Friday, April 25, 2008

Safety town.....rain or shine!

I am still planning to go to safety town....a few puddles won't scare me. If it is raining pretty bad then we can all come over to my house. But, we can meet at Safety Town at 10 as planned.

Monday, April 21, 2008

May Playgroup Schedule

May Playgroup Schedule
2 – Teddy Bear Picnic at Detweiller Park, Moose Shelter, meet at 10. Bring your teddy and sack lunch for a fun picnic together.
9 – Rock Island Trail, meet at 10. We’ll be walking down the trail and getting some much needed outdoor time.
16 – Kite making and flying at Chartwell Park, meet at 10. Bring anything to decorate basic kites.
23 – Wheels O’ Time museum. Meet at 12. 11923 N Knoxville Avenue Peoria, 61612 Adults $5.50 Children 3+ $3.50. We may be able to get a group discount if enough people come. Print coupon for discounted admission:
30 – Forest Park Nature Center- meet at 9:30. We will be hiking down the trail and having the kids go for a nature scavenger hunt. (5809 N Forest Park Drive, Peoria Heights)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dairy farm...see you tomorrow!

We are planning to meet at the church tomorrow at 9:30 and head out to the dairy farm. It is a little complicated which is why we were going to do a car chain. I am hoping to be there, but we'll see how my girls are feeling. Be sure to wear farm appropriate clothing and bring a lunch and toys for permitting. Don't forget the camera!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Conference Summary

2008 April Annual General Conference
Saturday AM
President Henry B. Eyring: “This is the true church, the only true church, because in it are the keys of the priesthood. Only in this church has the Lord lodged the power to seal on earth and to seal in heaven as he did in the time of the Apostle Peter. ..
"This is a day of historical significance and of eternal importance in the history of the world and to the children of our Heavenly Father. Now, our obligation is to remain worthy of the faith necessary for us to fulfill our promise to sustain those who have been called ... To sustain (them) we must examine our lives, repent as necessary, pledge to keep the Lord's commandments and follow his servants. The Lord warns us that if we do not do those things, the Holy Ghost will be withdrawn, we will lose the light which we have received and we will not be able to keep the pledge we have made today to sustain the Lord's servants ...
"I am personally aware of the power of the faith of members of the church to sustain those who have been called. In the past few weeks, I have felt in powerful ways the prayers and faith of people whom I do not know and who know me only as someone called to serve through the keys of the priesthood."

Elder Russell M. Nelson: "To be saved means to be saved from physical and spiritual death. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected and saved from physical death. People may also be saved from individual spiritual death through the atonement of Jesus Christ, by their faith in him, by living in obedience to the laws and ordinances of his gospel and by serving him.
"The time to prepare for our eventual salvation and exaltation is now."
Such preparation involves repentance, baptism and the receipt of the Holy Ghost and then living according to God's laws.
"The home is God's laboratory of love and service ... Throughout the world, the family is increasingly under attack. If families fail, many of our political, economic and social systems will also fail. And if families fail, their glorious eternal potential cannot be realized."
While the Resurrection is universal, exaltation "is a conditional gift." It requires eternal marriage and continuing obedience to the principles of the gospel.
Preparation for exaltation must involve not only self and family but ancestors, without whom "we cannot become perfect."
"Sealing ordinances are essential to exaltation."

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin: "Jesus Christ is our greatest example. He was surrounded by multitudes and spoke to thousands, yet he always had concern for the one ...
"Some are lost because they are different. They feel as though they don't belong. Perhaps because they are different, they find themselves slipping away from the flock. They may look, act, think and speak differently than those around them, and that sometimes causes them to assume they don't fit in. They conclude they are not needed.
"In God's orchestra, every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony ...
"Some are lost because they are weary. It's easy to feel overwhelmed ... Many feel discouraged because they have not measured up to their potential. Others simply feel too weak to contribute, so as the flock moves ahead, gradually, almost imperceptibly, some fall behind ...
"Step forward, put your shoulder to the wheel and push ...
"Some are lost because they have strayed. Except for the Lord, we have all made mistakes. The question is not whether we will trip and fall, but rather, how will we respond? ... Church is a place for imperfect people to gather together ... and become better."

Elder Ronald A. Rasband: "Life's experiences can become building blocks of faith and testimony. These experiences come to us in vastly different ways and at unpredictable times. They can be powerful, spiritual events or small, enlightening moments.
"Just as the building blocks of our homes support the rest of the structure, so too, do our personal life experiences become the building blocks of our testimonies and add to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Moments of personal revelation, such as when a person gains a testimony of the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith, that the Book of Mormon is a true testament of Christ or when a fervent prayer is answered become such building blocks. As you contemplate such special experiences, don't they give you a sense of gratitude and resolve to go forward with renewed faith and determination?"
On a visit to members of the church in the city of Puno, Peru, high in the Andes Mountains on Lake Titicaca, my wife and I learned Uros Indians were living the gospel in very different settings.
"The interaction became a new building block added to my house of faith ...
" Weak and simple members of the church ... are taking the gospel to the ends of the earth."

Elder Kenneth Johnson: "With knowledge of the great plan of happiness, we have the opportunity and also the responsibility to help restore faith in the family.
"While scientists use laws associated with naturally occurring processes, they did not create those laws. Similar laws keep life and living things in balance and can be applied to ethical standards and moral values ...
"Disciples of Christ receive their witness by studying his words, observing his works, putting principles into practice and through the spirit of inspiration ...
"Although spiritual truths may appear less tangible, to the humble heart, their impact is undeniable. It is important to understand that natural laws were not determined on the basis of popularity. They were established and rest on the rock of reality ... there are moral verities that did not originate with man. They are central to a divine plan which, when discovered and applied, brings great happiness and hope on our mortal journey ...
"We must hand down to future generations a foundation of faith in the family, as defined by deity. We should never forget that freedom and happiness in all aspects of life come by understanding and living in harmony with eternal principles."

Sister Cheryl C. Lant: The most important family traditions "are connected with the way we live our lives and will last beyond us as our children's lives are influenced and shaped ...
"What kind of traditions do we have? ... Are they mostly material in nature or are they eternal? Are we consciously creating righteous traditions, or is life just happening to us? Are our traditions being created in response to the loud voices of the world, or are they influenced by the still small voice of the Spirit?"
True conversion must precede traditions. "This conversion is a firm belief in Jesus Christ as our Redeemer (and comes through) a witness of the spirit as we study these very scriptures that testify of him. It comes as we pray and as we fast. It only comes when we have a deep desire to know the truth."
Consistency is important in creating righteous traditions.
A legacy of righteous living can strengthen families despite death and other circumstances. "What is the legacy we are giving them today? What will it be tomorrow? It can start with us ...
"As we become steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord, we will secure the blessings of heaven for ourselves and for our families."

Saturday PM
Elder L. Tom Perry: "I believe that if we could create in our minds a clear and true picture of eternal life we would start behaving differently."
Latter-day Saints wouldn't have to be prodded to do home or visiting teaching, attend meetings, go to the temple, say prayers, read the scriptures or live moral lives.
"We would want to do all these things and more because we realize they will prepare us to go somewhere we yearn to go."
"Essentially, the gospel of Jesus Christ is a five-ingredient recipe for eternal life."
"In order to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, a person must first embrace him whose gospel it is." Trust the Savior and what he has taught. Accept and apply his Atonement and his teachings.
Then, repent, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
"In order to prepare to be baptized and take upon ourselves the name of Christ we must humble ourselves before him — offer our sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit and accept his will."
"Baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost are the prescribed ways to enter the 'strait and narrow' path to eternal life."
Finally, endure to the end. "Enduring to the end is definitely not a do-it-yourself project. First, it requires the Savior's redemptive power."

Elder Dallin H. Oaks: "There has never been a greater need for us to profess our faith, privately and publicly."
"We live in a time when some misrepresent the beliefs of those they call Mormons and even revile us because of them. When we encounter such misrepresentations, we have a duty to speak out to clarify our doctrine and what we believe.
"We should be the ones to state our beliefs rather than allowing others the final word in misrepresenting them."
However, speak in mildness and meekness. Never be overbearing, shrill or reviling.
A testimony should be a personal witness of eternal truths, "borne to our souls by the Holy Ghost, not a travelogue, health log or an expression of love to family members."
The first two steps to gain a testimony are to desire one, then ask God in sincere prayer. Another way to gain or strengthen a testimony is by bearing it.
"One of the greatest things about our Heavenly Father's plan for his children is that each of us can know the truth of that plan for ourselves. That revealed knowledge does not come from books, from scientific proof or from intellectual pondering.
"As with the apostle Peter, we can receive that knowledge directly from our Heavenly Father through the witness of the Holy Ghost."

Elder Richard G. Scott: "The only way to rectify the "tragic consequences"of sexual abuse is through the secure healing of the power of the Atonement.
The Atonement can help both the perpetrator and the victim.
"Healing requires childlike faith that your Father in Heaven has supplied a way to heal."
"As impossible as it may seem now, in time the healing you can receive from the Savior will allow you to truly forgive the abuser, and even have feelings of sorrow for him or her."
Find the courage to seek help.
"To the perpetrator who has shattered the life of another by abuse: Recognize that you need help with your addiction or it will destroy you. You will not overcome it by yourself. You likely will need specialized professional help."
Your transgression might be hidden now, "but know that the Lord Jesus Christ is completely aware of your sins." Take steps now to cleanse your soul and suffer the penalties.
"When combined with complete repentance, the Atonement also affords the perpetrator a way to avoid the severe punishment the Lord has decreed for such acts."

Elder Robert D. Hales: "People all over the world, of every creed and persuasion, search and struggle to know, 'Who is God?' 'What is his relationship to Jesus Christ?' and 'What is our relationship with them?"'
Latter-day Saints can get the answer to these questions by following the example of the Prophet, Joseph Smith. He studied the scriptures and turned to the book of James in the New Testament and learned, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God."
The Prophet Joseph then obediently knelt in prayer and was visited by Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ.
"Since my own boyhood, Joseph Smith's experience has been a guide to me — and can be for all of us. The young prophet learned the truth about our Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ, because he sought to know from the scriptures his Heavenly Father's will, and then he faithfully obeyed.
"This pattern was set and perfectly exemplified by the Savior as recorded in the Bible."
So, "Who is this Jesus?"
He worked with his father in the creation of the world. He is the mediator with the Father. He laid down his life for mankind and pleads their cause with the Father.
Jesus, like his father, is a glorified being of power and authority.
"I testify that our Savior lives. He is the Only Begotten of the Father, and he will come again."

Elder Carlos H. Amado: Latter-day Saints come to know the Lord through serving our fellow man.
"Service makes us strong in our faith and useful in his kingdom. Service gives us a purpose and courage in life. It brings us closer to God and helps us refine our divine nature."
Service teaches us to love and understand others and forget our personal desires. It eliminates selfishness, pride and ingratitude and allows us to develop the virtues that the Savior possesses."
"Kindness, love, patience, understanding and unity will increase as we serve, while intolerance, jealousy, envy, greed and selfishness decrease or disappear."
Those who serve always seek to please God and live in harmony with him. They are full of peace and have a cheerful countenance and spirit of kindness. They possess the love of Christ.
"Those who serve ... are not easily discouraged, fatigued or frustrated because the promise of peace of mind and the companionship of the Holy Spirit will never abandon them."
"Christ cannot help us if we do not trust him; he cannot teach us if we do not serve him.
"He will not force us to do what's right, but he will show us the way when we decide to serve him. Certainly for us to serve in his kingdom, Christ requires that we experience a change of thought and attitude."

Elder Gerald N. Lund: "We must, of our own free will, open our hearts to the spirit, or he will not force himself upon us."
"So, how do we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit?"
"Purity of heart is certainly one of the most important qualifications of receiving inspiration from God."
"While none of our hearts are perfect, the more diligently we strive to eliminate impurity, or push out things which do not belong there, the more we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit."
Church members lose that purity by setting their hearts on the things of the world. Pride is a natural consequence of this.
"Pride quickly desensitizes our hearts to spiritual promptings."
Latter-day Saints need the help of the Holy Ghost to make it through perilous times.
Don't we all want to be visited by the Holy Ghost? "To have the Lord draw closer unto us? To find joy and consolation in our lives?
"If so, then carefully assessing the condition of our hearts is one of the most essential things we can do in this life.
"The heart is a tender place. It is sensitive to many influences, both positive and negative. It can be hurt by others. It can be deadened by sin. It can be softened by love."
"Let us make it a part of our everyday striving to open our hearts to the spirit."

Elder William R. Walker: "Every one of us who serve in presidencies anywhere in the church should look to the First Presidency as our pattern and the example that we seek to follow as we carry out our stewardships.
"We should strive to be like them and to work together in love and harmony as they do."
The Lord has given the Saints a clear pattern of leadership.
President Hinckley often explained the pattern, and said he met every Monday with his counselors to talk about church business and make decisions.
"President Hinckley said, 'We work together. You can't be a one-man operation in a presidency. Counselors — what a wonderful thing are counselors. They save you from doing the wrong things, they help you to do the right things."
Members of the First Presidency use careful consideration on all issues before them before coming to the same conclusion.
"That should be our pattern in presidencies.
"The revelations teach us to make our decisions in quorums and presidencies 'in all righteousness, in holiness and lowliness of heart, meekness and long suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity.'"
"We have sustained today the new First Presidency of the Church. They will teach us and show us the pattern that we should follow."

Saturday Priesthood Session
President Thomas S. Monson: "My brethren ...let us all determine to prepare for our time of opportunity, and to honor the priesthood we bear through the service we render, the lives we bless, and the souls we are privileged to help save. You are a 'chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation' and you can make a difference.
"When we qualify for the help of the Lord, we can build boys, we can mend men, we can accomplish miracles in his holy service. Our opportunities are without limit.
"Ours is the task to be fitting examples. We are strengthened by the truth that the greatest force in the world today is the power of God as it works through man. If we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to the Lord's help. That divine help, of course, is predicated upon our worthiness. Each must ask: 'Are my hands clean? Is my heart pure? Am I a worthy servant of the Lord?'
"My young friends, be strong. The philosophies of men surround us. The face of sin today often wears the mask of tolerance. Do not be deceived; behind that facade is heartache, unhappiness and pain. You know what is right and what is wrong, and no disguise, however appealing, can change that.
"Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow."

President Henry B. Eyring: "Rising to the possibilities of the oath and covenant of the priesthood brings the greatest of all the gifts of God: eternal life. That is a purpose of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
"If you are like I was when I first heard those words as a young man, the challenge of accepting the Melchizedek Priesthood could seem daunting. There are at least two reasons why you should be confident rather than discouraged ...
"Whether you accept the oath and covenant and find it too difficult, or if you fail to try, the penalty is the same.
"If we choose not to try, we would certainly lose the opportunity for eternal life. If we try, and with God's help succeed, we will gain eternal life.
"There is yet another reason to decide now that you will try with all your heart to qualify for that oath and covenant, and have confidence that you will succeed. God promises you the help and power, which, if you exercise faith, will give you success.
"My prayer is that you will decide tonight, and then every day, to go forward in faith in keeping your covenants with God and so claim the promise he has made to you with an oath.
"I testify that God wants you to succeed and to come home again to live with him in families forever."

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "Through years of serving the Lord and in countless interviews, I have learned that the difference between happiness and misery in individuals, marriages and families often comes down to an error of only a few degrees.
"Suppose you were to take off from an airport at the equator, intending to circumnavigate the globe, but that your course was off by just one degree. By the time you returned to the same longitude, how far off course would you be? A few miles? A hundred miles? The answer might surprise you. An error to only one degree would put you almost 500 miles off course, or one hour of flight for a jet.
"The longer we delay corrective action, the larger the needed changes become, and the longer it takes to get back to the correct course ...
"These commandments and covenants of God are like navigational instructions from celestial heights and will lead us safely to our eternal destination.
"Remember: the heavens will not be filled with those who never made mistakes, but with those who recognized that they were off course and who corrected their ways to be back in the light of gospel truth.
"Please, do not drift off course, not even a few degrees. Hearken unto the Lord your God ..."

Bishop H. David Burton: "Tonight the scripture passages 'as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me' (Matthew 25:40) and 'remember in all things the poor and the needy' (D&C 52:40) take on special meaning as we review highlights of humanitarian endeavors during the past year.
"In behalf of the General Welfare Committee of the church, we express our appreciation to the many individuals, families, quorums, Relief Society and Young Women groups who are the good Samaritans of today.
"In 2007, church humanitarian assistance responded to major earthquakes in five counties, massive fires in six countries, hunger and famine in 18 countries, and flooding and severe storms in 34 countries. In total, the church and its members responded to 170 major events in 52 countries — nearly one event every two days for the entire year. It was a busy year with many opportunities to serve.
"In addition to responding to natural disasters, thousands of public health initiatives were undertaken during the year.
"Thank you for your compassion, goodness and generosity. May we press forward to lighten the load of neighbors, encourage and assist the downtrodden, open our purses to assist the poor and extend our helping hands."

Elder Quentin L. Cook: "As priesthood holders of the church, it is our solemn responsibility to follow our prophet. We sustain President Monson and his counselors, President Eyring and President Uchtdorf.
"We want you young people to know that President Thomas S. Monson has been prepared by the Lord from his youth to be the prophet.
"He is the youngest man called as an apostle in the past 98 years and has served for over 44 years. The last 22 years he has served as a counselor to Presidents Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W. Hunter and Gordon B. Hinckley.
"Doctrine and Covenants Section 81 sets forth instructions to a counselor in the First Presidency. The first instruction is be 'faithful in counsel.'
"The second instruction is 'proclaiming the gospel.'
"The third instruction reads, 'Wherefore, be faithful, stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.' Many of our brothers and sisters face devastating problems in their lives. It is in our Christ-like outreach to them that we as priesthood leaders, parents, friends, and home teachers can be like the handcart company rescuers.
"President Monson's rescue efforts in this regard have been particularly exemplary."

Elder John M. Madsen: "I would like to direct my remarks to each 12-year-old deacon attending this General Priesthood session.
"In order for us to more clearly envision the 'divine destiny' of this 'chosen' and 'royal generation,' we need only to reflect upon the 12-year-old Jesus who went up to Jerusalem with his parents, to celebrate 'the feast of the Passover.'
"Who was this 12-year-old boy? What was his mission and destiny? And, how was he able to fulfill it?
"Now, as to how he was able to fulfill his mission and destiny, consider these words of Jesus, who said, '... when ye have lifted up the son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone, for I do always those things that please him.'
"That each one of us, as sons of God, can fulfill his mission and destiny is made plain by these words of the Lord to the Prophet Joseph Smith, 'Verily, thus saith the Lord; It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments ... may come unto the Father in my name and in due time receive of his fullness."'

Brother Dean R. Burgess: "'Do you know who you are?' Knowing who you are makes you spiritually strong, sound and steadfast in your priesthood duties. You become confident with faith and determination to make right decisions. You have courage to stand up for what you know is right. You realize that it is a privilege to hold the priesthood of God and have the authority to act in his name.
"Finding out who we are is one of life's greatest quests. As parents and leaders, we make a sincere and honest effort to help those we love understand and know the answer to this simple but profound question, 'Who am I?'
"I ask you young men of the Aaronic Priesthood, 'How do you come to receive a knowledge and witness of who you are?' Please consider the following three questions and related principles that are essential in understanding your true identity.
"First, do you know that you are a son of God?
"Second, do you know who you are in God's plan?
"Third, do you know who you are as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
"You belong to a priesthood quorum of young men, where you can feel the brotherhood and friendship of priesthood holders. The quorum is a protection for you against worldly influences."

Sunday AM
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: "I testify that the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the faith of our Heavenly Father. It is his truth revealed to his servants the prophets from the days of Father Adam until our own time. The Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith to restore the faith of our Father on this earth, never to be taken away again. God desires that all of his children receive it, irrespective of their background, culture or tradition. True religion should not originate from what pleases men or the traditions of ancestors but rather from what pleases God, our Eternal Father.
"We invite everyone on this beautiful planet to taste of his doctrine and see if it is not sweet, good and precious. We ask those of sincere heart to learn of this doctrine and ask their Father in Heaven if it is not true. And by so doing, all can discover, embrace and walk in the true faith of their Father, which faith will make them whole.
"That is our message to the world.
"Continuing revelation is a fundamental feature of this faith. Joseph Smith's first prayer is a powerful testimony of this. Revelation is a constant compass that keeps us always true to the will and the faith of our Heavenly Father."

Elder Sheldon F. Child: "As we faithfully pay our tithes, the Lord will indeed 'open the windows of heaven and pour us out a blessing, that there shall not be room to receive it.'
"We are living in challenging economic times. However, if we look back over the past years, we find there have been, and will continue to be, times of relative prosperity and times of financial uncertainty. However, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves, if we first pay our obligation to the Lord and then use wisdom and good judgment, the Lord will help us manage the resources he has given us.
"President Heber J. Grant stated: 'I want to say to you, if you will be honest with the Lord, paying your tithing and keeping his commandments, he will not only bless you with the light and inspiration of his Holy Spirit, but you will be blessed in dollars and cents; you will be enabled to pay your debts, and the Lord will pour out temporal blessings upon you in great abundance.'
"The Lord asked Israel to prove him, to test him, to have faith in him so that he would be able to keep his promise to them. That same commandment and that same promise are in effect today. When we keep the law of the tithe, the Lord's promise is sure."

Sister Susan F. Tanner: "My soul delighteth in the things of the Lord — his law, his life, his love. To delight in him is to acknowledge his hand in our lives. Our gospel duty is to do what is right and to love what is right. When we delight to serve him, our Father in heaven delights to bless us. 'I, the Lord ... delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.' (D&C 76:5).
"In the Book of Mormon, Nephi speaks often of delight. He delights in 'the things of the Lord,' in the Scriptures, and in the 'great and eternal plan' of the Lord. Notably, Nephi often remembers his sources of delight in the midst of affliction, serving to lift and focus his spirit on eternal blessings.
"We too should delight in the things of the Lord for it will 'lift' our hearts and give use cause to 'rejoice.'
"I take great delight in my role as a nurturer, which allows me to express my deepest identity as a woman.
"I delight in families.
"I delight in the Lord's 'mercies and miracles.'
"Finally, I delight in, more than I can express, the eternal love and constant help of my husband and the prayers and support of my children and parents during these years of my service as Young Women general president."

President Boyd K. Packer: "The most precious thing lost in the apostasy was the authority held by the Twelve — the priesthood keys. For the church to be his church, there must be a Quorum of the Twelve who hold the keys and can confer them on others.
"In time came the First Vision and the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood by Peter, James and John.
"There has been an unbroken line of authority. The priesthood keys given to the apostles have always been held by members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.
"We do not hear the priesthood keys being exercised in other Christian churches. It seems odd that we are described by some as being non-Christian when we are the only ones who have the authority and the organization that he established.
"The present Twelve are very ordinary people. They are not, as the original Twelve were not, spectacular individually, but collectively the Twelve are a power.
"We come from a variety of occupations."
"Yesterday Elder Christofferson became the 96th apostle to serve in the Twelve in this dispensation. He will be ordained an Apostle and given all priesthood keys conferred that the other 14 prophets, seers and revelators — apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ — have."

President Thomas S. Monson: "I pledge my life, my strength — all that I have to offer — in serving him and in directing the affairs of his church in accordance with his will and by his inspiration.
"I am keenly aware of the 15 men who preceded me as president of the church. Many of them I have known personally.
"My earnest prayer is that I might continue to be a worthy instrument in his hands to carry on this great work and to fulfill the tremendous responsibilities which come with the office of president."
"A sweet spirit of unity exists among the general authorities."
"I thank my Father in Heaven for my sweet companion, Frances. This October she and I will celebrate 60 wonderful years of marriage.
"Change for the better can come to all. Over the years we have issued appeals to the less active, the offended, the critic, the transgressor — to come back.
"I would encourage members of the church wherever they may be to show kindness and respect for all people everywhere. The world in which we live is filled with diversity. We can and should demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours.
"We are waging a war with sin, my brothers and sisters, but we need not despair. It is a war we can and will win."

Elder D. Todd Christofferson: "I thought I knew what it felt like to be inadequate." In retrospect, being called to the Seventy 15 years ago seems like a pleasant experience.
As one who has been immersed in God's work, "I trust in him. I know his grace is sufficient."
"I plead with my Heavenly Father to sustain me as he ever has, that I might measure up to something that is far beyond my native capacity, and be able to focus outwardly. ..."
Saints must become new creatures in Christ, Paul states in the New Testament.
"It is faith in Christ as the atoning one, the Redeemer who can cleanse from sin and make holy."
"To be complete however, repentance requires a covenant of obedience." Baptism unto repentance is "the culminating step, the capstone of our repentance."
"Then the Lord baptizes us by fire, or the Holy Ghost."
"Now the Lord cautions us to take heed since there is a chance we may fall from grace."
Some may ask why doesn't this mighty change happen more quickly to them. Scriptural accounts of mighty changes are miraculous and not typical.
"For most of us, the change is more gradual."
As members continue in the path of rebirth, "Temptations will lose their appeal, and through Christ you will become holy, as he and his father are holy."

Sunday PM
President Thomas S. Monson: "I have attended general conferences for a long time and have not felt as blessed as during this session ... We have had a smorgasbord of faith, love and counsel. Let us incorporate it into our lives. ...
"My sweet (wife) Frances had a terrible fall" recently and was in a coma for 27 days. "She never moved a muscle. Our children and grandchildren wept. I wept. Then one day, she opened her eyes. I broke a speed record to get to her side." Her first words after the long silence were that she had forgotten to mail their fourth quarter tax payment.
"Brethren, treat your wives with dignity and respect. ... Sisters, honor your husbands ... Parents, show love to your children. ... Call on Heavenly Father for help in dealing with the challenges" of parenthood. ...
"I commend our youth who stand up to the inequity of the world. ...
"Brothers and sisters, we have had a wonderful conference. We have been edified and our testimonies strengthened. Let us rededicate ourselves to live the gospel. ... We have felt your prayers in our behalf and appreciate your sustaining vote. ... Together, we can reap the blessings (the Savior) has in store for us."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: "The LDS Church claims that 'God continues to speak his word and reveal his truth, revelations that mandate an open canon of scripture' is one of the doctrinal issues that are viewed by some as marking the church as 'not Christian.'
"Some Christians, in large measure because of their genuine love for the Bible, have declared that there can be no more authorized scripture beyond the Bible. In thus pronouncing the canon of revelation closed, our friends in some other faiths shut the door on divine expression that we in (the LDS Church) hold dear — the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price and ongoing guidance received by God's anointed prophets and apostles. ...
"Continuing revelation does not demean nor discredit existing revelation. ... Please do not misunderstand, We love and revere the Bible. ... The Bible is the word of God. It is always identified first in the canon, our 'standard works' of the church.
"It was a verse from the New Testament that led Joseph Smith to his vision of the Father and Son, setting into motion the restoration.
"One of the great purposes of continuing revelation through living prophets ... is to declare to the world that the Bible is true."

Elder David A. Bednar: "Simply saying prayers is quite a different thing from engaging in meaningful prayer. ... Even though we recognize the importance of prayer, all of us can improve the consistency and efficacy of our personal and family prayers. ...
"I have long been impressed with the truth that meaningful prayer requires both holy communication and consecrated work. Blessings require some effort on our part before we can obtain, and prayer, as a form of work, is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings ... Asking in faith requires honesty, effort, commitment and persistence.
"To pray for the success of missionaries is meaningless without a true effort to support the work meaningfully. To pray for the poor and needy requires action to alleviate their needs.
"Prayers may not be answered until after one has endured 'the trial of our faith.'
"Recognizing and accepting the will of God in one's life is an important aspect of prayer. Discerning and accepting the will of God in our lives are fundamental elements of asking in faith in meaningful prayers. However, simply saying the words 'thy will be done' is not enough. Each of us needs God's help in surrendering our will to him."

Elder Russell M. Ballard: "While women live in homes under many different circumstances — married, single, widowed or divorced, some with children and some without — all are beloved of God, and he has a plan for his righteous daughters to receive the highest blessings of eternity. ...
"There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each has different challenges, different skills and abilities and certainly different children. ... What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else. ...
"It is crucial to focus on our children for the short time we have them with us and to seek, with the Lord's help, to teach them all we can before they leave our homes. The eternally important work falls to mothers and fathers as equal partners. ... But I believe that the instincts and intense nurturing involvement of the mothers with their children will always be the major key to their well-being. ...
"As a church we have enormous respect and gratitude to you mothers of young children. We want you to be happy and successful in your families and to have the validation and support you need and deserve."

Elder W. Craig Zwick: "The time has come when we must take an unyielding stand. We must shore up our spiritual underpinnings and be prepared to withstand the wiles of the devil."
A teenage boy recently asked his mother, "Do I need to lower my standards to keep my friends?"
"It is a profound question for each of us to consider at all stages of life. Are we lowering our standards to fit into our neighborhoods? Are we altering our values to suit the situation in the workplace or to be popular at school?"
Don't do it.
"Live by your standards and stand up for what you believe in. Sometimes it is not easy and you may be standing alone for a while."
Find friends with integrity and character, and tell them you appreciate their example. Pray for guidance and protection from the Lord.
"He will become your trusted friend and you will discover that your example will attract many friends who will take courage from your strength of character ...
"It requires courage to make good choices, even when others around us choose differently. As we make the righteous choices day by day in little things, the Lord will strengthen us and help us choose the right during more difficult times. ...
"We must fortify ourselves. That sure spiritual fortification is found in two words: Jesus Christ."

Elder Robert R. Steuer: "We live in marvelous times, yet also an hour when peace has been taken from the earth. To prosper in these times, spiritual light must burn within us.
Latter-day Saints obtain this spiritual light by learning true doctrine, gaining a pure testimony and living the gospel courageously.
President Henry B. Eyring has taught that the words of doctrine 'can open the minds of people to see spiritual things not visible to the natural eye. And they can open the heart to feelings of the love of God and a love for truth.'"
"A pure testimony is the confirmation by the Holy Ghost that God is our Father and that Jesus is the Christ.
"The light and truth we see in all things urge us to obtain knowledge by study and faith, which precede the confirmation by the spirit.
"We can learn much of God's handiwork and goodness by our physical senses. But an even deeper testimony is revealed as we spiritually seek the truth with real intent."
Latter-day Saints must live courageously in accordance with the light and testimony they have received.
"We are promised ... 'He that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.'
"It takes real effort and sacrifice to live the gospel courageously."

Elder Lance B. Wickman: "Mortality is fragile. Only one heartbeat, the drawing of a single breath, separates this world from the next. ... Death is a curtain through which each must pass and ... none of us knows when that passage will occur. Of all the challenges we face, perhaps the greatest is the misguided sense that mortality goes on forever, and its corollary — that we can postpone until tomorrow the seeking and offering of forgiveness, which, as the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches, are among mortality's central purposes.
" ... the person we are when we depart this life is the person we will be as we enter the next. Thankfully, we do have today ...
"We really are immortal, in the sense that Christ's Atonement conquers death, both physical and spiritual. And provided we have so lived today that we have claim on the Atonement's cleansing grace, we will live forever with God. This life is not so much a time for getting and accumulating as it is a time for giving and becoming. Mortality is the battlefield upon which justice and mercy meet. But they need not meet as adversaries, for they are reconciled in the Atonement of Jesus Christ for all to wisely use today ... Today is the day to forgive others their trespasses."

Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander: Often, there is one among a crowd who reacts individually and reaps blessings.
The biblical account of the woman who touched the Savior in the midst of a crowd, with faith that she could be healed of a long-standing illness, was "set apart from the crowd. The crowd came to see, but the woman came to be healed."
In the Book of Mormon, Alma stood in a crowd of King Noah's priests, but "Alma alone took to heart what Abinidi had taught. With courage, he stepped away from the crowd to follow the Lord."
These and other stories are not about crowds, "but individuals among those crowds. They are really about you and me. All of us are among the crowds of this world. My experience has taught me that almost all of us are like the woman who, despite the crowd, comes to the Savior. We all have faith that just a touch will bring healing to our aching souls and relief to our innermost needs. ...
"Struggling through the crowds of the world can be lonely and hard. ... Who can reach, support and ultimately rescue the one among the crowd better than the Savior? He understands what it is to persevere among a disrespectful crowd and still remain true."
He will emerge from the crowd as the Anointed One, the Savior and Redeemer.

Elder Craig C. Christensen: "The Book of Mormon is a book with a promise. Although its history is compelling by itself, it is a book of scriptural significance, comparable to the Bible, and should be received and read under the influence of the Holy Ghost."
It is a book with a purpose, which is to convince each person that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God. It is a book that "teaches the great plan of happiness" in profound yet understandable terms it teaches the purpose of life, from whence mortals came and what happens to them when they die.
"We learn of faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice, of repentance, of the importance of baptism by immersion and the gift and power of the Holy Ghost.
It testifies that Jesus is the Christ, the savior of the world. Book of Mormon prophets have borne solemn witness that Jesus is the creator of the Earth, the redeemer of mankind and the only begotten of the Father. The book is evidence that Joseph Smith was a prophet, chosen by the hand of the Lord to restore his ancient church to Earth.
"Ever since Samuel Smith set out to preach the gospel with a few first-edition copies, the Book of Mormon has blessed the lives of millions around the world.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

General Conf Packet for Kids!!!

I was just passed a wonderful General Conference packet for children. If you would like a copy, leave a comment with you email I'll send you the pdf file. I looked through it and it was great!