Monday, November 28, 2011

The Holy Temple and Eternal Marriage

I am so grateful for temples in our country. To think of the cost of money and time it takes some members in the world to get to the temple, I remind myself each week as I prepare to attend the temple (especially when I want to sleep in instead), I think of this talk my Pres Monson and about the Saints from the Amazon and New Zealand. We read this as a family and really spent some time going over the story of the Mou Tham family in detail and they were in awe as we were to see the dedication this family had to getting their family to the temple to be sealed.

My brothers and sisters, temples are more than stone and mortar. They are filled with faith and fasting. They are built of trials and testimonies. They are sanctified by sacrifice and service.

Elder Richard G Scott has a special place in my heart. I listened to a conversation he gave and he spoke of how he still feels his dear wife near him even though sh passed away several years ago. He has never re-married and has no desire to. He loves his wife and it is clear he looks forward to the day when he will join her in the next life. I think Gabriel and I relate a little to Elder Scott and his wife in the loss of their children. This loss is sad, but I've seem muy children's testimony of the Plan of Salvation grow as we talk openly and often of our Jared, who is with Grandpa Gore, Papi and Grandma Sanchez, with Uncle Louie, Grammy Francis, and the many other family members who are learning of the gospel and who are waiting on us to do their temple work.

Our seven children are bound to us by the sacred ordinances of the temple. My precious wife, Jeanene, and two of our children are beyond the veil. They provide a powerful motivation for each remaining member of our family to live so that together we will receive all of the eternal blessings promised in the temple...
I remember well the day [our little son Richard] passed away. As Jeanene and I drove from the hospital, we pulled over to the side of the road. I held her in my arms. Each of us cried some, but we realized that we would have him beyond the veil because of the covenants we had made in the temple. That made his loss somewhat easier to accept.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Work of Welfare and the Lord's Richest Blessings

I listened recently to a conversation of Bishop Burton and came to know him a little better. He is a great man. And I appreciated this talk on Welfare. I probably could do more to further this area of the gospel. I get so caught up in the day to day struggles of our children that I don't take time to look outside the home. Being in YW is helping. But I should do a better job.

The purpose, promises, and principles that reinforce our work of caring for the poor and needy extend far beyond the bounds of mortality. This sacred work is not only to benefit and bless those who suffer or are in need. As sons and daughters of God, we cannot inherit the full measure of eternal life without being fully invested in caring for each other while we are here on earth. It is in the benevolent practice of sacrifice and giving of ourselves to others that we learn the celestial principles of sacrifice and consecration.

Part of assisting in the Welfare of the Church is paying our tithing. I think this must have been taught fairly regularly and with great example in my early life because this law has never been a struggle for me. I've always know that the Lord would take care of those who paid their tithing. He has definitely taken care of our family as we've paid our tithing and continue to follow the counsel to stay out of debt. Elder Pratt shared a story from his family that I loved!

We learn ...that tithing is not a matter of money, really; it is a matter of faith—faith in the Lord. He promises blessings if we obey His commandments... Let us show our faith in the Lord by paying our tithing. Pay it first; pay it honestly. Teach our children to pay tithing even on their allowance or other income, and then take them with us to tithing settlement so they know of our example and our love for the Lord.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Waiting on the Road to Damascus and Called to Be Saints

This conference I have come to look forward to Pres Uchtdorf's talks. They have always inspired and uplifted me. This one was no exception.

There are some who feel that unless they have an experience similar to Saul’s or Joseph Smith’s, they cannot believe. They stand at the waters of baptism but do not enter. They wait at the threshold of testimony but cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the truth. Instead of taking small steps of faith on the path of discipleship, they want some dramatic event to compel them to believe.

They spend their days waiting on the road to Damascus.

Do I do this? Do I wait for a blessing before I show the faith to carry on?

Elder De Hoyos gave a really great talk. I don't remember much about my father's parents, but I remember distinctly their accents and every time I hear a leader speak from South America I think of them. :)

To the degree that members of the Church live the gospel and follow the counsel of the prophets, they will, little by little and even without noticing it, become sanctified. Humble members of the Church who conduct daily family prayer and scripture study, engage in family history, and consecrate their time to worship in the temple frequently, become Saints. They are those who are dedicated to creating eternal families. They are also those who set apart time from their busy lives to rescue those who have become alienated from the Church and encourage them to return and sit at the Lord’s table. They are those elders and sisters and mature couples who respond to a call to serve as the Lord’s missionaries. Yes, my brothers and sisters, they become Saints to the degree that they discover that warm and wonderful feeling that is called charity, or the pure love of Christ

Monday, November 7, 2011

Three Talks on the Priesthood

I figured it would be good to group three of these together so we can finish before too long. These three talks were all about the Priesthood. I love the Priesthood and I am so thankful Gabriel has kept himself worthy to hold and use the priesthood power in our home.

Chris is the Teacher's Quorum President and learning a lot about roles and responsibility of the Aaronic Priesthood. This talk from Bro. Gibson was great. Chris had similar questions for Gabriel upon receiving his calling.
I asked this [new Deacon President] if he was ready to preside over this great quorum. His response was: “I’m nervous. I don’t know what a deacons quorum president does. Can you tell me?”
I... posed this question: “Do you suppose the Lord would call you to this important calling without giving you direction?”
He thought, then responded, “Where do I find it?”
After some discussion, he realized that he would find direction from the scriptures, the words of the living prophets, and answers to prayer. We determined to find a scripture that would be a starting place for his search to learn the responsibilities of his new calling.

President Eyring gave another great talk to the Priesthood holders about learning their duties.

I found three wonderful things in place to speed my growth in the priesthood. The first was a president who knew how to sit in council with the members of his quorum. The second was great faith in Jesus Christ that led to the great love we have heard of—love for each other. And the third was a shared conviction that our overarching priesthood purpose was to labor for the salvation of men.
My purpose in speaking of these three aids to growing in the priesthood is to urge you to value them and to use them. If you do, your service will be transformed for the better. And if it is magnified, your priesthood service will bless Heavenly Father’s children more than you can now imagine is possible.

The third talk from the Priesthood Session is from Pres. Uchtdorf. I wondered how I could liken this to my own life, and a woman, wife, mother.

Are we as priesthood holders living below our privileges when it comes to the sacred power, gifts, and blessings that are our opportunity and right as bearers of God’s priesthood?

How do I help my priesthood holders achieve these objectives? How do I uplift them and encourage them?