Prophets and Apostles

Thomas S Monson Christmas
via lds.org

Which Christmas memories hold the dearest place in your heart? For President Thomas S. Monson, the Christmas of 1951 made an indelible impression upon him that will last forever. After all, it’s not often that you have the chance to help save Christmas – and that’s just what he did. President Monson shared the following story:

“On a cold winter’s night in 1951 there was a knock at my door, and a German brother from Ogden, Utah, announced himself and said, “Are you Bishop Monson?” I answered in the affirmative. He began to weep and said, “My brother and his wife and family are coming here from Germany. They are going to live in your ward. Will you come with us to see the apartment we have rented for them?” On the way to the apartment, he told me he had not seen his brother for many years.

I looked at the apartment. It was cold and dreary. The paint was peeling, the wallpaper soiled, the cupboards empty. A forty-watt bulb hanging from the living room ceiling revealed a linoleum floor covering with a large hole in the center. I was heartsick. I thought, “What a dismal welcome for a family which has endured so much.”

READ FULL STORY on I Love the Book of Mormon.

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Thomas S Monson Christmas
via lds.org

Happy Thanksgiving!

Read how President Thomas S. Monson made one Thanksgiving his most memorable. The following is an excerpt from Consider the Blessings: True Accounts of God’s Hands in Our Lives.

Occasionally I ponder an experience from my boyhood. I grew up during the Depression. These were difficult times. My father was a craftsman, a printer, and he always had employment, although others were not so fortunate.

I remember the boys with whom I went to school. Many had clothing bought at rummage sales. The same size jacket was to fit four boys in one family. The father did not support the family. The mother worked nights as a telephone operator in Salt Lake City. The thing I remember most about this family was that when I would call upon the boys to go to school, they would be having breakfast—cornflakes with water. There was no milk, there was no cream, there was no sugar—only cornflakes and water.

READ THE FULL STORY AT LDS LIVING!

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image from lds.org

President Packer’s book, The Holy Temple, is a classic of LDS literature that has become one of the most comprehensive and definitive works written about temples. In fact, much of the material found in the Church’s temple preparation pamphlet comes from this inspired book.

In this book, he shares a story from one of his ancestors that shows that not all ghost stories are scary. Some are deeply sacred and profound.

At the rededication of the Logan Temple in 1979 I recounted an incident in the life of my wife’s grandfather, which I include here.

The Logan Temple is sacred to our family, for there my wife and I were married, and my wife’s grandfather responded to the call and helped to construct that temple.

C. O. Law, the superintendent of construction for that temple, wrote on February 25, 1884: “This letter certifies that Brother Julius Smith of Brigham City has worked faithfully and honorably on the Logan Temple for nearly two years, and as the temple nears completion, his branch of the labor being terminated, he is now honorably released and we sincerely trust that Brother Smith may become a participant in the blessings of the House of the Lord which he has assisted to erect.”

Brother Smith with his wife, Josephina, lived on a few acres of ground in Brigham City. There they raised fourteen children, my wife’s father being the youngest. When the call came for workers to assist in the building of the temple, he responded.

READ FULL STORY AT LDS LIVING.

Uchtdorf Dodgers pitch
Image via Patheos.com

Does the above image make you happy? It makes us happy too. 🙂 Elder Holland says that God wants us to be happy. He shares 4 tips how we can do that. Here is what he says.

I wish to comment on Nephi’s phrase about living “after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27). It suggests a quest for happiness, not necessarily happiness itself.

I do not think God in his glory or the angels of heaven or the prophets on earth intend to make us happy all the time, every day in every way, given the testing and trial this earthly realm is intended to provide. As President James E. Faust (1920–2007) once phrased it: “Happiness is not given to us in a package that we can just open up and consume. Nobody is ever happy 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” But my reassurance to you today is that in God’s plan we can do very much to find the happiness we do desire. We can take certain steps, we can form certain habits, we can do certain things that God and history tell us lead to happiness.

Read the full article at LDS.org.

In the October 2016 general conference, President Thomas S. Monson stood at the pulpit to share brief but enlightening messages with the world. As the prophet and leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the challenges he extends to members are relevant and important for us to follow.

In his talk for the Sunday morning session, entitled “The Perfect Path to Happiness,” President Monson encouraged members to strive to do more. On our steady path of improvement, he challenged us to improve not only our knowledge of the gospel but also how we live it.

President Monson’s Sunday morning talk followed his talk in the Priesthood session, “Principles and Promises,” in which he extended a challenge for personal health.

Here are the 5 challenges President Monson extended to the members of the Church in his October 2016 general conference talks:

1. “[May] we care for our bodies and our minds by observing the principles set forth in the Word of Wisdom, a divinely provided plan.”

2. “We need to work and learn, search and pray, repent and improve.”

Read the rest on LDS Living.

Following his address, Pope Francis warmly individually greeted and shook hands with several faith leaders including President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Image from MormonNewsroom.com

In a new video series from Mormon Channel called Hope Works, guest speakers present TED-style talks to promote faith and hope. In one of the videos, Samuel Hislop presented a speech, entitled “We Aren’t God’s Only People,” to explain the positive effects of faiths outside of our own.

Samuel Hislop opens up to the audience, sharing an experience from his mission when his inability to understand other religious views drew him away from Christ.

Serving an LDS mission in eastern Ukraine, Hislop was surrounded by many Eastern Orthodox Christians, who greet one another on Easter with the Paschal greeting, “Иисус Воскрес,” meaning “Jesus is risen.” Even members of the Church participated in the greeting, since many converted from the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Read the full article at LDS Living or watch the speech below:

 

image from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's Facebook page

Ever since the prophet and apostles have become more active on social media, they have been flooded with personal comments, messages and requests on their official pages. Have you ever wondered if it is them posting quotes from talks or if it is just one of their secretaries or a social media specialist that works for the Church? Do you wonder if they actually read your comments? Apparently, President Uchtdorf does, and he wanted us to know this.

Last week, President Uchtdorf shared responses to a few of the social media posts members gave as part of his invitation:

“Sometimes people leave comments on my Facebook posts and tweets asking if I actually read what they write. The answer is yes! I do read many of your comments. Like I said during general conference, while my tech skills may not quite measure up to those of a typical seven-year-old, for a septuagenarian, I do all right.

“After my Saturday morning conference address, I published a Facebook post and a tweet that asked you to share with me ways that you express gratitude for the flood of light and truth God has poured out upon you.

“I was uplifted and inspired to read the comments you left.

“Jake on Twitter told me that he created a brand-new Twitter account that he uses for the purpose of sharing the gospel with others.

“Sheri on Facebook shared that she keeps a gratitude journal that has helped her and her family keep perspective and light during recent times of trial.

“Also on Facebook, Marlo said that she deliberately strives to show gratitude by showing love to her little children and husband even when the “natural man” in her would prompt her to be angry, selfish, or busy.

“These are just a few of the hundreds of comments shared with me over the weekend. I am so grateful for all that you do to live your faith.”

Elder Dallin H Oaks
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Elder Oaks shared some powerful keys to making missionary work more authentic and helpful for both the investigator and the member who is sharing. Here they are from the notes that we took.

1. People learn when they are ready to learn not when we are ready to teach them

Others typically want the results of the doctrine, not the doctrine itself. People are open when they are seeking more happiness or a change in their life.

2. As we speak to others, we need to remember that an invitation to speak more about Jesus Christ and his gospel is better than an invitation to learn about the Church.

The point of going to Church is not to simply be there. It is to partake of the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. This should be what we center our missionary work around. Not getting people to learn about the Church, but about Jesus Christ. Like the Book of Mormon says: “…hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.” (2 Ne 33:10)

3. When we seek to introduce people to the gospel, we should do this in ways that are authentic in loving concern for the person

We should only share it with people when we have sincerely sought to find ways in which aspects of the gospel will truly help that individual with specific needs that they have and not force the gospel on someone because they won’t be saved without it.

4. Our efforts to share the gospel shouldn’t be limited to just the people we know.

Elder Oaks shared a great example this with the cab driving missionary in Rio.

We can share with anyone around us. Not just those we know. We might even be in a better position to share as a stranger than as a close friend or relative.

5. Ward bishoprics plan a special sacrament meeting for visitors.

That way the church is represented well in a meeting specifically catered to visitors being able to understand simply and feel welcomed and uplifted.

6. There are many natural opportunities to share the gospel that we can be proactive with if we just think about it more often

There will always be opportunities to share the gospel if we seek after them. If we are ready and we ask the Lord to help us to share, the opportunity will arise and we will be able to speak to people naturally about the gospel.

7. Young peoples’ expertise with social media gives them a unique opportunity to share the gospel

Elder Oaks jokingly reinterpreted a scripture about loosing our tongues that they can utter. He said it might now say “loose their thumbs that they can utter.” And then he added “Go to it youth!”

There are incredible opportunities to share the gospel using social media and this was another apostolic endorsement that it is not only possible, but should be used.

This talk was given by an apostle, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, and was likely (as he mentioned in the talk) based on many of the similar principles that have been taught by Clayton Christensen in his book The Power of Everyday Missionaries. 

Image via LDS Living

Are you ready for conference? We are getting super excited to hear the voices of the prophets and apostles live this weekend! What will they say? How will you prepare? Will you be ready?

President Monson and a few of the other brethren have shared some really helpful messages on social media to help us prepare for general conference. Here is what President Monson shared on Facebook:

Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome.

The history of the Church in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times, is replete with the experiences of those who have struggled and yet who have remained steadfast and of good cheer. The reason? They have made the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of their lives. This is what will pull us through whatever comes our way. We will still experience difficult challenges, but we will be able to face them, to meet them head-on, and to emerge victorious.

From the bed of pain, from the pillow wet with tears, we are lifted heavenward by that divine assurance and precious promise: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Such comfort is priceless.

This was taken from his talk given in 2013 “I will not fail thee or forsake thee.”