Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (My Scripture Study)

So I think one of the things I probably have done a poor job of with this blog is really articulate a lot of my religious beliefs. I know most people that do in fact read this blog are good friends of mine so they know that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It's funny that I haven't written much about my religious beliefs because they are such a heavy part of my dialogue from day to day. Also, I believe heavily in practicing my religion and studying my religion, so day in and day out it is a major focus. So I think I'm going to try to incorporate a lot of what I learn from my religious studies in this blog. I already conduct most of my religious studies along with my computer because I love how easy it is for me to organize all of my thoughts and notes, so that will also make it easy to import my studies to this blog. I try to make sure that every week I read the lessons before Sunday School and Priesthood on Sunday.

So today I was wrapping up my study of the Sunday School lesson. This week it's Lesson 9. The focus is upon The Only True and Living Church. Here are my notes:
• On what date was the Church organized in this dispensation? (See D&C 20:1; 21:3.)
- April 6, 1830.

• Read D&C 20:68–69. What do these verses reveal about the Lord’s expectations of us as Church members?
- The Lord expects us to manifest unto the Church our understanding of the commitment we have made before we can receive the ordinances of the sacrament and the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. There must needs be a manifestation of works and faith that are in accordance with one that has been received into the Church of Christ.

• How might your life be different if the Church had not been restored or if you were not a member of the Church?
- If the Church had not been restored or if I was not a member I am sure I would not enjoy nearly as many rich blessings as I do now. The peace that I feel through the Spirit would be absent. I am certain I would not be such a right seeking individual if I did not enjoy the blessings of the gospel.

• What can you do to more fully enjoy the blessings of membership in the Church?
- To more fully enjoy the blessings of my membership I can become more appreciative. Appreciation is one of the greatest keys to joy in our lives. There are various aspects about my membership that I do not appreciate to the extent that I should. Also, I can find more opportunities to serve. I know I have not been as good about going to the temple lately, that is something I should certainly increase. Temple attendance brings rich blessings and unfortunately I have been missing out on many of them. Also, finding ways to more fully magnify my calling and priesthood helps as well. I know in the case of my calling there are many things that we are coming up short on and I can fix that rather easily. With the priesthood, I think it helps when I recognize what my duties as a priesthood holder are more fully and I recognize just how wide and encompassing they are. I know recently I was enlightened into the idea that when I am Home Teaching I am exercising my priesthood. I hadn’t ever really thought of it like that, but I’m pretty sure anytime I undertake anything for the sake of righteousness, my priesthood is at work simply because I am a priesthood holder and that is part of the blessing of that supernal gift.
The reading assignment for today was interesting. It's always nice to have some reminders of some of the basics of the formation of the Church. I must say though I don't like it when I am given questions that are so plain and factual such as the date the Church was organized. It's a very important fact for Church members to know, but it just seems to basic. The question and scriptures about the expectations of Church members I found fascinating. I didn't remember those specific answers to the standards expected of recent converts. But I am grateful for the opportunity I had to ponder a bit more on appreciation. Gratitude is one of my favorite concepts in life because I feel like it honestly makes us so much happier of individuals. Recognizing gifts brings us joy and helps us to share that joy with others. It's interesting how something so small can make such a profound difference.

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