The main focus of our weekly discussions is the Book of
Mormon. We plan to hear from local attorneys about their
careers and other interesting topics.
Tuesday — 12:00 to 1:00 pm — Stu201
Download our Lesson Manual (PDF).
Inconvenient Messiah" by Elder Holland
Presented by Paul Johnson
Man of Christ" by Elder Maxwell
Presented by Taylor Woodbury
Acquire Knowledge and the Strength to Use It Wisely"
by Elder Scott
Presented by Blake Johnston
Elder Scott begins his address by sharing a principle
which he promised would bring "enormous blessings
throughout your life" if "understood and consistently
applied." This is the principle:
I will consistently strive to learn by what I hear, see,
and feel. I will write down the important things I learn,
and I will do them.
Elder Scott stressed the importance, especially in an
academic setting where one already learns a great deal by
"hearing" (or "listening to professors") and "seeing" (or
"reading textbooks"), of learning by "feeling." More
specifically, of developing the skill of learning from the
gentle promptings of the Holy Ghost.
He also invites everyone, consistent with the second part
of the principle, to "[w]rite down in a secure place the
important things you learn from the Spirit." This
invitation sparked a discussion about keeping a journal.
One suggestion was to keep a separate "spiritual journal"
for especially personal and sacred promptings and
experiences. Another idea was to keep in a handy pocket
notebook a running list of small promptings throughout the
day, to be able better to notice all of the small
instances of divine assistance and to remember to act upon
The group also tackled the question, inspired by Elder
Scott’s portrayal of a young man whose parents "taught him
from infancy to unwaveringly live the commandments of
God," of how one teaches his child the Gospel. Elder Scott
indicated that this is done by "example" and "precept,"
but the anecdotes of the participants were helpful in
illustrating some more concrete ways in which one can
teach children by example.
Finally, we considered the eight sources of help that
Elder Scott indicated could help us reach our goals:
- Faith in Jesus Christ
- Guiding Principles
- Temple Worship
- Moral Cleanliness
- Consistent Hard Work
- Good Music
Not Away Therefore Your Confidence" by Elder Holland
Presented by Jamie Sorenson
Moral Challenges for the Next Century" by Lady
Presented by Micah Elggren
and the Hope of the Future" by F. Enzio Busche
Presented by Tom Anderson
Who are Christians? What does it mean to be a Christian?
In Matthew, we read that "by their fruits ye shall know
Matt. 7:16-20. But, the fruits of traditional
Christianity have hardly been palatable.
According to Elder Busche, traditional Christianity has
been marked by three recurrent fruits.
- "The message of Christ and His gospel became
subject, soon after His resurrection, to various,
extremely controversial interpretations; and the
question, What is truth? has continued to be
controversial up to this day."
- "Over a period of centuries there were only those
interpretations of the gospel prevailing which were
linked with the strongest literal political powers, and
it is easy to see that these powers of leadership in
Christianity could not be kept free from wickedness,
injustice, and unrighteousness."
- "There is a long history in Christianity of
intolerance toward those holding different opinions, of
defaming them as 'devilish heretics,' of persecuting
them, and even to literally putting them to death."
To put these ideas on a more personal level, we are on
a guaranteed road to apostasy if we (1) engage in
controversy about the truth; (2) adhere to only those
doctrines that are consistent with our own ideology or
aspirations to power, or, alternatively, corrupt doctrines
to conform with our own ambitions; and (3) reject or
become intolerant of those who continue to believe the
pure doctrine -- that which is different from the
corrupted doctrine we might espouse.
For examples of this pattern of personal apostasy,
consider the story of the Amlicites, or Nehor, in the Book
of Mormon. Alma
To avoid this fate, we, of course must seek to cultivate
good fruits. Recall that the most desirable fruits found
in the scriptures required intense cultivation. See, for
5. These desirable fruits are fruits of the spirit,
not the fruit of traditional Christianity or the natural
Brother Rogers recommended reading this article:
Scholarship, Apologetics, and Evangelical Neglect:
Losing the Battle and Not Knowing It?"
by Carl Mosser and Paul Owen
As Marc Bohn pointed out, this article was written in
1998. Since then, some Evangelicals have responded. Those
responses have led to an on-going discussions between BYU
Robert Millet and Pastor Greg Johnson.
to Serve the Lord Without Offending the Devil" by
Presented by Stan Swinton
I had the pleasure of presenting Elder Faust's talk
entitled "Serving the Lord, Without Offending the Devil."
This was not, as the title may suggest, a "how-to" on how
not to offend the devil, but rather an admonishment not to
fall into the trap of political and social correctness
that are really attempts at trying to serve the Lord
without offending the devil.
In other words, one way we can measure our service to the
Lord is by how much our actions offend Satan. An example
mentioned in the talk is that having a temple recommend
does not offend Satan if you do not use that recommend. So
how well are you serving the Lord if you have a recommend
but are not attending the temple? Not well enough.
In the end, admonishes Elder Faust, we cannot straddle the
line on issues such as homosexuality, abortion, or
population control, or in other words we cannot "serve God
and Mammon," for when we serve mammon (defined in the talk
as serving our own self-interest) we are not in the
service of our God.
After Stan concluded his remarks, Brother Rogers shared
the following three scriptures:
After class, he furnished this quote
by the Prophet Joseph Smith:
We have reproved in the gate, and men have laid snares for
us. We have spoken words, and men have made us offenders.
And notwithstanding all this, our minds are not yet
darkened, but feel strong in the Lord. But behold the
words of the Savior: "If the light which is in you become
darkness, behold how great is that darkness." Look at the
dissenters. Again, "If you were of the world the world
would love its own."
(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,
selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake
City: Deseret Book Co., 1976], 124.)
Divine Constitution" by President Ezra Taft Benson
Presented by Ben Olson
The whole talk was excellent, but I thought this was a
good quote to focus on, especially given the fact he
delivered this in General Conference:
Unfortunately, we as a nation have apostatized in various
degrees from different Constitutional principles as
proclaimed by the inspired founders. We are fast
approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he
said: "Even this nation will be on the very verge of
crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when
the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people
will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and
they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge
of destruction" (19 July 1840, as recorded by Martha Jane
Knowlton Coray; ms. in Church Historian’s Office, Salt
Although President Benson outlined four things we must to
do help "secure the blessings of liberty" and preserve the
Constitution, I want to focus on his second admonition:
Have we read The Federalist papers? Are we reading the
Constitution and pondering it? Are we aware of its
principles? Are we abiding by these principles and
teaching them to others? Could we defend the Constitution?
Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound?
Do we know what the prophets have said about the
Constitution and the threats to it?
As Jefferson said, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and
free … it expects what never was and never will be"
(Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, 6 Jan. 1816).
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Freedom and Agency
Law of God
Religion in Public Life