By Alan on May 05 in Blog tagged affiliation, beliefs, better, child of God, children, churches, conference, congregations, contend, cooperatively, disciples, faith, faiths, God, gospel, heart, humanitarian, imotoes. re;atopmsjo[s, interfaith, Jesus Christ, Leaders, learning, love, moral values, neighbors, One Heart, organizations, people, reliious, serve. faotjs. ptjers. cp, service, shelter, The Family, troubled times, views, volunteers, world | Comments Off on Becoming Better People
When we serve alongside those of other faiths,
we not only build our communities and
improve our relationships but we also
become better disciples ourselves.
Church leaders frequently participate with the honest in heart—regardless of religious affiliation—in service and in causes on moral issues. Church members around the world have responded commendably to the call to serve shoulder to shoulder with members of other organizations by growing community gardens, holding interfaith conferences on moral values, and doing community cleanups with other congregations.
“Respectful and sincere interfaith service not only builds our communities
but also enables us to collectively and individually grow in our love of God and His children.”
Quentin L. Cook
Bettering the World
“God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of his great and marvelous work. … It is too vast, too arduous, for any one people.” Great things can be accomplished when good people band together. Our neighborhood minister’s efforts led to the formation of a community interfaith committee that, along with our stake Relief Society, put on a women’s conference supplying hygiene kits and books to refugee agencies. These interfaith connections then enabled stake members to help a congregation feed a large refugee gathering and to step in when another church needed additional volunteers at a homeless shelter.child of God, children
Apostle Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931)
“We have a responsibility … to work cooperatively with other churches and organizations,”
and this outreach has blessed the world beyond humanitarian service. I cannot help but
believe this to be part of a divine orchestration of events in these troubled times.
President Thomas S. Monson
Bettering Our Relationships
As we serve with others, certain guidelines can help us make our interactions more meaningful and avoid giving offense. We take Jesus’s charge seriously to love our neighbor, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and visit the imprisoned (see Matthew 25:34–36) without expecting the conversion of the recipient or those who serve with us. Sincere and respectful interfaith engagement never requires any group, including ours, to disavow its beliefs. Rather, it encourages participants to “contend against no church” (D&C 18:20) and “clothe [themselves] with the bond of charity” (D&C 88:125).
Serving alongside others not only helps them to understand us, but it also motivates us to learn from them and become more aware that God is “no respecter of persons” (D&C 1:35). He assists good people in all faiths and cultures in their efforts to improve the lives of His children.
Our love can expand from a close circle of family to encompass not only our friends but ultimately our neighbors—and even enemies. There is an acknowledged “risk associated with learning something new about someone else. New insights always affect old perspectives, and thus some rethinking, rearranging, and restructuring of our worldviews is inevitable.” In befriending people of other faiths, you may find yourself analyzing your differences, trying to distinguish the cultural divides from the doctrinal ones, all the while trying to appreciate everything virtuous and lovely they have to offer. Indeed, the effort sometimes feels risky, but it is always worth itas you find yourself shedding more of your superficial cultural tendencies and coming closer to the essence of the gospel.
“I Am A Child Of God”
“When we look beyond people’s color, ethnic group, social circle,
church, synagogue, mosque, creed, and statement of belief,
and when we try our best to see them for who and what they are
—children of the same God—something good and worthwhile happens within us,
and we are thereby drawn into a closer union with that God who is the Father of us all.”
Jeffrey R. Holland
“And I will give them one heart,
and I will put a new spirit within you;
and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh,
and will give them an heart of flesh.”
“If you don’t try,
You don’t do.
And if you don’t do,
Then why are we here?”
By Alan on Aug 21 in Blog tagged actions, Alan Osmond, blessings, chicken out, child, children, choice, choose, creator, Father, fatherhood, Fathers, forgiveness, get married, glory, God, good example, Grandfather, Heavenly Father, high standards, home, hysband, it takes two, Jesus Christ, lead, light, man, man and a woman, marriage, married, men need to be men, moral values, mother, multiply and replenish, nail scarred hands, ordained of God, out of the world, principles, protect, provide, rather see a sermon, relationship with God, repent, responsibility, righteousness, sacred name, sin, solid foundation, spirit body, spirituality, The Family, the power to choose, The World, thoughts, top priority, truth, values, work | 1 Comment on Fathers Need To Provide, Protect, and Lead The Family!
Fathers Need To Provide, Protect, and Lead The Family!
So, you are a Father! Congratulations!
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?
I 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 a 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.
Father’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. Yet, 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.
Start 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. Take 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 it. 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).
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! This 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 rewards 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,
By Alan on Apr 30 in Blog tagged conduct, conscience, freedoms, Jesu Christ, moral values, morality, morlas, standard, standards of decency, The Family, theFamily, Virtue | Comments Off on Morality – For The Family
When one chooses virtue, a high standard of decency, and courteous and civil behavior as a way of life, one becomes a moral person. Morality is the key to a good, strong society and a sustained civilization. History bears the sad story of empires, dynasties, and kingdoms being destroyed through immorality and wickedness. Even though morality should be principle-based and held absolute by society, collective choices by society have brought changes in our moral values. The fundamental principles of goodness and morality are unchanging, but how such principles are accepted and applied by individuals and cultures can, unfortunately, evolve and degrade over time through the misguided decisions of individuals and society as a collective body.
A good example is the watershed movie, “Gone with the Wind” in the early 1940s. From Clark Gable’s “Frankly, Scarlet, I don’t give a d—m,” which sent the audience into a state of shock, to the anything-goes-standards of “R” rated movies in our day, our morality and code of ethics have deteriorated over the years. We as a society must change for the better: one person at a time. We must stand for and defend virtue. William Penn wrote: “Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.” Stephen L. Richards counseled: “There is no spiritual progress or excellence without moral purity.” We therefore need to realize that our children will suffer if we allow permissiveness and apathy regarding moral values, attitudes, and conduct to creep into our lives. Our standard is the teachings of Jesus Christ. Let us uphold it and teach it to our children with devotion and love.
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). The standard of the gospel of Jesus Christ is being chaste, decent, good, honest, and in all things seeking the righteousness of a Christ-like life. We cannot be carnally minded, for it is death. A moral and chaste person is in all things true to Christian standards.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). Morality is the virtue that represents our standards of cleanliness and purity. It represents all that is good and of God. It separates itself from the world. To be a moral person is really to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
“God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and his covenants and doctrines are immutable; and when the sun grows cold and the stars no longer shine, the law of chastity will still be basic in God’s world and in the Lord’s church. . . . It will always be the rule. . . . The world may countenance premarital sex experiences, but the Lord and his church condemn in no uncertain terms any and every sex relationship outside of marriage” (Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball,edited by Edward L. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982], 265).
The following ideas can help each of us to be a moral person and contribute to the building up of a moral society:
1. Morality begins within.
Morality begins with our thoughts, takes root in our character, flows outwardly through our deeds, and crystallizes in our patterns of life. How carefully, therefore, should we guard our very thoughts, for they are the crucible of our destiny.
Align your vision and conduct with enduring principles that do not change. There is much talk today of “relative values”—suggesting that there is no absolute compass of decency. But there are indeed principles of life that do not change. For example: If you want to be trusted, then you must be trustworthy. There is no getting around that. Another example: Service and love bring more internal harmony and satisfaction than selfish allegiance to momentary pleasures. Every life experience will confirm that over time. Thus you can find an absolute basis for leading a moral life.
Follow your conscience. Recognize that there is an internal moral standard of attitudes and behavior. Your conscience knows right from wrong. Don’t compromise. Be true to yourself.
2. Morality pays high dividends.
Living a virtuous and moral life has within it innate rewards: good personal health, a clear conscience, a good example to children, and lasting feelings of well-being and vitality.
Preserve your freedoms. Respect and honor the laws of the land, for they are designed to secure to all citizens their inalienable rights. Good citizenship is good morality. As a citizen, it is your privilege and duty to help maintain order and civility and to encourage and uphold honorable, honest, and decent individuals who seek, or are willing to serve in, positions of leadership.
Attract lasting friendships. Our language is a mirror to our inner values. Sarcasm, snide remarks about others, ethnic slurs, off-color stories: all these are clear symptoms of a value-system in need of reexamination and improvement. Such behavior repels all principled minds. On the other hand, honesty and virtue in discourse and social interaction attract lasting friendships and earn the respect of all principled minds.
Sow the seeds of harmony and peace. Moral and civil behavior foster harmony and unity. Immorality, selfishness, greed, and envy foster divisiveness, acrimony, anger, and distrust.
3. You can be a moral leader.
Go the second mile. Morality dictates helping others in distress. The manner can vary as much as the circumstance, but there are endless opportunities for service based on enduring moral values.
Respect every person: never take advantage of another. Morality is anchored in honoring the dignity of every soul, regardless of current circumstances. Morality sees potential more than conditions.
The leader in moral decency does not simply draw a line in the sand, but provides options and alternatives that are better and more worthy of practicing. “Let’s do this instead” is a powerful antidote to the plethora of debasing options being touted as “cool” in today’s relativistic society.
The leader always honors one’s freedom to choose. Coercion and preemptory heavy-handedness are in themselves immoral. Remember, with morality, everyone has God-given rights that no one else has the right to take away.
Cultivate a civil society. Courteous behavior is moral behavior. The leader is courteous and respectful.
The home is the principal school of morality. Morality is best taught in the home. How great is the responsibility placed on parents and older children to model behavior that teaches growing children correct choices based on true principles. If there ever was a front where morality needs to take a stand, it is with the family. Every father and every mother need to place the well-being of the family and the children uppermost.
“If Only I Had Known Five Minutes Before”
We will never forget that sweet young girl of sixteen who came to live with us one summer for the remaining months of her unwed pregnancy. My husband is an attorney and was handling the adoption of her baby. She hadn’t wanted to marry the boy who was the father of her unborn child. She had been beguiled and had partaken of the bitter fruit.
In September she gave birth to a beautiful little boy, and the day she was to leave the hospital, Dean and I had to go to Salt Lake City. We stopped at the hospital long enough to meet the couple who were adopting the baby. Under hospital rules, this young mother, sixteen years old, had to take her beautiful nine-pound boy from the arms of the nurse and hand him over to my husband, who then stepped outside the room and gave the baby to the adopting parents. It tore me apart to watch her and to see that young couple leave with her baby.
She said to me, “Sister Payne, he lied to me when he said nobody would get hurt, and that because we loved each other, anything we did was alright. He didn’t really love me. That is why I didn’t marry him, because he wasn’t worthy to be the father of my little boy. It’s all a great big lie, and I don’t want to live a lie!
“Oh, if only I had known five minutes before I was immoral how I would feel five minutes after I gave my baby away!”
For this girl not to have thought ahead about the consequences of her actions and not to have realized that lust is the mere image of love is indeed heartbreaking. It is so important to keep in tune, keep in touch, to receive the Spirit each and every day. We never know what is going to happen; and if we make the commitment in our private rooms, by the side of our beds, to our Father in heaven, of what we want to be in life—what we will do and what we won’t do—and then ask for his help in keeping our commitments, he will help us in public and private.
(“Beauty For Keeps,” p. 8; Leon R. Hartshorn, comp., Remarkable Stories from the Lives of Latter-day Saint Women, 2 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1973], 2: 204.)
The blessings of morality are long lasting. Immorality may give “moments of pleasure” that are fleeting—but enduring joy and happiness cannot be drawn from this well. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26). Integrity is required to maintain a state of morality—individually and collectively. There are universal moral laws that all should conform to. In society as a whole, one can be courageous in fighting for that which is morally right. When the majority have no concern for morality, all suffer. Standards are not upheld. Wickedness is the result—all because of the lack of society’s integrity in upholding high moral standards. “We whittle away our heritage unless we conform to the moral laws,” is how one anonymous source put it, and correctly so. By embracing and sustaining a moral lifestyle, you can make a difference: for yourself, your family, your neighborhood, your city and state, and even the nation.
This article has been adapted from What We Need to Know and Do, by Ed J. Pinegar and Richard J. Allen.