And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Isaiah 8:17

If you are looking for messages about the Europe Area Humanitarian Mission, go to

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 Days of Christmas

Last year, with the help of my daughter, Karen, I wrote 12 posts on my other blog, one for each of the 12 Days of Christmas.  Some of what I teach in my annual "Christmas in the Old Testament" lesson is summarized there.  There are also some great pictures, YouTube videos and cut and color activities for children for each day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Personal Power vs Position Power

In reading about Melchizedek in Alma 13 this last week in class, we read:
" 18 But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to theaholy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent;. . ."
I suggested (quoting from Bro. Robert Norman) that Melchizedek influenced his people through the power of his personal righteousness rather than by virtue of his position.

I found the same story on a Jewish website :
There was once a boy who wanted to be king. At first he bullied and yelled. He instilled fear into the hearts of all those around him, and got everyone to do what he wanted. But the moment that the king went away, no one followed his orders or obeyed his rules. The boy, now king, realized that obtaining power through fear doesn’t work in the long run. He decided to try a different way. He treated everyone with respect and kindness. He was sincere, giving, caring and kindhearted. They honored him and performed his will. Even away from his presence, they continued to follow his orders and obeyed his laws.

This same article also said that "one must first approach each situation from the right side, the side of chesed [HB for mercy], and then it can be approached with the left [the side of din, or judgment]. We start with chesed and end with chesed."

This is saying the same thing as D&C 121

39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
 40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.
 41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
 42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
 43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

You can read the rest of the article here.

[The mosaic of Melchizedek meeting Abraham with bread and wine is from Santa Maria Maggiadore.]

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas in the Book of Isaiah: Prophecy Fulfilled

For the South Jordan Stake class only (11 AM Thursday, Dec 15): your Christmas lesson will look at imagery in Isaiah which is used in the traditional telling of the Christmas story.  Below is a list of verses I will refer to.  You might want to print out this list to make note taking easier.  (the painting is by J Kirk Richards)

Here is a list of the verses without my comments. They are written the way you  do it in research papers, with a . instead of a : [that saves having to shift :) ]

(you need to know Hebrew for verse 22)
54.13 (age 12)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas in the Old Testament

Next week we will have a special Christmas Lesson at each building : this is a special, stand-alone class. Feel free to bring friends : there is no charge.

1. Tuesday evening, December 13
Springville Hobble Creek Stake
6:30-8:00 PM
Canyon Chapel
1965 East Canyon Road, Springville UT 84663.

NEW! This will be our first class at this new location in downtown Salt Lake: come and see what you think.
2. Wednesday morning, December 14
Salt Lake Ensign Stake
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Ensign Stake Center
135 A Street, Salt Lake City, Utah

3. Wednesday evening, December 14
Salt Lake Sugar House
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Salt Lake Sugar House Stake Center
1681 South 11th East (17th South at 11th East), Salt Lake City.

4. Thursday morning, December 15
Sandy Utah Granite South Stake
Sandy Utah Granite South Stake Center
2126 Gyrfalcon Drive (10000 South), Sandy, Utah 84092

5. Thursday mid-morning, December 15
South Jordan Stake
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
South Jordan Stake Center
2450 W 10400 S. (South Jordan Parkway) South Jordan, Utah 84095.