LDS Pad: The Journey Back to Heavenly Father

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Testimony

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: David A. Bednar Talk

Saturday Session 2, Talk 5, David A. Bednar, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

  • While driving, saw a sign stating ” Standing Water Ahead.” He was able to slow down and take the road safely.
  • Signs of danger
  • Early warning signals in many aspects of our lives.
  • We live in a day of warning.
  • “Watching with all perseverance.” – Apostle Paul (Ephesians 6:18)
    1. Reading and talking about BoM with Children
      • BoM is the complete gospel of Jesus Christ.  Most Correct upon the earth, restores plain and precious things taken away from the gospel.
      • Invites the 3rd member of the god head, the holy ghost.  Help us get nearer to go than any other book.  Discussions of gospel / principles of the BoM provide opportunity to learn from and teach our children.
    2. Bearing testimony of gospel truths spontaneously with children
      • Knowledge we receive from the HG is a result of revelation.  Need a sincere heart, real intent and faith in christ.
      • Personal testimony brings responsibility and accountability.  Bear testimony to their children spontaneously.
    3. Inviting children as gospel learners to act, not merely be acted upon.
      • Inviting children to act.  Our free agency makes us agents… agents to act, not to be acted upon.  Builds upon BoM and testimony.
      • Doing these things will give us spiritual discernment to enable us to stand as watchmen on the tower for our families.


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…”



Did the Brother of Jared see God or Jesus Christ?

I was recently asked who the Brother of Jared saw when “the Lord” appeared to him. Did he see God, the Father, or his Son, Jesus Christ? Since I didn’t know the answer, I looked it up later.  It was Jesus Christ. Ether 3:16 covers it – this is Jesus Christ speaking to the Brother of Jared:

“Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.”



Anointing and Blessing with Consecrated Oil

In the Epistle of James, we read: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14). In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we use pure olive oil to anoint and bless the sick. This function is performed by males who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood.

The oil that is used in the anointing must have been consecrated at some point prior to the time of the blessing. To consecrate means “to declare sacred.”  The LDS Church website (www.lds.org) gives the following instructions for consecrating oil:

One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders may consecrate pure olive oil and set it apart for the purpose of anointing the sick. No other oil may be used.

To consecrate oil, a priesthood bearer:

  1. Holds an open container of olive oil.
  2. Addresses our Heavenly Father.
  3. States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  4. Consecrates the oil for the blessing and anointing of the sick.
  5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

After oil is consecrated, it can be used at any point in the future for the anointing and blessing of the sick.  Administering to the sick is also performed by Melchizedek Priesthood holders. Usually two bearers of the Melchizedek priesthood perform the ordinance. One will anoint the head of the sick person with the consecrated oil. The other will then seal the anointing and give a blessing. Again, the LDS Church website contains instructions on how this is done.

Anointing:

  1. Puts a small amount of oil on the person’s head.
  2. Places his hands on the person’s head and calls the person by name.
  3. States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  4. States that he is anointing with consecrated oil.
  5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sealing the Anointing:

  1. Calls the sick person by name.
  2. States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  3. Seals the anointing.
  4. Pronounces a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.
  5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Source: http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,13-1-1-7,00.html



Father’s Day Move

There is a woman in our ward whose husband died a few months ago, leaving behind his wife and two young daughters. The family had additional changes in circumstances after the death of the father that necessitated a move to another state. Unfortunately, the only day on which they could move was a Sunday and not just any Sunday, but Father’s Day.

I will always remember the first counselor in our bishopric standing up in priesthood meeting and saying that there was nothing better we could be doing on Father’s Day than helping a family who has just lost their father. These inspired words touched the hearts of the men in our ward. The evening of Father’s Day found 21 of us at the home of this dear family who were still grieving for their father. There were so many of us that we formed an assembly line and routed boxes and furniture out of the house and into the truck, filling the moving truck in less than a half hour.

Isaiah 1:17 -> “Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”

I pray that the Lord will bless and comfort this family.



What is the difference between a sin and a transgression?

To sin is to do something contrary to the will of the Lord. It is to be willfully disobedient.  Transgression, on the other hand, is the violation of a law or rule that may or may not be against the will of the Lord. Thus, all sins are transgressions but not all transgressions are sins.

Sin is breaking a law with knowledge that a law is being broken. Adam didn’t have knowledge of good and evil before partaking of the forbidden fruit, so his act was a transgression of the law, not a sin against the law.

The Bible clearly notes a difference between sin and transgression

–          Psalms 25:7 -> “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.”

–          Joshua 24:19 -> “And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.”

The first mention of sin in the Bible is in regards to Cain.

Genesis 4:6-7 -> “And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

Adam and Eve’s partaking of the forbidden fruit is referred to as transgression.

Romans 5:14 -> “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”



Father and Sons Campout – Priesthood Fireside

This weekend, our ward had a Father and Son’s Camp out. I drove myself and my three sons over 90 miles to our destination on a Friday afternoon. I had tried to get out of work early, but it didn’t work out that way and by the time we left my house it was already 6pm.

I was worried that there wouldn’t be any light left to set my tent up but didn’t worry too much, having faith that things would work out. It was dark and overcast at my house when we left and by the time we reach our destination, there was literally a column of sunlight gleaming down from between the clouds. Just as I had trusted would happen.  It had shed enough light to set up the tent without difficulty.

There was already a group playing kickball, but I decided to just sit by my tent and relax while my three sons would squeal and cry over the red kick ball that I had brought. Besides, if I had played kickball it would have been completely unfair to the opposite team!

The fireside seemed to be exactly what I needed. It was, of course, about the Priesthood and service.   There was a great lesson presented.  In a nutshell, those successful people around us that were known to give generously had done so before the fact that there were successful.

They were also great leaders, but not for the reasons why you would think. They were kind and generous, which in turn had people gravitate towards them. Their genuine willingness to help and give their time, money and talents had brought them blessings of true happiness. True happiness is being in the service of your fellow men. The Priesthood brings happiness by its sole purpose of serving others.

This has had me pondering the whole weekend about the things I can do to help those around me.

My Family
I can be a more loving husband and patient father.

My Friends
I can be more bold in bringing up the gospel in day to day situations.

My Ward Family
I can get over my habit to float to the side and stay unnoticed and make a better effort. I can find ways to serve them. I can try to take my callings to the next level.

The Blessings from service are evident as I had arranged to go visit a family today with my home teaching companion.  I had received good news upon my visit that the father had received a great job offer, ending a period of worry.  I was uplifted to hear about the blessings they had received through prayer, obedience and faith in Heavenly Fathers.

I am excited and filled with enthusiasm as this month, I am going to concentrate on service to my fellow men.



Remembering and Recommitting

April has been a month of recommitting and remembering.

Let’s all face it.  When we’re following the straight and narrow path, you are the most happy.

This is done by following the commandments, daily prayers throughout the day, following family home evening, putting effort into your callings, giving thanks and remembering Christ.

Heavenly Father knows our hearts and our needs and he listens to our prayers.   When we are weathered from the world and feel that we are not 100% and yearn to be, he will bless us and give us a way.

Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.  (Matthew 21:21-22)

Throughout the Book of Mormon we consistantly see the word “Remember.”   Searching on scriptures.lds.org for “Remember” shows us at least 88 results.

Recommitting is remembering.

Remember the baptismal covenant.

Remember the plan of salvation/happiness.

Remember to pray.

Remember the scriptures.

Remember Heavenly Father and his love.

Remember Jesus Christ and the atonement.

Remember and be blessed with peace and happiness.



Going to the Temple

Since my last post, I’ve been doing great!  I feel that I have been blessed with a wonder wife, precious children and great friends.  About two weeks ago while thinking I was going to work through the night, I had the impression to call my wife up and ask her to go get our temple recommends.

We showed up unannounced at our church thinking it was going to take 15 minutes like I’ve also heard in Priesthood it would take.

Ooops!

It looks like if it’s your first time for a temple recommend the Bishop would take extra time to talk and meet with you about it.  We found that out as I waited for my wife for about 45 minutes with my kids.  We also had delayed a Bishopric meeting that they were going to have, but the brethren didn’t seem to mind too much as they were hanging out and having a good time.

After my wife came out of his office, it was my turn and it took about 20 minutes or so as he talked to me.  We have our temple recommends signed by ourselves and our Bishop and we now only need to meet with our Stake President.  Our Bishop also wanted to meet with us again to talk about things with us as a couple that Sunday.

That Sunday evening we met with our Bishop and talked about some wonderful things.  Afterwards,  I called on Sunday to make an appointment with the Stake President but never heard back from the Stake Secretary.

That Monday morning I spoke with my boss about getting a week off since I have been working non stop, six days a week, since the beginning of the year…and “I was going to get remarried to my wife…sealed in the Temple.”    I wanted to  spend time with my children, to study the scriptures and ponder things and concentrate on spiritual things.

My wife called on Wednesday to see if we could get a hold of him.  He told her that he would call her back on Friday so we could meet with the Stake President on Saturday.

It was a long week.

Friday came and gone without a call.  Saturday came and I anxiously awaited until about 10am.  I then called him and left a message.  I never heard back from him until about 6pm.  I was worried the whole day thinking he had forgotten about us and that we wouldn’t be able to go and get our Endowments and Sealing next Saturday.  And that I’d have a whole week of time off of work to feel disappointed.

Since he finally called back,  tomorrow morning at 9am we have an appointment with our Stake President and I am excited that we are a step closer to things.

I am glad that I am writing this post, because it just occurred to me that it would be a good idea to bring our recommends in for him to sign!

I am greatful for the blessings in my life.




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