Thursday, August 23, 2012

Your PPI with Christ

Ever wonder what that will be like? Apparently David O. McKay had a pretty good idea:

Let me assure you brethren, that someday you will have a personal Priesthood interview with the Savior himself.  If you are interested, I will tell you the order in which he will ask you to account for your earthly responsibilities.
First:  He will request an accountability report about your relationship with your wife.  Have you actively been engaged in making her happy and ensuring that her needs have been met as an individual?

Second:  He will want an accountability about each of your children individually.  He will not attempt to have this for simply a family stewardship, but will request information about your relationship with each and every child.

Third:  He will want to know what you personally have done with the talents you were given in the pre­-mortal world.

Fourth:  He will want a summary of your activity in your church assignments.  He will not be necessarily interested in what assignments you have had, for in His eyes the home teacher and a mission president are probably equals, but He will request a summary of how you have been of service to your fellowmen in your church assignments.

Fifth:  He will have no interest in how you earned your living, but if you were honest in all your dealings.

Sixth:  He will ask for accountability on what you have done to contribute in a positive manner to your community, state, country, and the world.

Not surprising, except in its specificity as to the order of the questions. Some good food for thought. You can read an awesome devotional centered around these questions here.

J. Reuben Clark on Idleness

From the foundation of the Church until now, idleness has been condemned as unworthy of Church members, as destructive of character, as violative of the true Christian life, as contrary to the command given to Adam as the law of this world 'In the sweat of thy brow, thou shalt eat thy bread."

-Conference Report, October 1936

I always thought of the Lord's admonition to Adam as informative; in my mind, He was telling Adam that he would have to work because he would starve otherwise. But this can also be read in the imperative--thou shalt eat thy bread in the sweat of thy brow. In other words, it's a commandment to work for what we need. This makes the wording in D&C 42:42 intriguing as well:  "...he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer." An underlying principle of the Church welfare program is that people are enabled to work, and they are expected to be doing some work in return for the aid that they receive. It makes sense under this commandment, that they shall not partake of what other people have earned if they are idle.

And of course after this I am reminded that, as usual, I have some repenting to do. The hours on Pinterest are totally justified because I am trying to figure out what to make for dinner and what to wear and what do with our house, right?

Thou shalt love thy wife...

From A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants by Stephen E. Robinson and H. Dean Garrett, p.19-20, regarding D&C 42:22 (I emphasized a couple of things I particularly liked in bold):

...In the law of the Church, all marital conditions other than loving "thy wife [or husband] with all thy heart" are prohibited. Men or women who have allowed themselves to fall out of love with faithful, loving spouses are in violation of the law and are under condemnation. Although biological attraction can happen spontaneously, maintaining a long-term, loving relationship in marriage usually does not. It is a goal that must be chosen and diligently pursued, a conscious decision for which husbands and wives may be held accountable. To ignore one's spouse or the relationship that exists between husband and wife is a sin. Sometimes the spouse does not respond to the expression of love, in which case the offending spouse will receive the blame, but for as long as a marriage lasts, true Saints are obligated to love their spouses and maintain a warm and loving relationship to the degree a spouse will allow.

Since exaltation requires that man and wife become one not just in the "bonds of matrimony" but in heart, mind, and spirit, they must love one another. If they fail to do this, exaltation must be denied the offender who will not love his or her faithful spouse. Our covenant obligation to be one with our spouse is second only to our obligation to become one with the Lord. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Emma Smith and D&C 25

From the Doctrine & Covenants student manual, p. 50:

It had been just over three years since the Prophet Joseph Smith and Emma Hale had been married in the small village of South Bainbridge, New York. Joseph was now twenty-five years of age and Emma twenty-six. 
     The seventh of nine children born to Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, Emma was born on 10 July 1804 in Harmony, Pennsylvania. There the Prophet met and courted her while he was working for Josiah Stowell. It is reported that Emma was a beautiful woman with an attractive personality, and she had the reputation of being a refined and dignified woman who was an excellent housekeeper and cook. Her Methodist upbringing had helped her develop a great love of music.
     The first three years for the newly married couple were indeed tense and trying ones. Eight months after their marriage Joseph received the golden plates from the angel Moroni. From that moment on their lives were punctuated with persecution and trial. Emma passed through these trying experiences with her husband. She was at his side during those agonizing months when Joseph lost the gift to translate. She served as his scribe for a while. Her heart must have ached when the Prophet was arrested on trumped-up charges again and again. She traveled with the Prophet on many of his missionary journeys and shared with him the joy and sorrow associated with teh preaching of the gospel. Emma was a woman of great courage and strong will. Of her the Prophet's mother, Lucy Mack Smith, wrote: "I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has ever done; for I know that which she has had to endure . . . she has breasted the storms of persecution, and buffeted the rage of men and devils, which would have borne down almost any other woman." (History of Joseph Smith, pp. 190-91).
     Now, in July of 1830, possibly near her birthday, the Lord directed to Emma a revelation known as section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

And from A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants by Stephen E. Robinson and H. Dean Garrett, p. 168-69:

     Emma was baptized a member of the Church by Oliver Cowdery on 28 June 1830, and was confirmed by her husband, Joseph, in early August of that year. She was with Joseph and Oliver during the mob action and Josehp's two arrests and trials in the Colesville area. She herself was also at risk of physical injury during that time, and, like Joseph and Oliver, she suffered considerable harassment and vilification from the mobs. As a result of her New York experiences, Emma Smith was as much in need of encouragement from the Lord as were her husband and Oliver Cowdery (see D&C 24), having endured persecution with them ever since her wedding three and a half years earlier. Sometime during the month following her baptism, in July 1830, after returning home from New York to their farm in Harmony, Pennsylvania, Emma received Doctrine and Covenants 25 through her husband, Joseph.

As is the case with many who give their lives in supporting roles, we sometimes overlook how much Emma suffered and sacrificed, and what must have been the depths of her faith and commitment to the Lord. I think it is probably safe to say that Joseph couldn't have done his work without Emma by his side.