Posts Tagged 'Council'

1 Kings Chapter 20

The Israelite nation had seen peace in the days of Solomon, when he ruled in wisdom. Then, he fell away from righteousness and the Lord, bringing the threat of other nations upon his people. When the nation split into two kingdoms, the people of Israel were led further away from the Lord, through idolatry and wickedness. The Lord’s protecting hand could not be over the people because of their choices. They had suffered greatly through drought and famine, and in this chapter it tells us of the struggle they would have with other nations.

1 And Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.
2 And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Ben-hadad,
3 Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.
4 And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have.
5 And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Ben-hadad, saying, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children;
6 Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.
7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeketh mischief: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I denied him not.
8 And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not unto him, nor consent.
9 Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Ben-hadad, Tell my lord the king, All that thou didst send for to thy servant at the first I will do: but this thing I may not do. And the messengers departed, and brought him word again.
10 And Ben-hadad sent unto him, and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me.
11 And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.
12 And it came to pass, when Ben-hadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set yourselves in array. And they set themselves in array against the city.

The host of Syria surrounded the city of Samaria, which was the capital of Israel. The leader of the Syrians, Ben-hadad, sent a message in to Ahab, claiming all the treasures that belonged to Ahab, as well as his wives and children. Ahab responded with submission to the claim. Ben-hadad then threatened Ahab by saying that he would also send his servants to search and find anything with value to take away. Ahab told the elders of Israel that he had given all that the Syrians had asked from him, and their king was still trying to get more. The elders told Ahab that he should not hearken to him or give into the demands. Ahab followed their council and sent a reply to Ben-hadad, which said that he would hold up to the first agreement, but he would not allow the servants to search and take anything else. Their exchange continued with a threat from Ben-hadad to take the dust of Samaria for his people, and after Ahab said a man should not boast as much in putting on his armor as the man who causes it to come off of that man. Ben-hadad ended their exchange by commanding his servants to go against the city.

13 And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.
14 And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, Thou.
15 Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two: and after them he numbered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand.
16 And they went out at noon. But Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.
17 And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Ben-hadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out of Samaria.
18 And he said, Whether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive.
19 So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them.
20 And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Ben-hadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen.
21 And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.

A prophet went to Ahab with the word of the Lord. The Lord said that he would deliver the host of Syria into Ahab’s hands and Ahab would have a witness that He was the Lord. Ahab asked who would be able to do this, and the Lord said young men would fight. Ahab asked who was to start the battle, and the Lord said that Ahab was to start it. Ahab gathered 232 young men, who would lead the fight, with an army of 7,000 Israelites. The army went out while Ben-hadad was drunk along with 32 kings he had gathered to his side. Ben-hadad commanded his men to take the Israelites alive, whether they came out in peace or to make war. The Israelites fought, killing the Syrians, who began to flee. The army of Israel went after them, Ben-hadad escaped, and Ahab destroyed the horses and chariots, and killed a great number of Syrians.

22 And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.
23 And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.
24 And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms:
25 And number thee an army, like the army that thou hast lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot: and we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so.
26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.
27 And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country.

The prophet told Ahab, to take the time to gain strength and prepare for what he should do, because the Syrians would return in a year. The servants of Ben-hadad told him the Isrealites had strength because their gods were the gods of the hills, but if they fought them in the plains, the Syrians would be stronger than them. The Syrian servants suggested that he replace the kings he had gathered, with captains. Then, they suggested that he gather an army of the same size they had fought with the first time, even to the horse and chariot. They thought that they would then be stronger, if they took the fight to the plains. Ben-hadad listened to the council of his servants. When the year came again, he took his army to Aphek, to fight against the host of Israel. Israel went against them with a host that was much smaller than the Syrians.

28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
29 And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day.
30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Ben-hadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.

A prophet came to Ahab again, saying that the Syrians said the Israelite God was God of the hills, but not the valleys or plains, so the Lord would deliver them into his hands and show Ahab that He was the Lord. The armies camped for seven days, and on the seventh day, the battle began. The Israelites destroyed 100,000 footmen in one day, and the rest of the Syrians fled towards the city of Aphek. A wall of the city fell on 27,000 of the Syrians and Ben-hadad fled into an inner chamber of the city.

31 And his servants said unto him, Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life.
32 So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Thy servant Ben-hadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother.
33 Now the men did diligently observe whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch it: and they said, Thy brother Ben-hadad. Then he said, Go ye, bring him. Then Ben-hadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot.
34 And Ben-hadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.

The servants of Ben-hadad told him, that they heard of the mercy of the kings of Israel, so they would go to him in humility, begging to save the life of their king. They did this and asked that Ahab spare his life. Ahab called Ben-hadad his brother and told the servants to bring him. They brought Ben-hadad forth, and Ahab had him come into the chariot. Ben-hadad promised to return cities to Ahab, which had been taken by his father. Ahab made a covenant with Ben-hadad and let him go free, even though the Lord had delivered the king into his hands.

35 And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the Lord, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.
36 Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.
37 Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him.
38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face.
39 And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver.
40 And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.
41 And he hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.
42 And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.
43 And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria.

A man, who was one of the prophets, told another to strike him. The other refused. The prophet said to the other, that because he had not listened, he would be killed by a lion once the prophet had left him. As he left, a lion found the man and killed him. Again, the prophet found a man and told him to hit him, which the man did and wounded him. He left wounded and waited for Ahab on the side of the road, in disguise. When Ahab went by, he cried out to him that he was a servant who had gone into the middle of battle. The prophet told Ahab that a man turned to him and brought another man to him, telling him to keep the man with him. If the man went missing, his life would be taken for the other, or he would have to pay a talent of silver. He said that as he was going here and there, the other man was gone. Ahab told the disguised prophet that he would have to fulfill his agreement with that other man, because he had made that choice. The prophet quickly took the disguise off of his face, and Ahab recognized the man. The prophet told him, that because he let the king of Syria go free, when the Lord had appointed him to destruction, his life would be taken for the life of Ben-hadad, and the people of Israel for the Syrian people. Ahab returned to him home with a heavy heart.

Ahab was a king who wanted to have it both ways. He wanted to rule in wickedness, causing that his people should turn away from the Lord. At the same time, he wanted to be a blessed king, ruling over a strong, and wealthy nation. He followed the council of the prophet and elders, only to let the enemy go when he should have destroyed him. This, because the enemy offered him the things he wanted. He was not expecting to be told that this had brought the promise of destruction upon himself and his people. We likewise, cannot choose to live a life away from the Lord and his promises, expecting to have all the blessings of heaven to come to us.

The Lord continued to look after his people. He gave them an opportunity to listen to His council, witness His power, and return to Him. He will give all of His children, many opportunities to turn to Him. We can use our agency to follow the council given by his prophets, or follow after our own desires. On the one hand, we can have the blessings attached to obedience and coming unto Christ. While on the other hand, we can be promised eventual destruction to our souls, should we choose to make covenants with the enemy. This weekend is general conference again, and the perfect opportunity to hear the council of the Lord’s chosen servants. I am looking forward to hearing their words and I hope that I can be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, by applying the teachings to my life.


D&C Section 102

This section breaks from the regular record of revelations, and is instead a record of the organization of the first high council of the Church. This record was taken by Elder Oliver Cowdery and Elder Orson Hyde. Some of the verses were corrected and some were added later by the prophet, Joseph Smith, before this section was printed. The manual I am studying says that this was included in the Doctrine and Covenants because “the order of the council had been shown to Joseph Smith in vision and was according to the order of ancient councils”. This makes sense to me because the Lord is a God of order and His church needed to be led in the proper order.

1 This day a general council of twenty-four high priests assembled at the house of Joseph Smith, Jun., by revelation, and proceeded to organize the high council of the church of Christ, which was to consist of twelve high priests, and one or three presidents as the case might require.
2 The high council was appointed by revelation for the purpose of settling important difficulties which might arise in the church, which could not be settled by the church or the bishop’s council to the satisfaction of the parties.
3 Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams were acknowledged presidents by the voice of the council; and Joseph Smith, Sen., John Smith, Joseph Coe, John Johnson, Martin Harris, John S. Carter, Jared Carter, Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, Orson Hyde, Sylvester Smith, and Luke Johnson, high priests, were chosen to be a standing council for the church, by the unanimous voice of the council.
4 The above-named councilors were then asked whether they accepted their appointments, and whether they would act in that office according to the law of heaven, to which they all answered that they accepted their appointments, and would fill their offices according to the grace of God bestowed upon them.
5 The number composing the council, who voted in the name and for the church in appointing the above-named councilors were forty-three, as follows: nine high priests, seventeen elders, four priests, and thirteen members.
6 Voted: that the high council cannot have power to act without seven of the above-named councilors, or their regularly appointed successors are present.
7 These seven shall have power to appoint other high priests, whom they may consider worthy and capable to act in the place of absent councilors.
8 Voted: that whenever any vacancy shall occur by the death, removal from office for transgression, or removal from the bounds of this church government, of any one of the above-named councilors, it shall be filled by the nomination of the president or presidents, and sanctioned by the voice of a general council of high priests, convened for that purpose, to act in the name of the church.

There was to be a council of twelve high priests, with a president or up to three presidents. These men were called and accepted, to settle any difficult situations that may arise among the church leaders, such as among the bishop’s council. This council was created “according to the law of heaven”. I have read that this council was patterned after the council in the ancient church, which was established by the Savior himself. Since men are fallible, the council could not make decisions without a majority present. When leaders start to separate and make decisions in smaller groups, there is a much greater risk for temptation and wrong-doing.

9 The president of the church, who is also the president of the council, is appointed by revelation, and acknowledged in his administration by the voice of the church.
10 And it is according to the dignity of his office that he should preside over the council of the church; and it is his privilege to be assisted by two other presidents, appointed after the same manner that he himself was appointed.
11 And in case of the absence of one or both of those who are appointed to assist him, he has power to preside over the council without an assistant; and in case he himself is absent, the other presidents have power to preside in his stead, both or either of them.
12 Whenever a high council of the church of Christ is regularly organized, according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty of the twelve councilors to cast lots by numbers, and thereby ascertain who of the twelve shall speak first, commencing with number one and so in succession to number twelve.
13 Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case, the twelve councilors shall consider whether it is a difficult one or not; if it is not, two only of the councilors shall speak upon it, according to the form above written.
14 But if it is thought to be difficult, four shall be appointed; and if more difficult, six; but in no case shall more than six be appointed to speak.
15 The accused, in all cases, has a right to one-half of the council, to prevent insult or injustice.
16 And the councilors appointed to speak before the council are to present the case, after the evidence is examined, in its true light before the council; and every man is to speak according to equity and justice.
17 Those councilors who draw even numbers, that is, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, are the individuals who are to stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice.
18 In all cases the accuser and the accused shall have a privilege of speaking for themselves before the council, after the evidences are heard and the councilors who are appointed to speak on the case have finished their remarks.

The president of the church and his counselors, were to preside over the council of the twelve. In hearing cases, there was an order set in place for how they were to decide who held the floor, or was to speak. Six of the council were to act as a kind of buffer for the person who was being accused, while, up to six would be appointed to speak of the case against that person. I think that it is very important that this be done so that all things are done with a fair chance for the accused to defend himself. This particular council was organized to be over the issues of the entire church. Later, other councils would be organized to handle matters in specific areas, such as stake high councils. Today, these councils still function to handle these matters in this same fashion.

It is interesting to me, to read of the establishment of a council to judge the matters of the members of the church. I don’t really think about it much, because I rarely hear of people who fall away from the church or do things to a degree that would require these kinds of procedures. But it is good to know that the Lord has this type of thing in place to keep His church free from the evil influences that work to get in the way of His plan. I imagine that the majority of issues that arise, can be handled in the local areas of the church without the need for any hearings.

19 After the evidences are heard, the councilors, accuser and accused have spoken, the president shall give a decision according to the understanding which he shall have of the case, and call upon the twelve councilors to sanction the same by their vote.
20 But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing.
21 And if, after a careful re-hearing, any additional light is shown upon the case, the decision shall be altered accordingly.
22 But in case no additional light is given, the first decision shall stand, the majority of the council having power to determine the same.
23 In case of difficulty respecting doctrine or principle, if there is not a sufficiency written to make the case clear to the minds of the council, the president may inquire and obtain the mind of the Lord by revelation.

The president of the council or the member of the presidency of the church, who is presiding over the council, acts as the judge. He makes the decision based on all of the evidence that was given for or against the individual. Then by a vote of the council, they decide if the decision is right or if they need to have another hearing to find if their is any additional information that was not presented. All these things are considered according to the doctrine of the church and if there is any question, they turn to the Lord for revelation on the matter. All things that are proposed to judge another person, should only be done with the spirit. The spirit is truth and will lead these men to judge righteously.

I think that if more hearings in the world were held in such a way, where honesty was an absolute and the guidance of the spirit was used regularly, the world would be a lot better. Instead, the hearings that go on today, out in the world, are often done without consideration of God, and judges are left to their own interpretations of laws. I believe that this is one of the many ways that Satan is using people to try to stop the work of God.

24 The high priests, when abroad, have power to call and organize a council after the manner of the foregoing, to settle difficulties, when the parties or either of them shall request it.
25 And the said council of high priests shall have power to appoint one of their own number to preside over such council for the time being.
26 It shall be the duty of said council to transmit, immediately, a copy of their proceedings, with a full statement of the testimony accompanying their decision, to the high council of the seat of the First Presidency of the Church.
27 Should the parties or either of them be dissatisfied with the decision of said council, they may appeal to the high council of the seat of the First Presidency of the Church, and have a re-hearing, which case shall there be conducted, according to the former pattern written, as though no such decision had been made.
28 This council of high priests abroad is only to be called on the most difficult cases of church matters; and no common or ordinary case is to be sufficient to call such council.
29 The traveling or located high priests abroad have power to say whether it is necessary to call such a council or not.
30 There is a distinction between the high council or traveling high priests abroad, and the traveling high council composed of the twelve apostles, in their decisions.
31 From the decision of the former there can be an appeal; but from the decision of the latter there cannot.
32 The latter can only be called in question by the general authorities of the church in case of transgression.
33 Resolved: that the president or presidents of the seat of the First Presidency of the Church shall have power to determine whether any such case, as may be appealed, is justly entitled to a re-hearing, after examining the appeal and the evidences and statements accompanying it.
34 The twelve councilors then proceeded to cast lots or ballot, to ascertain who should speak first, and the following was the result, namely: 1, Oliver Cowdery; 2, Joseph Coe; 3, Samuel H. Smith; 4, Luke Johnson; 5, John S. Carter; 6, Sylvester Smith; 7, John Johnson; 8, Orson Hyde; 9, Jared Carter; 10, Joseph Smith, Sen.; 11, John Smith; 12, Martin Harris.After prayer the conference adjourned.
Oliver Cowdery,
Orson Hyde,

Every time there is a hearing, the minutes of the case are sent to the First Presidency. There are specific cases such as those that deal with excommunication from the church, when an appeal can be made. This only happens when the next council has decided the individual has right to a re-hearing. Because we have other councils now, then the appeal can be to the stake high council and again to the First Presidency.

I am glad that we have high councils in the church, which have been established by God. Those on the stake high council, serve the stake presidency and they help to make me feel like the stake presidency is watching over our ward and more specifically my family. I am so glad that they are given the opportunities to speak and serve the stakes. I am vary grateful for my local church leaders and for the guidance and direction that they give me in my life.

Alma, Chapter 52

Why were the Nephites successful?

The Lamanites found Amalickiah dead and the Nephites ready for battle under the direction of Teancum (v. 1).  They retreated to Mulek, which was one of the cities they had taken previously (v. 2). Ammoron, Amalickiah’s brother, became king of the Lamanites (v. 3).  Teancum continued to prepare to fight and kept prisoners of the Lamanites for ransom (v. 6-9).    Moroni commanded him to continue to protect and claim the land near Bountiful, meanwhile Moroni fought the lamanites elsewhere (v. 10-11).  Ammoron led part of the Lamanites against the Nephites and Moroni (v. 12-14).  Teancum went to reclaim Mulek (v. 15-16), but seeing the protections of the Lamanites he retreated back to Bountiful and waited for Moroni’s help (v. 17-18 ).  Teancum and Moroni discussed how to get the advantage (v. 19).

Moroni and Teancum sent men to try to get the leader of the Lamanites in Mulek, Jacob, to meet with them, but he wouldn’t come (v. 20).  Moroni came up with a plan, Teancum took some men and marched to the seashore while Lamanites guards to Jacob about it (v. 21-22).  The Lamanites came against him, while Teancum retreated to the North (v. 23).  The Lamanites proudly pursued him, meanwhile Moroni marched to Mulek to take it (v. 24).  After taking the city of Mulek, Moroni took his army to help Teancum and his men (v. 25-26).  The Lamaintes backed Teancum into the city of Bountiful, where they found Lehi and his part of the Nephite army (v. 27).  Lehi’s army scared the Lamanites, but they also did not know that Moroni’s army had done anything and was coming to them as well (v. 28-29).  Lehi waited for Moroni, and they surrounded Jacob and his Lamanite army (v. 30-31).  They fought, Moroni was wounded, but Jacob was killed (v. 32-35).  The Lamanites fighting against Lehi’s portion, gave up their weapons and were confused (v. 36).  Moroni told them they would not be killed for giving up their weapons (v. 37).  The rest of the captains heard and gave up their weapons, and then encouraged their men to do the same (v. 38 ).  Those who refused, were taken prisoner to the land of Bountiful (v. 39).

What does this tell us about defending our families in the battle against Satan?  That we must be vigilant in protecting ourselves against him.  That we can outsmart Satan, the way that he tries to outsmart us.  That sometimes, we may realize the adversary is too much for us to take on ourselves, and so we wait for reinforcements.  We follow the commands of the church leaders, prophets, the scriptures and we become stronger.  Then with the help of the Savior and other righteous people, we can defeat the temptations of Satan and re-gain our strong-holds within our homes.  I think the greatest tool in the fight against Satan, is the knowledge (faith) that if we are living righteously, we know we can win.  We just need to do what is right, and the Lord will help us to do the rest.

Where can we turn for protection?

“But he kept his men round about, as if making preparations for war; yea, and truly he was preparing to defend himself against them, by casting up walls round about and preparing places of resort (v. 6).”  Teancum created safe places for his men to go as a way of protecting themselves.  There places of resort were fortifications.  Our homes should be a place of resort for our families.  While the individuals of our families are out fighting the temptations of everyday life, we need to be preparing our homes as a place for retreat.  Our homes and families should be the safest places for our family members to return to.

What are Satan’s tactics?

“Now, the king (Ammoron) had departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and had made known unto the queen concerning the death of his brother, and had gathered together a large number of men, and had marched forth against the Nephites on the borders by the west sea (v. 12).  And thus he was endeavoring to harass the Nephites, and to draw away a part of their forces to that part of the land, while he had commanded those whom he had left to possess the cities which he had taken, that they should also harass the Nephites on the borders by the east sea, and should take possession of their lands as much as it was in their power, according to the power of their armies (v. 13).  And thus were the Nephites in those dangerous circumstances in the ending of the twenty and sixth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi (v. 14).”

Ammoron tried to attack the Nephites by dividing them and getting them in several places at the same time.  Satan also uses this tactic of tempting us with several things, that are weaknesses for us, at the same time.  When we know that this is the way Satan works, we can focus on what is the worst temptation and attack it first, instead of giving in to everything because we give up.  We have the ability to look at the situation of our lives, evaluate it and with the Lord’s help, work on the thing that will give us back the most strength against those other temptations.  We are not expected by God, to be able to do it all at once.  If we are working on the thing which destroys us the most, He will help us with all the other things that tempt us and we will be stronger for it.

What are the values of councils?

“And in the commencement of the twenty and eighth year, Moroni and Teancum and many of the chief captains held a council of war—what they should do to cause the Lamanites to come out against them to battle; or that they might by some means flatter them out of their strongholds, that they might gain advantage over them and take again the city of Mulek (v. 19).”

To decided what course of action they should take, the Nephites had  a war council.  This was helpful in bringing the leaders together to decide what would be best for the protection of all of the Nephites.  In the church pamphlet called Our Family, it says, “The family council is the most basic council of the Church.  Under the direction of the father and the mother, this council can meet to discuss family problems, work out finances, make plans, support, and strengthen each other, and pray for one another and the family unit.”  My family has been having family council together with family night, for several months now.  It’s hard because we have small children, but it gives us a chance to plan out schedules, talk about family needs and my favorite thing is that we share our testimonies with each other.  We have not had to use family council to address any real problems or major concerns, yet, but we will eventually and I am sure this time we take, will be a blessing in those moments.  I think it makes perfect sense to take the time to make sure the family is on the same page about life before going out into the world.  It is just one more way to protect our loved ones and keep the family strong.

About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


I made an album with my dad in 2011. Check it out!


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Current Study

Currently I am studying the The Old Testament. I will be studying from the LDS - King James Version of the Bible (see link below). I am studying along with the book, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament by Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen.

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The Book of Mormon

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My Wonderful Husband and Artist


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