As I sat in the foyer, with the chapel doors open and the microphone on, I could hear the entire meeting. It was amazing!! And a sweet gift extended to me from a loving Heavenly Father who knows my heart. Basically, the idea in a nutshell was, our Heavenly Father's work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Our Savior came to earth to do the will of the Father, which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. We are commanded to become like our Savior who came to earth to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Therefore, our work is like unto the Father's and our Savior's by doing our part to bring to pass the immortality and eternal lives of those of our brethren and sisters who are around us, and ourselves.
One of the ideas discussed was how often we should have council meetings. (This meeting was referring to a specific council, but in general council meetings occur whenever any of the auxiliary presidencies meet: Elders, High Priests, Relief Society, Sunday School, Primary, Young Men's or Young Women's; ward councils usually consist of the bishopric, auxiliary presidents, and missionaries, and there are various stake and regional councils, all the way up to the First Presidency; but also, our families sit in council whenever we meet as a group or even when a mother and father sit to discuss ideas and thoughts about their family....so different councils convene for different purposes and their meeting frequency varies based on the circumstances they are considering.)
As I pondered the question and listened to the Area Seventy, who was presiding at the meeting, share his thoughts, I realized, Lucifer also has planning meetings. In fact, I once heard Elder Russell M. Nelson refer to Lucifer as an insomniac.
Then, this morning, in my scripture studies, I read of how Amalikiah uses his influence as king to plan the destruction of the Nephites. (In the chapters before, he plots and plans and becomes the king of the Lamanites, a very intriguing story and a must read for the back ground of my comments--start in Alma Chapter 46.) While Amalikiah is very intelligent and extremely persuasive in a wicked direction to the Lamanites, Moroni was making preparations on the other side.
Verse 7, Chapter 48 reads: Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been preparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.
Isn't that amazing? Moroni was making plans and preparing the minds of the people. It goes on to say all the temporal plans he made for their impending war and to protect themselves from their enemies. But as I thought about that, and the comments from that meeting, I realized that as parents and leaders, we also have to be making plans. We cannot just sit around and hope that our weekly meeting attendance will be sufficient. Our hearts and minds have to be constantly engaged in the process of saving souls. Why? Because our enemy IS that engaged in their destruction. He is having daily, even hourly planning meetings for our destruction and the destruction of our children, and our lives and our liberties. He is distracting us from the things that are of eternal importance and significance. And by keeping us distracted, he is then free from resistance to implement his plan and impose his conditions upon us robbing us of our agency.
As parents and leaders, are we preparing the minds of our people, our children, our primary class, our youth classes, our adult classes, are we preparing their minds to be obedient and faithful unto the Lord? Are we helping them to combat the forces that seek to take away their liberties and freedoms and even their very eternal lives? What are we actively doing to participate in the work of salvation and how often are we planning for their success and then implementing that plan?
Here are some other verses to consider:
14 Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.
15 And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them when to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger.
16 And also, that God would make known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, in resisting iniquity.
I love these verses because I believe them and have experienced them, not in temporal warfare, but in the spiritual warfare we are engaged in everyday whether we acknowledge it or not. One of the prayers of my heart is that I will see the weeds of sin growing in the lives of my children. What happens in a garden when the weeds are left unattended?? It is no different in our spiritual lives. Weeds grow there too, weeds of sin. If we pluck them out when they are young and tender, they come right out. Their roots are not deep. The thorns have not developed and they are not yet producing seed, and they are not choking the plant and robbing it of the nutrition it needs. If we are diligent in our spiritual gardens, the weeds of sin will never develop any fruit. As a mother, watching over the very souls of men and women raised in my home, I want to be a diligent gardener. I want those weeds of sin pulled out early and often. I do not want to give them any time to develop. I want them out!
I know Heavenly Father can help me to see them. Just like Moroni's and the Nephites' faith was that God would tell them where to go and what to do to defend themselves, I know He will tell me what to do and how to do it to help get those weeds of sin out of the lives of my children. He will tell me how to preserve their spiritual lives and help motivate them to chose and desire righteousness. He will help me to combat my enemies if I will choose to be righteous, remain faithful and be obedient to His commandments. And that will happen as I prepare my mind to be faithful and sit in council with my husband to discuss and plan for the eternal lives and immortality of our children.
And then this verse:
17 Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, if all men (and women) had been and were and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never (emphasis added) have power over the hearts of the children of men.