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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday School - Book of Mormon Lesson 46

Book of Mormon Lesson #46: “By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled”
Ether 7-15

1. John H. Groberg: [Ether 12:4 – hope] The basis of all righteous hope is the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Him all hope has its existence. Without Him there is no hope. But because He was and is and ever will be, there was, is, and ever will be hope. In Christ who lives and loves and works miracles now, there is always hope. Hope, p. 48.

2. Bruce R. McConkie: Hope is not merely wishful thinking, fantasizing, or emotional escapism. It is a moving confidence and a firm expectation of eternal life that comes from trusting in and following the Savior. The hope that is an anchor to the souls of men is riveted to the infinite and eternal sacrifice of the Lord. It is by reason of the Atonement that we have hope for a better world. … It is an inner peace that results from a personal relationship with Deity. Mormon Doctrine, pp. 365-66.

3. Henry B. Eyring: [Ether 12:6 – witness after trial of faith] When you’re experiencing a severe trial, ask yourself this question: “Am I trying to do what the Lord would have me do?” If you’re not, then adjust your course. … I bear you my testimony that the Lord will always prepare a way for you to escape from the trials you will be given if you understand two things. One is that you need to be on the Lord’s errand. The second thing you need to understand is that the escape will almost never be out of the trial; it will usually be through it. If you pray to have the experience removed altogether, you may not find the way prepared for you. Instead, you need to pray to find the way of deliverance through it. Draw Closer to God, pp. 86-87.

4. Spencer W. Kimball: Just as undaunted faith has stopped the mouths of lions, made ineffective fiery flames, opened dry corridors through rivers and seas, protected against deluge and drouth, so in each of our lives faith can heal the sick, bring comfort to those who mourn, strengthen resolve against temptation, relieve from the bondage of harmful habits, lend the strength to repent and change our lives, and lead to a sure knowledge of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Indomitable faith can help us live the commandments with a willing heart and thereby bring blessings unnumbered, with peace, perfection, and exaltation in the kingdom of God. Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 12.

5. Joseph Smith: Let us here observe, that three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation. First, the idea that he actually exists. Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes. Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing is in accordance to his will. For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive. Lectures on Faith, Lecture Third, 2-5.

6. Bruce R. McConkie: Miracles without number have been wrought by faith by the prophets and saints of all dispensations. And always faith precedes the miracle; always the power of faith performs the miracle; always the miracle proves that faith was present and in active operation. New Witness, p. 199.

7. Howard W. Hunter: [Ether 12:27 – weakness] Obviously, the personal burdens of life vary from person to person, but every one of us has them. Furthermore, each trial in life is tailored to the individual’s capacities and needs as known by a loving Father in Heaven. General Conference, Oct. 1990.

8. Bruce R. McConkie: Our Eternal Father knows all of his spirit children, and in his infinite wisdom, he chooses the very time that each comes to earth to gain a mortal body and undergo a probationary experience. Everything the Lord does is for the benefit and blessing of his children. And each of these children is subjected to the very trials and experience that Omniscient Wisdom knows he should have. The Millennial Messiah, p. 660.

9. Boyd K. Packer: Some are tested by poor health, some by a body that is deformed or homely. Others are tested by handsome and healthy bodies; some by the passion of youth; others by the erosions of old age. Some suffer disappointment in marriage, family problems; others live in poverty and obscurity. Some (perhaps this is the hardest test) find ease and luxury. All are part of the test. And there is more equality in this testing than sometimes we suspect. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1980.

10. Chieko N. Okazaki: Strengthen yourselves by seeking the source of true strength – the Savior. Come unto him. He loves you. He desires your happiness and exults in your desires for righteousness. Make him your strength, your daily companion, your rod and your staff. Let him comfort you. There is no burden we need bear alone. His grace compensates for our deficiencies. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1984.

11. Neal A. Maxwell: Indeed, when we are unduly impatient with an omniscient God’s timing, we really are suggesting that we know what is best. Strange, isn’t it – we who wear wristwatches seek to counsel Him who oversees cosmic clocks and calendars. Because God wants us to come home after having become more like Him and His Son, part of this developmental process, of necessity, consists of showing unto us our weaknesses. Hence, if we have ultimate hope we will be submissive, because, with His help, those weaknesses can even become strengths. It is not an easy thing, however, to be shown one’s weaknesses. … Nevertheless, this is part of coming unto Christ, and it is a vital, if painful, part of God’s plan of happiness. Besides, as Elder Henry B. Eyring has wisely observed, “If you want praise more than instruction, you may get neither” (1993 Annual University Conference, BYU, 42). Gen. Conference, Oct. 1998.

12. C.S. Lewis: When a man turns to Christ and seems to be getting on pretty well (in the sense that some of his bad habits are now corrected), he often feels that it would now be natural if things went fairly smoothly. When troubles come along – illnesses, money troubles, new kinds of temptation – he is disappointed. These things, he feels, might have been necessary to rouse him and make him repent in his bad old days; but why now? Because God is forcing him on, or up, to a higher level: putting him into situations where he will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than he ever dreamed of before. It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of us. Mere Christianity, p. 172.

13. H. David Burton: A missionary district leader was wondering why Elder Parker, who was about to conclude his mission, was successful in spite of his inability to memorize the discussions. To understand, he teamed with Elder Parker to give a discussion. Elder Parker’s presentation was so disorganized that by the end of the formal lesson, the district leader was confused and surmised that the family being taught felt the same way. It was then that “Elder Parker leaned forward and put his hand on the arm of the family’s father. He then looked him straight in the eyes, told him how much he loved him and his family, and bore one of the most humble and powerful testimonies that the district leader had ever heard. By the time he finished, every member of the family, including the father, and both elders had tears running down their cheeks. Next, Elder Parker taught the father how to pray, and they all knelt down while the father prayed that they might receive testimonies of their own and thanked Heavenly Father for the great love that he felt. Two weeks later the whole family was baptized.” Later, Elder Parker apologized to his district leader for not knowing the discussions. He said he struggled with memorization, even though he spent hours each day working on it. He said that he knelt in prayer before teaching each family and asked Heavenly Father to bless him when he bore his testimony so that people would feel his love and the Spirit and know they were being taught the truth (see Burgess & Molgard, “That Is the Worst Lesson I’ve Ever Heard!” in Sunshine for the Latter-day Saint Soul, pp. 181-83). Gen. Conference, Oct. 2004.

14. Bruce C. Hafen: Inadequacy is not the same as being sinful – we have far more control over the choice to sin than we may have over our innate capacity …. A sense of falling short or falling down is not only natural but essential to the mortal experience. Still, after all we can do, the Atonement can fill that which is empty, straighten our bent parts, and make strong that which is weak. The Broken Heart, pp. 19-20.

15. N. Eldon Tanner: [Ether 13:13-15 – reject the living prophets] A man said to me, “You know, there are people in our state who believe in following the Prophet in everything they think is right, but when it is something they think isn’t right, and it doesn’t appeal to them, then that’s different.” He said, “Then they become their own prophet. They decide what the Lord wants and what the Lord doesn’t want.” I thought, how true! We will be led astray, because we are false prophets to ourselves when we do not follow the prophet of God. No, we should never discriminate between these commandments, as to those we should and should not keep. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1966.

16. Ezra Taft Benson: If we want to know how well we stand with the Lord, let us ask ourselves how well we stand with His mortal captain. How closely do our lives harmonize with the Lord’s anointed – the living prophet, the President of the Church, and with the Quorum of the First Presidency? May God bless us all to look to the prophet and the presidency in the critical and crucial days ahead is my prayer. 1980 BYU Devotional Speeches of the Year.

17. Bruce R. McConkie: The Lord and his prophets are one, and no one can believe in Christ and reject his prophets. The Mortal Messiah, vol. 2, p. 79.

18. James E. Faust: The gap between what is popular and what is righteous is widening. … Revelations from the prophets of God are not like offerings at the cafeteria, some to be selected and others disregarded. Gen. Conference, Oct. 2003.

Next week: Moroni 1-6 “To Keep Them in the Right Way”

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