My Life in Zion

The life and views of a Latter-day Saint in the 21st Century…

Archive for the tag “Priesthood Lesson”

Change Your Course

light house at night

On Mondays I go into work late. When my wife takes her lunch from work she drives the five minutes back to our home and we enjoy our Monday lunches together.

Today when Anna Melissa came home for lunch our conversation turned to our goals as a family, where we want to be personally in a few months as we prepare to be parents, where we want to live, our careers, and other imposing subjects. After a brief conversation and exchanging of thoughts and ideas she asked almost rhetorically, “What have you done today to get us towards those goals?” She then went on and shared some of her thoughts and aspirations for us as a couple.

The question got me thinking, even though it was asked in a passing and indirect manner, “What have I done today?” And I was happy to be able to affirm to myself that I was on the right course.

Yesterday I taught our priesthood quorum in our new branch. I taught from the talk given by Elder Ulisses Soares in our last General Conference, Be Meek and Lowly of Heart, and encouraged the brethren to change whatever might be in their lives that might be keeping them from the meekness that Elder Soares so beautifully describes. We discussed tempers, pride, family relationships, marriage, children, and how easy it is to get off course. In closing I told a story about once when my pride had gotten the better of me in my life. I told them how my arrogance led to a loss of the Holy Spirit, and how eventually coming to realize I was wrong and then asking forgiveness had brought a cleansing and peaceful spirit into my life. “Change your course brethren if your lack of meekness is causing a lack of the Spirit in your life,” was the gist of what I said.

Afterwards multiple brethren came up and thanked me for the lesson. It wasn’t me though. I hadn’t even wanted to teach from that specific talk. But a loving God knew what needed to be said to that group of people at that time and He said it through the weakest vessel He had.

You may remember the story about the ship captain who had a problem with his pride. One night at sea, this captain saw what looked like the light of another ship heading toward him. He had his signalman blink to the other ship: “Change your course 10 degrees south.” The reply came back, “Change your course 10 degrees north.” The ship’s captain answered: “I am a captain. Change your course south.” To which the reply came, “Well, I am a seaman first class. Change your course north.” This so infuriated the captain, he signaled back, “I say change your course south. I am on a battleship!” To which the reply came back, “And I say change your course north. I am in a lighthouse.”

Sometimes in our lives we just need to stop whatever we are doing and change. We need to change course. We need to let go of our pride, our intellect, and our own wills and admit that there is a better way. The greatest Way of course which is the Savior’s Way and example. Treating our family, friends, coworkers, and everyday associates with love, respect, and kind words is always the best path to follow. Jesus Christ is the ultimate lighthouse. The trick is making sure to change our courses according to His prescribed plan.

 

 

 

The Priesthood and Relief Society Manual for 2013: Teachings of Lorenzo Snow

The cover of the Priesthood and Relief Society Manual for 2013. Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow

Each year I get giddy as we draw close to the end of our church manuals, because it means that soon we get to start a new one! – Yes, I realize I’m a nerd. – This year is no different from times in years past though.

The first time I ever saw a Priesthood/Relief Society Manual was when I was a young recent convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My grandma, who had lived next door to me my entire childhood life in Redmond, Utah, was what many would refer to as a “less active” member of the Church. By the time I was a young man she probably hadn’t attended an LDS church meeting in nearly 50 years. However, she was anything but unkind to the Church. Despite my various family members who would always bash “the Mormons” or decry their “evil monopoly of Utah State Government” (my family’s words, not mine), my grandma was always kind to Mormons. It was her kindness that helped me to accept baptism into a church that was foreign to me and had given me great grief as a Lutheran boy growing up in central Utah. Her home teachers were stalwart high priests who never missed a month. And in December of 1997 I was visiting my grandma when those two wonderful men brought her a Christmas gift: “The Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young”.

It was a thick, softcover book with a large picture of President Brigham Young covering most of the front cover. There was a brown edging around the portrait itself, and a fanciful cropping of what looked like swirled turquoise and browns surrounding the covers edges. The portrait of Brigham looked stern, yet inviting and friendly. Having grown up with a grandfather (on the other side of my family) who had taught me that Brigham Young was a womanizing, alcoholic, murdering, money-laundering felon, it surprised me that even though I was new to the Church, I felt a great warmth for the man whose image was emblazoned on the cover of that book.

Once my grandma’s home teachers left that cold December day the book was quickly hidden away out of sight in a cupboard located in the bottom of her grandfather clock. The clock, located tightly beside her couch and in the corner of her living room drew little attention, and the cupboard located in the bottom of the clock drew even less attention. It was a Christmas gift that was soon forgotten, but one which brought me tremendous, and secret joy each time I went next door to visit my grandma. Her house held a ubiquitous huddle of uncles, aunts, cousins, and continual scattered family nearly 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. But in the rare moments when nobody was around, and nobody would see me, I would casually sit on the edge of my grandma’s couch, reach down into the forgotten cupboard, and pull out that manual and read of my new found Mormon faith.

I loved that book. And I have read it many times since.

At the age of 17, having moved far from central Utah to Jasper, Alabama, I was called as my small ward’s sole priesthood quorum advisor. It was in this unique calling that I reveled in the opportunities I had to teach from a similar book, the teachings of Harold B. Lee. Perhaps it was my boyish zeal, or my complete inept innocence, but there was nothing I looked forward to more than studying those priesthood lessons throughout the week and then going to teach my brethren in Christ. As the only young man in my ward we never separated, and without a sufficient number of elders or high priests, we were one large mash up of conversion, testimony, and opinions on the lessons, but it was a thrill all the same. As I prepared for my mission and the manual changed to a blue book with the image of John Taylor on the front, our lessons grew more spiritual, and I’ll never forget a profound sabbath during which our aged stake patriarch bore a beautiful testimony of the things we had just read.

I love the Church manuals.

When I found out a couple of months ago that the coming year’s manual would be the teachings of President Lorenzo Snow I felt even happier than usual, because President Snow is a man for whom I have a great affinity.

Perhaps as we draw closer to the new year and the change in manuals I will share some of my favorite Lorenzo Snow stories. But for now, sit back and enjoy a sneak preview of the great things to come.

Below is the Table of Contents for the coming year’s Priesthood and Relief Society lessons. And following that is a link at which you can download a PDF copy of the manual onto your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

I hope you’re as excited to hear from President Snow as I am!

Table of Contents: “Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow”

Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v

Historical Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ix

The Life and Ministry of Lorenzo Snow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

1 Learning by Faith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

2 Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

3 Lifelong Conversion: Continuing to Advance in

the Principles of Truth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

4 Strengthened by the Power of the Holy Ghost. . . . . . . . . . . 71

5 The Grand Destiny of the Faithful. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

6 Becoming Perfect before the Lord: “A Little Better

Day by Day”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

7 Faithfulness in Times of Trial: “From the Shadows

into the Glorious Sunshine”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

8 “Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart”. . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

9 Sacred Family Relationships. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

10 “Come into the Temples”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137

11 “I Seek Not Mine Own Will, but the Will of the Father”. . . 147

12 Tithing, a Law for Our Protection and Advancement. . . . . 157

13 Relief Society: True Charity and Pure Religion. . . . . . . . . . 167

14 “With God All Things Are Possible”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175

15 Faithful, Energetic Service in the Kingdom of God. . . . . . . 183

16 “That We May Become One”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195

17 Priesthood—”for the Salvation of the Human Family”. . . . 205

18 Church Leadership and Selfless Service. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215

19 Missionary Work: “To Reach Every Human Heart”. . . . . . . 225

20 The Kingdom of God Moves Forward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237

21 Loving God More Than We Love the World. . . . . . . . . . . . 249

22 Doing Good to Others. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257

23 The Prophet Joseph Smith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267

24 Reflections on the Mission of Jesus Christ . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277

List of Visuals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285

Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287

Click below to download a PDF version of “The Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow”.

http://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/content/english/pdf/language-materials/36787_eng.pdf

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