Friday, November 6, 2009

Mind and Heart

I believe there is an order specifically given to the process of receiving revelation. It is outlined beautifully in Section 8 of the Doctrine and Covenants where it is explained that we will be told in our mind and in our heart by the Holy Ghost. First our mind is given the impression or the seed of thought then, when planted in our heart, we feel the process of growth as our heart begins to swell or become enlarged.

Even the law of witnesses, which is the testimony of two or more, is fulfilled by this process. The mind is one witness and the heart another.

The reconciliation of these two parts, the mind and heart, is the process of becoming a Zion person. Though this process we have one heart and one mind. The blessing of becoming a Zion person is that of the continual presence of the Lord, or continual revelation.

In my study of our prophetic instruction during General Conference I have found many incidences where we have been instructed on this process of revelation. Elder Boyd K. Packer gave instruction in his talk called, Prayer and Promptings. I have only taken a few of his statements to illustrate the importance of the order of the mind and heart.

Look for all the references he gives to the mind and the heart in the following excerpt of that talk:

The Lord has many ways of pouring knowledge into our minds to prompt us, to guide us, to teach us, to correct us, to warn us. The Lord said, “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart” (D&C 8:2).

And Enos recorded, “While I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind again” (Enos 1:10).

You can know the things you need to know. Pray that you will learn to receive that inspiration and remain worthy to receive it. Keep that channel—your mind—clean and free from the clutter of the world.

When temptation comes, you can invent a delete key in your mind—perhaps the words from a favorite hymn. Your mind is in charge; your body is the instrument of your mind. When some unworthy thought pushes into your mind, replace it with your delete key. Worthy music is powerful and can help you control your thoughts.

When Oliver Cowdery failed in an attempt to translate, the Lord told him:
“Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings” (D&C 9:7–9).

Learn to pray. Pray often. Pray in your mind, in your heart. Pray on your knees. Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil. And I have learned to conclude all my prayers with “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10; see also Luke 11:2; 3 Nephi 13:10).

The Savior said, “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (D&C 88:63).

The reconciliation of the Spirit and the Body are done though this process of revelation as the Lord speaks to our mind and heart. I know it in my mind and feel it in my heart.

Have you felt this process for yourself?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Seeking To Know

I love General Conference. It seems to me that many of the talks this past conference centered on gaining a personal knowledge of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. In fact, Elder Robert D. Hales gave a beautiful description of the process in his talk titled just that. The following is a brief excerpt from that talk....

Look for the action words he uses to help us understand the pattern of progressing from believing, which is a light that all are born with, to knowing.

"Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ"

"Brothers and sisters, you may already know, deep in your soul, that God lives. You may not know all about Him yet and do not understand all His ways, but the light of belief is within you, waiting to be awakened and intensified by the Spirit of God and the Light of Christ, which you are born with.

So come. Believe the testimonies of the prophets. Learn of God and Christ. The pattern to do so is clearly taught by prophets of old and prophets today.

Cultivate a diligent desire to know that God lives.

This desire leads us to ponder on the things of heaven—to let the evidence of God all around us touch our hearts.

With softened hearts we are prepared to heed the Savior’s call to “search the scriptures” and to humbly learn from them.

We are then ready to ask our Heavenly Father sincerely, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, if the things we have learned are true. Most of us will not see God, as the prophets have, but the still, small promptings of the Spirit—the thoughts and feelings that the Holy Ghost brings into our minds and hearts—will give us an undeniable knowledge that He lives and that He loves us.

Gaining this knowledge is ultimately the quest of all God’s children on the earth."

Once again we are taught, that revelation will come to our minds and hearts and we can KNOW for ourselves of these truths.

I love the simplicity of this pattern, don't you?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Believe Versus Know

While listening to a recent speaker in our Young Adult Sacrament Meeting I was touched by the spirit to understand more fully the process of “knowing” truth. I had read the passage the speaker referred to many times before, but for some reason this time the clarity of the meaning simply rang loudly in my mind, and my heart became enlarged.

The discourse given in the Book of Mormon by the prophet Alma which compares faith to a seed is one that most are probably familiar with. The scripture that jumped out at me that day is contained in that lesson in Alma 32.

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.

The words that caught my attention were “beginneth” and “ye must needs know”. I guess for some reason I always thought you had to SEE the whole plant to really know, but the process of feeling that enlargement of your heart is simply enough.


In the process of creation a “seed is planted” ... if it connects with the cultivated soil, or the egg... then it begins to grow. As I mother I can testify, that when you feel that swelling of the “seed” in your stomach, you KNOW it is a baby. You can know without seeing. When the baby is finally then have a FULNESS of knowledge or PERFECT knowledge, but before that process is revealed, you can still KNOW it is a baby.

It may sound simple, but for me... I can know without seeing, that Jesus is the Christ.

And I do...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Power of Words

2 Nephi 32:2 Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?

3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.

I loved this video. It illustrates to me just how powerful words really are. I hope you like it too.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

General Authority Information

I guess I am still not quite back from vacation I will make this a quick post.

I thought I would pass along a really cool link that was shared with me several years ago. It is a link called Grandpa Bill’s GA pages. Grandpa Bill has done an excellent job of charting and documenting all the General Authorities for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. If you ever want any information on a General Authority... this is the link to go to for sure.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I love pioneers! I love to read pioneer stories and hear about their faith promoting experiences. I love the bravery and determination of pioneers who ventured into a world unknown to them. I love the sense of adventure and sacrifice that the pioneers themselves represent.

I come from pioneer stock. I have ancestors who crossed the plains when they were forced from their homes in Nauvoo. I have ancestors who crossed the ocean to join the Saints in America, leaving their native lands. I have modern day pioneers who, against the wishes of their families, joined the LDS Church and forged a way for me and my children to follow.

I associate with pioneers each day. As a member of an LDS Young Single Adult Branch I am surrounded by modern day pioneers. These brave young adults have ventured out of a world they were familiar with to join with a group of other young adults who have welcomed them in with open arms. These new converts to the LDS faith are brave, determined, adventurous, and know the meaning of the word sacrifice. I feel the need to honor them, along with the many that have gone before them to make the path easier for those who will follow.

Joshua, Brooke, James, Sabrina, Frank, Steven, Alysa, Natalie, Daviana, Scott, Mehgan, Monica, Sally, Bill, Shelly, Tamara, Tarnue, Tim, Tyson, and many others who I have probably neglected to mention.

This video is for you.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Joseph Smith and the Masonic Sign of Distress

I have recently read a book loaned to me by a dear friend titled, “The Fate of the Persecutors of the Prophet Joseph Smith”, by N.B. Lundwall. Contained in the pages of the book is an in depth account given by John Taylor regarding the events that took place just prior to, and during the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, in Carthage jail. John Taylor, having been there himself, and suffering injuries from the same mob attack, gave his first-person account of the dreadful scene that occurred on that fateful day. For many years I have been plagued by the accounts given in Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff’s journals that have opined that the last act done by Joseph Smith prior to his falling from the window was a Masonic sign of distress. They were simply not there to witness it personally. This has never made any sense to me, and has been hard for me to believe. I hope to explain why.

Joseph Smith had learned very early in his ministry what would happen to him if he trusted in the “arm of flesh” instead of the Lord. As early as Section 3 in the Doctrine and Covenants, when he caved to the pressure of Martin Harris, resulting in the loss of the 116 pages of translated manuscript, he was taught by the Lord to fear God and not man.

Doctrine and Covenants 3:1 The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught.

2 For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

3 Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men;

4 For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.

5 Behold, you have been entrusted with these things, but how strict were your commandments; and remember also the promises which were made to you, if you did not transgress them.

6 And behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men.

7 For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words—

8 Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.

9 Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall.

10 But remember, God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work;

The loss of the manuscript and the temporary power to translate was a painful memory and a lesson well learned early on in his life, it was one he never forgot. I know that Joseph Smith understood from this experience the importance of relying solely on the Lord in his times of distress. For more proof of this fact, while in Liberty Jail the prophet sought the Lord diligently.

Doctrine and Covenants 121: 1 O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?

2 How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?

3 Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?

4 O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol—stretch forth thy hand; let thine eye pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let thy hiding place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us.

As the Prophet Joseph Smith was being taken to Carthage to be tried and ultimately unlawfully jailed, he expressed the calm knowledge that he was “going like a lamb to the slaughter.” I believe he knew he would not return to Nauvoo. On that dreadful day of his martyrdom an eye witness to the death of Joseph Smith, Col. M. B. Darnell, later related the scene, “I remember to have seen Joseph Smith jump from the window. It was a terribly exciting time and it all happened in an instant. I cannot describe it in any better way than by saying he came out just as though some one big and powerful had thrown him right through the window. Undoubtedly, however, he came by his own effort. He certainly did not hang to the window. It seems to me he came out head first, and he was shot while passing through the window. I do not know that I really saw any one set him up against the well. I know I partially saw it and got it from what they said at the time. I could not hear distinctly what Joseph said when he fell, but it seems to me to be, ‘O Lord, My God.’ That was all he said.”

John Taylor, after having been shot himself, did not notice the circumstances of Joseph at the window until he noticed someone cry that he had leaped out of the window. He did not hear Joseph say anything at the time. When Willard Richards, who had escaped the shower of bullets unharmed, noticed John Taylor was still alive he reacted in this way, “Oh! Brother Taylor, is it possible that they have killed both Brother Hyrum and Joseph? It cannot surely be, and yet I saw them shoot them.” He then elevated his hands two or three times and exclaimed, “Oh Lord, my God, spare thy servants!” This seems to be the same manner in which Joseph was reported to have called upon the Lord before he fell from the window.

Although a normal attitude of prayer does not require the elevation of hands, there are certain prayers that do. Some may claim this to be a Masonic distress sign, but for me, I know that there is absolutely no way on this green earth that Joseph, in his time of complete submission to the will of the Lord, would have relied on the arm of man to spare him. He would have never relied on the Masons over the Lord. He had learned that lesson far too long ago.

I knew it, I simply knew it!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The old saying “hindsight is 20/20” becomes particularly poignant when it comes to the early saints, and the Lord’s request given to them concerning their job in the establishment of the city of Zion. In July 1831, the Prophet Joseph Smith and several other elders of the church had traveled to Jackson County, Missouri, with the purpose in mind of learning the Lords will concerning the location He had chosen to establish His city. In Section 57 of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord reveals just exactly where the city of Zion was to be.

Doctrine and Covenants 57:1 Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints.

2 Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion.

3 And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from the courthouse.

This group of Zionists must have been so excited to finally learn where the Lord had chosen to establish His city. They had prayed for this moment fervently and it had finally arrived. The understanding that they had of the Lord’s return, and the part that the building up of Zion played in that, made them yearn for a speedy establishment of the city itself. I believe they thought that His second coming would happen just as soon as they did, but in their zeal they might not have remembered that all things are given in the Lord’s time.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:1 Hearken, O ye elders of my church, and give ear to my word, and learn of me what I will concerning you, and also concerning this land unto which I have sent you.

2 For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.

3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.

4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.

The hour for them was truly “not yet”. The saints of that time period never did see the blessing of Zion being established in Jackson County, Missouri. They did however see tribulations galore. Although they did not see the fruit of their labors at the time, they did have a particular part to play in the establishment of Zion so that they could be crowned with the glory associated with that job.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:6 Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come;

7 And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand;

These wonderful Saints truly did bear testimony of Zion and knew the blessings associated with it. As true Zionists, they did their job of laying the foundation thereof as well. They were certainly doers of the word, anxiously engaged in a good cause and their reward is sure.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

Today the foundation for Zion that was laid by them is being built upon by us. We have become the builders of the Kingdom, furthering the work that was started. All of the prophets of old, as well as these founding Saints, look to us in anticipation of the great task we have been given, to build up Zion and make ready the return of the Lord. It is with their continued support and help we will be able to complete the job assignment given.

Joseph Smith explained:

The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory, "the dispensation of the fulness of times, when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth," "even in one," when the Saints of God will be gathered in one from every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue, when the Jews will be gathered together into one, the wicked will also be gathered together to be destroyed, as spoken of by the prophets; the Spirit of God will also dwell with His people, and be withdrawn from the rest of the nations, and all things whether in heaven or on earth will be in one, even in Christ. The heavenly Priesthood will unite with the earthly, to bring about those great purposes; and whilst we are thus united in one common cause, to roll forth the kingdom of God, the heavenly Priesthood are not idle spectators, the Spirit of God will be showered down from above, and it will dwell in our midst. The blessings of the Most High will rest upon our tabernacles, and our name will be handed down to future ages; our children will rise up and call us blessed; and generations yet unborn will dwell with peculiar delight upon the scenes that we have passed through, the privations that we have endured; the untiring zeal that we have manifested; the all but insurmountable difficulties that we have overcome in laying the foundation of a work that brought about the glory and blessing which they will realize; a work that God and angels have contemplated with delight for generations past; that fired the souls of the ancient patriarchs and prophets; a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family. (May 2, 1842.)

(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.231)

We now fondly look back to those who have laid this foundations and call them blessed, for today we do truly realize the blessings of the work they so triumphantly undertook to accomplish. Temples are found throughout the earth, with many more soon to be dedicated and built. The “feast of fat things” is now being eaten by the members of the Church, who have become rich, wise and noble in spiritual things, and is available to be taken to the rest of the world who are poor, lame, blind and deaf, who are in need of the blessings to make them whole.

Do you think we fully realize the job that we have been given? Do we understand we are the ones who were chosen to build upon that foundation that our pioneer ancestors so faithfully sacrificed to build? In what ways do you think we are building upon the work of those who have come before us? What can I do individually to participate in this great work? I ponder questions like these all the time, diligently striving to do my part. Have you considered your job in this vein lately? If not, take some time out to think about it... and strive to make Zion a bigger part of your mind set.

I believe we are truly Zionists. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Slow of Speech, Enoch and Moses

Enoch and Moses were both great prophets of God. They both had a similar experience when they were called by God to do His work. Both initially had the same response to the challenge issued explaining that each was “slow of speech” and simply not up to the task given. Their acknowledgment of weakness in this area was, however, followed by two different approaches to the problem. It is interesting to study them together to gain insights into the way the Lord makes our “weak things strong.”

In the Pearl of Great Price, the account is given of Enoch and his great calling. Look for Enoch’s initial response to the directions given by the Lord:

Moses6: 27 And he heard a voice from heaven, saying: Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people, and say unto them—Repent, for thus saith the Lord: I am angry with this people, and my fierce anger is kindled against them; for their hearts have waxed hard, and their fears are dull of hearing, and their eyes cannot see afar off;

28 And for these many generations, ever since the day that I created them, have they gone astray, and have denied me, and have sought their own counsels in the dark; and in their own abominations have they devised murder, and have not kept the commandments, which I gave unto their father, Adam.

29 Wherefore, they have foresworn themselves, and, by their oaths, they have brought upon themselves death; and a hell I have prepared for them, if they repent not;

30 And this is a decree, which I have sent forth in the beginning of the world, from my own mouth, from the foundation thereof, and by the mouths of my servants, thy fathers, have I decreed it, even as it shall be sent forth in the world, unto the ends thereof.

31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?

Enoch must have been feeling a bit overwhelmed with the calling he had just received and simply inadequate to do the great task ahead. The Lord knew what Enoch was capable of doing even if Enoch didn’t fully realize his own potential.

Moses 6:32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.

33 Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.

34 Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.

Enoch, who was humble and submissive, took the Lord at His word and obeyed His command.

Moses 6: 37 And it came to pass that Enoch went forth in the land, among the people, standing upon the hills and the high places, and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works; and all men were offended because of him.

Because Enoch was willing to “go and do”, the Lord made his weak area his strength.

Moses 6:47 And as Enoch spake forth the words of God, the people trembled, and could not stand in his presence.

Moses 7:13 And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the drivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.

When Moses was called by the Lord to be the deliver of the Children of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh, his initial response is exactly the same as Enoch’s.

Exodus 3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

4 And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

7 ¶ And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.

10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

11 ¶ And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

Moses must have felt inadequate and ill equipped for his new calling, the same as Enoch did, so Moses pressed the Lord further.

Exodus 3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

The Lord then explained to him exactly what he was to say to the Children of Israel to make them understand that he had received his call from the Lord but even after the explanation, Moses still queried.

Exodus 4:1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

At this point, the Lord showed Moses the power of his word in the form of a miracle when He turned Moses own hand into a leprous state and then cleansed it. He showed Moses that He could take Moses' weakness or imperfections and make them perfect, but still Moses feared.

Exodus 4:10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Still patient with Moses the Lord responded:

Exodus 4:11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?

12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

It is at this point that the two prophets, Enoch and Moses, differ. Enoch simply obeyed and his weakness in speech became mighty. Moses, however, still had his doubts at his ability and asked for the Lord to send someone else.

Exodus 4:13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

Unlike Enoch, who the Lord blessed with powerful speech, Moses lost the ability to have that gift because of his fear or lack of confidence, either in the Lord or in himself, and the Lord provided Aaron to be his spokesman.

Exodus 4:14 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.

16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.

17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.

Do we ever lose out on blessings because we are too fearful to heed the calling of the Lord? Do we recoil at assignments given to us because of our lack of confidence? Can we gain all the strength the Lord has to offer us if we give in to that fear of inadequacy?

President Monson instructed us in a talk he gave in the October 2008 Priesthood session of General Conference called “To Learn, to Do, to Be” how we can be profitable servants in the sight of our Lord. He explained:

“First, learn what we should learn. Second, do what we should do. And third, be what we should be. By so doing, the blessings of heaven will attend. We will know that we are not alone.”

Although I believe that Moses was one of the greatest prophets that the Lord has sent, and that he is a Priesthood keyholder of prominent importance even still today, something can be learned by this example. For me, it shows us how fear and a lack of confidence can prohibit us from gaining the strength the Lord is willing to provide for us if we are faithful and obedient to his will. After all, the Lord promises, “he that is weak among you hereafter shall be made strong.”

Enoch was blessed immediately with mighty speech, Moses just had to wait a little longer to gain that blessing. This is one of the reasons I really love Moses. He simply had to learn some things the hard way. Perhaps I can relate much more easily with Moses.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Temple, The Great Magnifier

In 1832, during the month of September, the elders who had been sent on missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints had started returning to Kirtland, Ohio. It was a time of joy and reunion as they returned to give their homecoming reports regarding their labors in the eastern states. During this time the Lord, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, blessed them with continued instruction about the priesthood that they held, and the blessings that are promised to those who magnify their callings in that priesthood. Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants is that recorded revelation.
Although Section 84 is known as the revelation on the oath and covenant of the Priesthood, it explains in beautiful detail the blessings that are given to the saints through the Melchizedek priesthood. Up until this point those who held the Melchizedek priesthood were given authority to use it solely to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, and to manifest all other blessing through the gifts of the spirit. Even though these blessings of the priesthood are necessary for salvation, I believe the Lord was attempting to teach them of the greater blessings that would be given because of this priesthood. These greater blessings are manifest only in the Temple of the Lord.
The ordinance of Baptism is given through the ministrations of the Aaronic priesthood, or preparatory priesthood. This priesthood holds the keys for this ordinance.
Doctrine and Covenants 84:26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
27 Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, ...
The gift of the Holy Ghost, which is given following baptism, is an ordinance that requires the Melchizedek priesthood. The Holy Ghost is the avenue by which the power of godliness is manifest.
Doctrine and Covenants 84:19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.
20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.
21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;
22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.
The Holy Ghost is given to members of the Church to help them to progress further in their walk with God. This gift is only magnified by the ordinances received in the Temple.

To magnify something is to make it bigger or enlarge it. The Melchizedek priesthood, which these 1832 Elders held, allowed them to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost. They were admonished to continue on in that endeavor until the full magnification of the Melchizedek priesthood could be given within the sacred walls of the Temple. This enlarging process is one in which ordinances are administered in the Temple wherein the “fullness” of the Holy Ghost can be manifest. Thus, the gift of the Holy Ghost would become magnified as well.
The Temple of the Lord allows both men and women to magnify the priesthood of God, enlarging on the responsibilities that both are given. The woman’s role of providing physical birth is enlarged by the sanctification process which is felt in the Temple unto the renewing of these bodies. The men’s role, which is the responsibility of providing for spiritual birth, or administering the gift of the Holy Ghost, is enlarged by the process of receiving the fullness of the Holy Ghost in the Temple.
The Temple is the place where our baptismal covenants become magnified as well. We partake of the Sacrament to renew those covenants weekly, but upon entering the Temple those covenants become magnified or enlarged. With the enlarged covenants, greater obedience is required, and by law, we are given greater or magnified blessings culminating in the “Fullness”.
Doctrine and Covenants 84:33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.
34 They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God.
35 And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;
36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him.
39 And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.
Yes, the Temple is the great magnifier.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Married Santa Claus

What better day to honor the father of my children than that of Father’s Day. While searching for some profound wisdom I could share about Fathers I found the following nugget:

“There are three stages of a man's life: He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn't believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus.”

For some reason this quote really hit home for me, perhaps it is because I am married to Santa Claus.

For the past several years my husband has really been Santa Claus. While serving in the Bishopric of the ward, the activities committee came to him with a very big problem. Search as they might, they simply could not find anyone willing to play the role of Santa for the ward Christmas party. Albeit reluctant at first, my husband consented to fill the position required. That night he saw first hand the expression of childlike innocence and unconditional love that was given by the children, to one they held in such high esteem. He was hooked, and now each Christmas Eve my very own Santa makes visits to children in our area and unselfishly provides service for anyone who calls. Yes, Santa is precisely who he is.

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.

Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'

Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?



VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus.

“He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”

My very own Santa, the love of my life, the father of my children, this wonderful man is an example of love, generosity, and devotion. It is simply who he is. He shows unconditional love for me, his wife, as well as for his children, and those who become his children by osmosis. He generously gives to any who has a need, and goes the extra mile to even supply all our wants too. His devotion to his God, his church, his family, his job, and his friends is seen in the life he lives.

“Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.”

My husband has charm. He swept me off my feet the minute I saw him. Those who are fortunate to call him their friend have been made better because of his influence in their life. He has a sense of humor and a quick wit. He is a wonderful conversationalist. All of these qualities pale next to his dedication and love for the Lord. He is prayerful and humble. He is faithful and obedient. He is valiant. He brings light into the home and his presence is continually sought after by his children. He always has, and always will, make his family his biggest concern. He gives all of our lives meaning.

“Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.”

Yet, most of his deeds go unnoticed. Things like, his daily drive to work made as a sacrifice for a better life for his family. He has given support both financially and emotionally to children that are not his own. He has supported missionaries anonymously as they desired to serve the Lord but could not afford the monthly payments. He has supplied numerous family Christmas celebrations for those who would have gone without. Every week he feeds the masses and opens up his home because of the love he has in his heart for his young adult friends. He has become a counselor and a father figure to many who have felt a void in their lives in that area. As an employer he is fair and giving. He is patient and kind. He is compassionate and true.

“You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond.”

My husband has strength and power in his righteousness. He honors his priesthood and the covenants he has made. The fidelity he gives to the Lord, his wife, and his family allows us to part the veil and helps us to see eternity. He understands who he is, and values the important job he has been given as the patriarch of our family. He gives us all clarity and vision. He helps us to see the supernal beauty and glory beyond.

“No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever.”

The way my husband lives his life, and the influence he is for good, will be his legacy forever. My fondest desire is to be by his side in the eternities creating, building, and progressing, with our family close at hand. He is a wonderful father. Through him and the covenants we have made together, we have been promised that the desires of our hearts will be made sure. Yes, we certainly must thank our Heavenly Father for the very opportunity we have been given to receive these blessings in our lives. For the sacrifice He made of His son, who lives so that we too may live forever. That is the perfect example of a Fathers love for His children. The father of my children looks to that example and applies it in his life. For this I will be eternally grateful.

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.

I should know I am married to him.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Pioneer Father

Perhaps I am the only girl in the whole wide world that hates shopping. That said, occasions like Father’s Day are particularly hard for me when it comes to the gift buying and giving category. It is not that I don’t want to do it; I am simply at a loss as to what to buy the men in my life who seem to have everything they could need, and certainly are at a point in their lives where they could buy whatever they want. That leaves buying gifts very challenging. Beyond cooking them a special meal, I always feel at a loss for ways of showing my gratitude to them. Typically they both receive electronics or maybe even clothing. This year in lieu of my usual offering, I have decided to pay tribute to them with words from my heart. Today is the post for my Father, and tomorrow is the one for the Father of my children. So until next year, where I will probably be found at Best Buy or The Mens Wearhouse, Happy Fathers Day.

Typically the development of the Father/Child relationship might be something like this:

4 years: My Daddy can do anything!
7 years: My Dad knows a lot…a whole lot.
8 years: My father does not know quite everything.
12 years: Oh well, naturally Father does not know that either.
14 years: Oh, Father? He is hopelessly old-fashioned.
21 years: Oh, that man-he is out of date!
25 years: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
30 years: I must find out what Dad thinks about it.
35 years: Before we decide, we will get Dad's idea first.
50 years: What would Dad have thought about that?
60 years: My Dad knew literally everything!
65 years: I wish I could talk it over with Dad once more.

I guess I have always been a sixty year old at heart because I have always understood that my Dad knows literally everything.

Growing up, if anything was ever broken or needed fixing in the house my dad became a MacGyver. He could fix anything. He would even make parts out of the treasures he would find in his garage for the broken items when no parts were available to buy. Having felt the blessings of this talent my whole life, after I was married the first time my husband suggested we call a repair man for a broken item I almost died. I had never realized that not everybody was as talented in that area as my Dad was.

By the standard set by President David O. McKay when he taught, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home”, my Dad would be deemed highly successful. He showed my brother and I unconditional love, while at the same time he taught us the meaning of the word respect. This foundational teaching has stayed with us our whole lives, and has helped us to teach our children that same reverence and respect that many others have failed to learn. He taught us to respect things that are Holy, to respect other people, to respect property, and mostly to respect ourselves. Many times I have been tempted to do something I knew wasn’t right, but the thought of disappointing my dad was the one thing that made me ultimately choose the right.

My Father loves my Mother. That is the greatest gift he could have ever given to his children. His support for her and loyalty to her sets a standard for all of us. When my father became unable to work because of an injury he received on his job, he and my mother switched roles for awhile. During this time in his life, it became necessary for my grandmother to receive constant care. My mother’s mother moved in with them and my father took care of her everyday. Although it was not easy, my fathers example of love and service to my mother and grandmother is something I will never forget. In the last few years that my mother worked as a school teacher my father went to work with her everyday, helping her in her classroom. Those Kindergarten children were blessed to have not only the expertise of my mother, but the influence of my father in their lives as well. I am sure that the role of both a mother and a father was one that was rarely seen by the children my mother taught. How lucky they were to have been influenced by that great model of parenting.

Courage, perseverance, and strength are three words that I would use to describe my dad. As a child growing up, my father faced many challenges. His childhood memories are not the most pleasant. He always made sure that my brother and I had the best of everything. My father showed courage when he decided to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints against the wishes of his family. He persevered in his commitment to the gospel despite many who opposed him, and married my mother in the House of the Lord, for time and all eternity. He had the strength to effect change in his life so that his future generations would be the beneficiaries of that mighty change. I boastfully think of him as my pioneer ancestor. He forged a path for the rest of us to follow, and I will be eternally grateful.

How thankful I am to have been blessed with such a man as my father in my life. Because of him I have come to understand my Heavenly Father better and to feel the love He has for me. I know that when I am broken he can heal me. I know I have Heavenly parents that love each other and that I am their daughter and respect the blessings that go with that knowledge. I understand that courage, perseverance, and strength are needed if I am to return to live with Him someday. These things I know because my father taught them to me by the way he lives his life.

May my own father rejoice in the fruits of his labors which is the firm testimony of Jesus Christ, which his children and his grandchildren have today. For generations his name will be known for good among our household of faith. The love I have for my righteous father will be a light that pierces all darkness, unto me forever.

Thank you for being the best father you could be... Dad I love you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fathers and The Patriarchal Key

The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. The way that power is governed is through keys. Jesus Christ holds all the keys of the priesthood, and although all His apostles have been given the keys necessary for governing His Church, only the Prophet alone has the authority to exercise them. It is through these administrative keys that His Kingdom is governed on the earth.

Priesthood keys are given to worthy priesthood holders as they are called to serve in presiding roles of responsibility. These keys are in essence temporary permission granted to exercise authority in priesthood duties of those the leader has been given stewardship over. When a person is released from the specific leadership position, the keys that were once turned in their behalf are no longer necessary, but are passed on to another who is called to serve in the Kingdom in their place.

There is one key however that is eternally given, never to be relinquished. That key is the patriarchal key, given to fathers by the Father, to further the work of the Lord within the walls of their own home. President Harold B. Lee said, “The most important work you will ever do will be done within the walls of your own home,” and President David O. McKay cautioned that “no other success can compensate for failure in the home.” This key when exercised in righteousness has a power that is eternal in its focus. “That joyful work and calling is to do whatever is necessary to chart a course for you and your family to unitedly return and live with Heavenly Father.” (Durrel A. Woolsey)

In a talk titled, An Eternal Key, Durrel A, Woolsey explained the important role a father must play when he stated, “Dad, you need to be a hero in your family. They need a hero. They will have strong peer pressure and temptation to adopt the so-called heroes of today who are not worthy of their attention and most certainly not their emulation. The heroes or superstars in the sports and entertainment world, and there are many, frequently become examples of dishonesty, instability, and infidelity. They flagrantly and indifferently flaunt those weaknesses of character and immorality before a doting and accepting world, as Korihor said, ‘according to the management of the creature.’ (Alma 30:17.)”

He then outlined the following commitments that a father must make to become the hero of the home.

1) Give a generous amount of time to your family.

2) Complete fidelity, loyalty, and faithfulness to your companion are absolute essential.

3) Rely on the scriptures for guidance and instructions.

4) Follow the living prophet.

In summary he states, “You must become the family hero, worthy of not only their attention but their emulation. This will require your constant investment of sufficient time, complete emotional and physical fidelity, with unity of purpose between you and your eternal companion. This will require your constant dependency upon the Lord, demonstrated through scripture study and prayer. This will require that you follow the Brethren in every sense of the word—hearing, understanding, and doing. This simple formula will unite and strengthen your beloved family and bring countless blessings from our Father.”

To the fathers of the world, this Patriarchal key is given and “where much is given much is expected.” Our Heavenly Father is the perfect example of one who exercises righteous dominion regarding this sacred key. Only by applying the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ can one come to know the Father and His will for them in this life. This personal journey of righteous living is part of the process that is essential for the salvation of the family unit. A righteous father is of eternal importance. I am thankful that our Father organized the plan for my happiness in this beautiful way.

Thank you to the two important Patriarchal key holders in my life, my own father and the father of my children. Through the righteous example they show to me I have come to understand the role of my Heavenly Father more completely and the love He has for me individually.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Old Testament Higher Laws

As students of the Old Testament we often perceive the teachings contained therein as having an emphasis on the lesser or lower law of sacrifice, while we think of the New Testament, or teachings of Jesus Christ’s personal ministry, as ones that require a higher form of commitment. The example to illustrate this principle that is often used, is that of the Sermon on the Mount, both given to the people in the land of Jerusalem, and then once again by the resurrected Lord to the people on the American continent. This famous teaching recalls the commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai, known as the Ten Commandments, but gives additional instruction requiring the disciple to consecrate more of himself to the will of the Father by living the spiritual aspect of the law as well as the physical. For example it is stated:

3 Nephi 12:27 Behold, it is written by them of old time, that thou shalt not commit adultery;

28 But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart.

29 Behold, I give unto you a commandment, that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart;

We are taught the importance the Lord places not only on the action, but also upon the intent. This is one example of why we are taught we need to cleanse the inner vessel.

Alma 60:23 Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.

The intent with which we do something, or conversely don’t do something, seems to be just as important to the Lord as the act itself.

Looking for this teaching in the Old Testament is a little more difficult but it can be found. The Old Testament contains the same laws as the New Testament; they are just packaged a little differently. A good illustration of the principle of intent is found in the book of Genesis, in the story about Joseph and the dealings with his brothers.

Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, or Israel, was sent on an errand, by his father, to check on the other brothers as they attended to their duties with the flocks. Although Joseph was visibly the favorite son of his father, he was apparently not the favorite among the brothers themselves. His visions and dreams, in which he saw himself as ruler over his brothers, and even his father, had placed him in a very precarious position among his siblings. How the brothers felt about Joseph is manifest in their actions in the following account:

Genesis 37:19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.

20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

By this account it is revealed that most of the brothers saw this as an opportunity to rid themselves of their younger brother who professed to someday rule over them, and they had the intent in their hearts to kill him.

Reuben, alone, wanted no part of the scheme.

21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.

22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.

The intent that Reuben had was to temporarily get rid of him so that the brothers could not do the evil that they had designed.

What happens next is a great illustration of the principle of intent versus performing the act. Casting him in the pit, Judah comes up with another plan to rid themselves of their brother:

23 ¶ And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;

24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?

27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

The desire of their heart was to get rid of their brother in any way possible. Whether it was caused by jealousy, or simply pride wherein they intended for his visions and dreams to be proven false, we are not told. But in any case, in their hearts they designed to do evil. The Lord had other plans in mind for these brothers.

28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?

Although the evil act was not actually done by the brothers themselves, but by the passing band of Midianites, the consequence of the act is soon felt by all of them. In an attempt to cover up their intents they formulated a lie to tell their father about the fate of Joseph. By the lesser law the brothers really did not commit the treacherous act, but by the higher law, their intent is apparent. The importance the Lord places on intent is then illustrated by the process of repentance that was required of the brothers simply because of the intent of their hearts.

Joseph, who was sold into slavery, became the perfect illustration of the admonition of the Lord, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” His intent to progress in any circumstance soon elevated him to a position of importance in Pharaohs kingdom, where ultimately he acted as a savior for the whole house of Israel.

The great process of repentance that is required of the brothers teaches us that the thoughts of our hearts are just as important to the Lord as the actual deed itself.

Mosiah 4:30 But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.

So, what is my point in using this illustration of the “higher law” in the Old Testament you may ask?

Besides the great message of seeking to cleanse the inner vessel by recognizing our intents and not just our actions, my hope would be for us to look deeper at the great teachings the Old Testament has to offer and ponder on the gift it is to us for scriptural guidance.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:

After all, The Old Testament is one of my favorite books to read!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The LDS Church A Gerontocracy

Several years ago a news reporter by the name of Mike Wallace conducted an interview with President Gordon B. Hinckley which was then aired on the news program called “60 Minutes”. In the interview he suggested that some people might say that the LDS Church is a “gerontocracy, this is a church run by old men.” To that query President Hinckley replied, “"Isn't it wonderful? To have a man of maturity at the head, a man of judgment, who isn't blown about by every wind of doctrine?"

I was reminded of President Hinckley’s statement while recently studying in the Old Testament book of 1 Kings.

Solomon, the son of David, had just recently died and the Kingdom was at a very volatile point politically. The folly of King Solomon, in his quest for riches and power, had created an undue burden on the people who were subject to him by way of heavy taxation even to the point of slavery.

Upon Solomons death the kingdom became divided in their opinions as to who should rule, and the nation of Israel, as a whole, were tenuously at the brink of civil unrest. The northern portion of the kingdom, consisting of ten of the tribes of Israel, who had suffered the most by the bondage of debt created by Solomon, were in favor of a new ruler, not from the house of David, by the name of Jeroboam. The southern portion of the kingdom, consisting of the tribe of Judah and part of Benjamin, were still in favor of honoring the lineage of David by supporting his son Rehoboam’s position to rule in his stead.

Amid this political conflict an opportunity arose in which the northern tribes, led by Jeroboam, presented Rehoboam with some conditions which, if he chose to initiate, could align the two kingdoms once again and he could become the supported ruler of all. The fate of the nation was in Rehoboams hands.

1 Kings 12:3 ... And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,

4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.

Rehoboam countered the request made by the people with a command to go away for three days while he considered the proposition. The people departed and left Rehoboam to contemplate what he would do. Rehoboam then decided to consult with his advisors, two groups of men who could give him counsel.

1 Kings 12:6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people?

7 And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.

8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him:

9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter?

10 And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins.

11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

Two differing opinions from two different groups of men were given to be considered. What do you think he did?

1 Kings 12:13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;

14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

The Lord, who knows the heart of each of us, knew that would be the choice of Rehoboam, and had even sent the prophet Ahijah to Jeroboam before the demands were made and instructed him that he should reign in the northern kingdom, which became known as Israel. In fulfillment of that prophecy the people of the northern kingdom responded to Rehoboams declaration “What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David.”

And so the Kingdom became divided, Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day.”

President Faust, in recalling the interviewer’s question about a “church run by old men” quipped, “So if any of you think the present leadership is too old to lead the Church, President Hinckley may need to give you some further counsel about the wisdom that comes with age!” He was a spry 85 year old man himself at the time.

President Faust then testified about the leadership of the Church, “I believe that never before in the history of the Church has there been more unity than exists among my Brethren of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the other General Authorities of the Church, who have been called and chosen and who are now guiding the Church. I believe there is ample evidence of this. The present leadership of God’s earthly kingdom has enjoyed the Savior’s guiding inspiration longer than any other group. We are the oldest group ever to lead the Church.

My association with some of these men for almost half a century qualifies me, I think, to state with confidence that my Brethren, without exception, are good, honorable, and trustworthy men. I know their hearts. They are the servants of the Lord. Their only desire is to labor in their great callings and build up the kingdom of God on earth. Our Brethren who are serving in this day and time are proven, tried, and true. Some are not as physically strong as they used to be, but their hearts are so pure, their experience so great, their minds so sharp, and their spiritual wisdom so deep that it is a comfort just to be in their presence.”

For myself, I take great comfort in knowing we can be labeled as a church run by a gerontocracy. The wisdom in that combined group of men is priceless. After all, they receive their direction from one older than us all.