"For the power is in us"

A review of "Choices for a New Year"

December 1, 2014

Please see the original document for context before reading on. What follows is a summary of the original presentation.


“Wow, one look at that handout and I’m already feeling guilty. This is going to be a long lesson…”

The (Very!) Good News

God really does loves us! (John 3:16)

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…

Joy to the World! Hymns, #201

Joy to the world, the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev’ry heart prepare him room,
And Saints and angels sing, And Saints and angels sing,
And Saints, and Saints and angels sing.

He is Risen! Hymns, #199

“He is risen! He is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice.
He has burst his three days’ prison;
Let the whole wide earth rejoice.
Death is conquered; man is free.
Christ has won the victory.”


What does this mean for us?

For the power is in us, wherein we are agents unto ourselves. And inasmuch as we do good we shall in nowise lose our reward.

–Doctrine and Covenants 58:28 (applied to us)


Daily Choices (“Proper care and feeding of our spirit”)

Personal

Family

Keep Covenants: admittance to the Celestial Kingdom

Daily Bread (Prayer and Scripture Study)

Video: Daily Bread, by Elder Christofferson

Make the exercise of your faith your first priority, by Elder Scott

Prayer: “Non-negotiable”

“Parents, help safeguard your children by arming them morning and night with the power of family prayer. Children are bombarded every day with the evils of lust, greed, pride, and a host of other sinful behaviors. Protect your children from daily worldly influences by fortifying them with the powerful blessings that result from family prayer. Family prayer should be a non-negotiable priority in your daily life.”

–Elder Richard G. Scott, October 2014 Conference

Scripture Study: “Peace will Prevail”

“Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!

“…as you dedicate time every day, personally and with your family, to the study of God’s word, peace will prevail in your life. That peace won’t come from the outside world. It will come from within your home, from within your family, from within your own heart. It will be a gift of the Spirit. It will radiate out from you to influence others in the world around you. You will be doing something very significant to add to the cumulative peace in the world.

“I do not declare that your life will cease to have challenges. Remember when Adam and Eve were in the garden, they were free from challenges, yet they were unable to experience happiness, joy, and peace. Challenges are an important part of mortality. Through daily, consistent scripture study, you will find peace in the turmoil around you and strength to resist temptations. You will develop strong faith in the grace of God and know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all will be made right according to God’s timing.”

–Elder Richard G. Scott, October 2014 Conference

Discussion: Success Stories

  1. “How have you and your family been successful in establishing patterns of covenant keeping, prayer, and scripture study?”

  2. “What blessings have you received as a result of your efforts (however incomplete)?”


Weekly Choices

Church Attendance

You’re here, and you’ve made it through all three meetings too! Excellent choice!

Family Home Evening (summarized from Elder Scott’s talk, referenced above)

Regular Activities

Choose to be inclusive, supportive and to connect with others in meaningful ways.

Serve Others

Mosiah 2:17 - “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings…”

Listed as a weekly choice. So, in accordance with the Boy Scout Slogan, let’s serve on Monday of every week, and Tuesday of every week, etc…

Discussion: Success Stories

  1. “How have you and your family been successful in establishing patterns of church attendance, family home evening, activities, and service?”

  2. “What blessings have you received as a result of your efforts (however incomplete)?”


Monthly Choices

Home Teaching & Visiting Teaching

The Internet (an analogy)

  1. A complex global network
    • Network: A group or system of interconnected people or things (computers, routers, switches…)
  2. Connects billions of devices
    • underground, across oceans, to outer space and back
  3. How does it even work? Standard protocols!
    • HTTP, TCP/IP, FTP, SMTP, etc…

Home Teaching & Visiting Teaching

  1. A local network
    • of friends and neighbors
  2. Thankfully, less than billions of connections
    • Elders quorum: ~30 companionships / ~75 families
  3. How should it work? Standard protocols!
    • Home Teachers: Handbook 2, Section 7.4
    • Visiting Teachers: Handbook 2, Section 9.5

“What if…

…the availability of websites and services on the internet to members of our ward was proportional to our ward’s Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching efforts?”

“Would it be acceptable if the network of the internet responded like the network of our ward?” (Or what if the opposite was true?)

In summary, the network of the internet, like home teaching and visiting teaching, isn’t ever perfect–there are outages and failures all the time. Speaking statistically, they are usually pinpointed rather than systemic, short-lived, and certainly are not the norm.

Monthly Temple Attendance

“…Go to the temple. We all know there is no more peaceful place on this earth than in the temples of God. If you don’t have a temple recommend, qualify to get one. When you have a recommend, use it often. Schedule a regular time to be in the temple. Don’t let anyone or anything prevent you from being there.

“While you are in the temple, listen to the words of the ordinances, ponder them, pray about them, and seek to understand their meaning. The temple is one of the best places to come to understand the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Seek Him there. Remember that many more blessings come from providing your own family names in the temple.”

–Elder Richard G. Scott, October 2014 Conference

Review the budget (“One for the Money”)

Discussion: Success Stories

  1. “How have you and your family been successful in establishing patterns of teaching others, temple attendance, and budgeting?”
  2. “What blessings have you received as a result of your efforts (however incomplete)?”

Time, Priorities, and Choices

“Our priorities are most visible in how we use our time. Someone has said, “Three things never come back—the spent arrow, the spoken word, and the lost opportunity.” We cannot recycle or save the time allotted to us each day. With time, we have only one opportunity for choice, and then it is gone forever… “

–Elder Dallin H. Oaks, April 2001 Conference

What (and how) can I improve this month?

Doctrine & Covenants 109:8

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even - a house of prayer, - a house of fasting, - a house of faith, - a house of learning, - a house of glory, - a house of order, - a house of God…”

Doctrine and Covenants 58:28 (applied to us)

For the power is in us, wherein we are agents unto ourselves. And inasmuch as we do good we shall in nowise lose our reward.”