Come unto Him, Happiness, Uncategorized

notes — Choose Happiness — Larry R. Lawrence

BYU Devotional — Choose Happiness — Larry R Lawrence

Oct 2015 Conference. In talk suggested members take time to ask the Lord, “What lack I yet?” and then listen for promptings from the Holy Ghost.

Many shared with him what they found. Many expressed that the felt that they should be more cheerful, smile more, or be more thankful.

Heavenly Father wants His children to be happy.

What is the secret to inner happiness? Temple worthy is an obvious answer by being righteous. Gordon B Hinckley shared that, “The more often a person give thanks, the happier they will be.” It might be a worthwhile experiment to see how often you give thanks throughout the day, and then set a goal to increase it.

Thank the Lord in all things, thanks for Trials as well.

We often take for granted the very people that need our gratitude.

Dion Branch, wide receiver for Patriots. Prior to Super Bowl many teammates deal with the big game with poor choices. He chose to call every coach he had and reached out to them. 13 phone calls in all and then to tell them thank you. Thanks for believing in him, making him run chairs, etc etc. They invigorated him. He played his very best.

In my own life, have I expressed thanks when I have a thought of thanksgiving?

I was a stranger and ye took me in…   How important it is that we spread His love and light.

Lucifer uses wedge of discouragement

What lies are we listening to from the devil?

We must continually lift and encourage each other.

Lucifer votes against us, the Savior votes for us, and we cast the final vote.

 

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Come unto Him, Patriarchal Blessing, Scripture Study

Insight into your Patriarchal Blessing

Patriarchal Blessings are sacred personal blessings between you and your Heavenly Father and should only be shared with Family. That being said, I thought I would share some insights I gained by looking at my blessing in a different light.

I transcribed my blessing into a separate document that I can take notes on and do some highlighting.

I then proceeded on the copy, to highlight different types of text in the blessing. My blessing listed gifts of the spirit. I highlighted this in blue. I then highlighted all specific blessings that were mentioned in green. Any part that instructs me to do something, is a responsibility, etc; I highlighted those items that I had some action on my part in orange. Warnings could then be in red.

I suggest to take notes on the copy. Do searches on key points of your blessing against the scriptures and general conference talks to gain a better understanding of those points.

Review your blessing often. Document in your journal or on the copy, specific events that came to pass or that are impressed upon you.

 

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Chiasmus, Come unto Him

Alma 36 – Come unto Him

I will often times reference Alma 36 due to the chiastic writing structure that is in this Chapter. The focal point, place where the author is making their main point, is in verses 17 and 18. See item P in the chiastic structure image below. The central focus is to turn to Christ. This is central to the Plan of our Heavenly Father. We need this personal relationship with our Savior. We need to come unto Him with full purpose of heart in humility and meekness. He is the way, there is no other by which we are saved.

 17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

 18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

 19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

Blue: Key words (tags)
Green: Blessings
Orange: What we must do

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Additional Study on Alma 36

Learning more on Chiasmus

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Come unto Him

Pathway to Him

The Pathway: The flow diagram below is my interpretation of the principles and ordinances that lead us to Him. Those in blue are from 2nd Peter chapter 1. This isn’t a step by step for a one time process, but rather a daily and weekly process. Each morning we can choose to act in faith to live His principles. We can choose to invite the spirit to gain knowledge. We can choose to exercise Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness and Charity throughout the day.

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Scriptural References

Color Coding
Blue: Key words (tags)
Green: Blessings
Orange: What we must do

 

2nd Peter Chapter 1
1 …to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Peter Chapter 1:

Faith:  Faith is the foundation upon which a godlike character is built. It is a prerequisite for all other virtues.

Mormon taught that a man “cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.”1 He added that without such attributes, “faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart.”2

 

Virtue: A priesthood holder is virtuous. Virtuous behavior implies that he has pure thoughts and clean actions. He will not lust in his heart, for to do so is to “deny the faith” and to lose the Spirit  D&C 42:23and there is nothing more important in this work than the Spirit. You’ve heard me say that many times. Virtue is akin to holiness, an attribute of godliness. A priesthood holder should actively seek for that which is virtuous and lovely and not that which is debasing or sordid. Virtue will garnish his thoughts unceasingly (see  D&C 121:45 How can any man indulge himself in the evils of pornography, profanity, or vulgarity and consider himself totally virtuous? Whenever a priesthood holder departs from the path of virtue in any form or expression, he loses the Spirit and comes under Satan’s power. He then receives the wages of him whom he has chosen to serve. As a result, sometimes the Church must take disciplinary action, for we cannot condone or pardon unvirtuous and unrepentant actions. All priesthood holders must be morally clean to be worthy to bear the authority of Jesus Christ.

 

Knowledge: The Lord has told us that “it is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance”  D&C 131:6 In another place God commanded, “Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith”  D&C 88:118 Every priesthood holder should make learning a lifetime pursuit. While any study of truth is of value, the truths of salvation are the most important truths any person can learn. The Lord’s question “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  Matt. 16:26 can be applied to educational pursuits as well as the pursuit of worldly goods. The Lord might also have asked, “For what is a man profited, if he shall learn everything in the world and not learn how to be saved?”

Temperance:

A priesthood holder is temperate. This means he is restrained in his emotions and verbal expressions. He does things in moderation and is not given to overindulgence. In a word, he has self-control. He is the master of his emotions, not the other way around. A priesthood holder who would curse his wife, abuse her with words or actions, or do the same to one of his own children is guilty of grievous sin. “Can ye be angry, and not sin?” asked the Apostle Paul  JST, Eph. 4:26 If a man does not control his temper, it is a sad admission that he is not in control of his thoughts. He then becomes a victim of his own passions and emotions, which lead him to actions that are totally unfit for civilized behavior, let alone behavior for a priesthood holder.

Other links:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/being-temperate-in-all-things?lang=eng

 

Patient:

A priesthood holder is to be patient. Patience is another form of self-control. It is the ability to postpone gratification and to bridle one’s passions. In his relationships with loved ones, a patient man does not engage in impetuous behavior that he will later regret. Patience is composure under stress. A patient man is understanding of others’ faults. A patient man also waits on the Lord. We sometimes read or hear of people who seek a blessing from the Lord, then grow impatient when it does not come swiftly. Part of the divine nature is to trust in the Lord enough to “be still and know that [he is] God”  D&C 101:16 A priesthood holder who is patient will be tolerant of the mistakes and failings of his loved ones. Because he loves them, he will not find fault nor criticize nor blame.

 

Kindness:

A priesthood holder is kind. One who is kind is sympathetic and gentle with others. He is considerate of others’ feelings and courteous in his behavior. He has a helpful nature. Kindness pardons others’ weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all—to the aged and the young, to animals, to those low of station as well as the high.

These are the true attributes of the divine nature. Can you see how we become more Christlike as we are more virtuous, more kind, more patient, and more in control of our emotional feelings?

Charity:

charity, or the pure love of Christ (see  Moro. 7:47 If we would truly seek to be more like our Savior and Master, then learning to love as He loves should be our highest goal. Mormon called charity “the greatest of all”  Moro. 7:46

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Moroni 7: 43 -48
43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.
44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

Summary

President Benson

So, my beloved brothers and sisters, as we seek to qualify to be members of Christ’s Church—members in the sense in which He uses the term, members who have repented and come unto Him—let us remember these six principles.

  • First, the gospel is the Lord’s plan of happiness, and repentance is designed to bring us joy.
  • Second, true repentance is based on and flows from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.There is no other way.
  • Third, true repentance involves a change of heart and not just a change of behavior.
  • Fourth, part of this mighty change of heart is to feel godly sorrow for our sins. This is what is meant by a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
  • Fifth, God’s gifts are sufficient to help us overcome every sin and weakness if we will but turn to Him for help. 
  • Sixth, we must remember that most repentance does not involve sensational or dramatic changes, but rather is a step-by-step, steady, and consistent movement toward godliness.

If we will strive to incorporate these principles into our lives and implement them on a daily basis, we shall then qualify to be more than members of record in the Church of Jesus Christ. As true members, we have claim to His promise: “Whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.” (D&C 10:69.)

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