DISCLAIMER---I apologize for being so late with the notes this week. I have been working on another HUGE project that demanded my time. I have included part of the links that I had quick access to and I have not had time to re-read what I typed so I hope it makes sense. Thanks for understanding. ~Andrea~
President Uchtdorf’s talk on “Forget-me-nots”. He talked about what was said, but then how are you going to apply it. That boils down to a list of “to-do’s”. He went on to say “Sometimes as we study the how of the gospel (the to do list) we forget the why.” The power of the gospel comes in the ‘why’. It’s that that lights the fire.
As we go through classes I tell you to teach doctrine and teach principle.
What is the doctrine for ‘morality’? We don’t know, but we know we can give them a list of to do’s. The power is in teaching the doctrine of the family and the plan of salvation.
I want to teach the doctrine. I’m hoping the Spirit will give you the to do list. It has to be for you in your family and your own list of ‘to do’.
Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy
Object lesson: I have a doll that my grandkids have loved. It’s a raggedy doll that has been well loved, well worn, and well loved. You would say go play with it. Love it. Play with it. Take it for a nap. I have another doll. She is a porcelain doll. She has beautiful curls and a beautiful dress. What if this doll belonged to my great grandmother who came across the plains. It was handed down from her to my mother to me. If my kids wanted to hold her would I let them. I would say yes, but they would need to sit by me and touch her gently.
What is the difference between the feeling of the two dolls? One is you think of great-grandma and all she went through. You are in awe. The other one is the every day doll to go play and have fun. This is the closest that I can help you feel the 6 days of the week and the Sabbath. There should be a feeling difference between 6 days of the week and the Sabbath day. It’s not just because we go to church.
The Sabbath day observance has been given much from the authorities. My nephew told me that the background of this emphasis had been discussed. He is a bishop in Utah county. Elder Terry of the 70 said the First Presidency had been concerned about how the people of the earth could increase the Savior more a central focus point? They fasted and prayer. They took their concerns to the temple often seeking guidance. This was in addition for several months the response to several months of earnest prayer. To increase in faith the Lord’s children needed to Hallow and Keep the Sabbath day.
As you think about your children and how to keep them away from the filth of the world, as you are praying about it…this becomes the answer. As we sustain the First Presidency it is interesting that this seems to be what is most on the mind of the Presidency. Therefore…this is the primary concern of the Savior and Heavenly Father.
Russell M Ballard in a world wide training to church leadership said, “Of all the organizational or training that could hasten the work we have determined that observing the Sabbath day is most essential in assisting the children of men.”
That training is coming down to us. That’s why you hear so many talks.
Sabbath & the Sacrament L. Tom Perry
The Sabbath is a Delight Russell M Nelson (May 2015)
This is about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. When Christ was on the earth they had problems with the Sabbath Day. The Pharisees set so many rules for the Sabbath day. They felt like all these rules helped you keep the Sabbath Day. If you kept the rules you kept the Sabbath Day, but there was no Spirit in it. It was simply a set of rules.
We tend to get in a set of rules. If our kids keep a set of rules…Don’t play outside, Don’t jump on the trampoline…we think our kids are keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.
Second commandment is “Keep the Sabbath Day Holy”. That was a commandment. Adam and Eve…the creation of the earth…this is not a new commandment. In 6 days God did his job and then rested. Every dispensation has been commanded to keep the Sabbath day holy. That is truth. That isn’t new.
This is an “If…Then…” If you do this…then you get this. This is power. This is the ‘why’.
Isaiah 58: 13 (IF…)
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
If…thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath (get away from all the things that I do every day)
- Doing thy pleasure
- Doing thine own ways (read my own book, Facebooking, my things on His day)
- Finding thine own pleasure
- Speaking thine own words (Words come as a result of thoughts.You thoughts are on your own activities and your own stuff.On this day turn away from your own stuff).
All four of those things are self-focused. You say I’m not focused on me…I have to get my kids up, get dinner, my lesson, etc. Is it a ‘to do’ list or is it the Lord’s stuff. If you have to do it because you are the Mom it’s ‘your stuff’.
Heavenly Father is pointing out the problem with the natural man is that the day is all about me. The Lord would say, “This day is about me…the Lord…not about you. I give you 6 days to do all your stuff. This is your tithing in time and thought and heart to me. Can you give me one Sabbath?”
It is if you will give me the opportunity to bless you.
Class member: This last Sunday I got up and ready to go to Stake Conference. I woke up my 11 year old. I said, “Mom, do we have to go.” Heavenly Father has given us everything. He is only asking 1 thing from us. I think we can give him that.
I raised my kids with a strict list of ‘to do’s’ on Sunday. I’m not sure I did a good job of teaching the why. They did a great job for the rules. I taught my children obedience to the Lord and obedience to the Lord, mine are obedient. If anyone came into my home when my kids were growing up they didn’t have to wear the clothes they wore to church, they could put on something different. The girls had to stay in a dress. The boys had to stay in a docker/dress pants. They didn’t have to wear their ties, they chose to wear their ties. Most of my boys will still be in a white shirt and tie on Sunday. That’s just a reminder to them.
It is about obedience, but is so much more than that. What do you want more than anything else in the world? I want to live with Heavenly Father. I want to cross the veil and see his face. I want to kneel down and kiss his feet.
Ezekiel 20:20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.
This is my way to show Heavenly Father the level of my testimony.
To “know” is intimate, close relationship, unique. It’s not knowing about the Savior….the secular knowledge. This is heart to heart and soul to soul.
He is inviting you to have that relationship with Him, to experience Him. That comes through the Sabbath day.
How long did it take for that relationship to happen? What creates the intimacy in the relationship? You have to spend time together. You learn about each other. You don’t judge each other. You communicate with each other.
If you decide to take on this challenge today and you really do hard Sunday will you have that relationship at the end of the day. No. But you have the beginning of it. You are giving a sign. You will develop it over time. You will learn to come to experience Him. Can you imagine that? Joseph Smith experienced the Savior before he was called home.
Joseph Smith saw the Savior regularly.
Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
These are the blessings.
- Delight thyself in the Lord
- He will cause us to ride upon the high places of the earth.
- Fed with the heritage of Jacob
Heritage of Jacob…This is the Abrahamic Covenant. It is the fullness of all the priesthood…exaltation.
Delight thyself in the Lord….When we are so focused and do His will that it just fills you with joy.
Class member: I think that’s my pleasure with doing His will to be his hand here on earth.
Have you ever had a child just discover something? Something they have worked on then got it? How happy they were? You are just SO excited for them. It’s that joy that comes to us through doing his will.
Ride upon the high places of the earth…
Class member: I would say that’s when the mysteries of God are unfolded to us. We get more and more from him.
This is the Lord telling us “how” to experience Him. This is an encounter with Jacob…if we are the heritage of Jacob then we can use us.
He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
What is your “waste howling wilderness”? The land around Jerusalem is horrible, awful. There is nothing there. It’s like a hilly desert. You have a “waste howling wilderness”? Is it you children? Health? Husband? Business? This is those trials and hard things.
What did the Lord do to Jacob? He led him about, instructed him and kept him as the apple of his eye. Wouldn’t you love it you were His ‘favorite’.
As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
This tells how we can have this experience with the Lord.
So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.
What did Jacob do? Had no other God. What is another God? Pinterest, Facebook, TV, video games, novels. Can you do them 6 days? Yes. On the Sabbath which is about the Lord and not about you. Are there other God’s before him?
He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;
When Moses made water come out of the rock could you see water in the rock? No. To them it was a rock, but when he made water come out of it. It is places that you didn’t think it could happen. I will give it to you.
The oil is that you will be prepared. I am going to fill your lantern. Oil is symbolic of spiritual and temporally. I will put oil in your lamp that you didn’t think was there. I’m going to show you how to do that.
The high places of the earth is the temples. The places the prophets went to meet God face to face. If you do this I will create this experience where we will meet face to face in sacred places. As you qualify yourself you will be worthy to see him face to face.
This is the promise we will be spiritually near to him as we keep the Sabbath Day.
Ezra Taft Benson (Ensign May 1971 pg 6-7) “The purpose of the Sabbath is for spiritual uplift, for a renewal of our covenants, for worship, for rest, for prayer. It is for the purpose of feeding the spirit, that we may keep ourselves unspotted from the world by obeying God’s command….It seems to me that the following should be avoided on the Sabbath: Overworking and staying up late Saturday so that you are exhausted the next day. Filling the Sabbath so full of extra meetings that there is no time for prayer, meditation, family fellowship, and counseling. Doing gardening and odd jobs around the house. Taking trips to canyons or resorts, visiting friends socially, joy riding, wasting time, and engaging in other amusements….Shopping or supporting with your patronage businesses that operate on Sunday, such as grocery stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and service stations.”
Spencer W. Kimball (Ensign Jan 1978 pg 4) “The Sabbath calls for constructive thoughts and acts, and if one merely lounges about doing nothing on the Sabbath, he is breaking it. To observe it, one will be on his knees in prayer, preparing lessons, studying the gospel, meditating, visiting the ill and distressed, writing letters to missionaries, taking a nap, reading wholesome material, and attending all the meetings of the day at which he is expected.
The purpose is to come closer to the Lord. That is the key factor. It’s not a list. If you want to know if something is right or wrong on the Sabbath you go to the Lord and say, “Is this about Him or is this about me?”
Class member: The Lord gave us the Sabbath so we could obtain high places while we are mortal. We don’t have to wait until we die to see him. High places now and not later. When my husband and I were first married. We noticed that the grandchildren on my husbands side were leaving the church. It bothered us. My family wasn’t leaving the church. It went back to the grandparents. One set hallowed the Sabbath and one didn’t hallow the Sabbath. It’s making more sense now. The Sabbath affected generations not just the one grandparent. They didn’t get to high places.
You come to me and look what I am going to give you.
Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Sacrifice means to give up.
Contrite heart is how I will do it.
And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day;
If you want to keep your family intact you have to keep them clean from the sins from the world. One day a week you create a totally different experience for them. Their first desire is to come unto the Lord.
If your heart is full of the Savior serving Him, keeping his commandments, wanting to come unto him, thinking about the Savior during the sacrament. As He comes to you, you spend the day giving that light to your family.
Class member: This was in my mind on Sunday. I normally take Sunday as taking a break. This Sunday I was in a mood…it’s was a good day for me. I decided I would spend time with my kids. We did a puzzle for 3 ½ hours. I hung out with my kids. We didn’t have one fight that Sunday. If I just plug in and bring them with me it really worked out fabulously.
Sunday will be the busiest day of your life for the week. Take your day off on Firday before they get home from school. To bring the Spirit requires effort. That Spirit goes to your children. Your job is to help them experience ethe Savior.
Harold B Lee… “My experience has taught me that the prompting of the conscience to a faithful Church member is the safest indicator as to that which is contrary to the spriit of worship on the Sabbath Day.” (Decisions for Successful Living pg 148)
If you don’t want to know don’t ask. If you have the desire to experience the Savior in this life, it’s honoring him and putting him first.
Larry Lawrence….”What Lack I yet?” As you consider the Sabbath day he made the comment… “I would like to suggest that each of you participate in a Spiritual exercise some time soon…ask What is keeping me from progressing? (add…on the Sabbath day). Then wait quietly for a response. If you are sincere….intended just for you.”
If you want to experience the Lord now then that’s the question. The Lord won’t tell you everything you need to do. He walks you through it step by step so you don’t get discouraged.
I don’t know what the Spirit will tell you. If you want to know the Spirit will tell you.
“What Lack I Yet?”
Years ago I read these words of President Spencer W. Kimball, which had a lasting impact on me. He said: “I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil. ... A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is.”
Nephi talked about the children being afflicted by the firey serpents and all they had to do was look at the serpent.
And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.
Story of Naaman….because of the easiness of the way he almost wasn’t cured.
Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy is the ‘easy way’. If the prophet said, “You have to pack up and walk to Missouri.” We would do it because it’s such a big thing. Can you/will you keep the Sabbath Day holy? Will you change what you are doing now and make it better? Will you ask the Lord ‘What lack I yet?’ and do it?
It’s giving you being focused on me on the Sabbath and giving that day truly to the Lord. In return he says I will let you experience me.
I invite you to take His challenge and come to Him on his holy day. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.