Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 50: Alma 33-34

Happy Labor Day!

How was your day?  I hope you had a GREAT Labor Day!  We started the day with breakfast out with my BIL and his family.  The kids got up at the crack of dawn to swim one more time before they headed back home.  My kids swam in our pool more this weekend than they did all Summer this year!

Tonight for Family Home Evening (click HERE to learn about FHE) I taught the lesson on Music.  I based it off the same lesson I gave yesterday at church.  For the first time in 15 years, all of my children sat and listened through my entire lesson!  I gave out a big WOO HOO after it was finished and we all laughed.  It was probably because my 6 year old is sick with an ear infection.  He stuck a rock in his ear at school on Friday and now it's infected.  He is on medicine and I hope he feels better soon.

Here is my sick little boy after breakfast this morning.   He and I went out to the car early and he went right to sleep in the back seat.  That is when I knew something was up with his health.

Poor little guy after his drs appointment.  He has been laying around all day since.

For Family Home Evening my 8 year old insisted that we have an official opening and closing song along with our regular music.

My sick little 6 year old wanted to be in the FHE picture that I took of my lesson props.  LOL!

Today Alma is still teaching the Zoramites.  I find that the theme of today's reading is prayer.

    Alma 33:2–19. False Doctrines of the Zoramites

  • Alma used the scriptures repeatedly to address the false doctrines taught by the Zoramites. He first dealt with the false notion that you can only pray on the Rameumptom. Using the scriptures he explained that they could pray and worship God anywhere; in their “wilderness,” in their “field,” in their “house,” and even in their “closet” (see Alma 33:2–11). Alma then addressed the fact that all the prophets have testified of the coming of a Christ (see Alma 33:14–22; see also Jacob 7:11).

    Alma 33:3–1134:17–27, 39. Hearts Drawn Out in Prayer Continually

  • President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency explained what it means to be in a continuous attitude of prayer:
    “When God has commanded us to pray, He has used words like ‘pray unceasingly’ and ‘pray always’ and ‘mighty prayer.’
    “Those commands do not require using many words. In fact, the Savior has told us that we need not multiply words when we pray. The diligence in prayer which God requires does not take flowery speech nor long hours of solitude. …
    “Our hearts can be drawn out to God only when they are filled with love for Him and trust in His goodness”.
Prayer is so personal.  It is our communication with our Heavenly Father.  Anytime we need to talk to our Father all we need to do is pray.  These chapters pointed out that we do not have to be in a church meeting to do all of our prayers.  We can pray in our "wildernesses", etc.  I like to pray while I am driving in my car, cleaning my house, anytime I recognize a blessing, etc.   Prayer is an open communication with God.  He is always there listening and he answers all of our prayers.

In a talk given by one of our past counselors in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, President Faust said the following of Prayer.  To read or watch the entire talk click HERE.

This morning I bear witness of the importance of prayer. Access to our Creator through our Savior is surely one of the great privileges and blessings of our lives. I have learned from countless personal experiences that great is the power of prayer. No earthly authority can separate us from direct access to our Creator. There can never be a mechanical or electronic failure when we pray. There is no limit on the number of times or how long we can pray each day. There is no quota of how many needs we wish to pray for in each prayer. We do not need to go through secretaries or make an appointment to reach the throne of grace. He is reachable at any time and any place.
When God placed man on the earth, prayer became the lifeline between mankind and God. Thus, in Adam’s generation, men began “to call upon the name of the Lord.”  Through all generations since that time, prayerhas filled a very important human need. Each of us has problems that we cannot solve and weaknesses that we cannot conquer without reaching out through prayer to a higher source of strength. That source is the God of heaven to whom we pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  As we pray we should think of our Father in Heaven as possessing all knowledge, understanding, love, and compassion.
What is a prayer? The Savior gave us an example in the Lord’s Prayer when He prayed: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
“Give us this day our daily bread.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” 
First, prayer is a humble acknowledgment that God is our Father and that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Second, it is a sincere confession of sin and transgression and a request for forgiveness. Third, it is recognition that we need help beyond our own ability. Fourth, it is an opportunity to express thanksgiving and gratitude to our Creator. It is important that we frequently say: “We thank Thee … , “ “We acknowledge before Thee … ,” “We are grateful unto Thee …” Fifth, it is a privilege to ask Deity for specific blessings.
Many prayers are spoken while we are on our knees. The Savior knelt as He prayed to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane.  But silent prayers of the heart also reach to heaven. We sing, “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, Uttered or unexpressed.”  Sincere prayers come from the heart. Indeed, sincerity requires that we draw from the earnest feelings of our hearts when we pray rather than using vain repetitions or pretentious affectations such as those condemned by the Savior in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican.   Our prayers then truly become the “song of the heart” and “a prayer,”  not only reaching God but touching the hearts of others as well.
Jeremiah counsels us to pray with all our heart and soul.  Enos recounted how his soul had hungered and that he had prayed all the day long.  Prayers vary in their intensity. Even the Savior “prayed more earnestly” in His hour of agony.  Some are simple expressions of appreciation and requests for a continuation of blessings on our loved ones and us. However, in times of great personal hurt or need, more may be required than mere asking. The Lord said, “You have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.”  Blessings sought through prayer sometimes require work, effort, and diligence on our part.
Here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing A Child's Prayer.  I have added the lyrics below.  This was one of the songs that the children performed for us last night when the missionaries were over.

In Chapter 34 Amulek is now talking to the Zoramites.  There are so many verses in this chapter that are my favorite!  I will share a few.  The following verses are so powerful to me.

Alma 34:17-27
17 Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you;
 18 Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save.
 19 Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him.
 20 Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.
 21 Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.
 22 Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.
 23 Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.
 24 Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.
 25 Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.
 26 But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.
 27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.
Alma 34:32
"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."

Here is a great talk given by Elder Russel M. Nelson.  Get your tissues out, you will need them!  

"Our decisions determine our destiny."  I love this quote by Elder Nelson in this video.  It is so true!  I am looking forward to watching General Conference on October 5th and 6th.  I invite all of you to watch it with me.  I will post the links for that very soon.  It is where we can hear from all of the leaders and the Prophet of our church.  It is where I find inspiration and feel the Spirit of the Lord.  You can click HERE to watch any of our past General Conferences.  I love to watch and listen to the past talks given.  

I hope you all have a great night!  I am off to bed.  The kids have one more day off school tomorrow and I will need all the energy I can get!  

Big hugs and love to you all!  Please e-mail me if you need anything or have any questions.


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