Pres Eyring conducts.
Choir sings: “Rise Up Oh Men of God”
Invocation: Bruce A. Carlson of the Seventy
Choir sings a medley of primary missionary songs.
Share some counsel about decisions and choices. Charlie Brown comic strip. High fly ball hit to Lucy. Lucy would be a hero if she caught the ball. Lucy dropped the ball. Charlie Brown threw his glove to the ground. Lucy: “how do you expect me to catch the ball when I am worried about our country’s foreign policy?”
Lucy’s reasons were rationalizations. Decisions determine destiny. Rise above rationalizations regarding our decisions. Refuse the evil and choose the good.
Follow commandments, keep covenants. Don’t allow rationalizations to interfere with temple marriage. Young people say they want to marry in the temple but don’t date a temple worthy person. Some people don’t date at all.
I talked to a young man who said he wanted to go on a mission, but his conduct was not preparing him for going on a mission. He had not learned to work hard. Was not serious about school or seminary. He had not read the BoM. He thought that just showing up for his mission would be enough.
We need to show moderation, balance and wisdom. Use of the internet. Can be used to do missionary outreach, family history. Potential for good is enormous, but can also pornography and can perpetuate foolishness. Endless loops of triviality.
Distractions are everywhere. Live in a world that is literally in commotion. Careful use of social media. We spend part of our time pretending to be happier than we are. Noise, contention on the internet.
One wise father says, “will this make you a better person?”
Concerned about foolishness and being obsessed about every new thing. Basic values have eroded. Apostle Paul pointed out that the Athenians were interested in “some new thing.”
Remember good, better, best. Can be distractions from the important things. His father worried about too much sports in Elder Cook’s life. Elder Cook told a story about a negative experience with the Stanford football coach. Decided not to play college sports.
The internet, sports are not bad. But people need to use better discipline. Should be consistent with our goals. This life is the time to prepare to meet God. There is a seriousness of purpose that must undergird our approach to life.
Craig C. Christensen of the Seventy
President Monson and the importance of having your own testimony.
“Does each of us know for ourselves that the Gospel is true? Are our testimonies truly our own?”
A strong testimony will protect you from the evil that is around you. Gain a testimony of your own. Must learn for yourself that the Gospel is true.
Alma wanted to know things of himself. Nephi also came to know the truth of himself. He wanted to know the mysteries of God. Was carried away in the spirit to a high mountain. Nephi said: “I desire to know the things that my father saw.”
Joseph Smith wanted to know which church was right. He acted for himself.
Must nurture early spiritual promptings. If we don’t our feelings will fade and our testimonies will diminish.
I can say with certainty that I know these things of myself. Now is the time to learn or reaffirm that we know these things are true. We must have the faith of Alma, Nephi and young Joseph Smith to obtain our own testimonies.
Dean M Davies of the Presiding Bishopric
Church emergency resources help those in need. Typhoon in the Philippines. Members help rebuild, and these members learned new skills.
Caring for the poor and needy is an essential gospel doctrine. Open thy hand wide to thy brother. Caring for the poor and needy is one of the Church’s four responsibility. Both temporal and spiritual salvation. Central to the Lord’s plan is the law of the fast. Fast offerings bless the people. We have a personal responsibility to care for the poor and needy.
Blessings of fasting have been spilled out in every dispensation. 58th chapter of the book of Isaiah. If we fast and help the poor we can call and the Lord will answer. We are going to need more and more the blessings of the Lord in the near future.
Pres. Monson says that no member of the Church that has helped ever forgets the experience.
We must keep the law of the fast. Young children should be taught the law of the fast. Husbands and wives and children should begin with prayer. Then make the offering to the bishop. Bishops help the poor. Help members help themselves and become self-reliant. Fast offerings are a temporary support. Support life, not lifestyle.
Bishops should seek ways for Aaronic priesthood members to help with gathering fast offerings.
Caring for the poor and needy will bless both the giver and the receiver.
Choir and congregation sings “We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet.”
You should hear Pres. Monson praying for the members of the Church and the priesthood. Has confidence for the priesthood around the globe.
Betrayal of the Savior. “Lord, is it I?” What would we do if asked by the Savior? Would we look at others? Or would we look inward and ask the penetrating question, “is it I?”
This is the pathway to personal conversion and lasting change. A man took evening walks. His neighbor had a nice yard. One day the man noticed a large dandelion weed. Looked out of place. Couldn’t his neighbor see it. The man wanted to do something about it. Thought about going at night to remove it. But the man did not notice his own yard, which had hundreds of dandelion.
Why worry about the mote in thy neighbor’s eye but not the beam in thy own eye.
We cannot see ourselves clearly. We can always recommend remedies for other people but do not see our own shortcomings.
We overestimate our own contributions but underestimate the contributions of others. When we believe that our contributions at home, at work and at church are greater than they are we blind ourselves to opportunities to help.
A ward had great outward indications of faithfulness, but then 11 divorces took place. This situation is not unique. When members become disengaged from Gospel principles. They may appear to be disciples, but on the inside their hearts have separated from the Savior and his teachings.
In this age of self-justification and narcissism it is easy to come up with excuses. Where is your treasure? Are you focused on this world or on the teachings of Jesus Christ? Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Being able to see ourselves clearly is essential to our growth in the Gospel. Our blindness toward our human weaknesses can also make us blind to our potential.
The scriptures and the talks are an effective mirror we can hold up for self-examination. Think about how the words apply to ourselves. “Lord, is it I?”
Elder Uchtdorf is most impressed by the simple souls who are truly good and without guile, not the powerful and successful. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up.
If you ask “Lord, is it I” and receive the answer that we must improve, then I pray we may find ways to become better husbands, better fathers and better sons. Seeing ourselves clearly is the beginning of wisdom.
The first steps with our asking, “Lord, is it I?”
Message about the Aaronic Priesthood.
The preparatory priesthood. The earth is for our preparation. We are in a preparatory state. This life is a probationary state, a time to prepare to meet God.
Pres. Eyring grew up in a tiny branch where he and his brother were the only Aaronic priesthood members until a new convert who was an older man came and received the priesthood. This convert helped prepare the two boys to later become bishops.
Then he moved to Utah and felt the power of a whole priesthood quorum. Great bishop who guided him. Visited a widow. Visited an inactive man. Visited alcoholics and their children, two girls. “Those little girls will never forget that we came.”
Pres. Eyring’s son was asked to give a message of repentance. A bishop were preparing my son to be a priesthood man and someday a bishop.
Pres. Eyring’s father (a famous scientist) was asked by the Brethren to write on the Church and science. He gave it to Pres. Eyring so he would read it. Important to show trust to those who are younger.
Our success will come in proportion to how much we love them. All who serve together run the priesthood are preparing a people for the coming of the Savior.
75 years ago, Feb. 14, 1939, a public holiday in Germany. A great ship was sent to sea. The Bismarck. It was considered unsinkable. Was damaged. Rudder broken, could only stir a circle. No rudder, no help, no port. The end drew near. The Bismarck was sunk.
Each of us is a miracle of engineering. Only can have life through the power of God.
We have been provided a way to determine the direction we travel. We should steer toward the Celestial Kingdom.
Heavenly Father provides a clear map that points the way toward our destination. We cannot be deceived by those who would lead us astray. We pause to pray. We listen to that still, small voice speaking to our souls.
Some will not hear, will not obey, want to walk a path of their own invention.
Difficult times. The sophistries of men ring in our ears and sins surround us. But wherever we go, our priesthood goes with us. We must consider the consequences of following worldly ways. Be thou an example of a believer.
Example of Cain, powerful in potential but weak of will. Disobedience and murder. He jammed the rudder that would have guided him to exaltation.
Daniel is an opposite example. Lion’s den.
Satan has worked tirelessly for the destruction of the followers of the Father. We must look heavenward for the correct sense of direction. As we seek heavenly help, our rudder will not fail.
We should have a courage of Daniel. Jacob (brother of Nephi) said: “I could not be shaken.”
Choir sings “Ye Elders of Israel.”