Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another great talk!

Teaching the Doctrine of the Family By Julie B.Beck

This generation will be called upon to defend the doctrine of the family as never before. If they don’t know the doctrine, they can’t defend it.
As I meet with young single adults around the world, I ask them, “Why does the First Presidency care so much about you and provide so many resources for you?” These are some of the answers I get: “We are future Church leaders.” “We need training so we can stay strong.” “Our testimonies are strengthened in our seminary and institute classes.” “We need to meet other great Latter-day Saint youth.” “We are the hope of the future.” I have rarely heard, “So I will someday be a better father or a better mother.” Their responses are generally about self, because this is the time of life they are in.

Nevertheless, parents, teachers, and leaders of youth need to teach the rising generation the doctrine of the family. It is essential to help them achieve eternal life (see Moses 1:39). They need to know that the theology of the family is based on the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement. They need to understand the threats to the family so they will know what they are fighting against and can prepare. They need to understand clearly that the fulness of the gospel is realized in temple ordinances and covenants.

The Theology of the Family
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a theology of the family that is based on the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement. The Creation of the earth provided a place where families could live. God created a man and a woman who were the two essential halves of a family. It was part of Heavenly Father’s plan that Adam and Eve be sealed and form an eternal family.

The Fall provided a way for the family to grow. Adam and Eve were family leaders who chose to have a mortal experience. The Fall made it possible for them to have sons and daughters.

The Atonement allows for the family to be sealed together eternally. It allows for families to have eternal growth and perfection. The plan of happiness, also called the plan of salvation, was a plan created for families. The rising generation need to understand that the main pillars of our theology are centered in the family.

When we speak of qualifying for the blessings of eternal life, we mean qualifying for the blessings of eternal families. This was Christ’s doctrine, and it was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 2:1–3:

“Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

“And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.

“If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.”

This scripture is talking about temple blessings—ordinances and covenants without which “the whole earth [is] utterly wasted.”

“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was written to reinforce that the family is central to the Creator’s plan. 1 Without the family, there is no plan; there is no reason for mortal life.

Threats to the Family
In addition to understanding the theology of the family, we all need to understand the threats to the family. If we don’t, we can’t prepare for the battle. Evidence is all around us that the family is becoming less important. Marriage rates are declining, the age of marriage is rising, and divorce rates are rising. Out-of-wedlock births are growing. Abortion is rising and becoming increasingly legal. We see lower birth rates. We see unequal relationships between men and women, and we see cultures that still practice abuse within family relationships. Many times a career gains importance over the family.

Many of our youth are losing confidence in the institution of families. They’re placing more and more value on education and less and less importance on forming an eternal family. Many don’t see forming families as a faith-based work. For them, it’s a selection process much like shopping. Many also distrust their own moral strength and the moral strength of their peers. Because temptations are so fierce, many are not sure they can be successful in keeping covenants.

Many youth also have insufficient and underdeveloped social skills, which are an impediment to forming eternal families. They are increasingly adept at talking to someone 50 miles (80 km) away and less able to carry on conversations with people in the same room. That makes it difficult for them to socialize with each other.

We also face the problem that we read about in Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Public policies are being made every day that are antifamily, and the definition of family is changing legally around the world. Pornography is rampant. For those who create pornography, their new target audience is young women. Parents are being portrayed as inept and out of touch. Antifamily media messages are everywhere. Youth are being desensitized about the need to form eternal families.

We see how this can happen when we read the words of Korihor, an anti-Christ: “Thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms” (Alma 30:18). Satan knows that he will never have a body; he will never have a family. So he targets young women, who will create the bodies for the future generations.

Korihor was an anti-Christ. Anti-Christ is antifamily. Any doctrine or principle our youth hear from the world that is antifamily is also anti-Christ. It’s that clear. If our youth cease to believe in the righteous traditions of their fathers as did the people described in Mosiah 26, if our youth don’t understand their part in the plan, they could be led away.

Teaching the Rising Generation
What is it we hope this rising generation will understand and do because of what we teach them? The answers to that question as well as the key elements of the doctrine of the family are found in the family proclamation. President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) said that the proclamation was “a declaration and reaffirmation of standards, doctrines, and practices” that this Church has always had. 2

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) said, “This order … of family government where a man and woman enter into a covenant with God—just as did Adam and Eve—to be sealed for eternity, to have posterity … is the only means by which we can one day see the face of God and live.” 3

The rising generation need to understand that the command to “multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28; Moses 2:28) remains in force. Bearing children is a faith-based work. President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) said, “It is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so.” 4 Motherhood and fatherhood are eternal roles. Each carries the responsibility for either the male or the female half of the plan. Youth is the time to prepare for those eternal roles and responsibilities.

Parents, teachers, and leaders can help young people prepare for the blessings of Abraham. What are those blessings? Abraham tells us in Abraham 1:2. He says he wanted “the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer; … to be one who possessed great knowledge, … to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.”

Where are these blessings Abraham received? They come only to those who have a temple sealing and marriage. A man cannot become a “father of many nations” without being sealed to his wife. Likewise, Abraham could not hold the right belonging to the fathers without a wife who had the right belonging to the mothers.

The stories of Abraham and Sarah and of Isaac and Rebekah are found in Genesis. Abraham and Sarah had only one son, Isaac. If Abraham was to be the “father of many nations,” how important was Isaac’s wife, Rebekah? She was so important that he sent his servant hundreds of miles to find the right young woman—one who would keep her covenants, one who understood what it meant to form an eternal family.

In Genesis 24:60, Rebekah is blessed to be “the mother of thousands of millions.” Where do we find those kinds of blessings? They are received in the temple.

The story of Isaac and Rebekah is an example of the man, who has the keys, and the woman, who has the influence, working together to ensure the fulfillment of their blessings. Their story is pivotal. The blessings of the house of Israel depended on a man and a woman who understood their place in the plan and their responsibilities to form an eternal family, to bear children, and to teach them.

In our day we have the responsibility to send “Isaac” and “Rebekah” forth from our homes and classrooms. Every young man and young woman should understand his or her role in this great partnership—that they are each an “Isaac” or a “Rebekah.” Then they will know with clarity what they have to do.

Live the Hope of Eternal Life
Parents, teachers, and leaders: live in your homes, in your families, in your marriages so that youth will develop hope for eternal life from watching you. Live and teach with so much clarity that what you teach will cut through all the noise youth are hearing and so that it will pierce their hearts and touch them.

Live in your home so that you’re brilliant in the basics, so that you’re intentional about your roles and responsibilities in the family. Think in terms of precision not perfection. If you have your goals and you are precise in how you go about them in your homes, youth will learn from you. They will learn that you pray, study the scriptures together, have family home evening, make a priority of mealtimes, and speak respectfully of your marriage partner. Then from your example the rising generation will gain great hope.

This I Know
We are preparing our youth for the temple and for eternal families. Many threats are coming to them that can discourage them from forming an eternal family. Our role in this is to teach them so they don’t misunderstand. We must be very clear on key points of doctrine, which we find in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.”

This generation will be called upon to defend the doctrine of the family as never before. If they don’t know it, they can’t defend it. They need to understand temples and priesthood.

President Kimball said:

“Many of the social restraints which in the past have helped to reinforce and to shore up the family are dissolving and disappearing. The time will come when only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evil around us. …

“… There are those who would define the family in such a nontraditional way that they would define it out of existence. …

“We of all people, brothers and sisters, should not be taken in by the specious arguments that the family unit is somehow tied to a particular phase of development a moral society is going through. We are free to resist those moves which downplay the significance of the family and which play up the significance of selfish individualism. We know the family to be eternal.” 5

The gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. We have the fulness of the gospel this day. We are sons and daughters of heavenly parents, who sent us forth to have this earthly experience to prepare us for the blessing of eternal families. I bear you my testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, that through His Atonement we can become perfect and equal to our responsibilities in our earthly families and that through His Atonement we have the promise of eternal life in families.

The Family Is Eternal

“The family is not an accident of mortality. It existed as an organizational unit in the heavens before the world was formed; historically, it started on earth with Adam and Eve, as recorded in Genesis. Adam and Eve were married and sealed for time and all eternity by the Lord, and as a result their family will exist eternally.”

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” in Dawn Hall Anderson, ed., Clothed with Charity: Talks from the 1996 Women’s Conference (1997), 134.

To Teachers

“Your chief interest, your essential and all but sole duty, is to teach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as that has been revealed in these latter days. You are to teach this gospel using as your sources and authorities the standard works of the Church and the words of those whom God has called to lead His people in these last days.”

President J. Reuben Clark Jr. (1871–1961), First Counselor in the First Presidency, The Charted Course of the Church in Education, rev. ed. (1994), 10; see also Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook for CES Teachers and Leaders (2001), 4.

Using “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”
• Hang a copy of the proclamation in your home or classroom.

• Encourage youth to keep a copy of the proclamation in their scriptures.

• Link key statements in the proclamation to lessons taught from the scriptures.

• Study and refer to the proclamation in family home evening.

We have a theology of the family that is based on the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement.

We are preparing our youth for the temple and for eternal families.

Among the threats to the family is divorce, which is on the rise.

Parents, as well as leaders and teachers of youth, should teach the doctrine of the family to the rising generation as found in the scriptures and the family proclamation.

Random favorites

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm so know...sad...

I'm just sitting here thinking about my family and friends that I miss.
So...If you are not here at my house-right now-I Miss you!
Just sayin.
I love you all!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Don't get pinched!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!! I used to color the milk green and serve green potatoes, but my kids didn't find that too appetizing.

A funny side note, Chris wore a blue and white striped shirt to work. We went to meet him for lunch and Christopher brought him a green shirt so that he wouldn't get pinched.

Side note: I noticed the snowflakes in the windows...I think it's time to take them down and put up flowers for spring.

Please tell me you've had a day like this...

5:30am-We get up for scriptures.
6:00-scriptures finish, fighting begins.
6:15-fighting continues.
6:30-still fighting...
6:45-someone is going to get hurt.
7:00-wait, girls are fighting. NO way.
7:15-stop the fighting.
7:30-still fighting.
7:45-fighting, fighting, fighting.
8:15-oh, that's right, their fighting.
8:30-leave for school. Fighting in the car.
8:40-talking to Samantha about fighting. Getting no where.
8:45-You need to go to school. You're late.
8:50-We'll talk later-you have to go.
9:00-"Get out of my car, or I will kill you."
9:00-Sam, "Oh wow!" gets out crying.
9:00am til forever-mom feeling guilty for harsh words towards daughter.

Bad day.

My only consolation: When I told my mom and dad about this, they couldn't stop laughing because they couldn't believe something like that came out of my mouth. I went and saw them in the evening and they were still chuckling about it even then.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Talk to READ!

Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Blessings of Family Prayer", Ensign, Feb. 1991

The Apostle Paul declared to Timothy:

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

“Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

“Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” (2 Tim. 3:1–4.)

There needs to be a new emphasis on honesty, character, and integrity in our time. Only as we build again into the fiber of our lives the virtues that are the essence of true civilization will the pattern of our times change. The question that confronts us is, Where shall we begin?

I am satisfied that it must begin with recognition of God as our Eternal Father, of our relationship to Him as His children, with communication with Him in recognition of His sovereign position, and with daily supplication for His guidance in our affairs.

I submit that a return to the old pattern of prayer, family prayer in the homes of the people, is one of the basic medications that would check the dread disease that is eroding the character of our society. We could not expect a miracle in a day, but in a generation we would have a miracle.

A generation or two ago, family prayer in the homes of Christian people throughout the world was as much a part of the day’s activity as was eating. As that practice has diminished, the moral decay discussed by the Apostle Paul has ensued.

I feel satisfied that there is no adequate substitute for the morning and evening practice of kneeling together—father, mother, and children. This, more than soft carpets, more than lovely draperies, more than cleverly balanced color schemes, is the thing that will make for better and more beautiful homes.

There is something in the very posture of kneeling that contradicts the attitudes described by Paul: “proud … heady, highminded.”

There is something in the very practice of father and mother and children kneeling together that evaporates others of those qualities he described: “disobedient to parents, … without natural affection.”

There is something in the act of addressing Deity that offsets a tendency toward blasphemy and toward becoming lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.

The inclination to be unholy, as Paul described it, to be unthankful, is erased as together family members thank the Lord for life and peace and all they have. And as they thank the Lord for one another, there is developed within the family a new appreciation, a new respect, a new affection one for another.

The scripture declares: “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.” (D&C 59:7.) And again: “In nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand.” (D&C 59:21.)

In remembering together before the Lord the poor, the needy, and the oppressed, there is developed, unconsciously but realistically, a love for others above self, a respect for others, a desire to serve the needs of others. One cannot ask God to help a neighbor in distress without feeling motivated to do something oneself toward helping that neighbor. What miracles would happen in the lives of the children of the world if they would lay aside their own selfishness and lose themselves in the service of others. The seed from which this sheltering and fruitful tree may grow is best planted and nurtured in the daily supplications of the family.

I know of no better way to inculcate love for country than for parents to pray before their children for the land in which they live, invoking the blessings of the Almighty upon it that it may be preserved in liberty and in peace. I know of no better way to build within the hearts of our children a much-needed respect for authority than remembering in the daily supplications of the family the leaders of our respective countries who carry the burdens of government.

I remember seeing on a billboard a statement that read, “A nation at prayer is a nation at peace.” I believe this.

I know of nothing that will so much help to ease family tensions, that in a subtle way will bring about the respect for parents which leads to obedience, that will affect the spirit of repentance which will largely erase the blight of broken homes, than will praying together, confessing weaknesses together before the Lord, and invoking the blessings of the Lord upon the home and those who dwell there.

I have long been impressed with a statement made by a man long since dead. James H. Moyle wrote to his grandchildren concerning the family prayer of his own home. He said: “We have not gone to bed before kneeling in prayer to supplicate divine guidance and approval. Differences may arise in the best governed families, but they will be dissipated by the … spirit of prayer. … Its very psychology tends to promote the more righteous life among men. It tends to unity, love, forgiveness, to service.”

In 1872 Colonel Thomas L. Kane, the great friend of our people in the days of their distress in Iowa and at the time of the coming of the army to the Salt Lake Valley, came west again with his wife and two sons. They traveled to St. George with Brigham Young, stopping each night in the homes of Church members along the way. Mrs. Kane wrote a series of letters to her father back in Philadelphia. In one of these she said:

“At every one of the places we stayed on this journey we had prayers immediately after the dinner-supper, and prayers again before breakfast. No one was excused … the Mormons … kneel at once, while the head of the household, or an honored guest prays aloud. … They spend very little time in ascriptions, but ask for what they need, and thank Him for what He has given. … [They] take it for granted that God knows our familiar names and titles, and will ask a blessing on [a particular individual by name], … I liked this when I became used to it.”

Oh, that we as a people might fully cultivate this practice, which was of such importance to our pioneer forebears. Family prayer was as much a part of their worship as were the meetings convened in the Tabernacle. With the faith that came of those daily invocations, they grubbed the sagebrush, led the waters to the parched soil, made the desert blossom, governed their families in love, lived in peace one with another, and made their names immortal as they lost themselves in the service of God.

The family is the basic unit of society. The praying family is the hope of a better society. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.” (Isa. 55:6.)

Can we make our homes more beautiful? Yes, through addressing ourselves as families to the Source of all true beauty. Can we strengthen society and make it a better place in which to live? Yes, by strengthening the virtue of our family life through kneeling together and supplicating the Almighty in the name of his Beloved Son.

This practice, a return to family worship, spreading across the land and over the earth, would in a generation largely lift the blight that is destroying us. It would restore integrity, mutual respect, and a spirit of thankfulness in the hearts of people.

The Master declared, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matt. 7:7.)

I give you my testimony that if you sincerely apply family prayer, you will not go away unrewarded. The changes may not be readily apparent. They may be extremely subtle. But they will be real, for God “is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6.)

May we be faithful in setting an example before the world in this practice and in encouraging others to do likewise.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I have another blog...

I know I am long overdue on this blog. I will update it soon.
I have a new blog that is all about my weight loss journey.
It will have fun healthy recipes that I have made and my weight loss progress.

I am doing this blog with my friends Andrea and Jill.

Check it out!!!

See ya there!