Post 47t: In This Week's Post I am Featuring the October 2013 General Conference Speech Given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks Which is Entitled: "No Other Gods."You will be Well Instructed. Please Enjoy Your Experience!
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 REGULAR 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
To Access This Blog's Index, Please Scroll Down To the Fifth Paragraph From the End of This Post! For Those of You Who May Be In a Hurry to Access it, Here it is now: Neil Birch's Blog Index.
I, J. Neil Birch, Author of this Post as you have been informed in my Introduction have chosen this week to feature the October 2013 General Conference talk given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You will now be given the opportunity of learning somewhat of Elder Oaks background: https://www.lds.org/church/leader/dallin-h-oaks?lang=eng
Now you are invited to listen to Elder Oaks' October 2013 General Conference address which I am featuring in this blog post of mine.
Jewish faiths. Given by God to the children of Israel through
the prophet Moses, the first two of these commandments direct
our worship and our priorities. In the first, the Lord
commanded, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3) .
Centuries later, when Jesus was asked, “Which is the great
commandment in the law?” He answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:36-37).
The second of the Ten Commandments elaborates the direction
to have no other gods and identifies what should be the ultimate
priority in our lives as His children. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing” in the heavens or the earth (Exodus 20:4). The commandment then adds, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them” (Exodus 20:5). More than merely forbidding physical idols, this
states a fundamental priority for all time. Jehovah explains, “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, … shewing mercy unto … them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
(Exodus 20:5-6). The meaning of jealous is revealing. Its Hebrew origin means “possessing sensitive and deep feelings” (Exodus 20:5, footnote b). Thus we offend God when we “serve” other gods—when we have other first priorities.1 Doctrine and Covenants 124:84 And with my servant Almon Babbitt, there are many things with which I am not pleased; behold, he aspireth to establish his counsel instead of the counsel which I have ordained, even that of the Presidency of my Church; and he setteth up a golden calf for the worship of my people.
I.What other priorities are being “served” ahead of God by persons
—even religious persons—in our day?
Consider these possibilities, all common in our world:
If none of these examples seems to apply to any one of us,
we can probably suggest others that do.
The principle is more important than individual examples.
The principle is not whether we have other priorities. The
question posed by the second commandment is “What is our ultimate priority?” Are we serving priorities or gods ahead
of the God we profess to worship? Have we forgotten to
follow the Savior who taught that if we love Him, we will
keep His commandments? (see John 14:15) 15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.
If so, our priorities have been turned upside down by the
spiritual apathy and undisciplined appetites so
common in our day.
For Latter-day Saints, God’s commandments are based on
and inseparable from God’s plan for His children
—the great plan of salvation. This plan, sometimes called the “great plan of happiness” Alma 42:8 Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness.
explains our origin and destiny as children of God—
where we came from, why we are here, and where
we are going. The plan of salvation explains the
purpose of creation and the conditions of mortality,
including God’s commandments, the need for a
Savior, and the vital role of mortal and eternal
families. If we Latter-day Saints, who have been
given this knowledge, do not establish our
priorities in accord with this plan, we are in danger
of serving other gods.
Knowledge of God’s plan for His children gives
Latter-day Saints a unique perspective on marriage
and family. We are correctly known as a family-
centered church. Our theology begins with heavenly
parents, and our highest aspiration is to attain the
fullness of eternal exaltation. We know this is
possible only in a family relationship. We know
that the marriage of a man and a woman is necessary
for the accomplishment of God’s plan. Only
this marriage will provide the approved setting for
mortal birth and to prepare family members for
eternal life. We look on marriage and the bearing
and nurturing of children as part of God’s plan
and a sacred duty of those given the opportunity to
do so. We believe that the ultimate treasures on
earth and in heaven are our children and our
Because of what we understand about the potentially
eternal role of the family, we grieve at the sharply
declining numbers of births and marriages in many
Western countries whose historic cultures are Christian
and Jewish. Responsible sources report the following:
The United States now has the lowest birthrate in its history,2
and in many European Union nations and other developed
countries, birthrates are below the level necessary to maintain
This threatens the survival of cultures and even of nations.
In America, the percentage of young adults ages 18 to 29 who
are married fell from 59 percent in 1960 to 20 percent by
2010.4 The median age for first marriage is now at its highest
level in history: 26 for women and almost 29 for men.5
•In many countries and cultures (1) the traditional family of a
married mother and father and children is coming to be the
exception rather than the rule, (2) the pursuit of a career
instead of marriage and the bearing of children is an increasing
choice of many young women, and (3) the role and perceived
necessity of fathers is diminishing.
In the midst of these concerning trends, we are also conscious that
God’s plan is for all of His children and that God loves all of His children,
everywhere.6 The first chapter of the Book of Mormon declares that
God’s “power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth”
(1 Nephi 1:14). A later chapter declares that “he hath given [his salvation] free for all men” and that “all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden” (2 Nephi 26:27–28).
The Good Samaritan -By Walter Rane
The scriptures teach that we are responsible to be compassionate and charitable (loving) toward all men.
Thessalonians 3: 12.And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
1 John 3:17But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels
of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
Christ's Image -By Heinrich Hofmann
Doctrine and Covenants 121:45: Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the
dews from heaven.
We are also respectful of the religious beliefs of all people,
even of those increasing numbers who profess no belief in God.
We know that through the God-given power of choice, many
will hold beliefs contrary to ours, but we are hopeful that
others will be equally respectful of our religious beliefs
and understand that our beliefs compel us to some different
choices and behaviors than theirs. For example, we believe
that, as an essential part of His plan of salvation, God has
established an eternal standard that sexual relations should
occur only between a man and a woman who are married.
The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power
God has given to His children. Its use was mandated by
God’s first commandment to Adam and Eve.
Adam and Eve -by Del Parson
(See Genesis 1:28)28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth., but other important commandments were given to forbid its misuse (seeExodus 20: 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
1 Thessalonians 4:3For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:). The emphasis we place on the law of chastity is explained by our understanding of the purpose of our procreative powers in the accomplishment of God’s plan. Outside the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman, all uses of our procreative powers are to one degree or another sinful and contrary to God’s plan for the exaltation of His children. The importance we attach to the law of chastity explains our commitment to the pattern of marriage that originated with Adam and Eve and has continued through the ages as God’s pattern for the procreative relationship between His sons and daughters and for the nurturing of His children. Fortunately, many persons affiliated with other denominations or organizations agree with us on the nature and importance of marriage, some on the basis of religious doctrine and others on the basis of what they deem best for society.
Our knowledge of God’s plan for His children7 explains
why we are distressed that more and more children are
born outside of marriage—currently 41 percent of all
births in the United States8—and that the number of
couples living together without marriage has increased
dramatically in the past half century. Five decades ago,
only a tiny percentage of first marriages were preceded
by cohabitation. Now cohabitation precedes 60
percent of marriages.9
And this is increasingly accepted, especially among
Recent survey data found about 50 percent of teenagers
stating that out-of-wedlock childbearing was a
There are many political and social pressures for legal
and policy changes to establish behaviors contrary to God’s
decrees about sexual morality and contrary to the eternal
nature and purposes of marriage and childbearing. These
pressures have already authorized same-gender marriages
in various states and nations.
Other pressures would confuse gender or homogenize those
differences between men and women that are essential to
accomplish God’s great plan of happiness.
Our understanding of God’s plan and His doctrine gives us an
eternal perspective that does not allow us to condone such
behaviors or to find justification in the laws that permit them.
And, unlike other organizations that can change their policies
and even their doctrines, our policies are determined by the
truths God has identified as unchangeable.
Our twelfth article of faith states our belief in being subject to
civil authority and “in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” But man’s laws cannot make moral what God has declared
immoral. Commitment to our highest priority—to love and serve
God—requires that we look to His law for our standard of behavior.
For example, we remain under divine command not to commit
adultery or fornication even when those acts are no longer crimes
under the laws of the states or countries where we reside. Similarly,
laws legalizing so-called “same-sex marriage” do not change God’s
law of marriage or His commandments and our standards
concerning it. We remain under covenant to love God and keep
His commandments and to refrain from serving other gods and
priorities—even those becoming popular in our particular time
In this determination we may be misunderstood, and we may
incur accusations of bigotry, suffer discrimination, or have to
withstand invasions of our free exercise of religion. If so, I think
we should remember our first priority—to serve God—and, like
our pioneer predecessors, push our personal handcarts forward
with the same fortitude they exhibited.
A teaching of President Thomas S. Monson applies to this
circumstance. At this conference 27 years ago, he boldly declared:
Thomas S. Monson
“Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to
stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of
God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue
when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but
as the determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who
is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove
Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their
fears with dignity have courage as well.”11
I pray that we will not let the temporary challenges of mortality
cause us to forget the great commandments and priorities we
have been given by our Creator and our Savior. We must not
set our hearts so much on the things of the world and aspire to
the honors of men, that we stop trying to achieve our eternal
are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
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;
We who know God’s plan for His children—we who have made covenants to participate in it—have a clear responsibility. We must never deviate from our paramount desire, which is to achieve eternal life.12 We must never dilute our first priority—to have no other gods and to serve no other priorities ahead of God the Father and His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
May God help us to understand this priority and to
be understood by others as we seek to pursue it in a
wise and loving way, I pray in the name of Jesus
Christ, amen. 11. Thomas S. Monson, “Courage Counts,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 41. ____________
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.