I can assure you that the greatest responsibility and the greatest joys in life are centered in the family, honorable marriage, and rearing a righteous posterity. ~Ezra Taft Benson
Saturday, April 9, 2011
A Prophet and 12 Apostles
I want to start by remembering when Christ was on the earth and he called his apostles. Lets look at Matt 4:18-22 18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
And, now, Mark 3:13-15 13 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,
15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:
And now, Luke 6:12-13 12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
Christ choose twelve men to be His apostles—including Peter, James and John—and laid His hands on their heads to give them authority called the priesthood to perform baptisms, govern His church, and spread His word throughout the world.
Regardless of the valiant efforts of Christ’s apostles and their faithful followers, the original church that Christ restored began to fade away. Members faced severe persecution and all but one of the apostles were martyred. This is a period called the Great Apostasy, when there was a “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3) from the gospel Christ organized.
Without authority or divine direction, Christianity struggled to survive with conflicting opinions on even the most basic teachings of the gospel. Without priesthood authority or the full gospel, people had to rely on human wisdom to interpret the scriptures, principles and ordinances. Many false ideas were taught as truth, and much of what we know about the true character and nature of God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost was lost. Essential doctrines like faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost became distorted and important doctrines were lost entirely.
Then in 1830 Joseph Smith was reading the Bible, and came across James 1:5 which reads, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him”. So, he did just that. He prayed and asked God which church he should join.
Through Joseph Smith, our Heavenly Father restored the original and only true church to the earth. I am SO grateful to know that God loves us and we have a living prophet to tell us what he wants us to do so that we can return to live with him and be an eternal family after we leave this life here on earth. You can go HERE to read more about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here is a picture of our sweet prophet, Pres. Thomas S. Monson.
He is assisted by two counselors, Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Together, they make up the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (much like Peter, James, and John in Christ's time). Here is a picture of him with his 2 counselors, don't you just love their happy smiles!
Here is a picture of the 12 apostles that we have... just like in times of old...
We have the opportunity to hear them speak every 6 months. The 1st Sunday in April and the 1st Sunday in October. You can go HERE to read, watch or listen to their talks!
I took notes as I listened to their talks this past Saturday and Sunday. I am going to share my notes with you but I encourage you to go and read them yourselves!
Be thou an example of the Believers. Keep clean hands. Avoid worldly distractions. Confess/repent to those we offend (and to the Lord) Come to the Sacrament table willing to confess and renew our covenants. Do not relax – the adversary succeeds when we do. Partaking of the Sacrament is a testament that you will always remember me AND IF you do, you will always have my Spirit to be with you. ~L. Tom Perry
Pay your tithing. Help the elderly. Listen to the Fathers voice (promptings). (And I might add, obey). We can do it without seeing the Father, we can hear His voice! ~Sister Jean Stevens (Primary)
Treat your spouse with kindness and love. Share the gospel. Love others by following His examples Keep the commandments. Make and keep covenants. Attend the temple often. Joseph Smith taught that covenants were made BEFORE we came to earth. As we strive to follow Him, the windows of Heaven will open up! ~Walter F. González
Repent – the Savior heals. Pray & wait & work & help. None of us are exempt from pain; opposition is part of the plan. The Savior is not a silent observer, he is the physician. Healing comes in many ways. Sometimes we are healed by being able to deal with our pain. ~Kent Richards
Do not judge others. Our suffering will aid to my sanctification. The most important organization on earth is the family, and parents are not paid. ~Elder Quinine Cook
Include our children in our giving/service. Reach out and help others. Be generous. Seek out the poor. (The Holy Ghost will help you). Plan service projects. Prepare yourself spiritually. Lift up the hands that hang down, strengthen the feeble knees. He loves His children – those who need help & those who can give it. Turn feelings of sympathy to action! When I am generous to His children, He is generous to me. We are happier and have more respect when we reach out and help others. I love this work and it is work. (Benson) ~Pres. Henry B. Eyring
If you are carrying a burden, let it go. Do a lot of forgiving and a little repenting (and you will be visited by the Holy Ghost). ~Boyd K. Packer
Make this world a better place. Do not let your fear combat your faith. Our future is as bright as our faith. Let your children feel your faith. Makes sure your faith is centered on Christ. Believe Him. Difficult days are ahead, each of us will be tested – how you deal with the trail is part of the test. Mortality is simply a testing time. Obedience will protect us spiritually & physically. The apostle Paul warned that in the latter days those who diligently follow the Lord shall suffer persecution. That very persecution can either crush you to silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily lives. How you deal with trials is part of the test. ~Russell M. Nelson
Have Celestial traditions in your home. ~Richard Maynes
Study, read, and pray with a firm commitment to obey when you get an answer. ~Cecil O. Samuelson
Desire to fast. Loose every desire for sin. (Give away all our sins to know God). Forgive all. Put others welfare before ours. Love all. Pray with all energy of heart for this love. Work towards securing a temple marriage. Desire to become like Him. Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, choices determine our actions. Desires we act on makes us who we become. He will judge all men by our work & desires of our hearts. ~Dallin Oaks
Love one another. No gossip. Join with ward members to help someone. The still small voice will tell us who to help. ~M. Russell Ballard
Do not waste too much time waiting on your Road to Damascus Proceed with faith. Harken to the promptings of the Spirit. Rearrange your schedule if you have to. Let us be among those that the Lord can depend on! Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words. The needs of others is ever present – we need to hear & act. (Monson) ~M. Russell Ballard
The Lord is involved in our lives… it most often comes in the form of a puzzle, one piece at a time. When enough pieces have been put together we can see that the Savior has quietly been involved in our lives. Promptings may not come directly as an answer to our prayers. They may come through friends and family. Promptings may not only come for our benefit but for others. Many times when we are meeting the needs of others our prayers are answered. ~Pres. Uchdorf
Be happy. Trials will add to our education, there are wonderful blessings on the heels of our trials. We want growth without challenges, a world class athlete only gets there through lots of work. We don’t want to hear, “Well, your done.” But, “Well done thy good and faithful servant!” ~Paul Johnson
Prepare for times of distress. ~David Burton
Pay fast offering. Helping one another is a sanctifying experience. ~Sis. Silvia Allred (RS)
Ask for revelation with faith and we will receive it. Press forward…. Praying. THEN shall they confidence wax strong. The Holy Ghost is a revelator and no man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelation. We should be receiving revelation in our lives! If we ask with faith and an honest heart believing, we will receive through dreams, visions, conversations with Heavenly messengers and inspiration. ~David Bednar
You will receive every blessing that you are worthy of. Lead me to someone that I can help. ~Richard G. Scott
Keep the Word of Wisdom. Pay your tithing. Do nothing to prevent you from going to the temple! Overcome temptation. Be grateful for our temples, get worthy to attend, get a recommend, GO TO THE TEMPLE! ~ Pres. Monson
Pray for his chastening. Willingly accept correction. He asks not for a commitment bur for our very lives. He wants to make us holy, he provides us with commandments. ~D. Todd Christofferson
REPENT. Jesus Christ is the healer of our souls. ~C. Scott Grow
Consecrate your life to the Lord. Teach by the Spirit. Listen with the Spirit. God not only lives, but speaks! We need to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable (Pres. Lee) ~Jeffrey R. Holland
I know these are men of God. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, just like Noah, Abraham, Moses and countless others were. I am so grateful to know that God lives and loves us. And that His Son, Jesus Christ atoned for our sins that we might repent every single day and become more like Him as we serve others and keep the commandments. I know he hears us and he answers when we pray. I am grateful for temples, where we can go to be sealed together as families. Here is a picture of the temple that I was sealed to my hubby, it is the St. George temple.
I have a WONDERFUL husband who supports me in everything I do! He is a great father! We are so lucky to have him! I love being with him whether it is an exciting trip to Hawaii or just going out for a quick lunch... okay, I even like sitting on the couch watching TV with him! He is the best! We have been blessed with 5 VERY handsome, VERY kind, VERY competitve (haha) SONS! I have loved going to their sporting events and "cheering" them on to victory over the years. Time flies, I have learned to enjoy each and every day! Life is too short! I have been SO blessed! I have 2 beutiful daughters in law whom I am SO grateful for! They are wonderful and add so much joy to my life! I always wanted a daughter and now I have TWO! AND, we have 2 new grandsons who have stole my heart!!! I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the youth of the church... trying to help them see the importance of EVERY decision they make! I currently teach institute. I love to play with my kids, GO TO THE BEACH!, garden, go to a movie, go out to eat, travel, and just go out to lunch with my friends!
"You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experience." -Gordon B. Hinckley "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." -Robert Brauit "The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache." -Marjorie Pay Hincklely
"Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Majorie Pay Hinckley
"How did a nice girl like me get into a mess like this?"-Majorie Pay Hinckley
"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived." -Marjorie Pay Hinckley