Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Obedience is powerful spiritual medicine. It comes close to being a cure-all."

- By President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Leave It Alone," Ensign, June 2015, p. 80. from “Balm of Gilead,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 17–18.

Story: Man wanted vengeance but followed priesthood counsel to "let it go"

"If you suffer from worry, from grief or shame or jealousy or disappointment or envy, from self-recrimination or self-justification, consider this lesson taught to me many years ago by a patriarch. He was as saintly a man as I have ever known. …

"He grew up in a little community with a desire to make something of himself. He struggled to get an education.

"He married his sweetheart, and presently everything was just right. He was well employed, with a bright future. They were deeply in love, and she was expecting their first child.

"The night the baby was to be born, there were complications. The only doctor was somewhere in the countryside tending to the sick. …

"Finally the doctor was located. In the emergency, he acted quickly and soon had things in order. The baby was born and the crisis, it appeared, was over.

"Some days later, the young mother died from the very infection that the doctor had been treating at another home that night.

"John’s world was shattered. Everything was not right now; everything was all wrong. He had lost his wife. He had no way to tend both the baby and his work.

"As the weeks wore on, his grief festered. “That doctor should not be allowed to practice,” he would say. “He brought that infection to my wife. If he had been careful, she would be alive today.”

"He thought of little else, and in his bitterness, he became threatening. …

"One night a knock came at his door. A little girl said simply, “Daddy wants you to come over. He wants to talk to you.”

“'Daddy' was the stake president. …

"This spiritual shepherd had been watching his flock and had something to say to him.

"The counsel from that wise servant was simply, “John, leave it alone. Nothing you do about it will bring her back. Anything you do will make it worse. John, leave it alone.” …

"He struggled in agony to get hold of himself. And finally, he determined that whatever else the issues were, he should be obedient.

"Obedience is powerful spiritual medicine. It comes close to being a cure-all.

"He determined to follow the counsel of that wise spiritual leader. He would leave it alone.

"Then he told me, '… It was not until I was an old man that I could finally see a poor country doctor—overworked, underpaid, run ragged from patient to patient, with little medicine, no hospital, few instruments, struggling to save lives, and succeeding for the most part.

“'He had come in a moment of crisis, when two lives hung in the balance, and had acted without delay.

"'I was an old man,' he repeated, 'before I finally understood! I would have ruined my life,' he said, “and the lives of others.”

Many times he had thanked the Lord on his knees for a wise spiritual leader who counseled simply, 'John, leave it alone.'"

- By President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Leave It Alone," Ensign, June 2015, p. 80. from “Balm of Gilead,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 17–18.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fourfold responsibility: family, work, church, self

“Each of us has a fourfold responsibility. First, we have a responsibility to our families. Second, we have a responsibility to our employers. Third, we have a responsibility to the Lord’s work. Fourth, we have a responsibility to ourselves.”

- Gordon B. Hinckley, “Rejoicing in the Privilege to Serve,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, June 21, 2003, 22, 23. As quoted in "With All Thy Getting, Get Understanding," Ensign, January 2017, p. 33

Prayerfully counsel with spouse about family size

"Families today are smaller than they were a generation ago—even LDS families. We can always find reasons to justify delaying or limiting the number of children we have. For example, “We need to graduate first” or “We need to get a better job so we can have more money” or “Why take all the fun out of marriage by having kids?”

"You’ve been blessed with a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. You have the blessings of eternity to offer to your children. Don’t get hung up on the thought that you must provide all things temporal. The greatest gift you have to offer to your children is access to all things spiritual in the kingdom of God.

"When you prayerfully counsel with your spouse about having children, remember that you are the youth of the noble birthright. Please don’t leave God out of your deliberations. Share that right to birth with as many spirit sons and daughters as God is prepared to send to your home. After all, these were His children long before they will be yours.

"With faith in God and His prophetic word, go forward without excuse or hesitation and create your own eternal family."

- Elder C. Scott Grow, Of the Seventy, "Prophetic Principles of Faithfulness," Ensign, January 2017, p. 16

When we lose the Spirit, it's easy to think we never had a testimony

"...a testimony is nothing more or less than the Holy Ghost bearing witness to our soul of the truthfulness of the gospel and of the restored Church. When we fail to pray and study the scriptures, the influence of the Spirit in our life is weakened, lowering our resistance to temptation. When we sin and become unclean, we lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost altogether. Without the ongoing witness of the Spirit, we can easily begin to think we don’t have a testimony and maybe never did.

"Our testimony needs to be continually nourished. That nourishment comes from personal prayer, daily scripture study—particularly the Book of Mormon—and serving in the Church throughout our life."

- Elder C. Scott Grow, Of the Seventy, "Prophetic Principles of Faithfulness," Ensign, January 2017, p. 16
Teaching helps article. Consider why you are asking the class this question. Examples of good questions.

"Questioning Our Discussion Questions," by Ted Barnes, Priesthood and Family Department of the Church, Ensign, January 2017, p. 14-15