Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 69: Helaman 14-16

Happy Sunday Everyone!

How was your Sabbath day so far?  I learned so much in church today.  I feel that I went with an empty  cup and I left with it running over.  I took notes during all the talks and in all the classes.  I will share some of my thoughts.  I also made a little display for this month's Visiting Teaching lesson in Relief Society.  You can learn more about the Visiting Teaching program HERE.  I am so grateful that it is in place and that all of the sisters in our congregation are cared for and watched over.

You can click HERE to read the entire Visiting Message for the month of August.  We have a new message every month.

Isn't this such a pretty picture?  I was going through the many pictures on our phones and found this one.  It was when my husband and I were visiting Salt Lake City, Utah.  The temple is in the background.

Today we first heard from two of our missionaries who I have posted pictures of before, Elder Bolin and Elder Peterson.  Elder Bolin spoke of missionary work.  He encouraged us to go out and meet our neighbors and to serve them.

He quoted Mosiah 2:14…
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

Elder Peterson asked us to keep praying for the missionaries.  He also talked about Elder Holland's talk "If you love me, feed my sheep."  Click HERE to read that full message.

Here is a picture of these two missionaries that I have shared with you before…

We next heard from two members of our ward (congregation) who have just returned from serving overseas in the military.  They both spoke of Repentance and Forgiveness.  They both shared personal examples in their lives.

In Relief Society Sister Mackey taught the lesson on the talk given by our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, called "Obedience Brings Blessings".  You can watch it below if you have time.  I cannot wait to have an entire weekend listening to the words of our church leaders.  I always come away from General Conference feeling uplifted and wanting to be a better person.

This Saturday is our General Relief Society meeting.  I invite all of you to watch it with me!  You can click HERE to see the times and the website where you can watch the broadcast.

Okay, let's get on to today's reading.  I cannot believe we are finishing up the book of Helaman already!  What did you think?  I'd love to hear your comments.  Feel free to e-mail me anytime at or you can leave a comment below.  

In  chapter 14 Samuel the Lamanites speaks of the signs and wonders that will happen during the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ and during his death and resurrection.  I have many favorite verses from this chapter but here are a couple I would like to highlight.

Helaman 14:30-31
"And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free."

"He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you."

I love these verses because they talk about our agency.  I found this great lesson on Agency in the Gospel Principles book on  It will explain what we believe about our freedom to choose.

Agency Is an Eternal Principle

  • If someone asked you why it is important to have agency, what would you say?
“Thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee” (Moses 3:17).
God has told us through His prophets that we are free to choose between good and evil. We may choose liberty and eternal life by following Jesus Christ. We are also free to choose captivity and death by following Satan. (See 2 Nephi 2:27.) The right to choose between good and evil and to act for ourselves is called agency.
In our premortal life we had moral agency. One purpose of earth life is to show what choices we will make (see 2 Nephi 2:15–16). If we were forced to choose the right, we would not be able to show what we would choose for ourselves. Also, we are happier doing things when we have made our own choices.
Agency was one of the principal issues to arise in the premortal Council in Heaven. It was one of the main causes of the conflict between the followers of Christ and the followers of Satan. Satan said, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1). In saying this, he “rebelled against [God] and sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3). His offer was rejected, and he was cast out of heaven with his followers (see D&C 29:36–37).

Agency Is a Necessary Part of the Plan of Salvation

Agency makes our life on earth a period of testing. When planning the mortal creation of His children, God said, “We will prove [test] them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:25). Without the gift of agency, we would have been unable to show our Heavenly Father whether we would do all that He commanded us. Because we are able to choose, we are responsible for our actions (see Helaman 14:30–31).
When we choose to live according to God’s plan for us, our agency is strengthened. Right choices increase our power to make more right choices.
As we obey each of our Father’s commandments, we grow in wisdom and strength of character. Our faith increases. We find it easier to make right choices.
We began to make choices as spirit children in our Heavenly Father’s presence. Our choices there made us worthy to come to earth. Our Heavenly Father wants us to grow in faith, power, knowledge, wisdom, and all other good things. If we keep His commandments and make right choices, we will learn and understand. We will become like Him. (See D&C 93:28.)
  • How does making right choices help us make more right choices?

Agency Requires That There Be a Choice

  • Why is opposition necessary?
We cannot choose righteousness unless the opposites of good and evil are placed before us. Lehi, a great Book of Mormon prophet, told his son Jacob that in order to bring about the eternal purposes of God, there must be “an opposition in all things. If not so, … righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad” (2 Nephi 2:11).
God allows Satan to oppose the good. God said of Satan:
“I caused that he should be cast down;
“And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice” (Moses 4:3–4).
Satan does all he can to destroy God’s work. He seeks “the misery of all mankind. … He seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:18, 27). He does not love us. He does not want any good thing for us (see Moroni 7:17). He does not want us to be happy. He wants to make us his slaves. He uses many disguises to enslave us.
When we follow the temptations of Satan, we limit our choices. The following example suggests how this works. Imagine seeing a sign on the seashore that reads: “Danger—whirlpool. No swimming allowed here.” We might think that is a restriction. But is it? We still have many choices. We are free to swim somewhere else. We are free to walk along the beach and pick up seashells. We are free to watch the sunset. We are free to go home. We are also free to ignore the sign and swim in the dangerous place. But once the whirlpool has us in its grasp and we are pulled under, we have very few choices. We can try to escape, or we can call for help, but we may drown.
For teachers: A simple picture can help learners focus their attention. If you discuss the analogy of a warning sign as it is presented in this chapter, you may want to draw a picture of such a sign on the board or on a large piece of paper.
Even though we are free to choose our course of action, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. The consequences, whether good or bad, follow as a natural result of any choice we make (see Galatians 6:7; Revelation 22:12).
Heavenly Father has told us how to escape the captivity of Satan. We must watch and pray always, asking God to help us withstand the temptations of Satan (see 3 Nephi 18:15). Our Heavenly Father will not allow us to be tempted beyond our power to resist (see 1 Corinthians 10:13; Alma 13:28).
God’s commandments direct us away from danger and toward eternal life. By choosing wisely, we will gain exaltation, progress eternally, and enjoy perfect happiness (see 2 Nephi 2:27–28).

    We learn that from the preachings of Samuel the Lamanite there are many Nephites who believe and repent of their sins.  It is amazing how much good one person can do.  If you don't think that you can make a difference look at all these great examples in the scriptures.

    I hope you all have a great night!  I've got to get to bed.  I have an early  morning tomorrow as I am taking my oldest daughter to our church's Seminary at 6:00 am.  


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