others.

I feel a need to learn about and study early childhood development. There is much here that I do not understand. All of this is a call to become more like the Savior who suffered the little children to come unto him.

“Suffer the children to come unto you, and teach them how to come unto me.”

The Decision of the Council Is Right

For the past week, since our 19th wedding anniversary, I’ve contemplated the power of decisions made in council. In this instance, that council is the executive council of the family (Rachel and I). Most of our challenges and shortcomings have been the result of a failure to work together in council with one another. 

Related is the reality that end of man is to be married to a woman, and to be united in heart and mind in all that we do. It is not enough to have my own thoughts and opinions about a thing. Rather, my voice, my opinion, my perspective is only a part of a greater whole.

What are the doctrines that support these realities? This is a hidden doctrine of leadership in the scriptures. It refers to it but not directly.

Progress of Commandments

Matthew 19:16-26

It is interesting to note the progression of the commandments that the Savior notes here in the conversation with the Rich young ruler.

They are listed here in order of grossest offense to most exalted behavior.

  1. Thou shalt do no murder

  2. Thou shalt not commit adultery

  3. Thou shalt not steal

  4. Thou shalt not bear false witness

  5. Honour thy father and thy mother

  6. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

Then as the rich man acknowledges his faithfulness in adherence to all the above, the Savior makes this final set of injunctions:

If thou wilt be perfect:

  1. go and sell that thou hast, and
  2. give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
  3. and come and follow me.


“By the Blood of Thy Covenant,” Zechariah 9

“by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” (vs. 11)

Sweet spiritual impressions cause me to consider that region of the world. This chapter also talks of Ephriam and Judah as instruments in the Lord’s hand and as jewels in the Lord’s crown lifted as an ensign upon his land.

Gratitude Revisited and Internalized

I’ve come back to this post on Gratitude from back in 2011.

There is a lot that I have been terribly ungrateful for.  I have allowed my perceived circumstances to bring me down, and the Spirit is strong with me in making this realization.

I’ve reviewed the scriptural mandates to be grateful found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and Doctrine and Covenants 46:32.

I need to change my prayers from just a rote recitation of blessings that I’m thankful for, to a more meaningful expression of thankfulness for specific blessings that I have been given.  There is much about this power that I don’t understand yet.


This commandment I can obey: ALWAYS BE THANKFUL!


“The Importance of Teaching in the Gospel”

Part One:

Part Two:


Let’s remember that teaching in the Church is

  1. about teaching pure, key doctrine
  2. inviting people to action
  3. talking about promised blessings

How does a teacher help people to act?

A teacher should pray for the spirit of discernment to known what the appropriate invitation to act should be.  There are no prescribed invitations.

  • (an example) Posing a question, whether or not an answer is given, invites people to act.

Review 1 Nephi 11-14 the questions the Holy Ghost asks Nephi.

The Book of Ezra, chapters 4 – 6

The Book of Ezra

During the reconstruction of the temple at Jerusalem,  the children of Israel are blessed by the prophesying of Haggai and Zechariah the prophets.  The reconstruction of the temple was done with the blessing and support of the Babylonian empire.

Next study the prophesying of Haggai and Zechariah that was designed to strengthen the Isrealites as they rebuilt the temple.