Sunday, October 18, 2009

Turning hearts

After our experiences of the last three weeks, Haily and I are back home and ready for Church today.

Today's lesson involves Malachai's great prophecy about the return of Elijah to turn hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children's hearts to be turned to the fathers (Malachai 4:5-6).

One of my favorite stories from this lesson involves the St. George Temple and President Wilford Woodruff.

"In 1887, Elder Woodruff was appointed as the first president of the St. George Temple. Here he experienced some marvelous manifestations. It was in this temple that the signers of the Declaration of Independence appeared to him and requested that their temple work be done. As they gathered around him, they wanted to know why he did not redeem them. 'We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remain true to it and were faithful to God.'" (JD 19:229.)

"Elder Woodruff related that they waited on him for two days and two nights as he was baptized for the signers of the Declaration of Independence and 50 other prominent men, making 100 in all. They included John Wesley, Columbus and others. He was baptized for every president of the United States until that time except three" (Church News, May 1, 1993).

I know that the founders of our country were inspired to write the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, to set forth and establish our nation. Their work needed to be done just as much as any one else. I feel blessed to know that, just as our Heavenly Father has guided our nation, he guided these men to build and craft it as a place where we can worship freely and be responsible for our own lives, to allow us to use our agency. While I realize we have our problems and difficulties, they are the problems and difficulties of men, and we have the opportunity to rise above these petty squabbles and truly excel in our chosen works.

The picture above was found at Temples to Dot the Earth. This website provides a map showing all operating temples, as well as those being constructed or announced. Only 14 years ago, there were 47 operating temples. Two weeks ago, we were reminded by President Monson there are now 130 temples in operation, with 21 in preparation. This is a truly blessed work, and I know that temple service not only brings us closer to our Heavenly Father and the Savior, but also to our ancestors, who are waiting for us to perform their work.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October Conference

Watched all five session of conference and loved every minute. I was truly impressed by the overall theme of love and it's relationship with discipleship. As followers of my regular blog may know, my family has been through a very difficult trial this last week and a half, and I have felt so much closer to my Savior and Heavenly Father. I truly love the Gospel, and hope I can strive to live a Christ-like life.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Head of the Class

One of my greatest challenges is involving my class in the lesson. Too many times I find that I am spending much of my time reading straight from the lesson manual and not enough time engaging the class. Part of me hearkens back to my education training - a quiet class is a bored class. But how many gospel doctrine classes have I been in with the same situation? Almost all of them.

This week I put a post on my ward's facebook page to see if anyone might respond to a request to summarize sections of the lesson, as directed by the lesson manual. I hope someone will, although understanding this is a holiday weekend, attendance may be minimal.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lesson 33 President Brigham Young Leads the Saints

Doctrine and Covenants 107:22-24
Our Heritage, pages 66-71

Scripture Chain: Continuous Prophetic Leadership
Joshua 1:1-5
2 Kings 2:8-15
Jacob 1:12, 18-19

Apostolic Succession:

I recently reviewed the topics of Church Government and Succession to the Presidency in Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, which is comprised of his messages prior to calling to be the prophet. He tells of a story of an aircraft he was upon which had an emergency prior to landing. Amidst the ensuing panic felt by most of the passengers, President Hinckley says he felt calm. He tells of an off-duty pilot who spoke with him during this experience, who reassured him there were redundancies built into the aircraft, which would compensate for the issue which caused the emergency. President Hinckley compared this redundancy system to succession in the church. All of the members of the twelve hold all of the keys to the building of God's kingdom on earth. Should one pass on, the keys are still present on earth, and the work can continue.

Getting ready for Sunday School

I've been contemplating writing a second blog for some time now, but have been unsure as to what the topic of my blog should be. As I began preparing for my sunday school lesson today, I realized that a blog might be a good way for me to express the thoughts and feelings that come to me as I study. It may also be a good way to invite my friends and class members to share their feelings on these subjects as well. But mostly, I want to use this blog to help me study throughout the week, and not just within a day or two of giving my lesson.

Unlike my other blog,, which is all over the place, I would like this blog to be an outlet for my spiritual side. I hope to find links to outside sources that will help my understanding of the gospel, and in turn, benefit the members of my family and my gospel doctrine class. Beginning with my current lesson, this blog will pick up on Doctrine and Covenants and Church History, lesson 33 and follow through the end of the year.

I don't know how long I will teach Gospel Doctrine, and for all I know, I may be released next week, but again, I hope this blog will be an aid to me as I study, whether I'm the teacher or not, and find a way to grow closer to my Savior and Heavenly Father.