By Alan on Apr 06 in Blog tagged Adam and Eve, body, choice, choose, commandments, enemy to God, eternal life, evil, God, good, Heavenly Father, Jesus, last days, multiply, natural man, overcoming, physical, physically, replenish, Satan, savior, spirit, spiritually, test, The Plan, The World, world | Comments Off
Overcoming The World
“The Lord created all things spiritually before he created them physically.” (Moses 3:5).
The fall of Adam and Eve was foreseen by God, our Heavenly Father, and “was a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us”. We lived as spirit children before this world and accepted this condition when we supported Heavenly Father’s plan of life.
Because of the Fall, we are were blessed with physical bodies, the freedom to choose between good and evil, and a commandment to ‘multiply and replenish the earth’ with the opportunity to gain eternal life. None of these privileges would have been ours had Adam and Eve remained in the garden.
“We believe that men will be for their sins, and not for transgression.” (2nd Article of Faith)
After Adam and Eve ‘fell’ from the presence of God and became mortal, we needed a Savior so we could live again and return to our Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior before the world was created.
In order to “choose between good and evil”, Satan, the father of lies who was denied a physical body, was allowed to exist here on earth and to tempt the souls of man to do evil and to live in everlasting misery with him thus completing the law of “opposites in all things”. He teaches that there is no sin, that it’s natural and if it feels good, do it.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14
“Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.” D&C 67:12
“For the is an to God, and has been from the of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he to the enticings of the , and off the man and becometh a through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a , , meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Mosiah 3:19
“And thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation—that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe.” D&C 29:43
We are blessed to be living during these last days; often called “a great and dreadful day”. My brothers and I wrote a song for “The Plan” album called “It’s Gotta Be The Last Days.” The lyrics of what “some day it will be”, have now all been fulfilled! The fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all righteousness has now been restored to the earth and so has the fullness of all wickedness!
This life is a TEST! Just as answers to a test at school must be hidden, our memory of our pre-exisence life was hidden ‘for a wise purpose’. Our ‘test’ in life is about our freedoms and in choosing good versus evil. We all will make mistakes and Jesus knew it. Thus, He gave His life to pay the price for our sins if we would but with faith come unto Him and repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and to endure to the end, controlling the natural man and woman.
Marriage is ‘ordained of God’ and a partnership with God. It is most important. When the union of man and a woman co-create a life, one of God’s spirit children enters that child’s physical body as well giving it life. This brings responsibility and accountability for that spirit. The misuse in causing or terninating a life has serious responsibility and consequences!
God is “the same yesterday, today and forever” and so are His commandments. With His ‘Plan of Happiness’, our spirit bodies will one day return back to heaven. The body cannot live without the spirit and so when it’s time to return, we will physically die; but, we continue to live spiritually. Jesus is the way and reason we all will be resurrected because of His atonement. When we do, our spirits will be reunited once again with our physical bodies never to be separated again. We will be judged by our hearts and those choices we have made and will be assigned to dwell in one of God’s mansions in heaven or sent to outer darkness or hell with Satan. Those who have taken upon themselves further binding covenants in the House of the Lord, will be reunited as families for all eternity.
I have enjoyed many years of sharing my music and talents with many people around the world. I have great memories of traveling with my family and making so many forever lasting memories and trusting friends. I still love and enjoy music, creating live events, productions and publishing, and feel it most important ‘at such a time as this’ to ‘not fear man, but to fear God’, and to be honest and share with everyone those truths that last forever that give purpose and reason for living. I have always promised myself to be ‘a publisher of truth’. To fear God is to love God; which I do!
Our success and careers in life are important but most importantly is the success of the eternal assignments of life from within the family as a mother and a father. We are born, nurtured, educated, we explore, experience and learn; we fall in love, marry, and with the proper union of a man and a woman and a partnership with God, we are able to bring forth life that lasts forever; a posterity. Besides being a commandment, this is ‘God’s work and glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man’, of which we are. He is a Creator. As a pony always becomes a horse, a chick a hen, and ‘like father like son’; ‘like mother like daughter’, we become like our heavenly parents; even creators of life. This is why we are here.
We are not here by chance but by design. As God’s spirit children, we experience life now housed within a physical body so we can create; learn good from evil, choose the way we wish to live, and work at overcoming the world ever progressing forward becoming more like our Heavenly Parents. It is God’s Plan of Happiness. Some may have trials in life and not get all of these opportunities and priveleges or be able to enjoy them but, God is mindful of everyone and as only He can, He has ‘the way’ and ‘the plan’ for them and all of us if we but trust in Him. May we not lose our focus by only trying to succeed in life that we get caught up with the pleasures, honors, and greed of this world and forget why we are really here!
Ever since my brothers and I started performing music at a young age, we would always gather together and offer a word of prayer before we set foot on the stage and ask the Lord’s blessings to be with us and those in the audience. We prayed that they might feel the love that we had for them and sence our purpose as a family in sharing the great message of the Lord through our lifestyle and music. As Suzanne and I publish various ways to help “strengthen the family”, we ‘sanctify the Lord God in our hearts and are ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in us with meekness and fear’.
It is our prayer that we all will be seekers of truth, pray always, and “overcome the world” as we prepare for the second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Again, God is the same yesterday, today and forever and so are His Commandments. Let’s pass this “TEST” of life and turn this “TEST” into a “TEST imony” of Jesus Christ that we may live eternally with Him once again. God’s doctrines are true. If one does not agree, it’s only that they don’t understand them. May we each seek the Lord’s words and ways by reading the scriptures, knock on His door through prayer with any questions with humble tears asking for help with our challenges, and receive through the Holy Ghost those answers and guidance knowing that with faith all things are possible to those that love the Lord is my prayer.
May God be with you till we meet again,
“Strengthening The Family” – Spiritually
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:16
By Alan on Feb 26 in Blog tagged a calling, Adam and Eve, adoption, biblical perspective on motherhood, child of God, decisions should be made, delaying our family, economic instability, enormous faith, families are eternal, financial uncertainty, first commandment, God's Eternal plan, happiness they bring, husband and wife, in the eternities, it's no picnic, learn to sacrifice, multiiply and replenish the earth, Neil L. Anderson, not a hobby, pre-mortal life, remain in the workplace, sincere prayer, the eyes of a child, the family is ordained of God, the great blessing of children, turn to the scriptures, we believe in families, where is your faith | Comments Off
I testify of the great blessing of children and of the happiness they will bring us in this life and in the eternities.
As we look into the eyes of a child, we see a fellow son or daughter of God who stood with us in the pre-mortal life.
It is a crowning privilege of a husband and wife who are able to bear children to provide mortal bodies for these spirit children of God. We believe in families, and we believe in children.
When a child is born to a husband and wife, they are fulfilling part of our Heavenly Father’s plan to bring children to earth. The Lord said, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”1 Before immortality, there must be mortality.
The family is ordained of God. Families are central to our Heavenly Father’s plan here on earth and through the eternities. After Adam and Eve were joined in marriage, the scripture reads, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”2 In our day prophets and apostles have declared, “The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.”3
This commandment has not been forgotten or set aside in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.4 We express deep gratitude for the enormous faith shown by husbands and wives (especially our wives) in their willingness to have children. When to have a child and how many children to have are private decisions to be made between a husband and wife and the Lord. These are sacred decisions—decisions that should be made with sincere prayer and acted on with great faith.
Years ago, Elder James O. Mason of the Seventy shared this story with me: “The birth of our sixth child was an unforgettable experience. As I gazed on this beautiful, new daughter in the nursery just moments after her birth, I distinctly heard a voice declare, ‘There will yet be another, and it will be a boy.’ Unwisely, I rushed back to the bedside of my absolutely exhausted wife and told her the good news. It was very bad timing on my part.”5 Year after year the Masons anticipated the arrival of their seventh child. Three, four, five, six, seven years passed. Finally, after eight years, their seventh child was born—a little boy.
Last April, President Thomas S. Monson declared:
“Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider. …
“The Savior of mankind described Himself as being in the world but not of the world. We also can be in the world but not of the world as we reject false concepts and false teachings and remain true to that which God has commanded.”6
Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family. My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: “[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.” She then adds: “Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.”7
Having young children is not easy. Many days are just difficult. A young mother got on a bus with seven children. The bus driver asked, “Are these all yours, lady? Or is it a picnic?”
“They’re all mine,” she replied. “And it’s no picnic!”8
As the world increasingly asks, “Are these all yours?” we thank you for creating within the Church a sanctuary for families, where we honor and help mothers with children.
To a righteous father, there are no words sufficient to express the gratitude and love he feels for his wife’s incalculable gift of bearing and caring for their children.
Elder Mason had another experience just weeks after his marriage that helped him prioritize his family responsibilities. He said:
“Marie and I had rationalized that to get me through medical school it would be necessary for her to remain in the workplace. Although this was not what we [wanted] to do, children would have to come later. “I explained that I wanted to become a doctor. There was no alternative but to postpone having our family. Elder Kimball listened patiently and then responded in a soft voice, ‘Brother Mason, would the Lord want you to break one of his important commandments in order for you to become a doctor? With the help of the Lord, you can have your family and still become a doctor. Where is your faith?’”
Elder Mason continued: “Our first child was born less than a year later. Marie and I worked hard, and the Lord opened the windows of heaven.” The Masons were blessed with two more children before he graduated from medical school four years later.9
Across the world, this is a time of economic instability and financial uncertainty. In April general conference, President Thomas S. Monson said: “If you are concerned about providing financially for a wife and family, may I assure you that there is no shame in a couple having to scrimp and save. It is generally during these challenging times that you will grow closer together as you learn to sacrifice and to make difficult decisions.”10
Elder Kimball’s piercing question, “Where is your faith?” turns us to the holy scriptures.
It was not in the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve bore their first child. Leaving the garden, “Adam [and Eve] began to till the earth. … Adam knew his wife, and she [bore] … sons and daughters, and [acting in faith] they began to multiply and to replenish the earth.”11
It was not in their Jerusalem home, with gold, silver, and precious things, that Lehi and Sariah, acting in faith, bore their sons Jacob and Joseph. It was in the wilderness. Lehi spoke of his son Jacob as “my first-born in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness.”12 Lehi said of Joseph, “Thou wast born in the wilderness of [our] afflictions; yea, in the days of [our] greatest sorrow did thy mother bear thee.”13
In the book of Exodus, a man and woman married and, acting in faith, had a baby boy. There was no welcoming sign on the front door to announce his birth. They hid him because Pharaoh had instructed that every newborn male Israelite should be “cast into the river.”14 You know the rest of the story: the baby lovingly laid in a little ark made of bulrushes, placed in the river, watched over by his sister, found by Pharaoh’s daughter, and cared for by his own mother as his nurse. The boy was returned to Pharaoh’s daughter, who took him as her son and called him Moses.
In the most beloved story of a baby’s birth, there was no decorated nursery or designer crib—only a manger for the Savior of the world.
In “the best of times [and] … the worst of times,”15 the true Saints of God, acting in faith, have never forgotten, dismissed, or neglected “God’s commandment … to multiply and replenish the earth.”16 We go forward in faith—realizing the decision of how many children to have and when to have them is between a husband and wife and the Lord. We should not judge one another on this matter.
The bearing of children is a sensitive subject that can be very painful for righteous women who do not have the opportunity to marry and have a family. To you noble women, our Heavenly Father knows your prayers and desires. How grateful we are for your remarkable influence, including reaching out with loving arms to children who need your faith and strength.
The bearing of children can also be a heartbreaking subject for righteous couples who marry and find that they are unable to have the children they so anxiously anticipated or for a husband and wife who plan on having a large family but are blessed with a smaller family.
We cannot always explain the difficulties of our mortality. Sometimes life seems very unfair—especially when our greatest desire is to do exactly what the Lord has commanded. As the Lord’s servant, I assure you that this promise is certain: “Faithful members whose circumstances do not allow them to receive the blessings of eternal marriage and parenthood in this life will receive all promised blessings in the eternities, [as] they keep the covenants they have made with God.”17
Scott Dorius told me their story. He said:
“Becky and I were married for 25 years without being able to have [or adopt] children. We moved several times. Introducing ourselves in each new setting was awkward and sometimes painful. Church members wondered why we [didn’t have] children. They weren’t the only ones wondering.
“When I was called as a bishop, ward members [expressed] concern that I did not have any experience with children and teenagers. I thanked them for their sustaining vote and asked them to allow me to practice my child-raising skills on their children. They lovingly obliged.
“We waited, gained perspective, and learned patience. After 25 years of marriage, a miracle baby came into our lives. We adopted two-year-old Nicole and then newborn Nikolai. Strangers now compliment us on our beautiful grandchildren. We laugh and say, ‘They are our children. We have lived our lives backwards.’”18
Brothers and sisters, we should not be judgmental with one another in this sacred and private responsibility.
“And [Jesus] took a child … in his arms [and] said …
“Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth … him that sent me.”19
What a wonderful blessing we have to receive sons and daughters of God into our home.
Let us humbly and prayerfully seek to understand and accept God’s commandments, reverently listening for the voice of His Holy Spirit.
Families are central to God’s eternal plan. I testify of the great blessing of children and of the happiness they will bring us in this life and in the eternities.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Prov. 22: 6
School of Family Life – Intern
For The Family
By Alan on Oct 10 in Blog tagged Adam and Eve, forbidden fruit, God created children, grandchildren, out of control, raising children | Comments Off
GOD CREATED CHILDREN (AND IN THE PROCESS GRANDCHILDREN)
To those of us who have children in our lives, whether they are our own, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or students…
here is something to make you chuckle.
Whenever your children are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God’s omnipotence did not extend to His own children.
After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve.
And the first thing he said was
‘ DON’T !‘
‘Don’t what ? ‘Adam replied.
‘Don’t eat the forbidden fruit.’
We have forbidden fruit?
Hey Eve…we have forbidden fruit! ‘
‘ No Way ! ”Yes way! ‘
‘Do NOT eat the fruit! ‘said God.
‘Because I am your Father and I said so! ‘
wondering why He hadn’t stopped
creation after making the elephants
A few minutes later,
God saw His children having an apple break
and He was ticked !
‘Didn’t I tell you not to eat the fruit? ‘God asked.
‘Uh huh,’ Adam replied.
‘Then why did you? ‘Said the Father.
‘I don’t know,’ said Eve.
‘She started it! ‘Adam said.
‘Did not ! ”Did too ! ”DID NOT ! ‘
Having had it with the two of them, God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own.
Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.
If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven’t taken it, don’t be hard on yourself.
If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT!
1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and be quiet!
2. Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your own children.
3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.
4. Children seldom misquote you.
In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said
5. The main purpose of holding children’s parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.
6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.
ADVICE FOR THE DAY:
Be nice to your kids.
They will choose your nursing home one day
IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF TENSION AND YOU GET A
HEADACHE, DO WHAT IT SAYS ON THE ASPIRIN
‘TAKE TWO ASPIRIN’ AND ‘KEEP AWAY
For The Family