Exercising Faith

Exercising Faith

 

 

By Nate Richardson

A Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Available free at RichardsonStudies.com

Contact editor@richardsonstudies.com

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Belief and Knowledge unto Obedience. 3

Taking Care of Others Before Yourself: Excerpts from “Fear Not to Do Good” by Henry B Eyring (SHORTEN) 4

Courageous Faith. 6

Pride and Humility: The Universal Problem & Solution where?. 7

The Doctrine of Obedience as taught by the Prophets. 9

Obedience to God Can Bring Seemingly Unrelated Blessings. 10

Build a Highway to Zion: The Redemptive Life of Moving Mountains. 11

Faithlessness: Our #1 Problem, & How Faith Hope and Charity Lead to Salvation. 12

To Obey is Better than Sacrifice: The Secret Code for Valiant Service, & A List of Some Commandments & Councils. 14

Living Beneath Our Privileges. 18

A Great Terror: Decreasing Sabbath Observance & Scriptural Awareness. 23

Christmas Devotional 2014 Highlights (L?) 24

Chapter Tithing as taught by the Prophets. 26

Chapter Scriptures Study Techniques from Elder Bednar (shorten) 28

Chapter Prophets Say an Hour of Scripture Study Daily is Ideal 30

Chapter Prophetic Council Regarding Scripture Study. 32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belief and Knowledge unto Obedience

 

The more I learn about nutrition the wiser choices I’m able to make since I go from believing to knowing that certain things are healthy, but I still know so little.

For example if I think a T-Rex is about to come to my house, I’ll probably leave. But if I know he is coming, I’ll leave immediately no questions even if it’s hard!

I must study and pray for an increased testimony of nutritional principles so i can put them into practice.

It’s the same way with the gospel: as we transition from belief to knowledge, we will more perfectly execute commandments. This life is a test because it’s so tricky to move from apathy to belief, and all the harder to move from belief to knowledge. However, it is possible. Elder McConkie said that when he baths the Savior’s feet with his fears, he will know no more certainly then than he does now that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of all mankind. There are others who similarly specifically have testified in General Conference that though they have not seen the Savior, they know that he lives, and they know him. Some say you can’t “know” the Book of Mormon is true, you can only believe. Well, Elder Holland and many others including I would certainly disagree with that.

 

 

 

 

Taking Care of Others Before Yourself: Excerpts from “Fear Not to Do Good” by Henry B Eyring (SHORTEN)

 

 

Oct. 2017 General Conference

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/fear-not-to-do-good?lang=eng

 

-D&C 6:33 “Fear not to do good”
-The Lord told His leaders of the Restoration, and He tells us, that when we stand with faith upon His rock, doubt and fear are diminished; the desire to do good increases. As we accept President Monson’s invitation to plant in our hearts a testimony of Jesus Christ, we gain the power, the desire, and the courage to go to the rescue of others without concern for our own needs.
-Because they have no doubt He watches over them, they become fearless. They ignore their own trials to go to the relief of others. And they do so out of love for the Lord, asking no recompense.
– when the Teton Dam broke, a Latter-day Saint couple was traveling, miles away from their home. As soon as they heard the news on the radio, they hurried back to Rexburg. Rather than going to their own home to see if it was destroyed, they went looking for their bishop. He was in a building that was being used as the recovery center. He was helping to direct the thousands of volunteers who were arriving in yellow school buses. The couple walked up to the bishop and said, “We just got back. Bishop, where can we go to help?” He gave them the names of a family. That couple stayed mucking out mud and water in one home after another. They worked from dawn to dark for days. They finally took a break to go see about their own home. It was gone in the flood, leaving nothing to clean up. So they turned around quickly to go back to their bishop. They asked, “Bishop, do you have someone for us to help?” That miracle of quiet courage and charity—the pure love of Christ—has been repeated over the years and across the world.
-If you read the journal entries of those pioneers, you see the miracle of faith driving out doubt and fear. And you read of Saints leaving their own interests to help someone else for the Lord, before getting back to their own sheep or to their own unplowed fields.
-I have heard a report that some have started calling the Latter-day Saints who are wearing yellow Helping Hands T-shirts “The Yellow Angels.”
-They served not only with diligence but also with laughter and smiles, accepting nothing in return.
-The volunteers stopped their cleanup labor long enough to let me shake some hands. They said that 90 members of their stake in Georgia had created a plan to join in the rescue in Florida just the night before. They left Georgia at 4:00 in the morning, drove for hours, worked through the day and into the night, and planned to labor again the next day. They described it to me all with smiles and good humor. The only stress I sensed was that they wanted to stop being thanked so they could get back to work. The stake president had restarted his chain saw and was working on a downed tree and a bishop was moving tree limbs as we got into our vehicle to go to the next rescue team.
-“I’m not a member of your church. I can’t believe what you have done for us. God bless you.” The LDS volunteer standing next to him in his yellow shirt smiled and shrugged his shoulders as if he deserved no praise.
-“A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 426)
-faith, put into action, which requires selfless sacrifice, brings the change of heart that allows them to feel the love of God.
-Our hearts, however, remain changed only as long as we continue to follow the prophet’s counsel. If we stop trying after one burst of effort, the change will fade.
-challenges and the opportunities ahead will require even more.
-We cannot foresee the details, but we know the larger picture. We know that in the last days, the world will be in commotion. We know that in the midst of whatever trouble comes, the Lord will lead faithful Latter-day Saints to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. And we know that the Lord’s true disciples will be worthy and prepared to receive Him when He comes again. We need not fear.
-as much as we have already built faith and courage in our hearts, the Lord expects more from us—and from the generations after us. They will need to be stronger and braver because they will do even greater and harder things than we have done. And they will face increasing opposition from the enemy of our souls.
-We are to pray with all the energy of our hearts for the gift of charity, the pure love of Christ (see Moroni 7:47–48).
-And above all, we are to be consistent and persistent in following prophetic counsel.
-Sometimes you will be the angel the Lord sends to bear others up. Sometimes you will be the one surrounded by angels who bear you up. But always you will have His Spirit to be in your heart, as you have been promised in every sacrament service. You have only to keep His commandments.
-Opposition will strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ, as it has since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Faith always defeats fear. Standing together produces unity. And your prayers for those in need are heard and answered by a loving God.

 

 

 

Courageous Faith

 

 

-See also article Great Expectations of Young People in the parenting section of my family book.

-See also the “Torch Lighter” series, an animated video series of courageous Christians throughout the world and persecutions they’ve been through.

-See also the group “Voice of the Martyrs”. They have a FREE magazine and charts showing where Christians are persecuted today throughout the world.  See their website, persecution.com

–President Joseph Fielding Smith stated: “We all know something of the courage it takes for one to stand in opposition to united custom, and general belief. None of us likes to be ridiculed. Few are able to withstand popular opinion even when they know it is wrong, and it is difficult to comprehend the magnificent courage displayed by Abraham in his profound obedience to Jehovah, in the midst of his surroundings. His moral courage, his implicit faith in God, his boldness in raising his voice in opposition to the prevailing wickedness, is almost beyond comparison” (The Way to Perfection, 86).
-“Because the trend in society today is away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, you will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which you believe. Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith. When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life.” (Thomas S. Monson, “May You Have Courage,”Liahona, May 2009, 126. Also in Ensign 2015 April in 1st Presidency Message https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/04/president-monson-calls-for-courage?cid=HP_SA_3-28-2015_dPTH_fFPMxLIDyL1-C_&lang=eng#footnote7-12564_000_003)
-“The messages portrayed on television, in movies, and in other media [today] are very often in direct opposition to that which we want our children to embrace and hold dear. It is our responsibility not only to teach them to be sound in spirit and doctrine but also to help them stay that way, regardless of the outside forces they may encounter. This will require much time and effort on our part—and in order to help others, we ourselves need the spiritual and moral courage to withstand the evil we see on every side.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Three Goals to Guide You,”Liahona, Nov. 2007, 118–19. Also in Ensign 2015 April in 1st Presidency Message https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/04/president-monson-calls-for-courage?cid=HP_SA_3-28-2015_dPTH_fFPMxLIDyL1-C_&lang=eng#footnote7-12564_000_003)
-“As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. …
May we ever be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe, and if we must stand alone in the process, may we do so courageously, strengthened by the knowledge that in reality we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Dare to Stand Alone,” Liahona, Nov. 2011, 60, 67. Also in Ensign 2015 April in 1st Presidency Message https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/04/president-monson-calls-for-courage?cid=HP_SA_3-28-2015_dPTH_fFPMxLIDyL1-C_&lang=eng#footnote7-12564_000_003)
-“One day in my high school English class, the teacher announced that we’d be viewing an episode of a TV show I knew I shouldn’t watch. While other students cheered in excitement, my classmate Sarah raised her hand and asked if she could leave. When the teacher asked why, Sarah responded matter-of-factly, “Because I’m Mormon and I don’t watch shows with profanity.” Her courage to stand up in front of the class was amazing. Thanks to Sarah, I too stood up and waited outside with a clear conscience for the show to finish. I was forever changed. I started explaining my beliefs instead of avoiding the subject. And as a result, I found confidence in myself and participated even more in Church and school activities. I never told Sarah how much her example meant to me, but I try to emulate her example of confidence. I now realize that being a member of God’s wonderful, sacred Church is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. I hope that I can, through my example, be someone else’s Sarah.” (Ensign 2015 April in 1st Presidency Message https://www.lds.org/liahona/2015/04/president-monson-calls-for-courage?cid=HP_SA_3-28-2015_dPTH_fFPMxLIDyL1-C_&lang=eng#footnote7-12564_000_003)

 

Pride and Humility: The Universal Problem & Solution where?

Some aspects of pride:

-I want to do it my way.

-I want to get to heaven in the end (happiness), and I’ll get there in my time, and in my way.

-Jehovah has given councils, but those are not suited to me personally, I have tried those and failed, I shall set those aside and do things my way. I shall reach heaven nevertheless. I do not fear, I am confident that going on in the way I currently am is fine.

-No one should interfere with the way I do things, not even the councils of prophets of Jehovah.

-I am different and the councils of Jehovah do not apply to me, they will not lead me to happiness as quickly as my ways are doing so.
—————-
Some aspects of humility:

-Faith (assurance) in God’s existence, and that his councils are better for me than my chosen methods. They will lead me to heaven, and they alone will lead me there. There is no other way. Should I set aside the councils of Jehovah, I will be on a different path. Since only Jehovahs path leads to heaven, I will end up at a destination other than heaven.

-Faith that I can be successful in areas of my life where I have formerly not been successful. Jehovah has power to change my capacities.

-Inaceptance that my life will never progress. A determination to be better than I was yesterday. Assurance that the human is designed with the capacity to use it’s past to construct a different future. I will repent all of the time, saying sorry to Elohim for when I have acted according to my wisdom instead of His wisdom, and ask forgiveness in the name of Jehovah. Ask Elohim for the strength to not make similar mistakes in the future. I am determined that I shall not make these same mistakes in the future. I will pray more frequently until I have over come this habit.

-I am willing for my life to change upon the councils of Jehovah. I am willing to be humiliated for this. The only person I care getting approval from is Jehovah.

-I recognize that each day will be an opportunity to master myself. I expect to master myself, and SOON.

-I refuse to become discouraged, not because I accept my life the way it is and that it’s ok to remain the way I am, but because I am sure that Jehovah will help me improve in every way which is aligned with his councils as I ask him to and give my best efforts. Though I need time to relax, I also need time to work, and know Jehovah can make my weaknesses become strengths.

-The main question I ask myself is “How can I draw nearer to Jehovah today than I was yesterday, based on doing the things that he has counciled me to do?”

-I know the prophets modern and ancient are the mouthpiece of Jehovah, so their councils are my top priority. This is because I want to go to heaven, and the way of Jehovah is the only way to get there.

Summary:

-If we are not progressing, it is because of pride. Pray more often to get out of pride. None of the councils of Jehovah are optional for our happiness. They alone will lead us to heaven (happiness here and hereafter). Our top concern should be to find the aspects of our lives not in tune with the councils of Jehovah, and change those into being in tune with the councils of Jehovah.

 

 

 

The Doctrine of Obedience as taught by the Prophets

 

-“The question is frequently asked, “Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances? I would answer, No, not the fullness of salvation. Jesus said, There are many mansions in my Father’s house, and I will go and prepare a place for you. House here named should have been translated kingdom; and any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law too.

“If a man gets a fullness of the priesthood of God he has to get it in the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 331, 308.)

-Joseph Smith told the brethren that it was time that the prophecy of the hearts turning to the fathers it is time for such; he told them to pray for it until they receive it; one brother prayed for it each morning at a time set apart for such and he eventually a feeling encompassed him about how he is nothing compared to God and a conviction that to get salvation he needs to be exactly obedient. (see Personal Glimpses of the Prophet Joseph Smith complied by Hyrum L Andras and Helen May Andrus)

-by obedience Jesus won (LDS Hymnal)

– Jesus was baptized to witness that he would obey the father in all (2 Nephi 31 The Book of Mormon)

-the earth is more obedient than man because it obeys God quote

– even the animals will obey God

 

 

 

Obedience to God Can Bring Seemingly Unrelated Blessings

 

 

To say only nature can reward us, i.e. not getting punishment for breaking laws of the land, is atheist. Obey God in, per se, writing in your journal, and God can bless you with finding a 5$ bill on the street. What does finding random currency have to do with writing about your day? Nothing. Yes there can be a blessing. Imagine a child with a parent, and you can understand how obedience to the parent can bring rewards in what ever way the parent sees fit, even if not directly relating to the action taken by the child. I clarify and repeat: there is a being in yonder cosmos who is involved in your life. He is God. Obey him, and he will interact with you in a positive way. It’s not merely that Gods laws are wise ideas. Some of them are strange, and seemingly irrelevant. But obey God, and be blessed.

In other words, you can indeed be blessed for rendering obedience. Obedience for the sake of obedience. Getting a blessing for the sake of obeying. This philosophy requires theology, and is impossible with atheism. Is this true doctrine? Read your bibles. You’ll see the miracles of God. Look at Jesus healing those who wash in the same pool everyone else is washing in, yet they come away healed, despite prior bathing in that very place which would have been common in their lives. Look at Moses, whom went to cross the Red Sea at precisely the time it parted when everything was at stake. God told him what to do. He obeyed. He was blessed. Or consider Moses and the hand in the robe upon the word of God changing it. Yes, God is not a mere wise man, he is a God of miracles!

If you don’t think you can and will be blessed merely for the sake of obedience to God, you deny that God is a God of miracles! God has more power. More science. More dominion, etc. God has already been through life and death and been resurrected. He has been there done that. He knows everything now. We are like toddlers in comparison to his operations, though we can learn much, and should we press on faithful, we will learn all he knows, and become like Him, our Father. Don’t children have the capacity to grow up to be like their parents? Yes. And God is our Father. Do you taste this? This is good doctrine. You can taste it.

 

 

 

Build a Highway to Zion: The Redemptive Life of Moving Mountains

Build a highway for the people of God to return. This in part means do the work of God however difficult and back-breakingly heavy, and your life will pass by as a dream, and you will die exhausted and look back and say, “what happened?” And you will see that you have carved through the mountainside and a trail is behind you. You will see that you have been moving mountains for others to have a pathway to come to ZION.

 

 

 

Faithlessness: Our #1 Problem, & How Faith Hope and Charity Lead to Salvation

 

The biggest problem with me and anyone else who has a problem is the lack of faith – the lack of concrete trust in God – the lack of confidence in God – the lack of a surety that the end of days, yes, that the Millennium of millenniums is here, upon our doorstep! The knowledge that the times are here, it’s all here for The Showdown. This aspect of Faith as well as others are the most important thing that we need; this brings the good faith to teach your kids; you need the faith to read your books; you need faith learn the history of the earth; in faith you must defend Christianity and Mormonism; you need faith faith faith faith to do these things; faith brother is what you and everyone else with a problem needs more than anything – faith faith faith faith!

 

  1. Faith leads to hope, hope leads to charity, charity leads to salvation.
    aka faith -> hope -> charity -> salvation
    2. Satan’s goal = damn us.
    aka disable our salvation.
    How can be best do this?
    Trace back the line, salvation ultimately comes from faith.
    The book of Moses shows us that in Satan’s brief encounter with Moses, he struck at Moses’ faith.
    3. charity is the step before salvation (see Matthew), “inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these” is the line in the sand for salvation.
    4.  charity is more likely to come to pass when a person has faith and hope. In faith, we learn 1. what we have been given, and 2. what may yet be hoped for in the future. These inspire charity.
    5. missionaries baptize persons after a few weeks of meeting with them rather than years, because once faith is there and the Holy Ghost from baptism, the rest comes from God, via the Holy Ghost. The sewer plants a seed, then God sends the rain and sunlight. Our part is easy, just like Christ said, “my yoke is easy, my burden is light.” Faith is like a germ which devours cancerous cells, spreading quickly throughout the whole system.
    6. a study of the gospel changes behavior faster than a study of behavior changes behavior (Elder Packer said, see Preach My Gospel manual for missionary service.)
    7. When you’re depressed or dissatisfied with your life, its not because you don’t believe enough or hope enough, but because your acts aren’t enough. You aren’t participating in the advancement of the human race as well as you anticipated. So faith is not the endgame, charity is the endgame. But we’ve seen that charity is most likely produced via the foundation of faith. I submit further that in order to have perfect charity aimed in the right direction and applied in the right way, this type of charity can ONLY come via faith.
    8. lack of faith is the universal problem in society and individuals, and the universal remedy is faith.
    9. Alma 32 speaks of gaining belief, and says if you don’t believe, use a des
    10. synonyms for faith hope and charity are belief motivation and action/behavior.
    11. Charity = power + righteous application.
    Thus, an antonym for charity is power + unrighteous application = abuse.
    12. Belief proceeds action because you won’t try for something which you don’t really believe is there.
    13. When you believe in something enough, and are sufficiently motivated (which motivation comes from the belief), you WILL act for it.
    14. Faith comes from hearing the word of God, you need someone to introduce you to faith. You can’t even fathom faith and spirituality without an introduction, you wouldn’t even know that part of your brain existed not to mention how to use it. Someone to suggest the correct reading (the scriptures ancient and modern).
    15. Lack of motivation/desire (hope), you must have more of the belief/faith. Faith hope and charity are 3 rungs of a stair set. If you don’t want it, you don’t believe it’s great. Learn about this better world, where is it, what is it, why is it. The more you learn about it, the more it opens channels of your mind that have been closed for too long, the more premortal memories you awaken.
    16. A Relief Society sister in General Conference said God will give you as much power as you are wise enough to handle. Wisdom here probably is synonymous with belief. Believe the right things, the right way to handle and approach things, and you’ll get more power. In other words, the more faith you have, the more charity you’ll be given.
    17. You go from step 1 (faith) to step 3 (charity) quickly. The middle step 2 (hope) is almost subconscious; the thing to work at is building your faith, then hope comes, then charity comes. Refer to verse 6 of this document, that a study of the gospel changes behavior faster than a study of behavior changes behavior.
    18. A general and major source of depression is lack of service to others (charity). Is it any wonder that the soul of man is depressed when he is not doing the thing which produces salvation?
    19. Charity is not something we do in this life so we can relax in heaven. Brigham Young said the streets if heaven if gold, were paved by the saints to become that way. God works, his work is our salvation (immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39); immortality means that your body and soul will live on forever, eternal life means that you’ll live the life like God lives). God weeps. This is one of the greatest revelations of the last days; in the book of Moses, we have the account of Enoch, and his interview with God, wherein he sees God weeping. When Enoch asks why he wept, God responds that these are his children suffering, and though it is worth it and he does it for us, it is indeed hard. God lives a flavorful life. The scripture says in the millennium God will wipe away all tears and there will be no more sorrow because there will be no more death; indeed, there will be a great period of rejoicing, but the work of God goes on, and as new candidates are introduced to the plan of salvation, they will go through some amount of suffering, and this will to some extent sadden our souls at times.
    20. We cannot imagine that there are no real requirements for salvation. See Elder Christofferson’s message on the need for a Savior. Furthermore, though our good works are as filthy rags as the scripture says, we also know that exaltation must be earned, it cannot be given to unworthy candidates. All fall short, but some things must be done for exaltation.

 

 

To Obey is Better than Sacrifice: The Secret Code for Valiant Service, & A List of Some Commandments & Councils

 

 

To serve God valiantly is to do all that he commands, not just good hobbies, not just what I think is tolerable. its to do the boots on the ground hard work that needs to get done. Do you want to please God? Then ask: Am I out of debt? Am I spending time with my family regularly and teaching them the gospel? Am I being nice to those around me? Am I doing well in school and career goals for the betterment of society and my household? Am I making good choices with my body, including healthy food and exercise? Am I making my home an environment for ideal child development, and keeping the doors open thereto? Am I ministering to my spouse and neighbors? Young men, have you completed your church missions? Young adults, ask, have I married and got my children on the way and my career beginning, including taking full advantage of educational opportunities?  (For a brilliant discourse from Elder Anderson in 2011 about having children while going to school see his message “Children”, where he recounts president Kimball’s council to a young student, “would the Lord want you to break one of his important commandments in order for you to become a doctor? With the help of the Lord, you can have your family and still become a doctor. Where is your faith?” (Conf. Report, Oct. 2011 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/children?lang=eng.)) Know that yes, God will give me time for recreation, hobbies, learning and teaching of the various fields of knowledge, especially gospel knowledge, but when He has commanded, and the servant is not quick to obey every call, that is a slothful servant, and loses his reward.

Remember always, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (1 Sam. 15:22).  If you have a great idea but it means you would not be able to obey the commands of the Lord to enact that idea, know that said idea needs to be put in its place, and take a backseat priority as compared to the Lord’s commands. Long have the people of the Lord been commanded to offer the firstlings of their flocks, the cream of their crop, the best of the harvest, not the leftovers or the blemished. There may be room for the sand after the rocks have fit into the jar, but never will the rocks fit if you put the sand first. To put the rocks in first (meaning the prophetic priorities) is to trust God and lean not unto your own understanding (Psalms 3:5-6). While following the promptings of the Holy Ghost to do wonderful things in the Lord’s kingdom, being not commanded in all things but doing much good of your own free will (D&C 58:26), we must discern that the spirit of God is what leads us in accordance and within the boundaries of the laws of God.

Some Commandments & Councils

This is a list of things which God has asked us to do via his prophets in the Latter-days. If you doubt any of these, notify me and I’ll help get you the reference for them showing prophets who have asked these things of us. Though some of these may be considered mere ‘councils’ rather than ‘commandments’, we, like Jesus our leader, seek to ‘live by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God’

-The ten commandments, including ‘6 days shalt thou work’

-The word of wisdom (don’ts as well as do’s; no tobacco alcohol coffee tea, yes wheat fruit vegetables meat sparingly and exercise etc.)

-the law of tithing (10% of your income give to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

-study the scriptures often (Elder Ballard says to do it thirty minutes each morning before you start your day)

-live the law of chastity (no sexual relations except between a man and wife lawfully married)

-follow the prophet (receive their council as from the mouth of the Lord Himself)

-pray often (to the Father in the name of Christ)

-the law of the fast, including fast offerings (In The Miracle of Forgiveness, President Kimball says to not fast is a sin; not only sins of commission are sin, but sins of omission are sin too.)

-young men to serve full time missions (if you question as to weather this is a commandment, see my post “Missions: Commanded to Go”. I’ve compiled prophets quotes on how this is not up to debate.)

-service in the church

-monthly home teach for men, visit teach for women.

-men receive the Priesthood

-women have children

-be baptized

-come unto Jesus Christ

-teach your children the gospel freely by age 8 (or the sins of the child are on the parents’ head)

-get endowment in the temple

-marry in the temple

-keep temple covenants

-redeem your ancestors via the temple

-men provide for your family

-women nurture your family

-have 1-year supply of food storage

-love God and your neighbor

-establish a house of order

-no dating until 16 years old

-dress modestly (see church guidelines)

-find people for the missionaries to teach

-rejoice

-lift up your head

-warn your neighbors about the gospel

-get a personal witness from the Holy Ghost that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is his true and living church on the earth today.

-sustain your local church leaders

-obey the law of the land

-partake of the sacrament (worthily) on Sundays

-repent of all your sins

-don’t let secret combinations take charge of your nation

-stand up for the rights of your children and country

-follow the Holy Ghost’s promptings

-be still and behold the salvation of God

-be anxiously engaged in a good cause

-don’t run faster than you have strength (Elder Neil A Maxwell says this is a type of nervousness that disables us from giving our all)

-study foreign and local governments

-study geography, oceanography, and things over the earth

-study languages of foreign nations

-study all good science and learning

-give all you have to build up the Church and Kingdom of God on earth

-don’t judge others unrighteously

-pray for mercy

-turn the other cheek when others smite you

-when asked to go one mile go two

-when asked for something give it and more

-settle disputes amongst yourselves rather than taking things to court when possible (agree with thine enemy whilst thou art in the way with him)

-uphold the Constitution of the USA

-pay back those you have wronged

-don’t gossip or backbite

-elect political leaders whom are righteous men of God

-feed the hungry

-clothe the naked

-visit the lonely

-care for your parents when they grow old

-visit the imprisoned

-treat others with the same respect and charity that we would Christ

-always recognize your nothingness before God and your dependence on him and his hand in all things.

-confess your sins at church

-attend your church meetings faithfully

-magnify your calling (leave it better than you found it like the parable of the ten virgins)

-attend the temple often

-flee from Babylon

-build Zion

-seek to make your calling and election sure (Joseph Smith admonishes us to do that as well as Paul)

-have Family Home Evening once a week (usually Monday nights)

-avoid debt like the plague (TSM calls debt a demon)

-be civil in your dealings with others

-what you would have done to you, to do others

-don’t idol away your time

-learn the mysteries of the kingdom of God.

-confess major sins to your bishop, whom will help you be forgiven in the name of the Church seeing as he is a judge in Israel.

-men no earrings or other piercings

-women only one pair of earrings.

-no tattoos

 

 

 

Living Beneath Our Privileges

 

 

-Brigham Young says how he could weep like a whipped child when he thinks of how far the saints fell short of their possibilities and opportunities. (see Hugh Nibley BofM/PoGP lectures for source)

-“If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God.

Let us never forget that we have a marvelous heritage received from great and courageous people who endured unimaginable suffering and demonstrated unbelievable courage for the cause they loved. You and I know what we should do. God help us to do it when it needs to be done, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1991/10/our-mission-of-saving?lang=eng President Hinckley, Conf. Report Oct. 1991 Our Mission of Saving)

-we are commanded to rest on the Sabbath all throughout scripture. Working on the Sabbath is living beneath your privileges! You could have the day off, and God would take care of you if you only trusted him!

-when it becomes evening time, it’s time to stop worrying about money and be satisfied with the provisions we have and be involved in non-financial ordeals, of which there are many of import. Psalms 104:23
23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

-The laborer is worthy of his hire: we can have according to our needs if we’re only willing to work!

-“… God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them. …” (Teachings of Joseph Smith, p. 149.)

-“We are not yet caught up to the ancients in spiritual matters. They had higher spiritual knowledge than we do. “We have yet to gain that full knowledge and understanding of the doctrines of salvation and the mysteries of the kingdom that were possessed by many of the ancient Saints. O that we knew what Enoch and his people knew! Or that we had the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, as did certain of the Jaredites and Nephites! How can we ever gain these added truths until we believe in full what the Lord has already given us in the Book of Mormon, in the Doctrine and Covenants, and in the inspired changes made by Joseph Smith in the Bible? Will the Lord give us the full and revealed account of the creation as long as we believe in the theories of evolution? Will he give us more guidance in governmental affairs as long as we choose socialistic ways which lead to the overthrow of freedom?

We have yet to attain that degree of obedience and personal righteousness which will give us faith like the ancients: faith to multiply miracles, move mountains, and put at defiance the armies of nations; faith to quench the violence of fire, divide seas and stop the mouths of lions; faith to break every band and to stand in the presence of God. Faith comes in degrees. Until we gain faith to heal the sick, how can we ever expect to move mountains and divide seas?

We have yet to receive such an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord in our lives that we shall all see eye to eye in all things, that every man will esteem his brother as himself, that there will be no poor among us, and that all men seeing our good works will be led to glorify our Father who is in heaven. Until we live the law of tithing how can we expect to live the law of consecration? As long as we disagree as to the simple and easy doctrines of salvation, how can we ever have unity on the complex and endless truths yet to be revealed?

We have yet to perfect our souls, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, and to walk in the light as God is in the light, so that if this were a day of translation we would be prepared to join Enoch and his city in heavenly realms. How many among us are now prepared to entertain angels, to see the face of the Lord, to go where God and Christ are and be like them? . . .

Our time, talents, and wealth must be made available for the building up of his kingdom. Should we be called upon to sacrifice all things, even our lives, it would be of slight moment when weighed against the eternal riches reserved for those who are true and faithful in all things.

(Ensign, Apr. 1980, 25 Bruce R. McConkie)“

-Joseph Smith said he could have taught the people much more than he did about the Kingdom of Heaven, but they weren’t prepared to receive it.

-Video from President Uchdorf on the subject: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2013-01-001-your-potential-your-privileges?lang=eng

-“We all know that the priesthood is much more than just a name or title. The Prophet Joseph taught that “the Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity … to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years.”1 It holds “even the key of the knowledge of God.”2 In fact, through the priesthood the very “power of godliness is manifest.”3

The blessings of the priesthood transcend our ability to comprehend. Faithful Melchizedek Priesthood holders can “become … the elect of God.” 4 They are “sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies”5 and can ultimately receive “all that [the] Father hath.”6 This may be hard to comprehend, but it is beautiful, and I testify that it is true.

The fact that our Heavenly Father would entrust this power and responsibility to man is evidence of His great love for us and a foreshadowing of our potential as sons of God in the hereafter.

Nevertheless, too often our actions suggest that we live far beneath this potential. When asked about the priesthood, many of us can recite a correct definition, but in our daily lives, there may be little evidence that our understanding goes beyond the level of a rehearsed script.

Brethren, we are faced with a choice. We can be satisfied with a diminished experience as priesthood bearers and settle for experiences far below our privileges. Or we can partake of an abundant feast of spiritual opportunity and universal priesthood blessings.

As you read the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets with all your heart and mind, the Lord will tell you how to live up to your priesthood privileges. Don’t let a day go by without doing something to act on the promptings of the Spirit….

As bearers of the priesthood, let us never become hardened to the wonder and awe of what the Lord has entrusted to us….

My dear brethren, may we diligently seek to learn the doctrine of the holy priesthood, may we strengthen our testimonies line upon line by receiving the revelations of the Spirit, and may we find true joy in daily priesthood service. As we do these things, we will begin to live up to our potential and privileges as priesthood holders, and we will be able to “do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us].” (Philippians 4:13.)” (President Uchdorf, Your Potential, Your Privilege, Conf. Report Apr. 2011 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/your-potential-your-privilege?lang=eng#19-PD50028768_000_3040)

-“We live beneath our privileges when we allow worldly anchors to keep us away from the abundant joy that comes from faithful and dedicated priesthood service, especially within the walls of our own homes. We live beneath our privileges when we fail to partake of the feast of happiness, peace, and joy that God grants so bountifully to faithful priesthood servants.” (President Uchdorf, Your Potential, Your Privilege, Conf. Report Apr. 2011 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/your-potential-your-privilege?lang=eng#19-PD50028768_000_3040)

–Elder Maxwell reiterated President Brigham Young’s assertion that “we live far beneath our privileges” in terms of receiving revelation from God for guidance (see Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 32). Elder Maxwell counseled: “To the degree that we cease to live beneath our privileges, we can lift the Church.” (Apr. 2003 News of the Church https://www.lds.org/ensign/2003/04/news-of-the-church?lang=eng)

-“We don’t have the luxury of living beneath ourselves or being casual about seeking the gifts of the Spirit.

But we are up to the challenge.“ (Jan. 1999 Liahona We Are Not Alone Sheri L. Dew Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency; https://www.lds.org/liahona/1999/01/we-are-not-alone?lang=eng)

-“ in 1870, Eliza R. Snow asked thousands of women a question that I’d like to repeat today: “Do you know of any place on the face of the earth, where [a] woman has more liberty, and where she enjoys such high and glorious privileges as she does here, as a Latter-day Saint?” 1 I bear witness that the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do enjoy grand and glorious privileges.” ( Gratitude: A Path to Happiness: Bonnie D. Parkin

Recently Released General Relief Society President; Apr. 2007 Conf. Report

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/gratitude-a-path-to-happiness?lang=eng)

-“…All of this is to try to tell you how your Father in Heaven feels about you and what He has designed for you to become. And if for a time any of you are less visionary than this or seem bent on living beneath your privilege, then we express even greater love for you and plead with you to make your teenage years a triumph, not a tragedy. Fathers and mothers, prophets and apostles have no motive except to bless your life and to spare you every possible heartache we can spare you.” (To Young Women

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

https://www.lds.org/liahona/2005/11/to-young-women?lang=eng Nov. 2005 Conf. Report)

-“There is no doubt, if a person lives according to the revelations given to God’s people, he may have the Spirit of the Lord to signify to him His will, and to guide and to direct him in the discharge of his duties, in his temporal as well as his spiritual exercises. I am satisfied, however, that in this respect, we live far beneath our privileges.” ( Brigham Young, JD 12:104)

–Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once shared a story from his personal experience that illustrates President Young’s observation. Several years after Elder Ballard had returned from serving as a mission president, one of his former missionaries came to see him in his office at Church headquarters.

“President,” this missionary said, “I think I’m losing my testimony.”

Elder Ballard was surprised because this missionary had been one of his most faithful elders.

The young man continued, “For the first time, I have read some anti-Mormon literature [and] I have some questions, and nobody will answer them for me.”

Though the questions were what Elder Ballard described as “the standard anti-Church issues,” he explained to the young man that he would like some time to collect the appropriate materials to ensure that he could provide some meaningful answers. The elder agreed, and they set an appointment to meet again in 10 days.

As the former missionary left the office, Elder Ballard stopped him and said, “Elder, you’ve asked me several questions here today. . . . Now I have one for you.”

Elder Ballard then asked, “How long has it been since you read from the Book of Mormon?”

The missionary admitted that it had been a long time.

“All right,” Elder Ballard responded. “You have given me my assignment. It’s only fair that I give you yours. I want you to promise me that you will read in the Book of Mormon for at least one hour every day between now and our next appointment.”

The missionary reluctantly agreed. Elder Ballard’s own words describe what happened next:

Ten days later he returned to my office, and I was ready. I pulled out my papers to start answering his questions. But he stopped me.

“President,” he said, “that isn’t going to be necessary.” Then he explained: “I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.”

“Well, that’s great,” I said, “but you’re going to get answers to your questions anyway. I worked a long time on this, so you just sit there and listen.”

I answered all of those questions and then asked, “Elder, what have you learned from this?”

And he said, “Give the Lord equal time.” ( M. Russell Ballard, When Thou Art Converted: Continuing Our Search for Happiness (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2001), 51–52.) (https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/daniel-k-judd_wonderful-flood-light/ “A Wonderful Flood of Light” Daniel K. Judd Dec. 7 2004, BYU Speeches)

-“Phinehas (Young) visited a young woman dying of consumption, he was prompted to “lay hands on the sufferer and rebuke the disease.” He did so, and the woman was healed. He wrote, “I had never seen anything of the kind in my life, but had always believed the people were living far beneath their privileges.”” (Maxfield, pp. 1–2.) (By Leonard J. Arrington and JoAnn Jolley Ensign AUGUST 1980 THE FAITHFUL YOUNG FAMILY: THE PARENTS, BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF BRIGHAM)

 

A Great Terror: Decreasing Sabbath Observance & Scriptural Awareness

 

 

-“it has been frightening to me to see the churches closed, boarded up, with weeds growing in the yard, or open but empty. We face the frightening thought of a generation raised without any contact with scripture.” ((Elder Boyd K. Packer, ‘The Only True and Living Church’, Conference Report, Oct. 1971 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1971/10/the-only-true-and-living-church?lang=eng&query=only+true+church#watch=video)

-“When a community or nation grows careless in its Sabbath activities, its religious life decays and all aspects of life are negatively affected. The blessings associated with keeping the Sabbath day holy are lost. We should refrain from shopping on the Sabbath and participating in other commercial and sporting activities that now commonly desecrate the Sabbath. Latter-day Saints should set this holy day apart from activities of the world by entering into a spirit of worship, thanksgiving, service, and family-centered activities appropriate to the Sabbath. As Church members endeavor to make their Sabbath activities compatible with the intent and Spirit of the Lord, their lives will be filled with joy and peace.” (Preach My Gospel: What Should I Study And Teach: The Commandments: Keep the Sabbath Day Holy; https://www.lds.org/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/lesson-4-the-commandments?lang=eng)

 

Christmas Devotional 2014 Highlights (L?)

 

See
https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/christmas-devotional/2014/12?lang=eng&vid=3929047363001

-We declare it in song old and new, that Jesus is coming.

-Pray that we may learn and do and become what the Lord NEEDS us to become.

-President Hinckley said how the greatest forces for good in the world are babies, that God uses such to change the world.

-Shepherds are who saw first baby Jesus.

-when we see the Christmas star, remember the light of Christ that sheds through the world.

-The Spirit of Christmas is the love of Jesus Christ.

-Hearing of the Nativity should inspire us to be like Jesus and Jesus’ family

-Mary was not popular but she was humble and had great faith and obedience, hence she was highly favored of the Lord and called for a special mission in life to raise God’s Son.

-Our birth is something of a condesention also for we though not physical children of God are his spirit children (*he gave life to our spirits in pre-mortality and raised us there before he sent us here to earth). We like Jesus came to earth to do great things. Jesus needed earth experience so do we.

-Just as Jesus we came down from heaven to do the will of him that sent us.

-To ascend on high we need to defend at least below some things.

-These experiences that we can learn to have mercy on others and how to succor them according to their infirmities.

-Joseph F. Smith 6th President of the Church when a young father worked at the church tithing office 6am to 11pm he got 3 dollars of tithing pay which meant he could go to the tithing place and get flower or meat or molasses. He wanted to please his children on Christmas but had not a cent to do it with. He saw the stores, and wept. He played with his children, and was grateful and happy only for them.

Joseph F. Smith grew up without much discipline and grew up rough. This experience helped teach him tenderness.

-The Saviors experiences in mortality had redeeming purposes, and so do ours. They help us to be able to lift and help others.

-Jesus gave near constant service.

-Since we like Jesus came to do the will of the Father, our acts of service must not only be annual, but often.

-When you feel like serving others, it’s a sign that you feel more committed to the Savior.

-Christmas lights are to remind us of that bright feeling.

-The shepherds saw only a baby when the came to see the Savior at his birth. It took spiritual eyes to recognize that it was the Savior. The Savior today also says believe in him, trust the spirit which prompts to judge righteously and to do good, for this is the spirit of Jesus Christ. It fills the soul with joy.

-We can see a light in babies more than what physical eyes see, because of their purity.

-We don’t need to Holy Ghost to be able to see more of the glory of pure people etc. For example one lady not a member of the church, thought she saw halo’s over the heads of the sister missionaries who knocked on her door.

-Love people enough to ask the mission President to send missionaries to a certain home to offer someone the gift of the gospel.

-The light of Christ is the universal intelligence with which all humans are blessed.

-God’s spirit causes us to desire to stay away from sin, to be less boastful, less prideful, less critical.

-Jesus Christ is the light and the life of the world which can never be darkened, and his life can never end. (*He is the source which causes our lives to never end once we are resurrected).

-The light of Christ is what makes every hopeless dawn a joyful morning.

-“I know as surely as I live that the resurrected Savior lives” (President Eyring).

-Draw closer to him [Jesus Christ] to be able to feel more of his love and light.

 

 

 

Chapter Tithing as taught by the Prophets

 

 

 

– “Obedience to God’s commandments is the foundation for a happy life. Surely, we will be blessed with the gifts of heaven for our obedience. Failure to pay tithing by those who know the principle can lead to heartache in this life and perhaps sorrow in the next.” (Joseph B. Worthlin; Conf. Report 2004 “Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2004/04/earthly-debts-heavenly-debts?lang=eng&clang=tam)

– “…tithing is a debt which everyone owes to the Lord for his use of the things that the Lord has made and given to him to use. It is a debt just as literally as the grocery bill, or a light bill, or any other duly incurred obligation. As a matter of fact, the Lord, to whom one owes tithing, is in a position of a preferred creditor. If there is not enough to pay all creditors, he should be paid first.” (Marion G. Romney: Conf. Report Jan. 1982 “The Blessings of an Honest Tithe” https://www.lds.org/new-era/1982/01/the-blessings-of-an-honest-tithe?lang=eng)

– “The payment of tithing is a commandment, a commandment with a promise. If we obey this commandment, we are promised that we will ‘prosper in the land.’ This prosperity consists of more than material goods—it may include enjoying good health and vigor of mind. It includes family solidarity and spiritual increase. I hope those of you presently paying your full tithe
will seek the faith and strength to do so. As you discharge this obligation to your Maker, you will find great, great happiness, the like of which is known only by those who are faithful to this commandment.” (N. Eldon Tanner; The Gospel and the Productive Life Teacher Manual Religion 150, (2004), 15–20; https://www.lds.org/manual/the-gospel-and-the-productive-life-teacher-manual-religion-150/managing-financial-resources-wisely?lang=eng)

– “One of the greatest lessons I have learned, …is that people who pay their tithing in both difficult times and good times get along better. They simply have fewer problems; there are fewer family problems and fewer financial problems. Their outlook is more positive, their ability to do and function is increased, and they prosper spiritually as well as temporally.” (James E Faust; Aug. 1984 Doing the best things in the Worst Times; https://www.lds.org/ensign/1984/08/doing-the-best-things-in-the-worst-times?lang=eng)

– “One of life’s paradoxes is that a person who approaches everything with a what’s-in-it-for-me attitude may acquire money, property, and land, but in the end will lose the fulfillment and the happiness that a person enjoys who shares his talents and gifts generously with others.” (James E Faust; Conf. Report Oct. 2002 What’s in It for Me? https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2002/10/whats-in-it-for-me?lang=eng)

– “With all my heart…I plead with the Latter-day Saints to live honestly with the Lord in the payment of tithes and offerings…There has been laid upon the Church a tremendous responsibility. Tithing is the source of income for the Church to carry forward its mandated activities.” (Gordon B. Hinckley; Conf. Report April 1982 Tithing: An Opportunity to Prove Our Faithfulness; https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1982/04/tithing-an-opportunity-to-prove-our-faithfulness?lang=eng)

-Elder Gerald Lund wrote in his book Divine Signatures: God is so good to us: we don’t pay tithing for the songs of the birds, or for the sunshine. God created the earth, (“The earth is the Lords, and the fullness thereof.” (1 Cor. 10:26; Ps. 89:11)) We pay tithing for something, just 10%, and the Lord returns to us great dividends. It’s a sure investment. For instance, if we eat healthy foods like the word of wisdom says, that is like a tithe which gives us health throughout the rest of the day. Scientists say exercising 45 minutes a day for 5-6 days a week is all that is needed to maintain our health. That is a small tithe, a small investment, with great reward.

-President Heber J Grant used to speak of a story of a man asked to give a ham to a church function. He heard a voice say, “pick the small ham, they’ll never know the difference”. He said, “shut up Mr. Devil, or I’ll give 2 hams!” (cited in Truman G Madsen “Presidents of The Church” lectures)

-we live the law of tithing as a preparatory law. We are getting ready for the full law: The law of consecration.

-Mary Fielding Smith? went to pay her tithing, the receiver of it said she should not pay, as she is so poor. She said that he should be ashamed of himself, that

-Joseph Smith said that a religion which does not require us to give our all can’t qualify us for salvation.

-A man had ten apples, and wanted to tithe, but not too much. He said “I’ll throw one apple up, and if you like, you can take a bite out of it”

 

 

 

 

Chapter Scriptures Study Techniques from Elder Bednar (shorten)

Sequential Scripture Study: https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2015-01-0900-studying-the-scriptures-sequentially?lang=eng

and here’s some more how-to scripture study advice from Elder Bednar

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-07-1050-advice-for-studying-the-scriptures?lang=eng

Here is an excerpt from Elder Bednar addressing 3 ways to study scripture:

“I now want to review with you three basic ways or methods of obtaining living water from the scriptural reservoir: (1) reading the scriptures from beginning to end, (2) studying the scriptures by topic, and (3) searching the scriptures for connections, patterns, and themes. Each of these approaches can help satisfy our spiritual thirst if we invite the companionship and assistance of the Holy Ghost as we read, study, and search.

Reading a book of scripture from beginning to end initiates the flow of living water into our lives by introducing us to important stories, gospel doctrines, and timeless principles. This approach also enables us to learn about major characters in the scriptures and the sequence, timing, and context of events and teachings. Reading the written word in this way exposes us to the breadth of a volume of scripture. This is the first and most fundamental way of obtaining living water.

Studying by topic typically follows, grows out of, and builds upon our reading of the scriptures from beginning to end. For example, as we read the Book of Mormon we may identify and seek to find answers to important doctrinal and practical questions such as these:

  • What is faith in the Savior?
    • Why is faith in Jesus Christ the first principle of the gospel?
    • Why and how does faith in the Redeemer lead to repentance?
    • How does the Atonement strengthen me to do things in my daily life that I could never do with my own limited capacity and in my own strength?

Focusing upon such questions and studying by topic, using the Topical Guide and index to the triple combination, allow us to dig into and explore the depth of the scriptures and obtain a much richer spiritual knowledge. This approach increases the rate at which living water flows into our lives.

Both reading from beginning to end and studying by topic are prerequisites to the third basic method of obtaining living water from the scriptural reservoir. Whereas reading a book of scripture from beginning to end provides a basic breadth of knowledge, studying by topic increases the depth of our knowledge. Searching in the revelations for connections, patterns, and themes builds upon and adds to our spiritual knowledge by bringing together and expanding these first two methods; it broadens our perspective and understanding of the plan of salvation.

In my judgment, diligently searching to discover connections, patterns, and themes is in part what it means to “feast” upon the words of Christ. This approach can open the floodgates of the spiritual reservoir, enlighten our understanding through His Spirit, and produce a depth of gratitude for the holy scriptures and a degree of spiritual commitment that can be received in no other way. Such searching enables us to build upon the rock of our Redeemer and to withstand the winds of wickedness in these latter days.”

(Elder David A Bednar, “The Scriptures: A Reservoir of Living Water”, CES Fireside for Young Adults, February 4, 2007 BYU; https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/david-a-bednar_reservoir-living-water/)

 

Chapter Prophets Say an Hour of Scripture Study Daily is Ideal

It is the privilege and duty of every latter-day saint to spend an hour in the scriptures each day. This is my opinion. I have heard brethren declare that an hour in the scriptures is ideal. Let us reach for that ideal. Though circumstances could justify a different standard, let us take time to be holy, then boldly kneel before the Lord and say “Lord, thou hast assigned me this task which I have completed. Now, help thou me in the rest.” Then the power of God is activated, and all things work together for good for this soul who loves God.

“I promise you that as you consistently give the Lord a generous portion of your time, He will multiply the remainder.” (Russel M Nelson, “Becoming True Millennials”, An Evening with President Russell M. Nelson, Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults, January 10, 2016, Brigham Young University–Hawaii, https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/worldwide-devotionals/2016/01/becoming-true-millennials?lang=eng)

Here are 3 quotes of the brethren suggesting an hour or half hour for scripture study each day:

-“We should not be haphazard in our reading but rather develop a systematic plan for study. There are some who read to a schedule of a number of pages or a set number of chapters each day or week. This may be perfectly justifiable and may be enjoyable if one is reading for pleasure, but it does not constitute meaningful study. It is better to have a set amount of time to give scriptural study each day than to have a set amount of chapters to read. Sometimes we find that the study of a single verse will occupy the whole time… It would be ideal if an hour could be spent each day; but if that much cannot be had, a half hour on a regular basis would result in substantial accomplishment. A quarter of an hour is little time, but it is surprising how much enlightenment and knowledge can be acquired in a subject so meaningful. The important thing is to allow nothing else to ever interfere with our study (President Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Nov. 1979, 64, emphasis added).

– “You should care more about the amount of time you spend in the scriptures than about the amount you read in that time. I see you sometimes reading a few verses, stopping to ponder them, carefully reading the verses again, and as you think about what they mean, praying for understanding, asking questions in your mind, waiting for spiritual impressions, and writing down the impressions and insights that come so you can remember and learn more. Studying in this way, you may not read a lot of chapters or verses in a half hour, but you will be giving place in your heart for the word of God, and He will be speaking to you” (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Ensign, May 2004, 11).

-“If possible, set a consistent time and place to study when you can be alone and undisturbed…As I think about your schedules and the pressures you face at this time in your lives, I can understand why scripture study can so easily be neglected. You have many demands pulling at you. In some cases, just maintaining your social life is a full-time occupation. But I plead with you to make time for immersing yourselves in the scriptures. Couple scripture study with your prayers. Half an hour each morning privately studying, pondering, and communicating with your Heavenly Father can make an amazing difference in your lives. It will give increased success in your daily activities. It will bring increased alertness to your minds. It will give you comfort and rock-steady assurance when the storms of life descend upon you” (Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Be Strong in the Lord…” http://speeches.byu.edu).

 

 

 

 

Chapter Prophetic Council Regarding Scripture Study

-Studying one verse of scripture for 45 minutes is often the most enriching form of scripture study. (Elder Neil A. Maxwell of the 12 Aposltes; ask Stake President Chad R. Wilkenson of Saratoga Springs for the reference)

-“Perhaps you may ask me why I dwell on this . . . subject. In answer, why did the Lord dwell upon it forty-two years ago, if he did not want us, in some measure, to understand it? Would he speak at random? Would he give a revelation without expecting that the people would even try to understand it? If the Lord wished us to understand something, and condescended to reveal something, why should we . . . think that we are stepping over our bounds in trying to comprehend approximately what the Lord desired us to understand . . . It is an old sectarian whim and notion, to suppose that we must not try to understand revelation.

. . . . Do not suppose, however, that those first principles [of the gospel] are the only ones to be learned; do not become stereotyped in your feelings, and think that you must always dwell upon them and proceed no further. If there be knowledge concerning the future, . . . the present, . . .[the] past, or any species of knowledge that would be beneficial to the mind of man, let us seek it; and that which we cannot obtain by using the light which God has placed within us, by using our reasoning powers, by reading books, or by human wisdom alone, let us seek to a higher source—to that Being who is filled with knowledge, and who has given laws to all things and who, in his wisdom, goodness, justice and mercy, controls all things according to their capacity, and according to the various spheres and conditions in which they are placed.” (Orson Pratt, March 14, 1875, Salt Lake City, 16th Ward, reported by David W. Evans)

-“It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.” (D&C 131:6)

-“When God offers a blessing or knowledge to a man, and he refuses to receive it, he will be damned.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 323)

-Elder Holland said nothing substitutes for time in the scriptures themselves regardless of good commentaries we can read (from his “Christ and the New Covenant” book recently published)

-“It is a paradox that men will gladly devote time every day for many years to learn a science or art; yet will expect to win a knowledge of the Gospel which comprehends all sciences and arts, through perfunctory glances at books or occasional listening to sermons.” (Elder John A Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, 1951)

– “It is a paradox that men will gladly devote time every day for many years to learn a science or an art; yet will expect to win a knowledge of the gospel, which comprehends all sciences and arts, through perfunctory glances at books or occasional listening to sermons. The gospel should be studied more intensively than any school or college subject. They who pass opinion on the gospel without having given it intimate and careful study are not lovers of truth, and their opinions are worthless.” (John A. Widtsoe, [1872–1952] of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Evidences and Reconciliations, p.16-17)

-“Let there be study of the scriptures at least thirty minutes of each day” (Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Harold B. Lee, p.59).

-“We should not be haphazard in our reading but rather develop a systematic plan for study. There are some who read to a schedule of a number of pages or a set number of chapters each day or week. This may be perfectly justifiable and may be enjoyable if one is reading for pleasure, but it does not constitute meaningful study. It is better to have a set amount of time to give scriptural study each day than to have a set amount of chapters to read. Sometimes we find that the study of a single verse will occupy the whole time… It would be ideal if an hour could be spent each day; but if that much cannot be had, a half hour on a regular basis would result in substantial accomplishment. A quarter of an hour is little time, but it is surprising how much enlightenment and knowledge can be acquired in a subject so meaningful. The important thing is to allow nothing else to ever interfere with our study (President Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Nov. 1979, 64, emphasis added).

-“There is a power in the book [of Mormon] which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of [it.] You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ (see D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance (President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1986, 7).

-“The only way you can be sure that a busy schedule doesn’t crowd out scripture study is to establish a regular time to study the scriptures” (President Henry B. Eyring Ensign, July 2005, 24).

-“You will be taught more easily as you approach the scriptures if you search with a question and with a determination to act on the answer. We can receive what seems to us new truth when we go back to the same scripture with new questions” (President Henry B. Eyring, Ensign Jan. 2002, 32).

-“We are counseled and urged to read the four standard works from beginning to end. You should do that—read each of the four books of scripture from beginning to end more than once. You could hardly use your time to more advantage” (Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Dec. 1985, 50).

-“We often hear…that the scriptures have the answers to all of our questions. Why is this so?…Reading…the scriptures will…put us in a position where we can obtain inspiration to answer any doctrinal or personal question, whether or not that question directly concerns the subject we are studying in the scriptures. That is a grand truth not understood by many….Again, even though the scriptures contain no words to answer our specific personal questions, a prayerful study of the scriptures will help us obtain such answers” (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Studying the Scriptures,” Fireside given November 24, 1985).

-“I have heard many well-intentioned Church leaders and teachers instruct congregations to find time for daily scripture study, ‘even if it’s only one or two verses per day.’ Though I understand the point they are trying to teach and applaud the sincerity of that conviction, may I gently suggest that if we are too busy to spend at least a few minutes every day in the scriptures, then we are probably too busy and should find a way to eliminate or modify whatever activities are making that simple task impossible” (Elder M. Russell Ballard, When Thou Art Converted, 68).

-“If possible, set a consistent time and place to study when you can be alone and undisturbed…As I think about your schedules and the pressures you face at this time in your lives, I can understand why scripture study can so easily be neglected. You have many demands pulling at you. In some cases, just maintaining your social life is a full-time occupation. But I plead with you to make time for immersing yourselves in the scriptures. Couple scripture study with your prayers. Half an hour each morning privately studying, pondering, and communicating with your Heavenly Father can make an amazing difference in your lives. It will give increased success in your daily activities. It will bring increased alertness to your minds. It will give you comfort and rock-steady assurance when the storms of life descend upon you” (Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Be Strong in the Lord…” http://speeches.byu.edu).

-“I suggest that you memorize scriptures that touch your heart and fill your soul with understanding. When scriptures are used as the Lord has caused them to be recorded, they have intrinsic power that is not communicated when paraphrased. Sometimes when there is a significant need in my life, I review mentally scriptures that have given me strength. There is great solace, direction, and power that flow from the scriptures, especially the words of the Lord” (Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov. 1999, 87).

-“Please…read more slowly and more carefully and with more questions in mind…Ponder, [and] examine every word, every scriptural gem…Hold it up to the light, and turn it, look and see what’s reflected and refracted there…such an examination may unearth a treasure hidden in a field: a pearl of great price; a pearl beyond price” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Summer 1992 CES Satellite Broadcast, 4).

-“My experience suggests that a specific and scheduled time set aside each day and, as much as possible, a particular place for study greatly increase the effectiveness of our searching through the scriptures” (Elder David A. Bednar, “Understanding the importance of scripture study,” http://byui.edu/presentations).

– “You should care more about the amount of time you spend in the scriptures than about the amount you read in that time. I see you sometimes reading a few verses, stopping to ponder them, carefully reading the verses again, and as you think about what they mean, praying for understanding, asking questions in your mind, waiting for spiritual impressions, and writing down the impressions and insights that come so you can remember and learn more. Studying in this way, you may not read a lot of chapters or verses in a half hour, but you will be giving place in your heart for the word of God, and He will be speaking to you” (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Ensign, May 2004, 11).

 

 

 

 

 

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