Monthly Archives: May 2017

Families: Relationships Beyond This World

This is a General Conference Odyssey post for the Sunday afternoon session of April 1976 conference.

Families are the most important unit and they are under attack by the person who is the loneliest creature ever to be born. He hates the idea of families because he will never have one of his own. Having no family will be his hell without end.

Two of our great apostles have stated:

“The entire theology of our restored gospel centers on families and on the new and everlasting covenant of marriage” (L. Tom Perry, “Why Marriage and Family Matters–Everywhere In the World,” Apr. 2015).

“Families are not just meant to make things run more smoothly here on earth and to be cast off when we get to heaven. Rather, they are the order of heaven. They are an echo of a celestial pattern and an emulation of God’s eternal family” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “In Praise of Those Who Save,” Apr. 2016).

As much as all families have some kind of problem or another, because families are all far from perfect, deep down we still recognize the joy that comes from this celestially bound grouping of people who have learned to love one another. The good news is that not only do we live in variously shaped nuclei, every single one of us is actually strung together by related DNA from one end of the world to the other. The entire world is one big family and we are all a part of it.

Take, for example, William Grant Bangerter’s talk, “Relationships.” Speaking of relationships, first, he is the father of Julie B. Beck. Second, he introduces his talk with this laugh:

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Gramp Camp

One of the great blessings we received while serving in the Russia, Moscow mission was the wonderful association we had with other Senior Missionary Couples. When we got together our conversations were most times centered on our families at home, and especially our grandchildren. We were several years younger than the other couples serving with us, had fewer grands to brag about, and less experience grand-parenting to share, so we listened and learned. Many had special traditions they did with their ‘grands’, as groups or individually, they felt helped create a special bond between them. By the end of our mission we had formulated a plan of our own and GRAMP CAMP was born. It has been one of the best things we’ve ever done for our children, and theirs.

All hands on deck…

Sister Joy D. Jones
General Primary President

Sister Joy D. Jones, General Primary President, spoke about the type of group effort and support needed to raise “A Sin-Resistant Generation” ….

“Fortifying children to become sin-resistant is a task and a blessing for parents, grandparents, family members, teachers, and leaders. We each bear responsibility to help.”[1]

We agree with this, and work to be involved in the lives of our grandchildren. For those who live close by we attend some of their events, go on grandparents dates (usually to a movie), and get together at each other’s homes for eating, swimming, and playing games. Those who are distant get facetime chats, small packages in the mail, and occasional personal visits. I’m sure your grand-parenting looks very similar.

Our desire was to create time to do more in-depth relationship building and gospel teaching. Time where we could really build up their parents and support what was being taught them in their homes. For us, GRAMP CAMP fills that bill.  It’s a time for teaching, listening, talking, playing, and so much more – and it’s just us and them.

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Stop Running and Hold On!

Before the birth of Christ, the Greek influence of Alexander the Great’s Empire permeated every part of the Hebrew society. Increasingly, there was a struggle between those who wanted to live by the word of God and those who wanted to incorporate the Greek philosophies into their lives. Even some of the priesthood leaders of Israel were swayed into mixing the philosophies of the Hellenistic (Greek) influence with the law and priesthood of God. Not all Israelites were so eager to adopt this new blend of philosophy. Among these faithful were various groups of Hebrews who wanted to be found living God’s law when the Messiah came. These faithful groups fled to the wilderness, just as the ancient Israelites fled Egypt, in search of their own promised land.

In more recent history, we see this same pattern repeated by many of the reformers and separatists who left the religion of their country to seek after a more perfect way. America was founded by the families who wanted to have the religious freedom needed to live a more perfect way and our Mormon pioneers left their various homelands to build Zion in the desert.

If you haven’t noticed, the philosophies of men have not ceased to infiltrate every aspect of our modern lives. So, how do we keep our families from falling victim to these lies? Elder Jeffery R. Holland has the answer, “In these last days, in this our dispensation, we would become mature enough to stop running. We would become mature enough to plant our feet and our families and our foundations in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people permanently. Zion would be everywhere—wherever the Church is. And with that change—one of the mighty changes of the last days—we no longer think of Zion as where we are going to live; we think of it as how we are going to live.”  Continue reading

We Talk About the Work of God

 

This is a General Conference Odyssey post for the Sunday morning session of April 1976.

We talk about the work of God, but what exactly are we doing about it? Below is a list from Robert L. Simpson, who spoke on “These Four Things.”  He didn’t just talk about the work of God, he asked us to remember our vow when we promised we would actually perform the work necessary to bring salvation to all of Heavenly Father’s children.

 

First, the obligation to prepare one’s self and one’s immediate family for the presence of the Lord;

He explains how important it is to take care of one’s own spirituality first. We have to complete our own ordinances first. We have to know and understand the doctrines of Jesus Christ’s saving gospel first. We have to commit to righteous living first if we are ever to convince anyone else.

If you’ll recall this past conference, Pres. Russell M. Nelson challenged all of us to “consecrate a portion of [our] time each week to study everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the standard works.” After completing his own challenge he said, “I am a different man!” (Apr. 2017)

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Carol Rice: Hey, I’m Judging!

Related imageHey, I’m judging …

… the immodest dress of that newly-endowed bride.

(Now that I’ve got your attention, allow me to explain.)

You make judgments. I make judgments. We all judge. We’re supposed to. And in my opinion, this “don’t judge me” philosophy has gone a little off the rails.

In reality, we have been commanded to judge and been given instructions on how to do so righteously (see Luke 12:57, John 7:24Matt. 7:6Matt. 7:15–16D&C 38:42.)
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We Need Heroes Close By

lds.realherostore.com

 

This is a General Conference Odyssey post for the Priesthood session of April 1976.

I take the title of this post, “We Need Heroes Close By,” from President Spencer W. Kimball’s talk, entitled, “Boys Need Heroes Close By.” The truth is that both boys and girls need to have heroes they can depend on for righteous, kind, and beneficial guidance. The world has none to offer.

What I find interesting in President Kimball’s talk is his bold assertion that boys need to see their fathers treat women with respect. Likewise, girls need to see their fathers treat women with respect. In fact, mothers need to be seen treating men with respect as well. This whole world lacks in respect for the divine role of husband, wife, father, and mother. Unfortunately, our society has become almost abhorrent to this idea of family love, honor, and respect. Speaking as a prophet, he said, 

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We Can Be Completely Healed From Spiritual Crocodiles

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey.

In this session of conference, we get to catch up with probably one of the most well-known talks ever given: Spiritual Crocodiles. Likely, you or your children saw this video many times in Seminary. It is well-known, and always worth spending some time talking about why its message is so important.

Incidentally, in this talk, Boyd K. Packer wasn’t kidding when he said he knew about the many birds of our world. He was an exceptional artist and he specialized in bird carvings.

Detail from President Boyd K. Packer’s 1991 woodcarving “Broad-Tailed Hummingbird with Indian Paintbrush.” Photo by Jason Swensen.

 

And with this extra knowledge, he admitted to still being skeptical, at the time, of those who knew additional knowledge concerning life and death.

Likening this knowledge to the prophet, who is most concerned about our spiritual safety and salvation is easy, and easily ignored. Sometimes, the best teacher is Hindsight. Unfortunately, we are in a spiritual life and death battle and Hindsight can be a whirlpool we may never escape from.

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Family History: Does Your Garden Grow?

This is a General Conference Odyssey post for the Saturday morning session of April 1976.

What in the world does Family History have to do with a garden?

The lightbulb of enlightenment went off in my head with this week’s general conference reading, and my understanding has just been illuminated; now I share it with you.  

Do you remember all the years our prophets have talked about growing a garden and beautifying our yards and homes? For years, every General Conference, it was specifically Pres. Kimball who would spend quite a bit of time talking about gardening–of all things. Well, I think I just figured out why.

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