Continuing the discussion on the introductory stuff in the Book of Mormon.
Testimony of the three and eight witnesses, as well as the testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith, about the Book of Mormon.
In light of the upcoming LDS General Conference, I thought I’d share one of my favorite talks on the subject of following a prophet. In 1980, President Ezra Taft Benson gave a remarkable talk at a BYU fireside called, Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet. This was a very timely message, and still badly needed today. I hope you’ll forgive the little harp-strung intro – this was the only MP3 I could find of the talk, but it’s well worth listening to.
The prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, has been called of God, and will be giving us clear direction in a couple weeks. I hope we will all listen and heed his words. Jesus Christ is the head of this church, and is instructing President Monson in all of his words at the pulpit. Do we have the strength of character to heed their words? I hope so. The promises of a more fulfilling life here and eternal life in the next will be fulfilled if we follow the counsel of the Lord’s living servant.
We decided to start a bit of a series, but not by topic as before. Listen and weep. Wait, that’s what you say in a competition… or whatever. Plus I’ve got to remember to avoid cliche’s like the plague.
Here’s a link to the totally AWESOME blog we mention in the podcast:
Seriously, check out this blog. It will give you so much motivation to go and share the gospel with the people you meet. I SO wish I could do this. Wait… I could… okay, so I so wish I WOULD do this!
“I could be wrong, but I think it’s a monkey.”
Jenni and I have been doing our Popcorn and Podcasting LDS podcast for awhile, but we’ve been out of it for the past couple months. We’ve decided to try various topics, though, instead of having many podcasts on one topic – just to see how that goes.
This time we focused on Children
James E. Faust:
If parents do not discipline their children and teach them to obey, society may discipline them in a way neither the parents nor the children will like. Dr. Lee Salk, child psychologist, said: “The ‘do your own thing’ trend has interfered with people developing close and trusting family relationships. It tells people that they are neurotic if they feel a sense of responsibility for the feelings of other family members. People are also told to let all their feelings out, even if it is very hurtful to someone else.”
(Special Section Families, U.S. News and World Report, Inc., 16 June 1980, p. 60.) As Dr. Salk states, this is, of course, patently wrong. Without discipline and obedience in the home, the unity of the family collapses.
Anne G. Wirthlin:
Recent research on the development of a child’s brain has revealed new insights into how and when a child learns. I quote from a recent study: “From birth, a baby’s brain cells proliferate wildly, making connections that may shape a lifetime of experience. The first three years are critical” (J. Madeleine Nash, “Fertile Minds,” Time, 3 Feb. 1997, 49).
Anne G. Wirthlin, “Teaching Our Children to Love the Scriptures,” Ensign, May 1998, 9
Anne G. Wirthlin:
When first we love the Lord with all our hearts, then we can lead our children to Him in all of our interactions. They will grow in their devotion to the Lord as they see our devotion to Him. They will understand the power of prayer as they hear us pray to a loving Heavenly Father who is there listening and answering our prayers. They will understand faith as they see us live by faith. And they will learn the power of love by the kind and respectful ways that we relate to them. We cannot teach truth to our children apart from the trusting, caring relationships that we have with them. President Howard W. Hunter said, “A successful parent is one who has loved, one who has sacrificed, and one who has cared for, taught, and ministered to the needs of a child” (Ensign, Nov. 1983, p. 65).
Anne G. Wirthlin, “Touch the Hearts of the Children,” Ensign, Nov 1995, 81
Neal A. Maxwell:
Children often have the “thoughts and [the] intents of [their] hearts” focused on the Master. Though not full of years, such children are full of faith! Too young for formal Church callings, they have been “called to serve” as exemplifiers, doing especially well when blessed with “goodly parents” (1 Ne. 1:1).
Just as the scriptures assure, “little children do have words given unto them many times” (Alma 32:23). For example, the resurrected Jesus revealed things to the Nephite children, who then taught adults and their parents “even greater” things than Jesus had taught (3 Ne. 26:14).
It has been a privilege to seal several adopted children to Nan and Dan Barker, now of Arizona. Some time ago Nate, then just over three, said: “Mommy, there is another little girl who is supposed to come to our family. She has dark hair and dark eyes and lives a long way from here.”
The wise mother asked, “How do you know this?”
“Jesus told me, upstairs.”
The mother noted, “We don’t have an upstairs,” but quickly sensed the significance of what had been communicated. After much travail and many prayers, the Barker family were in a sealing room in the Salt Lake Temple in the fall of 1995—where a little girl with dark hair and dark eyes, from Kazakhstan, was sealed to them for time and eternity. Inspired children still tell parents “great and marvelous things” (3 Ne. 26:14).
Benjamin Ballam is the special spina bifida child of Michael and Laurie Ballam. He has been such a blessing to them and many others. Also spiritually precocious, Benjamin is a constant source of love and reassurance. Having had 17 surgeries, resilient Benjamin knows all about hospitals and doctors. Once, when an overwhelmed attendant became vocally upset—not at Benjamin, but over stressful circumstances—little three-year-old Benjamin exemplified the words of another Benjamin about our need to be childlike and “full of love” (Mosiah 3:19). Little Benjamin reached out, tenderly patted the irritated attendant, and said, “I love you anyway.” A similar episode occurred recently in an Israeli hospital, where little Benjamin, going through a necessary but very painful procedure, used the same loving words to reassure a physician. No wonder, brothers and sisters, in certain moments we feel children are our spiritual superiors.
Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Becometh As a Child’,” Ensign, May 1996, 68
Elder M. Russell Ballard
“The most important work we can do is to help God’s children come to a full understanding of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This I know to be true…”
(Ensign, Nov. 2000 pg. 77 – 2nd to last sentence)
Barbara B. Smith:
It might be a temptation for a working mother to plan special outings and play times as the so-called “quality” time she has with her children. But many are aware of the danger this poses in giving them a distorted picture of life by using all their time together in recreation. It is important for children to see the balance that is necessary between work and play. They need to know that special events are more meaningful when daily routines are established and when assigned duties are completed.
One grandmother helped her grandchildren learn this truth. When they came to her house she was careful to have jobs they could do together; then afterward, they played a game. Then another task was followed by another game. The children learned, as she hoped they would, the relationship between work and play and the comfortable sense of playing after work is completed.
Barbara B. Smith, “‘Her Children Arise Up, and Call Her Blessed’,” Ensign, May 1982, 79
Patricia P. Pinegar:
The blessings of parenting and helping to care for children are many. President Hinckley said: “Of all the joys of life, none other equals that of happy parenthood. Of all the responsibilities with which we struggle, none other is so serious. To rear children in an atmosphere of love, security, and faith is the most rewarding of all challenges. The good result from such efforts becomes life’s most satisfying compensation” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 74; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 54).
Patricia P. Pinegar, “Caring for the Souls of Children,” Ensign, May 1997, 13
Elder Harold G. Hillam:
Many, perhaps most, adult members of the Church, however, find themselves in a position to teach in a more direct manner. Leaders, parents, and called teachers have the specific responsibility to constantly improve their teaching abilities so they can prepare, train, and edify those who fall within their stewardship. President David O. McKay reminded us that “the proper training of childhood is man’s most important and sacred duty” (Gospel Ideals , 220). The Lord has made it clear that parents shall “teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord” (D&C 68:28).
There is power in the doctrines of the Church—hence the need for us all to be ever learning and constantly fortifying ourselves spiritually. President Hinckley has said: “The forces against which we labor are tremendous. We need more than our own strength to cope with them. To all who hold positions of leadership, to the vast corps of teachers and missionaries, to heads of families, I should like to make a plea: In all you do, feed the Spirit—nourish the soul. … I am satisfied that the world is starved for spiritual food” (“Feed the Spirit—Nourish the Soul,” Improvement Era, Dec. 1967, 85–86).
Harold G. Hillam, “Teachers, the Timeless Key,” Ensign, Nov 1997, 62
Anne G. Wirthlin:
President Kimball shared vivid memories of his home when the family knelt before meals to pray, their chairs turned back from the table, dinner plates upside down. He remembers night prayers at his mother’s knee. He said, “I feel sorry for children who must learn these important lessons after they are grown, when it is so much harder” (Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball, Jr., Spencer W. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1977, p. 31). Home can be an oasis in the world. It’s a place where every child has a right to feel safe.
Anne G. Wirthlin, “Touch the Hearts of the Children,” Ensign, Nov 1995, 81
Elder Joe Christensen:
“Remember family prayer every day. With schedules as they are today, you may need to have more than one prayer. Sending your children out of the home without the spiritual protection of prayer is like sending them out into a blizzard without sufficient clothing.”
Elder Joe Christensen, Ensign Nov 1993
All I can say about this one is HOLY SHAMOLY! He let me drag him on for 45 minutes! That’s by FAR my record. I recommend listening to the whole thing, but in case you’re short on time, I made an abridged – highlights only version. Either way, enjoy! And if you can put a warning out on all your social networks about the whole drive through conspiracy, I’ll be so appreciative that I might even give you a gift certificate for the Roadkill Cafe. If you’re a senior, I’ll make it for the Business After 50 Cafe.
Sheesh! What does it take to find out how to get a balloon ride?