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Everything posted by Rhoades

  1. I've been interviewed dozens of times and in many places, and I've never heard of an interviewer doing this. That's weird. And in my mind, it's out of line. The handbook (section 25.1.1) says:
  2. @NeedleinA This is late, but my area (in the South) also had a significant number of members choosing to not renew recommends. Executive secretaries and ward clerks sent reminders and tried to schedule appointments and a surprising (to me) number of people still chose not to renew their recommends. As I browsed through this thread I didn't notice any mention of Elder Rasband's Oct 2020 general conference talk, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2020/10/16rasband?lang=eng. He said: He also reminded us of Howard W. Hunter teaching that we should hold and be worthy of a recommend even if we don't have access to a temple. He shared: Aside from reminding members and trying to schedule appointments, another approach we took was to remind them of the Lord's teachings using this talk by Elder Rasband. But I'm not sure it had much affect.
  3. On my second trip there I rented a car. You don't need (or want) one while visiting things in Jerusalem; just use taxis. I used the rental car for day trips to remote sites (e.g. Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, Galilee and surrounding sites, both Jordan River sites, the Dead Sea, Masada, Qumran caves, etc.). Renting a car allowed me to do and see a lot more in less days, and for less money. I felt confident doing things on my own and renting a car since I'd been there before. For someone that's never been there before and doesn't want the pricey cost of a fully arranged multi-day tour, I'd suggest arranging your own flight to Israel, take a sherut (a shared taxi minivan/small bus that's cheap) to Jerusalem, and schedule a few day trips with Israeli tour companies for the first part of your trip. They'll pick you up at your hotel and take you back at the end. You could take day trips to cover Bethlehem (cant' drive rental car there anyway), Dead Sea, Nazareth, Galilee, Jerusalem, etc. Then, leave a few extra days to see more of Jerusalem on your own that your guided day tour didn't cover. You can take a sherut back to the airport (you call ahead to arrange it and they pick you up at hotel). Things a guided Jerusalem day tour might not cover yet you should see include the Garden Tomb, Gethsemane, going up on the temple mount, City of David and Hezekiah's tunnel, Pool of Bethesda, and western wall excavations site. (Schedule the City of David tour through their website beforehand, no need for a third party tour group. This was a favorite. At the end of the tunnel you end up at the Pool of Siloam where Jesus sent the man born blind in John 9. There are other tours you can schedule, like western wall tunnels, but I liked City of David best.) If you're more adventurous, you could take some guided day tours on the front end of your trip, and then see Jerusalem some more on your own, and then rent a car for the last few days to see remote things you didn't use a tour group for.
  4. I have a friend who served as a Bishop and then as a counselor in our stake presidency who had been divorced. I know of a stake president (my brother's stake) who had been divorced.
  5. I've been to Israel twice, most recently earlier this year. Both times were amazing. I learned a lot. I've seen all the major things to see. The scripture stories seem a little different after being there. I think I'm also able to remember scripture history better, whereas what stuck with me before was mostly the doctrine. I gained a new appreciation for some of the heroes in scripture and a newfound witness that these were real events that actually took place. On my first visit while visiting the Garden Tomb, I decided to sit down and read each Gospel's account starting from when Christ was crucified to the end of the book. I was on my own so I had time. It was a spiritual experience. However, I credit my study of the scriptures, and not the place, with the spiritual experience. Likewise, while in Jaffa I read about Jonah and about Peter's experiences there, and this was also a spiritual experience. Remembering my wonderful experiences with reading scripture in Israel, when I learned I would be going again I prepared for my second visit by reading a lot of scripture. I studied where things took place in both the Old and New Testaments. I also read online about all the top places in Israel and their significance. I read all of the Gospels in their entirety in the month leading up to my trip. As I read I searched where events took place, looking them up online if needed. I also read the beginning of 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon while thinking about Jerusalem and the surrounding area. I made a list of the top 20 places I wanted to visit and I compiled scripture references for each place (e.g. Sermon on the mount, Jesus on Galilee, Ascension from Mount of Olives, Pool of Siloam, etc.) I planned my visit around these places, renting a car and mostly touring on my own so I could see more and go at my own pace. I got to go everywhere I wanted. I re-read the scriptures I compiled as I visited the places. (Sometimes I had to read before or after, e.g. the temple mount.) Although the places and people were amazing, and something I will forever cherish, the greatest thing I experienced was through studying the scriptures. Go if you have the means. But, a visit to Israel is not necessary for knowing Jesus or for having spiritual experiences. Furthermore, if you want to go somewhere for a spiritual experience the best place is in the temple. One of the most iconic places in Israel is the temple mount and the Western Wall. It's an interesting experience to be there when the Sabbath starts. It's been called the Wailing Wall, since Jews lament not having a temple. They visit the wall and pray as they await and hope. But, we don't have to wait for the coming of the Savior to visit the most holy and spiritual place, the House of the Lord. God has restored his priesthood authority and temples are available today. A visit to the temple for sacred ordinances and communion with God is worth any price.
  6. The "millions" I was talking about are different. A spiritual gathering of Israel and their conversion to Christ is happening now. Jews frequently know they are of Judah, but people of other tribes typically don't know their lineage. Lots of people throughout the world are actually descendants of various tribes of Israel (though they don't know it). For example, lots of people in the Americas (north and south) are descendants of Israel's son Joseph through Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh. In Genesis 29:22 Joseph was blessed, "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall". He was "fruitful" because he would have a large posterity. And those branches that were by the water and went over the wall include descendants that went across the ocean to the Americas. One couldn't figure that out from that verse alone, but the Book of Mormon helps make it more clear. The Book of Mormon teaches that it is a record of some of Joseph's descendants. Book of Mormon prophets also taught that their descendants would eventually reject the gospel of Jesus Christ. They knew people from gentile nations across the ocean (i.e. Europe) would come to this land (Americas) and bring the Bible to their posterity and reintroduce Christianity to them. Their record (Book of Mormon) after being buried for many years would come forth to show their posterity that they are actually of the house of Israel and help convert them to Christ. The title page of the Book of Mormon says it was "written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile" and one of its purposes is "to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever". Also worth mentioning is that the Judah and Joseph writings mentioned in Ezekial 37:16-19 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/ezek/37.16-19#p14) that would be separate and then joined together are the Bible and Book of Mormon.
  7. Larry, Sorry I haven't checked back in a while. It looks like others are providing answers. I did come across an interesting magazine article about the 70AD destruction and Matthew 24 which you might find interesting: https://www.lds.org/ensign/1989/06/be-ye-also-ready-the-amazing-christian-escape-from-the-a-d-70-destruction-of-jerusalem?lang=eng BTW - I did do research on Caiaphas's death and he would have been 87 at the start of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple if he was alive. I think I'd actually read that before but had forgotten. We aren't bothered by any scriptures with phrases like "this generation" or "last days" or whatever because there are explanations for different interpretations. Even in mainstream Christianity you can find reasonable explanations (which I'm guessing you've read) to counter Preterism. Earlier you were asking about how the world would pass away, because a translation of "end of age" could be applied to Matthew 24. Yes, there was an "end of age" to the Jews in AD 70. We can learn about it and marvel that Jesus warned them. But, that doesn't preclude there being a Second Coming in the future. I shared 2 Peter 3:10. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/2-pet/3.10-13?lang=eng#p9 which I think speaks to a different end that is yet to happen. The earth will be burned along with the wicked, and a changed earth (so, in a sense "new") will be for the righteous. This didn't happen at 70 AD. Another scripture that supports this is Isaiah 51: 6 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/isa/51.6?lang=eng#p5 That chapter prophesies of still other things that are yet to happen. Although there was destruction in 70AD, the earth wasn't totally burned and changed along with the destruction of all the wicked. See also Psalm 102:25-26 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/ps/102.25-26?lang=eng#p24 And, see in that same chapter vs 15-16 which will happen in the future. Looking at more than Matthew 24 I think there's a good amount of evidence of a future Second Coming and a different kind of end. There just seem to be so many Biblical prophecies related to the Second Coming that were not complete by 70AD, such as the great apostasy and restoration, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon which would start the restoration, the gospel being preached in all the world, the millennial reign of Jesus Christ in which there will be established a political (in addition to religious) Kingdom of God, the binding of Satan during the millennium, the millennial transformation of the Earth in which there will be great physical changes and the nature of animals changed, the Dead Sea being changed, two prophets working miracles in Jerusalem for 3.5 years before being killed then raised from the dead 3.5 days later, the gathering of Israel and restoring them to a knowledge of Christ, the deliverance of the Jews and Jesus showing them the nail prints in his hands, the dividing of sheep and goats via resurrection and judgement and the destruction of the wicked by fire, the return of Elijah and the welding between fathers and children, and so on. However, the Biblical prophecies are not the complete basis for my understanding. Additional scripture (Book of Mormon, D&C, and words of modern prophets) further support that there is a Second Coming of Christ yet in the future. @Carborendum 's reply reminded me of Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon (because it seems confusing at first) which gives an allegory about the history, scattering, and gathering of Israel. It wasn't all done by 70AD. The book of 4 Nephi covers the time period that includes 70AD and it makes no mention of the Second Coming happening. And, there are later prophesies written in the Book of Mormon between 350AD and 400AD about the gathering of Israel and the restoring them to a knowledge of Christ in the future (Such as Mormon chapters 3 & 5). The coming forth of the Book of Mormon and conversion of millions of people in fulfillment of these prophecies, along with like prophecies in the Bible, support the notion of a great restoration of the house of Israel preceding the Second Coming. The D&C states even more directly that the second coming is in the future. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/29.11?lang=eng#p10 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/34.6?lang=eng#p5 The other question worth asking is why do we trust Book of Mormon, D&C, or modern prophets' words in addition to the Bible about "other sheep" or Matthew 24 or other topics? The reason is a witness by the Spirit that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Since God has told me the Book of Mormon is true, I rely on these resources. My belief and confidence in the Bible is also strengthened from knowing the Book of Mormon is true. Note however that I do acknowledge that my understanding of the word of God through them is not totally complete and perfect. But, that's on me.
  8. Do you have a question, or a point to make with these? I don't understand the reason for this post.
  9. - It also teaches why mortality and its problems are necessary and ultimately good for us. - It also teaches about work. I heard the story dozens of times before it became significant to me that there was work done by Adam and Eve in the garden BEFORE the fall. - We're also taught the importance of marriage and staying by your partner's side when tough times hit. This is very important, yet I didn't consider the Garden and Fall story a marriage sermon for quite a long time. I do now, every time I hear it. Being able to add additional bullet points with new truths isn't the only wonderful thing about studying the story repetitively. My actual level of understanding of fundamental truths has deepened significantly. Gaining a correct and deep understanding of doctrine is very powerful.
  10. There was more than one question asked and the response covers more than one context. The destruction of the temple, and second coming. " A few days later Jesus (at His trial) said the High Priest & the Sanhedrin, "shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matt. 26:64) Josephus, Tacitus, Eusebius and the Talmud all record the FACT that God's presence was perceived at that awesome destruction. They even record that angelic armies were seen in the clouds." I wouldn't be surprised if God's presence and an angelic presence was manifested at that destruction. However, there is still yet to come the big "Second Coming" event. Just because something fulfills prophesy and foreshadows something else to come, doesn't mean that the something else won't come. More than one fulfillment of prophesy is common. "Matthew 26:64 Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." NKJV How did these men witness that event" Good question. They might have witnessed the event that happened at 70 AD (I'm not sure, and you've given me something new to study later. I'm curious if there's any information on whether this high priest was still around at 70 AD which would make him old but it's possible). However, whether or not they were still alive in 70 AD, they can still witness the other big event called the second coming. Death is not the end of existence. Consider Job who said "25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:25-26) If Job, who lived long before Jesus's time can be resurrected and see Jesus stand at the latter day upon the earth, then it's possible for New Testament people to see it too. Now, concerning Matthew 16:28 "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." This is talking about John. Jesus told him he wouldn't face death until after the second coming. In John 21:22-23 speaking to Peter about John, Jesus says, "22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" John stayed around long enough to see Jesus resurrected, and to see the destruction near 70 AD, and he's still around today, and he'll be around at the Second Coming. The other Apostles interpreted whatever Jesus said as though John wouldn't die because a person can't normally live so long. It seems you have interpreted it to mean it would happen sooner rather than later during a normal person's life span. However, through modern revelation we've learned John is a "translated being" and his body has undergone a change to allow it to not die yet. (More info on translated beings at https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/translated-beings?lang=eng) Some other points about the Second Coming are: 1) It will be a big event that everyone will see. It won't be just the Jews. Revelation 1:1 "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." In Matthew 24:30 it says "then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." The event in 70 AD was big, but it isn't as big as this will be. Everyone will see it. When he comes it will be a worldwide appearance like the sun coming from east to west. Matthew 24: 27 "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." 2) The earth will undergo a drastic change. Fire is often mentioned and elements melting (maybe something like nuclear fission?). I mentioned 2 Peter 3:10 earlier. 3) Christ will judge, and the wicked will be separated from the righteous at the second coming. See Matthew 25:31-31 "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats". There's also scripture about the wicked being burned and destroyed, see Malachi 4:1, and Malachi 3:1-5. And, the ones mentioned in my earlier post in Mark 13 and Matthew 13. This isn't a limited judgment or limited destruction like in 70AD. This is bigger. A part of this judgment and separation is that the righteous who have already died will be resurrected (if they haven't already been resurrected like those in Matthew 27:52-53), and the wicked will remain dead. Revelation 20:4-5 "4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." 4) The Second Coming will usher in the thousand year reign of Christ. The thousand years was mentioned in Revelation 20. In D&C 29:11 it says, "For I will reveal myself from heaven with power and great glory, with all the hosts thereof, and dwell in righteousness with men on earth a thousand years, and the wicked shall not stand." 5) A great apostacy would precede the Second Coming (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 ) "1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" He's saying don't be troubled by when Christ will come, because there's going to be a falling away, or apostacy, first. This has happened. 6) There will be a Restoration before the Second Coming. Acts 3:20-21 "20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Jesus's appearance to Joseph Smith fulfilled this prophesy about Jesus coming back at the times of restitution (or restoration). This appearance started the restoration, but it wasn't the big Second Coming event. There certainly was no restitution of all things starting at 70AD. 7) Elijah would come before the Second Coming. Malachi 4:5-6 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." This has already happened. See D&C 110 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/110.13-16) i could probably come up with more, but 7 seems like a good number to end on.
  11. Perhaps she has a less cautious personality and you're more careful. Even if she stopped tanning you'll be tempted to be annoyed at other decisions and patterns over the years. People are different and it takes maturity and some growth to learn to get along with and love your spouse. Ask yourself these questions. Why is she tanning? Why does tanning bother you? Is it that she's doing something dangerous and reckless (and you love her so this bothers you)? Or is it because you don't want to be stuck with a cancerous wife in X years? Are you personally ready for a commitment to love and support her through severe trials whatever they may be? There's some good advice in a verse that stood out to me recently. 1 Nephi 15:11 says, "Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you." What caught my attention recently is the phrase "with diligence in keeping my commandments". I think that very much applies to someone approaching marriage. The more you're living right, the more you'll A) be prepared for marriage and B) be able to receive divine guidance to navigate your situation.
  12. The world without end phrase in Ephesians 3:20 KJV is just a fancy phrase meaning forever. Paul says give glory forever. Will the world end? Depending on what is meant by the world, yes. In Mark 13:31 Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." 2 Peter 3:10 talks about this also, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." Later in Mark 13, in vs 49-50 Jesus says "49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." See also Matthew 13:39-43. In a sense, the world will end because the mortal world that we now live in will be drastically changed to something different. When Christ comes and reigns during the millennium the world will be a paradise. There's a list of 13 basic doctrinal fundamentals referred to as "The Articles of Faith" (See https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/a-of-f/1?lang=eng). Number 10 mentions the earth being "renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory". (Note the word "renewed". The Earth before the Fall was different than it is now.) I'm not sure what you're asking for here.
  13. Welcome, Larry. I haven't been to this site in quite some time, but I wanted to reply to you. Absolutely, it's a good thing. Stick with it and you'll find answers. Some answers come early on and some over time. And it's a process. Learning will undoubtedly lead to more questions, and if you pursue it those questions will lead to more learning, which will lead to questions, etc. Yep! After condemning the wickedness in Jerusalem in chapter 23 and describing some of what awaits them, in 24 Jesus tells of the destruction of the temple. And, then his disciples ask those questions in verse 3 ,"Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the END OF THE AGE?" The disciples are asking multiple questions about things that will happen in multiple time periods. They probably figured the second coming and the destruction of Jerusalem and temple would be relatively closer in time. Jesus's reply includes some events that would happen anciently, some to happen later, and some were of dual nature (kind of like parts of Isaiah) that have fulfillment both anciently and in the last days.
  14. Have you thought about traveling to another temple where you don't know the workers? Being in UT probably gives you that luxury. I'm reminded of a story my seminary teacher told me years and years ago. This seminary teacher became my stake president about 10 years after telling this story. He was in a meeting where a new priesthood leader was being sustained and he knew the guy had been involved in bad stuff. (He didn't share details with us.) He wasn't sure what to do, but he ended up raising his hand to oppose the sustaining. After the meeting was over, the leaders talked to him about it. I can't remember what all he taught us via this story, but there are times to speak up. Having an "accuser" is sometimes part of what helps sinners repent and helps to keep the integrity of the Church (see D&C 102). My teacher wasn't an evil guy for providing information about what he knew. He was one of the nicest guys I've ever known. I would consider counseling with your stake president about the matter.
  15. I don't know if your questions stem from hardships you have experienced, or if it just seems that way to me. My answers are somewhat skewed toward that, but either way hopefully they give some of the light you are seeking. He doesn't "control" us in the sense of determining our behavior and choices. We have agency. https://www.lds.org/topics/agency?lang=eng&old=true says "Agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act for ourselves. Agency is essential in the plan of salvation. Without agency, we would not be able to learn or progress or follow the Savior. With it, we are “free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil” ( 2 Nephi 2:27)." A common question that you might have is, "is God doing all of the things that happen to me?" As Jane_Doe explained, we have agency, and so do others. Choices bring consequences. We can make choices that cause us misery and others can also cause us grief (temporarily anyway). Furthermore, lots of what happens to us is a consequence of the Fall. If I get cancer, if my house gets destroyed by a tornado, if my children get attacked by wolves, I wouldn't say God is doing that to me. He does allow it to happen, but these are all consequences of the Fall. God didn't create the world this way. It was Adam and Eve that made the choice to bring about the Fall. So, the next question is "since God is all powerful, why does He allow these difficult things to happen?" Even though these seem like horrible things and it's miserable to go through them, the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that a world with opposition and trials was necessary to allow us to grow. There must be bad in order for there to be good. Without misery there is no joy. (See 2 Nephi) The Apostle Paul taught "we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22) Our trials can help us to be humble and help us to turn to God. If we turn to God, he can change our hearts and help us to become better people. We can find happiness that we would not have had without Him. It's worth noting that Jesus Christ suffered all of the pains and afflictions that we go through and it was miserable for Him too.(Alma 7:11). He understands. There's a diagram in our primary room that teaches that good choices lead to freedom and happiness, and bad choices lead to misery and captivity. In the premortal world you made a choice for the Plan of Salvation (a.k.a. the Plan of Happiness). You received freedom and happiness because of that choice. (And, you'll receive more eventually since you'll be resurrected and receive some amount of glory.) Living in this world and accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior is THE ONLY PATH to freedom and happiness. There is no other way. In the premortal world, you had to either choose the plan of salvation (and its freedom and happiness) or the opposite (which would result in captivity and misery). The scriptures teach that those who "kept not their first estate" didn't stay as spirits living forever with their Heavenly Father. Living forever as spirits with Heavenly Father is NOT the Plan of Happiness. The spirits who didn't want a body and the Plan of Happiness were "cast out" (Revelation 12:9) and have become miserable.
  16. Danielsan, Nice name Since you already recognize at least part of the problem is within you and since you're asking for practical advice, you're on the right track!! God is aware of your situation. Just last conference President Uchtdorf said: "Considering all of this, how could it ever be possible that we of all people would not be excited about attending our Church worship services? ... Too often we let ourselves be distracted by the imperfections of our fellow members..." Like others have said, a presidency that is hard to sustain usually needs more sustaining. Here are some things you can do: First thing is to resolve that you will go to quorum meeting. You'll be blessed for being there. ("do you strive to attend your ... priesthood meetings?") Next, pray that you can make the quorum meeting better for everyone and then look for ways to try. There may be other quorum members who are also struggling with these guys or with other things. Add humor, get to know some of your brothers better, help a father caring for a young child, contribute to lessons, volunteer to teach, etc. Also pray for charity toward your presidency. They might be feeling pretty inadequate knowing they aren't as good as so-and-so. From personal experience, I know it can be dreadful being up in front of a class as a teacher when things are dry and boring. If there's anything you can offer to help, please help! Finally -- as a last resort if you're sitting in class and it's extremely boring and the teacher isn't allowing class participation, just start studying the lesson on your own. This has worked for me before. I was blessed for being where I was supposed to be, and I received spiritual nourishment and didn't feel like I wasted the hour. However, for the sake of your fellow quorum members hopefully your class allows participation and you can find even small ways to help. I wish you the best.
  17. It would be best to read the whole thing, but I'll paste some quotes from a talk by Elder Oaks that address this (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/healing-the-sick?lang=eng). Latter-day Saints believe in applying the best available scientific knowledge and techniques. We use nutrition, exercise, and other practices to preserve health, and we enlist the help of healing practitioners, such as physicians and surgeons, to restore health. The use of medical science is not at odds with our prayers of faith and our reliance on priesthood blessings. When a person requested a priesthood blessing, Brigham Young would ask, “Have you used any remedies?” To those who said no because “we wish the Elders to lay hands upon us, and we have faith that we shall be healed,” President Young replied: “That is very inconsistent according to my faith. If we are sick, and ask the Lord to heal us, and to do all for us that is necessary to be done, according to my understanding of the Gospel of salvation, I might as well ask the Lord to cause my wheat and corn to grow, without my plowing the ground and casting in the seed. It appears consistent to me to apply every remedy that comes within the range of my knowledge, and [then] to ask my Father in Heaven … to sanctify that application to the healing of my body.” In a notable talk on administering to the sick, President Spencer W. Kimball said: “The need of faith is often underestimated. The ill one and the family often seem to depend wholly on the power of the priesthood and the gift of healing that they hope the administering brethren may have, whereas the greater responsibility is with him who is blessed. … The major element is the faith of the individual when that person is conscious and accountable. ‘Thy faith hath made thee whole’ [Matthew 9:22] was repeated so often by the Master that it almost became a chorus.” Young men and older men, please take special note of what I will say now. As we exercise the undoubted power of the priesthood of God and as we treasure His promise that He will hear and answer the prayer of faith, we must always remember that faith and the healing power of the priesthood cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him whose priesthood it is. This principle is taught in the revelation directing that the elders of the Church shall lay their hands upon the sick. The Lord’s promise is that “he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed” (D&C 42:48; emphasis added). Similarly, in another modern revelation the Lord declares that when one “asketh according to the will of God … it is done even as he asketh” (D&C 46:30). From all of this we learn that even the servants of the Lord, exercising His divine power in a circumstance where there is sufficient faith to be healed, cannot give a priesthood blessing that will cause a person to be healed if that healing is not the will of the Lord. As children of God, knowing of His great love and His ultimate knowledge of what is best for our eternal welfare, we trust in Him. The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and faith means trust.
  18. Here's an old Q&A from the New Era 1978 asking why Jesus wasn't baptized at age 8: https://www.lds.org/new-era/1978/01/qa-questions-and-answers?lang=eng The author, J. Richard Clarke, says he needed to be baptized by John who was in the wilderness in his earlier years. He provides some other reasons and things to consider. He concludes with: "In summary, then, my view is that Jesus was not baptized in his childhood because he had no need, as we do, for remission of sin, for he is the author of our salvation and provider of the means by which we may have our sins remitted. He began his official rabbinical ministry at age 30, as was the custom, by being baptized to “fulfil all righteousness.” (Matt. 3:15.) He came to John in recognition of John’s role as an Elias who was the only one authorized to perform the baptism and witness before men that Jesus had “come not to destroy, but to fulfil [the law] in every way. (Matt. 5:17.)"
  19. As recently as 10 years ago Bishops used to be sent conference reports in the form of a paperback booklet. My Bishop thought it had a record of what was actually said in conference, so it could vary from what was in the Ensign. I never really took the opportunity to look through one and compare it to the talks in the Ensign though. I don't know if they are still produced. I see there are some old ones here: https://archive.org/details/conferencereport
  20. To help children pay attention we set out 5 to 10 different snacks (some healthy, some not) each in their own bowl. Each bowl is labeled with a gospel related word or phrase (e.g. repent). Each time you hear the word, you get to reach in that bowl and have one. Words that are very common (e.g. Jesus) get a small healthier snack, like cheerios. We typically only do this for one session so it doesn't lose its appeal. It's become a fun tradition.
  21. I agree with others who have said don't use object lessons for the law of chastity. Teach it plainly. ("I glory in plainness" 2 Nephi 33:6) I use object lessons for some topics, but only to reinforce what is also taught plainly and I frequently remind my students that no analogy is perfect. I never use them for the law of chastity. I wouldn't say the lessons "keep returning because object lessons work". Since it's a topic that Satan really wants to confuse them on, object lessons invite more confusion than it's worth. You don't need an object lesson to get their attention for this topic. It won't help them better understand the principle. And in a deacons quorum you don't need a parable to conceal parts from some while teaching others (Luke 8:10). You can teach it plainly. Make sure the deacons are familiar with everything taught in the sexual purity section of "For the Strength of Youth". It's great. Read it together. I've also taught deacons (and younger children in my own home) using this video by the church: https://www.lds.org/youth/video/what-should-i-do-when-i-see-pornography?lang=eng
  22. Although this may seem minor, I think it's important enough to mention. Multiplying and not eating a certain fruit weren't the only commandments. They were commanded to remain together (See Moses 4:18). We can infer from this especially with Moses 3:24 and Gen 2:24 that they were commanded to be as one just like any married couple. The commandment to be one is far more than just multiplying. Also, they were given stewardship over the garden and were to take care of it. Moses 3:15 says "to dress it, and to keep it" (although I'm not sure what taking care of a garden is like before the fall).
  23. The scriptures do suggest that Eve knew about the commandment from God and thought it applied to her as well. Genesis 3:2-3 says "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." Moses 4:8-9 says a similar thing. Another source to learn about the creation and fall is the temple endowment. After studying the fall in Genesis and Moses due to this thread, the next time I went to the temple (last week) I noticed some slight differences in ordering compared to the scriptures. Maybe it was done that way just for convenience in telling the story, but I believe there's further evidence that the commandment also applied to Eve. Also, the variations between Moses and the temple suggest to me that the ordering isn't extremely important for us to be able to learn what's most important. Other verses I happened upon last week include: Moses 6:53 which says "And the Lord said unto Adam: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden." Adam needed to be "forgiven" . However, given what Moses 6:54 says it may be different than your typical evil sin needing forgiveness. Little children being redeemed as taught in Moroni 8:8 comes to mind. Moses 6:48 through the rest of the chapter has some good teachings about the fall. Mosiah 16:3 which says "... that old serpent that did beguile our first parents, which was the cause of their fall; which was the cause of all mankind becoming carnal, sensual, devilish, knowing evil from good, subjecting themselves to the devil." One thing that stood out to me was "beguile our first parents." One could use this to reason that Adam was also beguiled. But you could also interpret it as they collectively as a couple were beguiled due to Eve and Adam followed Eve for other reasons. This verse also teaches about "knowing evil from good". I've noticed scriptures about knowing good and evil a lot this past week. Alma 12 starting at verse 21 through the rest of the chapter, and even the first part of Alma 13 provide more light on the subject. This and other scriptures make me really appreciate that there is great commentary on the fall in the Book of Mormon. EDIT ==================== I'm now in Alma 42 and 1-11 has more great material about the fall. It's so relevant to some of the posts in this thread I had to add it.
  24. @Traveler. Shortly after I posted my last comment I thought of another scripture about knowing good and evil. Moroni 7:12-17 teaches that the light of Christ is given to every man that they may know good and evil. 12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually. 13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God. 14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil. 15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night. 16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. 17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.
  25. @Traveler , Alma 32 teaches you can have knowledge in this life even when your knowledge isn't perfect (e.g. Alma 32:33-36). There's also: “If a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:19) Also, "“By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5). Don't you believe we can have some knowledge, even if not a full knowledge? Do you believe we can experience any of the consequences of evil besides death (e.g. sorrow, guilt, remorse, pain) like Alma in Alma 36:12-13? What about experiencing some level of redemption in this life (e.g. heart changing, feelings love, humility, patience, desire to do good, etc.)? What do you think of Alma 36:20,25-26 which says, "And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! ... behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God"? Alma 5:26 also teaches that we can know somewhat of redemption, "if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" I sincerely hope that you have experienced and felt the redemptive power of Christ in your life. What do these scriptures mean with your Eden theory? "for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents. (2 Nephi 2:21) How are all men lost due to Adam and Eve? "those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam" (Mosiah 3:11) and "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression" (Romans 5:14) How are some that didn't do what Adam did fallen? "Now, we see that the man had become as God, knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life..." (Alma 42:3) Is this talking about after Adam dies and is redeemed? In your theory, isn't he already living forever at this point? What's the other fruit and what's the point in guarding it after Adam knows good and evil? It seems you feel as though we all brought about mortality (or none of us did), rather than mortality coming due to Adam & Eve. What of the several places in Romans 5 as well as 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 making a big deal about death coming about by one man (Adam) and death being conquered by one man (Jesus)? What does Eden represent? Was there a physical place, Eden, that God created on earth where Adam and Eve once lived? Did God create the world in a fallen mortal state, or in another state and something else caused its fall? If something else, what?