Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gratitude to Eve

What happened in the garden of Eden has changed us forever...literally.

Eve, named by Adam, as the "mother of all living" before she was even a mother,
made a choice to partake of the tree of life because there was no other way to have a family and progress and fulfill her mission on this earth.

But yet, many in the world resent Eve and even blame her assuming there was another way, and she really blew it.

There is talk of an "original sin" that we all must be cleansed from just because we were born.  There is baptism of babies in order to cleanse pure innocent children from Adam and Eve's "wickedness".  And there is even shame and confusion in being female...all directed back to Eve and the choice she made in the garden of Eden.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

As a missionary, I ran into this issue many times.  There seems to be a lot of confusion and even bad feelings associated with Eve, or glorious first mother.  Before we go on any further...let's clarify a little bit and shed some light on eternal truths from our loving Heavenly Father.  We can turn to The Family Proclamation some of that information:

"All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. 
In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.
The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife."  The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Adam and Eve came to know of that plan and of their purpose in it.  They learned like Christ did when He was on the earth, and as we do: line upon line or grace upon grace. 
Luke 2: 40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
I believe they came to know that in order to progress, they would have to eventually partake of the fruit of the tree to experience parenthood and death.  It was part of God's plan.
The Two Contradicting Commandments in the Garden of Eden:
  1. Multiply and Replenish the Earth-the first commandment
  2. Do Not Eat of the Tree of Life
They couldn't multiply and replenish the earth until they had partaken of the fruit of the tree.  Eating of the fruit, would open up the way to having a family, parenthood, progression, and eventually death. 
 Eve partook of the fruit, knowing there was no other way.
Other truths to clarify:
 Is there a place where you must repent or pay for someone else's sins? That is not part of our Heavenly Father's plan.  We work out our own salvation, repenting of our own sins, not Adam's, Eve's or anyone elses. Christ's Atonement covers Adam and Eve's sins and ours. 
  • Do babies need baptism?  See Moroni 8
8..."little cchildren are dwhole, for they are not capable of committing esin; wherefore the curse of fAdam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them;
10 Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are aaccountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little bchildren, and they shall all be saved with their little children.
11 And their little achildren need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the bremission of sins.
12 But little achildren are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a brespecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!

Eve did what had to be done in difficult circumstances because there was no other way .

There are no words to fully express the gratitude to Eve for the sacrifices she made for all of us.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Being a Help Meet

Genesis 2:18  ¶And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Abraham 5:14 And the Gods said: Let us make an help meet for the man, for it is not good that the man should be alone, therefore we will form an help meet for him

Moses 3:18. And I, the Lord God, said unto mine aOnly Begotten, that it was not good that the man should be alone; wherefore, I will make an help meet for him.

What Does it Mean to be a Help Meet?
The title HELP MEET conveys a very important assignment and stewardship.  It is in a way a contract between not only our husbands,  but  also with God.

Are there negative connotations associated with "help meet"?  Does it feel like a subordinate assignment?
It is just the opposite.
It is one the highest callings we have been given.
To be a help meet[ to our husbands] means:
  •  to complete him
  • to rescue or save
  • to be strong
  • to be a fit helper or "equal to"

I think my favorite term is that we complete our husbands.  Isn't that just beautifully worded?  Do you feel like you complete your husband?

Howard W. Hunter said it this way,
"The Lord intended that the wife be a helpmeet for the man-that is a companion equal and necessary in partnership."

"Created in the exact image of her heavenly parents, Eve came to Adam uniquely prepared to act as a companion with the first high priest in mortality." Beverly Campbell, Eve and the Choice Made in Eden

When it is put that way we get the vision for our own situations and our own marriages. 
It is an honor to be a help meet.
  To be the one to complete our husbands, to be his main support, cheerleader, and strength...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Joseph Smith: A Prophet of God

taken recently on a trip to Nauvoo

Who was Joseph Smith?

He was a common man with a common name: Joseph Smith.    Yet, he was not common. 

Through revelation from God, He re-organized Christ's true church with all the saving principles and ordinances "which existed in the primitive church, namely apostels and prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. "

Beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormons) { Click Here } 
Read Joseph's story from his own account {Click Here}
"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; … the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” – Joseph Smith Jr.

Joseph Smith Jr. and his brother Hyrum Smith were martyred on June 27, 1844 in Carthage, Illinois by an angry mob. 

Joseph Smith's last dream by WW Phelps:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Re-discovering Prayer

Don't you love it when you re-discover a truth?!

I have done that this week.  I have re-realized that prayer indeed has a great power. 

I already learned that ....and I already knew that...

but this week I learned it again.

Why don't I turn to the Lord more is the question? 

Oh, I do in the general way.
But I am talking about relying upon Him for the specifics:
 random situations or crisis moments when we try to forge it alone:

...the little things that we need help with. 

Kneel down and ask the Lord to help you with your problems.  He is there.  And He does listen.

Prayer works.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Finding Faith in an Empty Tank of Gas

When the Savior was on the earth He asked,
 "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)

What is true faith?
 Faith is defined as "belief and trust in loyalty to God...firm belief in something for which there is no proof. We believe that faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true...and our faith must be centered in Jesus Christ.

Faith is a power, not to just to be believed in, but to be lived.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Teaching With Power and Impact

More Effective

·          Be bold and courageous, expecting class to step up to spiritual things

·          Talking of Christ, the Atonement, forgiveness, etc.  often

·          Talking of the restoration, Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith

·          Talking about faith in Jesus Christ

·          Teacher and student sharing testimony and personal experiences

·          Keeping the inner vessel clean

·          Inviting class to be ready to feel the Spirit and act according to the Spirit

·          Being free from “light speeches and light mindedness”

·          Humility, submissive, and meekness

·          Having pure motives

·          Developing a relationship with each person

·          Praying for God’s help to change lives…mentioning class members’ by name

·          Proper lesson prep.  And personal study

Less Effective

·          Trying to force the Spirit

·          Creating emotion instead of the spirit

·          Choosing and teaching principles that are not life changing

·          Being satisfied with mediocrity

·          Using inappropriate humor

·          Being sarcastic toward class, church leaders or programs

·          Complaining about life, students, others, government, etc.

Source: Alan Maynes and Clyde Davis, CES Area Directors for Utah East Area Seminaries and Institutes-personal observations in what seems to be effective and what seems to be less effective in teaching seminary and institute classes.

-A handout from an annual CES husband and wife retreat and training