President Gordon B. Hinckley's Challenge and Promise
President Gordon B. Hinckley said in a
worldwide leadership training meeting:
“I am convinced there is no other organization anywhere to match the Relief Society of this Church.
If they will be UNITED and speak with ONE VOICE,
Their STRENGTH will be INCALCULABLE!”
10 January 2004, 20
Relief Society - A Restoration of an Ancient Form
“A Restoration of an Ancient Pattern”
Although the name may be modern date,
the institution is of ANCIENT ORIGIN.
We were told by our martyred prophet
that the same organization EXISTED
in the church ANCIENTLY.”
Eliza R. Snow
(Published in: “Daughters in My Kingdom”)
Monday, January 31, 2011
I decided to start wrapping up the Beatitudes...What is fun is to research each of them individually and see what the brethren have stated on each of them...Tonight...I will combine "to be Merciful and to be a Peacemaker"...Tomorrow, will rap it up with the last of the Beatitudes...
"To Be Merciful"
"Our salvation rests upon the mercy we show to others. Unkind and cruel words, or wanton acts of cruelty toward man or beast, even though in seeming retaliation, disqualify the perpetrator in his claims for mercy when he has need of mercy in the day of judgment before earthly or heavenly tribunals. Is there one who has never been wounded by the slander of another whom he thought to be his friend? Do you remember the struggle you had to refrain from retribution? Blessed are all you who are merciful for you shall OBTAIN MERCY!"
"To be a Peacemaker"
"Peacemakers shall be called the children of God. The trouble-maker, the striker against law and order, the leader of the mob, the law-breaker are prompted by motives of evil and unless they desist will be known as the children of Satan rather than God. Withhold yourselves from him who would cause disquieting doubts by making light of sacred things for he seeks not for peace but to spread confusion. That one who is quarrelsome of contentious, and whose arguments are for other purposes than to resolve the truth, is violating a fundamental principle laid down by the Master, as an essential in the building of a full rich life. "Peace and goodwill to men on earth" was the angel song that heralded the birth of the Prince of Peace." (Luke 2:14)...
(Lee, "Decisions for Successful Living, Pages 55-62.)
Saturday, January 29, 2011
But in order to gain entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven we must not only be good but we are required to do good and be good for something. So if you would walk daily toward that goal of perfection and fullness of life, you must be schooled by the remaining four "articles" in the Master's Constitution for a perfect life. These beatitudes have to do with man's social relations with others:
Blessed are the meek. (already addressed)
Blessed are the merciful.
Blessed are the peacemakers.
Blessed are they which are persecuted. (Matthew 5:5; Matthew 5:7; Matthew 5:9-10)
(Lee, "Decisions for Successful Living, 55-62)
I will continue a bit more on the PURE IN HEART...tomorrow...
Friday, January 28, 2011
"A meek man is defined as one who is not easily provoked or irritated and forbearing under injury or annoyance. Meekness is not synonymous with weakness. The meek man is the strong, the mighty, the man of complete SELF-MASTERY. He is the one who has the courage of his moral convictions, despite the pressure o fthe gang or the club. In controversy his judgment is the court of last-resort and his sobered counsel quells the rashness of the mob. He is HUMBLE-minded; he does not bluster. "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty." (Proverbs 16:32) He is a natural leader and is the chosen of army and navy, business and church to lead where other men follow. He is the "salt" of the earth an shall INHERIT IT."(Harold B. Lee - "Decisions for Successful Living, 55-62)
Elder Neal A. Maxwell...wrote up a GREAT ARTICLE on MEEKNESS...
"Meekness - A Dimension of True Discipleship"
- Greek meaning of "meek" - Gentle and humble
- "...meekness is not an attribute which is essential only in itself, said Moroni. it is also vital because one cannot develop those other crucial virtues---faith, hope, and charity---without meekness."
- "...if one needs any further persuasion as to how vital this virtue is, Moroni warned, "none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart." (Moroni 7:43-44.)
- "If we could but believe, really believe, in the reality of that bold but accurate declaration, you and I would find ourselves focusing on the crucial rather than the marginal tasks in life!"
- "...meekness has been, is, and will remain a nonnegotiable dimension of true discipleship..."
- "...you are a generation drenched in destiny."
- "...clear reality of God's deep commitment to our free agency---we begin to see how essential meekness is! We need to learn so much, and yet we are free to choose! How CRUCIAL IT IS TO BE TEACHABLE!"
- "Agency is essential to PERFECTIBILITY, and MEEKNESS is essential to the wise use of AGENCY---and to our recovery when we have misused our agency."
- Impossible to reach the objective of BECOMING ... like the Savior WITHOUT MEEKNESS.
- "Meekness...is more than self-restraint; it is the presentation of self in a posture of kindness and gentleness, reflecting certitude, strength, serenity, and a healthy self-esteem and self-control."
- "Meekness is one of those attributes acquired only by experience, some of it painful, for it is developed "according to the flesh." (Alma 7:11-12) It is not an attribute achieved overnight, nor is it certified to in only one exam---but, rather, "in process of time."
- "The meek are filled with awe and wonder with regard to God and His purposes in the universe.
- "The meek are not awestruck by the many frustrations of life..."
- "The meek make fewer demands of life..."
- "The meek are less concerned with entitlements than with their assignments."
- "The meek are not concerned about with being pushed around, but are GRATEFUL to be pushed along..."
- "Meekness...help us cope with the injustices of life..."
- "The meek less easily offended..."
- "Meekness cultivates in us a GENEROSITY in viewing the mistakes and imperfections of others..."
- "...the meek go on fewer 'ego' trips..."
- "Meekness means less concern over being taken for granted..."
- "Among the meek there is usually more LISTENING and LESS TALKING..."
- "The meek use power and authority properly, no doubt because their gentleness and meekness reflect a love unfeigned, a genuine caring."
- "Meekness rests on trust and courage."
- "Meekness permits us to be confident..."
- "...the Lord reveals His secrets to the MEEK..."
- "...even if our being meek results in our being abused in this world, we need to remember that we are being fitted for chores in another and better world---one which will be everlasting, not fleeting."
- "...there are real costs associated with meekness...our hearts will be broken in order that they might be rebuilt...."
- "...better to save one's soul than to save one's face..."
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
"To mourn, as the Master's lesson here would teach, one must show that "godly sorrow that worketh repentance" and wins for the penitent a forgiveness of sins and forbids a return to the deeds of which he mourns. (2 Corinthians 7:10) It is to see, as did the Apostle Paul, "glory in tribulations... : knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope." (Romans 5:3-4) You must be willing "to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light." You must be willing to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. (Mosiah 18:8-9) When a mother mourns in her loneliness for the return of a wayward daughter, you with compassion must forbid the casting of the first stone...Your mourning with the aged, the widow, and the orphan should lead you to bring the succor they require. In a word, you must be as the publican and not as the Pharisee. "God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:10-13) Your reward for doing (this) is the blessedness of comfort for your own soul through a forgiveness of your own sins. (Harold B. Lee, "Decisions for Successful Living, pages 55-62)
Saturday, January 22, 2011
to the LOVE of GOD"
"To be poor in spirit is to feel yourselves as the spiritually needy, ever dependent upon the Lord for your clothes, your food and the air you breathe, your health, your life; realizing that no day should pass without fervent prayer of thanksgiving, for guidance and forgiveness and strength sufficient for each day's need. If a youth realizes his spiritual need, when in dangerous places where his very life is at stake, he may be drawn close to the fountain of truth and be prompted by the Spirit of the Lord in his hour of greatest trial. It is indeed a sad thing for one, because of wealth or learning or worldly position, to think himself independent of this spiritual need. (Being poor in spirit) is the OPPOSITE of PRIDE or SELF-CONCEIT. ... If in your humility, you sense your spiritual need, you are made ready for adoption into the "Church of the first Born, and to become the ELECT OF GOD." (D&C 76:54; D&C 84:34) (Lee, Decisions for Successful Living, 55-62)
Friday, January 21, 2011
I am continuing with President Harold B. Lee's thoughts on "perfection"... Now, I will type up...this wonderful essay on the "Beatitudes"...being "The Constitution for a Perfect Life":
"You want to know the "steps" by which one can have his life patterned to that fullness that makes him a worthy citizen or "saint" in God's kingdom. The best answer may be found by a study of the life of Jesus in the scriptures...Christ came not only into the world to make an atonement for the sins of mankind but to set an example before the world of the standard of perfection of God's laws and of obedience to the Father. In his Sermon on the Mount the Master has given us somewhat of a revelation of this own character, which was perfect,... and in so doing has given us a blueprint for our own lives..."
"In that matchless Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has given us eight distinct ways by which we might receive...joy. Each of his declarations is begun by the word "Blessed."...These declarations of the Master are known in the literature of the Christian world as the BEATITUDES...They embody in fact the constitution for a PERFECT LIFE."
"Let us consider them for a few moments. Four of them have to do with our individual selves, the living of our own inner, personal lives, if we would be perfect and find the blessedness of that inward joy:
- BLESSED are the poor in spirit.
- BLESSED are they that mourn.
- BLESSED are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness.
- BLESSED are the pure in heart. (Matthew 5:3-4, Matthew 5:6, Matthew 5:8.)
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
"And then finally the third essential: to help the learner to know the gospel by living the gospel. Spiritual certainty that is necessary to salvation must be preceded by a maximum of individual effort. Grace, or the free gift of the Lord's atoning power, must be preceded by personal striving. Repeating again what Nephi said, "By grace...we are saved, after all we can do." (2 Nephi 25:23)...Now, (this) is one of the essentials if you would live a perfect life. One must "make up his mind" to live the commandments. The Master answered a question of the Jews as to how they could be certain as to whether His mission was of God or whether He was just another man. He said: "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:17)
The testimony of truth never comes to him who has an unclean tabernacle. The Spirit of the Lord and uncleanliness cannot dwell at the same time in a given individual. "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." (D&C 82:10)...Except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory." (D&C 132:21) Again and again that truth is repeated in the scriptures.
All the principles and ordinances of the gospel are in a sense but invitations to learning the gospel by the practice of its teachings. No person knows the principle of tithing until he pays tithing. No one knows the principle of the Word of Wisdom until he keeps the Word of Wisdom. Children, or grownups for that matter, are not converted to tithing, the Word of Wisdom, keeping the Sabbath day holy, or prayer by hearing someone talk about these principles. We learn the gospel by LIVING IT...
May I say in summary: We never really know anything of the teachings of the gospel until we have experienced the blessings that come from living each principle. "Moral teachings themselves, "someone has said, "have only a superficial effect upon the spirit unless they are buttressed by acts." The most important of all the commandments in the gospel to you and to me is that particular commandment which for this moment requires in each of us the greatest soul-searching to obey. Each of us must analyze his needs and begin today to overcome, for only as we overcome are we granted a place in our Father's kingdom. (Stand Ye in Holy Places (1974), 208-16.)
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
"The second essential for perfection that I would name is found in the conversation the Master had with Nicodemus. He discerned as Nicodemus came to Him that he was seeking to have the answer to what many others had asked Him: "What must I do to be saved?" And the Master answered, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3-5)
A man must be "born again" if he would reach perfection, in order to see or enter into the kingdom of God. And how is one born again? That is the same question that Enos asked. And you remember the simple answer that came back: "Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; Wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole." (Enos 1:8)
Brother Marion G. Romney and I were sitting in the office one day when a young man came in. He was getting ready to go on a mission, and he had been interviewed in the usual way and had made confessions of certain transgressions of this youth. But he said to us, "I'm not satisfied by just having confessed. How can I know that I have been forgiven?" In other words, "How do I know that I am born again?" He felt he could not go on a mission in his present state.
As we talked, Brother Romney said: "Son, do you remember what King Benjamin said? he was preaching to some who had been pricked in their hearts because of 'their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men. And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ...'" (Mosiah 4:2-3)
Brother Romney said to him, "My son, you wait and pray until you have the peace of conscience because of your faith in Jesus Christ's atonement, and you will know that your sins then have been forgiven." Except for that, as Elder Romney explained, any one of us is impoverished, and we are wandering in a fog until we have had that rebirth...
You cannot have a Christlike life...without being born again. One would never be happy in the presences of the Holy One of Israel without this cleansing and purifying...
("Stand Ye in Holy Places" (1974), 208-16)
Saturday, January 8, 2011
HELP US BECOME PERFECT?
The rich young ruler did not need to be taught repentance from murder nor from murderous thoughts. He did not have to be schooled in how to repent from adultery, nor from stealing, lying, defrauding, or failing to honor his mother. All these he said he had observed from his youth; but his question was, "WHAT LACK I YET?" (Matthew 19:16-22)
The Master, with His keen discernment and the power of a Great Teacher, diagnosed the young man's case perfectly: His need and his lack were to OVERCOME his LOVE for WORLDLY THINGS, his tendency to TRUST IN RICHES. And then Jesus prescribed the effective remedy: "If thou wilt be PERFECT, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (Matthew 19:21)
In the Apostle Paul's dramatic conversion, when he was physically blinded by the light while on his way to Damascus..., he heard a voice that said to him: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" (Acts 9:4) And from the depths of this humbled Saul's soul there came the question that is always asked by the one who senses that he needs something: "Lord, what wilt thou have ME TO DO?" (Acts 9:6)
Enos, the grandson of Lehi, tells of the wrestle he had before God, before he received a remission of his sins. We are not told what his sins were, but he apparently confessed them very freely. And then he said, "And my soul HUNGERED..." (Enos 1:4) you see, that awareness and feeling of great need, and that soul-searching, brought him face to face with his lack and his need.
This QUALITY of sensing one's need was expressed in the great SERMON on the MOUNT when the Master said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3) The poor in spirit, of course, means those who are spiritually needy, who feel so impoverished spiritually that they reach out with great yearning for help...
Every one of us, if we would reach perfection, must one time ask ourselves this question, "WHAT LACK I YET?" if we would commence our climb upward on the highway to perfection... ("Stand Ye in Holy Places (1974), 208-16.)
Will continue...later...with the SECOND ESSENTIAL for perfection...another day...
Thursday, January 6, 2011
"I am convinced that the Master was not merely thinking relatively when he said, 'Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.' (Matthew 5:48)...Would you suppose the Savior was suggesting a goal that was not possible of attainment and thus mock us in our efforts to live to attain that perfectness? It is IMPOSSIBLE for us HERE in MORTALITY to come to that state of perfection of which the Master spoke, but in this life we lay the FOUNDATION on which we will build in eternity; therefore, we must make sure that our foundation is laid on truth, righteousness and faith. In order for us to reach that goal we must keep God's commandments and be true to the end of our lives here, and then beyond the grave continue in righteousness and knowledge until we become as our Father in Heaven... "(The Apostle Paul) pointed to the course by which perfection comes. Speaking of Jesus, he said, 'Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.' (Hebrews 5:8-9)... "...Let then no day pass but that we learn from the great lesson book of (Christ's) life his way to a perfect life and walk therein to our eternal goal." (Decisions for Successful Living (1973), Pages 40-41, 44.)
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
By: Peter Marshall
In late 2006, I began to think about my previous attempts at weight loss. I realized my goals were always too demanding and I was inadvertently setting myself up to FAIL. In previous years, I had told myself that I would lose 10 pounds by the end of January, five more pounds by the end of February, five more by the end of March and so on. I set a much different kind of goal for January 2007.
I vowed to walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes at least five days a week. It was a small, manageable goal. I began walking just two miles per hour for 15 minutes, giving myself the weekends off. I worked my way up to three miles per hour for 15 minutes and then three miles per hour for 20 minutes. Month after month, little by little, I increased my rate of speed and the length of my walk. I now walk four miles per hour for 30 minutes per day.
I added another manageable goal for January 2008. I had been drinking at least one soda every day. I wanted to drink less soda and more water. Again, I cut back little by little, month after month, and over the course of the year, I reduced my consumption to just one soda a week.
In January 2009 I set myself another new fitness goal. Previously, I was eating fast food two to three times each week. I knew that if I could manage to scale that back, I would be doing my body and my pocketbook a huge favor. Again, just like with my previous goals, I cut back little by little. After two months, I was already down to eating out just once a week.
After just TWO YEARS on my journey to a new and healthier lifestyle, I was down 20 pounds and comfortably back into my size 8 jeans. by keeping my goals small, I was able to follow through and sustain each one for the long haul. I continue to seethe results on the scale, and I feel so much better with each passing YEAR and each new resolution!
("Resolution Not Revolution" - From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Shaping the New You - By: Kimberly M. Hutmacher)
Additional note from ME (Deb)...A couple of years, ago, my DAUGHTER-IN-LAW came up with this thought in the area of WEIGHT LOSS...She set a reasonable goal of losing ONE POUND a WEEK...and she figured if she did that...by the end of the YEAR...she could potentially lose up to 52 pounds...I thought that could be very possible. I have a friend who shed "50" pounds last year (2010)...by simply changing her diet...incorporated more FRESH FRUITS and VEGETABLES to her eating each day...and added some exercise to her week...
Loved Peter Marshall's quote...I do believe...we accomplish so much more...ONE DAY...or ONE STEP at a time...SOMETIMES...ONE MINUTE at a time...YOU GO GIRLS!
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Most of the doctrine and statements will be from President Lee's:
- "Decisions for Successful Living" (1973) Pages 40-41, 44, 55-62
- "Stand Ye in Holy Places" (1974) Pages 208-16
2. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3. BLESSED ARE the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4. BLESSED ARE they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5. BLESSED ARE the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6. BLESSED ARE they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7. BLESSED ARE the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8. BLESSED ARE the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9. BLESSED ARE the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of god.
10. BLESSED ARE they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11. BLESSED ARE ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
President Ezra Taft Benson gave us this GREAT enlightenment:
THE GREAT TEST OF LIFE is obedience to God. "We will prove them herewith," said the Lord, "to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them" (Abraham 3:25)
THE GREAT TASK OF LIFE is to LEARN the WILL of the Lord and then do it.
THE GREAT COMMANDMENT OF LIFE is to love the Lord
Saturday, January 1, 2011
WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE IN LIFE?
- First - We are HERE to PREPARE to MEET GOD: (Alma 34:32-33)
"And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not PROCRASTINATE the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to PREPARE for ETERNITY, behold, if we do NOT IMPROVE our time while in this life, then cometh t he night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
- Second - We know we are to be TRIED IN ALL THINGS! (Abraham 3:25)