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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday School - Book of Mormon Lesson 33

Book of Mormon Lesson #33: “A Sure Foundation”
Helaman 1-5

1. Gordon B. Hinckley: You are acutely aware of the events of September 11. … Out of that vicious and ugly attack we are plunged into a state of war. … This was not an attack on the United States alone. It was an attack on men and nations of good will everywhere. … Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly with the president of our nation. The terrible forces of evil must be confronted and held accountable for their actions. … It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down. We of the Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oth-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation. Gen. Conference, Sept. 2001.

2. Heber J. Grant: [Helaman 3:9 – houses of cement] Not very far from the City of Mexico there is a monument two hundred and ten feet high, built of cement, that was supposed to be a big hill. … You could put forty tabernacles like this one inside of it. It covers more than ten acres of ground and is two and a half times higher than this building. From the top of that monument one can see small mounds, and as these mounds are being uncovered they are found to be wonderfully built cement houses, with drain pipes of cement, showing skill and ability, superior almost to anything we have today so far as the use of cement is concerned. Gospel Standards, p. 28.

3. Marvin J. Ashton: [Hel. 1:18 – contention in the government] “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This important principle not only has application to governmental or national security but is also significant in the institutional Church and in our individual homes. Contention and dissention are a tool of the adversary that weakens the institution and makes it vulnerable to “attacks” from destructive outside influences. Gen. Conference, April 1978.

4. Brigham Young: [Hel. 3:13-16 – many records kept] Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited these plates. … When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light; but that it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were altogether in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it was written these words: "This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and his Christ." I tell you this as coming not only from Oliver Cowdery, but others who were familiar with it, and who understood it just as well as we understand coming to this meeting.. Journal of Discourses, 17 June 1877.

5. Joseph Fielding McConkie & Robert Millet: [Hel. 3:35 – many sanctified] Sanctification comes by the power of the Holy Ghost only to those who overcome by faith in Jesus Christ – which is yielding our hearts to him. Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 3, p. 344.

6. Joseph Fielding McConkie & Robert Millet: [Hel. 4:11-13 – boasted in their own strength] A proud person puffs himself up and his strengths up as he puts down his dependence on the Lord. Pride inevitably leads to boasting, which inevitably leads to a loss of the strength of the Lord and causes the proud person to be left alone, relying solely on his own puny mortal strength. . Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 3, p. 348.

7. Marvin J. Ashton: One of the most common of all sins among worldly people, is relying on and then boasting in the arm of flesh. This is a most serious evil. It is a sin born of pride, a sin that creates a frame of mind which keeps men from turning to the Lord and accepting his saving grace. When a man knowingly or unknowingly engages in self-exultation because of his riches, his political power, his worldly learning, his physical prowess, his business ability, or even his works of righteousness, he is not in tune with the Spirit of the Lord. … The many admonitions in the scriptures to avoid boasting send the message that we should realize the source of all our blessings. Everything is given by God. All talent, creativity, ability, insight, and strength comes from him. In our own strength we can do nothing. … When we seek the praise of man more than the praise of God, it will become easy to fall. Gen. Conference, April 1990.

8. Robert D. Hales: [Hel. 4:24 – unholy temples] If we are not obedient to the laws, principles, and ordinances of the gospel, the Holy Ghost will withdraw. He cannot be with us if we are angry in our hearts, contentious with our companions, or critical of the Lord’s anointed. He departs whenever we are rebellious, are immoral, dress or act immodestly, are unclean or profane in mind or body, are slothful in priesthood callings and duties, or commit other sins. For “the Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples.” Therefore, we must continually repent, partake of the sacrament, be worthy of a temple recommend, and serve the Lord with all our heart, might, mind and strength. Gen. Conference, Oct. 2003.

9. Spencer W. Kimball: [Hel. 5:5 – remember] “Remember” is the most important word in the English language. Charge to Religious Educators, 28 June 1968.

10. Joseph B. Wirthlin: [Hel. 5:12 – the rock of Christ] The place to cure most of the ills of society is in the homes of the people. Building our homes as fortresses of righteousness for protection from the world takes constant labor and diligence. Membership in the Church is no guarantee of a strong, happy family. Often parents feel overwhelmed. … The righteous molding of an immortal soul is the highest work we can do, and the home is the place to do it. To accomplish this eternal work, we should make our homes gospel centered. When peace and harmony abound, the Holy Ghost will ever be present. The storms of the evil one can be stopped at the very entrance of our homes. Let us be sure the spiritual foundation of each home is the rock of our Redeemer, as Helaman taught his sons. … Do we heed this counsel from the Lord? Do we do what He asks? We would do well to build our homes according to this plan or they are destined to fail. Gen.Conference, April 1983.

11. Dallin H. Oaks: [Hel. 5:30-31 – still small voice] A few years ago I met with a prospective mission president and his wife to discuss their availability for service. I asked whether their responsibilities to aged parents would preclude their service at the time. This sister was the only daughter of a wonderful mother, then about 80, whom she visited and helped each week. Though somewhat dependent physically, this mother was strong spiritually. She had served four missions and fifteen years as a temple worker. Because she was in tune with the Spirit, she had a remarkable experience. Several months before this interview she told her daughter that the Spirit had whispered that her daughter’s husband would be called as a mission president. So advised, the mother had prepared herself for the needed separation and assured her daughter, long in advance of my assignment for the exploratory interview, that she would “not be a hindrance” to their service. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1996.

12. John A. Widtsoe: [Hel. 5:52 – the gospel brings peace to the land] Peace upon earth is not to be established by Congress or Parliament, or by a group of international representatives. … Peace cannot be legislated into existence. … Peace comes from within; peace is myself, if I am a truly peaceful man. … The only way to build a peaceful community is to build men and women who are lovers and makers of peace. … That makes me responsible for the peace of the world, and makes you individually responsible for the peace of the world. The responsibility cannot be shifted to someone else. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1943.

13. Ezra Taft Benson: The gospel is the only answer to the problems of the world. We may cry peace. We may hold peace conferences. And I have nothing but commendation for those who work for peace. But it is my conviction that peace must come only by following the teachings and the example of the Prince of Peace. The Title of Liberty, pp. 213-14.

14. David O. McKay: In these days of uncertainty and unrest, liberty-loving people’s greatest responsibility and paramount duty is to preserve and proclaim the freedom of the individual, his relationship to Deity, and the necessity of obedience to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only thus will mankind find peace and happiness. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1962.

15. Orson Pratt: [Hel. 5:41 – cry until ye shall have faith in Christ] Faith is a gift of God. In what manner does He impart this gift to the mind by the immediate operation of the Holy Spirit independent of any other means? Does He bestow it unsought for and irrespective of the preparation of the mind? Does He confer it independent of the agency of man? To say that man obtains this gift without preparing himself, or without the exercise of any agency, is to deprive him of all responsibility in regard to whether he has faith or not. The True Faith, p. 8.

16. Joseph F. Smith: When messengers are sent to minister to the inhabitants of this earth, they are not strangers, but from the ranks of our kindred, friends, and fellow-beings and fellow-servants. The ancient prophets who died were those who came to visit their fellow creatures upon the earth. They came to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; it was such beings – holy beings if you please – who waited upon the Savior and administered to him on the Mount. … In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, of reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh. Gospel Doctrine, pp. 435-37.

In two weeks: Helaman 6-12 “How Could You Have Forgotten Your God”

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