Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Friday, November 24, 2017

Putting on the Whole Armor of God


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In my personal history,  I have likened myself to Lehi of the Book of Mormon, I am a visionary, I have dreams.  Many times I have dreams that tell of impending events,  or dreams of people from across the veil from my ancestry; some I don't even know, that need help with temple work or are trying to help me in some way.  And then I have dreams of warning, like the one I had this past week.

There was a great storm coming, I could feel it, and though it was sun shinning outside I felt the weight of the great storm that was near and quickly surrounding myself and my family.  I was safe inside a shelter, and I ran outside to find and warn my children (who are inactive members at this time) of the great danger that lay ahead.  They scoffed at me and said that I was just a worrier like always, there was no danger look the sun is out all is well.  I then went to my shelter and looked outside the back window and I could see the tempest rising, the grand tornado that was coming from little clouds that lay in the sun.  Their bottoms started to drop in a funnel formation, and though they were seemingly small there were many and had the potential to quickly become powerful.  I ran back outside and called for my children and said look see over there, the storm comes please follow me I have shelter we can all be safe.  But they didn't listen and turned from me going about their day.  I begged them then to let me have the grand children, let me keep them safe with me, if they wanted to be in the storm it was their choice but please let me have the children to keep them safe.  With their permission I took the children and ran inside the shelter, I was very sad and crying because my children wouldn't believe; then came the storm.  The little clouds that started to drop became enormous tornadoes that were destructive and terrible.  I took the grand children and placed them with myself under the shield I had prepared and we safe and unharmed though we could hear the destruction all round us and I mourned greatly those who would not hearken to the warning and protect themselves.  

The scriptures sometimes refer to temptations as “the fiery darts of the adversary 
Many of the things Satan can tempt us with are very hard to resist.  They are not always big things, sometimes, they are little things that drive the spirit away, smetimes its complancentcy or sins of omission, or maybe it is something real big, but all are fiery darts that can not only harm but kill us, if we are not prepared.

D&C 3:8  Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.

 Ephesians 6:16  16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

1 Nephi 15:24  24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversaryoverpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.

D&C 27:17  17 Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked;

 Not only in times of past but particularly in our day we need to be prepared to for these darts that come our way, we need to shield ourselves from the incoming storm, and prepare ourselves for battle with protection from shots fired in our path; for there are many, some we won't even see or realize;  unless we are prepared and dressed in the whole armor of God.

Putting on the whole armor of God: Our Protection

Who were the leaders of the two forces involved in the War in Heaven, and what were their objectives? 

D&C 76:25–28 
And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son, And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him—he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.  And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning!  And while we were yet in the Spirit, the Lord commanded us that we should write the vision; for we beheld Satan, that old serpent, even the devil, who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ 

Moses 4:3  Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;

We often refer to this event as the War in Heaven and during this pre-mortal meeting, Lucifer rebelled against Heavenly Father seeking to invoke his own plan of salvation, rather than that which had been designed by the Father. 

Satan "sought to destroy the agency of man" in order to carry forward his own plan.  But as we know every intelligent being must have the power of choice.
"The volition of the creature is free; this is a law of their existence and the Lord cannot violate his own law; were he to do that, he would cease to be God. He has placed life and death before his children, and it is for them to choose. If they choose life, they receive the blessing of life; if they choose death, they must abide the penalty. This is a law which has always existed from all eternity, and will continue to exist throughout all the eternities to come. Every intelligent being must have the power of choice, and God brings forth the results of the acts of his creatures to promote his Kingdom and subserve his purposes in the salvation and exaltation of his children." (Discourses of Brigham Young,, 62.)

In thinking of the war in Heaven, how are we involved in a similar conflict on the earth today?

D&C 76:29   Wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about.
Moses 4:4  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 hearkenunto my voice.
Though there are those in the world who would say the battle is not real, we know that it is, and it is serious, as well as growing more intense daily.  This is an eternal war and we as mortals upon this earth are fully engaged and on the front lines of  battle.  In startegies of war the victory goes to those who are prepared for war, and have the best defense.  The Lord has not left us unprotected, The Armor of God is our best defense.  
 What is the Lord’s armor?  
Successful armies do all they can to protect themselves from the enemy. They shield themselves with the heaviest armor available.  The Lord’s armor given to us is exactly what we need and its parts include the following: 

D&C 27:15–18  15 Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand.
  • Loins girt about with truth: D&C 27:15–18  16 Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you;
  •  "We should have our loins girt about with truth. What is truth? Truth, the Lord said, is knowledge of things as they are, things as they were, and things as they are to come. [Sec. 93:24.] What is going to guide us along the path of proper morals or proper choices? It will be the knowledge of truth. There must be a standard by which we measure our conduct, else how shall we know which is right? And how shall we know which is wrong? How do we know it is wrong to steal? How do we know it is wrong to lie? How do we know it is wrong to kill, unless we have a knowledge of the truth, that written by the finger of God on tables of stone were the divine injunctions, thou shalt not. 'Our loins shall be girt about with truth' the prophet said."  (President Harold B Lee)
  • Breastplate of righteousness:  "And the heart, what kind of breastplate shall protect our conduct in life? We shall have over our hearts a breastplate of righteousness. Well, having learned truth we have a measure by which we can judge between right and wrong, and so our conduct will always be gauged by that thing which we know to be true. Our breastplate to cover our conduct shall be the breastplate of righteousness."  (President Harold B Lee)
  • Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace:  "By what shall we protect our feet, or by what shall we gauge our objectives or our goals in life?. . .'Your feet shall be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.' [Eph. 6:15.] Interesting? What is the gospel of peace? The whole core and center of the gospel of peace was built around the person of him who was cradled in the manger, of whom on that night the angels sang, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will to men.' Or to put it even more correctly, 'on earth peace to men of good will.' Our feet should he shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace to them of good will. . . .  'Train a child in the way he shall go and when he is old he will not depart from it' [Proverbs 22:6], the old adage said. . . . How fortunate are you if in your childhood in the home of your father and mother you were taught the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ, the Son of the living God, the meaning of baptism and what you gain by the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Fortunate is the child who has been taught to pray and who has been given those steps to take on through life. Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace!"
  • Shield of faith:  17 Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked;
  • 'Fiery darts' have reference to the burning arrows used in ancient warfare. Arrows were dipped in pitch and lighted before being shot from the archer's bow. Effective use of one's shield was necessary in order to avoid being struck with such 'fiery darts.' In similar fashion, the hosts of hell send forth their fiery darts of wickedness, which can only be warded off through the effective use of one's shield of faith." (Hoyt W. Brewster Doctrine & Covenants Encyclopedia, p181)
  •   "In the war between good and evil, one must be protected with the 'shield of faith' (D&C 27:17). An example of this shield of faith might be illustrated in the following home memories of Elder L. Tom Perry: 'We were dressed in our home each morning, not only with hats and raincoats and boots to protect us from physical storm, but even more carefully our parents dressed us each day in the armor of God. As we would kneel in family prayer and listen to our father, a bearer of the priesthood, pour out his soul to the Lord for the protection of his family against the fiery darts of the wicked, one more layer was added to our shield of faith. While our shield was being made strong, theirs was always available, for they were available and we knew it.' (Conference Report, Apr 1974, pp140-41.)
  • "Thus, this spiritual shield is that protective armament that becomes invincible through prayer, righteous obedience to all of God's commandments, searching and pondering the scriptures, and doing all within one's power to strengthen the power of faith.  (Hoyt W. Brewster)
  • Helmet of salvation:  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.
    "A helmet of salvation shall guide our thinking all through our days. Well, as we think that through, let me review them again for just a moment, to get the full significance. Truth to safeguard our virtue; righteousness to keep our conduct right; the preparation of the gospel of peace to guide our course and to set our standards and aims in life; salvation, a return back to the presence of the Lord, shall be the inhibiting promise and a motivating objective to guide us on to the victory of life over death. That is what it means. . . ." (Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants, 1:293) 
  •   Sword of God’s Spirit and His word through revelation: "By observance of the laws of the Lord we are led in the straight and narrow way, and the Holy Spirit alone can keep us there. We have power to so live that the Spirit of the Lord may dwell with us. We cannot be Latter-day Saints without the Spirit of the Lord; and should not try to live without it. Do not try to speak without the Spirit of the Lord; do not try to build up the kingdom of God without the direction of his Spirit. If we endeavor to do these things by our own wisdom we will be sure to go astray and make mistakes. It is the office and calling of the Spirit of the Lord to dwell with you always; to be in your homes, with your families; in your neighborhoods, and in your business affairs, on the Sabbath day and throughout the week, and every day in the year, if you do right." (Conference Report, April 1904, p13) 
What can we do to put on the “whole armor” of God?  Have you felt added protection from temptation as you have prayed? studied the scriptures? kept the Sabbath day holy? gone to the temple? honored the priesthood?  These are the things we must do to put on our armor, we must live the gospel, obey the commandments, do the very best we can to stay in tune and in harmony with the Savior.  
What might be the consequences of wearing only part of the Lord’s armor or neglecting to wear it for even a brief time?
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve warned that Satan “seeks to find any chink in the armor of each person. He knows our weaknesses and knows how to exploit them if we allow him to do so. We can defend ourselves against his attacks and deceptions only by understanding the commandments and by fortifying ourselves each day through praying, studying the scriptures, and following the counsel of the Lord’s anointed” (Conference Report, Oct. 1988, 44; or Ensign, Nov. 1988, 35)
There are three areas in which Satan is trying to exploit weaknesses in our armor today: chastity, honesty, and language.  
Live the law of chastity
What is the Lord’s law of chastity?  D&C 42:22–24; 59:6; 63:16
The First Presidency stated: “The Lord’s law of moral conduct is abstinence outside of lawful marriage and fidelity within marriage. Sexual relations are proper only between husband and wife appropriately expressed within the bonds of marriage. Any other sexual contact, including fornication, adultery, and homosexual and lesbian behavior, is sinful” (First Presidency letter, 14 Nov. 1991)
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve taught: “Any sexual intimacy outside of the bonds of marriage—I mean any intentional contact with the sacred, private parts of another’s body, with or without clothing—is a sin and is forbidden by God. It is also a transgression to intentionally stimulate these emotions within your own body” (Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 51; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 38)
Living the law of chastity is necessary for us to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, receive priesthood ordinances, and to partake of the sacrament worthily, tempting us to violate the law of chastity is one of Satan's strongest weapons.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught: “One of the most pervasive deceptions in recent years is the notion that immorality is normal and acceptable and has no negative consequences. In truth, immorality is the underlying cause of much suffering and many other problems that are prevalent today, including rampant disease, abortion, broken families, families without fathers, and mothers who themselves are children” (Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 100; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 76)
How does Satan tempt people to violate the law of chastity? How do people try to rationalize violating this law?
Dress and appearance:  If modesty reflects the attitude of our hearts, then the way we dress reflects our attitude to others and we will attract those with similar attitudes.
Your body is sacred. Respect it and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that you love Him.

Prophets of God have continually counseled His children to dress modestly. When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and you can be a good influence on others. Your dress and grooming influence the way you and others act.
Never lower your standards of dress. Do not use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest. When you dress immodestly, you send a message that is contrary to your identity as a son or daughter of God. You also send the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval

Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing in any other manner. Young women should avoid short shorts and short skirts, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and clothing that does not cover the shoulders or is low-cut in the front or the back. Young men should also maintain modesty in their appearance. Young men and young women should be neat and clean and avoid being extreme or inappropriately casual in clothing, hairstyle, and behavior. They should choose appropriately modest apparel when participating in sports. The fashions of the world will change, but the Lord’s standards will not change.

Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. Young women, if you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of earrings.
Show respect for the Lord and yourself by dressing appropriately for Church meetings and activities. This is especially important when attending sacrament services. Young men should dress with dignity when officiating in the ordinance of the sacrament.
If you are not sure what is appropriate to wear, study the words of the prophets, pray for guidance, and ask your parents or leaders for help. Your dress and appearance now will help you prepare for the time when you will go to the temple to make sacred covenants with God. Ask yourself, “Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord’s presence?” (For the Strength of Youth Dress and Appearance  Dress and Appearance )

Television, movies and books:  Those that are negative in nature or attempt to make immoral behavior look normal and attractive can also impact our thinking.

President Ezra Taft Benson:  "Thought precedes action. We cannot help being influenced by what we read and what we see. A dirty book, a filthy picture, may be the trigger that sets off a terrible crime." (Conference Report, Oct 1959)

Elder Neal A. Maxwell:  "We are lathered with soap operas in need of nothing so much as soap—for the scrubbing of themselves. Some seriously maintain that media violence and sleaze leave consumers untouched. But revenue is received from commercials precisely because of their influence. Either we deserve reforms, or sponsors deserve refunds!" (Conference Report, Apr 1993)

Elder Maxwell is exactly right. Why are billions spent on advertising if television and other media forms do not affect our thinking? Consider this story from one mother, "I spent hours putting together a family home evening about the plan of salvation, and the same day my children saw cartoons. Later when I asked them what they remembered about the lesson, their faces were blank, but they knew every word from the 30 second advertising spots they had heard." (Meridian Magazine)

You live in a day of marvelous technologies that give you easy access to a wide variety of media, including the Internet, mobile devices, video games, television, movies, music, books, and magazines. The information and entertainment provided through these media can increase your ability to learn, communicate, and become a force for good in the world. However, some information and entertainment can lead you away from righteous living. Choose wisely when using media because whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Select only media that uplifts you.

Satan uses media to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal, humorous, or exciting. He tries to mislead you into thinking that breaking God’s commandments is acceptable and has no negative consequences for you or others. Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable. Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit.
Pornography in all forms is especially dangerous and addictive. What may begin as an unexpected exposure or a curious exploration can become a destructive habit. Use of pornography is a serious sin and can lead to other sexual transgression. Avoid pornography at all costs. It is a poison that weakens your self-control, destroys your feelings of self-worth, and changes the way you see others. It causes you to lose the guidance of the Spirit and can damage your ability to have a normal relationship with others, especially your future spouse. It limits your ability to feel true love. If you encounter pornography, turn away from it immediately

Take care that your use of media does not dull your sensitivity to the Spirit or interfere with your personal relationships with others. Spending long periods of time using the Internet or a mobile device, playing video games, or watching television or other media can keep you from valuable interactions with other people. Be careful that your use of social media does not replace spending time with your family and friends.
Guard your safety and the safety of others by taking great care about what personal information and images you share through technology. Do not communicate anything over the Internet or through texting that would be inappropriate to share in person. Obey the laws that govern sharing music, movies, and other copyrighted items.
If you are not sure whether something is appropriate to watch or listen to, talk to your parents and other adult leaders. The Holy Ghost will give you strength to make correct choices.  (For the Strength of Youth Entertainment and Media)

Music and dancing: Music can enrich your life. It can edify and inspire you and help you draw closer to Heavenly Father. Music has a profound effect on your mind, spirit, and behavior.

Choose carefully the music you listen to. Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening. Some music can carry evil and destructive messages. Do not listen to music that encourages immorality or glorifies violence through its lyrics, beat, or intensity. Do not listen to music that uses vulgar or offensive language or promotes evil practices. Such music can dull your spiritual sensitivity.
Learn and sing the hymns. Hymns can lift your spirit, move you to righteous action, and help you withstand the temptations of the adversary.

When listening to music, be courteous to those around you. Keep your music at a reasonable volume, and remove your earphones when others are talking to you or want you to be part of their activities. Remember that the Spirit speaks with a still, small voice. If you listen to music constantly, you may not have the quiet time you need for thinking, feeling, and receiving spiritual guidance.
Dancing can be fun and can provide an opportunity to meet new people. However, it too can be misused. When dancing, avoid full body contact with your partner. Do not use positions or moves that are suggestive of sexual or violent behavior or are otherwise inappropriate.
Attend only those dances where dress, grooming, lighting, lyrics, music, and entertainment contribute to a wholesome atmosphere where the Spirit may be present.  (For the Strength of Youth Music and Dancing)

The Internet:  If you are reading this lesson, you have learned what a wonderful tool the Internet can be to assist us in our lives. We can read and download Conference talks, do research on gospel topics, find directions, pay bills, and check the weather. On the other hand, this wonderful tool has been captured by Satan. A few years ago, in preparation for making the Internet available at my place of employment, we were required to participate in a course on proper Internet usage. The instructor indicated that 80% of Internet traffic involves pornography and gambling. One doesn't have to be a genius to realize that we have a huge problem if this statistic is close to accurate. (Brother Beardall Lessons)

President Gordon B. Hinckley warned: “You must not fool around with the Internet to find pornographic material. You must not dial a long-distance telephone number to listen to filth. You must not rent videos with pornography of any kind. This salacious stuff simply is not for you. Stay away from pornography as you would avoid a serious disease. It is destructive. It can become habitual, and those who indulge in it get so they cannot leave it alone. It is addictive” (Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 66–67; or Ensign, May 1998, 49)

The law of chastity includes purity of thought as well as action. How are we affected spiritually when our thoughts are unclean? D&C 63:16

And verily I say unto you, as I have said before, he that looketh on a woman to lust after her, or if any shall commit adultery in their hearts, they shall not have the Spirit, but shall deny the faith and shall fear.

How can we dismiss unclean thoughts from our minds?  Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve counseled us to evict unworthy thoughts from our minds by putting “something edifying in their place” (Conference Report, Oct. 1977, 90; or Ensign, Nov. 1977, 60)

Be honest

What does it mean to be honest?  President James E. Faust taught: “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving” (Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 57; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 41)

Be honest with yourself, others, and God at all times. Being honest means choosing not to lie, steal, cheat, or deceive in any way. When you are honest, you build strength of character that will allow you to be of great service to God and others. You will be blessed with peace of mind and self-respect. You will be trusted by the Lord and will be worthy to enter into His holy temples.

Dishonesty harms you and harms others as well. If you lie, steal, shoplift, or cheat, you damage your spirit and your relationships with others. Being honest will enhance your future opportunities and your ability to be guided by the Holy Ghost. Be honest at school; choose not to cheat in any way. Be honest in your job, giving a full amount of work for your pay. Do not rationalize that being dishonest is acceptable, even though others may think it does not matter.
Closely associated with honesty is integrity. Integrity means thinking and doing what is right at all times, no matter what the consequences. When you have integrity, you are willing to live by your standards and beliefs even when no one is watching. Choose to live so that your thoughts and behavior are always in harmony with the gospel.  (For the Strength of Youth Honesty and Integrity

Why is it important to be honest in all aspects of our lives?  D&C 42:21, 51:9
Thou shalt not lie; he that lieth and will not repent shall be cast out.  And let every man deal honestly, and be alike among this people, and receive alike, that ye may be one, even as I have commanded you

President Hinckley: "It is not easy to be honest when all about you there are those who are interested only in making 'a fast buck.' It is not always easy to be temperate when all about you there are those who scoff at sobriety. It is not easy to be industrious when all about you there are those who do not believe in the value of work. It is not easy to be a man of integrity when all about you there are those who will forsake principle for expediency.
    "There is loneliness—but a man . . . has to live with his conscience. A man has to live with his principles. A man has to live with his convictions. A man has to live with his testimony. Unless he does so, he is miserable—dreadfully miserable. And while there may be thorns, while there may be disappointment, while there may be trouble and travail, heartache and heartbreak, and desperate loneliness, there will be peace and comfort and strength."

What are some ways we are tempted to be dishonest?  Income taxes - not reporting cash income, not working as hard as we should at work, speeding, "just a little." failing to inform a store clerk that he or she has charged us the wrong price or given us the wrong change when the transaction benefits us...

How can giving in to small temptations to be dishonest make us more vulnerable to other temptations?  As we give into small temptations, we build up a resistance. If we are not careful we can begin to slide on the "slippery slope." Where then do we draw the line if we give in a little here and a little there?

How can we overcome temptations to be dishonest?  if we are striving to do the basics (daily prayer, daily scripture study, serve others, attend our meetings, etc.) the spirit will be with us to remind us that we need to turn away from wrong.

What does it mean to be honest with the Lord?  keeping covenants and other promises we have made to the Lord, fulfilling Church assignments, partaking of the sacrament worthily, and paying tithes and offerings...

What does it mean to be honest with ourselves? We do not rationalize or excuse sin. 

How are we blessed as we are honest?  D&C 97:8
Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me.

Use language that reverences God and is edifying

What is the Lord’s commandment concerning how we use His name?  

 D&C 63:60–62  Behold, I am Alpha and Omega, even Jesus Christ.  Wherefore, let all men beware how they take my name in their lips—For behold, verily I say, that many there be who are under this condemnation, who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority.

D&C 136:21   Keep yourselves from evil to take the name of the Lord in vain, for I am the Lord your God, even the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.

    In addition to taking the Lord’s name in vain, what other kinds of language should we avoid?  Language that is vulgar, obscene, crude, or degrading.
    President Hinckley taught: “Don’t swear. Don’t profane. Avoid so-called dirty jokes. Stay away from conversation that is sprinkled with foul and filthy words. You will be happier if you do so, and your example will give strength to others” (Conference Report, Oct. 1987, 59; or Ensign, Nov. 1987, 48)
    How you communicate should reflect who you are as a son or daughter of God. Clean and intelligent language is evidence of a bright and wholesome mind. Good language that uplifts, encourages, and compliments others invites the Spirit to be with you. Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith, hope, and charity.
    Choose friends who use good language. Help others improve their language by your example. Be willing to politely walk away or change the subject when those around you use inappropriate language.
    Speak kindly and positively about others. Choose not to insult others or put them down, even in joking. Avoid gossip of any kind, and avoid speaking in anger. When you are tempted to say harsh or hurtful things, leave them unsaid

    Always use the names of God and Jesus Christ with reverence and respect. Misusing the names of Deity is a sin. When you pray, address your Father in Heaven in reverent and respectful language. The Savior used such respectful language in the Lord’s Prayer (see Matthew 6:9–12).
    Do not use profane, vulgar, or crude language or gestures, and do not tell jokes or stories about immoral actions. These are offensive to God and to others.
    Remember that these standards for your use of language apply to all forms of communication, including texting on a cell phone or communicating on the Internet.
    If you have developed the habit of using language that is not in keeping with these standards—such as swearing, mocking, gossiping, or speaking in anger to others—you can change. Pray for help. Ask your family and friends to support you in your desire to use good language.  (For the Strength of Youth Language)
    What are some consequences of using bad language? Offending God, offending others, degrading oneself, and losing the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
    “Profanity and vulgarity … are sins that separate us from God and cripple our spiritual defenses by causing the Holy Ghost to withdraw from us” (Dalin H Oaks Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 69; or Ensign, May 1986, 52)
    How should we respond when we are around people who use bad language or when bad language is used in movies, television, or books? When possible, we should leave places where bad language is being used. We also can raise objections to such language.

    What kind of language would the Lord like us to use?  

    D&C 52:16 He that speaketh, whose spirit is contrite, whose language is meek and edifieth, the same is of God if he obey mine ordinances

    D&C 136:24 Cease drunkenness; and let your words tend to edifying one another. 

    Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers

    Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to put on His “whole armor” so we will be protected from temptation.  The battle is sore, and the storm great, in order to fight, we must have all our weapons ready, by following these principles, we will have the full armor the Lord has given us and we will be protected even shielded from the flaming darts sent to pierce our souls.  

    Conference Report
    Meridian Magazine
    Discourses of Brigham Young
    Doctrine and Covenants Encyclopedia by Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr.
    Gospel Standards: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Heber J. Grant, compiled by G. Homer Durham
    Latter-day Prophets and the Doctrine and Covenants, Volume 1, compiled by Roy W. Doxey
    President Kimball speaks out by Spencer W. Kimball.
    Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley.
    Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Continuing Revelation to Latter-day Prophets

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“Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Council of the Twelve once told of a discussion he had with a group of stake officers. In the course of the discussion someone said to him, ‘Brother Widtsoe, how long has it been since the Church received a revelation?’ Brother Widtsoe rubbed his chin thoughtfully and said in reply, ‘Oh, probably since last Thursday’” (Stand Ye in Holy Places [1974], 132–33)

What are some revelations we have received recently?  Can you think of any right off hand?  
The first one that comes to my mind is the decrease in the age of Missionaries announced by President Thomas S Monson.  What else has been revealed to us in our lifetime, if we think about it, there are many things, there is much guidance that has been given.  The heavens are open, and the Lord continues to reveal His will to latter-day prophets.

“We testify to the world that revelation continues and that the vaults and files of the Church contain these revelations which come month to month and day to day. We testify also that there is, since 1830 when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, and will continue to be, so long as time shall last, a prophet, recognized of God and his people, who will continue to interpret the mind and will of the Lord. …

“Expecting the spectacular, one may not be fully alerted to the constant flow of revealed communication. I say, in the deepest of humility, but also by the power and force of a burning testimony in my soul, that from the prophet of the Restoration to the prophet of our own year, the communication line is unbroken, the authority is continuous, a light, brilliant and penetrating, continues to shine. The sound of the voice of the Lord is a continuous melody and a thunderous appeal. For nearly a century and a half there has been no interruption” (President Spencer W. Kimball Conference Report, Apr. 1977, 115; or Ensign, May 1977, 78)

D&C 1:38 Tells us that the members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are latter-day prophets, seers, and revelators. They continue to receive revelation to guide the Church. Their direction is “the will of the Lord, … the mind of the Lord, … the word of the Lord, … the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” 

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

D&C 68:4 Teaches examples of continuing revelation to guide the Church.

And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.

Church Correlation A Revelation

WHAT IS CHURCH CORRELATION?  It is continuing revelation, it is principles and guidelines that help the church to stay on the path of its objective to gospel teaching.   Church correlation consists of policies that govern the planning, writing, and implementation of all Church curriculum materials. It also includes the coordination of all programs and activities including welfare, missionary, and family history work, to better accomplish the Church’s mission.

What is the Purpose of Correlation? the purpose of Church correlation is to preserve “the right way of God” (Jacob 7:7). Ultimately it is intended to help accomplish the mission of the Church, which is to invite all people to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” (Moroni 10:32

The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve oversee correlation in the Church. Correlation includes:
  1. Maintaining purity of doctrine.
  2. Emphasizing the importance of the family and the home.
  3. Placing all the work of the Church under priesthood direction.
  4. Establishing proper relationships among the organizations of the Church.
  5. Achieving unity and order in the Church.
  6. Ensuring simplicity of Church programs and materials.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve said that correlation is a process “in which we take all the programs of the Church, bring them to one focal point, wrap them in one package, operate them as one program, involve all members of the Church in the operation—and do it all under priesthood direction” (Let Every Man Learn His Duty [pamphlet, 1976], 2).

History of Church Correlation
As the Church has continued to grow and expand, General Authorities carry a deep concern that the programs of the Church are effective in pursuing the objective of perfecting the Saints. This concern increased as the international Church grew rapidly in the decades following World War II. 

In those years following the war, each auxiliary organized its own programs and prepared its own materials while other areas did not receive sufficient emphasis thus the concerns of the Brethren surfaced early in the century. Below is just a sampling of efforts that occurred prior to 1960. 

1907 the Committee on Adjustments recommended consolidating programs and magazines and stressed the importance of the home. 

1912 the Correlation Committee was appointed to reduce duplication among the auxiliaries.  

1928 the "Priesthood-Auxiliary Movement" sought to simplify Church activities by uniting priesthood and auxiliary meetings 

1960 the First Presidency directed the Priesthood Committee of the Twelve under Elder Harold B. Lee to conduct a study of all Church programs in the light of the Church's ultimate objectives.

The results of the study were given at the October 1961 General Conference: "It is the feeling now of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve, after reviewing these studies that there should be presently more coordination and correlation between the activities and programs of the various priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations and the educational system of the Church. They have decided, therefore, that there should be established an all-Church coordinating council and three coordinating committees: one for the children, one for the youth, and one for adults. This council and the three committees will correlate and co-ordinate the total instructional and activity programs of all auxiliaries and priesthood quorums which the brethren have now suggested should include missionary instructions and activities for the entire Church." (Harold B Lee Conference Report, Oct 1961)

With Elder Lee's announcement in 1961, the Church began a multi-year process of changing the operation of the Church with the intent of placing "the priesthood of God where the Lord said it was to be - as the center and core of the Church and kingdom of God-and to see that the Latter-day Saint homes also have their place in the divine plan of saving souls." (Harold by Lee quoted in The Church in the Twentieth Century)

Committees were organized at the Church level to coordinate and oversee the implementation of Correlation.  Responsibility for developing instructional materials for all age groups was assigned to a single department. 

1964 - The Priesthood Executive Committee and the Ward Council were established at the ward level to coordinate/correlate efforts at the local level.  Home Teaching was established, the quorums were also expected to visit with their members and auxiliaries would also connect the home relative to their programs. This was all done with the intention to bring these visits under priesthood coordination.

1965 - Family Home Evening manuals were published

1971 - All magazines for adults, youth, and children, respectively, merged under the priesthood and the responsibility for producing all instructional materials was consolidated into single department.

1980 - Consolidation of ward meeting schedules

Other changes were made and continue to be made to support the mission of the Church, particularly in its support of the family. In the 1990s, "the focus of Church correlation shifted from maintaining order among Church entities to simplifying and reducing programs and materials, and to limiting volume, complexity, and cost." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 325)

How has Correlation blessed the church?  The one eternal organization is the family. The primary purpose of correlation is to support the family in the Lord's work.  The correlation effort has emphasized the importance of the family in many ways. One is the establishment of the family home evening program.  Others include:
  • Consolidation of meetings to allow for more family time.
  • Inspiring and helpful articles from Church magazines. The correlition ensures that these materials are scripture-based, doctrinally accurate, and appropriate for the intended audience. All Church publications are planned, prepared, reviewed, and implemented under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve.
  • Home teachers who provide a link from the family back to the quorums and ward D&C 20:53–55
  • The coordination of the auxiliaries in working together and in not duplicating efforts.
The correlation effort has also emphasized the importance of the family by clarifying the role of the organizations, programs, and activities of the Church in relation to the family. The Church Handbook of Instructions states:

The most important place for gospel teaching and leadership is in the family and the home (see Mosiah 4:14–15; D&C 68:25–28). … Quorums, auxiliaries, programs, and activities in the Church should strengthen and support the family. They should enhance gospel-centered family activities, not compete with them” (Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders [1998], 299)

How Correlation Works to support the family while directing auxiliries
  • Concerns about the family were presented by the Elder's Quorum president at the Priesthood Executive Committee meeting. This information was provided by the home teachers.
  • Additional information about the family was provided by the Relief Society president, the Primary president, and the Young Men's president at the Ward Council meeting.
  • The bishop charged each member of the council to prayerfully consider how the family can be assisted. It would be discussed at the following meeting.
  • At the following meeting, members provided additional information and assignments were given to the Elder's Quorum, the Relief Society, the Primary, and the youth organizations.
  • Each organization head then followed up with assignments to home teachers, visiting teachers, auxiliary instructors, and others who can assist the family.
  • The bishop then follows up with reports in subsequent meetings on the steps taken to assist the family
  • In reality, what happens is a family is supported by the correlative efforts of the ward in dealing with a variety of possible problems: a family death, unemployment, a rebellious child, marital issues, a new baby, etc. This is an amazing structure that supports or should support every family in the Church.
 Why is it important to understand that Church auxiliaries, programs, and activities exist to support the family? How have Church organizations and activities strengthened you and your family?  

D&C 84:109–10   In what ways does Church correlation help us fulfill these words?

 Therefore, let every man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling; and let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand?
110 Also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect.

D&C 132:8  Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion.

 What can we do individually and in our Church callings to apply the principles of Church correlation?

For additional information about church correlation see the following at
Revelation extending the blessings of the priesthood to every worthy male member of the Church

In June 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball announced a revelation that extended the blessings of the priesthood to every worthy male member of the Church. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism provides a brief history on the restriction of the priesthood:  

"The reasons for these restrictions have not been revealed. Church leaders and members have explained them in different ways over time. Although several blacks were ordained to the priesthood in the 1830s, there is no evidence that Joseph Smith authorized new ordinations in the 1840s, and between 1847 and 1852 Church leaders maintained that blacks should be denied the priesthood because of their lineage. According to the book of Abraham (now part of the Pearl of Great Price), the descendants of Cain were to be denied the priesthood of God (Abr. 1:23-26). Some Latter-day Saints theorized that blacks would be restricted throughout mortality. As early as 1852, however, Brigham Young said that the 'time will come when they will have the privilege of all and more' (Brigham Young Papers, Church Archives, Feb. 5, 1852), and increasingly in the 1960s, Presidents of the Church taught that denial of entry to the priesthood was a current commandment of God, but would not prevent blacks from eventually possessing all eternal blessings.  

"Missionaries avoided proselytizing blacks, and General Authorities decided not to send missionaries to Africa, much of the Caribbean, or other regions inhabited by large populations of blacks. Before World War II, only German-speaking missionaries were sent to Brazil, where they sought out German immigrants. When government war regulations curtailed proselytizing among Germans, missionary work was expanded to include Portuguese-speaking Brazilians. Determining genealogically who was to be granted and who denied the priesthood became increasingly a sensitive and complex issue." (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 126)  

As the Church continued to grow throughout the world, the Brethren became increasingly concerned about many faithful members of the Church who were being denied priesthood blessings. At a press conference held shortly after Spencer W. Kimball was ordained president of the Church, he was asked about extending the priesthood to black members. He responded: "I am not sure that there will be a change, although there could be. We are under the dictates of our Heavenly Father, and this is not my policy or the Church's policy. It is the policy of the Lord . . . and I know of no change, although we are subject to revelations of the Lord in case he should ever wish to make a change." (quoted in LDS Church News, 06/04/88)  

Though President Kimball announced that there was no plan to change this policy, the restriction of withholding the priesthood weighed heavily on his heart. In a talk given to missionaries in October 1978, President Kimball said: "I prayed with much fervency. I knew that something was before us that was extremely important to many of the children of God. . . . Day after day I went alone and with great solemnity and seriousness in the upper rooms of the temple, and there I offered my soul and offered my efforts to go forward with the program. I wanted to do what He wanted." 

On June 1, 1978, while meeting with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Temple, President Kimball again brought up the possibility of conferring the priesthood on worthy brethren of all races. 

Elder Bruce R. McConkie recalled, "President Kimball asked the brethren if any of them desired to express their feelings and views as to the matter in hand. We all did so, freely and fluently and at considerable length, each person stating his views and manifesting the feelings of his heart. There was a marvelous outpouring of unity, oneness, and agreement in the council." (The Church in the Twentieth Century, pp390-391) 

President Kimball then lead the Brethren in prayer regarding this issue. He pleaded with the Lord for an answer and promised the Lord that if the restriction was to continue he would defend it to the end of his life. 

Elder McConkie described what happened: "It was during this prayer that the revelation came. The Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon us all; we felt something akin to what happened on the day of Pentecost and at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. From the midst of eternity, the voice of God, conveyed by the power of the Spirit, spoke to his prophet .... And we all heard the same voice, received the same message, and became personal witnesses that the word received was the mind and will and voice of the Lord." 

On the morning of June 9, 1978, President Kimball made the announcement that the priesthood would now be extended to all worthy male members of the Church. 

This revelation had long been hoped for by faithful people throughout the world. One of the first black persons to accept the gospel in Africa was William Paul Daniels, who learned of the Church as early as 1913. He traveled to Utah, where he received a special blessing from President Joseph F. Smith. President Smith promised him that if he remained faithful, he would hold the priesthood in this life or the next. Brother Daniels died in 1936, still a faithful member of the Church, and his daughter had the temple ordinances performed for her father soon after the 1978 revelation on the priesthood.6

Many more people in Africa developed testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel through Church literature or through miraculous personal experiences, but they were not able to enjoy all the blessings of the gospel.

For many months before the June 1978 revelation, President Kimball discussed with his Counselors and the Twelve Apostles the denial of priesthood authority to persons of African descent. Church leaders were reluctant to open missions in areas of the world where the full blessings of the gospel could not be conferred upon worthy Church members. In an area conference in South Africa, President Kimball declared: “I prayed with much fervency. I knew that something was before us that was extremely important to many of the children of God. I knew that we could receive the revelations of the Lord only by being worthy and ready for them and ready to accept them and put them into place. Day after day I went alone and with great solemnity and seriousness in the upper rooms of the temple, and there I offered my soul and offered my efforts to go forward with the program. I wanted to do what he wanted. I talked about it to him and said, ‘Lord, I want only what is right.’”7

In a special meeting in the temple with his Counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Kimball asked that they all freely express their views about giving the priesthood to black males. Then they prayed around the altar with President Kimball as voice. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who was there, later said,

“On this occasion, because of the importuning and the faith, and because the hour and the time had arrived, the Lord in his providences poured out the Holy Ghost upon the First Presidency and the Twelve in a miraculous and marvelous manner, beyond anything that any then present had ever experienced.”8 It was made clear to the leaders of the Church that the time had come for all worthy men to receive the full blessings of the priesthood.

The First Presidency sent a letter dated 8 June 1978 to priesthood leaders, explaining that the Lord had revealed that “all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.” On 30 September 1978, the Saints in general conference voted unanimously to support the action of their leaders. This letter is now found in the Doctrine and Covenants as Official Declaration—2.

Since the time of this announcement, thousands of persons of African descent have come into the Church. The experience of one convert in Africa illustrates how the hand of the Lord has blessed these people. A college graduate and teacher had a dream in which he saw a large building with spires or towers, into which people dressed in white were entering. Later as he was traveling, he saw a Latter-day Saint chapel and felt impressed that this church was somehow connected with his dream, so he attended a Sunday service there. After the meetings, the mission president’s wife showed him a pamphlet. Opening it, the man saw a picture of the Salt Lake Temple, the building of his dream. Later he said: “Before I became aware I was weeping. I can’t explain the feeling. I was released of all burdens. I felt that I had gone to a place where I visited often. And now I was at home.” 
(Our Heritage, pages 125–27.)

 How has this revelation been a blessing to the Church? What can we learn from the process President Kimball went through before receiving this revelation? 

 Publication of new Latter-day Saint editions of the scriptures; A Revelation
In 1979, after years of careful work under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, the Church published a Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible. This edition of the Bible has the same text as the King James Version, but it includes special study aids, such as the Topical Guide, the Bible Dictionary, and footnotes referring to passages in other books of scripture and to excerpts from Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible.
In 1981, the Church published a new edition of the triple combination (the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price in a single volume), with expanded footnotes and index entries.

 Ezekiel 37:15–19  states :  The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:

17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

As latter-day saints we know that from this we are taught that “the stick of Judah” is the Bible and “the stick of Ephraim” is the Book of Mormon. How do the new editions of the scriptures help the Bible and Book of Mormon become “one in your hand”?

Many footnotes in the Bible refer to scriptures in the Book of Mormon, and many footnotes in the Book of Mormon refer to scriptures in the Bible. Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve tells us: “The stick or record of Judah—the Old Testament and the New Testament—and the stick or record of Ephraim—the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ—are now woven together in such a way that as you pore over one you are drawn to the other; as you learn from one you are enlightened by the other. They are indeed one in our hands” (Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 75; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 53)

 In what ways do you think the Church has been blessed because of the Latter-day Saint editions of the scriptures?

Soon after these scriptures were printed, Elder Boyd K. Packer prophesied: “With the passing of years, these scriptures will produce successive generations of faithful Christians who know the Lord Jesus Christ and are disposed to obey His will. The revelations will be opened to them as to no other [generation] in the history of the world. Into their hands now are placed the sticks of Joseph and of Judah. They will develop a gospel scholarship beyond that which their forebears could achieve. They will have the testimony that Jesus is the Christ and be competent to proclaim Him and to defend Him” (Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 75; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 53)

In the April 1995 general conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley made an observation that shows that Elder Packer’s words are being fulfilled: “I look back to my own youth. Neither young men nor young women were doing much scripture reading at that time. What a marvelous change has been wrought. A new generation is arising who are familiar with the word of the Lord” (Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 117; or Ensign, May 1995, 87)

Additional Quorums of the Seventy Revelation
As the Church has grown, the Lord has revealed how general Church administration should change to meet the needs of members all over the world. These changes have been especially evident in the organization of additional Quorums of the Seventy.  

For many years there were only seven General Authorities of the Church who served as Seventies. They made up the First Council of the Seventy. In 1975, others were called; they served in the First Quorum of the Seventy. Further expansion came in 1989, when a Second Quorum of the Seventy was added.

In April 1995, President Gordon B. Hinckley announced the calling of new local officers, called Area Authorities, who would serve for a period of about six years. (See Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 71–72; or Ensign, May 1995, 52.)

In 1997, President Hinckley announced that Area Authorities would be ordained Seventies and would form the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Quorums of the Seventy. Unlike Seventies who serve as General Authorities, Area Authority Seventies serve in the areas in which they live and continue in their present employment. (See Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 4–5; or Ensign, May 1997, 5–6.)

 D&C 107:25, 34  What are the responsibilities of the Seventy?
 The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

 The Seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Twelve or the traveling high council, in building up the church and regulating all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and then to the Jews— 

D&C 107:93–97 How does creation of additional Quorums of the Seventy comply with the instructions in this revelation?

And it is according to the vision showing the order of the Seventy, that they should have seven presidents to preside over them, chosen out of the number of the seventy;
94 And the seventh president of these presidents is to preside over the six;
95 And these seven presidents are to choose other seventy besides the first seventy to whom they belong, and are to preside over them;
96 And also other seventy, until seven times seventy, if the labor in the vineyard of necessity requires it.
97 And these seventy are to be traveling ministers, unto the Gentiles first and also unto the Jews.

Concerning the creation of additional Quorums of the Seventy, President Hinckley said: “With these respective quorums in place, we have established a pattern under which the Church may grow to any size with an organization of Area Presidencies and Area Authority Seventies, chosen and working across the world according to need. Now, the Lord is watching over His kingdom. He is inspiring its leadership to care for its ever growing membership” (Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 5; or Ensign, May 1997, 6)


Though many may say, or seem to believe that we have not recieved revelation from our leaders in many years, it is evident that they cleary do.  The Lord continues to guide the Church through revelation to latter-day prophets, seers, and revelators.  President Kimball’s statement continues to be true today. The heavens are open, and the Lord continues to reveal His will to latter-day prophets wwere it not so the church would not be thirving today.  The inspired changes noted throughout this lesson present show of that continuing revelation to the Lord's modern prophets. Correlation was begun under the administration of President David O. McKay. The work leading up to the new LDS edition of the scriptures began under the direction of President Harold B. Lee and continued during the administration of President Spencer W. Kimball. The revelation extending the blessings of the priesthood came to Spencer W. Kimball as well as the evolving structure of the church.  No other church in the world runs as smoothing and cares for its members as does The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  That is because it is the Lord's church, it is ran by the Lord himself, thorugh his prophets.  

Our Heritage, pages 117–19, 125–27
2001-2002 Church Almanac
BYU Studies, vol 22, Number 3.
Conference Reports  
Encyclopedia of Mormonism edited by Daniel H. Ludlow.
LDS Church News.
Studies in Scripture, vol 2, edited by Robert L. Millet and Kent P. Jackson.
The Church in the Twentieth Century by Richard O. Cowan.
The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson.



The Fall of Adam and Eve

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