Thursday, December 1, 2011

Section 130-132

Choice #1 (section 132): “That which is wrong under one circumstance may be and often is, right under another. … This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire” (Teachings of the Prophets Joseph Smith, p. 256). Read the Historical Background in the student manual for Section 132. Then write a sentence or two to explain why Doctrine and Covenants 132:1–33 are more relevant for us today than the remaining verses in the section. The first part of section 132 applies more to us today because we are commanded to marry and take part of the covenant of celestial marriage. Since the church no longer participates in plural marriage we don’t really need to worry about the second half of this section. It is just a good record to have about why polygamy once was. Activity 1. Read Doctrine and Covenants 132:1–6. Also read the student manual commentary for “Doctrine and Covenants 132:3–6. ‘ If Ye Abide Not That Covenant, Then Are Ye Damned’” (p. 327), and for “Doctrine and Covenants 132:4. Will Those Who Do Not Have the Opportunity to Marry in This Life Be Damned?” (p. 328). Then write responses to the following: • What is the meaning of the “new and everlasting covenant”? The meaning of the new and everlasting covenant is marriage. Celestial marriage. Where a man and a woman are sealed together for all eternity. • Explain in a few sentences why those who this law must abide by it to progress eternally. The scriptures have taught us that we are not able to get to the highest degree of celestial glory without taking part in the celestial covenant of marriage. Not only do we have to be married in the temple but we must also always remember our covenants that we have made and we must be careful not to sin. Once we are married the second step to progressing eternally is building the marriage and living righteously. • How can an individual who does not have the opportunity to marry in mortality claim the blessings of “the new and everlasting covenant”? Those who are not married while they are here on earth they will be given the chance to find an eternal companion during the millennium. The Lord understands that there are circumstances in which one has tried hard to get married but it just doesn’t happen to them. He has allowed them to have a second chance of partaking part in the new and everlasting covenant. Activity 2. Read Doctrine and Covenants 132:7–14 and the student manual commentary for “Doctrine and Covenants 132:7. What Does It Mean to Be ‘Sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise’?” (pp. 328–29). Write a paragraph that explains what the Holy Spirit of Promise has to do with marriage and every ordinance in the Church. In your paragraph, also explain what a married couple would need to do to have their marriage “sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.” The Holy Spirit of promise has a lot to do with marriage. It cannot seal a covenant that is not right. Therefor when a couple gets married it is sealed the Holy Spirit. A couple wanting to get married need to pray and make sure what they are doing is right and they can do that by having the spirit tell them that they are supposed to be together. The main way of knowing this is by asking in prayer and being righteous and paying attention to the commandments of God. The Holy Spirit of Promise makes sure that in order to a covenant to be sealed the participants must be worthy. Activity 4. Read Doctrine and Covenants 132:19–25 and the student manual commentary for “Doctrine and Covenants 132:19–22. How Does an Individual Obtain a Fullness of God’s Glory?” (pp. 329–30). Then write a paragraph that explains in your own words the eternal possibilities that await those who righteously enter into and live according to the “new and everlasting covenant” of eternal marriage. Being sealed in the temple is only a small part of the new and everlasting covenants. As a couple they must be willing to work hard to get their marriage seal by the Holy Spirit of Promise. In order to do this they must be willing to follow the commandments of God and help build each other up. If couples that are married in the temple do all they can to be good and come closer to God they have a chance to live together for eternity and they have the chance to become gods of their own worlds. Being able to live and rule with the one you love would be the best blessing in the world. Striving to do good to be able to that should help motivate all couples to do well. Activity 5. Read Doctrine and Covenants 132:26–27 and the corresponding entry in the student manual commentary, “Does Marriage in the Temple Assure One of Exaltation, No Matter How One Lives?” (pp. 330–31). Then respond in writing to the following: • Explain how an individual who is keeping his or her temple covenants would feel a greater desire to repent, rather than thinking that the sealing covenant excuses him or her from repentance. Those that cherish the covenants they have made know what can be waiting for them in the eternities. If they remember the covenants they made with the Lord they want to do the best they can to make it back to His presence. They will want to repent so they can stand unashamed before God. Those who don’t remember or cherish their temple covenants they tend to think that they did their part by getting married. I kind of think of it as baptisms in other religions. They believe that once you are baptized you are saved and you don’t have work on being righteous. Some think the same of marriage. Oh I got married so I am going to the celestial kingdom. But that is not the case we still have to strive to make our covenants and be the best we can in order to receive the blessing we are promised. • How can these verses provide encouragement to us when we make mistakes, even after having entered into sacred covenants? The Lord loves every one of us. He wants us to be able to come back into his promise. The lord just doesn’t believe in second chances but he believes as in as many chances we need in order to get it right and be what he wants us to be. Knowing that if we truly repent it is forgotten is an amazing thing. We know we are not doomed if we make a mistake. We just have to be willing to fix what we did wrong.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Choice #3 (sections 127:4-9; 128): During a time of duress, the Prophet wrote the Saints and taught them the importance of record keeping. Review the relevant verses in Sections 127 and 128, including the corresponding passages in the student manual and then answer the following questions: • Why do you think proper record keeping is so important? o As members of the church we do a lot of work and without keeping good records we have the chance of repeating some of the work. We can save time by having good records, and with the time we saved we can do more work. Also keeping good records allows future generations to learn about past generations. • What particular Temple ordinance does Joseph Smith want to be properly recorded? o Baptisms for the Dead • How does proper record keeping connect (“bind” or “seal”) heaven and earth? o I believe that record keeping connects with what we bind and seal on heaven and earth because as we do the ordinances here on earth we are also doing them in heaven. And so when we record here on earth we are also recording in heaven. • What records are being kept on earth? What records are being kept in heaven? o Baby blessings, baptisms, priesthood confirmations, patriarchal blessing, marriage certificate, sealing certificate, death certificate, birth certificate, and many more o Getting your endowments out, marriage, sealing’s, blessings • What records are kept that binds or seals you to others, either living or dead? o Marriage, sealing’s, temple work for others, family trees, name and blessing as a baby, and the patriarchal blessing. • What other places can you think of in the scriptures where the Lord’s people are admonished to keep proper records? o There are many other places in the scriptures where people are commanded to keep good records. The entire Book of Mormon is here on earth because of the good record keeping of the authors. When Nephi was commanded to go and get the plates, he was told the plates were needed for record keeping. • What, if any, application do you see for the records you personally keep? o I love looking back through my old journals and seeing what I wrote at certain times of my life. I can learn and grow from it. I have also learned to cherish the journals left by my grandma I have been able to grow closer to her as a person. I want the same for the future generations. Also writing helps I put things in my life into perspective so I can figure out where to go. Writing about both the good and bad has allowed me to be thankful for the blessings I have seen because of experiences I have lived in. • How can these scriptures help you improve your own efforts? o I look at the scriptures and realize that I should be writing a lot more than just what is happening in my life. I should try to put in spiritual insights and my testimony so I can help strengthen others. The scriptures tell us what is happening at a certain time and they are completely focused on God. I can try to do the same for my journal.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Choice #1 (section 121-123):
Read, listen to, or watch Elder Holland’s address, Lessons from Liberty Jail, given at a CES Fireside for Young Adults, and respond to the following questions:
WOW!! What an amazing talk he gave!! Listening to it and watching made the message so much stronger.
1. What does Joseph Smith’s letter from Liberty Jail (section 121-123) suggest that he is learning about God?
a. I think Joseph learned that God knew how far he could push Joseph, when joseph was faced with such horrible surrounding he was still able to have faith and remain righteous. I love the story that it told about Joseph using the power of God to make the men stop saying cruel things about the church and its members. Even in his darkest hour Joseph still had God at his side to help him through.
b. God wasn’t only teaching Joseph a lesson he was teaching all of us a lesson through the experience of Joseph Smith.
c. We will all have experiences like Joseph we will all one time or another wonder where God is and ask the same questions that Joseph asked. We must not let our fears of God not seeing us overcome us, we MUST remember that God is there with us where He has always been, and we must reach out to him. “ When we weep he and the angles of heaven weep with us”
d. Even when we are righteous we are given trials, they help us grow stronger.
2. About God’s work?
a. God doesn’t always work in the way we want him to, but God always has a plan and knows what we need in order to move his work along.
b. God works in a mysterious ways, we are given such a beautiful message in spite of such disgusting circumstances.
c. We are given the problems we are given to help us learn the lessons we must learn. We need to look for what we have learned and gained and not focus on what we have lost.
d. We can be totally worthy before God and still suffer.
3. About himself (Joseph Smith)?
a. He learned how strong he was, he was able to suffer through so much because he is courageous and has a good attitude. He had to realize how much he has gone through and how much he has helped this church come along. He learned how to endure to the end.
b. I think Joseph had to learn how strong his testimony was and how much he relied on his Heavenly Father. He had to see his testimony waver and then grow stronger as he was in the jail.
4. During this difficult time, what would be essential for anyone to remain faithful?
a. Prayer and faithfulness. We must have faith and know that God is always with us. We know this and can learn this from the sections we read and the experience that Joseph went through.
b. We may be nearer to God when we surfer than we have been in our entire lives. I know this is true, we seek out God and we become closer and lean on him and allow God to help us.
5. What does the title “Temple-Prison” teach us about God’s love and teachings including where and when that love and those teachings are made manifest?
a. Scared experiences can come to all of us in any circumstances in our lives. We must be strong and be faithful and obedient. We can make anywhere a temple if we allow ourselves to be pure and carry Gods presence with us. The Lord tries to help us out as much as he can even when we are miserable and in the worst places ever. He wants us to be okay and he will reach out and be able to guide us when we are in the dark and lost.
6. In what ways can “spiritual experience, revelatory experience, and sacred experience come to every one of us in all the many and varied stages and circumstances of our lives if we want it?”
a. “Man’s Extremity is Gods Opportunity “We must be humble and obedient and be willing to do what we are taught. We must be able to talk and ask our Heavenly Father to help.
This was a special lesson for me, I was able to go to Liberty Jail last year and I also went to the Mormon platoon this year. Going to these church sites and listening to the presentations that the church has put together for visitors to listen to has really strengthened my testimony. I have a clear vision now of how the conditions were really like. It seems too real to me and not just something I can read. I can envision this in my head and picture the experience. These experiences have strengthened my testimony of the gospel and made me grateful for the work Joseph did.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Choice #2 (sections 112-114, 118):
Step 1: Read D&C 112:21-34, D&C 114:1-2, D&C 118:1

Step 2: Read the commentary for D&C Section 112 through verse 12.

1. Why do we need to continually work on being worthy to fulfill church callings and to help build Zion?
We need to be continually be working on being worthy for many reasons. One of the main reasons is for our own benefit the more we learn here on earth the more knowledge we are able to take to Heaven with us. We are never sitting still on our spiritual line of progression and digression. If we think that we are spiritually okay and we stop reading the scriptures and striving to do better than we will digression. We are constantly digressing and progressing. If we work hard to be more worthy then we are constantly progressing and becoming closer to our Heavenly Father. When we are more like our Heavenly Father we are able to help others and build Zion.

2. What happens to even the very elect if we withhold our time, talents, and resources?
We become prideful and think that we are better than others. We think time is ours and we don’t make time to help others. When really we are given time to help others become better. If we stop sharing our talents we may even loose them. Even the greatest people may fall, watching to make sure that we are willing to share what we learn and our talents are important. Just like working on being worthy can help us build Zion so can sharing our talents. An investigator is more likely to listen and want to become a member when the person teaching them is opening to sharing their talents and testimonies. I have noticed that when I share my talents is when my testimony grows the most. I feel myself become stronger and more Christ like.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"I invite the Latter-day Saints to look to the temple of the Lord as the great symbol of your membership. Let us be a temple-attending people.” (Howard W. Hunter, Nov. '94, p. 7)

This week in our religion class we are reading Doctrine and Covenants 109 and 110. These two sections are about the temple. Section 109 a dedication prayer of Kirtland, Ohio temple and section 110 tells about the visions that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery saw while in the temple and the keys that were restored there. These are very powerful sections and one can learn a lot from reading these sections. As I was reading them I learned a lot about the temple. Some things I learned are:

  • The temple and our homes are supposed to be a "house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order a house of god." 109:7.
  • We may be able to feel the Lords power when we go into the house. Vs. 13 so it must be a house of glory and holiness for us to feel the spirit.
  • No unclean thing can enter the temple. Vs. 20. But there is always repentance so one can make it back into the temple when they have gone astray
  • There should be reference in His house. Vs. 21
  • Vs. 22 "Thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that they name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angles have charge over them."

I really liked this last verse, I never thought about being armed with the Lords power when we went to the temple. And having angles watching over us, that is an amazing thought. This section makes the wonderful spiritual high feeling I feel after going to the temple make sense. I am going to make it a goal to go to the temple every week so I will be armed with his power and be watched over with angles. That and I want to help the others who have passed before me receive the temple ordinances they weren't able to obtain themselves while there were here. It amazes me how wonderful of a thought this is. I love helping people and that is exactly what we are doing when we go to the temple. Also at the same time I am getting blessing for doing it. Is there any kind of service that is better than that? I think not.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Choice #3 (sections 107):

The priesthood is a power that governs the Lord's church (the Relief Society is also organized under that power), and priesthood callings call one to perform specific responsibilities of service. How can having the priesthood operating on the earth today magnify your ability and works of service towards others?

I think that priesthood has a lot of effect on the service we do. Priesthood brother do service every time they bless the sacrament or give a blessing to someone in need. Having the Priesthood allows us to have the things we have and be able to do the ordinances that without the priesthood we would not be able to do.

All of the temple work occurs because of the priesthood keys that are on the earth today. We are not only able to spread the gospel to the people on the earth today but also to those who have passed without having the opportunity to learn.

When I am called to a calling I consider it a service when I get set apart. I receive promises and blessing. These I would get know about and would not know that I have the strength enough to do my calling without priesthood. I know every year before we start school we are given fathers blessings. These mean a lot to me because I know that my dad is a worthy priesthood holder and because I am able to receive comfort and blessing through the priesthood.

Having the priesthood on the earth can help strengthen people's testimonies and can also bring them the gospel. We are given the Holy Ghost through a priesthood blessing this is a huge service to everyone it helps us to stay on the right path.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Redemption of Zion

This week in our Doctrine and Covenants class we are learning about the redemption of Zion. We were reading in Doctrine and Covenants sections 101-105. The main topic in these sections is the redemption of Zion. I found this quote that was given by Dallin H. Oaks in 1985 his talked was title Spirituality.

"Elder John A. Widtsoe taught that "there is a spiritual meaning of all human acts and earthly events. … It is the business of man to find the spiritual meaning of earthly things. … No man is quite so happy … as he who backs all his labors by such a spiritual interpretation and understanding of the acts of his life." (in Conference Report, Apr. 1922, pp. 96–97.)

In another great event in Mormon history, several hundred men marched from Ohio to give military relief to the persecuted Saints in Zion—western Missouri. But when the men of Zion's Camp approached their intended destination, the Prophet Joseph Smith disbanded them. According to its ostensible purpose, the expedition was a failure. But most of the men who were to lead the Church for the next half-century, including those who would take the Saints across the plains and colonize the Intermountain West, came to know the Prophet Joseph and received their formative leadership training in the march of Zion's Camp. As Elder Orson F. Whitney said of Zion's Camp:

"The redemption of Zion is more than the purchase or recovery of lands, the building of cities, or even the founding of nations. It is the conquest of the heart, the subjugation of the soul, the sanctifying of the flesh, the purifying and ennobling of the passions." (The Life of Heber C. Kimball, 2d ed., Salt Lake City: Stevens & Wallis, 1945, p. 65.)"

I really like the first and last part of this quote. The first because it talks about knowing that everything happens for a purpose. I really liked learning out that. It is up to us to figure out why things happen because they all have a spiritual meaning behind it. The last part because building Zion should not be focused on building buildings or those things of the worldly matter but a matter of making one a better person. To look inward and focus on making ones soul better. Zion is stronger when all the members are of one heart and one mind and to become like that is to become like Jesus. Focusing on making one's life closer to Jesus will make us closer to the redemption of Zion.

I can take this and apply it to my life. So I can be part of the redemption of Zion I can prepare now and become a better person and study on becoming more Christ like. As I do the small and simple things I will see myself and my testimony grow. As I grow and become a better member of the church then I can start building Zion by helping others and sharing the Gospel. We can start building up Zion now.