Posts Tagged With: LDS

Joseph Smith-An example of friendship and character

One of my favorite verses of scripture is Joseph Smith-History 1:28. In this verse Joseph Smith is recounting a time after the First Vision when he is experiencing severe persecution because he would not deny that he had seen a vision. There are many things that can be learned from this verse.

“…persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends…”

It won’t always be strangers who treat us cruelly or unfairly because of our beliefs. Sometimes it will be those who are closest to us. When we face persecution from friends or family members, how do we deal with it? Do we continue to reaffirm what we know to be true, or do we change who we are to make it easier to maintain the relationship?

“…and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me…”

There will be times in our lives, too, where we may be on the other side. We may have a friend or family member who we believe is doing something wrong. We may even describe them as deluded, out of their mind, crazy, or just plain ignorant to believe what they believe. In those circumstances, do we continue to treat them with the respect and affection we should, or do we resort to persecution like Joseph Smith experienced?

“…I was left to all kinds of temptations…I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature;…”

So often, we hold those in leadership positions to a higher standard of behavior. As a leader it is reasonable to expect them to set a good example, it is not reasonable to expect them to be infallible. They are subject to the same human experience that we all are.

“…I was guilty of levity, and sometimes associated with jovial company, etc., not consistent with that character which ought to be maintained by one who was called of God as I had been…”

This may be my favorite part of this verse. At first reading it may seem silly to even think of levity as something one should feel guilty of. There is no commandment I am aware of that strictly outlaws levity. But the seriousness of the sin is not what is important here. It is what is unspoken that I find most important. Joseph Smith felt that he had sinned. That feeling was probably a prompting from the Holy Ghost that he listened to and acted on. How many times have you been prompted by the Holy Ghost to not do something that you enjoy? How often have you listened to that prompting? Do we acknowledge that those promptings are from the Holy Ghost and act appropriately in response?

If you continue reading in further verses you learn that Joseph Smith went to the Lord to ask for forgiveness of his sins. This is a great example to all of us of how we should ask forgiveness even of those sins that may seem trivial or minor.

It is my hope that I can continue to be diligent in standing up for my beliefs, being a friend to those around me, supporting my leaders even with their weaknesses, and listening to the spirit to repent of those things that need to be repented of.

Categories: Diligent in Faith | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

General Conference in 3 Words

I started writing a talk-by-talk summary of the 185th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I realized that I could sum up the entire weekend in 3 words: family, atonement, and love.

FAMILY

The topics of talks are not assigned, but it is clear that many of our church leaders feel that it is crucial to focus on the family. More than once it was emphasized that the family is not just a part of God’s plan of happiness, it is the key. Family life, when lived in the way God ordained, will lead us to true happiness in this life and the next, and will bring us blessings we can obtain no other way.

ATONEMENT

Because this past weekend was also Easter weekend there were many talks on and mentions of our Savior’s final days and resurrection. Every time this was mentioned I felt a greater need within myself to develop a deeper understanding of the atonement. I felt that my relationship with our Savior had the basis of belief in Him that everyone needs, but lacks that complete acceptance of the gift that the atonement is. I want to refocus my personal study to learn more about the atonement and how to consistently apply it in my life.

LOVE

Every conference the leaders of the church express their love for the members. If you follow along on social media you will see many expressions of love from the members of the church towards its leaders. In the talks you hear expressions of love from the speakers to their family, friends, church leaders, Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father. This happens at ever General Conference. What was different this time around was how much I noticed the love I felt while listening to the talks. I felt a renewed love for my family. I felt a renewed love for the Savior and his atonement. I felt a genuine love for the leaders of the church and a deep gratitude for the spirit they shared along with their messages.

What word(s) would you use to sum up your conference experience?

If you were unable to watch General Conference live, audio and video recordings are now available at LDS.org. Written transcripts are also made available about a week after conference airs.

Categories: Diligent in Faith | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Family Is of God

Yesterday was the annual Primary children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation in my ward. Last year, just a month or so before the presentation I was called to be the second counselor in the Primary Presidency. I wrote the program based on what the outline said, but hadn’t really spent much time teaching the kids yet. This year I wrote the program after spending the year teaching them. It was interesting to go back through time, as I reviewed what had been taught each month, and remember the things the kids had done, learned, and experienced through the year.

families-are-forever-templ2_0Our theme for this year is Families Are Forever. We have spent a lot of time talking about The Family: A Proclamation to the World and how it fits into God’s plan for eternal families. The Proclamation outlines God’s plan for each of us to come to earth as part of a family, follow the principles of the gospel including those that govern eternal families, and eventually return to heaven to live with Him and our families for eternity.

I’ve had a lot of time this year to reflect on my testimony of eternal families. In January of this year Molly was born, and my own eternal family grew. In March we watched Constance get baptized and confirmed, taking the first steps on her own path of ordinances that will eventually lead to her own eternal family. In May we watched two families as they were comforted by their own knowledge of eternal families. A cousin gave birth to a stillborn son and a dear friend lost her daughter at just a few days old. Both were sealed in temples and will be blessed to raise those children in the next life. In June I got to go to the temple with my brother when he was sealed to his wife for time and all eternity. And, over the last couple of months there have been lawsuits, court rulings, and other legal actions redefining marriages.

I know that each of us is created in the image of God and we all have a divine purpose on earth. I know that his plan is for each of us to come to a family with a mother and father. I know that the world may change the legal definition of marriage, but God’s definition will never change. Families will be blessed here on earth and through the eternities if they follow God’s plan.

Categories: Diligent in Family Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pioneer Day – #TYSKT

Pioneer Day - #TYSKTToday is Pioneer Day, an official state holiday in Utah. On this day we celebrate the arrival of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers to reach the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Communities and families around the state celebrate with parades, bar-be-cues, rodeos, pot-lucks, fireworks, and anything else that brings family and friends together.

Pioneer Day is also a special occasion for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world. It’s a time to remember the faith and dedication of pioneers who crossed the US plains as well as those who have been pioneers in later generations in their own families or other countries.

We also remember those who helped settle Utah during the pioneer days that were not of the LDS faith. There are celebrations dedicated to preserving the heritage and memory of the native americans from this area. The ultimate goal is to help remember the history of our state.

All-in-all, it can be a pretty fun day to celebrate where we came from as individuals and as a state. Our family doesn’t have any specific traditions for the day. We just sit back, relax, and enjoy the time we have to spend together.

Categories: Diligent in Citizenship | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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