Scripture Study Videos: Light Refreshments

Now that I’ve tasted Religious teaching again, I just can’t stay away. There is very little in the world that fills my soul in the same way. An idea started to brew … and we’ll see what comes of it.

For years, I’ve been approached by many many friends who have said, “I miss seminary!” “I wish you were my teacher.” “Why don’t we study together?” It’s been something that I’ve thought about for years – how do women study the scriptures together with such busy lives? There are some wonderful continuing education classes (our stake has one) and of course classes at a local Institute of Religion, many of them have an adult education class. However, there are many of us (with young children) who are finding that precious moments alone are like liquid gold – forget adding in spouse, older children, home management, work, calling, etc. into the mix. I hope that these videos will help those of you who have only 10 or 15 minutes on the run.

Here’s an introductory video:

A note about the videos –

  1. They won’t be very meaningful if a person watches without personal study.
  2. You’ll need a notebook or journal, scriptures, marking pen/pencils, etc. so that you can work with the video to learn.
  3. Ideally, start with a prayer and ask the Lord  some questions that you need answers and inspiration for. Ask for the Holy Ghost to teach and tutor you. I’m not saying that these videos will answer all of your questions, but I do know that they have the ability to be a jumping off point – a place to start so that the Spirit can lead you to the places that you need to go to.
  4. There will be mistakes, this is a learning curve for me. I appreciate thoughtful comments, ideas, and suggestions, but at the end of the day, there are areas that I am weak in and painfully aware of. Please be kind with me and with others.
  5. It would mean a lot if you would share, subscribe, comment, etc. – whatever you have the ability to do. That way, I will know whether or not these are helpful and worth the work.

Thank you so much for reading and enjoying this blog over the years, I hope that this endeavor will only enhance your ability to come closer to the Lord. I love Him dearly, I know He lives, and am grateful for His guidance in my life. I appreciate that you, too, have a deep love for and loyalty to Him.  I’m excited to grow together as we learn more about Him and His will for us.

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Edits and Post Removal

Taking the Post Down

I think that I need to explain what happened with the post below (See Elections and Agency). It is not my intention to deceive nor is it to shy away from how I honestly see the situation. I teach English at a local Community College. One of the things that I work on is to provide a safe environment for my students, so that they will feel that they can hold and express any opinion without fear of retaliation. I am concerned that if I put up a post about politics on a religious blog, that I may alienate some of my readers who perhaps don’t agree with me politically. That is why I took the post down.

Putting the Post Up Again

I put the post up again, because I have many friends that do not share my same beliefs or even political views. We have had wonderful conversations in which we have discussed our similarities and disagreements in a very open and non-contentious way. I suppose that I have to assume that first, you as a reader of this blog would not be a reader if you were not comfortable talking about religion. Secondly, I assume that if you are comfortable talking or reading about religion, that you would be comfortable enough to listen to opposing views about politics.

Editing the Post

The reason that I edited the post was to make sure that the topic was based on the theme which was Agency and Elections rather than Prophecies of the Last Day. I am very willing to talk about those, I just want to have it in the correct forum and I want to stay on topic. My posts are verbose enough anyway, so cutting them down in length may not be such a bad idea.

Why I wrote the post to begin with

Perhaps, finally, I should mention why I wrote the post in the first place. My husband has been unemployed for two months. He is our main provider and we are safe and surviving, but it is difficult. We’ve faced difficult times before though, so I am sure that things will be fine. The reason I was so hopeful for this election was because I sincerely hoped that after a Romney-win, businesses would feel more secure in creating new jobs and Bryan (and quite frankly, millions of others in this country) would have an easier time finding work. This in reference to those millions who are currently unemployed or underemployed, before the election.

However, despite the knowledge that the economy was the biggest issue of the election and that there are already many who are suffering, half of this wonderful country decided instead to vote for issues that were not economic. I heard so many women and media outlets discussing worries about social issues rather than economic ones, and sadly those issues will pale in comparison to the misery that is in store for the millions who are currently being laid off right before the holidays and the millions who now have to do the work for those who have been let-go in addition to the workload that they already carry. But don’t worry ladies, your birth-control and abortions are safe from those crazy Mormons, and now that President Obama will likely appoint new Supreme Court Members, those “rights” will be there – that is until you understand that there is much, much more to this Universe than your sexual reproductive rights.

So, please take a moment to think about the point of view of those religious believers who understand that choices bring consequences. I hope that my attempt to to eloquently express these ideas will help others to understand the years that lie ahead.

These are the reasons why I wrote, edited, removed and re-posted the post.

Thank you for your understanding.

On another note:

I had a friend mention the idea that she would like me to teach (or host) an online discussion about the Pearl of Great Price. I think that this website would be a great forum for that, so if you are interested in joining, please let me know in the comments.

Virtue + Charity = Power – Trying to Be like Jesus in Deed and in Thought

I just got a new calling as a team teacher for the missionary prep class in our stake.  I taught my first lesson yesterday, and then saw this message today.   It’s so inspiring.  I am impressed today about the importance that virtue plays in doing the Lord’s work.

When the Savior was touched by the woman who was plagued with an “issue of blood”, the Lord knew that someone had touched Him because, as the scripture states,  he immediately [knew] in himself that virtue had gone out of him, Mark 5:25-34.  Virtue, or the power that flows freely from virtue was part of the Savior, because He was the perfect being, the Lamb without blemish, one without sin (see also Doctrine and Covenants 121:45-46 – note that virtue and love are so vital to this scripture, and I am speaking about Christlike love, not lust, here.).

If we want to be effective leaders, teachers, mentors, spouses, parents, friends, etc. then it behooves us to follow the Master’s example on this point.  To quote from the talk that the video was taken from (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, We are all Enlisted, Gen. Conf. October 2011) –

Well, the Lord has drawn lines of worthiness for those called to labor with Him in this work. No missionary can be unrepentant of sexual transgression or profane language or pornographic indulgence and then expect to challenge others to repent of those very things! You can’t do that. The Spirit will not be with you, and the words will choke in your throat as you speak them. You cannot travel down what Lehi called “forbidden paths”5 and expect to guide others to the “strait and narrow”6 one—it can’t be done.

I also have a calling as the Primary Chorister.  This month, our song is I’m trying to be like Jesus.  I scoured the internet for ideas and found some great ones on Sugardoodle.  I quoted the scripture, Alma 5:14 –  Have ye received his image in your countenance.  We discussed what that meant, and I  took a mirror and a picture of the Savior and asked the children how their image was like the Savior’s (head, hair, eyes, etc.) and then we talked about the fact that as we spend time with people, we begin to behave and act, and sometimes look, like the people that we spend time with (I joked here about pegging my pants in High School – if you are reading this and went to school in the 90’s you’ll know what I’m talking about :). )

We began to discuss the scripture, 2 Nephi 9:9, which states that if we had not had a Savior, that we would have become like Satan, And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; and then we talked about the song , line by line –

I’m trying to be like Jesus,
I’m following in His ways.
I’m trying to love as He did
In all that I do and say.
At times I am tempted
To make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen
As the still small voice whispers:

CHORUS  – Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.

I’m trying to love my neighbor.
I’m learning to serve my friends.
I watch for that day of gladness
When Jesus will come again.

I try to remember the lessons he taught,
And the holy spirit enters into my thoughts, saying:

CHORUS

Note that the whole song is about kindness, and gentleness, and being loving, and listening to the Holy Spirit.  I talked to the kids about a friend of mine, who, one day when his child had made a mistake, got angry and yelled, “WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?”  Well, for one thing, He probably wouldn’t have yelled.  He probably would have  taken the child aside to sit down and discuss the problem, and then, would have shown forth love and expressed faith that the child would make a better choice in the future.

Finally, we talked about Moroni 7:47-48, which talks about charity, the pure love of Christ, and that, if we ask, and are filled with this love, when he shall appear we shall be like him – what an amazing thought!  That by spending time with the Savior (through scripture study, worship, and following the Spirit), and by acting as He would act – acts of love and virtue,  we will become like Him.   If we become like Him, then we will have power to do His works (see John 15: 1-7 and John 14:12).  I can’t imagine that we would sit back and expect the Savior to “tow the line” and live virtuously, and then, conversely not expect  Him to have requirements for us to follow.  We use and appreciate the Grace that He provided through His infinite atonement, and then to not try to be virtuous and loving  in our daily walk – it just doesn’t make sense.

We just finished watching the London 2012 Olympics – how inspiring to watch those men and women who had worked for four years to become something great.  How wonderful is our Coach, who accepts us, yes, but then invites us to become something better.  Who sees our divine potential to become great, to do great things in this world, to be more than the man or woman sitting on the couch, eating doughnuts, and watching T.V.  He wants so much more for each of us, and the way that we start on the path is to begin to “try to be like Jesus.”