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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

110: THE CHURCH 168 YEARS LATER FROM THE PROPHETS DEATH.

I have talked to many people about their views, insights and thoughts on last weekends General Conference. I have read the writing of others who have shared their feelings on blogs and forums.  In my opinion, Conference is a time for personal reflection. For me, it is important to listen not just what the speakers say, but what the Spirit reveals to you personally. Even though listening to conference this year was a little harder for us at our home with a one year old, I was grateful to spend time with my family. I enjoyed the beautiful weather, going on an early morning hike, and listening to the talks when they testified of Christ and our complete dependence on Him and our need to not just have a testimony of Him but to  be "converted."

While not a complete list,  here is quick short list of a few highlights, one-liners and slogans that I can remember. I tried to get one from each of the speaker's talks.
  • Announcement was revealed to the church to have 18 year old Elders and 19 year old Sisters serve missionaries.
  •  Two new temples will be built in Arizona and Peru.
  • Enjoy the journey.
  • Don’t have your faith falter despite adversity or church history. 
  • Two tragic stories of loss (a 8 month old baby, and a tragic accident of a 21 year old daughter)
  • Ask the Missionaries.  They can help you.
  • I Know it, I Live it, I Love it.
  • Importance of marriage,  family and children. 
  • Honey contains all the essentials food to sustain life. One bee’s contribution 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey
  • Plea for the Lamanites/Native Americans/ Remmant to read and reread the Book of Mormon
  • Would I sell my soul for 5 cents or a championship game?
  • Perfectionism in the Temple with no grit on wall or crooked square glass windows.
  • Rise up Men and Boys (and these are my words… and “grow a pair”)
  • Courage to stand as a witness at all times and follow promptings like leaving a party before being found guilty by association.
  • Beware of falling rocks on the steep highway carved into the mountain.
  • Whether you are in a Piper plane or F-18 plane ward, immerse yourself in church service and feel heavens embrace
  • See others not as they are but rather as what they can become.
  • Mandate to share the gospel.
  • Pray to know the gifts that I have been given and help others find the gifts they have been given.
  • As I am soaring through the clouds on an airplane, don’t complain about the peanuts.
  • Look for the Lower lights to help guide in storms.
  • First Observe than Serve.
  • Seeing the face of the Lord....only at the Judgement Bar?
  • Become a more Christian Christian.
  • Surf the “Celestial” Web.
  • Feel good stories and examples of following the promptings of the Spirit.
  • Don’t pick a few things to eat, but eat from the whole buffet of the gospel.
  • A Testimony will not be enough..it is essential to be Converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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I know that this might seem out of place to post these here....I wanted to also post two of Joseph Smith's last dreams that he had just prior to his death  almost 168 years ago. I find them to be extremely symbolic.
....
Joseph Smith Farm House Dream
 TPJS, pp. 393-94
Section Six 1843-44, p.393

     Joseph related the following dream which he had last night: I was back in Kirtland, Ohio, and thought I would take a walk out by myself, and view my old farm, which I found grown up with weeds and brambles, and altogether bearing evidence of neglect and want of culture. I went into the barn, which I found without floor or doors, with the weather-boarding off, and was altogether in keeping with the farm.
     "While I viewed the desolation around me, and was contemplating how it might be recovered from the curse upon it, there came rushing into the barn a company of furious men, who commenced to pick a quarrel with me. "The leader of the party ordered me to leave the barn and farm, stating it was none of mine, and that I must give up all hope of ever possessing it.
     "I told him the farm was given me by the Church, and although I had not had any use of it for some time back, still I had not sold it, and according to righteous principles it belonged to me or the Church.
      "He then grew furious and began to rail upon me, and threaten me, and said it never did belong to me nor to the Church.
     "I then told him that I did not think it worth contending about, that I had no desire to live upon it in its present state, and if he thought he had a better right I would not quarrel with him about it but leave; but my assurance that I would not trouble him at present did not seem to satisfy him, as he seemed determined to quarrel with me, and threatened me with the destruction of my body. 
     "While he was thus engaged, pouring out his bitter words upon me, a rabble rushed in and nearly filled the barn, drew out their knives, and began to quarrel among themselves for the premises, and for a moment forgot me, at which time I took the opportunity to walk out of the barn about up to my ankles in mud.           
      "When I was a little distance from the barn, I heard them screeching and screaming in a very distressed manner, as it appeared they had engaged in a general fight with their knives. While they were thus engaged, the dream or vision ended."   
      Both Joseph and Hyrum bore a faithful testimony to the Latter-day work, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and prophesied of the triumph of the Gospel over all the earth, exhorting the brethren present to faithfulness and persevering diligence in proclaiming the Gospel, building up the Temple, and performing all the duties connected with our holy religion.

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 The Steamboat Dream
 Almanac for the Year 1863:
Being the Thirty Fourth Year of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
(Great Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News, 1862), 28-29. From William W. Phelps,
.
       While I was at Jordan's in Iowa the other night, I dreamed that myself and my brother Hyrum went on board of a large steamboat, lying in a small bay, near the great ocean. Shortly after we went on board there was an "alarm of fire," and I discovered that the boat had been anchored some distance from the shore, out in the bay, and that an escape from the fire, in the confusion, appeared hazardous; but, as delay was folly, I and Hyrum jumped overboard, and tried our faith at walking upon the water.
       At first we sank in the water nearly to our knees, but as we proceeded we increased in faith, and were soon able to walk upon the water. On looking towards the burning boat in the east, we saw that it was drifting towards the wharf and the town, with a great flame and clouds of smoke; and, as if by whirlwind, the town was taking fire, too, so that the scene of destruction and horror of the frightened inhabitants was terrible.
       We proceeded on the bosom of the mighty deep and were soon out of sight of land. The ocean was still; the rays of the sun were bright, and we forgot all the troubles of our Mother Earth. Just at that moment I heard the sound of a human voice, and, turning round, saw my brother Samuel H. approaching towards us from the east. We stopped and he came up. After a moment's conversation he informed me that he had been lonesome back, and had made up his mind to go with me across the mighty deep.
       We all started again, and in a short time were blest with the first sight of a city, whose gold and silver steeples and towers were more beautiful than say I had ever seen or heard of on earth. It stood, as it were, upon the western shore of the mighty deep we were walking on, and its order and glory seemed far beyond the wisdom of man. While we were gazing upon the perfection of the city, a small boat launched off from the port, and, almost as quick as thought, came to us. In an instant they took us on board and saluted us with a welcome, and with music such as is not on earth. The next scene, on landing, was more than I can describe: the greeting of old friends, the music from a thousand towers, and the light of God himself at the return of three of his sons, soothed my soul into a quiet and a joy that I felt as if I was truly in heaven. I gazed upon the splendor; I greeted my friends. I awoke, and lo, it was a dream!
       While I meditated on such a marvelous scene, I fell asleep again, and behold I stood near the shore of the burning boat, and there was a great consternation among the officers, crew and passengers of the flaming craft, as there seemed to be much ammunition or powder on board. The alarm was given that the fire was near the magazine, and in a moment, suddenly, it blew up with a great noise, and sank in deep water with all on board. I then turned to the country east, among the bushy openings, and saw William and Wilson Law endeavoring to escape from the wild beasts of the forest, but two lions rushed out of a thicket and devoured them. I awoke again.