Newman Family

Newman Family

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Beloved Children,

I cam across this quote again today in my study.  I love President Ucthdorf, and I really believe in what he teaches here.  When I stop in my busyness, and listen I do get instruction from Heavenly Father.  I love you all so much, and I am so proud of you and your awesome talents and testimonies.

We are continually counseled to increase our spiritual knowledge through prayer and through studying and pondering the scriptures and the words of the living prophets. In his general conference talk about receiving a testimony of light and truth, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said: 
“The Everlasting and Almighty God … will speak to those who approach Him with a sincere heart and real intent.
“He will speak to them in dreams, visions, thoughts, and feelings.”
President Uchtdorf continued: “God cares about you. He will listen, and He will answer your personal questions. The answers to your prayers will come in His own way and in His own time, and therefore, you need to learn to listen to His voice.”4
I also love this scripture from 3 Nephi 22:13
"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children"

Cherish Newman

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I have been reading 3 Nephi slowly and carefully.  There has been some interesting things…  I have read 3 Nephi 5 at least 4 times in the last few days.

Vs. 1  “…There was not a living soul among all the people of the Nephites who did doubt in the least the words of all the holy prophets…”  I kept reading this statement over and over again.  What will it take to get our ward or our stake to this level?  I first thought, these people must be super, amazing righteous people…  However, look at verse 3: “Therefore they did forsake all their sins, and their abominations, and their whoredoms, and did serve God with all diligence day and night.”

These people had sins, but as they placed their faith in the Savior and in his prophets, they were able to forsake their sins and serve God.

They were unified!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Helaman 14 - By Dad

I was impressed with the numerous signs and wonders prophesied of by Samuel… So many how could one not believe?  As we get closer to the Second Coming, there will also be many signs and wonders that will help us know that it is close…

As fun as it was to read about all the signs that would come to the Nephites…That wasn’t Samuels main message.  He taught so well about the Atonement...

Why all the signs and wonders?  vs. 12 “that ye might know of the signs of his coming, to the intent that ye might believe on his name”
If you do believe on his name? vs. 13 “ye will repent of all your sins, that thereby ye may have a remission of them through his merits”
How does this happen? vs. 15 “he surely must die that salvation may come”

After teaching about all signs and the about Christ, he finishes with: “ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves” vs. 30

I like his style… he taught so well about the Atonement.  His message had to be interesting to many listening as he talked about all the signs, including the graves opening up (vs. 25) and taught about the Savior, his coming and his redemption… But at the end of his intriguing and convincing message, he says essentially… “It’s up to you"

Monday, July 13, 2015

One of my first thoughts while reading this chapter was about repentance.  First of all, true servants of God will preach repentance (vs. 2) as Samuel does.  Samuel points out this in vs. 26-28…  “if a prophet come among you and decelerate unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him… But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity…ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet”  

Often the prophets words will be hard to accept and urge us to change things in our lives.  This is one of the evidences of a true prophet.

The other thought about repentance is Samuel uses the words “turn" and “return" in verse 11 when discussing repentance.  This is significant because this is the phraseology used in the Old Testament instead of repentance (like in 1 Samuel 7:3).  They essentially mean the same thing.  As we turn back to the Lord (or return) than we are in the act of repenting…. 
                                                                                                                             Kelly Newman 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Returning to Faith:  Sacrament Talk
Cherish Newman  (June 2015)

Introduction: Speak on Sister Wixom’s talk “Returning to Faith”
I like the title. I have the special privilege of being with the Primary children and they are great examples of humble and true faith.  They know who they are and they believe with all their hearts.  We were all like that once.  As we grow we experience life and some hard things and we get questions and concerns. Everyone does at times in their lives.  We all have our trials of Faith that is part of the plan.

Sister Wixom shares the story of a sister in the gospel who had a trial of faith.  This sister was a young mother and had been raised in the church.  She had always been an inquiring person, wondering the “Whys” behind everything.  As a adult she had some questions that she didn’t feel she got answers to.  She became inactive.  She came back too!  She talked about her journey and others’ responses to her journey. 

I want to talk about 3 roles we have in returning to Faith.  As Individuals, As family members, and as ward members.

Individual returning to Faith:

Trials of faith are part of the plan.
Ether 12:6
 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

Elder Ballard at Women’s Conference. As members of the Church, we should not be critical of those who have sincere, heartfelt questions or concerns about their faith. Remember, the Restoration in all of its glory and wonder was launched in response to a spiritual question of a 14-year-old young man. Such questions can be a catalyst to real conversion if they prompt us to seek truth in the light of faith.

In our time the whole world wants to answer those questions.  You can google anything.  But how much truth do we get?

Elder Ballard
Today we live in a world in which people don’t ask of God—they seem to want to ask of Google. Even when it comes to questions of faith, there are many who trust the Internet to provide accurate, fair, and balanced answers to their questions more than they trust the ultimate source of truth, our Heavenly Father. It’s as if they believe that the scripture in James actually says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of the Internet.”
Please don’t misunderstand, sisters. I am not saying that we should never search the Internet for information about the Church’s history, its teachings and doctrine. What I am saying is that we need to be prudent and careful about seeking answers to spiritually important questions online. We’ve all heard people make jokes and sarcastic comments about how you can’t trust everything you read on the Internet. There’s a good reason for that. It’s no wonder that many people emerge from their online search for religious truth feeling surrounded by the same kind of “darkness and confusion” that Joseph Smith felt after talking to the various religious teachers of his time.
So what can we do if our own faith is being tried?
In Alma 32, Alma teaches about our Faith being like a seed that we have to plant.
Plant analogy:
Seed is the positive desire: I believe that God hears and answers prayers.” Or “I believe the Book of Mormon is true.”
Heart is the ground and needs to be fertile=teachable
Elder Russell M. Nelson has said, “The Lord can only teach an inquiring mind.”
Plant it with some plant food=desire
Nourish it=daily practices
Allow the roots to go down way deep, scorching, freezing, wind=trials, tribulations, questions, pondering.  Prepare for them, but allow them, those things deepen roots.

103:12 For after much tribulation, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, cometh the blessing.

Building Faith contains the same principals as building muscles, the repetition of simple steps to get the muscle to the point of shaking and trembling.  All trainers and body builders will tell you, that the true muscle growth comes during that time of trial.  When you want to give up, it hurts and you think you can’t keep going. You have doubts! Doubts that you can really do this, doubts of can this really be the answer. This trainer doesn’t know what he is doing, this just doesn’t work for me, I am different.  In the pain is the growth.

            President Ucthdorf: Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.8 We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

  Just keep going! Finish that rep and give it one more.  That is the only way that muscle will grow and develop.

We are all infants and toddlers in the gospel.  Our faith being built is like learning to walk.  It starts with desire.  It is a slow process, lots of wobbling and falls.  More we try and practice the faster and stronger we get.

President Ucthdorf: We have all seen a toddler learn to walk. He takes a small step and totters. He falls. Do we scold such an attempt? Of course not. What father would punish a toddler for stumbling? We encourage, we applaud, and we praise because with every small step, the child is becoming more like his parents.

Sister Wixom’s friend:

She learned that when she came up against a statement that caused her to doubt, she “could stop, look at the whole picture, and make the gospel personal.  She said, “I would ask, ‘is this the right path for me and my family?”
Sometimes I would ask myself, ‘What do I want for my children?  I realized I want them to have temple marriages.  That’s when belief came back to my heart.”

Family members returning to Faith:

During this confusing time, some of those around her said, “Just lean on my faith.” But she thought, “I can’t. You don’t understand; you’re not grappling with these issues.” She explained, “I was willing to extend courtesy to those without doubts if they would extend courtesy to me.” And many did.

Many of us have family members who have struggled with their faith and have left the church.  What is the Lord asking us to do for them?

“What man of you having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost , until he find it?” (Luke 15:4)

On our mission to find them what should we do to get them back?

Mark 12:30-31
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Elder Nielson quote: “Waiting for the Prodigal”
Elder Nielson’s sister had doubts that overcame her faith; this is how they evolved into helping her.  They made sure that her place in their family was sure.  That they loved her unconditionally and that she was still an important member of their family.

“Although we could not embrace all of her choices, we could certainly embrace her. We loved, we watched, and we waited.”

She said, “My parents knew my heart and allowed me space. They chose to love me while I was trying to figure it out for myself.”

I was in the temple with my 5 sisters for the first time ever in the Fall.  After 15 years of inactivity and bad choices, they came back.  I asked Heavenly Father, “What was it?  What finally made them come back?  Many fasts, many counseling sessions, many prayers, many things we did to try and bring them back, Did any of that help?
I felt like the Lord answered me.  I felt the answer was-that All of it helped.  Their spiritual journey was like a huge 10,000 piece puzzle, that each effort to love and help them was one of those pieces.
Helping Ward members return to Faith:

While our immediate and extended family is who will have the most influence on us or us on them.  Our ward family is often who we interact with on a daily basis.

Our role as a ward family is to nurture and love.  Only the bishop has the keys to stand in judgement.

The Lord has referred to the members of the ward as the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:
 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

We need the strong and the feeble!  We are all necessary.  Even the strongest parts of the body can be wounded. If you are wounded, how do we care for that member of
the body?  If our finger gets broken, what do we do?  Do we cut it off?  Ignore it?  Be angry at the finger for getting wounded and talk to others about how weird it was that the finger did this?
No! We wrap it, nurture it, have it rest and heal in safety and security.
We need the strong and the feeble!

Sister Wixom’s friend:
Likewise, this young mother’s bishop often met with her and spoke of his confidence in her.
Ward members also did not hesitate to give love, and she felt included. Her ward was not a place to put on a perfect face; it was a place of nurture.

With permission, I want to share a story about my sister and her husband.  If you were to just see my sister and her husband at a grocery store, you would feel to make an immediate judgment.  You would see their bodies covered in tattoos, you would maybe smell some cigarette smoke coming from them.  You might feel like you knew that they were not members or that they don’t care about God.  What you would not see in the first impression is that they are would give their last $20 to a homeless person or a friend in need.  You would not see that they have 3 children under 3 years old AND have taken in their 12 year old niece who has some trauma from her childhood, and they are great parents!  You would not see the mental illness demons that they both battle everyday just to function, and they do function! Luckily their ward family chose to see past the first impression.  They have embraced them and loved them and served them.  My sister made it to the temple this fall, after 15 years of inactivity.  My brother-in-law is more open to the gospel than he has ever been.

Every person is on his or her own journey.  Our Father and Savior are the travel guides for each person.  They are exactly aware of where they are and what they need.  We are allowed and encouraged in our own journeys.

Sister Wixom:

And, oh, how I want to be like those who surrounded this young mother, loving and supporting her. As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said: “We are all pilgrims seeking God’s light as we journey on the path of discipleship. We do not condemn others for the amount of light they may or may not have; rather, we nourish and encourage all light until it grows clear, bright, and true.”10

Whether we are the individual struggling with our own questions or doubts or we are trying to help loved ones.  We can attain peace and hope in the same way.  We will rejoice as we stay close the things we know to be true, we remember what we really want, and we counsel with the Lord.

Sister Wixom:

We too may wonder, “Is Heavenly Father really there?” only to rejoice—as my friend did—when the answers come in quiet, simple assurances. I testify that those simple assurances come as His will becomes ours. I testify that truth is on the earth today and His gospel is found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

In Helaman 3 there is great prosperity in the Church that even the leaders are "astonished beyond measure” (Helaman 3:25).  Mormon uses this to teach a principle…

Who will be saved in the Kingdom of God?  Anyone that wants to be…

28 Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.
 29 Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—
 30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.
I am grateful that this applies to every single person.  If they will believe it and believe Him they can be exalted...

                    -  With Love - Your Dad kelly 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Not part of my talk
Saturday night I prayed fervently to know the deeper meaning of the phrase in the name of Jesus Christ.  I specifically wanted to connect it somehow with the Atonement.  I asked my Heavenly Father to reveal to me the meaning.  I specifically asked for a dream or some way to understand better the phrase we use so often.  The next morning, I attended my 6:30 am High Council meeting.  The Stake Presidency showed us a video that was from the Apostles training all General Authorities right before General Conference.  They all shared different things as part of the training.  Elder Nelson got up and said these words (from memory)… “Brothers and Sisters, when we use the phrase in the name of Jesus Christ and do things in His name as far as we can tell the scriptures teach us that this means His work and more specifically His Atonement”

I about fell out of my chair.  That was the exact answer I was looking for.  Elder Nelson gave the answer almost 2 months ago, the day before General Conference. The Lord knew I would be giving a talk on this subject, He knew I would be at my meeting and orchestrated a simple answer to my prayers so amazingly!  Needless to say, I was grateful and amazed…

Start of Talk
My fellow brothers and sisters, it is a pleasure to be in your ward this morning… to share some of the things the Lord has placed in my mind and in my heart.  I have a burning testimony of the Savior and His work upon the earth.  We are so privileged to be a part of it…My desire today is to speak, teach and testify of Him whose Gospel this is... and in whose work we are engaged.  My prayer is that you will feel deep down within your souls a greater love for the Savior and a deeper desire to be like Him.  Isn’t that why we are here?  Because we love Him and want to be like Him.

Jesus Christ is known by many names and titles—some of the most common are Jehovah, Son of God, Lord, Redeemer, Messiah, Savior and God. Of the 120 sections in the Doctrine and Covenants that are revelations from Jesus Christ, at least 68 of them He identifies Himself in the 1st verse by a name or title.  Each name and title can convey a different message, principle or teaching to us.  Each name or title can remind us of who He is, what He has done for us and what He will do for us.  Some examples from the Doctrine and Covenants are:

15:1 “Listen to the words of Jesus Christ, your Lord and your Redeemer.”

19:1 “I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world.”

27:1 “Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful.”

29:1 “Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins.”

42:1 “Hearken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together in my name, even, Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, the Savior of the world; inasmuch as ye believe on my name and keep my commandments.”

My brothers and sisters, the world has profaned, blasphemed and taken in vain the name of Jesus Christ as well as many of His other names and titles.  However, one of my favorite names or titles for Jesus Christ is SAVIOR.  The world and Satan haven’t figured out a way yet to take that one in vain.  I hope and pray they never do.  He is my Savior… not just from sin, but from mortality.  He saves me daily from my sins, temptations and weaknesses.

I often feel as Peter did in Matthew 14
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
 26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
 27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
 28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
 30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
 31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him

He is my Savior, my Lord and my God.

D&C 42:1 also uses the phrases “in my name” and “believe on my name.”  It is not just about the words in these names and titles…there is something else.  The phrase, “in His name” or “in the name of Jesus Christ” means much more.  Consider these verses:

2 Nephi 25:13 “all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God.”

Mosiah 3:9 “salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name”

Acts 10:43  “through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins”

Acts 4:12 “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

John 20:31“believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

Matthew 12:21 “And in his name shall the Gentiles trust”

D&C 20:29 “And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God”

All ordinances are performed in the name of Jesus Christ, except two.  Baptisms and Sealings are performed in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

We all have the opportunity to invoke the name of Jesus Christ in all talks, prayers, testimonies, lessons….

Why?  What does it mean… What is the Lord conveying to us by these phrases.

Shortly after Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden.

Moses 5
And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
 And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
 And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
 Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.

His name is His Atonement.

(This next part came to me like a lightening bolt as I sat on the stand during the sacrament.  As I listened to the prayer, my eyes shot open realizing that we invoke His name twice during the prayer)

Each week when we bless the sacrament, “O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ…” or we ask our Eternal Father through the Atonement of His Son to bless and sanctify the bread, symbols of His Atonement.

Then, we “witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son” or we show our Father that we want to take upon us the Atonement of His Son throughout the coming week.

May I invite you at family prayer tonight to discuss briefly the phrase, “in the name of Jesus Christ” with your children?  Please discuss what it means, what it invokes and the sacred use of it.  Too often in the Church it is the colloquial ending to anything we do.  Too often it is slurred and sped through without meaning.  Too often we don’t think what we are saying.  May we reverence Him and His name, which is His Atonement in all that we do in the Kingdom.

In D&C 35:2 it says “I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God…”

Many years ago, I had the privilege of touring the Holy Land.  One day as I got on the bus something dawned on me.  I was in a country with Jews, Muslims and Christians…  All fighting, arguing and conflicting with each other.  However, all of them believe in and are striving to follow the same God…Jesus Christ.

Jews worship Jehovah who we know as the pre-mortal Jesus Christ.  They rejected Him as the mortal Jesus.  Some people erroneously think that the Jews worship the Father, but that is incorrect.  They strive to worship the God of the Old Testament, who is Jesus Christ.

Muslims believe in Allah who is God.  Allah is a generic name for God.  Allah is Jesus Christ.  Muslims have no idea that the God they revere and worship actually came to earth and was crucified for their sins.  From the Quran:

“He is God: there is no god other than Him. It is He who knows what is hidden as well as what is in the open, He is the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy. He is God: there is no god other than Him, the Controller, the Holy One, Source of Peace, Granter of Security, Guardian over all, the Almighty, the Compeller, the Truly Great; God is far above anything they consider to be His partner. He is God: the Creator, the Originator, the Shaper. The best names belong to Him. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him: He is the Almighty, the Wise.” [Quran, 59:22-24]

When He comes again, it won’t be too hard for the nations of the earth to accept Him… they already believe in Him, they just don’t realize all He has done for us.  When He comes again Philippians says…

Philippians 2:9-10 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth”

Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.  May we reverence Him and His name, which is His Atonement in all we do in our lives.