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By Alan on Jun 15 in Blog tagged alan, Alan and Suzanne osmond, army lead, as He did, barrack, challenges, church, dedication died, education, eight boys, eternal, example, Family, family life, forever, George, George and Olive Osmond, good meals, help others, impacted, Jesus Christ, knowledge, lare family, Like Father, Like son, live again, love, love at home, loving home, married, memories, nurtured, order, organization, Osmonds, osmonds second generation, parallel, passed away, point the way, prayer, regimentation, respect, righteous, role model, same way, showed me, Sons, spirit, spirit world, Suzanne Pinegar, tender, The Family, traditions, truth, watched him, worked hard | 2 Comments
By Alan on Feb 14 in Blog tagged answers, caution, church, comfort, companion, confirmation, direction, dramatic, eternal, feelings, gifts, gyidance, heart, husband, Lord, love, nature, peace, pleading, pray, prayer, priesthood, revelation, seek, spirit, spiritual, warning, wife | Comments Off
Too often people feel that answers to their prayers and their pleading for guidance and direction will be given in dramatic manifestations or through a direct voice giving specific directions from a heavenly host. My personal experience and my observation of the Brethren as they guide and direct the Church and solve problems has taught me that the answers come often times over an extended period of time with almost a natural solution whereby people take actions on the feelings of their hearts—which bring them peace and comfort—rather than through dramatic revelation.
Let me give you an example of how I learned this lesson. As a regional representative, I was traveling with President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988) to a stake conference for the selection of a new stake president. We had been driving in a car for more than an hour discussing the Church and priesthood administration. For some reason, I asked a question that, at the moment I asked it, I realized was inappropriate.
The question I asked President Romney was “What is the most spiritual experience you have had as an Apostle of the Lord?” There was a pause. It seemed like an eternity. Then he said, “I believe what Joseph Smith and Brigham Young taught, that if we would keep our spiritual experiences to ourselves, many more spiritual experiences could be shared with us.”
It seemed like there was a long period of silence after that remark, and then he said to me, “I owe you a better answer.” Then he gave me great counsel. He said the greatest spiritual experiences of his life had been when he had been on assignment from the President of the Church or the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, as we were that day. He said: “We will interview 25 or 30 priesthood brethren, and there will be more than one who will be qualified to be the stake president. But after we have done all we can do, we will get on our knees and pray to our Heavenly Father. We will tell Him of our feelings of who the new stake president ought to be and the reasons why. We will tell Him of the needs of the stake at this time. Then He will give us a confirmation.”
It was interesting that he said “us,” because it was true on that occasion that as we knelt and prayed, we both were able to receive a confirmation.
This is one of the best examples that I have had of what the gifts of the Spirit are and how they are manifest in our life’s work. Apply the principles taught by President Romney to understand that you can have discernment and confirmation of the concerns that confront you, such as choosing a companion or choosing a career that is best for you.
Isn’t it interesting that President Romney was sent to interview 25 or 30 men to choose one stake president rather than being told directly who it should be before his arrival? This is what the Lord means when He tells us to study it out in our own minds. Too often we want to be given answers to questions and problems that, if they were given in the manner we ask for them, would take away our agency and the blessings that come from reaching out to the Lord for answers and direction.
Some think it would be nice to have “spiritual fortune cookies” we could open to find the answers to life’s challenges. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a labeled jar we could reach into for our answers? But that is not the way it is meant to be.
I would like to express my love for my companion. I would not be what I am without her. I love her dearly. She has gifts of the Spirit. We study the scriptures together, and many of the concepts I teach have come because we have had companion study and prayer. That is why I am who I am, and I must acknowledge that.
Many of you young adults are in the process of choosing a companion, and you must go through a long process before you make your decision. You have spent years thinking about what qualities or attributes you would like your companion to have. But at the same time you must be working very hard to make yourself the type of person who will attract the companion you desire.
As you go through your dating and courting relationships, I would hope that you will assess the spiritual inclinations of the individuals you’re getting to know better. How is their testimony? How do they treat their parents? How do they treat their brothers and sisters? Do they respect authority? Do they love the Lord, His servants, and the scriptures? What plans do they have for their lives?
It isn’t enough if they are handsome or beautiful, if they are rich or poor, what kind of car they drive, what kind of clothes they wear, what kind of athletic ability they have, or what kind of intellect they are. You should be seeking to understand the gifts they have that will be eternal in nature.
BY ELDER ROBERT D. HALES
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
By Alan on Jan 13 in Blog tagged children, choice, divorce, eternal, forever, God, grow, home, Jesus, learn, marriage, modern, opposition, ordained, religion, Satan, school, society, test | Comments Off
We must maintain an eternal perspective about marriage. Marriage can be the most sanctifying — yet the most demanding — experience of our lives!
Marriage is “the home room of the earth school our Heavenly Father created to give his children a place to learn and grow. Families are the laboratories where we test and develop our religion.”
Elder Bruce C. Hafen
God the Father is the Supreme Being in whom we believe and whom we worship. He is the ultimate Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things. He is perfect, has all power, and knows all things. He “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s” (D&C 130:22).
One of life’s great questions is “Who am I?” A beloved Primary song helps even little children answer this question. We sing, “I am a child of God, and he has sent me here.” The knowledge that we are children of God provides strength, comfort, and hope.
We are all literally children of God, spiritually begotten in the premortal life. As His children, we can be assured that we have divine, eternal potential and that He will help us in our sincere efforts to reach that potential.
Heavenly Father is the Supreme Creator. Through Jesus Christ, He created heaven and earth and all things in them (see Moses 2:1). Alma said, “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44).
Our Father in Heaven wants us to dwell with Him eternally. His work and glory is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). In order to make this possible, He prepared the plan of salvation. He sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to loose the bands of death and atone for the sins of the world: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This sacrifice is the greatest expression of our Father’s love for us.
As children of God, we have a special relationship with Him, setting us apart from all His other creations. We should seek to know our Father in Heaven. He loves us, and He has given us the precious opportunity to draw near to Him as we pray. Our prayers, offered in humility and sincerity, are heard and answered.
We can also come to know our Father by learning about His Beloved Son and applying the gospel in our lives. The Savior taught His disciples: “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. . . . He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:7, 9).
We draw near to God the Father as we study the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets and as we give service. When we follow God’s will and live as He would have us live, we become more like Him and His Son. We prepare ourselves to return to live in Their presence.
I had an awesome experience in writing a song called, “Are You Up There” , for THE PLAN Album that my brothers and I recorded.
I felt the spirit within me wanting to express a very important message that God is Up There and watching over us. I wasn’t sure that was what I was going to be inspired to write but that is what came out!
I sat up in my bed with a pen and paper ready as I prayed and pondered about this feeling I was having. It took a few hours as I reached within trying to ‘listen’ to that still small voice of the Holy Ghost and what it was all about.
After some time, and determined not to go to sleep until after I had received it, a warm feeling came over me as I started to write those words that came to my heart and to my mind. It was a flow of words that I hardly stopped or paused with my writing. The words came out as almost a question to God of “Are You Up There?” I then looked at the foot of my bed at the piano and I penned in the musical notes of the melody besides the words and could even visualize the chords that I was to play as if I were at the piano.
It was one of the most special and spiritual experiences I had ever had with writing music.
I looked at it when I woke up the next morning and showed it to my Brothers, Wayne, Merrill, and Jay, and we never changed a thing! Here it is:
It could all end tomorrow,
and where would I be?
Does life go on
or will it be the end of me?
Seems a bit unfair
to think that all I’ve learned and done
belongs to no one.
Why should I cherish living
if there’s no so called plan?
Why, I would have no future
if it were left to man.
I can’t believe that we just happened
and don’t know what for.
There must be more.
Why should I trust in a love
that I can’t have forever?
Does it seem right
to live a game of take-away?
Should I want for children
if there isn’t any more for them to live for?
Maybe I’m a pessimist – then
maybe I’m not.
One thing that I like to know
is what I’ve got.
I don’t want a miracle
or to see you in the air,
but are you up there?
Are you everywhere?
Do you really care?
Are you up there?
By: Alan Osmond
(c) copyright 1973
I know that God lives. He is our creator and the Father of our spirit bodies within. Like all fathers, ‘Like Father like Son’, he wants us to become like him. We are His ‘Work and His Glory’. May we not question His existence but become stronger and more learned as we face the ‘TESTS’ and gain experience in this life, that those weaknesses that we each get may be overcome, thus making us even stronger people and children of God. It is then that the ‘TEST’ becomes a ‘TESTIMONY’ of truth!
It’s no stretch to say that a person has a serious advantage in life if they come from a loving, supportive home. Many people still succeed though they come from less-than-ideal family situations, but having our basic needs met, knowing that our parents love us and learning life lessons at home make all the challenges of day-to-day living that much easier to face. Likely, as an adult you want a happy home for your family.
This is no coincidence. God organizes us into families so that we can grow up in happiness and safety, and so that we can learn to love others selflessly—the key to true joy. Within the family is the best place to learn to love others the way Heavenly Father loves each one of us.
God’s Church exists to help families gain eternal blessings. We believe the greatest blessing He gives us is the ability to return to live with Him in heaven with our families. We follow our Heavenly Father’s will because that is how we earn this blessing.
When we call a fellow Church member “Brother” Artigas or “Sister” Brown, we really mean it. It’s not a slang term like saying, “Hey brother!” or “What’s up dude?” We believe that each of us—including those who aren’t members of our Church—is a literal son and daughter of our Heavenly Father (Hebrews 12:9) and therefore, our heavenly siblings. We were loved and taught by our Heavenly Father as part of an eternal family before coming to earth. So we share a bond that transcends this life. Think about it, if you truly thought of your neighbor or coworker as your brother or sister, would you treat them any differently? In the same vein, knowing that your earthly family had eternal significance might help you treat them better as well.
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who was raised in a happy and secure family with two loving parents. Maybe you weren’t, and growing up was tough without the love and support you longed for. Chances are, as an adult you want the happy home you never had. Living peacefully in a family isn’t always easy, but in God’s restored Church, marriage (Genesis 2:18) and families (Genesis 1:28) are the most important social unit now and in eternity. God wants you to do all you can now to prepare yourself to live with your family forever.
Now and forever, what matters most is family. People who have lived through a disaster never say, “All I could think about during the earthquake was my bank account.” They almost always say, “All I could think about was my wife and kids.” It shouldn’t require a disaster for us to know this truth. But too often, we let earning money, chasing pleasure, or even the needs of people outside our families divert our attention.
In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles proclaim that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” When a man and woman are married in the temple, their family can be together forever. This is a common goal of Latter-day Saints.
When men and women marry, they make solemn covenants with each other and with God. Every effort should be made to keep these covenants and preserve marriage. When divorce occurs, individuals have the obligation to forgive rather than to condemn, to lift and to help.
The sanctity of marriage and families is taught repeatedly in the scriptures. It has been reaffirmed by modern prophets and apostles. Despite the truths taught about the sanctity of marriage, divorce has become commonplace in the world. Because the family is central to Heavenly Father’s plan for His children, Satan seeks to destroy marriages and families. Because of the poor choices and selfishness of one or both marriage partners, marriages sometimes end in contention, separation, and divorce.
If, instead of resorting to divorce, each individual will seek the comfort and well-being of his or her spouse, couples will grow in love and unity. The gospel of Jesus Christ—including repentance, forgiveness, integrity, and love—provides the remedy for conflict in marriage.
Those who have caused a divorce through their own poor choices can repent and be forgiven. Those whose marriages have failed because of what others have done can receive strength and comfort from the Lord, who promised: ”Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. . . . For my yoke is easy, and my burden light” (Matthew 11:28, 30).