Sunday, December 29, 2013

Goals for the New Year

One of the couples in our group, the Clarkes, gave the talks today in Sacrament meeting.  They were good and I've quoted a few thoughts here for us to consider.

  • In 1975, President Kimball counseled us to set goals that require us to “reach and strain. … Growth comes from setting your goals high and reaching for the stars” He also said: “We do believe in setting goals. We live by goals. … We must have goals to make progress”.
  • "In addition to setting our individual goals, we should talk with our families and set goals for the entire family to achieve. We can be working on some individual goals and some family goals at the same time."
  • "Bishop John H. Vandenberg said: “I feel that goal-setting is absolutely necessary for happy living. But the goal is only part of the desired procedures. We need to know which roads to take to reach the goal. … [People] need to make commitments with themselves by writing down their goals and keeping a record of the fulfillment of their achievements” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1966, 94; or Improvement Era, June 1966, 534).

I've never been one who likes to make goals at New Years.  I always made goals at the beginning of the school year however.  That was more my "new year."  Whenever we feel more like the start of a new year or period, we ought to make goals.  By writing them in a journal they may be more likely to be kept!  Don't make them unrealistic, and do set out a plan to accomplish them step by step.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Purpose of the Priesthood

Priesthood is not just authority to perform ordinances.  It is more than just fellowship.  These are both very important, but priesthood is also training in how to govern righteously, regardless of the setting, whether in families, church, or government.

The Aaronic Priesthood is the preparatory priesthood.  It does perform certain ordinances and provides fellowship for the members of these quorums.  But perhaps its most important function is to prepare for actual governing.  There are presidencies where, usually young, men get their first lessons in holding responsibilities, follow-through, and delegating, as well as sitting in council to accomplish good things.

As they progress, the Melchizedek is the next step, where training and increased responsibilities continue in the righteous use of authority within the family and the organization of the Church.  This is not all however.  It is training for governing righteously in all settings, including government.  However the most important is within the family.

Within the quorums men learn in theory and practice how to purify themselves, overcoming temptations that lead to sorrow and corruption.  If we value this priesthood and work within it, the Lord will transform us to become as He is.  THIS is the greatest of ALL miracles!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Practicing Skills

When we first come to this earth, we learn the important skills of eating, balancing, walking, talking, etc.  These enable us to get along in this world.  Later we work to develop abilities that will get us things, hunting skills, craftsmanship skills, or intellectual skills.

I believe the most important skills, the ones we came to this earth most to develop, were the skills of patience, kindness, empathy, long suffering, virtue, and others that Paul enumerates.  Our work in families and the Church help us in developing these skills and in becoming more proficient in them, just as going to a football camp may improve skills emphasized there.

To sharpen these skills then we may need to focus our attention on them more.  How are we doing?