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Sunday, June 22, 2014

If I ... God will....

You are in the final stages of a great “last dispensation” war. Our days now and the days that lie ahead are “perilous.” (2 Timothy 3:1) If you have not received a personal testimony of this you need to spend a week in my waiting room and see who shows up. This war commenced before the foundations of the world and since that time Satan and his followers have been victorious in causing awful consequences for those who are not prepared.

You have been entrusted to come to the earth at this time to do again what you did before—to successfully win the battle over evil. I want to remind you about one resource that will help. (See: Five to Survive)

A resource you may have naively overlooked.

A formal family home evening program was developed in the Granite Utah Stake and was first endorsed and made Church wide by this statement from the First Presidency:
Brethren and Sisters: We counsel the Latter-day Saints to observe more closely the commandment of the Lord given in the 68th section of the Doctrine and Covenants: “And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents; “For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized; “And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of hands, “And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord” [see D&C 68:25–28]. The children of Zion should also observe more fully the commandment of the Lord given to ancient Israel and reiterated to the Latter-day Saints: “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” [see Ex. 20:12]. These revelations apply with great force to the Latter-day Saints, and it is required of fathers and mothers in this Church that these commandments shall be taught and applied in their homes. To this end we advise and urge the inauguration of a “home evening” throughout the Church, at which time fathers and mothers may gather their boys and girls about them in the home and teach them the word of the Lord. They may thus learn more fully the needs and requirements of their families, at the same time familiarizing themselves and their children more thoroughly with the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This home evening should be devoted to prayer, singing hymns, songs, instrumental music, scripture reading, family topics, and specific instruction on the principles of the gospel and on the ethical problems of life, as well as the duties and obligations of children to parents, the home, the Church, society, and the nation. For the smaller children, appropriate recitations, songs, stories, and games may be introduced. Light refreshments of such a nature as may be largely prepared in the home might be served. Formality and stiffness should be studiously avoided, and all the family should participate in the exercises. These gatherings will furnish opportunities for mutual confidence between parents and children, between brothers and sisters, as well as give opportunity for words of warning, counsel, and advice by parents to their boys and girls. They will provide opportunity for the boys and girls to honor father and mother and to show their appreciation of the blessings of home so that the promise of the Lord to them may be literally fulfilled and their lives be prolonged and made happy. We request that the presidents of stakes and bishops throughout the Church set aside at least one evening each month for this purpose and that upon such evenings no other Church duties shall be required of the people. We further request that all the officers of the auxiliary organizations throughout the Church support this movement and encourage the young people to remain at home that evening and use their energies in making it instructive, profitable, and interesting. If the Saints obey this counsel, we promise that great blessings will result. Love at home and obedience to parents will increase. Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them. Your brethren, JOSEPH F. SMITH, ANTHON H. LUND,  CHARLES W. PENROSE (Family Home Evening Counsel and Promise  also see: Improvement Era, June 1915, 733–34)
In the preface to the first family home evening manual 1965, President David O. McKay declared, “The problems of these difficult times cannot better be solved in any other place, by any other agency, by any other means, than by love and righteousness, and precept and example, and devotion to duty in the home."  David O. McKay repeated the same promise given in 1915 for those having Family Home Evening and added that the youth will gain power “to choose righteousness and peace, and be assured an eternal place in the family circle of our Father.” (Family Home Evening Manual, Salt Lake City: The Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1965, p. iii. For a brief history see An Era of Correlation and Consolidation)

 In 1976, the Presidency reaffirmed that “regular participation in family home evening will develop increased personal worth, family unity, love for our fellowmen, and trust in our Father in heaven.” (Family Home Evening Manual, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1976, p. 3.)

There are only a few commandments that clearly identify a commandment and the specific blessing to be received by keeping that commandment. Here are a couple:
and of course
  • Family Home Evening a standard of care to save your family. 
If you have regular family home evening Your Family Will experience an increase in 
personal worth,
family unity,
love for their fellowmen, 
trust in their Father in heaven, 
choosing righteousness and peace, 
being assured an eternal place in the family circle, 
love at home, 
obedience to parents, 
power to combat the evil influences and temptations. 
Would you and your family benefit from any of these blessings?

Think a about it,

If I - dr rick, a licensed psychologist, sent you the link
with "How to" instructions to save your family would you be interested?
What if I threw in  "A Money Back Guarantee" promising  you would receive any or all of the above listed blessings if you held Family Home Evening or I'd give your $100 back for that therapy session?

Would that be enough?

Or how about a warning from a Prophet:
"We cannot afford to be complacent. We live in perilous times; the signs are all around us. We are acutely aware of the negative influences in our society that stalk traditional families ... I will begin with Family Home Evening. We cannot afford to neglect this heaven-inspired program ...." (Constant Truths for Changing Times, Thoms S. Monson, Conference April 2005) 
When will you have your next Family Home Evening?

dr rick
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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Are You "Blessed?"

The parents are active in the local ward. They have three children. They never miss church and the parents go to the temple regularly. The mom has a serious disease that will require immediate surgery if she is ever to get out of her wheelchair. The insurance company won't pay for the surgery. This year is a turning point for the family finances and farm.

If they have a successful crop of grain they can pay for the farm mortgage and for mom's surgery.

Righteous Family #1 has been PRAYING FOR one more rain storm to water their acres of dry land grain. Without the rain the crops would surely fail.

Their neighbors...

The parents are active in the local  ward. They have three children. They never miss church and the parents go to the temple regularly. The mom has a serious disease that will require immediate surgery if she is ever to get out of her wheelchair. The insurance company won't pay for the surgery. This year is a turning point for the family finances and farm.

If they have a successful crop of tomatoes they can pay for the farm mortgage and for mom's surgery.

The family has been  PRAYING FOR NO more rain One more rainstorm would surely worsen the fungal infection and ruin their acres of tomatoes.

That night each family had been fasting and praying with faith- 
... Righteous Family #1- Please make it rain. 
... Righteous Family #2- Please do not let it rain. 


It rained.

Righteous Family #1 paid off the mortgage on the farm and mom had the surgery and was now out of the wheelchair. They told themselves and others "See God hears and answers our prayers. We are blessed." 

Righteous Family #2 had the farm and home foreclosed on by the bank. They now were renting the family farm from the bank.  Mom was still in the wheelchair.

Was Righteous Family #2 blessed? Did God forget about their prayers and faith?

Similar examples of "Bad" things happening to "Good" people go on and on...

Righteous Mother #1 was in the Intensive care unit Room 3010 lived after her heart surgery. Righteous Mother #2 next door in Room 3011 died. Each family had prayed with faith, placed names in the temple, had priesthood blessing prior to surgery, etc etc.

Which mother was blessed?

There are two young Righteous Fathers #1 and #2. Each graduates from prestigious East Coast Universities. Each served full time missions. Each married in the temple. Each have a couple of kids. Each active in church etc etc Each young father has a very bright career path.

Righteous Father #1 gets in shape and considers running an upcoming triathlon.
Righteous Father #2 gets primary progressive MS and considers applying for disability.

Which father was blessed?

Typically we view - when we get what we want - the apparent good outcome - we are blessed. When prayers are not immediately answered we think -  they had insufficient faith and/or were just not righteous enough.

"We may wonder why there are such times in life, particularly when we may be trying harder than we have ever tried to live worthy of God’s blessings and obtain His help. When problems or sorrows or sadness come and they don’t seem to be our fault, what are we to make of their unwelcome appearance?" (Jeffrey R. Holland, The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom, October Converse 1996)
Do YOU need to develop faith in a God that allows ...
...you to remain ill?
...your husband to have a porn problem?
...your loved one to die?
...you to be fired?
...everything to go wrong?
etc  etc
...to lose your tomato crops, your farm and your home?

dr rick
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