Sunday, November 30, 2008

Words of Modern Day Prophets and Apostles November 30, 2008

Excerpts from a talk given by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, October 2002

--"Regarding trials, including of our faith and patience, there are no exemptions—only variations (see Mosiah 23:21). These calisthenics are designed to increase our capacity for happiness and service. Yet the faithful will not be totally immune from the events on this planet. Thus the courageous attitudes of imperiled Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are worthy of emulation. They knew that God could rescue them. “But if not,” they vowed, they would still serve God anyway (see Dan. 3:16–18). Similarly, keeping the unfashionable but imperative first and seventh commandments can reflect the courage which three young women displayed anciently; they said no with their lives (see Abr. 1:11)."

--"As to remedying our personal mistakes, we face no hindering traffic jams on the road of repentance. It is a toll road, not a freeway, and applying Christ’s Atonement will speed us along."

--"Brothers and sisters, though living in a time of commotion, we can stand in holy places and not be moved (see D&C 45:32; D&C 87:8). Though living in a time of violence, we can have that inner peace that passeth understanding (see Philip. 4:7). Perplexing things will still happen, but, like Nephi, we can still know that God loves us, a felicitous and fundamental fact which can and will sustain us through so much! (see 1 Ne. 11:17).

How can we know that God is aware of us and loves us? He tells us by the scriptures—likewise, by our honestly counting the blessings and bestowals of His grace in our lives. Most of all, He tells us by the still, small voice of the Spirit! (see Alma 34:38; D&C 78:17–19)."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Words of Modern Day Prophets and Apostles Nov. 28, 2008

I stumbled across this quote today. It is from an article by President Marion G. Romney, Second Counselor in the First presidency. “America’s Promise,” New Era, Mar 1980, 4

As I read this quote, I was reminded that some of the problems we are experiencing today have been around for many years.

"Some years ago reference was made on a local editorial page to “a super-duper, eager-beaver atheist” who “does not like Christianity” at all, “and is out to destroy it. … In a national magazine [this atheist] is quoted as thundering from her ‘pulpit’: ‘Churches are leeches. …’

“Now that she has moved on prayer and Bible reading in U.S. public schools,” the editorial continues, “her next targets, it appears, are tax-exemptions for churches, ousting chaplains from the armed services and omission of ‘God’ in courtroom oaths, on money and in the pledge of allegiance.” (Norman Vincent Peale, Deseret News and Telegram, 3 July 1964.)

An article in a recent magazine advanced and argued the thesis that America is no longer “the Christian land of the Pilgrims.”

In distinguishing communism from the United Order, President David O. McKay said that communism is Satan’s counterfeit for the gospel plan, and that it is an avowed enemy of the God of the land. Communism is the greatest anti-Christ power in the world today and therefore the greatest menace not only to our peace but to our preservation as a free people. By the extent to which we tolerate it, accommodate ourselves to it, permit ourselves to be encircled by its tentacles and drawn to it, to that extent we forfeit the protection of the God of this land.

Relying on that part of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” the United States Supreme Court has ruled against Bible reading and prayer in public schools. By so doing, said President David O. McKay, “the Supreme Court of the United States severs the connecting cord between the public schools of the United States and the source of divine intelligence, the Creator himself,” who, of course, is the God of this land (Relief Society Magazine, Dec. 1962, p. 878).

Now, of course, we all believe and wholeheartedly support the separation of church and state; but we must not let this wresting of the First Amendment, nor communism, nor atheism, nor any other anti-Christ influence, weaken our conviction that Jesus Christ is the God of this land nor diminish our determination to obey his laws. On such conviction and such obedience hang all our hopes so well expressed in Samuel F. Smith’s patriotic hymn:

Our fathers’ God to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing.

Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!
(Hymns, no. 115.)

That it may be so, I humbly pray."

Book of Mormon Sampler November 28, 2008

Regarding this land of America:

2 Nephi 1:6,7
6 Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.
7 Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Book of Mormon Sampler Nov. 26, 2008

Alma 34:37,3837 And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no more deny the coming of Christ;
38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

General Conference Sampler November 23, 2008

Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship
by Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
November 2008, Ensign

We have gathered together as one, we have taken upon us the name of Jesus Christ, and we are Christians. One of the questions we would ask: why then, if we have that love of the Savior, would someone want to be an antagonist or to attack us?

Recently a group of bright, faithful young Latter-day Saints wrote down some of the most pressing questions on their minds. One sister asked, “Why doesn’t the Church defend itself more actively when accusations are made against it?”

To her inquiry I would say that one of mortality’s great tests comes when our beliefs are questioned or criticized. In such moments, we may want to respond aggressively—to “put up our dukes.” But these are important opportunities to step back, pray, and follow the Savior’s example. Remember that Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by the world. And in Lehi’s dream, those coming to the Savior also endured “mocking and pointing . . . fingers” (1 Nephi 8:27). “The world hath hated [my disciples],” Jesus said, “because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14). But when we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well.

To respond in a Christlike way cannot be scripted or based on a formula. The Savior responded differently in every situation. When He was confronted by wicked King Herod, He remained silent. When He stood before Pilate, He bore a simple and powerful testimony of His divinity and purpose. Facing the moneychangers who were defiling the temple, He exercised His divine responsibility to preserve and protect that which was sacred. Lifted up upon a cross, He uttered the incomparable Christian response: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Some people mistakenly think responses such as silence, meekness, forgiveness, and bearing humble testimony are passive or weak. But, to “love [our] enemies, bless them that curse [us], do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us], and persecute [us]” (Matthew 5:44) takes faith, strength, and, most of all, Christian courage.

The Prophet Joseph Smith demonstrated this courage throughout his life. Though he “suffer[ed] severe persecution at the hands of all classes of men, both religious and irreligious” (Joseph Smith—History 1:27), he did not retaliate or give in to hatred. Like all true disciples of Christ, he stood with the Savior by loving others in a tolerant and compassionate way. That is Christian courage.

When we do not retaliate—when we turn the other cheek and resist feelings of anger—we too stand with the Savior. We show forth His love, which is the only power that can subdue the adversary and answer our accusers without accusing them in return. That is not weakness. That is Christian courage.

Through the years we learn that challenges to our faith are not new, and they aren’t likely to disappear soon. But true disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition.

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Abinadi was bound and brought before the evil King Noah. Although the king vigorously opposed Abinadi and eventually sentenced him to death, Abinadi boldly taught the gospel and bore his testimony anyway. Because Abinadi took advantage of that opportunity, a priest named Alma was converted to the gospel and brought many souls unto Christ. The courage of Abinadi and Alma was Christian courage.

Experience shows that seasons of negative publicity about the Church can help accomplish the Lord’s purposes. In 1983, the First Presidency wrote to Church leaders, “Opposition may be in itself an opportunity. Among the continuing challenges faced by our missionaries is a lack of interest in religious matters and in our message. These criticisms create . . . interest in the Church. . . . This provides an opportunity [for members] to present the truth to those whose attention is thus directed toward us.”1

We can take advantage of such opportunities in many ways: a kind letter to the editor, a conversation with a friend, a comment on a blog, or a reassuring word to one who has made a disparaging comment. We can answer with love those who have been influenced by misinformation and prejudice—who are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (D&C 123:12). I assure you that to answer our accusers in this way is never weakness. It is Christian courage in action.

As we respond to others, each circumstance will be different. Fortunately, the Lord knows the hearts of our accusers and how we can most effectively respond to them. As true disciples seek guidance from the Spirit, they receive inspiration tailored to each encounter. And in every encounter, true disciples respond in ways that invite the Spirit of the Lord. Paul reminded the Corinthians that his preaching was “not with the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). Because that power resides in the Spirit of the Lord, we must never become contentious when we are discussing our faith. As almost every missionary learns, Bible bashing always drives the Spirit away. The Savior has said, “He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me” (3 Nephi 11:29). More regrettable than the Church being accused of not being Christian is when Church members react to such accusations in an un-Christlike way! May our conversations with others always be marked by the fruits of the Spirit—”love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance” (Galatians 5:22–23). To be meek, as defined in Webster’s Dictionary, is “manifesting patience and longsuffering: enduring injury without resentment.”2 Meekness is not weakness. It is a badge of Christian courage.

This is especially important in our interactions with members of other Christian denominations. Surely our Heavenly Father is saddened—and the devil laughs—when we contentiously debate doctrinal differences with our Christian neighbors.

This is not to suggest that we compromise our principles or dilute our beliefs. We cannot change the doctrines of the restored gospel, even if teaching and obeying them makes us unpopular in the eyes of the world. Yet even as we feel to speak the word of God with boldness, we must pray to be filled with the Holy Ghost (see Acts 4:29, 31). We should never confuse boldness with Satan’s counterfeit: overbearance (see Alma 38:12). True disciples speak with quiet confidence, not boastful pride.

As true disciples, our primary concern must be others’ welfare, not personal vindication. Questions and criticisms give us an opportunity to reach out to others and demonstrate that they matter to our Heavenly Father and to us. Our aim should be to help them understand the truth, not defend our egos or score points in a theological debate. Our heartfelt testimonies are the most powerful answer we can give our accusers. And such testimonies can only be born in love and meekness. We should be like Edward Partridge, of whom the Lord said, “His heart is pure before me, for he is like unto Nathanael of old, in whom there is no guile” (D&C 41:11). To be guileless is to have a childlike innocence, to be slow to take offense and quick to forgive.

These qualities are first learned in the home and family and can be practiced in all our relationships. To be guileless is to look for our own fault first. When accused, we should ask as the Savior’s Apostles did, “Lord, is it I?” (Matthew 26:22). If we listen to the answer given by the Spirit, we can, if needed, make corrections, apologize, seek forgiveness, and do better.

Without guile, true disciples avoid being unduly judgmental of others’ views. Many of us have cultivated strong friendships with those who are not members of our Church—schoolmates, colleagues at work, and friends and neighbors throughout the world. We need them, and they need us. As President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “Let us learn respect for others. . . . None of us lives alone—in our city, our nation, or our world.”3

As the Savior demonstrated with Herod, sometimes true disciples must show Christian courage by saying nothing at all. Once when I was golfing, I barely brushed up against a large cholla cactus, which seems to shoot needles like a porcupine. Thorns from that plant stuck all over my clothing, even though I had barely touched the cactus plant. Some situations are like that plant: they can only injure us. In such instances, we are better off to keep our distance and simply walk away. As we do, some may try to provoke us and engage us in argument. In the Book of Mormon, we read about Lehonti and his men camped upon a mount. The traitorous Amalickiah urged Lehonti to “come down” and meet him in the valley. But when Lehonti left the high ground, he was poisoned “by degrees” until he died, and his army fell into Amalickiah’s hands (see Alma 47). By arguments and accusations, some people bait us to leave the high ground. The high ground is where the light is. It’s where we see the first light of morning and the last light in the evening. It is the safe ground. It is true and where knowledge is. Sometimes others want us to come down off the high ground and join them in a theological scrum in the mud. These few contentious individuals are set on picking religious fights, online or in person. We are always better staying on the higher ground of mutual respect and love.

In doing so, we follow the example of the prophet Nehemiah, who built a wall around Jerusalem. Nehemiah’s enemies entreated him to meet them on the plain, where “they thought to do [him] mischief.” Unlike Lehonti, however, Nehemiah wisely refused their offer with this message: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:2–3). We too have a great work to do, which will not be accomplished if we allow ourselves to stop and argue and be distracted. Instead we should muster Christian courage and move on. As we read in Psalms, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers” (Psalm 37:1).

Evil will always be with us in this world. Part of mortality’s great test is to be in the world without becoming like the world. In His Intercessory Prayer, the Savior asked His Heavenly Father, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15). But even as the Savior warned of persecution, He promised peace: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. . . . Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). I testify that with the mantle of His peace upon us, the First Presidency’s promise will be fulfilled: “The opposition which may seem hard to bear will be a blessing to the kingdom of God upon the earth.”4

To my inquiring sister and all who seek to know how we should respond to our accusers, I reply, we love them. Whatever their race, creed, religion, or political persuasion, if we follow Christ and show forth His courage, we must love them. We do not feel we are better than they are. Rather, we desire with our love to show them a better way—the way of Jesus Christ. His way leads to the gate of baptism, the strait and narrow path of righteous living, and the temple of God. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Only through Him can we and all our brothers and sisters inherit the greatest gift we can receive—eternal life and eternal happiness. To help them, to be an example for them, is not for the weak. It is for the strong. It is for you and me, Latter-day Saints who pay the price of discipleship by answering our accusers with Christian courage.

I conclude by making the testimony of Mormon my own: “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life” (3 Nephi 5:13). I bear my special witness of Him—that our lives can be everlasting because His love is everlasting. That we may share His eternal, unconditional love with our brothers and sisters everywhere, is my humble prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Words of Modern Day Apostles and Prophets, November 23, 2008

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
"Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father", Ensign, Nov 1995, 22

"...the submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Latter-Day Voices Nov. 22, 2008

Who Turned My Head?
By Hildo Rosillo Flores
Ensign, Oct. 2007, 72–73

During a sacrament meeting in Piura, Peru, in 1972, a speaker who was discussing the importance of family history work kept looking at me. At the end of his talk, he surprised me when he announced, “I know that Brother Rosillo is going to do this work.”

I had been a member of the Church for less than a year, but I set a goal to get started on my family history—not because of what he said but because I felt a desire to do so. I obtained a four-generation pedigree chart and started by interviewing my parents and relatives to find out what they knew. Each time I worked on my family history, I prayed and asked the Lord for help.

To find the death dates of my maternal great-grandparents, I traveled to the town of Zorritos, in northern Peru, where they had been buried. The cemetery was on the outskirts of town, and most of the dead had been laid to rest in vaulted compartments.

I entered the cemetery and started looking, but I didn’t find anything. I then decided to go to town to ask a cousin if she was sure that our great-grandparents had been buried there. When she said yes, I told her, “Then I’m not leaving until I have those dates.”

I returned to the cemetery and began a methodical search, walking down every vault aisle and reading every inscription. I still couldn’t find their vaults, so I knelt and asked the Lord to help me. Then I searched again—but with the same results. I was tired, it was getting late, and I needed to leave so I could do other research I had planned.

“Well, I did my part,” I thought to myself. I would have to leave without accomplishing my goal.

Ready to leave, I turned toward the front gate. But just as I took my first step, I felt two hands take hold of my head from behind and turn it toward a certain spot. My eyes rested on a small, dirty headstone that was level with the ground. I looked behind me to see who had grabbed my head, but no one was there.

I walked to the headstone, lay on the ground, and cleaned off the inscription. With great gratitude, I read the information I was looking for: Isidro Garcia Rosillo, died August 1, 1934. Francisca Espinoza Berrú, died January 31, 1954.

My ancestors’ long wait to receive their saving ordinances ended in 1980. That was when my wife and I went to the São Paulo Brazil Temple to receive our endowments. At the temple I was sealed to my wife and baptized for my deceased loved ones.

As I entered the baptismal font, I remembered the small headstone at the cemetery. I went down into the calm waters knowing the Lord had guided my steps as I searched for my ancestors.

The Need for a Prophet

I have been following the news lately about the troubles in the Episcopalian church. The church as a whole was moving in a direction that many of its' members disagreed. The members felt that the church was straying from the teachings of the Bible. Now they are gearing up to write up a new "constitution" of beliefs to guide them in re-establishing their religion.

What they really need is a prophet of God. They need someone called of God to get guidance and direction for the church. We aren't talking about a good person who just leads according to his best ability, and inspiration from the spirit. A Prophet is much more than this. A prophet is the one to whom God reveals His secrets. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7. Think of the direction that the prophet Moses received for the children of Israel. This was much different than the inspiration that we as individuals receive. The direction Moses got from God was monumental. It was miraculous. It was prophecy and revelation. The advantage to having "a" prophet, as opposed to "many" people who are inspired, is that there is more direct leadership. A prophet is called of God and holds all of the Priesthood authority to act in God's name. While we as individuals can receive revelation for our own lives, a prophet can receive revelation for the church as a whole. God's house is a house of order. To have many individuals getting inspiration for the direction of the church could be chaotic.

A church led by a prophet and apostles is the organization that the Lord himself established. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesians 2:19,20. This kind of organization helps eliminate confusion. In addition, a prophet who receives revelation can give modern guidance for troubles and problems that occur anew in modern times. There are many happenings in the world today that cause the need for guidance. The Prophet can receive revelation as to what direction the church and its' members should move.

Most recently, our modern day prophet, Thomas S. Monson gave our church guidance about the subject of same sex marriage. We were encouraged to uphold the sanctity of marriage, and do all we could to support that cause. We have the free will whether or not to follow his council, but those of us who know the value of a prophet, listen when he speaks. We have the right to pray to God to receive our own testimony about whether ot nor he is a true prophet. We can also pray to know if his guidance is from God. We may not see in the immediate future the importance of the guidance he gives to us, but time has proven the value of a prophet. Through the prophet Joseph Smith, the Gospel was restored in these latter days. Through the prophet Brigham Young, the pioneers were led to a land where they could worship freely. Through the other prophets that have lived, we have received guidance on many subjects, and have seen many temples built throughout the world. The prophets have guided the church to become that stone that is cut without hands that rolls until if fills the earth. The gospel of Jesus Christ continues, under the direction of a modern prophet, to go to all the nations of the world. Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of this foundation. He leads the church through a living prophet. He reveals His will to a living prophet, who then leads the church to obey.

I close with the words of a famous latter-day saint hymn:
We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet, no. 19

1. We thank thee, O God, for a prophet
To guide us in these latter days.
We thank thee for sending the gospel
To lighten our minds with its rays.
We thank thee for every blessing
Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.
We feel it a pleasure to serve thee
And love to obey thy command.

2. When dark clouds of trouble hang o’er us
And threaten our peace to destroy,
There is hope smiling brightly before us,
And we know that deliv’rance is nigh.
We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness.
We’ve proved him in days that are past.
The wicked who fight against Zion
Will surely be smitten at last.

3. We’ll sing of his goodness and mercy.
We’ll praise him by day and by night,
Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
And bask in its life-giving light.
Thus on to eternal perfection
The honest and faithful will go,
While they who reject this glad message
Shall never such happiness know.

Text: William Fowler, 1830–1865

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

God's Holy Temples

I found this link today that has several excellent articles about the purpose, history, and meaning of the temple. Click here to access these wonderful articles.

San Diego, California temple

Sunday, November 16, 2008

LDS Temples

Thanks to my niece for this link. Click here to view a slideshow of the LDS temples in order of when they were completed.
If you wonder about the statue that is on top of all of the temples, the significance comes from this scripture in Revelation.
Revelation 14:6
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

We believe that the angel spoken of was the angel Moroni who delivered the golden plates to Joseph Smith to be translated in to what is now known as the Book of Mormon. It is this Moroni who is depicted sounding the trump on top of our temples.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Jesus The Very Thought of Thee

Though Deepening Trials

Though deep’ning trials throng your way,
Press on, press on, ye Saints of God!
Ere long the resurrection day
Will spread its life and truth abroad,
Will spread its life and truth abroad.

Though outward ills await us here,
The time, at longest, is not long
Ere Jesus Christ will reappear,
Surrounded by a glorious throng,
Surrounded by a glorious throng.

Lift up your hearts in praise to God;
Let your rejoicings never cease.
Though tribulations rage abroad,
Christ says, “In me ye shall have peace.”
Christ says, “In me ye shall have peace.”

What though our rights have been assailed?
What though by foes we’ve been despoiled?
Jehovah’s promise has not failed;
Jehovah’s purpose is not foiled.
Jehovah’s purpose is not foiled.

This work is moving on apace,
And great events are rolling forth;
The kingdom of the latter days,
The “little stone,” must fill the earth.
The “little stone,” must fill the earth.

Though Satan rage, ’tis all in vain;
The words the ancient prophet spoke
Sure as the throne of God remain;
Nor men nor devils can revoke.
Nor men nor devils can revoke.

All glory to his holy name
Who sends his faithful servants forth
To prove the nations, to proclaim
Salvation’s tidings through the earth.
Salvation’s tidings through the earth.

Text: Eliza R. Snow, 1804–1887

Music: George Careless, 1839–1932
31243, Hymns, Though Deepening Trials, no. 122

AMAZING Article About Same Sex Marriage

Thanks to Beetle Blogger for bringing this to my attention. This article is lengthy, but you will find it compelling to read every word. Whatever your feelings about same sex marriage, you should read what Jane Galt has to say. Click on her name to read the article, or click on Beetle Blogger.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Book of Mormon Sampler Nov. 15, 2008

Alma 40:11-14

11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.
14 Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pure Religion

I found this article on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints newsroom site.

SALT LAKE CITY 17 September 2008 For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and many others, the biblical apostle James’ definition of pure religion is more than a platitude. It is an extremely practical way to approach personal, family and community challenges. James’ understanding of this principle is expressed in this way: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Latter-day Saints take this interpretation of pure religion very seriously. Being a person of faith is something you do within the context of a world full of suffering, not just what you say or believe. Genuine and frequent charitable acts, though, are not enough on their own. They need to be enacted by individuals who are trying to live morally upright lives, or are striving to keep themselves “unspotted from the world.”

This parallel approach to faith-inspired personal devotion and service to others is not unique to Mormons. People the world over share this philosophy, as is evident in the lives of many Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, Jews and adherents of other religious traditions. The common thread is a respect and love for God that spills over to a respect and love for His children. Such reverence for the Creator and His children motivates many across the faith spectrum to seek to do His will in all things — both personally and interpersonally.

Many Latter-day Saints feel this desire to reach out to the downtrodden — James’ widows and fatherless — and find that the two elements of his pure religion exist in a symbiotic relationship. Learning Christ’s teachings and reading about the way He conducted Himself motivates individuals to look for ways to engage with others the way He did. And serving those in need functions as a refining process — humbling the server, bringing her or him closer to Christ and His example.

This relationship between personal discipleship and communal responsibility is not only brought to life in the experiences of those providing assistance to the poor and the needy. Within the Mormon paradigm, the recipients of charitable service require temporal assistance first and foremost. Once they receive that initial urgent support, they can then be encouraged and helped to acquire skills and confidence to become self-reliant. This then allows them, over time, to not only provide for their own needs and those of their family, but also to become providers of support and hope to yet others. Pure religion, then, is the marriage of inward-looking, soul-searching self-improvement to outward-looking, soul-lifting efforts to improve the situation of others.

There are no proselytizing strings attached to Latter-day Saint charitable and humanitarian outreaches to those in need. Many recipients of service, though, are so inspired by the example of those who reach out to them that they decide to extend their newfound upward temporal momentum to their personal spiritual journeys.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Unseen forces

When I saw this picture, I was pleased to see officers of the law protecting our sacred temple from violent protestors. But the thought that came to my mind was that there are unseen forces also keeping watch.

Some protestors made threats about burning down the temple. I might caution them that God might allow them to do this so that His judgements could then come justly down upon them. I know that for Christians, to tempt God is a silly idea. But for those who know not God, they can't imagine the consequences for such behavior.

When we were campaigning for the elimination of same sex marriage, those in favor of it asserted that we were guilty of bigotry and hate crimes. But it is clear that by targeting our church, which was only one of many in a coalition of churches, they are guilty of the very thing of which they accused us. I read that something like 75% of the black population in California voted in favor of Prop. 8. It's interesting that those opposed to Prop. 8 aren't attacking the black population because of their support of this proposition. Is it now politically correct to attack Mormons? And what about the Catholics, and Baptists, and Jews, and other religions that also supported the elimination of same sex marriage?

So I put the question out to you. Why do you think the opponents of Prop. 8 are targeting the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints with their protests?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Mission of Elijah the Prophet

It's a little known secret that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is passionate about geneology work. We believe that we must seek out our kindred dead in order to perform sacred ordinances for them; ordinances such as baptism. We also feel that it is important to know our place in our family chain, and to learn about those who have gone before us. We can learn from their lives, and we can pass on their virtuous heritage to our descendants.

Many people have caught the "geneology bug". We in the church refer to it as the "Spirit of Elijah". Malachi 4:5,6 says,
"5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

Many people are feeling their hearts turning towards their forefathers in fulfillment of this scripture. The Jews today still set a chair at their passover feast in expectation of Elijah's return.

Elijah held the higher, "Melchizedek Priesthood" which contains the sealing power to bind families as an eternal unit. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Elijah appeared with Moses to bestow these keys up on Peter, James, and John. As mentioned, Elijah held the keys of the sealing power, while Moses held the keys of the gathering of Israel. In latter days, Moses and Elijah both returned to visit the Prophet Joseph Smith and restore these same Priesthood keys to the Earth. Today in sacred temples, families are sealed together as eternal units to carry out the mission of Elijah. In addition, missionaries are sent throughout the world to gather in dispersed Israel to carry on the mission of Moses to gather Israel.

If you are interested in doing your own geneology, there are several tips that can help you get started. First of all, start by writing down the information that you already know. Start with yourself, and go back as many generations as you can. Next talk to your family members and ask questions about your deceased relatives.

Years ago, my husband and I visited Puerto Rico to research his family genenology. Through our interviews with distant family members, we were able to piece together enough information so that his sister was later able to find records to confirm the information we had gathered. I testify that as you work to find your kindred dead, angels will help you and assist you to find the information.

After you have gathered as much information as possible, you can begin to search public records to find more details. You might try using our church geneology website to help you. Click here to visit our family search website. In addition, you may want to visit a local geneology library at one of our Stake centers in your city. You can find a meetinghouse near you by clicking this link.

As you start to search your geneology, you will find a feeling of closeness to your ancestors, and you will feel you have gotten to know them better. You will feel that your heart has turned toward them. You will better understand the mission of Elijah the prophet.

Latter-Day Voices Nov. 11, 2008

The Book with Answers
By Alessandra Maria Pereira de Paula
Ensign, Jan. 2008, 72

While watching a documentary on the Amazon jungle, I learned that missionaries from various religions had taught the Native Americans about Jesus Christ. I began to wonder about the salvation of the millions of their ancestors who had never heard about Jesus, the gospel, or saving ordinances like baptism. If the Savior came for the salvation of all humankind, why had so many throughout history been excluded from His glorious message?

I searched for answers in the Bible, but I couldn’t find anything suggesting that the Old World was even aware of the civilizations in the Americas. No pastor, priest, or Bible student could answer my questions.

One day I was moved by a hymn I heard. I learned the hymn in my own language, Portuguese, and as I struggled to translate it into English, I remembered that my Latter-day Saint neighbor, Jesuina, often received American missionaries in her home. I asked her if the missionaries could translate it for me. The next day they left a translation with a short note that read, “It was a pleasure to be able to help you. One day we would like to meet you.”

When I met the missionaries a week later, they invited me to visit their church. But I did not like Mormons. Members of my family and leaders of other churches I had investigated criticized them, calling them a dangerous sect. They made many absurd criticisms that I believed to be true. One rainy Sunday shortly thereafter, however, I awoke with a great desire to visit their church—to repay them for their kindness but also out of curiosity. During the first meeting, people went to the pulpit and testified they knew that the Church and the Book of Mormon were true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Somewhat disturbed, I left the meeting and went to Sunday School.

When the teacher mentioned scriptures or stories from the Bible, I was eager to participate. But when she spoke about the Book of Mormon, I remained quiet and pensive. Why another book if we already had the Bible? Before I left, the teacher thanked me for my participation and then surprised me by giving me her copy of the Book of Mormon.

When I returned home, I went to my room, knelt on the floor, and began a sincere conversation with Heavenly Father. I told Him that I felt something special about the Mormon Church but that I didn’t want the adversary to delude me. I prayed that He would help resolve my confusion and show me which church was true.

Afterward I felt a great desire to read the Book of Mormon. I prayed again for strength and direction. During my prayer, I felt a strong and good feeling—an interior warmth. I knew I was not alone at that moment. A thought came instantly into my head: “Read the book!”

I opened it and began reading. Before I had finished the introduction, tears began running down my face as the Lord revealed to me the mystery of the Native Americans. The Book of Mormon seemed prepared especially to respond to my concerns. I felt great joy to have my questions answered. It was as though the ancient Americans had spoken from their graves to tell me about their lives and to testify that they also knew Jesus and that He had suffered for them as well.

Amazed with my discovery, I sought out the missionaries and listened to their lessons. On Easter Sunday, March 31, 1991, I descended into the waters of baptism—the best decision I had ever made.

I feel immensely grateful to Heavenly Father for His mercy and great wisdom. I know that He is just, that He has not forgotten any of His children, and that He is eager to reveal His plan to all humankind. I know that the Book of Mormon is a sacred book. It is true.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Images of Christ

Today I saw a program on BYU television titled, "Beholding Salvation, Images of Christ". I wanted to make up my own collection of images to share with you here.

Michelangelo's Pieta

O Jerusalem by Greg Olson

The Lord is My Shepherd by Simon Dewey

Saturday, November 8, 2008

LDS Church statement on protest

“The Church acknowledges that such an emotionally charged issue concerning the most personal and cherished aspects of life — family and marriage — stirs fervent and deep feelings.

The Church calls on those involved in the debate over same sex marriage to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information.”

---Information from: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I'm not sure why our church in particular is being targeted, seeing that we were part of a multi-church coalition. I for one can say that I felt no coercion to donate money to the campaign. Many members did donate money, but many didn't. Many members helped with the grass roots movement, but many didn't.

I have seen news reports where the organizer of the protest said that she will send a post card to the president of our church in the name of each person who donates money to the No on 8 campaign. This much I can tell her; no amount of post cards, no amount of media pressure, no amount of anger and hatred will cause this church to ever revoke our stand on homosexuality or same sex marriage. Just as we will never back down on our belief of the ten commandments, we also will never back down on our stance about same sex marriage. The world may waver in it's moral values, but the church of God will not. We love and accept the sinner, but not the sin. We will be tolerant of what others believe, but we will not accept what is contrary to the commandments of God.

Update: This from the Catholic church:

SACRAMENTO 7 November 2008 (This news release was issued by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento) The following statement was released today by Bishop William Weigand, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento and former Bishop of Salt Lake City, in response to attacks on (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) for supporting California's Proposition 8, defending the traditional definition of marriage:

"Catholics stand in solidarity with our Mormon brothers and sisters in support of traditional marriage — the union of one man and one woman — that has been the major building block of Western Civilization for millennia.

"The ProtectMarriage coalition, which led the successful campaign to pass Proposition 8, was an historic alliance of people from every faith and ethnicity. LDS were included — but so were Catholics and Jews, Evangelicals and Orthodox, African-Americans and Latinos, Asians and Anglos.

"Bigoted attacks on Mormons for the part they played in our coalition are shameful and ignore the reality that Mormon voters were only a small part of the groundswell that supported Proposition 8.

"As the former bishop of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, I can attest to the fact that followers of the Mormon faith are a good and generous people with a long history of commitment to family and giving to community causes.

"I personally decry the bigotry recently exhibited towards the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — coming from the opponents of Proposition 8, who ironically, have called those of us supporting traditional marriage intolerant.

"I call upon the supporters of same-sex marriage to live by their own words — and to refrain from discrimination against religion and to exercise tolerance for those who differ from them. I call upon them to accept the will of the people of California in the passage of Proposition 8."

SOURCE: Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Favorite Hymns

These are the lyrics to one of my favorite hymns. It is written as if the Savior were talking to us. It's message is touching.

Reverently and Meekly Now
by Joseph Townsend

Reverently and meekly now,
Let thy head most humbly bow,
Think of me, thou ransomed one;
Think what I for thee have done.

With my blood that dripped like rain,
Sweat in agony of pain,
With my body on the tree
I have ransomed even thee.

In this bread now blessed for thee,
Emblem of my body see;
In this water or this wine,
Emblem of my blood divine.

Oh remember what was done
That the sinner might be won.
On the cross of Calvary
I have suffered death for thee.

Bid thine heart all strife to cease;
With thy brethren be at peace.
Oh, forgive as thou wouldst be
E'en forgiven now by me.

In the solemn faith of prayer
Cast upon me all thy care.
And my spirit's grace shall be
Like a fountain unto thee.

At the throne I intercede;
For thee ever do I plead.
I have loved thee as thy friend,
With a love that cannot end.

Be obedient, I implore,
Prayerful, watchful, evermore.
And be constant unto me,
That thy Savior I may be.

Caution: This Product May Be Hazardous

Some people think that the commandments are restrictive, and ask how we can stand to live with so many rules. But actually, the commandments free us from sin, and from other by products of sin. In John 8:31,32 it says,
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, expanding on the phrase "the truth shall make you free," wrote:
"..Free from the damning power of false doctrine; free from the bondage of appetite and lust; free from the shackles of sin; free from every evil and corrupt influence and from every restraining and curtailing power; free to go on to the unlimited freedom enjoyed in its fulness only by exalted beings" (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:456–57).

My sister wrote about this subject recently. She questioned why we are careful not to take medications with bad side effects, but how many people take harmful illegal drugs without learning of the consequences that can result. As we discussed this topic today in seminary, one student told of a television show she saw that portrayed a man in the hospital with lung cancer. A woman came along and said, "Didn't you read the caution on the box?". (referring to the cigarette box) Sometimes we can read on the label about harmful side effects. But as we discussed to day, we thought about other types of sins that don't come with a warning label. Here are a few warning labels that I would like to see.

ADULTERY: Caution, this sin could destroy your marriage and family.

DISHONESTY: Caution, this habit can cause you to lose your own personal integrity, as well as the trust of those around you.

GREED: Caution, any amount of greed can cause you to forget the blessings that you have already received.

BACKBITING and GOSSIPING: Caution, backbiting and gossping cause disunity and hatred among groups of people. You may also notice that they are communicable, and will find others begin to do the same for you.

STEALING: Caution, stealing not only undermines the integrity of the thief, but causes prices to be raised so that even innocent people have to pay higher prices to offset the cost of the items stolen.

Although the commandments may seem restrictive to some, they actually free us from the bondage of sin. Jesus said,

"28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Some may feel that they are yoked and bound to commandments in a suffocating manner. But the Savior has encouraged us that his yoke is easy, and his burden is light. Keeping the commandments is much easier in the long run than breaking them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Book of Mormon Sampler November 4, 2008

For today's Book of Mormon Sampler, I give you one of the greatest discourses on faith. This is taught by the prophet Alma. It's a little lengthy, but worth the read.

Alma 32:26-42

26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.
27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.
31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness.
32 Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.
33 And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.
34 And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.
35 O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good; and now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect?
36 Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith, for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good.
37 And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.
38 But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.
39 Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.
40 And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.
41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yes on 8

I couldn't get this to work on my blog, but here is the link for you to watch it directly on youtube.

I heard an AMAZING talk by Robert George called, "On the Moral Purposes of Law and Government". It was a BYU forum address, and was aired on BYU tv. I hope this link works, click here to listen.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Vote for Prop 8

A Sincere Heart and Real Intent

Ever since I made my last post this morning, this scripture from the Book of Mormon has been going through my head:
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Moroni 10:3-5

In particular, the phrase, "if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent,.." has been going through my mind. I have known those who have read the Book of Mormon without real intent. Their reason for reading it was to prove it wrong. If a person reads with the intent to prove it wrong, they have already made up their mind about its truthfulness. A person with pure motives will read to see if it is of God or not.

The next part of that scripture also stands out to me, "...having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." Some people might fear to read the Book of Mormon. But if they rely on their faith in Christ, and use the feelings they get from the Holy Spirit to guide them, they need not fear. The Holy Ghost cannot lie. When a person receives a witness of the spirit, that is a sure witness. It extends beyond a person's intellectual knowledge. When a person knows something by the spirit, they not only are sure in their mind, but they are sure in their heart.

I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. How do I know this? I have read the Book of Mormon numerous times. I have pondered its message. I have prayed to ask God if it is true. As I have read the Book of Mormon, I have felt the Spirit's confirmation to my soul that it is true. I invite each of you to read the Book of Mormon, with a pure heart and real intent. If the Book of Mormon is true, then you need to know it. I know that as you read, you will feel the spirit enter your heart, and you will know that it is the word of God.

You can read the Book of Mormon online by clicking this link. The chapters are listed in order; the first book being First Nephi. As you read, you can click the forward arrow at the bottom of the page to turn to the next chapter.

Latter Day Saint Voices Nov. 2, 2008

Did Jesus Really Visit the Americas?
By Carlos René Romero
Ensign, July 2008, 73

In 1960 I met a young man at a party who told me that Jesus Christ had visited the Americas after His Resurrection. I found the idea incredible and wanted to know more, so I began searching in libraries and inquiring of the various religious denominations in my hometown of San Miguel, El Salvador.

I searched for almost three years but found nothing. When I mentioned to various religious leaders that I had heard of Christ’s coming to the Americas, they told me I had been deceived. Because my search turned up no information, I eventually came to believe they were right.

One day two missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to my home and said they had an important message for my family. I immediately remembered my previous inquiries and asked them, “Do you know if Jesus Christ came to the Americas?”

One of the young men said, “We bear witness of that.”

At that moment I felt a great excitement in my mind and heart, and I asked, “How do you know that?”

He took a book out of his bag and said, “We know Christ came here because of this book, the Book of Mormon.”

What the missionaries taught me during that first discussion troubled me, and I doubted the account of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s vision of the Father and the Son. However, the Book of Mormon intrigued me, and the missionaries kept teaching me the lessons.

One afternoon, the elders asked me, “Have you prayed to find out if what we are teaching you is true?”

I told them I had done so but had not obtained an answer.

“You must pray with real intent,” they said.

I had been reading the Book of Mormon for several nights and had read about and believed in Jesus Christ’s appearance to the Nephites, but I still could not accept Joseph Smith’s vision. My internal struggle was terrible.

One night I knelt alone and opened my heart to God. I told Him that I needed to know if He had really manifested Himself to Joseph Smith. If He had, I promised Him I would be baptized into the Church and serve Him all my life.

When I arose early the next morning, the answer came to me through the Holy Ghost. My mind cleared, and my heart filled with peace. From that moment on, I have had no doubts whatsoever that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.

I know that Christ came to the Americas after His Resurrection. My soul delights in this marvelous knowledge, taught to me with certainty by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Words of Modern Day Apostles and Prophets November 1, 2008

President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:

"I plead with our people everywhere to live with respect and appreciation for those not of our faith. There is so great a need for civility and mutual respect among those of differing beliefs and philosophies. We must not be partisans of any doctrine of ethnic superiority. We live in a world of diversity. We can and must be respectful toward those with whose teachings we may not agree. We must be willing to defend the rights of others who may become the victims of bigotry.
"I call attention to these striking words of Joseph Smith spoken in 1843:
"'If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a "Mormon," I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination' (History of the Church, 5:498)" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 94–95; or Ensign, May 1995, 71).