Sunday, November 20, 2016

Elders Quorum Lesson, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W Hunter Chapter 21 - Faith and Testimony

Elders Quorum Lesson, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W Hunter  Chapter 21 - Faith and Testimony
Page 267 2nd and 3rd paragraph
“Howard’s testimony grew over the years. When he was in his 20s and living in Los Angeles, California, he began to recognize the importance of serious gospel study. He wrote: ‘Although I had attended Church classes most of my life, my first real awakening to the gospel came in a Sunday School class in [the] Adams Ward taught by Brother Peter A. Clayton. He had a wealth of knowledge and the ability to inspire young people. I studied the lessons, read the outside assignments he gave us, and participated in speaking on assigned subjects. … I think of this period of my life as the time the truths of the gospel commenced to unfold. I always had a testimony of the gospel, but suddenly I commenced to understand.’2
“Many years later, President Hunter explained: ‘There comes a time when we understand the principles of our creation and who we are. Suddenly these things are illuminated to us and the cords of our hearts do vibrate. This is the time when testimony enters into our very souls and we know beyond a question of a doubt that God is our father—that he lives, that he is a reality, that we are literally his children.’3”

While this talks of an awakening in things of the gospel in general, I think if we are progressing as we should, we will have little awakenings about pieces of the gospel. Either in gaining a testimony of a doctrine that we haven't really accepted or in gaining a testimony that there is more to a doctrine that we have a testimony of than we previously understood.

Have you even experienced an awakening to a change you need to make in the way you live a doctrine that you thought you previously understood?

Page 269 1st paragraph under Teaching of Howard W Hunter
“The supreme achievement of life is to find God and to know that He lives. Like any other worthy accomplishment, this can only be obtained by those who will believe and have faith in that which at first may not be apparent”

Let’s break this down in a couple of ways.  First, it says, “those who believe AND have faith”.  Does anyone have anything to say about the phrase, “those who believe AND have faith”?

The second thing we should talk about is the phrase, “that which at first may not be apparent”.   What does the word apparent mean?  What do you think about “that which at first may not be apparent”?

John 9:1-3
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

What do you think about the man being blind from birth “that the works of God should be made manifest in him”?

Doesn’t that make God mean to make a child blind just so he can use him?  Do we take the answer to this question for granted, that obvious it does not make God mean, but actually means that he is loving?  Have we stopped to ponder what people that don’t understand the world we live in from that perspective.  Many people are lost and hurting trying to make sense of the pain and suffering and turmoil around them.  We have information like this snippet about one man that was born blind that strengthen their knees and bind their wounds.

Do we look for ways that our trials can manifest the truth to us or to others?  Examples?


Page 270 2nd Paragraph under section 2
“. . . Sometimes faith means believing a thing to be true where the evidence is not sufficient to establish knowledge. We must continue the probe and follow the admonition: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ (Matt. 7:7–8.) . . .”

How do you handle that, when something in the Church perhaps doesn't make sense to you and you haven't collected enough data yet to make it make sense yet?  Or when someone presents a criticism of the church, past or present, that you don't have an explanation for?

What is the longest you have waited on the Lord explain something to you?  How has that affected your testimony?

Page 271 2nd Full Paragraph
“When a man has found God and understands his ways, he learns that nothing in the universe came by chance, but all things resulted from a divinely prearranged plan. What a rich meaning comes into his life! Understanding which surpasses worldly learning is his. The beauties of the world become more beautiful, the order of the universe becomes more meaningful, and all of God’s creations are more understandable as he witnesses God’s days come and go and the seasons follow each in their order.”

“Understanding which surpasses worldly learning”.  What does the word surpasses mean?  Does it mean that it replaces worldly understanding?  Could it mean that in some cases it encompasses what man already understands and extends it?  The beauties of the world, that we can already see, become more beautiful.

What about fears?  When we take God’s plan out of the equation are the problems of the world sometimes scary and perplexing.  When learn His plan and His doctrine more and more, does it give us comfort and hope and knowledge about how things work and a glimpse at why things are happening?

John 20:24-29
24 ¶But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 ¶And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Thomas was an apostle.  He had been called by the Lord and was a special witness of Him and yet he is called doubting Thomas.  What was it like to be the first apostles, with only just a very short time to watch the Master and see how things work.  They did not have generations of apostles to show them things.  They were not raised with the knowledge of apostle since they were born.

Do any of you understand what Thomas was going through?  Tell me about Thomas.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Talk - Modesty

Elder Robert D Hales quotes are taken from his August 2008 Ensign article, “Modesty: Reverence For The Lord”

Elder Robert D. Hales said, “Imagine that you are watching a play. An actor comes on stage dressed as a clown but starts playing the serious part of the lead. You might react by thinking that this is inappropriate—there must be some mistake in the costuming or casting.

Now think of how inappropriate it is to go out into the world or come to church dressed in clothes that do not represent who you really are in spirit.”

Several years ago when going in for a temple recommend interview. The stake president informed me that he was speaking to every member that came in for a temple recommend personally. He said there was a very big problem with immodest dressing in his stake and wanted to make sure that every member attending the temple understood what was appropriate to wear and what was inappropriate. What he said next stunned me. He said, “A woman’s knees should never been seen in public.” He then challenged me to go to the temple and to listen to what was said in the endowment, and that if I did the spirit would reveal this truth to me.

I have since done a little research and studying on modesty and dress by the Lord’s standards and I have come to the conclusion that there are two ways of dressing. You can either dress in fig leaves or coats of skins.  In Moses 4 verse 13 we read,” And the eyes of them both (Adam and Eve) were opened, and they knew that they had been naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.” Then in verse 27 we read, “Unto Adam, and also unto his wife, I the Lord God, make coats of skins and clothed them.”
So what are fig leaves and what are coats of skins? ” Robert D Hales said, “In everyday living, immodest clothing such as short shorts, miniskirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire are not appropriate. Men and women—including young men and young women—should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low cut in the front or back or revealing in any other manner. Tight pants, tight shirts, excessively baggy clothing, wrinkled apparel, and unkempt hair are not appropriate. All should avoid extremes in clothing, hairstyle, and other aspects of appearance. We should always be neat and clean, avoiding sloppiness or inappropriate casualness.  Our clothing is more than just covering for our bodies; it reflects who we are and what we want to be, both here in mortality and in the eternities that will follow.”

A fig leaf could be referred to any clothing that is tight, revealing, low cut, excessively baggy, or wrinkled. Anything that would make me want to hide from the Lord’s presence. As Adam and Eve did in their fig leaves. A coat of skins could be any clothing that would show our love for the Savior and that shows I know and understand who I am. A son or daughter of Heavenly Father. So I have tried to make it a goal that every time I pick up a pair of yoga pants, a t-shirt, a pair of shorts, a skirt, or even a pair of jeans. Before I putting it on my body I ask myselves is this a fig leaf or a coat of skins.

Let me give you a couple of examples from the scriptures. First I would like to talk about my favorite scripture heroine of all times, Hadassah. Hadassah was a young jewish girl, and during this time the jews were hated and not treated very well. And jewish females were thought to be the lowest of low and treated very poorly. So not only is Hadassah jewish but she is also an orphan. Now when Mordecai hears of his uncle’s death he takes Hadassah in and raised her as his own. Mordecai then gives Hadassah her Persian name Esther. Now what does Esther have to do with modesty? Well we know the king is looking for a queen and he brings in all these maidens to chose one to be his new queen. We read in Esther 2 verse 15 (when Esther) “was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her.” Verse 17 reads, “And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head,” Now Esther was given the opportunity to adorn herself to wear fig leaves if she chose too, but she required nothing. Why? Because she knew who she was (a daughter of God) and she was not going to give up wearing her coat of skins just for the chance to be queen.

What did the king and all those that looked at Esther see that they did not see in the other maidens? The companionship of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit radiated from her and penetrated all that came in contact with her. Now the Spirit can not dwell with those that wear fig leaves. Had Esther been a fig leaf wearer even part of the time her story could've turned out very differently. We know that Esther went on to save a nation (her people) from death. If she had not been humble enough to wear coats of skins her life and the lives of her people could have been lost.

Now let’s take a look at another women from the scriptures, Isabel. She is found in the Book of Mormon. Only five women are mentioned by name in the Book of Mormon and Isabel is one of them. So much is to be learned from her. She is a fig leif wearer and her life did not turn out so well. We read about her in Alma 39 verses 3 through 5. Now Alma is talking to his son Corianton here as we read, “And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel. Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted. Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the holy Ghost?”  

Spencer W. Kimball said, “I know I’m not going to be popular when I say this, but I am sure that the immodest dresses that are worn by our young women, and their mothers, contribute in some degree to the immorality of this age … I wonder if our young sisters realize the temptation they are flaunting before young men when they leave their bodies partly uncovered.” (Quoted by Dallin H Oaks in the December 1971 New Era, “Standards of Dress and Grooming”)

Now I am not saying that if we wear fig leaves we will turn into harlots. But what I am saying is if we give Satan an inch he’ll take a yard. If we give him a yard he’ll take two. Isabel didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Hey, when I grow up I want to be a harlot.” It was through her pride of fig leaf wearing that kept her from feeling the Spirit. And without the Spirit in her life she became lost.

Have I always followed the guidance of my church leaders by not letting my knees show in public, or by avoiding all fig leaf clothing? No, there have been times when the cuteness of an article of clothing or how comfortable that clothing is has overridden my better judgement, or my laziness has kept me from dressing in coats of skins. Does my human weakness keep me from trying to do better next time. No, it gives me the opportunity to repent, to learn, and to grow.

When I struggle with fig leaves I always turn to my favorite heroine Hadassah. I think I admire her so much because our lives are so similar. Hadassah was a jewish female. Looked down upon, ridiculed, and disowned by some. I am the only member in my family and none of my family is happy with my decision to join the church. I am looked down on, ridiculed and even disowned by some family members for my decision. Hadassah was an orphan. Even though both of my parents are alive I feel spiritually orphaned by them. They want nothing to do with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and my whole life is in this gospel. So I am unable to share my life with them. Hadassah’s name was changed to Esther. I have been to the temple and received a new name. Esther married a king. I married a priesthood holder and king. Esther took on the heavy responsibilities that come with being queen. I also have many heavy responsibilities as queen of my home. Esther saved a nation (her people) from death. I am the only one at this time from my extended family that can enter the Holy Temple. I have hundreds of thousands of ancestors just waiting for their temple work to be done. I to have a nation to save.

This was a lot for Esther to bear. This is a lot for me to bear. But Esther did it by being true to who she was (a daughter of God) by keeping the Spirit with her in her wearing coats of skins and not fig leaves. I too can bear the burdens placed before me by keeping the Spirit with me in wearing coats of skins and not fig leaves.  

I bear my testimony that I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. I know that our church leaders speak truths that guide us back to our Heavenly Father. I know that my Savior loves me and everyone of you. I know He gives us these sacred guidelines on modesty, not to hinder us, but so that we can have the fullness of His love and protection at all times.  And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Talk Version 2 - Motherhood Is Sacred and All Women Are Mothers

Sometimes we try to do things the way WE think life should work instead of how life actually works.  Or we try to please others and end up trying to live life in a way that isn't how it works.


Sometimes I have tried to insert my own incorrect ideas and try to make life how I think it should be, instead of how it actually works.  I, at times, have behaved or wanted my wife to behave in ways that are inconsistent with the gender roles Heavenly Father has given us.  I have had to put aside what I wanted to understand how life works.


The thing that I have had to figure out is that males and females are different.


That’s right.  Boys are not the same as girls and men are not the same as women.  Some people understand this earlier in life.


I think sometimes we spend time and energy comparing ourselves to the other gender.  We perhaps see things that appear unfair when looking at each other. To get past that we have to truly understand that males and females are different.  We have different strengths and sometimes different needs.


We are different, but Equal.  Equal does not mean the same.


Let’s imagine for a moment a quarter, and then also imagine 2 dimes and a nickel.  The value of a quarter, 25 cents, is equal to the value of 2 dimes and a nickel, also 25 cents.


Now imagine a person walks up to a 25 cent gumball machine.  The person reaches in their pocket and pulls out 25 cents, two dimes and a nickel, which is equal to the value the gumball machine requires.  Nonetheless, the task the gumball machine performs is designed to only work with quarters.  WELL THAT’S NOT FAIR!.  And yet, that is how it works.  It would be a great challenge to get a gumball out of that machine with two dimes and a nickel.  Likely when trying it one would damage the machine or damage the money.


Elder M Russell Ballard said:
“Men and women have different but equally valued roles. Just as a woman cannot conceive a child without a man, so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood to establish an eternal family without a woman.” (Elder M Russell Ballard, “Men and Women and Priesthood Power, Ensign September 2014)


Elder Ballard also said:
“Men and women are equal in God’s eyes and in the eyes of the Church, but equal does not mean that they are the same. Although responsibilities and divine gifts of men and women differ in their nature, they do not differ in their importance or influence.” (Elder M Russell Ballard, “Men and Women in the Work of the Lord”, New Era April 2014)


He further points out:
“Men and women have different gifts, different strengths, and different points of view and inclinations. That is one of the fundamental reasons we need each other. It takes a man and a woman to create a family, and it takes men and women to carry out the work of the Lord. A husband and wife righteously working together complete each other. Let us be careful that we do not attempt to tamper with our Heavenly Father’s plan and purposes in our lives.” (Elder M Russell Ballard, “Men and Women and Priesthood Power, Ensign September 2014)

There was a lot in Elder Ballard’s words about husband and wife relationships, but let’s remember that men and women are different even when they are single.  We must not beat ourselves up if we struggle when we are single to perform both genders’ responsibilities.  We can still draw on the strength of others of the opposite sex in our life.  Because of the natural order of things, we can not do it alone.

Generally, I believe that people do not fully comprehend the sacredness of mothers.  I believe they also generally do not fully understand that all women are mothers, no matter if they have children or not.


All Women Are Mothers
A single woman, a young married woman with no children, a woman with children, and a woman whose children are grown all are mothers.


Let’s review a portion of the the family proclamation:
“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.”


I would propose that for a mother the meaning of the word children extends to neighborhood, city, state, and so forth and that a mother’s stewardship becomes greater the closer she gets to the house she lives in.


A mother’s role is primarily to nurture.  Fathers are to preside, provide, and protect, which I believe translates to doing whatever is necessary to make it possible for the work of motherhood to thrive.


Sister Marriott, second counselor in the young women general presidency, in the women’s session of general conference stated, “The Relief Society general president Eliza R. Snow declared to sisters almost 150 years ago, ‘The Lord has laid high responsibilities upon us.’2


Sister Marriott pointed out that sisters, not women who are married or who have kids living at home have high responsibility.  She said that sister Snow was addressing all sisters.  All women.


Sister Marriott continues, “The Lord’s Church needs Spirit-directed women who use their unique gifts to nurture, to speak up, and to defend gospel truth. Our inspiration and intuition are necessary parts of building the kingdom of God, which really means doing our part to bring salvation to God’s children.”


Mothers have stewardship over the nurture of children.  Not just their children, but all of God’s children.


So far my evidence for all women being mothers may be a little thin, so let’s go back for more words from Sister Marriott, “Mothers literally make room in their bodies to nurture an unborn baby—and hopefully a place in their hearts as they raise them—but nurturing is not limited to bearing children. Eve was called a “mother” before she had children.4 I believe that “to mother” means “to give life.” Think of the many ways you give life. It could mean giving emotional life to the hopeless or spiritual life to the doubter. With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can create an emotionally healing place for the discriminated against, the rejected, and the stranger. In these tender yet powerful ways, we build the kingdom of God. Sisters, all of us came to earth with these life-giving, nurturing, maternal gifts because that is God’s plan.”


I would note that Sister Marriott’s stewardship is over the young women of the Church and yet she is speaking to the role of mothers.  I propose again that all women are mothers and have stewardship over things of motherhood.  Young women are still women.


I believe the young women theme gives us a view into this concept:
“We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will ‘stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places’ (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.”

Standing strong in the stewardship of motherhood can be hard.  The world or a woman’s peers or maybe even the men in her life may have incorrect ideas on what her responsibilities are.  They may apply pressure to her to spend time on things that have nothing to do with what God has called her to do.  This pressure sometimes changes as they changes phases and circumstances in life.  A young woman may feel pressure to pursue things in her youth that get in the way of her calling as a mother now and perhaps in the future as well.  A young married woman without children may feel the pressure to be engaged in other things that get in the way of her calling as a mother, simply because she has no children in her home.  Mothers that have children may get grief from people that do not understand the sacredness and stewardship of motherhood.  A mother with children that are grown may feel an emptiness from not being able to nurture full time, because she does not realize that children leaving the home does not remove the stewardship of mothers to nurture children full time.  Again, the definition of children extends to all of God's children in a woman's neighborhood, city, state, and so forth, and that stewardship becomes greater the closer she gets to the house she lives in.


Sister Marriott said this:
“Being distinct and different from the world will draw some criticism, but we must anchor ourselves to eternal principles and testify of them, no matter the world’s response.”
“Women and sisters, we can do these things! Primary girls, is there someone in your family who needs your love and kindness? You build the kingdom by nurturing others too.”
“Our high responsibility is to become women who follow the Savior, nurture with inspiration, and live truth fearlessly. As we ask Father in Heaven to make us builders of His kingdom, His power will flow into us and we will know how to nurture, ultimately becoming like our heavenly parents.”


Carole M. Stephens in April 2015 General Conference was telling the story of a sister that understood the concept of being a mother beyond just our home.  She had this to say:
"Sister Yazzie doesn’t limit her love and influence to her biological family. She understands what it means to expand her sphere of influence as she goes about doing good, blessing, nurturing, and defending the family of God."


Women Are Sacred
Motherhood is sacred and all women are mothers, thus all women are sacred.  Let’s dig into that concept a bit.


President Gordon B Hinckley stated, “When you save a girl, you save generations.”


Rosemary M Wixom when she was Primary General President said:
Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the number of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God. It was established in an existence that preceded our birth and will continue on into eternity.


Elder Russell M Nelson said on the sacredness of our duty towards women:
“Let us speak about our worthy and wonderful sisters, particularly our mothers, and consider our sacred duty to honor them.”
...
“if one dishonors mother, one dishonors the commandments of God.”


“the highest and noblest work in this life is that of a mother.”


Many years ago, the first presidency issued the statement, “Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. It places her who honors its holy calling and service next to the angels.”


Let’s hear that last part again, “It places her... who honors... its holy calling and service next to the angels.”

Elder Nelson shared more on the sacredness of women, “Because mothers are essential to God’s great plan of happiness, their sacred work is opposed by Satan, who would destroy the family and demean the worth of women.”


How is Satan trying to destroy the family?  Through influences that come into our home.  Through men demeaning women.  And through women demeaning themselves.  Sometimes the idea is expressed “I am only a mother.”  Which is like saying “I am only one with power given by God.”

More from Elder Nelson:
“We who bear the holy priesthood have a sacred duty to honor our sisters... We respect sisters—not only in our immediate families but all the wonderful sisters in our lives. As daughters of God, their potential is divine. Without them, eternal life would be impossible. Our high regard for them should spring from our love of God and from an awareness of their lofty purpose in His great eternal plan.”


We have a tradition of men holding doors for women when they enter or exit a building.  Clearly women are capable of opening a door, after all they are mothers who are given power directly from God. But consider the symbolism of this with regard to our responsibilities as men and the sacredness of women.  Men are to preside, provide, and protect.  We take responsibility and preside over the task of opening that door.  We provide a way for a sacred mother to enter or exit.  We protect in that we pay attention that it is safe for her to enter and that after she is in there is no danger behind her.


This may seem a bit silly that entering a church building in Layton, Utah requires that much security. The point is that in this simple act we can take the opportunity for both the man opening the door and the women entering or leaving to take a moment and recognize that which is sacred.  It is also an opportunity to engrain the sacredness of women into our youth.  Boys need to understand to respect sacredness.  Girls need to understand their great worth.


I often see young women adopting behaviors of boys who are behaving badly because they want to be close to those boys.  Young women are mothers and are sacred.  They do not have time to waste with crude boys.


I often hear phrases like boys will be boys.  The entire phrase should be boys will be boys until they are taught to be men.


1 Corinthians 13:11 states:
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.


When young women stand firm in their values without judging others, young men eventually figure it out and change their behavior.  Young women, the boys you want to date and the men you want to marry should be those boys that figure it out quickly or better yet, that have already figured it out.


If women and men really understood the importance of motherhood and the scope of what motherhood entails and that women are sacred, many more things in life would make a lot more sense to us and would be a lot easier for us to deal with.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Elders Quorum Lesson on Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W Hunter, Chapter 17 - Preserve and Protect the Family

June 19 Teachings of Presidents of the Church Howard W Hunter chapter 17

Can anyone tell me the three words that are a man’s main responsibility in life? They all begin with the letter P (preside, provide and protect).

Does anyone have any authoritative evidence that these are our responsibilities?  The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

Could someone please read that part?

“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.”

This is a single sentence.  Do we really understand what this means?

Let’s hear this again:  By divine design...fathers... are to preside over their families... in love and righteousness. Fathers... are responsible to provide the necessities of life.  Fathers...are to protect their families.

If we are not fathers we still should be practicing these principles and learning to understand how to do these things, to the best we are able within the things for which we are responsible.  Our goal is to be like our Father in Heaven.

Preside, provide and protect.


The manual states that Howard W Hunter loved music and started a band with his friends when he was young, but he soon began to feel “parts of the lifestyle were incompatible with the kind of life he envisioned for his family.”

Have you had things in your life that you felt were incompatible with the kind of life you envisioned for your family that you had to change or give up?  Which of the 3 P’s (preside, provide, or protect) deals with giving up things that are incompatible to a celestial family?


P223 third paragraph:
“The greatest training that can be given to a child is that which comes from the example of parents. Parents need to set the example for young people to follow. Great strength comes from the home where righteous principles are taught, where there is love and respect for each other, where prayer has been an influence in the family life, and where there is respect for those things that pertain to God.”

P223 middle of 6th paragraph through the 2nd paragraph on p224:
“If you are to enjoy the blessings of the Lord, you must set your own homes in order. Together with your wife, you determine the spiritual climate of your home. Your first obligation is to get your own spiritual life in order through regular scriptural study and daily prayer. Secure and honor your priesthood and temple covenants; encourage your family to do the same.”

“A man who holds the priesthood has reverence for motherhood. Mothers are given a sacred privilege to “bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of [the] Father continued, that he may be glorified” (D&C 132:63).

“… The priesthood cannot work out its destiny, nor can God’s purposes be fulfilled, without our helpmates. Mothers perform a labor the priesthood cannot do. For this gift of life, the priesthood should have love unbounded for the mothers of their children.
“[Brethren,] honor your wife’s unique and divinely appointed role as a mother in Israel and her special capacity to bear and nurture children. We are under divine commandment to multiply and replenish the earth and to bring up our children and grandchildren in light and truth (see Moses 2:28; D&C 93:40). You share, as a loving partner, the care of the children. Help her to manage and keep up your home. Help teach, train, and discipline your children.”


When I was in my twenties and fairly newly married, an elders quorum president was announcing to the quorum that a relief society enrichment night was coming up and that the husbands should make it so that their wives could attend.  He suggested that the husbands babysit their children, so their wives could attend.  He sat down, then spoke again and said, “Some call it babysitting your children and some call it being a father.”

I would add to that that our responsibility as husbands is to remove any obstacles that get in the way of motherhood.  That motherhood extends outside their home to being a mother to the whole earth.  Frequently the obstacle we, as husbands, have to remove for our wife is our own children in order for her to fulfill her calling as mother.  Often we need to make it so she can serve those in the neighborhood or the city or beyond.  Often we need to make it so she can attend her Church meetings as she has covenanted to do.  Meetings like relief society enrichment night or whatever they are calling it these days.


P224 paragraph 4
“A man who holds the priesthood accepts his wife as a partner in the leadership of the home and family with full knowledge of and full participation in all decisions relating thereto. Of necessity there must be in the Church and in the home a presiding officer (see D&C 107:21). By divine appointment, the responsibility to preside in the home rests upon the priesthood holder (see Moses 4:22). The Lord intended that the wife be a helpmeet for man (meet means equal)—that is, a companion equal and necessary in full partnership. Presiding in righteousness necessitates a shared responsibility between husband and wife; together you act with knowledge and participation in all family matters. For a man to operate independent of or without regard to the feelings and counsel of his wife in governing the family is to exercise unrighteous dominion.”

End of next paragraph:
“Tender expressions of love and affection toward children are as much the responsibility of the father as the mother. Tell your children you love them.”

P225 2nd paragraph:
“Surely that home is strongest and most beautiful in which we find each person sensitive to the feelings of others, striving to serve others, striving to live at home the principles we demonstrate in more public settings. We need to try harder to live the gospel in our family circles. Our homes deserve our most faithful commitments.”

Which husband responsibilities does this statement illustrate? Provide and Protect

The Sabbath Day
P225 last paragraph 2nd sentence:
“We remind all that the Lord has admonished parents to teach their children the gospel, to pray, and to observe the Sabbath Day.”

How do we teach our children to observe the Sabbath Day?

First we have to understand what it means to keep the Sabbath holy ourselves.  The Lord gives us commandments like keep the Sabbath Day holy, but doesn’t spell everything out for us.  I think he expects us to take what he has told us specifically, and use study and the spirit to build on that.  I think it has been made clear over the years that on the Sabbath we do not shop.  And on the Sabbath we go to church.  So we attend our 3 hour block of church and stay out of the stores and  the rest of the day is ours, right?

We as men are to PRESIDE over our time and how it is used on the Sabbath.  We as men are to PROVIDE an education to our children on what a holy day looks like.  If we do not have children, then we are to PROVIDE an education about the Sabbath to ourselves to be prepared to be a witness to others.  We as men are to PROTECT our families from false ideas of what the Sabbath Day is and what its purpose is.

What are some things you are doing well in keeping the Sabbath day holy?  What are some things you would like to improve on?

Family Counsels
P226 2nd paragraph:
“In order that parents and children may better understand each other, a plan has been adopted by the church known as the ‘Family Council.’ This council is called and conducted by the parents and attended by all members of the family. It strengthens family ties, assures children they ‘belong,’ and convinces them that the parents are interested in their problems. This family meeting teaches mutual respect for each other, eliminates selfishness, and emphasizes the Golden Rule [see Matthew 7:12] in the home and living a clean life. Family worship and prayer are taught, together with the lessons of kindness and honesty. The problem of the family usually confronts one at such close range that its real dimensions and significance are not easily appreciated, but when families are strong and united in the endeavor to serve God and keep His commandments, many of our modern-day problems disappear.”

Again, what are the three main responsibilities of men?  Preside, provide, and protect.

What do family counsels have to do with these three responsibilities?

Teaching Our Families
P226 2nd paragraph:
“[Brethren,] take seriously your responsibility to teach the gospel to your family through regular family home evening, family prayer, devotional and scripture-reading time, and other teaching moments. Give special emphasis to preparation for missionary service and temple marriage. As patriarch in the home, exercise your priesthood through performing the appropriate ordinances for your family and by giving blessings to your wife and children. Next to your own salvation, brethren, there is nothing so important to you as the salvation of your wife and children.”

Which of the three Ps that we as men are responsible for fall under teaching our family?

Make Our Home a Holy Place
First 3 paragraphs under section 5 on p229:
“We hope that you will not be overcome with discouragement in your attempts to raise your families in righteousness. Remember that the Lord has commanded this: “But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved” (D&C 45:32).

“While some interpret this to mean the temple, which surely it does, it also represents the homes in which we live. If you will diligently work to lead your families in righteousness, encouraging and participating in daily family prayer, scripture reading, family home evening, and love and support for each other in living the teachings of the gospel, you will receive the promised blessings of the Lord in raising a righteous posterity.

“In an increasingly wicked world, how essential it is that each of us “stand in holy places” and commit to be true and faithful to the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

How are the three Ps of male responsibility applied in making your home a holy place?