DOING THE RIGHT THING MATTERS!
"Teach more people more truth, and they will improve their own lives."

(Abr. 3:25)

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strengthining families

CHEATING!

By on Apr 29 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments on CHEATING!

CHEATING!

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FIGHTING THE TENDENCY: CHEATING!

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Cheating and dishonesty harms you and harms others as well. If you lie, steal, shoplift, or cheat, you damage your spirit and your relationships with others.  Be honest at school; choose not to cheat in any way. Be honest in your job, giving a full amount of work for your pay. Be honest at home; your word, your children and your marriage are most important and you do not want to deal with infidelity cheating!  Do not rationalize that being dishonest is acceptable, even though others may think it does not matter.

the familyClosely associated with honesty is integrity. Integrity means thinking and doing what is right at all times, no matter what the consequences. When you have integrity, you are willing to live by your standards and beliefs even when no one is watching. Choose to live so that your thoughts and behavior are always in harmony with the gospel.

 

Ask yourself:
Am I honest in all my conversations and dealings?
In keeping my marriage covenants?

Be honest with yourself, others,
and God at all times.
Being honest means choosing not to lie,
steal, cheat, or deceive in any way.

the familyI couldn’t remember the answer to one question on the quiz. It would be so easy to dart my eyes toward my classmate’s answer.

As I tapped my pen furiously on my chair, it occurred to me that it would take just a moment to turn my head, give my hair a flip, and dart my eyes toward my classmate’s answer. “I could do this just once,” I thought, “and I’ll ace the quiz. Just once won’t hurt. Besides, it’s so unfair for me. I study hard, yet I get lower grades than my classmates because I don’t cheat!” Still, I felt uncomfortable. I fidgeted in my chair, trying to make a choice: to cheat or not to cheat.

Then a voice inside me said, “No! Cheating is wrong, and you know it!” Suddenly I realized that even if I got a perfect score on the quiz, I wouldn’t feel good about my score if I cheated. I must make the right choice—this choice was the real test.

DID YOU CHEAT?

cheating1I remember when two guys in front of me at school were quietly comparing answers to the test we were taking when one of them turned to me and asked, “What did you get for number six?”   I quietly told them.

My friend then asked me, Did you cheat?

My heart sank to the very bottom of my shoes. The words didn’t register at first, with my head pounding so hard. “What was that?” I stammered, all the while looking for an explanation.

“I said, did you cheat, Robbie?” The question came from one of my best friends, Darla. We’d grown up together and were now in our junior year of high school. Over the years we’d always talked about everything, but at this moment she was the last person in the world I wanted to talk to.

There I was, Darla in front of me, her question aimed right at my heart. What could I tell her? I had cheated on a lousy exam just to please my friends. I could see the look on her face, as if she didn’t want to believe the possible answer. I respected Darla more than almost anyone. She was a good friend and had strong values. She knew I was a member of my Church and respected that. We agreed on a lot of issues and found strength in each other’s desire to do good. Usually.

“Yeah,” was all I could say, lamely.

“Oh, Robbie,” was all she said as she turned back to her work.

the familyI can’t describe how much the disappointment in her voice and on her face hurt me. I had compromised my standards just to fit in with a couple of guys and ended up disappointing someone I really admired. Guilt washed over me. I kept thinking I had hurt the image of the Church in her eyes. I apologized to her for what I’d done and talked to the teacher afterwards. She wasn’t pleased either, but we worked things out.

I’ll never forget that day. I now know it isn’t worth compromising your values just to please other people. Since then I’ve tried to be honest and am much happier with myself. Thankfully, I can say I haven’t repeated that mistake again. I’ve felt the difference in doing what’s popular and in doing what’s right, and I know what makes me happy.

Being Honorable

the family“The Lord … wants you to train your minds and hands to become an influence for good as you go forward with your lives. And as you do so and as you perform honorably and with excellence, you will bring honor to the Church, for you will be regarded as a man or woman of integrity and ability and conscientious workmanship. Be smart. Don’t be foolish. You cannot bluff or cheat others without bluffing or cheating yourselves.”  President Gordon B. Hinckley

God is honest and just in all things (see Alma 7:20). We too must be honest in all things to become like Him. The brother of Jared testified, “Yea, Lord, I know that thou … art a God of truth, and canst not lie” (Ether 3:12). In contrast, the devil is a liar. In fact, he is the father of lies (2 Nephi 9:9). “Those who choose to cheat and lie and deceive and misrepresent become his slaves”.  Honest people love truth and justice. They are honest in their words and actions. They do not lie, steal, or cheat.

INFIDELITY – To Lie Is Dishonest

infidelity
What happens to people who are married,
but break it by adultery, with its
heart-wrenching agony and divorce?

The problem doesn’t occur in a simple process of leaping from the marriage altar to the divorce court. Instead, infidelity is a subtle process. It does not begin with adultery; it begins with thoughts and attitudes. Each step to adultery is short, and each is easily taken; but once the process starts, it is difficult to stop.

Professional counselors have learned to recognize many of the “warning signs” of infidelity—signs that every husband and wife should be aware of and should avoid.

One man, whom we’ll call Willard, came for counsel because he was frightened of his own feelings, which were inclining to an interest in other women. He and Wilma seemed to have a “good” marriage, but he had gradually become bored with it. It lacked excitement; their personal relationship was unsatisfying, their conversations were guarded and sterile, and Wilma didn’t seem to be interested in him anymore. What particularly frightened him was the realization that he flirted with women at his office and even playfully kissed one once. This forced him to realize imminent danger to his vows.

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Willard was suffering from three myths that often plague modern marriage.

The first myth says, “The marriage will take care of itself.” But it won’t. Marriage is a dynamic interaction between two growing, changing people, and it requires constant focus on the quality of that interaction if the marriage is to be close and meaningful. A marriage does not automatically guarantee a pleasant one.

The second myth says, “If the marriage is not successful, I should start over.” But success is not an instant achievement. By definition, marriage is a process, not a stage. Consequently, it will be more successful at some points than at others. Many people want or expect instant success in all dimensions of marriage; if any aspect seems less than perfect, one despairs and thinks, “I married the wrong person.” This attitude frequently turns one’s attention toward someone other than his marriage partner.

The third myth says, “Loving my spouse does not preclude the possibility of becoming involved with anyone else.” The task for every married person is to maintain loyalty and fidelity with one person: the spouse. It is inappropriate to feel and express to others the same love feelings one expresses to a spouse.

men-and-woman-at-workMany situations in work, in society, and in church assignments bring men and women together. Each of these occasions is also a time when emotional involvement with other people may ensue. Both men and women must be very clear about their marital commitments and must be committed to the process of maintaining fidelity within marriage.

Fidelity, like infidelity, is a process. Fidelity, the positive quality, is measured by the degree of loyalty, allegiance, and commitment between husband and wife. Infidelity, the negative quality, results from insufficient feelings of loyalty and allegiance. Any action that fosters inappropriate relationships with another person erodes fidelity.

Two souls, united in matrimony, can achieve spiritual and temporal unity only if they constantly increase their friendship, love, and loyalty by expressing their feelings verbally, by maintaining mutual respect, and by demonstrating concern for each other.

scripturesThe commandment to our generation is: “Thou shalt not … commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it.” (D&C 29:6.)
“For the natural man is an enemy to God” Mosiah 3:19

“Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.  Doctrine and Covenants 67:12

Infidelity and fidelity are mutually exclusive processes. As fidelity, loyalty, trust, and sharing increase, there is little room for infidelity to grow. the familyThe main dimension of the fidelity process is personal commitment—commitment to your spouse, to marriage as an institution and as a personal relationship, to gospel ideals and standards, and to an eternity of dynamic development together.

“All things need watching, working at, caring for, and marriage is no exception. Marriage is not something to be indifferently treated or abused, or something that simply takes care of itself. Nothing neglected will remain as it was or is, or will fail to deteriorate. All things need attention, care and concern, and especially so in this most sensitive of all relationships of life.”   Richard L. Evans

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Fidelity in Marriage: It’s More Than You Think

the familyFidelity includes refraining from physical contact—but that is not all. Fidelity also means complete commitment, trust, and respect between husband and wife. Inappropriate interactions with another person can erode fidelity.

“What does it mean to love someone with all your heart? It means to love with all your emotional feelings and with all your devotion.”  President Ezra Taft Benson

We should be careful not to allow relationships even to begin to develop inappropriately. As Paul warned, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

Not only our actions relative to other people, but also our thoughts must be guarded “as our thoughts and words must be pure because we shall be judged for our thoughts as well as our actions, good or ill” (see Alma 12:12–15; see also 2 Nephi 9:39; Mosiah 4:30; D&C 88:109).

As we consider the sacred nature of being spiritually faithful to our spouses, we should remember the Savior’s counsel: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27–28).

We should be careful not to allow relationships even to begin to develop inappropriately. As Paul warned, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

Cheating via Pornography

watching pornographyDealing with a spouse’s pornography addiction can be an emotional roller coaster for the injured partner. Often this partner’s needs go unmet as efforts are focused on the person with the problem. Church leaders and counselors may overlook the pain and suffering of the wife* as they attempt to help the husband control and overcome his problem. Wives are left with a variety of emotions and feelings to deal with. They may experience feelings of hurt, betrayal, anger, fear, guilt, shame, abandonment, and so forth.

Research indicates better success rates when spouses work together in overcoming pornography addiction. In order for wives to be supportive and helpful in the recovery process, they may need help and support in managing their own feelings. For many women, their spouse’s use of pornography is a form of infidelity, leaving serious emotional and spiritual wounds.

Beware, women are now just as vulnerable as men when it comes to pornography!

Seeking professional help should be considered if any of the above-mentioned issues are interfering with one’s ability to function or fulfill daily responsibilities. If feelings of depression, worthlessness, aggression, or hostility are persistent, seek help.

Cheating Yourself

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“He who cheats others is a knave,
but he who cheats himself is a fool.”

“I have been taught that there is one person in the world you never want to fool, and that is yourself, because that is plain stupidity.”

In the next decade, millions of young people will drop out of school and shortly thereafter will be seeking jobs—millions of unprepared young people competing for new jobs. Their pay will be less, their working conditions poorer, and their competition more overwhelming than for those youth who persist in making themselves ready for responsible employment. A good education is said to be an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. To secure neither the ornament nor the refuge is a shortsighted approach to life.

“For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’”

lonely musicianHow often I have talked to men who have spent many years of their early lives in wanton waste of energy, time, and effort, and who have, in later years, found themselves. Always they have this lament: “What a fool I have been! Why couldn’t I have seen the joys of service long before I did? Oh, the many years I have wasted. I have cheated myself.”

There are many other ways we can cheat ourselves too. We may get angry with our parents, or a teacher and dwarf ourselves into nameless anonymity as we shrivel and shrink under the venom and poison of bitterness and hatred. While the hated one goes on about his business, little realizing the suffering of the hater, the latter cheats himself.

Proverbs 10:18 tells us: “He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.” [Prov. 10:18]

the familyAnd there are those who try to free themselves from moral obligations by claiming that they are atheists. The current generation has no monopoly on this self-deception. Thousands of years ago the psalmist observed that “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.” He then wrote that they had “altogether become filthy,” that there was “none that doeth good, no, not one.” And his profound chastisement at that time was this: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (See Ps. 53:1–3.)

There have been so many people who have come to me and expressed their remorse for having cheated themselves. There was a young man who had postponed marriage for many reasons: to devote himself unhindered to advanced education, to accumulate material goods, and other reasons. After he finally married, he said, “My life is now so beautiful. Why did I waste so many years without these blessings? I have traded dollars for pennies.”

Beautiful pregnant young black woman touching her belly

There was a young woman who had had a child while unwed. She had traded the child for care, hospital fees, and anonymity. Years passed, and she tried to recover her child but without success. Finally she married, and after a year or two with no children, her fears were confirmed by her doctor, and she came to weep. She would remain childless. Oh, how cheaply she had sold her one chance for motherhood.

There have been those who have finally found great joy in the gospel after having resisted it for years. Invariably they have said, “All these years we’ve spurned the missionaries. Why didn’t we listen sooner? We could have had many years more of the happiness we now enjoy.”

How can one justify cheating himself?  To postpone life for lesser the familyvalues is to deny opportunity. To marry by civil ceremony when eternal covenants could be made is to take unreasonable chances with the future.  To terminate activity in the Church just to spite leaders or to give vent to wounded feelings is to cheat ourselves. And Dr. Maeser said, “He who cheats himself is a fool.”

How can we receive of this grace and love from the Lord? The scriptures hold the remedy for man’s foolishness. The prophets are our guide to wisdom. The Master is our great example and the source of all true counsel. In Luke we read:

“… O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

“Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25–27.)

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Cheating In Chastity

the familyThe Lord has spoken clearly, strongly, and repeatedly on this subject. Through his prophets he has indicated that premarital sexual relations “are an abomination in the sight of the Lord” (Alma 39:5), but that those who remain virtuous and keep the other commandments shall have their “confidence wax strong in the presence of God.” (D&C 121:45.)

The Lord gives us commandments because he knows what will bring us happiness, peace, joy, and fulfillment. President Spencer W. Kimball reminds us that he is not “an angry, cruel God who brings vengeance on people for not complying with His laws. … He organized a plan which was natural—a cause-and-effect program. It is inconceivable that God would desire to punish or to see His children in suffering. … But however he tries, a man cannot escape the consequences of sin. They follow as the night follows the day. Sometimes the penalties are delayed in coming, but they are sure as life itself.” (The Miracle of Forgivenesspp. 140–41.) God has not detailed all the psychological and sociological reasons why we should be sexually abstinent until marriage. We know from history and experience, however, that fornication and adultery are spiritually harmful and that if the practice is widespread it is detrimental to nations and societies.

As I approach this question from a background of counseling and social psychology, I can assure all young people that my professional experiences continue to confirm the wisdom of premarital chastity.

Serious effects upon our personalities

the familyFirst, the sexual experience is not a simple satisfaction of a physical need, like eating or drinking. Freud recognized that it has a very complex relationship with our entire personality. (New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis.) The prophets teach us that it is a beautiful means our Father in heaven has established to provide bodies for spirits. If used aright, procreation can elevate and sanctify: if abused, it will violate and degrade. Our use of this special power, and the processes associated with it, will have a great effect upon our self-concepts and upon our perception of ourselves as men or women.

It is generally accepted that those feelings of masculinity or the family

femininity have great impact upon our personality. In the most intimate of all relationships, our self-doubts, our fears, and our feelings of adequacy are all affected. Intimacies outside the covenants of marriage affect our self-image, which significantly affects our marital relationships.

Some of our current movies, magazines, and music further compound the problem by conditioning us to focus more upon our own sensual pleasure and less upon human feelings.

the familyThose who indulge in immorality lose some of their capacity to relate to others on more intimate spiritual and emotional levels. President Kimball once explained: “When the unmarried yield to the lust that induces intimacies and indulgence, they have permitted the body to dominate and have placed the spirit in chains. It is unthinkable that anyone could call this love.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 154.) From my experience in counseling, I have learned that what President Kimball has said is true. When a couple engage in premarital intimacies they act out of selfish interests (though they may neither recognize nor admit it), and when we act out of purely selfish interest, we begin to use people as things. The more we use people as things, the more we undermine our capacity to relate to others.

the familyBecause of the Vietnam War, we were bombarded for years with vivid television scenes of people being mutilated, tortured, and killed. At first, I was shocked and sickened, but it has become frighteningly clear to me that as time went by I was able to view the human carnage more and more with a dispassionate attitude. From this experience, I know that people can become accustomed, and then apathetic to things that should cause great concern. People have tolerated and then accepted as “just part of life” that which should offend their most basic human feelings. Some of our most violent motion pictures and TV shows have become the greatest moneymakers. Until now, I never understood how the Romans could come to enjoy seeing people fed to the lions.

Likewise, as we are bombarded with sensual, carnal stimuli that in years past embarrassed us, it becomes easier to ignore it or perhaps even accept it. In movies it has become so common that many persons can very dispassionately see immorality on the screen. Norman Cousins warned, “The danger is not that the exploitation of sex may create sex fiends, but that it may spawn eunuchs. … People who insist on seeing everything and doing anything run the risk of feeling nothing. … Our highest responses are being blunted without our knowing it.” (“See Everything, Do Everything, Feel Nothing.” Saturday Review, January 23, 1971, p. 31.)

I fear that, whether we realize it or not, if we engage in premarital sexual conduct we are using the other person as an object or defining him or her in terms of bodily functions or in terms of our own selfish needs instead of by his or her eternal value. This not only destroys meaningful, fulfilling relationships with them, but it also cuts us off from the most important relationship of all—that with our Father in heaven. When we disobey commandments, we sin against our relationship with our Father in heaven. We sin against people and our relationships with them. We sin against our own true nature as sons and daughters of Deity.the family

I urge you sons and daughters of God, who are in the image of your creator, to put your minds in the image of his, and to discipline and mold your spirits after the pattern of the Only Begotten. If you will do so, the Lord has promised that joys will follow eternally, and you need never fear of having cheated yourself of what might have been.

President Spencer W. Kimball

There are several other ways of cheating such as sports, gambling, Politics, not paying your taxes and you bills or even the Lord with His tithes.  If  you think you are getting away with it, you are only kidding yourself.  Someone is always watching!  Just remember when you make choices, to always ‘choose the Hard Right instead of the Easy Left’ and you will always be happy and successful!

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alan@thefamily.com
“Strengthening The Family

 

Please listen to the prompting of the
Holy Spirit telling you right now,
this very moment,
that you should accept the atoning gift
of the Lord Jesus Christ.

FORGIVENESS!

I testify that you have not
traveled beyond the reach of divine love.
It is not possible for you to
sink lower than the infinite light of
Christ’s Atonement that shines.
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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Quorum of The Twelve Apostles

Your Comments are Welcomed!

 

 

The Law Of Chastity

By on Feb 19 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Law Of Chastity

The Law Of Chastity

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A Note to Parents

This chapter includes some parts that are beyond the maturity of young children.
It is best to wait until children are old enough to understand sexual relations and procreation before teaching them these parts of the chapter. Our Church leaders have told us that parents are responsible to teach their children about procreation (the process of conceiving and bearing children). Parents must also teach them the law of chastity, which is explained in this chapter.

talk with children

Parents can begin teaching children to have proper attitudes toward their bodies when children are very young. Talking to children frankly but reverently and using the correct names for the parts and functions of their bodies will help them grow up without unnecessary embarrassment about their bodies.

Children are naturally curious. They want to know how their bodies work. They want to know where babies come from. If parents answer all such questions immediately and clearly so children can understand, children will continue to take their questions to their parents. However, if parents answer questions so that children feel embarrassed, rejected, or dissatisfied, they will probably go to someone else with their questions and perhaps get incorrect ideas and improper attitudes.

It is not wise or necessary, however, to tell children everything at once. Parents need only give them the information they have asked for and can understand. While answering these questions, parents can teach children the importance of respecting their bodies and the bodies of others. Parents should teach children to dress modestly. They should correct the false ideas and vulgar language that children learn from others.

By the time children reach maturity, parents should have frankly discussed procreation with them. Children should understand that these powers are good and were given to us by the Lord. He expects us to use them within the bounds He has given us.

Little children come to earth pure and innocent from Heavenly Father. As parents pray for guidance, the Lord will inspire them to teach children at the right time and in the right way.

The Power of Procreation

  • Why should parents teach their children about procreation and chastity?

  • How can they appropriately do this?

God commanded each living thing to reproduce after its own kind (see Genesis 1:22). Reproduction was part of His plan so that all forms of life could continue to exist upon the earth.

the familyThen He placed Adam and Eve on the earth. They were different from His other creations because they were His spirit children. In the Garden of Eden, He brought Adam and Eve together in marriage and commanded them to multiply and replenish the earth (see Genesis 1:28). However, their lives were to be governed by moral laws rather than by instinct.

God wanted His spirit children to be born into families so they could be properly cared for and taught. We, like Adam and Eve, are to provide physical bodies for these spirit children.

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have stated, “We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

God has commanded us that only in marriage between a man and a woman are we to have sexual relations. This commandment is called the law of chastity.

What is the Law of Chastity?

We are to have sexual relations only with our spouse to whom we are legally married. No one, male or female, is to have sexual relations before marriage. After marriage, sexual relations are permitted only with our spouse.

To the Israelites the Lord said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Those Israelites who broke this commandment were subject to severe penalties. The Lord has repeated this commandment in the latter days (see D&C 42:24).

We have been taught that the law of chastity encompasses more than sexual intercourse. The First Presidency warned young people of other sexual sins:

“Before marriage, do not do anything to arouse the powerful emotions that must be expressed only in marriage. Do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not allow anyone to do that with you. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body” (For the Strength of Youth [pamphlet, 2001], 27).

Like other violations of the law of chastity, homosexual behavior is a serious sin. Latter-day prophets have spoken about the dangers of homosexual behavior and about the Church’s concern for people who may have such inclinations. President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

marriage“In the first place, we believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. We believe that marriage may be eternal through exercise of the power of the everlasting priesthood in the house of the Lord.the family

“People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are.

“We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families”

Satan Wants Us to Break the Law of Chastity

  • What are some ways Satan tempts people to break the law of chastity?

Satan’s plan is to deceive as many of us as he can to prevent us from returning to live with our Heavenly Father. One of the most damaging things he can do is entice us to break the law of chastity. He is cunning and powerful. He would like us to believe it is no sin to break this law. Many people have been deceived. We must guard ourselves against evil influences.

Satan attacks the standards of modesty. He wants us to believe that because the human body is beautiful, it is something to flaunt and expose. Our Heavenly Father wants us to keep our bodies covered so that we do not encourage improper thoughts in the minds of others.

Satan not only encourages us to dress immodestly, but he also encourages us to think immoral or improper thoughts. He does this with pictures, movies, stories, jokes, music, and dances that suggest immoral acts. The law of chastity requires that our thoughts as well as our actions be pure. The prophet Alma taught that when we are judged by God, “our thoughts will also condemn us; and in this awful state we shall not dare to look up to our God” (Alma 12:14).

Jesus taught, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27–28).

President Gordon B. Hinckley warned: “You live in a world of terrible temptations.

the familyPornography, with its sleazy filth, sweeps over the earth like a horrible, engulfing tide. It is poison. Do not watch it or read it. It will destroy you if you do. It will take from you your self-respect. It will rob you of a sense of the beauties of life. It will tear you down and pull you into a slough of evil thoughts and possibly of evil actions. Stay away from it. Shun it as you would a foul disease, for it is just as deadly. Be virtuous in thought and in deed. God has planted in you, for a purpose, a divine urge which may be easily subverted to evil and destructive ends. When you are young, do not get involved in steady dating. When you reach an age where you think of marriage, then is the time to become so involved. But you boys who are in high school don’t need this, and neither do the girls” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1997, 71–72; or Ensign, Nov. 1997, 51).

Satan sometimes tempts us through our emotions. He knows when we are lonely, confused, or depressed. He chooses this time of weakness to tempt us to break the law of chastity. Our Heavenly Father can give us the strength to pass through these trials unharmed.

The scriptures tell about a righteous young man named Joseph who was greatly trusted by his master, Potiphar. Potiphar had given Joseph command over everything he had. Potiphar’s wife lusted after Joseph and tempted him to commit adultery with her. But Joseph resisted her and fled from her. (See Genesis 39:1–18.)

Paul taught, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Alma emphasized that we will “not be tempted above that which [we] can bear” as we “humble [ourselves] before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually” (Alma 13:28).

  • How are modesty and chastity related? How can parents teach their children to be modest in dress, language, and behavior?

  • How can we fight the spread and influence of pornography?

  • What promises has the Lord given us to help us overcome Satan’s temptations?

Breaking the Law of Chastity Is Extremely Serious

The prophet Alma grieved because one of his sons had broken the law of chastity. Alma said to his son Corianton, “Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?” (Alma 39:5). Unchastity is next to murder in seriousness.

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If a man and a woman break the law of chastity and conceive a child, they may be tempted to

commit another abominable sin: abortion. There is seldom any justifiable reason for abortion. Church leaders have said that some exceptional circumstances may justify an abortion, such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But even these circumstances do not automatically justify an abortion. Those who face such circumstances should consider abortion only after consulting with their local Church leaders and receiving a confirmation through earnest prayer.

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“When a man and woman conceive a child out of wedlock, every effort should be made to encourage them to marry. When the probability of a successful marriage is unlikely due to age or other circumstances, unwed parents should be counseled to place the child for adoption through LDS Family Services to ensure that the baby will be sealed to temple-worthy parents” (First Presidency letter, June 26, 2002, and July 19, 2002).

It is extremely important to our Heavenly Father that His children obey the law of chastity. Members of the Church who break this law or influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline.

Those Who Break the Law of Chastity Can Be Forgiven

the familyPeace can come to those who have broken the law of chastity. The Lord tells us, “If the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, … all his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him” (Ezekiel 18:21–22). Peace comes only through forgiveness.

President Kimball said: “To every forgiveness there is a condition. … The fasting, the prayers, the humility must be equal to or greater than the sin. There must be a broken heart and a contrite spirit. … There must be tears and genuine change of heart. There must be conviction of the sin, abandonment of the evil, confession of the error to properly constituted authorities of the Lord” (The Miracle of Forgiveness [1969], 353).

For many people, confession is the most difficult part of repentance. We must confess not only to the Lord but also to the person we have offended, such as a husband or wife, and to the proper priesthood authority. The priesthood leader (bishop or stake president) will judge our standing in the Church. The Lord told Alma, “Whosoever transgresseth against me … if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also” (Mosiah 26:29).

But President Kimball warned: “Even though forgiveness is so abundantly promised there is no promise nor indication of forgiveness to any soul who does not totally repent. … We can hardly be too forceful in reminding people that they cannot sin and be forgiven and then sin again and again and expect repeated forgiveness” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, 353, 360). Those who receive forgiveness and then repeat the sin are held accountable for their former sins (see D&C 82:7; Ether 2:15).

Those Who Keep the Law of Chastity Are Greatly Blessed

  • What blessings do we receive as we keep the law of chastity?

When we obey the law of chastity, we can live without guilt or shame. Our lives and our children’s lives are blessed when we keep ourselves pure and spotless before the Lord. Children can look to our example and follow in our footsteps.

the family

For The Family

The NATIVITY

By on Dec 09 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The NATIVITY

Story of Christmas - an infographic

Click to learn more about the story of Christmas.

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

The Story of Christmas is more than merely retelling the advent of a babe in Bethlehem. It is one of the seminal events in human history.

That babe in Bethlehem, born in a lowly manger, was Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world and the Son of God—our Redeemer.

Jesus Christ suffered and was crucified for the sins of the world, giving each of God’s children the gift of repentance and forgiveness. Only through His mercy and grace can we be saved. His subsequent resurrection prepared the way for every person to overcome physical death as well. These events are called the Atonement. In short, Jesus Christ saves us from sin and death. For that, he is very literally our Savior and Redeemer.

This season, we invite you to read the Christmas story anew with your family and friends. Look for the hope and meaning it can bring to your life.

We join with the angels of old as they announced the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to the shepherds: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

Alex Osmond
For The Family

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Fathers Need To Provide, Protect, and Lead The Family!

By on Aug 21 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment on Fathers Need To Provide, Protect, and Lead The Family!

Fathers Need To Provide, Protect, and Lead The Family!

the family

So, you are a Father!  Congratulations!

the family

I hope you are pleased! 

Do you know what responsibility that name, “father”, places upon your shoulders?

The name “Father” is a powerful and sacred name because it reminds you that you are a ‘creator’ and responsible for every life that you make, or take.   Make sure in how you use your sacred creative powers because you will be responsible for all of your actions and even your thoughts.

To bring a child into this world is an amazing miracle.  It’s marvelous and good and it fulfills ‘God’s work and Glory’, “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”. (Moses 1:39) You should be grateful to your Mother and Father who gave you life because that’s how we all got here and what we are commanded to do.  We are “to multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1), but it must be done in an orderly and sacred fashion.  

We must return to the high standards of moral values of this world because if you should bring a child into this world wrongly or bring one who is unwanted, and you don’t step up and take care of that child and set a good example for them to follow or abort them, then you will be a held accountable and judged for your actions.   There is a law:  “For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.”  If you don’t protect and teach your children correct principles, then the blame and punishment will fall upon your own head.  Who said so?  God did, who is our Heavenly Father and who created us all.  Yes, in the case of abortion, there are some exceptions and special cases should the mother’s life be in jeopardy.

And how about your wife? 

new motherI hope you were married.  If not, you should be!  Get married and fix any problems, spiritually, emotionally, and do it quickly.  Why?  Because, marriage is ordained of God between a man and a woman.  God is not the author of confusion.  If you don’t start your marriage out right, then that’s how your children will become . . . . confused!  He or she needs to know and feel that they are loved and that they belong and have purpose and place in life with roots grounded in a home built upon a solid foundation of love.  Everyone that has ever lived had a Mother and a Father in order to get into this world.  Why should their parents be separated or be taken away from them?  It takes two to make a marriage and one to break it.  Stay together and work things out, unless sin gets involved then again, repent.

Your best gift to your children and wife in this life will be in how you choose to live your life.  Your greatest achievement in this world will be filled with work and serving your family and it will be tough because nothing good comes easy, but oh, what great memories and powerful and strong secure feelings of joy you will have inside with the familya peace of mind knowing that you have chosen good values and principles and have lived them from the very start. If you have not, and have made mistakes or were born into such circumstances, then you also have the power to seek forgiveness and to change, which is made available to all through your Savior, Jesus Christ.  He did not come to this world to get applause from us clapping our hands, but to rescue us with His nail scarred hands!  Let Him!

The name Father is the greatest title you will ever have but do you realize that with it, you are not the only father to your children?  The Father of your spirit body inside your physical body and of every child that was ever born came from our Heavenly Father!  He is our Creator.  What a great heritage it is to be a descendant and a child of God!  We don’t remember who we are and where we came from for a very wise purpose.  We will someday!  But until then, we do know we lived with our Father in Heaven as spirit children before we came to earth and that we can return back home again if we do the right things.

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.

God our Father 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)

As the Father of your children and co-creator with your wife, you now have important responsibilities along with major blessings that will extend throughout life and for all eternity if you follow ‘The Way’ that Jesus Christ has shown us and taught us to live.

the familyFather’s are to provide, protect, and teach their children and they do it best by example, as expressed in one of my favorite poems. 


“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.

I’d rather one would walk with me than merely point the way.

The eye’s a better pupil, more willing than the ear.

Fine council is confusing but, example always clear.

And the best of all the preachers is the one who lives his creed.

For to see good put in action, is what everybody needs.”
 

To be married and exceptionally busy with raising a family in today’s world can be very challenging.  Marriage itself is often side stepped ignored, or doesn’t happen at all and “stuff” that money can buy seems to be the top priority with what people want the most.  the familyYet, a loving partner and a family with children that depends on you as a father, is one of the most fulfilling jobs a man can ever do.  It’s not easy raising a family but the blessings are ‘out of this world’!  When you are about to leave this world and die, you won’t look back and wish you had spent more time at the office or calculate all the things you’ve acquired in this world because they will be worthless.  But, you’ll count your many blessings and those tender and loving words and expressed moments and life-changing times you spent with those you love.  The only things you will take with you when you die and go to your heavenly rewards in paradise is yourself and those you love.  In the Bible, John 14:2 says, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you so.  I go to prepare a place for you.”  Whichever “mansion” or place we will be assigned, it will be based upon our works and whether or not they were good or bad.

So since you are still alive today and you want to make a difference in your life, find out who you are and why you are here.  Learn what you are supposed to do and to become in this life in order to prepare for a better life in the world and to live in the highest mansion in heaven after this world is through. 

the familyStart today by taking a good hard look in a mirror and decide that you are going to make the best choices in choosing good versus evil.  What we choose in life says a lot about a person and it is one of the most important reasons why we came here.  We came here to be tested to see what we are really made of and what we are worthy of becoming.  Let’s pass the test with flying colors by remembering who we are.  We are God’s kids!  Our ‘Father’ wouldn’t have us go through all of this hard work of experiencing and learning, bumping our noses and being tested without good reasons or a wise purpose!

Study and pray in order to understand your relationship with God.  the familyTake upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ and always remember Him because you will not get anywhere after this life without His forgiveness and help in paying the price for our mistakes and sins; unless of course you enjoy sin and want to dwell in everlasting darkness with the devil, the father of all lies.

Life can become very honest and real.  ‘Truth is light’, and there is a plentiful amount of truth in this world.  But there are also opposites in all things as well which means there’s a lot of evil and darkness, too!  There are false truths or lies with passions of darkness that appeal to “the natural man” which is ‘an enemy to God’.  Just because if feels right and everyone is doing it, doesn’t make it right!  Sin is easy.  Anyone can do the familyit.  It takes a man with principles to stand up against temptations.  Each of us will have our critics, but we each must decide our own destiny!  They problem is we must act now as the signs of the times are upon us and we are living in the last days.  

We were all born with free agency to choose good or evil and to be what we wish to become.  Yes, sometimes there are situations where our freedoms have been challenged by vises or by ‘wicked and conspiring men’ but when it comes to making correct choices of character and values, you still will have the power to choose.  (By the way, this also applies to being a good woman, as well!)

Do yourself a favor and put away the ego and pride and save your macho self a whole world of hurt by standing up for the good in this world by doing what’s right instead of choosing wrong and evil things!  They all are here and available and you must choose.  One is worth it and the other is worthless.  It reminds me of a verse in a song lyric that I wrote called,

“Men Need To Be Men”.

“Men, need to be Men. Have the guts to be their creation.

Every where, in every nation be a family!

Men, need to be men.  Love their wives and never leave them.

Raise their kids, cause they conceived them, be men!”

 

“The Savior has always been the protector of those who would accept His protection.
He has said more than once, “How oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth
her chickens, and ye would not” (3 Ne. 10:5).

rooster

Now, go back and look at the image above that I chose of the rooster who so boldly steps forward on the wooden plank over the running stream below him as an example to his family of hens who watch intently and carefully from behind.  They will follow!  When a man knows what he wants in this world and steps up to the challenges of life, raising the bar of goodness and righteous and with courage chooses well as a husband and father, those who look up to him, his wife and family, will feel secure and will follow him all the way!  So it is with you!  the familyThis is why you were born a male, a man, and a father . . . to lead, to protect, to nurture and to provide.  Work hard at it!  Sometimes thoughts will come into your mind and then you start to question yourself.  But remember, that just as a flock of birds may be flying in the sky, you can’t stop them from flying over your head but you CAN stop them from making a nest on your head!  

Live your life righteously, spiritually, and with joy and enthusiasm with the desire to become all that you can be.  By doing so, you will know and feel life’s greatest the familyrewards because you will be doing the right thing and that spirit will confirm so within you and will let you know by the ‘warmth you feel inside and within your heart’ knowing that you are doing the right thing.  And after all of the challenges and tests that can be placed upon you have beaten you down and seem to leave you hopeless, remember that the Lord who suffered all knows and remembers you well and it is then that those ‘tests’ become a ‘test’-imony of all that is right and good.  You then will deserve the love and the confidence of those who bless your name because of your faith and desire you have to become the best man, husband and father that any guy could ever be!

May God Bless you fathers!

A husband, father and grandfather,
Alan Osmond

For The Family

 

Mistakes Can Be Forgiven

By on Jul 12 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mistakes Can Be Forgiven

Mistakes Can Be Forgiven

When everything seems down and out, when the world feels like a river is flowing against me, when I look for the light but constant darkness stands in its way, it is then the time to face the heavens where all things are made possible, where problems can be heard with understanding, which leads one to seek for repentance, forgiveness, and trust in the One who can make all things right.

mistakes

“But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.”

Moroni 6:8

For The Family

Is The Family Pulling Apart?

By on Apr 18 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment on Is The Family Pulling Apart?

YES!  The Family Is Pulling Apart!

The Family

YES!  “All across the world families are pulling and falling apart. The place to begin to improve society is in the home. Children do, for the most part, what they are taught. We are trying to make the world better by making the family stronger”, said President Gordon B. Hinckley at the general Relief Society meeting in September 1995 who explained why we have been given “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” now!  Since that time, it has been reprinted in many languages for families throughout the world. It has also been presented to government leaders in many lands.

Look around at our communities and nation today and you will understand why we need to heed the counsel and warning from our prophets and the scriptures and remember that “The Family is central to God’s plan.”

Is this happening in your family?

The proclamation states that marriage and family are “ordained of God” and “central to [His] plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.  Why is the family central to God’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children? (See D&C 131:1–41 Corinthians 11:11.)

The proclamation also states that we are all spirit children of God, created in His image (see also Genesis 1:26–27).  When a Mother and Father create a body for a child, one of Heavenly Father’s Spirit children enters that body. Everything is created spiritually before it is created physiclally.  We are taught from the scriptures about our potential and reminds us that we all are members of Heavenly Father’s family which should affect the way you feel about our earthly families and give us the desire to become stronger families.

Sacred ordinances or promises with God make it possible for families to be together eternally.

the familyKnowing that we will live forever after this life should help us understand that the experiences we encounter in this life will help us in our eternal progression.  It helps us understand why marriage is necessary for the family to be eternal together.  The Holy Temples, the House of the Lord, is where marriages are performed for time AND for all eternity and where promises or covenants with the Lord are made so that families may be together forever.  Knowing this forever purpose of the family will help parents prepare their children to follow in the same like manner and affect the way we treat family members now.

The same priesthood power that created worlds, galaxies, and the universe can and should be part of our lives to succor, strengthen, and bless our families, our friends, and our neighbors—in other words, to do the things that the Savior would do if He were ministering among us today.  And the primary purpose of this priesthood power is to bless, sanctify, and purify us so we can live together with our families in the presence of our heavenly parents, bound by priesthood sealings, participating in the marvelous work of God and Jesus Christ in forever expanding Their light and glory.   This-is-my-work-and-my-glory.

The power to create mortal life is sacred.

the familyGod has spoken through our Prophets declaring the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.  This is why obedience to God’s commandments is so important.

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.

Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “Children are the inheritance of the Lord to us in this life and also in eternity. Marriage and Eternal life is not only to have forever our descendants from this life. It is also to have eternal increase.”

Marriage is ‘ordained of God’ and a partnership with God and 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 terminating a life has serious responsibility and consequences!

We can understand why our Heavenly Father commands us to reverence life and to cherish the powers that produce it as sacred. If we do not have those reverential feelings in this life, how could our Father give them to us in the eternities?

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apolstes taught: “The body is an essential part of the soul.  We declare that one who uses the God-given body of another without divine sanction abuses the very soul of that individual, abuses the central purpose and processes of life. In sexual transgression the soul is at stake—the body and the spirit.”

It is most important that parents help children understand the importance of moral cleanliness. They should review with their children the teachings of sexual purity.

Parents have a sacred duty to care for each other and teach their children.

the familyPresident Gordon B. Hinckley taught: “When you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Selfishness is the great destroyer of happy family life. If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on throughout eternity.”

Children are blessed when they have parents who love and care for each other. Parents are responsible to teach their children. (See Mosiah 4:14–15D&C 68:25–2893:40.) Parents should find effective ways to teach these principles as they were taught; perhaps in family home evenings, family prayer, mealtime, bedtime, traveling together and working together.

The role of the Church is a secondary role in teaching children with Sunday School and other activities.

Successful marriages and families are based on righteous principles.

the familyThe proclamation teaches that “happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings can bring happiness into your home.  “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”

What are the primary responsibilities of fathers? One responsibility is to “preside … in love and righteousness”. (See D&C 121:41–46.)  Boys and young men can prepare themselves now to provide for their families by encouraging them to gain a formal education and learn practical skills.  Young women can also prepare themselves to fulfill the responsibility of being mothers and returning to the old and sacred values which begin in the home. It is here that truth is learned, that integrity is cultivated, that self-discipline is instilled, and that love is nurtured.  Mothers, guard your children. Nothing is more precious to you as mothers, absolutely nothing. Your children are the most valuable thing you will have in time or all eternity. You will be fortunate indeed if, as you grow old and look at those you brought into the world, you find in them uprightness of life, virtue in living, and integrity in their behavior. This is also important for fathers to nurture their children because as parents, you should help each other as equal partners.

Strengthening families is everyone’s responsibility.

the familyThe proclamation concludes by warning of the serious consequences of family disintegration and by calling upon all people to strengthen the family.  Individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

President Gordon B. Hinckley told a gathering of mayors and other public officials: “To you men and women of great influence, you who preside in the cities of the nation, to you I say that it will cost far less to reform our schools, to teach the virtues of good citizenship, than it will to go on building and maintaining costly jails and prisons. … But there is another institution of even greater importance than the schools. It is the home. I believe that no nation can rise higher than the strength of its families.”  Families must be strong in order for nations to survive.

The proclamation also warns that “those who abuse spouse or offspring … will one day stand accountable before God.” Church leaders have spoken out against abuse of any kind. The following quotation can be applied to both men and women:

“Never abuse your wives. Never abuse your children. But gather them in your arms and make them feel of your love and your appreciation and your respect. Be good husbands. Be good fathers.” Gordon B. Hinckley

the familySuzanne and I have both been blessed with “goodly parents” that put us first and taught us by example the way to become.  We saw more sermons than we did in hearing them from our kind and hard working fathers and loving, nurturing and caring mothers who sacrificed their lives for us. It is now much easier for us as parents to know how to raise our children having watched our parents deal with the many challenges of raising a family today.  Yes, it can be challenging in raising a family today but the blessings are literally “Out Of This World”!

For those who have wayward children and may have made mistakes themselves in the past, remember that a most important part of God’s plan of life through the atonement of Jesus Christ is that of repentance and forgiveness.  To receive forgiveness through repentance, remember, Jesus is The Way.

When we were young as a nation, our forefathers promised to remember God and to keep His commandments. God in turn promised to protect us as a nation and to give us prosperity. We are concerned that the covenants or promises that we have made with God have been broken and are not being kept.  If we see trubulation and hard times come into our lives and to our families, then it is only because we have broken our promises with God.  He then, does not have to keep His covenants and promises either!

We are living during the last days, a “great and dreadful day”, when Satan is desperate to win as many souls of mankind and our families that he can.  May we remember God, our Heavenly Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and put prayer and thanksgiving back into our homes, schools and nation.  May we love one another and stop aborting innocent children who each have a spirit body within and keep God’s commandments so that we may be worthy of His love and blessings once again.

Alan Osmond
For The Family

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Peace Within

By on Mar 04 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Peace Within

Peace Within

the familyIn recent months, peace has been a very prominent topic on the minds of people throughout the world. When world peace was threatened, many countries found themselves engaged in war. The news media have shown vivid images of the ravages, suffering, and destruction of war and the turmoil it causes in individuals. It causes deep anxiety and disrupts families, employment, and schooling. It consumes resources that could be used to better advantage elsewhere.  We pray now for a lasting peace when men “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: … neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isa. 2:4.)

In the scriptures, peace means either freedom from strife, contention, conflict, or war, or an inner calm and comfort born of the Spirit that is a gift of God to all of his children, an assurance and serenity within a person’s heart. The dictionary definition states that peace is a state of tranquillity or quiet, freedom from disquieting thoughts or emotions, and harmony in personal relations.

While we yearn for peace, we live in a world burdened with hunger, the familypain, anguish, loneliness, sickness, and sorrow. We see divorce with all of its attendant conflict and heartache, especially among the innocent children caught in the middle. the familyWayward, disobedient children cause their parents grief and anxiety. Financial problems cause distress and loss of self-respect. Some loved ones slip into sin and wickedness, forsake their covenants, and walk in their “own way, and after the image of [their] own god.” (D&C 1:16.)

The value of peace within our hearts cannot be measured. When we are at peace, we can be free of worry and fear, knowing that with the Lord’s help, we can do all that is expected or required of us. We can approach every day, every task, and every challenge with assurance and confidence in the outcome. We have freedom of thought and action, freedom to be happy. Even those incarcerated for lengthy periods of time as war prisoners can be at peace in their own minds. Many of them have learned from their captors that they cannot deprive them of freedom to think, even when the most harsh limitations are imposed. Few, if any, blessings from God are more valuable to our spiritual health than the reward of peace within. In modern-day revelation the Savior said, “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, evenpeace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” (D&C 59:23.)

the familyDespite dismal conditions in the world and the personal challenges that come into every life, peace within can be a reality. We can be calm and serene regardless of the swirling turmoil all about us. Attaining harmony within ourselves depends upon our relationship with our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and our willingness to emulate him by living the principles he has given us. He has extended to us an invitation: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28–30.)

The phrase “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39), that the Savior uttered when he calmed the storm-tossed sea, can have the same calming influence upon us when we are buffeted by life’s storms. the familyDuring the Passover feast, the Savior taught his disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27.) Referring to the teachings he had given to his disciples, Jesus said: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33.)

In his epistle to the Romans, Paul gave us one key to finding the peacepromised by the Lord. Paul taught, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6.)

the familyOne faithful mother of a large family learned to find peace by accepting the Savior’s invitation to come unto him and find rest. She lived in obedience to the commandments of God and had faith in the Lord, JesusChrist. Then she developed the practice of doing everything within her power to solve problems and meet challenges, and then, when she felt that she could do nothing more, she would cast her burdens upon the Lord and place the outcome in his hands.

LDS President David O. McKay said, “The peace of Christ does not come by seeking the superficial things of life, neither does it come except as it springs from the individual’s heart.” He said further that this peace is “conditioned upon obedience to the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.No man is at peace with himself or his God who is untrue to his better self, who transgresses the law of what is right either in dealing with himself by indulging in passion, in appetite, yielding to temptations against his accusing conscience, or in dealing with his fellowmen, being untrue to their trust. Peace does not come to the transgressor of law; peace comes by obedience to law, and it is that message which Jesus would have us proclaim among men.” 

the familyEarth life is a period of probation to provide an opportunity for choices. Two mighty forces are pulling in opposite directions. On the one hand is the power of Christ and his righteousness. On the other hand is Satan and the spirits who follow him. President Marion G. Romney said: “Mankind … must determine to travel in company with the one or the other. The reward for following the one is the fruit of the Spirit—peace. The reward for following the other is the works of the flesh—the antithesis of peace.” Further, he said: “The price of peace is victory over Satan.”  We can know which one to follow because God has given everyone the Spirit of Christ to know good from evil and to protect themselves from sin. (See Moro. 7:15–18.) We sometimes refer to the Spirit of Christ as our conscience. If we follow its promptings, we can be free of sin and filled with peace. If we do not, but instead let our carnal appetites control us, we never will know true peace. We will be tossed “like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest. … there is no peace, saith … God, to the wicked.” (Isa. 57:20–21.) If we damage or violate our conscience by ignoring it, we can lose that gift because we no longer are sensitive to it. We will be beyond feeling, beyond the influence of that Spirit. (See 1 Ne. 17:45Eph. 4:19.)

Though we abhor war, peace nearly always has been more a the familydream than a reality. During most of the world’s history, strife, dissension, and conflict have flourished and displaced peace. The times when peace has reigned, it began in the hearts of righteous, obedient individuals and grew until it engulfed a society. We have at least two scriptural accounts of periods of absolute peace and a third that is yet to come.

the familyThe first of these periods of peace was among the people of Enoch, who lived before the great flood. They continued in righteousness, and “the Lord came and dwelt with” them. He “called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness.” They “built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion” that, in the “process of time, was taken up into heaven.” (Moses 7:16–21.)

The second period of peace followed the ministry of the resurrected Jesus among the Nephites. the familyThey abolished the works of evil and obtained the fruit of the Spirit. Quoting from the Book of Mormon: “The disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ. … And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost.” (4 Ne. 1:1.) Consequently, “there were no contentions and disputations among them” (4 Ne. 1:2) “because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness.” (4 Ne. 1:15–16.) “They were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.” (4 Ne. 1:17.) “And every man did deal justly one with another.” (4 Ne. 1:2.) “And surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” (4 Ne. 1:16.)

Peace prevailed among the Nephites for almost two centuries. Then some of them deserted the teachings of Jesus Christ and turned to selfish pride and wickedness. Within another two centuries, the Nephite nation that had enjoyed this long period of perfect peace had destroyed itself in savage civil war.

the familyA third period of perfect peace will come during the Millennium. “Satan shall be bound, that he shall have no place in the hearts of the children of men.” (D&C 45:55.) As they live the gospel of Jesus Christ, the righteousness of the people will banish Satan from their midst. We look forward to that day of universal peace and justice, when Christ will reign upon the earth.

These three instances show that peace, whether in a city, a nation, or other society, develops from peace that begins within the hearts of individuals as they live by the precepts of the gospel.

Peace is more than a lofty ideal. It is a practical principle that, with conscious effort, can become a normal part of our lives as we deal with matters both large and small. One habit that prevents inner peace is procrastination. It clutters our minds with unfinished business and makes us uneasy until we finish a task and get it out of the way.

Can anyone’s mind be at peace if he or she is unfaithful in even the least degree to marriage vows? How much mental anguish results from a little lying, cheating, or stealing even if they are never discovered? Do we have peace of mind if we knowingly violate traffic laws? Or do we watch nervously for the ever-present policeman? Do we have peace of mind if we are not honest with our employers and do not give fair value for the pay we receive? Are we at peace if we are less than honest regarding our tax returns?the family

Church members are obligated to seek inner peace not only for the blessing it is to them but so they can radiate its influence to others to establish peace. They are to “manifest brotherly love, first toward one another, then toward all mankind; to seek unity, harmony and peace … within the Church, and then, by precept and example, extend these virtues throughout the world.”

the familyIf sin has deprived us of peace within, we can repent and seek forgiveness of our sins. The Lord said that he “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.” (D&C 1:31–32.) Elder Spencer W. Kimball wrote: “The essence of the miracle of forgiveness is that it brings peace to the previously anxious, restless, frustrated, perhaps tormented soul. In a world of turmoil and contention this is indeed a priceless gift.” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969, p. 363.)

My brothers and sisters, we can be at peace if we “let virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly.” (D&C 121:45.) The power is in us as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. He and his Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, have provided the way for us to be at peace. We can enjoy that peace of God which passeth human understanding. (See Philip. 4:7.) We can enjoy it personally, within our families, in our communities, in our nations, and in our world if we will do the things that produce it. This peace leads to happiness.

Our Heavenly Father lives and he knows and loves each one of us. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind, and yes, the Prince of Peace.

Joseph B. Wirthlin

JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
For The Family 

‘Letting Go Of Poison’ – Astonishing Acts Of Forgiveness

By on Sep 12 in Blog tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on ‘Letting Go Of Poison’ – Astonishing Acts Of Forgiveness

the familySALT LAKE CITY — As Gary Ceran stood behind his smashed car, he could see the double body bag just a few feet away from him that contained his wife and son.

It was Christmas Eve 2006. Ceran’s car had just been plowed into by an intoxicated driver. His wife, a son and a daughter were killed in an instant. With flashing red and blue lights illuminating the night, Ceran looked at his deceased loved ones and the Christmas presents strewn across the road.

Gary Ceran, whose wife, son and daughter were killed by a DUI driver, talks Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011 about why he and other crime victims forgive afterward.

Gary Ceran, whose wife, son and daughter were killed by a DUI driver, talks Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011 about why he and other crime victims forgive afterward.
In addition to the tremendous loss of life, he thought about the medical bills that would soon flood his mailbox, how he didn’t have any insurance and wondered how he was even going to make it to the hospital to see his son who survived the crash.

“It was an utter sense of disparage and hopelessness,” he said.

But as he was being loaded into an ambulance after being placed on a gurney, Ceran did the only thing he said he could do in that situation — forgive the driver that had just turned his world upside down.

Ceran’s story of forgiveness made headlines during the months and years that followed. It’s a story that has also inspired others whom he has never met.

Just six weeks after Ceran’s tragic accident, Chris Williams was hit by an intoxicated teenage driver. In that crash, Williams’ wife, their unborn child, a son and only daughter were killed.

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Like Ceran, Williams offered the boy that hit his family forgiveness.

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There have been several high-profile crimes and accidents in Utah in recent years in which a startling act of forgiveness was offered by the victim or the victim’s family to the person who caused the traumatic event.

Most recently, an astonishing act of forgiveness was given during a capital murder case in Salt Lake County.

Paul David Vara was spared a sure death sentence when he pleaded guilty to murdering 45-year-old Kristine Marie Gabel in a Fairmont Park bathroom and raping another woman in Pioneer Park, leaving her with severe injuries.

The brutality of the crimes shocked even veteran police and court officials. The man had pulled internal organs from his victim’s body.

Third District Judge Mark Kouris told Vara that animals didn’t even treat each other the way he’d treated his victims.

Before Vara was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Christian Schutz, Gabel’s ex-husband, shocked many in the courtroom by telling Vara that despite the egregiousness of the crime and the nightmare he had put his family through, he forgave him.

“I believe it’s what separates us from men like him,” he said. “I am a man of faith. I believe it was the right thing to do.”

Schutz noted it wasn’t an easy decision to forgive.

“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” D&C 64: 10

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
For The Family

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All Men Everywhere Must Repent Or They Can In Nowise Inherit The Kingdom Of God

By on Aug 19 in Blog tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments on All Men Everywhere Must Repent Or They Can In Nowise Inherit The Kingdom Of God

NO UNCLEAN THING CAN DWELL THERE,
OR DWELL IN HIS PRESENCE.

the family“Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.” Moses 6: 57-59

Eternal Life is that destination our Father waits hopefully, anxious to greet his returning children.  Unfortunately, many will not arrive.

“. . . There cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God…” 1 Ne 15:34   And again “. . . no unclean thing can dwell with God . . .” 1 Ne 10:21   To the prophets the term unclean in this context means what it means to God. To man the word may be relative in meaning – one minute speck of dirt does not make a white shirt or dress unclean, for example.  But to God who is perfection, cleanliness means moral and personal cleanliness.  Less than that is, in one degree or another, uncleanliness and hence cannot dwell with God.

Were it not for the blessed gifts of repentance and forgiveness this would be a hopeless situation for man, since no one except the Master has ever lived sinless on the earth.  Naturally there are all degrees of sin.  At worst, the deep sinner is in the thrall of Satan.  As Jesus put it, his “whole body [is] full of darkness.” The Savior went on to expresses the impossibility of serving God, of being close to him under those circmstances.

“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye canot serve God and mammon.” Matt. 6: 24

The term lust is not necessarily limited in its connotation to sexual desire.  It can imply any fleshly or worldly appetite or urge carried to excess.  Satan will eagerly use other urges which suit his purpose, as well as sexual ones, in an effort to enslave men until, and even as Mormon put it:  “But now, behold, they are led about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her; and even as she is, so are they.” Morm. 5: 18

Scriptural List of Sins

Since the scriptural catalog is so complete, particularly in the writings of the early-day apostles, let us list the sins the scriptures describe.  For example, Paul’s prophecy to Timothy about the conditions of our own day has been fulfilled with depressing precision.

“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 affectiontrucebreakersfalse accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitorsheadyhighminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts. . .” 2 Tim. 3: 1-6

Paul warned the Romans of similar sins:

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. Backbiters, haters of God, despitefulproudboasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Rom. 1: 24-27,30-32

John the Revelator catalogues the transgressions which will merit the second death:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Rev. 21: 8

Sexual sin receives repeated condemnation in the scriptures.  To get our definitions clear, let us realize that heterosexual intercourse is the sin of fornication when committed by the unmarried and is adultery when indulged in by married people outside of their marriage covenants.  Both are grevious sins in God’s sight.  Wrote Paul:

“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” 1 Cor. 6: 15-16,18

In other epistles Paul makes additional emphasis and lists further sins.  ( See Rom. 1: 24-321 Cor. 3: 16-17 6: 9-1010: 8Eph. 5: 3-7Gal. 5: 19-21Col. 3: 57-81 Thes. 4: 3-5,)

As we read the scriptures quoted or referred to above, we observe that they list virtually all the modern transgressions, though sometimes under ancient names.  Let us review the lengthy list:

Murder, adultery, theft, cursing, unholiness in masters, disobedience in servants, unfaithfulness, improvidence, hatred of God, disobedience to husbands, lack of natural affection, high-mindedness, flattery, lustfulness, infidelity, indiscretion, backbiting, whispering, lack of truth, striking, deceitfulness, irreverence, boasting, arrogance, pride, double-tongued talk, profanity, slander, corruptness, thievery, embezzlement, despoiling, covenantbreaking, incontinence, filthiness, ignobleness, filthy communications, impurity, foolishness, slothfulness, impatience, lack of understanding, unmercifulness, idolatry, blasphemy, denial of the Holy Ghost, Sabbath breaking, envy, jealousy, malice, maligning, vengefulness, implacability, bitterness, clamor, spite, defiling, reviling, evil speaking, provoking, greediness for filthy lucre, disobedience to parents, anger, hate, covetousness, presumptuousness, abomination, insatiable appetite, instability, ignorance, self-will, speaking evil of dignitaries, becoming a stumbling block; and in modern language masturbation, petting, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and every sex perversion, every hidden and secret sin and all unholy and impure practices.

These are transgressions the Lord has condemned through his servants.  Let no one rationalize his sins on the excuse that a particular sin of his is not mentioned nor forbidden in scripture.

Purity Essential to Eternal Life.

Whoever else suffers, every sin is against God, for it tends to frustrate the program and purposes of the Almighty.  Likewise, every si is coimmitted against the sinner, for limits his progress an curtails his development.

In our Journey toward eternal life, purity must be our constant aim.  To walk and talk with God, to serve with God, to follow his example and become as a god, we must attain perfection.  In his presence there can be no gile, no wickedness, no transgression.  In numerous scriptures he has made it clear that all worldliness, evil and weakness must be droped before we can ascend unto “the hill of the Lord”  The Psalmist asked:

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” Ps. 24: 3-4

the familyOur Proophet Joseph Smith said, “If you wish to go where God is, you must be like God, or possess the principles which God possesses, for if we are not drawing towards God in principle, we are going from him and drawing towards the devil.  Yes, I am standing in the midst of all kinds of people.

Search your hearts, and see if you are like God.  I have searched mine, and feel to repent of all my sins.

We have theives among us, adulterers, liars, hypocrites.  If God should speak from heaven, he would command you not to steal, not to covet, nor deceive, but be faithful over a few things.  As far as we degenerate from God, we decend to the devil and lose knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot be saved, and while our hearts are filled with evil, and we are studying evil, there is no room in our hearts for good, or studying good . . .”

May we all repent from our sins and work hareder to come clean with the Lord.  He is our Savior.  He died for us to help pay for our sins.  We MUST accept Him as our redeemer and He will help us overcome sin.  Never give up!  Scriptures remind us:

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isa. 1: 18

Through repentance we may “be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immoral glory.” Moses 6: 59

Alan Osmond
Book: “Miracle of Forgiveness”  By: Spencer W. Kimball
For The Family

Remember,

I Remember No More

By on Aug 12 in Daily Inspiration tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on I Remember No More

God doesn’t care so much about where you have been as much as where you are going.


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Once you have sought sincere repentance and

forgiveness from the Lord, the

PAST IS GONE.

DO NOT LOOK BACK!

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” 

Heb. 8: 12
“The happiest people are those who discover that what they should be doing and what they are doing are the same thing.”