Sunday, May 22, 2016

Weekly Update - May 22nd - May 28th

In Praise of Those Who Save

April 2016 Conference Address given by President Dieter F. Uchtorf

"As we emulate the Savior’s love, He will surely bless and prosper our righteous efforts to save our marriages and strengthen our families."


While there may be value in decluttering our lives of material things we no longer need, when it comes to things of eternal importance—our marriages, our families, and our values—a mind-set of replacing the original in favor of the modern can bring profound remorse.

Families are not just meant to make things run more smoothly here on earth and to be cast off when we get to heaven. Rather, they are the order of heaven. They are an echo of a celestial pattern and an emulation of God’s eternal family.
But strong marriage and family relationships do not happen just because we are members of the Church. They require constant, intentional work. The doctrine of eternal families must inspire us to dedicate our best efforts to saving and enriching our marriages and families. 

Invitation to Action:

In God’s plan of happiness, we are not so much looking for someone perfect but for a person with whom, throughout a lifetime, we can join efforts to create a loving, lasting, and more perfect relationship. That is the goal.
Those who save their marriages understand that this pursuit takes time, patience, and, above all, the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It requires you to be kind, envy not, seek not your own, not be easily provoked, think no evil, and rejoice in the truth. In other words, it requires charity, the pure love of Christ.
No matter how flat your relationship may be at the present, if you keep adding pebbles of kindness, compassion, listening, sacrifice, understanding, and selflessness, eventually a mighty pyramid will begin to grow.
If it appears to take forever, remember: happy marriages are meant to last forever! So “be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great [marriage]. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”
It may be a gradual work, but it doesn’t have to be a cheerless one. In fact, at the risk of stating the obvious, divorce rarely happens when the husband and wife are happy.
So be happy!
Remember why you fell in love.
Work each day to make your marriage stronger and happier.
Whatever problems your family is facing, whatever you must do to solve them, the beginning and the end of the solution is charity, the pure love of Christ. Without this love, even seemingly perfect families struggle. With it, even families with great challenges succeed.
“Charity never faileth.”
It is true for saving marriages! It is true for saving families!
The way you treat your wife or children or parents or siblings may influence generations to come. What legacy do you want to leave your posterity? One of harshness, vengeance, anger, fear, or isolation? Or one of love, humility, forgiveness, compassion, spiritual growth, and unity?
We all need to remember, “Judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy.”
For the sake of your family relationships, for the sake of your soul, please be merciful, for “mercy triumphs over judgment.”

Promised Blessings:

In our efforts to save our marriages and families, as in all things, let us follow the example of the One who saves us. The Savior won “our souls with love.”8 Jesus Christ is our Master. His work is our work. It is a saving work, and it begins in our homes.
Love in the fabric of the plan of salvation is selfless and seeks the well-being of others. That is the love our Heavenly Father has for us.
As we emulate the Savior’s love, He will surely bless and prosper our righteous efforts to save our marriages and strengthen our families.

Read, study, or listen to the lesson here:

Congratulations to the Burton 4th Ward Seminary Graduates!

Lesson Schedule:
In 2016 we will be studying the teachings of President Howard W. Hunter

May 29th - Bishops Choice
June 5th - Presidents Instruction
June 12th - Howard W Hunter Lesson 11
June 19th - Howard W Hunter lesson 12
June 26th - Teaching For Our Time

The new manual can be found here:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Weekly Update - May 15th - May 21st

The Scriptures- The Most Profitable of all Study

Teachings of Howard W. Hunter - Lesson 10

“May each of us … draw closer to our Father in Heaven and his Beloved Son through consistent study of the holy scriptures.”


Central to all truth is the testimony that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Great Jehovah, the Savior of the World, and the Only Begotten Son of the Living God. This is the message of the scriptures. Throughout each of these holy books there is an appeal to believe and have faith in God the Eternal Father and in his Son, Jesus Christ; and from the first to the last of these books of scripture is the call to do the will of God and keep his commandments.

When we follow the counsel of our leaders to read and study the scriptures, benefits and blessings of many kinds come to us. This is the most profitable of all study in which we could engage. …

Scriptures contain the record of the self-revelation of God, and through them God speaks to man. Where could there be more profitable use of time than reading from the scriptural library the literature that teaches us to know God and understand our relationship to him? Time is always precious to busy people, and we are robbed of its worth when hours are wasted in reading or viewing that which is frivolous and of little value.

Invitation to Action:

We hope you are reading and studying the scriptures on a daily basis as individuals and as families. We should not take lightly the command of the Lord, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). The Spirit will come into your homes and your lives as you read the revealed word.

We urge each of you to carefully consider how much time you are currently giving to prayerful pondering of the scriptures.
As one of the Lord’s servants, I challenge you to do the following:
1. Read, ponder, and pray over the scriptures daily as individual members of the Church.
2. Hold family scripture reading on a regular basis. We commend those of you who are already doing this and urge those of you who have not yet started to begin doing so without delay. …
May each of us go forth with a firm resolve to be more prayerful; to seek to live more fully by the Spirit; and to draw closer to our Father in Heaven and his Beloved Son through consistent study of the holy scriptures.
Not in this dispensation, surely not in any dispensation, have the scriptures—the enduring, enlightening word of God—been so readily available and so helpfully structured for the use of every man, woman, and child who will search them. The written word of God is in the most readable and accessible form ever provided to lay members in the history of the world. Surely we will be held accountable if we do not read them.

Promised Blessings:

Consider the scriptural sequence that begins with giving diligence to the word of God and then proceeds to the promise that if we do, we may go into his very presence:
“And I now give unto you a commandment … to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life.
“For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.
“For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. …
“And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father” (D&C 84:43–45, 47).
That is a wonderful journey initiated by the word of God and which will culminate in exaltation. “The words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3).
It is through reading and studying the Book of Mormon, and prayerfully seeking confirmation of its contents, that we receive a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth.
Reading [the Book of Mormon] will have a profound effect on your life. It will expand your knowledge of the way God deals with man and will give you a greater desire to live in harmony with his gospel teachings. It will also provide for you a powerful testimony of Jesus.

Read, study, or listen to the lesson here: 

The scriptures are meant to be ‘bread’ for daily use, not ‘cake’ for special occasions. “It is certain that one who studies the scriptures every day accomplishes far more than one who devotes considerable time one day and then lets days go by before continuing.” 

–Howard W. Hunter

Lesson Schedule:
In 2016 we will be studying the teachings of President Howard W. Hunter

May 15th - Howard W. Hunter lesson 10
May 22nd - Teaching for Our Time
May 29th - Bishops Choice

The new manual can be found here:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Weekly Update May 8th - May 14th - The Law of Tithing

The Law of Tithing

Teachings of Howard W. Hunter - Lesson 9


“The payment of tithing strengthens faith, increases spirituality and spiritual capacity, and solidifies testimony.”

The law [of tithing] is simply stated as “one-tenth of all their interest” (D&C 119:4). Interest means profit, compensation, increase. It is the wage of one employed, the profit from the operation of a business, the increase of one who grows or produces, or the income to a person from any other source. The Lord said it is a standing law “forever” as it has been in the past.
Like all of the Lord’s commandments and laws, [the law of tithing] is simple if we have a little faith. The Lord said in effect, “Take out the decimal point and move it over one place.” That is the law of tithing. It’s just that simple.

Invitation to Action:

The Lord has established the law of tithing, and because it is his law, it becomes our obligation to observe it if we love him and have a desire to keep his commandments and receive his blessings. In this way it becomes a debt. The man who doesn’t pay his tithing because he is in debt should ask himself if he is not also in debt to the Lord. The Master said: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33.)

Pay an honest tithing. This eternal law, revealed by the Lord and practiced by the faithful from the ancient prophets down to the present, teaches us to put the Lord first in our lives. We may not be asked to sacrifice our homes or our lives, as was the case with the early Saints. We are challenged today to overcome our selfishness. We pay tithing because we love the Lord, not because we have the means to do so. We can expect that the Lord will open “the windows of heaven” (Malachi 3:10) and shower down blessings upon the faithful.

Promised Blessings:

If we pay our tithes because of our love for the Lord, in complete freedom and faith, we narrow our distance from him and our relationship to him becomes intimate. We are released from the bondage of legalism, and we are touched by the spirit and feel a oneness with God.
The payment of tithing strengthens faith, increases spirituality and spiritual capacity, and solidifies testimony. It gives the satisfaction of knowing one is complying with the will of the Lord. It brings the blessings that come from sharing with others through the purposes for which tithing is used. We cannot afford to deny ourselves these blessings. We cannot afford not to pay our tithing. We have a definite relationship to the future as well as to the present. What we give, and how we give, and the way we meet our obligations to the Lord has eternal significance.

Read, study, or listen to the lesson here: 

What the Church Teaches about Tithing:

Henry B. Eyring, “The Blessings of Tithing,” Liahona, June 2011

There are at least three ways that paying a full tithe in this life prepares us to feel what we need to feel to receive the gift of eternal life.

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Like a Watered Garden,” Liahona, Jan. 2002

We should pay [tithes and offerings] as a personal expression of love to a generous and merciful Father in Heaven.

Robert D. Hales, “Tithing: A Test of Faith with Eternal Blessings,” Liahona, Nov. 2002

Pay your tithing. Unlock the windows of heaven. You will be abundantly blessed for your obedience and faithfulness to the Lord’s laws and commandments.

Earl C. Tingey, “The Law of Tithing,” Liahona, July 2002

The Lord has established the law of tithing as the law of revenue of His Church.

Chapter 32: “Tithes and Offerings,” Gospel Principles

We have been given commandments to help us prepare in every way to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. He has given us a way to thank Him for our blessings. Willingly paying tithes and offerings is one way we thank Him.

Chapter 19: “Temporal Blessings and the Law of Tithing,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor

[The law of tithing] is a test to the people of God, or for us who profess to be, that we may know whether people will observe a certain specific law given by the Almighty or not, and thus have a proof of their fidelity and obedience.

Chapter 22: “Tithing and Consecration,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young

Paying tithing allows us to participate in the Lord’s work by returning a portion of that which belongs to Him.

Chapter 31: “Obedience to the Law of Tithing,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith

God requires one-tenth of our increase to be put into His storehouse; and this is given as a standing law to all of the Stakes of Zion. By this principle (tithing) the loyalty of the people of this Church shall be put to the test.

James E. Faust, “Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice: Opening the Windows of Heaven,” Liahona, Sept. 2002

Tithing is a principle of sacrifice and a key to opening the windows of heaven.

Sheldon F. Child, “The Best Investment,” Liahona, May 2008

If you always pay an honest tithing, the Lord will bless you. It will be the best investment you will ever make.

Yoshihiko Kikuchi, “Will a Man Rob God?” Liahona, May 2007

When you and I pay honest, true tithes to the Lord, the Lord will open the windows of heaven.

Carl B. Pratt, “The Lord’s Richest Blessings,” Liahona, May 2011

As we pay our tithing faithfully, the Lord will open the windows of heaven and pour out upon us His richest blessings.

H. Bryan Richards, “The Windows of Heaven,” Liahona, Apr. 2007

I know that Sister Richards and I received many blessings as a result of paying tithing. I have also witnessed the overflow of blessings that have come to faithful Latter-day Saints in remote parts of the world because they were willing to pay tithing.

Stanley G. Ellis, “No One Will Ever Know,” Liahona, Feb. 2009

I learned that we are going to be tested from all sides. Some of the most difficult challenges are internal ones, in the quiet of our own hearts and minds.

Lynn G. Robbins, “Tithing—a Commandment Even for the Destitute,” Liahona, June 2010

Genuine sacrifice has been a hallmark of the faithful from the beginning.

Jorge Luis del Castillo, “Lessons from the Old Testament: My Father’s Last Words,” Liahona, Dec. 2006

The law of tithing is a great blessing to our family. I have learned that the Lord does not need my tithing; rather, I am the one who needs the blessings that come from obeying this law.

Lesson Schedule:
In 2016 we will be studying the teachings of President Howard W. Hunter

May 15th - Howard W. Hunter lesson 10
May 22nd - Teaching for Our Time
May 29th - Bishops Choice

The new manual can be found here:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Weekly Update May 1st - May 7th

You Are My Hands

Conference address by President Dieter F. Uctdorf - April 2010


"When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands; outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. He always talked with, never down to, people. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation.  That is what He did during His mortal life; it is what He would be doing if He were living among us today; and it is what we should be doing as His disciples and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  As we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands; our eyes, His eyes; our heart, His heart."

Invitation to Action:

"I hope that we welcome and love all of God’s children, including those who might dress, look, speak, or just do things differently. It is not good to make others feel as though they are deficient. Let us lift those around us. Let us extend a welcoming hand. Let us bestow upon our brothers and sisters in the Church a special measure of humanity, compassion, and charity so that they feel, at long last, they have finally found home."

Our Hands Can Comfort-  "With this in mind, let our hearts and hands be stretched out in compassion toward others, for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path. As disciples of Jesus Christ, our Master, we are called to support and heal rather than condemn. We are commanded “to mourn with those that mourn” and “comfort those that stand in need of comfort.”

"In the book of Proverbs we read that “a friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Let us love at all times. And let us especially be there for our brothers and sisters during times of adversity."

Our Hands Can Serve- "This is the spirit of compassion: that we love others as ourselves, seek their happiness, and do unto them as we hope they would do unto us."

True Love Requires Action-  "True love requires action. We can speak of love all day long—we can write notes or poems that proclaim it, sing songs that praise it, and preach sermons that encourage it—but until we manifest that love in action, our words are nothing but “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

"Christ did not just speak about love; He showed it each day of His life. He did not remove Himself from the crowd. Being amidst the people, Jesus reached out to the one. He rescued the lost. He didn’t just teach a class about reaching out in love and then delegate the actual work to others. He not only taught but also showed us how to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”

"Christ knows how to minister to others perfectly. When the Savior stretches out His hands, those He touches are uplifted and become greater, stronger, and better people as a result.

If we are His hands, should we not do the same?"
We Can Love as He Does-  "The Savior revealed the perfect priorities for our lives, our homes, our wards, our communities, and our nations when He spoke of love as the great commandment upon which “hang all the law and the prophets.”  We can spend our days obsessing about the finest details of life, the law, and long lists of things to do; but should we neglect the great commandments, we are missing the point and we are clouds without water, drifting in the winds, and trees without fruit.

Without this love for God the Father and our fellowmen we are only the form of His Church—without the substance. What good is our teaching without love? What good is missionary, temple, or welfare work without love?
Love is what inspired our Heavenly Father to create our spirits; it is what led our Savior to the Garden of Gethsemane to make Himself a ransom for our sins. Love is the grand motive of the plan of salvation; it is the source of happiness, the ever-renewing spring of healing, the precious fountain of hope.
As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit."

Promised Blessings:

"As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit."

Read, study, or listen to the talk here: 

The church has a new website called, 
"I Was a Stranger"
As part of the lesson we discussed how those around us can be classified as refugees as well as those fleeing their countries.  We have been challenged to visit this website and find ways that we can help those around us in need.

  As you watch videos and study the talks referenced on  think about how our hands can, Embrace, Comfort, and Serve.

Linda Burton, the Relief Society General President gave a talk entitled, "I Was a Stranger."  It goes perfectly with this lesson.

"My beloved sisters, we can be assured of Heavenly Father’s help as we get down on our knees and ask for divine guidance to bless His children. Heavenly Father; our Savior, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost are ready to help."

Patrick Kearon also gave a talk in our April 2016 conference
titled, "Refuge from the Storm" that was discussed in this lesson.

"The Savior knows how it feels to be a refugee—He was one. As a young child, Jesus and His family fled to Egypt to escape the murderous swords of Herod. And at various points in His ministry, Jesus found Himself threatened and His life in danger, ultimately submitting to the designs of evil men who had plotted His death. Perhaps, then, it is all the more remarkable to us that He repeatedly taught us to love one another, to love as He loves, to love our neighbor as ourselves. Truly, “pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction” and to “look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief that they shall not suffer.”

"Being a refugee may be a defining moment in the lives of those who are refugees, but being a refugee does not define them.Like countless thousands before them, this will be a period—we hope a short period—in their lives. Some of them will go on to be Nobel laureates, public servants, physicians, scientists, musicians, artists, religious leaders, and contributors in other fields. Indeed, many of them were these things before they lost everything. This moment does not define them, but our response will help define us."

You can find his talk here:

Lesson Schedule:
In 2016 we will be studying the teachings of President Howard W. Hunter

May 8th - Howard W. Hunter lesson 9
May 15th - Howard W. Hunter lesson 10
May 22nd - Teaching for Our Time
May 29th - Bishops Choice

The new manual can be found here: