Be of Good Cheer Before My Face

In the Hebrew language they use the plural for face (faces) as indicated by the suffix ים  iym.

Most words in the Hebrew language expresses the idea of motion or denote objects of action. The action behind paniym is the expression of emotion and thoughts in the face, and since we have an infinite number of thoughts and emotions the Hebrew word is plural.

This Hebrew word more precisely means the “presence” or the “wholeness” of an individual who is ONE with God.

Can others see the presence of God when they look into your face?

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“Be of Good Cheer Before My Face” Devotional Guide Available NOW!

We have prepared a PDF “Be of Good Cheer Before My Face” Devotional Guide for you to use with your family. Table Talk Discussion #63 goes along with the guide.

Out of the Heart the Mouth Speaketh

There is an Eastern African story that tells of a chief with sad children and a poor man with happy children. The Chief asked the poor man what made his children so happy and he answered, “I feed my children with the meat of the tongue, and this fills them with health and happiness.” The Chief fed his children tongue and it did not work so he traded his children with the poor man’s. Soon his children became happy and the poor man’s children became sad. So the Chief returned for more advice. 

The chief listened, and suddenly he understood. “The meat of the tongue, you are a wise man, indeed,” he said, “for you know the greatest gift a parent can offer his children is his companionship, and his wisdom, and his words. You have taught me well.”

He returned home with his children and spent time with them in telling them stories and singing them songs.

When you use your mouth for the building and inspiring of your children you teach them about who they are and their purpose in the world.

Remember – Our Mouths expose the desires and intentions of our hearts.

How did you use your mouth today?

“Out of the Heart the Mouth Speaketh” Devotional Guide Available NOW!

We have prepared a PDF “Out of the Heart the Mouth Speaketh” Devotional Guide for you to use with your family. Table Talk Discussion #61 goes along with the guide.

Why Study Theology?

Have you ever studied theology? Whenever I thought of theology I thought of a attending Catholic seminary and learning how to teach about God at the pulpit. (This idea may have come from a movie I watched or when I attended Catholic mass with my friends. ) In the Lectures on Faith, a book written by Joseph Smith and other leaders in the church about faith, states, “Faith is truly the first principle in the science of theology.” This statement brought up many questions for me, as I hope it does for you. Faith, we learn from a young age, is the first principle (see the fourth Article of Faith). Faith is “future oriented dependence” on God. Faith is what framed the worlds, the power that organized the planets and created every visible creation. So, then, what is the “Science of Theology?”

I went to “my professors,” CES classes and lectures, for the answer.

Science is an area of knowledge that is the object of study, covering general truth or operations of general laws especially as obtained or tested through the scientific method. Theology is “the study of religious faith experiences and practices; understanding the study of God and God’s relationship to the world.” The Science of Theology is “an exact science” (it must be exact or it is not Godly). The Scientific Method is the rules and methods for the pursuit of knowledge involving the finding and stating of problems. The collection of facts through observation and experiment. And the making and testing ideas that need to be proven right or wrong. (taken from David Christensen’s lessons from the Lectures on Faith and Parley P. Pratt’s book, “The Science of Theology”)

Faith is used throughout the scientific method. Let’s take a look at how Alma used it. First, you plant a seed with faith that it will grow. As it grows and you have faith, it will continue to grow and produce fruit (results) holding to the vision of what the fruit will be like, taste, what you’ll make with it, etc. This is the time (during the waiting) that spiritual gifts are given developed and where faith is increased. Faith is used in each step of the process until the result is received.

You can try this with everything you are learning.

Say you want to learn about crystals and how they grow. Open your scriptures up to Alma 32:26 and insert what you are questioning or testing in the following manner

 Now, we will compare [what you are testing] unto a seed (principle). Now, if ye give place, that a [what you are testing] may be planted in your heart, behold, if [what you are testing] be a true seed, or a good seed (correct principle), if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed (correct principle), or that the [what you are testing] is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me. (continue…on your own)

Watch how at each step of learning you are growing the understanding of how the principle of growth is applied to crystals. You are using the scientific method, proving the principle you have chosen is true or false, works or does not.

Why study Theology? Because, Theology, Christ’s relationship with the world, is throughout ALL learning, every subject. Theology is the first science we should study.

Try replacing “what you are testing” with “an attribute of Christ.”

What will you do differently because of this study?

Lighten Up!

What comes to mind when you hear “Lighten Up?” I’m not using this term in the sense that someone is placing too much emphasis on a trivial matter or has their priorities out of whack. I’m using it in reference to:

Jesus is the LIGHT of the World. Look up to Christ and bask in his sonlight.

Homeschooling our children is a big deal. It deserves heartfelt attention. If we try to do it in our own strength, we may become “too tense.” We need to give our efforts “a rest.” If we feel called to teach our children, and we are, then we need to “Lighten Up!” that calling with the idea that it’s not a chore, but a blessing, a gift Christ is giving us.

Satan wants to steal, cheat and lie. Don’t listen to him. He doesn’t want our children to learn God’s Glory. If he can worm his way in with doubts, comparisons, and reminders of past mistakes, this can cloud our attitude. Don’t let him.

Lighten Up!

Over the next few weeks in this blog, on our video podcasts, and in a live class, I will be teaching ways to “Lighten Up!” and give our efforts “a rest” and allow God to be the teacher for both you and your children. I hope you will join me.

Theology

It is fun to see a child understand a new concept, but it is more rewarding to see them make connections to heaven and increase their spiritual education. Joseph Smith said, “There is no knowledge, no learning that can compensate the individual for the loss of his belief in heaven and in the saving principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. An education that leads a man from these central truths cannot compensate him for the great loss of spiritual things.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:321-322.)

Keeping this in mind I taught my children with a visual aid of a tree.

Parley P. Pratt in his book, Key to the Science of Theology, said, “All that is useful, great and good, all that is calculated to sustain, comfort, instruct, edify, purify, refine or exalt intelligences, originated by this science [of Theology] and this science alone, all other sciences being but branches growing out of this root.”

I drew a tree with a large trunk and eight branches. I taught them that all learning “grows out” of Theology, the study and belief in God. We then labeled the trunk Theology and each of the branches a different subject of learning. I then asked them what they thought the roots could represent. After much discussion we came to the conclusion that the roots represented correct principles of the gospel, the word and laws of God.

Over the next fifteen years this concept has grown tremendously in our home. We even commissioned an artist, my mom, to paint us a friendly tree with eight branches that hangs in our living room.

Over the next several months we are dedicating our live video podcasts to sharing with you what we have learned from this experience in hopes that it will assist you in your homes.

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