Monday, October 22, 2012

come listen to a prophet's voice.

this sunday we had the opportunity to go listen to president monson.   he is the president of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.   he is a living prophet of God on the earth today.   i am not quoting bro. monson directly.   but i took a lot of notes, with help from little blonde curls, and will recount it as best as i can.   this is obviously the short version as told by me..

pres. monson spoke first about his first visit to germany was in 1968, 44 years ago.    then he was able to come to break ground for the frankfurt temple in 1985 and dedicate it in 1987.

he then quoted a the poet, james barrie, "God gave us memories, that we might have june roses in the december of our lives."   he said he enjoys many roses from germany, austria and switzerland.

Jesus was always being asked questions.   he refers to matthew chapter 22 where the sadducees and pharisees are harassing Jesus again with questions    then, in verse 35,  a lawyer asks which is the greatest commandment in the law.   of course, the lawyer is trying to confound Jesus with this question.   we might be critical of the lawyer.    bro. monson is glad that he asked Jesus this so that we can have the answer that Jesus gave.  

matt 22 : 37 - 40
Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.   This is the first and great commandment    And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.   on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

no man could find fault with this answer.   this covered every one and every law.   never was Jesus anything but perfect.  

in luke 4, it is recounted that Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted.   the devil promised him with everything and anything he could think of.   Jesus gave the divine example by refusing to deviate from what was right.

Jesus blessed the sick, caused the blind to see, the lame to walk    He taught forgiveness by being forgiving.   He taught compassion by being compassionate.   He taught service by serving.   (i have been thinking a lot lately about how to be a better parent and i think this is the answer.   it's what i have been trying to do but
it does answer my question    the best way to teach is by example.   what i do, my children will do.   i ask my kids, "is that how i treat you?" when they are mean to each other.   i have to be sure that it isn't.)

Jesus called his apostles.   he aid to peter, "come follow me", he said the same to each of the apostles, he said the same to a scribe and a wealthy young man.   come follow me.   the same voice calls out to us.   the same Jesus beckons to you, to me, to bro. monson, "come follow me"   how do we do that?   emulate his example when faced with choices.   bro. monson asks himself, "what would the Savior do?" and then he tries to do it.

bro. monson says he is sad when he hears of people forgotten, alone.   people that want the love and attention of others but do not get it.   he told a story of a man who lived in a nursing home.   on his 91st birthday, the man got up early, he bathed and got dressed in his best clothes.   surely, they would come today.   he didn't take his usual walk to the corner store to talk with his friends so that he would be there when they came.   he sat on the stairs of the home where he could see the road so that he could see them coming.   he didn't take his usual nap so he could be up when they came.   he wouldn't cut the cake made for him by the home where he lived and wouldn't eat the ice cream.   he waited for them.   he had several children, two of his daughters and their families lived within 4 miles of him.   when he went to bed, he asked the nurse to make sure and wake him when they came.   bro. monson goes on to tell of a time that he was driving somewhere and felt he should take a different route.   he found himself in front of a member's house and felt that he should stop.   he knocked on the door and the woman opened the door and asked him how he knew that it was her birthday.   she had waited all day for a card or a phone call from her family or friends.   (bro. monson was taken back by this but told her the truth)    bro monson replied that Heavenly Father knew and He had lead him there.     she invited bro. monson in.   he came in and told her that he felt that he was there for another reason as well but he wasn't quite sure what.   he asked if they could pray about it together.   she and husband had been inactive for some time but agreed that they could pray about it.      after their prayer, bro monson, then their bishop, asked the husband if he would consent to come to church in two weeks an dtell the young men a story that he had once told bro monson.   when the man was in his teens, he and some frinds discussed going swimming on the at sunday instead of going to church.   this man was the one at the time who said no.   he a had told them they needed to go to church instead.   they needed to do the right thing.   all the boys but one went to church that sunday.   the boy that chose to go swimming instead, drowned that day.   he then asked the sister if she would come and be part of the choir.   bro monson's mother had said that this woman had a beautiful voice and bro monson would like to hear it.   perhaps this woman could sing a solo.   both did start coming and became very active and productive parts of the ward.

next bro monson says that actions speak louder than words.   our actions tell God that we love Him and will follow Him.   there was a seminary group that decided to raise money to send a family to the temple that would not otherwise be able to go.   they donated some of their own money and had several fund raisers to reach their goal.   they then sent to money to the samoan mission president asking him to choose a family in his area that needed it .   the kids didn't miss the money.   none of them was hurt by working to raise the money they needed.   instead, they were blessed.   the seminary group never met the family that they sent from samoa to new zeland to be sealed in the temple, but bro monson did.   he met one of the daughters that was 10 at the time they went.   she and her family were eternally grateful for the blessings of being sealed together.   her eyes welled up when telling bro monson about the experience.   the family sailed across the ocean, sleeping on the open deck of the ship.   the family didn't care about the comfort of the trip.   they only cared about the great blessings that awaited them in the temple.

the prophet joseph smith told us to go and be perfect.   it is folly in the extreme to say you love God when you don't love your fellow man.   a disciple of God does not just love his family.   he does not just love his neighbors.  he loves the whole world.   missionaries show this great love when they go and give of their time and resources to share the gospel.   we shouldn't think this is the only way to serve or that we must do grand things in far away places.   we can always find ways  to serve in our own back yards.   sometimes those who need it most are the hardest to serve.   sometimes the ones that need our love the most are hardest to show it to.   we must express our love to our families.    the Saviour showed how to express love.    He is love.   Jesus showed love in gethsemane  in the wilderness, when he raised lazarus, in the sacred grove when He appeared to Joseph smith, and in everything He did or does.

bro. monson is grateful to God for sending His Son to live for us, to die for us, and to break the bands of death for us.   he is thankful for the great love of God .   he is grateful for Jesus our Savior and Redeemer.   Jesus is the Son of God.   He did not live to be served but to serve.   He did not be loved but just to love.   love is more beautiful than lust.   live a poverty better than riches.   Bro monson points out that Jesus did not write anything down.   others recorded his deeds.   the only thing He wrote, was in the sand, and the wind destroyed it forever.   Jesus wrote his gospel instead in the hearts of men.   Jesus filled His life with service and His heart with love.   if we will do the same, we may some day hear the Lord say the most beautiful words evre spoken will be spoken to us.    "well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."  matt 25:21.

bro monson prays that we may all qualify for that eternal glory.   he bears testimony that this is the work of the Lord.   he is grateful for the blessings people in this land.   he admonishes that as we return to our lives, we must love as the Savior did.   husbands honor your wives, wives, honor your husbands, parents love your children, children honor your parents.  love God, love your fellow men.   the prophet of these later days, the living prophet of God today, loves us, each of us, and leaves a blessing of peace to our hearts and contentment in our lives.   he does this and i say it in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

last night, our home teachers came over.   one of them happens to be the man who interpreted for bro. monson.   he gave me a couple of insights that i missed.   like i said, i was taking notes over the top of my 3 year old who, after over an hour in the car and an hour wait was having a melt down.   my husband took him outside so i could take notes (thank you hunny), but i did miss a few things.   the key point that our home teacher got out of the conference, was that in order to get these impressions, you must be praying for others.   this must be your mind set.   it reminds me of last months visiting teaching lesson.   pray for your sisters by name, in your personal prayers, every day.   i admit, this is not my strong suit.   it is something that i am moving up on my list now though.   pray for other people that you might know need special blessings but pray for those that are around you in general.   pray for the opportunity and the conscience to help others, to share God's love with them, to serve.

here's another side note that struck me.   our home teacher told us that the stake pres called the night before and asked if he had received the talk in his e-mail so he could go over it to prepare for translating.   nope!   usually he would have heard something long before this and there was a moment of slight panic in the stake pres. who prepared to resend it.   our home teacher's first thought was to go look in his spam file even though he gets things from the same address often and never has a problem..   he feels he had this was divine inspiration.   this struck me as not only humorous but poignant at the same time.   how often do we set our spiritual filters on auto and just don't re-check them after that?   what are we missing in our spam files and what might we be letting in that we really don't want?  i know sometimes my kids alert me to things.   when we were watching the summer olympics a few years ago, my kids immediately noticed that the women in several events were not dressed appropriately.   i hadn't really thought about it, my filter was on auto.   there were several events that we didn't watch because of it.   we discussed the difference in outfits with each sport and what might be appropriate every olympics now.   gymnastics is like a modest swimsuit, so those were ok.   ice skaters are usually ok, they wear a body suit even though some of them are skin colored.   if it bothers the kids, or just looks to much like they are not dressed appropriately, we don't watch that skater.   i have had to re-set my filters with this one because i like to watch that sport.   beach volley ball is pretty much out totally.   running is accepted because it's covering like a swim suit.   my kids always notice the runners that have the longer suits though, and we cheer for them.   my tomboy princess is the watch dog for my towering teen's games.   he finds a game on the internet and she watches to see if there is blood.   drives him crazy, but mom is called in for the last word on it and the no blood rule is enforced.   point is, re-check your filters.   societies filters are being set broader and broader each day.   people are quick to point out that these things are easily seen on the street every day so why not watch it on tv or movies.   just becasue it is outside, doesn't mean i have to bring it into my house.  i'd like a refuge from it.   i'd like to teach my kids that it isn't ok.     don't let society and what's going on around you affect your filters and the filters you are placing and teaching your children to place in your family.   make sure your not going to fast and missin gthe good stuff, but let's face it there is a whole lot of spam out there.