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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:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxsvqx75a-0

Part Two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w9zeNBoAAM


Notes:

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.

Apostasy and Restoration

Outline:

  • Establish the symbolism of Light.
    • Christ is the Light
    • God said, let there be light.
    • Acquiring light is the purpose of our existence.  (This is the personal application).
  • It is hard to understand why there would be a need for a Restoration without understanding prophets and  dispensations, and the effects of Apostasy.
  • The Story of King Lamoni’s household.
    • Lamoni is overcome by the light of the glory of God.
    • Parallel for the Apostasy and Restoration
  • The restoration of the Gospel  of Jesus Christ, was not a singular event. A series of acquisitions of light (see Alma 32:35)
    • Extensive divine preparations had to transpire before the Church of Jesus Christ could be established.
      • Detail these events.
      • Printing press
      • Martin Luther’s 95 points
      • Translation of the Bible into English by William Tyndale
      • Christopher Columbus, Pilgrams’ colonization of the Americas.
      • United States established as a safe haven of religious freedom.
    • Joseph Smith saw light in the First Vision. A restoration of that which was lost.

Compare and contrast apostasy and restoration to darkness and light.

Start with some sort of illustration of light. Where is the scripture that talks about the restoration coming forth as a light in the darkness.

Explain the terms apostasy and restoration. Give definitions.

Alma 32:35 – Light is discernible

Isaiah 8:20-22 – Testimony is light, if not share as such, no light in them.

Isaiah 9:2 – People that have walked in darkness have seen a great light.

This points us to Christ, and how it was that John described him as light: JST- John 1:7-10.

Christ also called himself the light of the world. (see John 8)

D&C 50:23&24

23 And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.

24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

Compare Apostasy and the Restoration to this darkness and light. To appreciate the full splendor of the Restoration, you have to hold up to the dark veil of apostasy.

 

Discuss the process of preparation for the Restoration, it is a series of nurturing events that change perceptions and opens the way for greater light and truth.


references:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/the-blessing-of-scripture?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/the-miracle-of-the-holy-bible?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/the-truth-of-god-shall-go-forth?lang=eng

Also consider

“We Believe in Being Chaste”

“We Believe in Being Chaste,” by Elder David A. Bednar

The Importance of a Physical Body

“Simply stated, there are lessons we must learn and experiences we must have, as the scriptures describe, according to the flesh.”

1 Nephi 19:6, Alma 7:12-13

We are spiritual beings. And if we remained only as spiritual beings we would not have the experiences of living in a mortal body. I ask myself, can I really distinguish between my body and my spirit. Do I know the difference, and do I understand why Christ had to come in the flesh to save us from our sins?

Difference between the Natural Man and the Man of Christ

Helaman 3:29 – The word of God will lead the Man of Christ across that gulf of misery prepared to ensnare the wicked. There is a punishment prepared or affixed for wickedness.

Alma 38:12 – Bridle all your passions (natural man appetites), that ye may be filled with love (spiritual inclinations to do right).