Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Quorum of the 70.

The Quorum of the Seventy

Choice 1: Luke 10:1–24. “The Lord Appointed Other Seventy Also”

1. Review Luke 10:1–24. Based on these verses, write a summary of the Lord’s  
counsel and instructions He gave the seventy.
The Lord appointed the 70 and he sent them where he himself would have gone. The Lord gave them specific instructions on where to go and what to do, because they are representing the Lord. The Lord trusts them and loves them. I think their relationship is really important.

Articles of Faith 1:6 states, “We believe in the same organization that existed in
the Primitive Church.” Using the principles taught from Luke 10:1–2, 8–9, 17–20,
write a paragraph that supports this Article of Faith. The primitive church is the church that first existed in this world. It is important for the Lord to keep his church in order and to keep the church the way it was organized. It is important that the 70 keeps the orders given from God. They are called of Him so he trusts him.

Go to the Church’s scripture website and read the topic of “Seventy” in the Guide

to the Scriptures. Describe in one or two sentences how the scriptures show the
existence of this office in the priesthood. The 70 from the topics of the church website is explained that they are to be special witnesses of Christ. I think the 70 definitely does that well. They are to do the work of Christ and go all throughout the world. These scriptures show that the 70 is on the errand of the Lord.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Jesus Heals a Blind Man- Compare your Faith

Choice 6: John 9. The Healing of the Man Born Blind

1.    Create a chart with three columns and label them “Pharisees,” “Blind Man,” and “Parents.” Record words or phrases from John 9:13–38 under each category that show the spiritual blindness or spiritual sight of the Pharisees, the blind man, and the parents.
Blind man
This man is not of God
He is a prophet
Avoided the question as to avoid admitting he was the Christ
How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles
Knew the Pharisees would not believe him even if he repeated his testimony

As for this fellow we not from whence he came.

2.    Physical blindness is often thought of as a difficult handicap in this life. Similarly, how can spiritual blindness be a handicap?
Spiritual blindness I feel is almost as impairing as physical blindness. When we are blinded from spiritual things, everything else seems to be cloudy as well. I think spiritual blindness takes our focus away from what is really important. It causes us to forget who Jesus Christ is and how he can be involved in our lives.

3.    How did the healed man’s testimony grow as he continued to share it? (Notice the terms he used to refer to the Savior in John 9:11, 17, 33, 38.)

From a man, to a prophet, to of God, Lord and worshiping him. What a change! The Pharisees were trying to get him to change His story or dissuade him from his own beliefs. But just the opposite happened. As he recounted his story, he did not change it, but did the exact opposite of what they had hoped for- his testimony grew of the savior as he recounted the miraculous miracle that had been done unto him.

4.    How has your testimony grown as you have shared it?

As I shared my testimony on my mission, I surprised myself by testifying to myself as much as other people. I felt the truth of what I was already saying burn within my heart. Like the blind man, I am reassured that the Lord cares about me, that I truly believe the things that I am testifying of, and that the Spirit is a true witness of the Lord.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Peter Sinks in the Sea

1. Review Matthew 14:25-26. Identify in writing what the reaction of the Apostles was when they first saw the Savior walking on the water toward them.

At first when the apostles saw Jesus, the scripture says that they were troubled and they cried out in fear. I think I would be troubled too if I had seen someone walking on water.

2. What did Peter’s response indicate about him?

Peter’s response is very interesting to me. Peter said in summary, if it is you Lord, let me come out onto the water with you. I think this is not only an act of faith, but trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is all powerful. He can do anything because he is Jesus, so to see Peter ask Jesus to do that to him, shows that Peter believes that Jesus can use his power in the benefit of other people.

3. According to Matthew 14:30, why did Peter begin to sink?

The scripture says that Peter saw the boisterous wind and he was scared. He took his focus off of the power of Jesus Christ and focused on his fears instead. The truth is, there is always going to be boisterous winds in our lives. Sometimes there are bigger winds, and sometimes there are smaller winds, but there are always winds. Thankfully there is also always Jesus Christ, and if we keep our focus on Him, the winds seem less terrifying.

4. What did Peter do when he began to sink? What word in the verses describes the expediency or the timing when Jesus responded to Peter’s request?

Even though Peter took his focus off of Jesus Christ, he turned back to Jesus and cried “Lord, save me.” I am so grateful that Peter demonstrates an important principle that is applicable to everybody- even when you take your focus off the Lord, he is always there when you refocus. And not is he only there, he is there “immediately.” The Love of the Savior is incredible and unfathomable. His timing is always perfect and he is always there to catch us when we fall.

5. Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:67. Write a paragraph describing what principle from this verse relates to what Peter did to successfully walk on the water. How can this same principle be applied to your life to assist you in walking over the storms of life?

67 And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

I love this scripture. The eye is something so powerful and magnificent. When we focus on what is important just with our eyes being fixated, our whole body is essentially following. When Peter just turned his head to focus on the fears of the boisterous winds, he began to sink. Although this was a literal sinking, we metaphorically, spiritually, sink when we turn our focus off of the Lord. I love the Lord and all that he stands for, for the way he loves us unconditionally, and for the way he never gives up on us, even when we give up on Him.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jesus Taught in Parables

Jesus Taught in Parables

1.    In the Bible Dictionary read the first three paragraphs under the entry “Parables” (pgs. 740-41). In your own words, write a definition of a parable.

To me, a parable is a story with deeper meaning. Parables are told this way so that the listener can think and apply their faith to interpret the meaning, instead of just telling them the purpose of the story. That way, people who are truly interested in revealing the deeper meaning can intrigue their mind, and the people who don’t care will walk away with nothing but a story.

2.    Read the following parables: parable of the tares (Matthew 13:24-30); parables of the mustard seed and the leaven (Matthew 13:47-50); parables of the treasure and the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44-46); parable of the gospel net (Matthew 13:47-50). Next to each of the following questions write the name of the parable that best answers that question.

o       What describes the future growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
Parable of the leaven

o       Why does the Church send out so many missionaries?
Parable of the gospel net.

o       How do you explain the remarkable growth of the Church, considering
that it is fairly new compared to most world religions and started small in the American frontier?
Parable of the mustard seed

o       Why are some members of the Church willing to sacrifice so much worldly wealth and recognition in order to maintain membership in the Church?
Parable of the treasure and the pearl of great price

o       Why do some Church members choose to leave the Church?
Parable of the tares

o       Considering the parables of the treasure and the pearl of great price (see
Matthew 13:44-46), what sacrifices would you be willing to make to obtain the treasure of the gospel? What sacrifices have you or those you know already made for the gospel?
This is a great question. It made me reflect on how much I appreciate the treasures of the gospel now, even though I’ve had them all of my life. I’d like to think that if I were a convert to the church, I would give up anything that was impeding me from joining the church, even a good relationship with my family, living with my boyfriend, giving up bad habits, etc. Because I would know that knowing and living the gospel treasures would be more important than anything else. On my mission I saw incredible faith of those who have done just those things in order for them to have salvation and follow God’s commandments. It is a huge example to me that I need to give up the little things in order to keep the treasures of the gospel that I already have.

o       What does the net represent in the parable of the net cast into the sea? (See Matthew 13:47). What does it mean to be gathered into the net? What is represented by the action of gathering the good into vessels and casting the bad away? (See Matthew 13:48-50).

I believe the net represents all forms of missionary work- people with outstretched hands to help those who are swimming in a sea of confusion. To be gathered into the net represents being gathered into the gospel, with many people being rescued. I think gathering the good into vessels means that we accept those that are willing to keep the commandments- those who are worthy to be baptized and make a covenant with God. Casting the bad away represents those that are not quite ready to accept the gospel. They are not willing to change or they are purposefully a bad influence to those that are trying to keep the commandments.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Dove was a Sign of the Holy Ghost

Matthew 3:13-17 

This is a beautiful account of the Baptism of Jesus Christ. 

When Jesus came to John to be baptized, John astonishingly said "I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" Even from the womb, John recognized Jesus. I'm sure he recognized that he was a sinner and that Jesus was sinless. Think of if Jesus Christ coming to you and asking you to baptize him. I think most of us would have the same reaction as John. 

An important part of the baptism was when the Holy Ghost descended as a dove. I learned an important part of this concept and doctrine. 
On pages 28-29 in the New Testament Institute Manual, it states:

The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that the Holy Ghost did not appear as a dove after the baptism of Jesus Christ. Rather, the descending dove signified that the Holy Ghost was present on that occasion: “The sign of the dove was instituted before the creation of the world, a witness for the Holy Ghost, and the devil cannot come in the sign of a dove. The Holy Ghost is a personage, and is in the form of a personage. It does not confine itself to the form of the dove, but in signof the dove. The Holy Ghost cannot be transformed into a dove; but the sign of a dove was given to John to signify the truth of the deed, as the dove is an emblem or token of truth and innocence” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 81).

A reason Jesus Christ was baptized was to fulfill all righteousness. He did this to obey his father. Although sinless, it is a commandment to be baptized in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Christ loved his Father enough to follow his commandments, even when they didn't necessarily apply to him. 
Another reason was to literally show us the way. It would be hard to ask of my children to respect me if I did not respect them. I think this concept applies to Jesus when he was baptized. He can ask us to do as he did. 
Jesus cannot ask us to follow him, yet not do the things required of us to follow him.  

This baptism is also evidence that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are 3 separate beings. Jesus was on earth when he was baptized, God spoke from Heaven, expressing that he was well pleased of His Son. And finally, the Holy Ghost descended as the sign of a dove. Here we see that they are 3 separate beings. They were in 3 different forms and 3 different places.

I am grateful for the example of Jesus Christ so that I may know what to do to follow in his footsteps. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mary, the Mother of Christ

Luke 2:4–6, Mary riding to Bethlehem
The account of Christ's Birth is spectacular in every single instance. Miracles occurred in every step of the story. Angels appeared, a virgin conceived a child, a barren woman also conceived a child, a new star formed in the sky. Christ himself, descending from His throne to come to save each one of us was an amazing miracle.
But there is one miracle though, which I feel is commonly overlooked. That is the miracle of Mary. Some historians have predicted she was between the age of 12 and 16. A young girl with a humble background was visited by an angel and was chosen (not asked) to be the mother of the son of God.

Luke 1:28 states :
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

I have often wondered, as I'm sure Mary did, "why?" Why Mary? What about Mary made her the perfect candidate to be the mother of God's only son? There are obviously many qualities and traits Mary possessed from a young age. Bravery, patience, virtue, light, kindness, and many more. The one I would like to focus on is her humility. 
Mary was, for all intensive purposes, a "nobody." She was young, not very popular or rich, and was quite ordinary in the eyes of the world. But God saw much more. Mary's humility as a noble daughter of God made her the perfect candidate for the Son of God. Who better to teach Christ how to be humble with a high calling than Mary? She humbly accepted the call to be the mother of Jesus- a calling that would surely risk her safety and popularity among men. And I think there is nothing more qualifying in a mother than humility. To have a parent say phrases like "I'm sorry," "it was actually my fault" and "I messed up" is a rare occurrence in our society. Some parents think that with the title of mother or father, they are completely in charge and in control, thus losing the love and the trust that is crucial in family relationships. In the scriptures we read of the love Christ had for Mary and vice versa. I think if all parents tried to increase their humility, many family relationships could be mended and restored. And if we do this, we too can be "highly favoured"of the Lord.
I hope I can start my journey of being a humble parent soon. I want my children to know that I always love them, that I make mistakes too, and that they can feel that I am humble enough to be approachable with anything they want to discuss.
 Luke 2:6–7, The virgin Mary with baby Jesus