Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Speaking Language of Faith Builds Attitudes of Faith, Thus Reducing Contention and Making The Title of This Class Very Long

By S. Dee Barrett

change our language, then help family members change their language, to help reduce contention in the home

Nephi, when laman and lemuel begins to murmur, he teaches them. He always saw they lacked faith, and having faith changes murmuring.

Pres. Monson, may 2001 "to the rescue" language of the spirit comes to him who seeks with all his heart to know god and keep his commandments. Language permits one to break barriers overcome obstacles, and touch human heart.

Be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.

If we can tweak our language, we can improve our family.

1 Nephi ch 5 - manner of language

when someone complains, we want to defend, and that increases the contention. When someone complains against us, we need to be able to not go down to that level of complaining.

Lehi says I know I am that way. He agrees with the complaining. Verse 5 - I know the lord will deliver our sons - faith - after this manner of language did lehi comfort sariah. When someone is complaining, they need comfort, they need faith building.

Sariah was comforted by words, but second witness (when they return) she was comforted again. It takes two witnesses. We try to tell people things, but not in the manner the Lord requires, then when the good thing happens, it is not taken as a second witness.

Verse 8 - now she really knows of the power of God, and after this manner of language did she speak. She was able to leave this stressful situation with a witness of God and faith.

when the bow breaks, lehi even complains but there's no mention of sariah complaining. She has had her witness.

Elder Holland quote - relationship with each other is greatest chance to say what you want to say about the atonement. What you believe about the atonement is not going to be said in a classroom. It will come in your human relationships with other people who have problems.
ces symposium 1980

How we deal with people and their problems tells the world what we believe about the atonement.

Moroni 7:2-4 - a peaceable follower of Christ, because of how he treats other people.

By dealing with other people, it shows the Lord what is our relationship with the Lord.

When everyone bugs us, problems with everyone, it's our problem. We don't have a peaceable relationship with the savior. The more we find ourselves at odds, the more we need to turn to the savior. (I expected this class to tell me how to fix my kids, but he's saying to fix myself.)

2 Nephi 31:12-14 - we need baptism to be on the course to pursue what god wants us to pursue. If we follow the son with full purpose of heart with no deception, no hypocrisy, repent, witness that you will take the name of Christ, be baptized, then receive holy ghost, then we can speak with tongues of angels.

If we want to handle the language of spirit, the manner of language, the tongue of angels, that's we have to do. Verse 14, second witness of same thing.

You get on the path to get the Holy Ghost, it will cleanse us, and then we can speak with the tongue of angels.

it's more important to be prepared to talk than to prepare your talk. That's what Nephi is saying in 2 n 31 and 32. The lord will guide us, guide our thoughts and words. Be prepared with no hypocrisy, repenting, etc, and be able to speak with tongue of angels. (or manner of language, or proficiency of spirit.)

come home to a contentious house - the spirit of contention is very catchy. That spirit can come and be a part of us. We have to decide which spirit to listen to. 2 Nephi 32:8 - hearken to spirit that teaches man to pray. Not praying is still obedient, just not to god. In the last day, the question is not going to be if we were obedient, it is whom we were obedient to. 3 Nephi ch 11

the moment we need it most, we need the manner of language, the language of the spirit in order to communicate, give testimony, to give faith to whoever is contentious.

fighting back is obedient to Satan.

Elder Scott - how the spirit works with us at these moments. Impression to the mind is very specific. Detailed words can be heard or felt and written as though the instruction were being dictated. A communication to the heart is a more general impression. The lord often begins by giving impressions. Where there is recognition of their importance and they are obeyed, one gains more capacity to receive more detailed instruction to the mind. An impression to the heart, if followed, is fortified by a more specific instruction to the mind. 11 Aug 1998

pres monson would get impression to go back into the hospital, but doesn’t know why - once inside will get a name, then can go and serve that person. If impressions are obeyed, then greater detail can come.

first step of building attitudes of faith is having a manner of language that we can rely upon when we have to instruct those we have stewardship over.

Wednesday – Speaking Language of Faith Builds Attitudes of Faith

*Reminder to self - advice from the sweet lady sitting next to me - Noah might be helped by putting his routines on paper, as lists that he can accomplish on his own without me needing to tell him what to do. That might lessen his anger and help him to be less frustrated.

"You need to get away and slow down this merry go round of life long enough to find a quit place where you can be still and know that I am god"
Russell Ballard

If you’re hassled and you can't fin quiet moments where reverence can precede your receiving revelation you are going to miss out on one of the most important blessings of being a member of the church." Ballard

Be on time to sacrament; let the spirit work on you in the peace.

What is faith?
Things hoped for, true, not seen, principle of power and action, causative force in everything.

Do we talk of faith? Are our words said in faith?

Alma 32:21 - are they teaching faith or wishful thinking?

We don't have to have a perfect knowledge of God/Jesus Christ or of his ways, how they work.

Faith is action. We have as much faith as what we know. Faith is what we know, so we can go out and do.

1 Nephi 3:7 - sometimes we focus just on what we don't know, when faith is what we know.
I will go and do - faith statement - for I *know* the lord giveth no commandments

Laman and lemuel focused on what they didn't know, all Nephi knew that if god gives commandment, there would have to be a way, even though he didn't know how

What he knew helps him deal with the unknown.

The key to improving faith is to increase your knowledge of god and his ways. Our faith is

James 1:5 - ask is faith action, then James teaches about god - that god will answer

John 7:17 - if you need proof, ask god. You need evidence, so practice the actions that god tells you.

Faith: (from lectures on faith)
God exists
Correct idea of attributes
Actual knowledge that course you are pursuing is his will

Faith is the belief that every time you flip the light switch, the light turns on. We might have evidence that it works, but we have faith every time that it will keep working.

Taking the step in the dark is faith; having knowledge of god keeps you willing to walk in the dark.
1 Nephi 4:6 - faith statement is "led by the spirit" (not the not knowing) laman and lemuel would focus on not knowing what's around the corner, Nephi trusts that even though he doesn't know what's around the corner, he will go anyhow and god will take care of him.

The world has a hard time having faith in Christ because their knowledge of him has been diluted.

Faith statements in the scriptures are action statements, not the not knowing, it's the doing.

Nephi gained his faith through experience, being taught by his father.

1 Samuel 17:
David facing goliath is the lesser miracle in this story. The greater miracle is that he convinces the king to let him go out. David had an experience with killing a lion and a bear, so he knew that the lord saved him in the past and would save him in the future.

Record your spiritual experiences, let the lord build on them. The lord sending Nephi to get the plates, that wasn't the first time the lord told him to do something.

1nephi 2:16 - Nephi desired to know god - laman and lemuel were not willing to give up their sins to know him. We need to be willing to accept his will.

The lord will ask us to do something but will introduce himself before or right after asking. Look in scriptures for when the lord tells someone to do something, and see if there is knowledge of the attribute of god with it.

Look at the word "god" or Jesus Christ and see what each verse says about the attributes or qualities of god. Write the ways of god in the margin. Next time a challenge comes, be like Nephi - say I don't know what will happen, but I will do it, and then teach about the quality of god.

We don't use scriptures enough. We like to paraphrase scriptures a lot. Open the scriptures to bring in that second witness, nail it home and show the prophets words.

1 Nephi 3:19-20 - scriptures show the language of fathers to our children, preserve the words. The exact words in the scriptures are important. The language brings the power of the spirit.

If we think of contention as lack of faith, we want to open the scriptures. Teach them from the scriptures.

1 Nephi 17:17-18
Nephi doesn't just say, "they murmur" he says why they murmured.

Laman and lemuel did not want to labor verse 24, teaches them faith in the lord guiding their life.

Change the way we perceive contention. Often it is a lack of faith. The old way is just do it and trust, won't move us to do things. The new way is what we know about the lord guiding their actions.

Lost sheep, lost coin, prodigal son - each are lost for different reasons, the lord brings them back differently.
Sheep wanders off, the lord picks them up and brings them back. They just get distracted.

Coin gets lost by someone. The church is referred to as a "her". We have to search to find it, find out what the pain is and help them come back.

Prodigal son - the lord doesn't go after the son, he prays and waits for the prodigal son to hit bottom and then come back.

When we've lost someone, we need to know what kind of lost they are, that's how to know how to get them back.

Laman and lemuel showed some faith but they didn't build on it.

Thursday - Four Big No's of Communication

Mosiah 3:19 - we'll be an enemy of god unless we yield to enticing of god. We are perfect in our obedience - are we listening to god or to the natural man, to Satan.

In communication, in testy situations do we listen to the spirit or do we listen to the natural man. In contentious situations, with spouse or children, what do we do? Do we stay in the manner of language of the lord; do we listen to enticings of spirit? That's when we need it most.

If the kids are grouching, we send them to their room until they change their attitude. But it isn’t' lasting change. We want to be able to talk to them with the spirit. We want them to experience giving up their frustration and turning to god.

Someone who has a hard heart is whom we're dealing with. When we listen to Satan, we preach the gospel or call them to repentance, which is occasionally needed, the sharpness of truth (not the manner of language is sharp, just the directness of the words we use d&c121:43). But usually need faith building. Teach promises. If you do this, then the lord can. Why do you want them to do something? It should be able to relate to the Lord. We want to tell them that, then they can try it on their own and have that be their second witness.

We want to get them to try, to experiment on the word like Nephi did on lehi's words. We want to inspire them to take action - to kneel and pray, to go to the scriptures in this moment of contention.

We believe the lord answers our prayers. The next time you are frustrated, be a role model. Don't be snappy at people; instead choose some book of Mormon time. It is the marvelous work and a wonder.

Alma 4:19 - if we believe that verse, we use the scriptures to teach.
Alma 31:5

If you stay away from these 4 things, you'll be fine.
3 Nephi 11:23-29
All three names of the godhead are used - oneness
When we were baptized, we agreed to have no more contention - the two go hand in hand. Gift of Holy Ghost is given at baptism so we can not have contention.

Any time we make a covenant, god endows us with power to do it. So we have covenanted not to have contention and he gives us the power to do it.

Ephesians 4:25 - (the whole book is on unity) -
1. Put away lying, speak truth. Even if we aren't lying, do we try to deceive? Not give the whole truth? Make too many promises we don't keep, or make threats that we don't follow through on? Do we talk about other people and not give the complete truth? Lying is a sign of hatred (proverbs 22).
If you know someone doesn't lie, you can trust and get strength from that person. Also, you can trust a compliment from that person.
When you want someone to believe what you are saying, you will set that up with your words from the past. Anyone who sees a lie it makes you and your words less powerful.

2. Verse 26 - Anger. It's destructive. It smothers the feeling of love. Anger is a secondary emotion, we feel something else first - rejection, fear, etc - but anger is easier. You need no self-control to be angry. When you're angry with someone they cannot feel your love. It takes away your love.

Skill to overcome anger:
"I feel.... When....Because"

(You’ll need practice - say it to yourself first - you can see your own motives if you're honest)

Anger doesn't solve anything. If we get angry, we pull away our hearts.
Luke 9:51 - Samaritans were mad because Jesus was going to worship in the Jewish temple.
When we get angry, our judgments become unjust.
If you’re angry with someone, all you are going to do is make them angry with you.

Is this a problem you have to bring up, or do you realize that this is a selfishness problem. Are we putting expectations on our spouse or children that they can't meet?
Most problems are expectation problems. Adjust expectations to what is appropriate.

3. V. 29 - No corrupt communication - just what is good and edifying. No criticizing. No such thing as constructive criticism. The lord would counsel, not criticize. Counsel and inspire you to change. Talk, explore ideas, helping them see some faults that need to be corrected. Criticize is attacking, labeling. Sarcasm is criticism's sister. Sarcasm is humor wrapped in barbed wire. Attacking with humor. It's destructive. Start with keeping it out of your marriage. It needs to be out of our family. It's usually just frustration, another way of expressing frustration about life.

4. Blaming - an emotional bowel movement on someone. Taking all the ugliness in me and not wanting to deal with it, so I'm just putting it on someone else. Any frustration that I feel has nothing to do with me, it is all you. One of the signs of a blaming culture in your home is if people spend more time covering themselves. "Now, don't get me wrong!" Protecting themselves that they can't get to the true issue. You can’t spend more time trying not to get blamed than trying to fix the problem. Kids will spend more time covering themselves instead of doing good things. Wee don't always have to blame someone. Sometimes it's the routine of the family, not the individuals themselves.

All of these hurt them and us.

Friday: Stop Contention by Avoiding the First and Second Offense

most of healthiness comes down to the 4 no's: lying, anger, criticism (and sarcasm), blaming.

the lord's anger is just the guilty taking the truth to be hard.

Disagreement and fighting is two different things.

Alma 43:7-10 - 2 different motives for lamanites and nephites
someone wants you to get angry, so you can be a pawn in their power game. Pawns are expendable. Anyone who is stirring us up to anger, they've got different motives.
Lamanites: want power, control, anger
Nephites: preserve liberty, were compelled to withstand the lamanites, were obliged. They don't want to go to war, but they have to.

Mormon 3:9-10 - Nephites take the first offense, they move toward their destruction. The Lamanites would never have destroyed them if they had never taken the offensive.

Alma 48:14-15
think of how many prophets and great men Mormon had studied, and he named his son after Captain Moroni.

They had faith that the lord would prosper them, warn them, or prepare them - Moroni didn't glory in shedding of blood. Sometimes the lord told them to flee, or fight, or surrender. But they never wanted a war.

Pres. McKay, when it's okay to enter a war (not begin one)
1. An attempt by others to Dominate and to deprive others of free agency.
2. Loyalty to country.
possibly 3. A weaker nation being crushed by a stronger one.

Attitude about going to war:
don't want to, but will if we have to.

How does going to war have to do with our family. Are we quick to fight? If we can apply attitude of war to family situation, how quick are we to go to war in our family?

When can we enter a war?
If the choice is going to destroy a family, we need to defend.
Are we easily stirred up to anger like the Lamanites? Or can we be like Nephites, not easily stirred up, unless someone wants to harm our spouse or our children.

even in the war, we shouldn't get stirred up to anger. You don't need to hate the person. It is the hate and anger that is giving military people problems - they need a better cause than hate, stay focused on what they are defending.

If you want to get in a fight, set the timer for 30 seconds, because after that you aren't fighting over the issue, you are fighting to win.

There is no good reason to go to war, unless you are compelled or obliged to.

Alma 43:45-46 - you have power to stop every argument that begins by not being guilty of the first or the second offense. You can't instigate or argue back - and if you and your spouse both commit to this, there is peace.

If two kids are fighting, and we get angry, we're adding the third offense! We need to build their faith.

when someone says something to offend us, we can respond with an offense back (2nd offense) or give a peace offering. What do we say back to someone? If the world has overcome him, instead of offending back, we need to build faith.

Kids and teenagers will throw first offenses at you (and 2nd and 3rd) we need to make sure we aren't retaliating. Turn the other cheek.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our spouse and children is not giving the second offense.

Most of the time when the first offense is given, they don't even know it happened. So our second offense looks like a first offense to the other, and they have the choice to stop it.

when everyone can live like this, Zion comes. One heart, one mind. Disagree all you want, problem-solving needs to happen. We've got thousands of issues that we get along with, but we'll get focused on the few that have problems. We forget that we are doing great in so many other ways.

d&c 93:22 -
Matthew 17:24-27 - parable of the coin out of the fish - who does the king tax - his children, or strangers? Strangers. Jesus doesn't have to pay tribute to the king. But so we don't offend the king, get the miracle coin and give it as tribute.

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