With My Sons at General Priesthood Meeting

At the stake center immediately after General Priesthood Meeting.
This rickety photograph above (too many dark suits affected the exposure) was taken in the stake center last night immediately after the conclusion of the General Priesthood Meeting broadcast. I am with my sons (left to right) Paul, Daniel, Jake, and Steven. It is customary for us to go after the broadcast to eat. Judging by the long lines at some eating establishments the custom is widespread. In the photograph below we are at Panda Express in Layton. Left to right are Daniel, Paul, Steven, and Jake. Not shown is my friend Paul Stout and his son Tyler who were eating with us.

As usual our large stake center was filled to overflowing. There were several general authorities speaking via broadcast. Daniel, Jake, and I took notes. I find it helps me concentrate on what is being said. Of course it is also useful as a resource in constructing a blog post. I will just mention two talks here. What struck me about these two talks was the effectiveness of using a phrase throughout the addresses. With Elder Jay E. Jensen it was Arms of Safety. He said:

As I have pondered how to effectively teach the atonement to others, the phrase arms of safety has been useful. When we were baptized and received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, we received two ordinances that introduce us to the arms of safety. By coming humbly and fully repentant to sacrament meeting and worthily partaking of the sacrament, we may feel those arms again and again.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf used the phrase Lift Where You Stand. He said:

Individual recognition is rarely an indication of the value of our service. Readers of the Book of Mormon do not know the names, for example, of any of the 2,000 sons of Helaman. As individuals, they are unnamed. As a group, however, they will always be named as a symbol of honesty and courage. They accomplished together what none of them could have accomplished alone.
That is a lesson for us, brethren of the priesthood. When we stand close together and lift where we stand, when we care more for the glory of the kingdom of God than for our own prestige or pleasure, we can accomplish so much more.

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Why Are You Active?

My sons and I ready for Stake Priesthood Meeting 2006

Every week I attend a priesthood meeting for fifty minutes. The question “Why Are You Active?” was asked in priesthood meeting in our ward today. A companion question was “Why are some not active?” There were twenty-five high priests in the room who commented thus:

Why are you active?

  • Some are deeply converted.
  • Attendance at church is good for you because of the strong influence, which in turn is good for others that come in contact with you.
  • You are touched by the Spirit in the meetings and feel to return.
  • There is fellowship with other members.
  • Opportunities for service is always present. Interestingly at the time three separate sign up sheets were being circulated asking for volunteers.
  • Christian principles are learned.
  • It is a duty.

It was pointed out that the definitions of active and inactive need to be looked at broadly. The line between active and inactive needs to be a little more porous. And who is to be the judge?

Why are some not active?

  • They feel like they have nothing to offer.
  • Physical disabilities prevent attendance at many activities.
  • They work on a Sunday.
  • A lack of testimony.
  • Fear of being asked to pray, give a talk, or of a calling.
  • In large wards you may be less needed and can be a small fish in a big pond.
  • Traditions can get in the way.
  • Cost (by this I assumed tithing).
  • Crummy teachers.

Conclusion

We wound up by agreeing that we need to get to know people so that we can help with some of the fears. We can strengthen their rickety testimonies. Just being a good friend is the right thing to do.

So the question of the day is: Why are you active?