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My 2nd Son’s Baptism

This last Saturday, I had the privileged of baptizing my 2nd son, Dylan.  It was quite a different experience than the other baptisms that I have been to.  This time, it seems like it was HIGHLY organized by our stake and there were so much people that it filled the entire chapel of the stake center.

This time around, each ward took turns at the font and split up into different areas of the stake center afterwards.  Since Dylan was the only one being baptized for our ward, we ended up in the small family history / employment center room.

I also found myself referring back to my posts: My Son’s BaptismA Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect BEFORE your Baptism and A Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect AFTER your Baptism to reference the prayers and procedures needing to be performed.

During the opening of the baptism service, I was impressed that my son was eager to answer all the questions by the speaker in the chapel for the service before the ordinance was performed.  The baptism had to be done twice because his toe poked out of the water.  The 2nd time I dunked him, I made sure to push him down to the very bottom of the font by his chest and knees.

Next during his confirmation, my heart was full of joy and I know my son felt the same way when telling him to “receive the holy ghost.”

I am thankful that my best friend Mike and his family could come and support Dylan in his decision.  Also glad that Mike was on hand for being a witness in the baptism and part of the confirmation as well.  I am glad to have the privilege to hold the priesthood and minister unto my family and those around me.

My son’s baptism has given me another person to look up to when living the gospel.  Together I know we will help each other grow closer to Jesus Christ.



The 180th Annual General Conference: Keith B. McMullin Talk

Saturday Session 1, Talk 4 – Keith B. McMullin, 2nd Counselor of the Presiding Bishopric
  • God’s forgiveness is conditional that we forgive others.
  • Forgiving a Nazi Guard. Silent prayer  “Help me, I can lift my hand.  I can do that much, you can supply the feeling.”
  • Pattern our lives after the Savior, to reach eternal life and leave the world better than it was.
  • “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”


Obedience

I have been thinking about this verse that I read in the Pearl of Great Price all week:

And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him:

I know not, save the Lord commanded me. (Moses 5:6)

This verse sums it up pretty nicely by taking a concept that we ourselves complicate and simplifying it to its most basic core meaning.

Obedience.

I can’t believe how I never actively realized until this week how obedience is shown and taught throughout the: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price.

The message is pretty clear now and I see the path I need to take as clear day.

I feel the spirit stronger than I ever have, since being baptized.



The 179th Semiannual General Conference: Priesthood Session Notes

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 1 – M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

  • Priesthood is the divine power that seals
  • How to Talk between Father and Son:
  • Most Nurturing
  • Who Sons and Fathers Become
  • Applies to All Mentors
  • 3 Suggestions for the Son:
    • 1. Trust Your Father:
      • Not Perfect, but loves you and is looking out for your best interests.
      • Your Father will feel responsibility and will make him work harder.
    • 2. Take an interest in your father’s life.
      • Interests
      • Goals
      • Job
      • How he met your mother?
      • Watch your father, you’ll understand your father better.
    • 3. Ask for your father’s advice:
      • Ask on Church, Classes, School, Assignments, Missions, Callings.
      • Asking says to him: “I appreciate your knowledge and experience.”
  • 3 Suggestions for the Father:
    • 1. Listen to your sons. Ask the right questions and what to know.
      • Connect with your son: Driving, Fishing, Conversations before bed, working in the yard.
      • Have one deep conversation with your son at least once a month.
      • Where and when is not important. Just that it happens.
      • Ask how they “feel”
      • Just listen. You don’t have to fix everything.
    • 2. Pray with and for your sons.
      • Important events: New School Year, Birthday, One and One Prayer, Testimony Sharing.
      • Never give up. Even when you can’t do anything.
    • 3. Talk about and warn about bad things: Drugs, Pornography. Discuss the priesthood and moral cleanliness.
  • Trust will flourish. Be open about Sexual Behavior with open and frequent discussions. Be positive about sexual relations in the bounds of marriage.
  • Return Missionaries – All this advice applies to them as well.
  • Pray to Heavenly Father. Honor your Earthy Father.
  • Most important decision is to marry the right girl in the temple.
  • Fathers of return missionaries, this applies to them too.

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 2 – Walter F. Gonzalez, of the Seventy

  • USE the Book of Mormon
  • Take the Book of Mormon Test: Is it of man or of God?
  • 3 Activities to best read and apply:
    1. Feast Upon the Words of Christ. READ IT.
    2. Implement the Teachings
    3. Teach From the Book of Mormon

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 3 – Yoon Hwan Choi, of the Seventy

  • Story of 9 Rowdy Boys, Baptized and went on missions.
  • They went from 9 Boys to a family of 45 members.
  • The boys sang in a group.
  • Choi prayed about them and was inspired to teach them to be missionaries.
  • “Attend all church meetings” – Taft
  • Teach them to change their lives
  • Adam did not always have to know why, he just obeyed.

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 4 – President Deter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor, First Presidency

  • Must remain steadfast in faith.
  • Work Hard.
  • Trust in God.
  • Uchtdorf was teased as a young child. When he looks back, he sees that being teased gave him personal growth.
  • Adversity, when faced with faith, can be overcome.
  • Prinicples:
    • 1. WORK.
      • If you keep at it, steady and constant, things will improve.
      • In the sweat of thy face, thou shalt eat bread.
      • Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we are able. Don’t compare your performance to others, he does not.
      • When your wagon is stuck in the mude, God is more likely to help one who gets out to push, than those who pray.
      • Righteous work in the home is sacred and has eternal results. It cannot be delegated.
      • Spend your days growing.
      • Spiritual Wings – as sons of God, we should grow to the horizons.
      • Retirement is not part of God’s plan. You should always be doing something.
      • Excuses with age: Skateboarding, biking, spicy food at the buffet… should not keep you from working.
      • No retirement from priesthood.
      • Wanting to retire from work is not a thought of a disciple.
    • 2. LEARN.
      • Old saying: “Education is not so much a filling of a bucket as a lighting of a fire.”
      • Learning is a commandment.
      • Joseph Smith said as a mortal part of our journey that knowledge in this life crosses into the resurrection.
      • Knowledge takes away anxiety, doubt and darkness.

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 5 – President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor, First Presidency

  • Keeps olive oil on him at all times.
  • Keeps it in his desk (He has a desk!)
  • Keeps it on his nightstand.
  • The olive oil has a date on it: The day it has been concecrated.
  • Always ready.
  • Story: A father called him about his three year old daughter. She had been hit by a car. He plead for a priesthood blessing. He had to fight the doctors to place a drop of oil on her head amidst bandages. Doctors said she was dying. They were wrong. She lived and also learned to walk again.
  • Those prepared are ready to answer.
  • Preparation begins at home, quorums, etc.
  • Steady Obedient Service.
  • Need:
    • To have faith, authority to act in the name of God.
    • Nephi – Given the authority to do miracles. He brought drought/rain, god gave him power and trust.
    • D&C 121 – Moves are pure, Gentleness, Love, Not Selfish. D&C 121 contains a promise in there.
    • Prepare for days when heaven needs you. Service & Opportunity.

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 6 – President Thomas S. Monson, President and Prophet

  • Anger
  • Story of a couple fighting and a child who got hurt as a direct result.
  • Anger doesn’t solve anything.
  • Destroys everything.
  • Heber grant story about work.
  • “Man is a fool who takes insult that is not intended”
  • Anger is Satans tool.
  • Story about Brother Marsh, how a result of a quarrel over milk and cream lead to the extermination order.
  • Story about two brothers who shared a 1 room cabin in New York. They got into a fight and drew a line down the center of the room. They did not speak or cross the line for 62 years. This story was told at a funeral.
  • Reads “School Thy Feelings Poem”


The 179th Semiannual General Conference: D. Todd Christofferson Talk

Sunday Session 5, Talk 7 – D. Todd Christofferson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

My Notes:

  • Moral Agency, the right to make choices and account for those choices.
  • WW II – James E. Faust was in enlisted in the US Army.
    • Asked the question “In times of war, should not the morale code be relaxed? Does not the stress of battle justify men in doing things they would not do while at home under normal situations?”
    • Answered “I do not believe there is a double standard of morality.”
  • Moral Discipline is the practice of exercising agency to choose the right, just be cause it is right.
  • Discipline’s root word is Disciple.
  • The more of God’s laws we obey, the fewer laws we need on earth.
  • Morale Discipline is learned at home.
  • Teach your children while you have them and convert them while they are with you.
  • Book of Mormon quote: “Wickedness never was happiness”
  • His mother’s quick correction put an abrupt end to his life of crime! :)
  • Discipline needs to be founded on faith in Heavenly Father and the son and what we can achieve with atonement of Jesus Christ.
  • God is our Father, his son Jesus is our redeemer. Their law is immutable, truth everlasting and love is infinite.


The 179th Semiannual General Conference: Michael T. Ringwood Talk

Sunday Session 5, Talk 5 – Michael T. Ringwood, of the Seventy

My Notes:

  • What causes mighty change? As in the Laminites?
  • Easiness and willingness to believe in god comes from the softness of heart that is: Sensitive to the Holy Ghost, can love, will make and keep sacred covenants, feel the power of the atonement of Christ.
  • The daily living of the gospel brings about a soft heart that brings an easiness and willingness to believe.
  • Periods with a soft heart: marriage, birth a child, intense service from a calling or mission, in our youth with leaders and bishop, trials, growth from learning for the first time of the Gospel.
  • Most significant period is childhood, easy to receive the world of god taught by parents and grand parents.
  • Obedience will bring soft hearts, scripture study and prayer will bring soft hearts.


The 179th Semiannual General Conference: Dale G. Renlund Talk

Sunday Session 5, Talk 4 – Dale G. Renlund, of the Seventy

My Notes:

  • Heart Transplant, body will naturally (as the natural man) reject the new heart.
  • Medication must be taken daily and with exactness.
  • Heart Health must be monitored.
  • Patience Become casual with medicine and monitoring. – They feel good for all is well.
  • Consider the state of your changed heart.
  • If ye have experienced the change of heart…can you feel so now?
  • Are you humble? Free of pride and envy/ Kind to your fellow man?
  • Pray and read scriptures every day keep your changed heart.
  • Do not be casual about those small actions.
  • Partake of the Sacrament each week and have the Holy Ghost as your constant companion.
  • In homes, talk of, rejoice in and preach of Christ.
  • Frequently biopsy our changed heart. The tendencies of the natural man will reject a changed heart if not kept in check.


The 179th Semiannual General Conference: Jeffery R. Holland Talk

Sunday Session 5, Talk 1 – Jeffery R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

My Notes:

  • There is one kind of latter day destruction that has sounded more personal … spiritual destruction
  • Held in his hand the very Book of Mormon that Hyrum had read.
  • Direct Testimony and Quote:

    “One cannot come into full faith in this latter day work and thereby find the fullness measure of peace of comfort of these are times until he or she embraces the divinity of the book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a here before unknown text, teaming with literary and symbolic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages somehow. Especially, without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and their profound spiritual impact, that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers…if that’s the case, then such persons, elect or otherwise have been deceived. And if they leave this church, they must do so by crawling over or under or around the book of Mormon to make their exit. In that sense, the book is what Christ himself was said to be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offensive, a barrier in a path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates…”



The 179th Semiannual General Conference: Thomas S. Monson Talk

Sunday Session 4, Talk 6 – Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church, Prophet

My Notes:

  • Service
  • “Often we live side by side, but do not communicate heart to heart.”
  • Story of Father who asked “What did you do for someone today?” at the dinner table each night.
  • King Benjamen “When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only int he service of your God.”
  • Savior taught us “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it. But whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”
  • He is telling us that unless we lose ourselves for service to others, there’s little purpose to our own lives.
  • “Man’s greatest happiness comes from losing himself for the good of others.” – President David O. McKay
  • At Baptism – covenanted to bear one another’s burden that they may be light.
  • Warm Fuzzies! Embodied by little things in a jar! :)
  • Notes from children who helped others:
    • “My grandpa had a stroke and i held his hand”
    • “My sister and I served my family by organizing and cleaning the toy closet. It took us a few hours and we had fun. The best part was that we surprised my mom and made her happy because she didn’t ask us to do it!”
    • “There was a family in my ward that did not have a lot of money. They have 3 little girls and mom and dad had to go somewhere, so I offered to watch the three girls. The dad was just about to hand me a 5 dollar bill. I said “I can’t take it”. My service was that I watched the girls for free.”
    • Mongolia – “Brought water from a well so his mother would not have to do so”
    • “My dad has gone for army training for a few weeks. My special job is to give my mom hugs and kisses”
    • “I picked strawberries for my great grandma. I felt good inside.”
    • “I played with a lonely kid.”
    • “I went to a ladies house and asked her questions. And sang her a song. It felt good to visit her. She was happy because she never gets visitors.”
  • Elder Richard L. Evens of the Quorum of the Twelve:”It isn’t easy for those who are young to understand the loneliness that comes when life changes from a time of preparation and performance to a time of putting things away. To be so long the center of a home, so much sought after, then almost suddenly to be on the sidelines watching the precession pass by, this is living into loneliness. We have to live a long time to learn how empty a room can be that is filled only with furniture. It takes someone beyond hired service, beyond institutional care, or professional duties to thaw out the memories of the past and keep them warmly living in the present. We cannot bring them back, the morning hours of youth. But we can help them live in a warm glow of a sunset made more beautiful by our thoughtfulness and unfeigned love.”
  • Matthew Chapter 25 quoted.


The 179th Semiannual General Conference: Russell M. Nelson Talk

Sunday Session 4, Talk 5 – Russell M. Nelson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

My Notes:

  • Technology allows us to communicate rapidly.
  • Even more amazing than modern technology is our opportunity to access information directly from heaven. Without: hardware, software or monthly service fees.
  • It’s one of the most marvelous gifts the Lord has offered to mortals.
  • Wrote down an idea for General Conference and arose from sleep and wrote down his impressions. The next morning he looked at the paper and his writing was illegible. He writes more carefully now.
  • To access information from Heaven you need:
  1. have a firm faith and deep desire.
  2. Ask with a sincere heart and real intent having faith in Jesus Christ. Real intent means that one really intends to follow divine direction given.
  3. Study the matter diligently. Study it out in your mind. The ask God if it is right. If it is right, he will cause a burning in your bosom, therefore you shall FEEL that it is right.
  4. Know and obey the teachings of the Lord.
  • The natural man knows very little of God and even less of his prophet.
  • Paul wrote: “The natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can they know them because they are spiritually discerned.”
  • Another Prophet said: “The natural man is an enemy to God and has been from the fall of Adam and will be forever and ever unless he yields to the enticings of the holy spirit and puteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord. And becometh as a Child: Submissive, Meek, Humble, Patient, Full of Love, Willing to submit of all things with the Lord see fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doths submit to his father.”
  • Gives the Definition of Discernment:
  • Gift of Discernment is a Spiritual is a supernal gift: it allows members of the Church to see things not visible and to feel things not tangible. Bishops are entitled to this gift to seek out the poor and care for the needy.
  • Sisters may view trends in the world and detect those, however popular, are shallow or even dangerous.
  • Members can discern between schemes that are flashy and fleeting – and those refinements which are uplifting and enduring.
  • Discernment was implicit, in important instructions President John Taylor gave long ago, taught stake presidents, bishops and others :

    “It is the right of those holding these positions to obtain the word of God with regard to the duties of their presidencies , that they more effectually carry out his holy purposes. None of the callings or positions int he priesthood are intended for the personal benefits, monuments and fame of those who hold them. But are expressly given to fulfill our purposes of our heavenly father and build up the kingdom of god upon the earth. We seek to understand the will of God and then carry it out and then see that it is carried by those over whom we have the charge.”

  • To receiving revaluation unique to our needs and responsibilities, Certain Guidelines prevail:
    • Develop faith, hope, charity and love with an eye single to the glory of god. then with your firm faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility and diligence you may ask and you will receive, knock and it will be upon unto you.
    • Revelation from god is always compatible with his eternal law, never contradicts his doctrine. facilitated by proper reverence for Deity. “I the Lord am merciful and gracious to those who fear me and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. Great shall be their reward, and eternal shall be their glory. to them i will reveal all mysteries. and my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.
    • Revelation need not come all at once, may be incremental:

      “I will give unto the children of men, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom, for unto him who receiveth, i will give more.”

  • Patience, perseverance are part of our eternal progression
  • Prophets describe what it feels like when receiving revelation:
    • Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery: “The veil was taken from our minds and the eyes of our understanding were opened”
    • Joseph F Smith: “As I pondered over these things which were written, the eyes of my understanding were opened and the spirit of the lord rested upon me”



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