Post 47r: In Today's Blog Post You Will Have the Special Opportunity of Considering a Very Important Topic Which Perhaps is Not Very Often Considered: "The Moral Force of Women." I Have Based this Post on the October 2013 General Conference Address of Elder D. Todd Christensen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! As Elder Christofferson Indicated in the Version of His Talk Found in the November 2013 Issue of the LDS Church's Publication, the Ensign Magazine, Speaking to Women in General: "Your Intuition is to do Good and to be Good, and as You follow the Holy Spirit, Your Moral Authority and Influence Will grow."
The Following Blog Description Explains Why My Blog is named: "Four Books of Scripture Testify of Jesus Christ!
Jesus the Christ -by Del Parson
WELCOME, NEW AND PREVIOUS VIEWERS OF THIS BLOG: In this and in every additional post of this blog you will be led on a carefully and prayerfully planned exciting and inspiring journey as you prepare by means of a guided study of the four sacred books of scripture I am shown holding above; which will assist you in becoming more righteously happy now and more fully prepared for eventual After-Mortality Eternal Endeavors on your part, along with your loved ones and countless other mortals who are seeking to qualify as our Heavenly Father's worthy children.
Those enabling Books of Scripture were brought about through the love of the Heavenly Father of our immortal spirits which now inhabit our mortal bodies; and were a key part of the Restoration of the Gospel, and of the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through the Prophet Joseph Smith early in the Nineteenth Century. Leading out in all of this, was of course, Our Heavenly Father's Only Begotten Son who is our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer, Jesus Christ (who initially was our eldest spirit brother and is the only one of us our Heavenly Father will have ever sired into mortality).
Jesus accomplished His Infinite Atonement, the Ultimate Mortal Sacrifice, along with His infallibly witnessed Resurrection. He is our Redeemer and Savior and has opened the way for each of us to learn with certainty through those four books of scripture, and through the inspired teachings of His prophets, seers and revelators of our day and those authorized by them; that some time after our mortal deaths, because of His atonement and resurrection, and depending on the level of individual righteousness we each attain to, through His grace, we can eventually experience Eternal Life in our own resurrected bodies, which in the case of those who fully heeded all of His scriptural guidance and the guidance of His authorized living servants, there will be full possession of Godly capabilities! J. Neil Birch
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Before Getting to the main subject of this Blog Post, Elder D. Todd Christofferson's October 2013 General Conference Talk, I will, as usual in these blog posts, present you a brief review of his background: www.lds.org/church/leader/d-todd-christofferson
Now I turn to the Notes which Elder Christofferson has provided at the end of his printed version of his general conference talk which we have been considering. Where it appeared needful I quoted full references given us by him. Where deemed appropriate and helpful I have illustrated with pictures and paintings various scriptures and subjects mentioned by him in his Notes.
1.2 Timothy 1:5When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
2. Orson Scott Card, "Neighborliness: Daines Style," Ensign, May 1977, 19. "Robert Henry Daines bent over his microscope, looking for fungi. He was a student of ecology at Rutgers University in the early 1930s, long before ecology became a household word. He was also the only Latter-day Saint student in the school.
As he and his fellow class members worked in silence, an older graduate student opened the door and stuck his head in. "Mr. Daines," he asked, "which is it--Mormon or moron?"
Robert Daines looked up and cheerfully answered, "Either one is correct." He went on: "I'm a Mormon. Which are you?"
The graduate student closed the door. Chances are he did not ask that question of another Latter-day Saint."
3. Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign Magazine, May 1978. "The Women of God," pages 10 and 11.
"We know so little, brothers and sisters, about the reasons for the division of duties between womanhood and manhood as well as between motherhood and priesthood. These were divinely determined in another time and another place. We are accustomed to focusing on the men of God because theirs is the priesthood and leadership line. But paralleling that authority line is a stream of righteous influence reflecting the remarkable women of God who have existed in all ages and dispensations, including our own. Greatness is not measured by coverage in column inches, either in newspapers or in the scriptures. The story of the women of God, therefore, is for now, an untold drama within a drama.
We men know the women of God as wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, associates, and friends. You seem to tame us and to gentle us, and yes, to teach us and to inspire us. For you, we have admiration as well as affection, because righteousness is not a matter of role, nor goodness a matter of gender. In the work of the Kingdom, men and women are not without each other, but do not envy each other, lest by reversals and renunciations of role we make a wasteland of both womanhood and manhood.
Just as certain men were foreordained from before the foundations of the world, so were certain women appointed to certain tasks. Divine design--not chance--brought Mary forward to be the mother of Jesus. The boy prophet, Joseph Smith, was blessed not only with a great father but also with a superb mother, Lucy Mack, who influenced a whole dispensation.
When we would measure loving loyalty in a human relationship, do we not speak of Ruth and Naomi even more than David and Jonathan? And no wonder God with His perfect regard for women is so insistent about our obligations to widows.
A widow with her mite taught us how to tithe. An impoverished and starving widow with her hungry son
taught us how to share, as she gave her meal and oil to Elijah. The divine maternal instincts of an Egyptian woman retrieved Moses from the bulrushes, thereby shaping history and demonstrating how a baby is a blessing- not a burden.
What greater conversation of anticipation has there been than that of Elizabeth and Mary when also the babe in Elizabeth leaped in recognition of Mary? (Luke 1:41.)
Does it not tell us much about the intrinsic intelligence of women to read of the crucifixion scene at Calvary, "And many women were there beholding afar off." Matt. 27:55.) Their presence was a prayer; their lingering was like a litany.
And who came first to the empty tomb of the risen Christ? Two women.
Who was the first mortal to see the resurrected Savior? Mary of Magdala. Special spiritual sensitivity keeps the women of God hoping long after many others have ceased.
The charity of good women is such that their "love makes no parade"; they are not glad "when others go wrong"; they are too busy serving to sit status-fully about, waiting to be offended. Like Mary, they ponder trustingly those puzzlements that disable others. God trusts women so much that He lets them bear and care for His spirit children.
In our modern kingdom, it is no accident that women were, through the Relief Society, assigned compassionate service. So often the the service of women seems instinctive, while that of some men seems more labored. It is precisely because the daughters of Zion are so uncommon that the adversary will not leave them alone.
We salute you sisters, for the joy that is yours as you rejoice in a baby's first smile and as you listen with eager ear to a child's first day at school which bespeaks a special selflessness. Women, more quickly than others, will understand the possible dangers when the word self is militantly placed before other words like fulfillment. You rock a sobbing child without wondering if today's world is passing you by, because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms.
So often our sisters comfort others when their own needs are greater than those being comforted. That quality is like the generosity of Jesus on the cross. Empathy during agony is a portion of divinity!
I thank the Father that His Only Begotten Son did not say in defiant protest at Calvary, "My body is my own!" I stand in admiration of women today who resist the fashion of abortion, by refusing to make the sacred womb a tomb!
When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchen prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this. The women of God know this.
No wonder the men of God support and sustain you sisters in your unique roles, for the act of deserting home in order to shape society is like thoughtlessly removing crucial fingers from an imperiled dike in order to teach people how to swim.
We men love you for meeting inconsiderateness with consideration and selfishness with selflessness. We are touched by the eloquence of your example. We are deeply grateful for your enduring us as men when we are not a our best because--like God--you love us not only for what we are, but for what we have the power to become.
We have special admiration for the unsung but unsullied single women among whom are some of the noblest daughters of God. These sisters know that God loves them, individually and distinctly. They make wise career choices even though they cannot now have the most choice career. Though in their second estate they do not have their first desire, they still overcome the world. These sisters who cannot now enrich the institution of their own marriage so often enrich other institutions in society. They do not withhold their blessings simply because some blessings are now withheld from them. Their trust in God is like that of the wives who are childless, but not by choice, but who in the justice of God will receive special blessings one day.
I, along with my brethren of the priesthood, express undying gratitude to our eternal partners. We know that we can go no place that matters without you, nor would we have it otherwise. When we kneel to pray, we kneel together. When we kneel at the altar of the holy temple, we kneel together. When we approach the final gate where Jesus Himself is the gatekeeper, we will, if faithful, pass through that gate together.
The prophet who sits with us today could tell us of such togetherness, when at the time of his overwhelming apostolic calling he was consoled by his Camilla, who met his anguished, sobbing sense of inadequacy and, running her fingers through his hair, said "You can do it, you can do it." He surely has done it, but with her at his side.
Notice brethren, how all the prophets treat their wives and honor women, and let us do likewise!
Finally, remember: When we return to our real home, it will be with the "mutual approbation" of those who reign in the "royal courts on high." There we will find beauty such as mortal "eye hath not seen"; we will hear sounds of surpassing music which mortal "ear hath not heard." Could such a regal homecoming be possible without the anticipatory arrangements of a Heavenly Mother?
Meanwhile, there are no separate paths back to that heavenly home. Just one straight and narrow way, at the end of which, though we arrive trailing tears, we shall at once be"drenched in joy." I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."
Adam and Eve kneeling at an altar. -by Del Parson.
4. Moses 2:27 And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.
Christ's Image,By Heinrich Hofmann. Courtesty C. Harrison Conroy Co., INC
5.Moses 6:57 Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.
58 Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying:
59 That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory;
60 For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified;
6.Moses 1:39For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
7. "A century ago, attachmentscholar John Bowlby found that the bond created through the innumerable caring interactions between a mother and child is the critical foundation for social-emotional development.....And feminist scholar Sara Ruddick identified a mother's 'attentive love' as the core of effective parenting. Through the 'patient eye of love,' mothers develop a special knowledge of their children--a knowledge that gives them unique insight into what the truly 'best practices' for each child should be" (Jenet Jacob Erickson, "Love, Not Perfection, Root of Good Mothering," Deseret News, May 12, 2013, G3).
8. It is true that many women over many generations have been exploited or saddled with unfair burdens both in family and employment, but selflessness and sacrifice need not and should not become abusive or exploitative. Elder Bruce C. Hafen observed: "If being 'selfless' means a woman must give up her own inner identity and personal growth, that understanding of selflessness is wrong....But today's liberationist model goes too far the other way, stereotyping women as excessively independent of their families. A more sensible view is that husbands and wives are interdependent with each other ....The critics who moved mothers from dependence to independence skipped the fertile middle ground of interdependence. Those who moved mothers from selflessness to selfishness skipped the fertile middle ground of self-chosen service that contributes toward a woman's personal growth. Because of these excesses, debates about the value of motherhood have, ironically caused the general society to discount not only mothers but women in general" ("MOtherhood and the Moral INfluence of Women" (remarks to the World Congress of Families II, Geneva, Plenary Session IV, Nov. 16, 1999), http://worldcongress.org/wcf2_spkrs/wcf2_hafen.htm).
9. One mother in a Wall Street Journal editorial observed: "With he exception of some Mormons, evangelicals and Orthodox Jews, scads of us don't know how to teach our own sons and daughters not to give away their bodies so readily....Still in my own circle of girlfriends, the desire to push back is strong. I don't know one of them who doesn't have feelings of lingering discomfort regarding her own sexual past. And not one woman I've ever asked about the subject has said that she wishes she'd 'experimented' more" (Jennifer Moses, "Why Do We Let Them Dress Like That?" Wall Street Journal, Mar.19, 2011, C3).
10. Margaret D. Nadauld, "The Joy of Womanhood," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 14; or Liahona, Jan. 2001, 18.
"It is a remarkable blessing to be a daughter of God today. We have the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are blessed to have the priesthood restored tot he earth. We are led by a prophet of God who holds all of the priesthood keys. I love and honor President Gordon B. Hinckley and all of our brethren who bear the priesthood worthily.
I am inspired by the lives of good and faithful women. From the beginning of time the Lord has placed significant trust in them. He has sent us to earth for such a time as this to perform a grand and glorious mission. The Doctrine and Covenants teaches, "Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men" (Doctrine and Covenants 138: 56). What a wonderful vision that gives us of our purpose on earth.
Where much is given, much is required. Our Heavenly Father asks His daughters to walk in virtue, to live in righteousness so that we can fulfill our life's mission and His purposes. He wants us to be successful, and He will help us as we seek His help.
That women were born into this earth female was determined long before mortal birth, as were the divine differences of male and female. I love the clarity of the teachings of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve in the proclamation of the family, where they state, "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." From that statement we are taught that every girl was feminine and female in spirit long before her mortal birth.
God sent women to earth with some qualities in extra capacity. In speaking to young women, President Faust observed that femininity "is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your...capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength. It is manifest differently in each girl or woman, but each ... possesses it. Femininity is part of your inner beauty."
Our outward appearance is a reflection of what we are on the inside. Our lives reflect that for which we seek. And if with all our hearts we truly seek to know the Savior and to be more like Him, we shall be, for He is our divine, eternal Brother. But He is more than that. He is our precious Savior, our dear Redeemer. We ask with Alma of old, "Have ye received his image in your countenances?" Alma 5:14).
You can recognize women who are grateful to be a daughter of God by their outward appearance. These women understand their stewardship over their bodies and treat them with dignity. They care for their bodies as they would a holy temple, for they understand the Lord's teaching: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1Cor.3:16). Women who love God would never abuse or deface a temple with graffiti. NOr would they throw open the doors of that holy, dedicated edifice and invite the world to look on. How even more sacred is the body, for it was not made by man. It was formed by God. We are the stewards, the keepers of the cleanliness and purity with which it came from heaven. "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of Tod is holy, which temple ye are" (1Cor. 3:17).
Grateful daughters of God guard their bodies carefully, for they know they are the wellspring of life and they reverence life. They don't uncover their bodies to find favor with the world. They walk in modesty to be in favor with their Father in Heaven. For they know He loves them dearly.
You can recognize women who are grateful to be a daughter of God by their attitude. They know that the errand of angels is given to women, and they desire to be on God's errand to love His children and minister to them, to teach them the doctrines of salvation, to call them to repentance, to save them in perilous circumstances, to guide them in the performance of His work, to deliver His messages. They understand that they can bless their Father's children in their homes and neighborhoods and and beyond. Women who are grateful to be daughters of God bring glory to His name.
You can recognize women who are grateful to be a daughter of God by their abilities. They fulfill their divine potential and magnify their God-given gifts. They are capable, strong women who bless families, serve others, and understand that "the glory of God is intelligence" (Doctrine and Covenants; 93:36). They are women who embrace enduring virtues in order to be all that our Father needs them to be. The prophet Jacob spoke of some of those virtues when he said their "feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God" Jacob 2:7).
You can recognize women who are grateful to be a daughter of God by their reverence for motherhood, even when that blessing has been with held from them for a time. In those circumstances, their righteous Influence can be a blessing in the lives of children they love. Their exemplary teachings can echo the voice of a faithful home and resonate truth in the hearts of children who need another witness.
Grateful daughters of God love Him and teach their children to love Him without reservation and without resentment. They are like the mothers of Helaman's youthful army, who had such great faith and "had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them" (Alma 56:47).
When you observe kind and gentle mothers in action, you see women of great strength. Their families can feel a spirit of love and respect and safety when they are near her as she seeks the companionship of the Holy Ghost and the guidance of His Spirit. They are blessed by her wisdom and good judgment. The husbands and children, whose lives they bless will contribute to the stability of societies all over this world. Grateful daughters of God learn truths from their mothers and grandmothers and aunts. They teach their daughters the joyful art of creating a home. They seek fine educations for their children and have a thirst for knowledge themselves. They help their children develop skills that they can use in serving others. They know that the way they have chosen is not the easy way , but they know it is absolutely worth their finest efforts.
They understand what Elder Neal A. Maxwell meant when he said: "When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies" The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses?"
Daughters of God know that it is the nurturing nature of women that can bring everlasting blessings, and they live to cultivate this divine attribute. Surely when a woman reverences motherhood, her children will rise up and call her blessed (see Prov. 31:28).
Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough, we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity ; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.
Oh, how we pray that every young woman will grow up to be all the wonderful things she is meant to be. We pray that her mother and father will show her the right way. May daughters of God honor the priesthood and sustain worthy priesthood holders. May they understand their own great capacity for strength in the timeless virtues that some would scoff at in a modern liberated world for women.
May mothers and fathers understand the great potential for good Their daughters inherited from their heavenly home. We must nourish their gentleness, their nurturing nature, their innate spirituality and sensitivity, and their bright minds. Celebrate the fact that girls that girls are different from boys. Be thankful for the position they have in God's grand plan. And always remember what President Hinckley said, "Only after the earth had been formed, after the day had been separated from the night, after the waters had been divided from the land, after vegetation and animal life had been created, and after man had been placed on the earth, was woman created; and only then was the work pronounced complete and good."
Fathers, husbands, young men, may you catch a vision of all that women are and can be. Please be worthy of God's holy priesthood, which you bear, and honor that priesthood, for it blesses all of us.
Sisters, regardless of your age, please understand all that you are and must be, all that you were prepared to be in royal courts on high by God Himself. May we use with gratitude the priceless gifts we have been given for the lifting of mankind to higher thinking and nobler aspirations, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
11. John 8:29And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
12. 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
13. 2 Timothy 4:2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
14. Doctrine and Covenants 93:40But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.
15. Doctrine and Covenants 68:28 And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.
If others have viewed this with you, you may consider inviting them to sing this hymn from the LDS Hymn Book which appears to me to apply to the general subject which was just taught you. Or perhaps if there are others nearby who you know enjoy singing LDS hymns you might consider inviting them to sing with you. If that is so you might decide among yourselves who will sing which parts: Soprano, Alto, enor or base!
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TO ACCESS NEIL BIRCH'S BLOG INDEX To Either Read the Full Index Item Which Refers To This Blog Post, (Or An Item Which Refers To Any Other Blog Post You May Desire To Access): After Reading All of This Paragraph Please Click on the Post Title Shown at the End of this following paragraph: When You See a Portrayal of Our Savior Jesus Christ Sitting Next To a Little Boy, Please, Scroll Down To our Target:Women'sMoral Force. This blog post presents the October 2013 General Conference Talk of Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. -Post 47r
I deeply appreciate your readership and hope you found very beneficial, that which was presented to you in this blog post.
If you have any questions about what you have read or viewed in this post or in any previous posts of mine, or if you even have a curiosity about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and or its teachings, please e-mail me. I'm Neil and my e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you contact me I'll get back to you just as soon as possible.
I was born Feb. 13, 1932 in Sacramento, CA. I grew up in Roseville, CA. While employed by the LDS Church my family and I lived in Utah, New Mexico, Montana, California, and Missouri. I retired from LDS Family Services in 1996. I owned my own adoption service business for 8 years thereafter. Then my wife, Melva and I served in Finland 2004 - 2006 as missionaries. I also served as a young missionary in Finland from 1952 - 1955. I have nine children (5 daughters, four sons), two step-children, (step-sons) and 27 grandchildren.
From One Mormon's Point of View
So much is being said nowadays on the Internet by people not of the Mormon faith, about the Mormons and their beliefs. Why not learn about us Mormons from one of us. I'm not an official of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, just one of the regular members, yet I'm one who supports Mormon beliefs because I have a testimony and have had much experience that has shown me the truth. I welcome your questions and even criticisms that you have heard, about which you would like the truth. If that is the case, you've come to the right guy.