Sunday, July 3, 2016

Weekly Update June 26th - July 1st

A Sacred Trust

President Thomas S Monson - Conference Address April 2016


We read in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 121, verse 36, “The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven.” What a wonderful gift we have been given. Ours is the responsibility to guard and protect that priesthood and to be worthy of all the glorious blessings our Father in Heaven has in store for us—and for others through us.

Invitation to Action:

Wherever you go, your priesthood goes with you. Are you standing in holy places? Before you put yourself and your priesthood in jeopardy by venturing into places or participating in activities which are not worthy of you or of that priesthood, pause to consider the consequences. Remember who you are and what God expects you to become. You are a child of promise. You are a man of might. You are a son (or daughter) of God.

Promised Blessings:

This precious gift of priesthood power brings with it not only solemn responsibilities but also special blessings for ourselves and for others. May we, in whatever place we may find ourselves, always be worthy to call upon its power, for we never know when our need and our opportunity to do so may come.

Read, study, or listen to the talk here: 

Bruce McConkie gave a talk in Oct. 1977
"The Ten Blessings of the Priesthood"
You can listen or read it here:

Lesson Schedule:

July 3 - Presidents Instruction
July 10 - Howard W Hunter lesson13
July 17 - Howard W Hunter Lesson 14
July 24 - Teachings For Our Time
July 31 ~ Bishop's Choice

The manual can be found here:

Weekly Update - June 19th - June 26th

Come Back and Feast at the Table of the Lord

Teachings of Howard W. Hunter - Lesson 12

“Reach out to the less active and realize the joy that will come to you and those you help.”


The whole purpose of the Church operating smoothly at the local level is to qualify individuals to return to the presence of God. That can only be done by their receiving the ordinances and making covenants in the temple.
Our efforts focus on making the saving covenants and ordinances of the gospel available to all mankind: to the nonmember through our missionary work; to the less-active through fellowshipping and activation efforts; to active members through participation and service in the Church, and to those who have passed beyond the veil through the work of redemption for the dead.
We are leading toward one objective for each individual member of the Church. That is for all to receive the ordinances of the gospel and make covenants with our Heavenly Father so they may return to his presence. That is our grand objective. The ordinances and covenants are the means to achieving that divine nature that will return us into his presence again. …
Keep in mind the purpose: to invite all to come unto Christ. …

Invitation to Action:

"To those who have ceased activity and to those who have become critical, we say, ‘Come back. Come back and feast at the table of the Lord, and taste again the sweet and satisfying fruits of fellowship with the Saints.’
“We are confident that many have longed to return, but have felt awkward about doing so. We assure you that you will find open arms to receive you and willing hands to assist you.” (Ensign, March 1986, p. 88.)
Because of what the Master has said about leaving the ninety-nine and going into the wilderness to seek the one that is lost, and because of the invitation of the First Presidency to those who have ceased activity or have been critical to “come back,” we invite you to become involved in saving souls. Reach out to the less active and realize the joy that will come to you and those you help if you and they will take part in extending invitations to come back and feast at the table of the Lord.
The Lord, our Good Shepherd, expects us to be his undershepherds and recover those who are struggling or are lost. We can’t tell you how to do it, but as you become involved and seek inspiration, success will result from efforts in your areas, … stakes, and wards. 

Promised Blessings:

The words of a familiar hymn contain the Savior’s appeal to us:
Hark! he is earnestly calling,
Tenderly pleading today:
“Will you not seek for my lost ones,
Off from my shelter astray?”
And that hymn, sung often, indicates what our response should be:
“Make us thy true undershepherds;
Give us a love that is deep.
Send us out into the desert,
Seeking thy wandering sheep.”
(Hymns, 1985, no. 221.)
If we do this, eternal blessings will come to us.
I testify, my brethren and sisters, to his divinity and power to save those who will come to him with broken hearts and contrite spirits. Through the ordinances and his Holy Spirit, each individual may become clean.

Read, study, or listen to the lesson here: 

Lesson Schedule:

July 3 - Presidents Instruction
July 10 - Howard W Hunter lesson13
July 17 - Howard W Hunter Lesson 14
July 24 - Teachings For Our Time
July 31 ~ Bishop's Choice

The manual can be found here:

Weekly Update - June 10th - June 16th

True Greatness

Teachings of Howard W. Hunter - Lesson 11


… Giving consistent effort in the little things in day-to-day life leads to true greatness. Specifically, it is the thousands of little deeds and tasks of service and sacrifice that constitute the giving, or losing, of one’s life for others and for the Lord. They include gaining a knowledge of our Father in Heaven and the gospel. They also include bringing others into the faith and fellowship of his kingdom. These things do not usually receive the attention or the adulation of the world.

Invitation to Action:

We all want to achieve a measure of greatness in this life. Many have already achieved great things; others are striving to achieve greatness. Let me encourage you to achieve and, at the same time, to remember who you are. Don’t let the illusion of fleeting worldly greatness overcome you. Many people are losing their souls to such temptations. Your good name is not worth selling—for any price. True greatness is to remain true—“True to the faith that our parents have cherished, True to the truth for which martyrs have perished.” (Hymns, 1985, no. 254.)

The achievement of true greatness is a long-term process. It may involve occasional setbacks. The end result may not always be clearly visible, but it seems that it always requires regular, consistent, small, and sometimes ordinary and mundane steps over a long period of time. We should remember that it was the Lord who said, “Out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” (D&C 64:33.)
True greatness is never a result of a chance occurrence or a one-time effort or achievement. Greatness requires the development of character. It requires a multitude of correct decisions in the everyday choices between good and evil that Elder Boyd K. Packer spoke about when he said, “Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.” (Ensign, Nov. 1980, p. 21.) Those choices will also show clearly what we are.

Promised Blessings:

Doing the things that God has ordained to be important will lead to true greatness.

It appears to me that the kind of greatness that our Father in Heaven would have us pursue is within the grasp of all who are within the gospel net. We have an unlimited number of opportunities to do the many simple and minor things that will ultimately make us great. To those who have devoted their lives to service and sacrifice for their families, for others, and for the Lord, the best counsel is simply to do more of the same.
To those who are furthering the work of the Lord in so many quiet but significant ways, to those who are the salt of the earth and the strength of the world and the backbone of each nation—to you we would simply express our admiration. If you endure to the end, and if you are valiant in the testimony of Jesus, you will achieve true greatness and will one day live in the presence of our Father in Heaven.

Read, study, or listen to the lesson here: 

Most of this lesson came from President Hunters talk in his April 1992 conference address.  Read or listen to it here:

Lesson Schedule:

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

The new manual can be found here:

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:

Wednesday, May 18, 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: