By Alan on Mar 13 in Blog tagged a Savior, a spirit body, born into a physical body, charity, death, develop godlike qualities, disappointment, endurance, fulness of joy, gain experience, God, Grand Council, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, like father like son, like Heavenly Father, like mother like daughter, obeying His word, of our Heavenly Father, pain and sorrow, passed our tests, patience, prove ourselves, receive immortal bodies, relationship to God, Ruler and Creator, sickness, sons and daughters of God, spirit children, the Atonement, The Family, The Plan, the purpose of progression, the scriptures, we are children | Comments Off
We Are Children of Our Heavenly Father
• What do the scriptures teach us about our relationship to God?
God is not only our Ruler and Creator; He is also our Heavenly Father. All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God. “Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body”.
Every person who was ever born on earth is our spirit brother or sister. Because we are the spirit children of God, we have inherited the potential to develop His divine qualities. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become like our Heavenly Father and receive a fulness of joy.
We Developed Personalities and Talents
While We Lived in Heaven
The scriptures teach us that the prophets prepared themselves to become leaders on earth while they were still spirits in heaven (see Alma 13:1–3). Before they were born into mortal bodies, God foreordained (chose) them to be leaders on earth. Jesus, Adam, and Abraham were some of these leaders. (See Abraham 3:22–23.)
We were not all alike in heaven. We know, for example, that we were sons and daughters of heavenly parents—males and females (see “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,”). We possessed different talents and abilities, and we were called to do different things on earth.
A veil covers our memories of our premortal life, but our Father in Heaven knows who we are and what we did before we came here. He has chosen the time and place for each of us to be born so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our individual talents and personalities.
Our Heavenly Father Presented a Plan for Us
to Become Like Him
• How does earth life help prepare us to become like our Heavenly Father?
Our Heavenly Father knew we could not progress beyond a certain point unless we left Him for a time. He wanted us to develop the godlike qualities that He has. To do this, we needed to leave our premortal home to be tested and to gain experience. Our spirits needed to be clothed with physical bodies. We would need to leave our physical bodies at death and reunite with them in the Resurrection. Then we would receive immortal bodies like that of our Heavenly Father. If we passed our tests, we would receive the fulness of joy that our Heavenly Father has received. (See D&C 93:30–34.)
Our Heavenly Father called a Grand Council to present His plan for our progression. We learned that if we followed His plan, we would become like Him. We would be resurrected; we would have all power in heaven and on earth; we would become heavenly parents and have spirit children just as He does (see D&C 132:19–20).
We learned that He would provide an earth for us where we would prove ourselves (see Abraham 3:24–26). A veil would cover our memories, and we would forget our heavenly home. This would be necessary so we could exercise our agency to choose good or evil without being influenced by the memory of living with our Heavenly Father. Thus we could obey Him because of our faith in Him, not because of our knowledge or memory of Him. He would help us recognize the truth when we heard it again on earth (see John 18:37).
At the Grand Council we also learned the purpose for our progression: to have a fulness of joy. However, we also learned that some would be deceived, choose other paths, and lose their way. We learned that all of us would have trials in our lives: sickness, disappointment, pain, sorrow, and death. But we understood that these would be given to us for our experience and our good (see D&C 122:7). If we allowed them to, these trials would purify us rather than defeat us. They would teach us to have endurance, patience, and charity.
At this council we also learned that because of our weakness, all of us except little children would sin (see D&C 29:46–47). We learned that a Savior would be provided for us so we could overcome our sins and overcome death with resurrection. We learned that if we placed our faith in Him, obeying His word and following His example, we would be exalted and become like our Heavenly Father. We would receive a fulness of joy.
• Hebrews 12:9 (God is the Father of our spirits)
• Job 38:4–7 (premortal life implied)
• Jeremiah 1:5 (vision of premortal life)
• D&C 29:31–38 (vision of premortal life)
• Moses 3:4–7 (spiritual and temporal creations)
• D&C 76:23–24 (begotten sons and daughters)
Strengthening The Family – Spiritually
By Alan on Feb 06 in Blog tagged able but unwilling, additional food, be prepared, be self sustaining, church, clothing, counseling, dependent, depression, disappointment, dole, embarrassment, failure, fuel, God, government, handout, help themselves, idleness, material needs, not shift from themselfves, own families, own inspiration, own labors, own support, prayer, psychologists, self-help, self-reliance, self-respect, solving emotional problems, spiritual, stress, The Lord's Way, welfare program, work hard | Comments Off
Solving Emotional Problem’s – The Lord’s Own Way.
Families need to be self-sustaining to the full extent of their own powers. They should not voluntarily shift from themselves the burden of their own support. So long as they can, under the inspiration of the Almighty God and with their own labors, they will supply themselves with the necessities of life.
They should take care of their own material needs and then contribute to the welfare of those who cannot provide for themselves.
If a family is unable to sustain themselves, then they are to call upon their own fanilies, and then upon their Church, in that order, and not upon the government at all.
When families are able but unwilling to take care of themselves, then according to the Lord, “the idler shall not eat the bread of the laborer.” (D&C 42:42)
The simple rule has been to take care of one’s self. This couplet of truth has been something of a model:
“Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
The primary purpose of one’s beliefs and church is to set up, in so far as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of ‘the Church’ is to help people help themselves.”
Occasionally some families are attracted to their Church because of the welfare program. They see material security.
Our answer to them is: “Yes, join the Church for that reason. We can use all of the help we can get. You will be called upon continually to bless and assist others.”
It is a self-help system, not a quick handout system. It requires a careful inventory of all personal and family resources, all of which must be committed before anything is added from the outside.
It is not an unkind or an unfeeling church leader who requires a member to work to the fullest extent he can for what he receives from Church welfare.
There should not be the slightest embarrassment for any member family to be assisted by the Church. Provided, that is that he has contributed all that they can. To care for people on any other basis is to do them more harm than good.
The principle of self-reliance or personal independence is fundamental to the happy life. In too many places, in too many ways, families are getting away from it.
The same principle self-reliance and being prepared has application to the spiritual and to the emotional.
Families have been counseled to store additional food, clothing, and, if possible, fuel at home for times of need. Can we not see that the same principle applies to inspiration and revelation, the solving of problems, to counsel, and to guidance?
If families do not do seek for their our own inspiration and revelation for solving problems, they are quite as threatened spiritually as they should be were they to assume that the Church or Government should supply all material needs.
Unless families use care, they are on the verge of doing to themselves emotionally (and, therefore, spiritually) what they have been working so hard for generations to avoid materially.
Some families seem to be developing an epidemic of “counselitis” which drains spiritual strength from the Church and family counseling agencies much like the common cold drains more strength out of humanity than any other disease.
That, some may assume, is not serious. It is very serious!
There are many chronic cases families who endlessly seek counsel and advice but do not follow the counsel that is given. The greatest therapy is to show them how to help themselves, and more than that, how to help others.
If families lose their emotional and spiritual independence, their self-reliance, they can be weakened quite as much, perhaps even more, than when they become dependent materially.
If they are not careful, they can lose the power of individual inspiration by going to others before they seek personal revelation.
The Lord has said, “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, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong.” (D&C 9:7–9.)
Spiritual independence and self-reliance is a sustaining power within families. If others step in to help too quickly, they rob the families of how they can get personal revelation for themselves. How will families know there is a God? How can they get answers to prayers? How can they know for sure for themselves?
Families should follow proper channels in solving problems.
It is not unusual for some to “shop around” to get advice from friends and neighbors, from every direction, and then choose what they think is the best of it. That is a mistake.
Some want to start with psychologists, with professional counselors, or to go directly to church leaders to begin with.
Their problems may need that kind of attention but only after every personal, and family, and every local resource has been exhausted.
When families have used all of their own resources there should be no embarrassment in receiving welfare assistance.
That principle holds true with emotional assistance as well.
There may be a time when deep-seated emotional problems need more than can be given by the family or church leader.
Be very careful seeking for professional help. There are some spiritually destructive techniques used in the field of counseling. Do not let your family be subject to these things. Solve your problems first, the Lord’s way. It is seldom as easy to put something back together as it is to take it apart.
If your son or daughter needs counseling, it should be the parents responsibility first, and the church’s second.
If your son or daughter needs recreation, parents should provide it first, and the church second.
If your son or daughter needs correction, that should be the parents responsibility first, and the church or government second.
If parents are failing as a father or mother, they should be helped first, and their children second.
Do not be too quick to give up your job as parents in raising your children.
Do not be too quick to go outside the family for counsel to solve all of the problems.
We live in a day when the world stresses on every hand the philosophy of instant gratification. We seem to demand instant everything, including instant solutions to our problems.
Families are indoctrinated that somehow they should always be instantly emotionally comfortable. When that is not so, some families become anxious—and all too frequently seek relief from counseling, from analysis, and even from medication.
It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal.
The scriptures record, “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” Ether 12: 27
If families have a good, miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out.
There is great purpose in our struggle in life.
“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” 2 Ne. 31: 20
Adapted from a talk by Elder Boyd K. Packer