Edwards Family

Edwards Family

Monday, September 29, 2014

Two videos about bringing souls to Christ

"The thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance ... and to bring souls unto me." (Doctrine & Covenants 16:6).



Did you know there was a 12th witness to the Book of Mormon...who was a woman?

Joseph and Emma Smith, along with Oliver Cowdery, had moved in with the large family of Peter and Mary Whitmer and their nine children. Joseph translated much of the Book of Mormon there, later the LDS Church was organized there, and people were always coming and going. All of this added a pretty heavy burden to an already busy mother, Mary. 
Mary's son David later explained, “My father and mother had a large family of their own. The addition to it therefore of Joseph, his wife, Emma, and Oliver very greatly increased the toil and anxiety of my mother. And although she had never complained, she had sometimes felt that her labor was too much, or at least she was perhaps beginning to feel so.”
One day, though, probably in June 1829, when she was going out to milk the cows in the family barn — where, David happened to know, the plates were concealed at the time — she met an “old man,” as she described him, who said to her, in David’s account of the story, “You have been very faithful and diligent in your labors, but you are tired because of the increase of your toil; it is proper therefore that you should receive a witness that your faith may be strengthened.”
“Thereupon,” David said, “he showed her the plates.” And this unexpected encounter “completely removed” her feeling of being overwhelmed, said her son, “and nerved her up for her increased responsibilities.”
Afterwards, Mary was able to describe the plates in detail. John C. Whitmer, her grandson, reported that he himself had heard his grandmother tell of this event several times. He summarized her experience as follows:
“She met a stranger carrying something on his back that looked like a knapsack. At first she was a little afraid of him, but when he spoke to her in a kind, friendly tone and began to explain to her the nature of the work which was going on in her house (that is, the translation of the Book of Mormon), she was filled with unexpressible (sic) joy and satisfaction. He then untied his knapsack and showed her a bundle of plates, which in size and appearance corresponded with the description subsequently given by the witnesses to the Book of Mormon. This strange person turned the leaves of the book of plates over, leaf after leaf, and also showed her the engravings upon them; after which he told her to be patient and faithful in bearing her burden a little longer, promising that if she would do so, she should be blessed; and her reward would be sure, if she proved faithful to the end. The personage then suddenly vanished with the plates, and where he went, she could not tell.”

Jesus said, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matthew 18:16). Mary can be titled a twelth witness to the Book of Mormon. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Three ways the Priesthood relates with angels (D&C 13:1)

What does the Aaronic Priesthood have to do with the keys of ministering angels? 

This week in seminary we studied D&C 13, where John the Baptist gave the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. 

"Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." 

1. Sacrament and baptism help us repent and become worthy to feel the Holy Spirit and be ministered to by angels. 

Dallin H. Oaks: “As a young holder of the Aaronic Priesthood, I did not think I would see an angel, and I wondered what such appearances had to do with the Aaronic Priesthood. But the ministering of angels can also be unseen. Angelic messages can be delivered by a voice or merely by thoughts or feelings communicated to the mind. … Most angelic communications are felt or heard rather than seen.

“How does the Aaronic Priesthood hold the key to the ministering of angels? The answer is the same as for the Spirit of the Lord. In general, the blessings of spiritual companionship and communication are only available to those who are clean. ... Through the Aaronic Priesthood ordinances of baptism and the sacrament, we are cleansed of our sins and promised that if we keep our covenants we will always have His Spirit to be with us. I believe that promise not only refers to the Holy Ghost but also to the ministering of angels, for ‘angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ’ (2 Nephi 32:3). So it is that those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood open the door for all Church members who worthily partake of the sacrament to enjoy the companionship of the Spirit of the Lord and the ministering of angels.” (“Aaronic Priesthood & Sacrament,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, emphasis added).

2. Living worthy of the priesthood invites angels to guide, protect, and bless you.

Gordon B. Hinckley: “This priesthood which you hold carries with it the keys of the ministering of angels. That means, as I interpret it, that if you live worthy of the priesthood, you have the right to receive and enjoy the very power of heavenly beings to guide you, to protect you, to bless you. What boy, if he is thoughtful, would not welcome this remarkable blessing?” (“The Priesthood of Aaron,” Ensign, Nov. 1982, 45).

3. Aaronic Priesthood holders can become ministering angels in the way they serve others.

L. Tom Perry: “Then the adviser shared a brief experience that deeply touched his heart, because one of the priests reminded him of what it really means to be a true minister of Jesus Christ-literally, a ministering angel. The young priest who was passing the water to the congregation came to a man who appeared to have Down syndrome. The man's condition prevented him from taking the cup from the tray to drink from it. This young priest immediately assessed the situation. He placed his left hand behind the man's head so he would be in a position to drink, and with the right hand he took a cup from the tray and gently and slowly lifted it to the man's lips. An expression of appreciation came to the man's face-the expression of someone to whom someone else has ministered.” (“The Priesthood of Aaron,” Ensign, Nov. 2010).

Here is a video about the importance of living worthy of one's priesthood because you'll never know when you're called upon to help someone with it. 

Here's a note about how the word of God is “sharper than a two-edged sword” in D&C 11:2. 

“A message of simple truth, when sent from God—when published by divine authority, through divinely inspired men, penetrates the mind like a sharp two-edged sword, and cuts asunder the deeply-rooted prejudices, the iron-bound sinews of ancient error and tradition, made sacred by age and rendered popular by human wisdom. It severs with undeviating exactness between truth and falsehood—between the doctrine of Christ and the doctrines of men; it levels with the most perfect ease every argument that human learning may array against it. Opinions, creeds invented by uninspired men, and doctrines originated in schools of divinity, all vanish like the morning dew—all sink into insignificance when compared with a message direct from heaven” (Elder Orson Pratt (Apostle), “Divine Authority—or was Joseph Smith Sent of God?” Orson Pratt’s Works on the Doctrines of the Gospel [1945], 1:1).

Increase in Learning by Elder Bednar is a powerful book.

Increase in Learning by David A. Bednar. 

This is a book worth reading, marking, answering the questions in it, and asking your own questions in it. It comes with a companion DVD of Sheri Dew interviewing Elder David and his wife, Susan Bednar. If you pay the price and take the invitations to act that Elder Bednar gives in the book, you will become a changed person. I invite you to do so.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yesterday's Elder Holland talk "Living After the Manner of Happiness" at BYU-Idaho

Click here to watch the talk. You'll be glad you did! 

Adam's Special Temple Day - the First Day Ogden Temple Opened!

What a yummy day! Adam's temple endowment in the Ogden Temple. 

While Adam, Mike and I did a temple endowment, our three teens did baptisms. Wonderful! Adam is getting ready for his mission to Paris, France in the end of October.  

I am smitten with our beautiful temple. 

Look at those gorgeous grounds! 

Family dinner afterward.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Three Videos and a Study Chart about Personal Revelation

In seminary we've been studying personal revelation. We are so blessed that God still communicates with His children. Here are three videos I used in my lesson plans recently.  

Voice of the Spirit 

Patterns of Light: Spirit of Revelation

Receiving Revelation: Power of the Holy Spirit

And here is the chart my students filled out this morning. 

I invite you to spend a scripture study session or two filling one out for yourself. 

You'll likely have some fun epiphanies and feel the Spirit like we did. 

Here's how we did it. In small groups, they took turns reading the scriptures and quotes and then write down a truth or principle about personal revelation in the blank box next to it.  We had a fabulous discussion afterward of the principles they found, how they can apply them, and experiences they shared of receiving and following promptings. Beautiful. 

Here are some more great quotes about personal revelation.