Sunday, 18 April 2010
The mission of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of the Father and the Son and of the truth of all things.
The Holy Ghost will witness to us that Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer (see 3 Nephi 28:11; D&C 20:27). He will reveal to us that our Heavenly Father is the Father of our spirits. He will help us understand that we can become exalted like our Heavenly Father. (See Romans 8:16–17.) The prophets of the Lord have promised, “By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5).
Without the Holy Ghost, we could not know that Jesus is the Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 12:3). The Savior Himself said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). It is by the power of the Holy Ghost that we are led to understand and live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The convincing power of the Holy Ghost is so great that there can be no doubt that what He reveals to us is true. President Joseph Fielding Smith said:
“When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even of the Son of God himself, would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 2:151).
President Smith also said, “Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 1:48).
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we should make ourselves worthy to receive this special messenger and witness of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
• Think about times when the Holy Ghost has helped you grow in your testimony. As appropriate, share some of these experiences with class members or family members.
Attributes of the Holy Ghost
• How does the Holy Ghost differ from the Father and the Son? Why is that difference important to us?
The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead (see 1 John 5:7; D&C 20:28). He is a “personage of Spirit” (D&C 130:22). He can be in only one place at a time, but His influence can be everywhere at the same time.
Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are called the Godhead. They are unified in purpose. Each has an important assignment in the plan of salvation. Our Heavenly Father is our Father and ruler. Jesus Christ is our Savior. The Holy Ghost is the revealer and testifier of all truth.
The Holy Ghost is our Heavenly Father’s messenger and is a special gift to us
Chapter 7: The Holy Ghost,” Gospel Principles, (2009),31–33
Places of Learning
Temples are places of learning. Their principal purpose is to provide ordinances necessary for the children of God to enable them to return to dwell with Him. Temple ordinances lead to the greatest blessings available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Everything in the Church—the meetings and activities, the missionary efforts, the lessons taught and the hymns—all lead to the work done in holy temples.
One ordinance received in the temple is called the endowment. The word endowment means "gift," and the temple endowment truly is a gift from God. The ordinance consists of a series of instructions and includes covenants to live righteously and follow the requirements of the gospel. The endowment focuses on the Savior, His role in Heavenly Father's plan, and the personal commitment of each member to follow Him.
Another temple ordinance is celestial marriage. In this ordinance husband and wife are sealed to one another for eternity. A sealing performed in the temple continues forever if the husband and wife are faithful to the covenants they make.
Children born to parents who have been sealed in the temple are born in the covenant. These children automatically become part of an eternal family. Children who are not born in the covenant can also become part of an eternal family once their natural or adoptive parents have been sealed to one another. The ordinance of sealing children to parents is performed in the temple.
People who have died without these essential gospel ordinances may receive those ordinances through the work done in temples. Acting in behalf of ancestors and others who have died, Church members are baptized and confirmed, receive the endowment, and participate in the sealings of husband to wife and children to parents.
Those who enter the temple must be worthy, which means that they keep the commandments and are prepared to make and keep sacred temple covenants. In two interviews—one with a member of a bishopric or a branch president and another with a member of a stake presidency or a mission president—Church members certify their worthiness to enter the temple. In these interviews, the priesthood leader asks about the individual's personal conduct and worthiness. Those who are worthy receive a temple recommend, which allows them to enter the temple.
Blessings from Attending the Temple
In addition to being a place where sacred priesthood ordinances are performed, the temple is a place of peace and revelation. It is a place where spiritual guidance can be received for crucial decisions or concerns.
The Lord blesses those who attend to the sacred ordinance work in the temple. And the blessings He gives will not be limited to the time spent in the temple. Those who do temple work will be blessed in all aspects of their lives. Their labors in the temple will strengthen them and refine them spiritually.
Teach these scriptures and quotations or, if needed, another principle that will bless the sisters you visit. Bear testimony of the doctrine. Invite those you visit to share what they have felt and learned.
How Can I Seek Personal Revelation?
“We prepare to receive personal revelation as the prophets do, by studying the scriptures, fasting, praying, and building faith. Faith is the key. Remember Joseph’s preparation for the First Vision:
“‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God. …
“‘But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.’”1
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil.
“But that is not all. To one who thought that revelation would flow without effort, the Lord said:
“‘You have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
“‘But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.’”2
President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
How Can I Receive Personal Revelation?
“In its more familiar forms, revelation or inspiration comes by means of words or thoughts communicated to the mind (see Enos 1:10; D&C 8:2–3), by sudden enlightenment (see D&C 6:14–15), by positive or negative feelings about proposed courses of action, or even by inspiring performances, as in the performing arts. As President Boyd K. Packer, … President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has stated, ‘Inspiration comes more as a feeling than as a sound.’”3
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“The temple is a house of learning. Much of the instruction imparted in the temple is symbolic and learned by the Spirit. This means we are taught from on high. … Our understanding of the meaning of the ordinances and covenants will increase as we return to the temple often with the attitude of learning and contemplating the eternal truths taught. … Let us enjoy the spiritual strength and the revelation we receive as we attend the temple regularly.”4
Silvia H. Allred, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.
Sunday, 11 April 2010
“Intangible things make just as ready gods. Degrees and letters and titles can become idols. …
“Many people build and furnish a home and buy the automobile first—and then find they ‘cannot afford’ to pay tithing. Whom do they worship? Certainly not the Lord of heaven and earth, for we serve whom we love and give consideration to the object of our affection and desire. Young married couples who postpone parenthood until their degrees are attained might be shocked if their expressed preference were labeled idolatry. … Whom do they love and worship—themselves or God?” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969, pp. 40–41.)
To worship the Lord is to put him foremost in our hearts and minds, above all other relationships and before all other things. There is no god but God, and we are to worship him only.
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Adam and Eve Were the First to Come to Earth
God prepared this earth as a home for His children. Adam and Eve were chosen to be the first people to live on the earth (see Moses 1:34; 4:26). Their part in our Father’s plan was to bring mortality into the world. They were to be the first parents. (See D&C 107:54–56.)
Adam and Eve were among our Father’s noblest children. In the spirit world Adam was called Michael the archangel (see D&C 27:11; Jude 1:9). He was chosen by our Heavenly Father to lead the righteous in the battle against Satan (see Revelation 12:7–9). Adam and Eve were foreordained to become our first parents. The Lord promised Adam great blessings: “I have set thee to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a prince over them forever” (D&C 107:55).
Eve was “the mother of all living” (Moses 4:26). God brought Adam and Eve together in marriage because “it was not good that the man should be alone” (Moses 3:18; see also 1 Corinthians 11:11). She shared Adam’s responsibility and will also share his eternal blessings.
The Garden of Eden
• Under what conditions did Adam and Eve live in the Garden of Eden?
When Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, they were not yet mortal. In this state, “they would have had no children” (2 Nephi 2:23). There was no death. They had physical life because their spirits were housed in physical bodies made from the dust of the earth (see Moses 6:59; Abraham 5:7). They had spiritual life because they were in the presence of God. They had not yet made a choice between good and evil.
God commanded them to have children. He said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over … every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Moses 2:28). God told them they could freely eat of every tree in the garden except one, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Of that tree God said, “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Moses 3:17).
Satan, not knowing the mind of God but seeking to destroy God’s plan, came to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He tempted her to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He assured her that she and Adam would not die, but that they would “be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Moses 4:11). Eve yielded to the temptation and ate the fruit. When Adam learned what had happened, he chose to partake also. The changes that came upon Adam and Eve because they ate the fruit are called the Fall.
Adam and Eve’s Separation from God
• What physical and spiritual changes occurred in Adam and Eve as a result of their transgression?
Because Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the Lord sent them out of the Garden of Eden into the world. Their physical condition changed as a result of their eating the forbidden fruit. As God had promised, they became mortal. They and their children would experience sickness, pain, and physical death.
Because of their transgression, Adam and Eve also suffered spiritual death. This meant they and their children could not walk and talk face to face with God. Adam and Eve and their children were separated from God both physically and spiritually.
Great Blessings Resulted from the Transgression
• How does the Fall provide opportunities for us to become like our Heavenly Father?
Some people believe Adam and Eve committed a serious sin when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, latter-day scriptures help us understand that their Fall was a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us. Because of the Fall, we are blessed with physical bodies, the right to choose between good and evil, and the opportunity to gain eternal life. None of these privileges would have been ours had Adam and Eve remained in the garden.
After the Fall, Eve said, “Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed [children], and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient” (Moses 5:11).
The prophet Lehi explained:
“And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen [been cut off from the presence of God], but he would have remained in the Garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created. …
“And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
“But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:22–25).
Sunday, 21 March 2010
Carrying Out the Creation• What are the purposes of the Creation?
The earth and everything on it were created spiritually before they were created physically (see Moses 3:5). In planning to create the physical earth, Christ said to those who were with Him, “We will go down, for there is space there, … and we will make an earth whereon these [the spirit children of our Father in Heaven] may dwell” (Abraham 3:24).
Under the direction of the Father, Christ formed and organized the earth. He divided light from darkness to make day and night. He formed the sun, moon, and stars. He divided the waters from the dry land to make seas, rivers, and lakes. He made the earth beautiful and productive. He made grass, trees, flowers, and other plants of all kinds. These plants contained seeds from which new plants could grow. Then He created the animals—fish, cattle, insects, and birds of all kinds. These animals had the ability to reproduce their own kind.
Now the earth was ready for the greatest creation of all—mankind. Our spirits would be given bodies of flesh and blood so they could live on earth. “And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so” (Moses 2:26). And so the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, were formed and given bodies that resembled those of our heavenly parents. “In the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27). When the Lord finished His creations, He was pleased and knew that His work was good, and He rested for a time.
God’s Creations Show His Love• How do God’s creations show that He loves us?
We are now living in this beautiful world. Think of the sun, which gives us warmth and light. Think of the rain, which makes plants grow and makes the world feel clean and fresh. Think of how good it is to hear a bird singing or a friend laughing. Think of how wonderful our bodies are—how we can work and play and rest. When we consider all of these creations, we begin to understand what wise, powerful, and loving beings Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father are. They have shown great love for us by providing for all of our needs.
Plant life and animal life were also made to give us joy. The Lord said, “Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul” (D&C 59:18–19). Even though God’s creations are many, He knows and loves them all. He said, “All things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them”
Friday, 12 March 2010
We celebrated the commemoration of Relief Society last night with a special meeting for all of our sisters. The theme was "My Sister's Hands" and the following video was shown, depicting the beautiful hands of sisters in our ward. How grateful we are for each of our sisters who serve with so much faith and love in their homes, our ward, and everywhere else. You are truly a remarkable group of sisters and we love you!