Parenting tips: Teaching Children about Biblical Values, Character Education, and Repentance

Parenting Tips: Teaching Children about Biblical values, Character education, and Repentance

Defining Moment for Parents: What is Love?

Love vs. Indulgence

keyJesus loves us so much that He gave His life to rescue us from our sins. Because He does love us so much, He will not enable us in our sinful behavior. He said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” ~Rev. 3:19

Critical Thinking-Defining Moment

Definitions (from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)

Indulge—gratify; treat with excessive leniency, inordinate gratification, excessive compliance to another’s or one’s own desires

Synonyms: INDULGE, PAMPER, HUMOR, SPOIL

Enabler—one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior

Chasten—to correct by punishment or suffering; discipline, purify; to cause to be more humble or restrained.

Repent—to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life

Love—unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another; as the fatherly concern of God for humankind

Fruits of 21st Century Parenting

It is so obvious that the great good and the terrible evil in the world today are the sweet and the bitter fruits of the rearing of yesterday’s children. As we train a new generation, so will the world be in a few years. If you are worried about the future, then look to the upbringing of your children. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

Indulgence: Parenting Expert Observes Trends

Quotes by Reb Bradley

narcissism“As parents have mistaken indulgence for love, children have grown up self-absorbed and entitled [and] with the idea that they should not have to live with the consequences of their actions.

“Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow says, ‘We can blame Mr. Rogers.’ I can’t say that I agree completely with his assertion, but I have to concur that Mister Rogers typified our modern approach to giving children good feelings about themselves whether earned or not. It wasn’t him alone, but he was our mascot. He taught us that special feelings about oneself no longer depended upon character, attitude, or accomplishment—we could feel special for just having a pulse.

“With indulgent parenting so prevalent, it is inevitable that children grow up with an exaggerated sense of self-importance. It is no surprise that our jails are full of people with the highest self-esteem.” ~Reb Bradley

narcissism2Have Parents Enabled this Narcissistic Behavior?

“Children born between 1980 and 1995, called “millennials,” now saturate the job market …They are typically demanding, impertinent, and narcissistic. They need constant affirmation and expect to be catered to.

“In the last 50 years, as parents have softened their approach, children have failed to develop the self-restraint necessary to maintain a civilized society. As parents have mistaken indulgence for love, children have grown up self-absorbed and entitled. As moms and dads have paid for their children’s broken windows and parking tickets the children have grown up with the idea that they should not have to live with the consequences of their actions.

“Corporations actually hire consultants to teach them how to handle the glut of employees who act like spoiled brats. They can’t fire them, because their replacements will have the same entitled outlook on life.” ~Reb Bradley [1]

Parenting as God the Father would Parent

C.A. Davidson

We are seeing consequences of child-rearing in which parents have been afraid to say “No.” Does God our Father say “No” to us because He hates us? Not at all. On the contrary, as Paul told the Hebrews:

“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

biblereadmeWhy does He Chasten us?

Our Father corrects us because we are His sons and daughters. No one ever said that chastening and correction is fun. But if we endure it well, it builds good character, which is a prerequisite to greater happiness in the long run.

Paul continues, “Now, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” ~Hebrews 12:6,7,11)

Our Father knows that wickedness will never bring happiness. Therefore He corrects us, so we will not remain in the misery of sin. The way in which we correct our wrongs is called “Repentance.”

dangerChildren need guidance; they actually seek limits. The commandments of God are limits for His children. The commandments of God are like guideposts along the road of life. They keep us out of the danger zones. Our Father knows that when we keep His commandments, we enjoy safety and peace.

We would never let our children run out into the path of an oncoming car. We would warn them sharply of the danger. Likewise, they need correction when they are on a course of moral destruction. But what if you never say anything, for fear of hurting their feelings, or because you fear you will be “judging” them? The truth is, if you do not judge them in righteousness and love now, courts of law will judge them—and justice can be harsh, not merciful, because mercy cannot rob justice.

Does this mean that we should not show kindness? Of course not. One wise Christian leader taught that at times we must “reprove with sharpness,” if we are prompted to do so by the Holy Spirit. Then after the reproof, “show forth an increase of love” toward him whom you have reproved. Christian discipline is not punishment, nor is it just being “mean.” It is guidance and instruction—to someday yield a “disciple.”

After the Lord chastens and humbles us, how does He show forth an increase of love? He blesses us, and offers us the gift of mercy.

Repentance is a Message of Love

We may be bucking a strong tide, but we must teach our children that sin is sin. ~Spencer W. Kimball

Unless we are careful, today’s entitlement society will corrupt the faith of our children. Some young families have visited churches with one question in mind: “What’s in it for me?” Do we think that our salvation will be handed to us without any effort on our part?

Jesus and ChildrenWhat Is Our Part?

The Bible teaches the reality of sin, and that the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ will save us from our sins, not in our sins. The merciful Christ will save those who repent. If we do not repent, we are on our own, to suffer as He suffered. The unvarnished truth, or “wintry doctrine”, is that we can’t make it on our own. We need help. That’s why we need the Savior Jesus Christ,who shed His innocent blood to pay the price of Justice. He did something we absolutely cannot do for ourselves. But to obtain mercy and forgiveness, there is something we must do. What we can do is repent. In exchange for His infinite sacrifice, He accepts our humble offering and bestows Divine mercy upon us. Repent. That’s all He asks of us.

We began this topic with the words of Christ to Saint John: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” In the second half of this couplet, the Savior concludes: “Be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Thus, teaching our children how to repent is the greatest act of love any parent can offer.

How does God our Heavenly Father love us? Does He enable us by saying, “Anything goes”? Immorality, dishonesty, or hurting others—the list is endless. Does He reward evil by telling us these things don’t matter? No, He cares too much to do that—He is not an enabler. Instead He sent His Beloved Son, providing a way for us to overcome our self-destructive behavior. That is Love.

 Related Post:

Education, Faith, and Teaching Character

Imparting Biblical Values to Young Adults—Made Easy! Click Here

[1] Reb Bradley, Born Liberal, Raised Right. Available at WND.com

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Defining Moment: American Covenant with God

Defining Moment:

American Covenant with God

keyThe fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. . . Let us therefore relay upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is.”~ George Washington [3]

covenant2Sometimes denotes an agreement between persons or nations; more often between God and man; but in this latter case it is important to notice that the two parties to the agreement do not stand in the relation of independent and equal contractors. God in his good pleasure fixes the terms, which man accepts. The same word is sometimes rendered “testament.”

The gospel is so arranged that principles and ordinances are received by covenant placing the recipient under strong obligation and responsibility to honor the commitment. Thurs the severe consequences to Ananias and Sapphira, who deliberately broke their covenant and lied unto God. (Acts 5:1-11)[1]

Prayer-at-Valley-forge-500George Washington, the Covenant Leader

“We have nothing, my Dear Sir to depend upon, but the protection of a kind Providence.” (Washington in a letter to John Adams)

When Washington and his troops were trapped at Brooklyn Heights, he called for his men to repent and be righteous, to do those things which would bring the blessings of heaven. This was in the pattern of a covenant relationship.

GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK, MAY 15, 1776:

Friday [May] 17th, Instant to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God, that it would please him to pardon all our manifold sins and transgressions, and to prosper the Arms of the United Colonies, and finally establish the peace and freedom of America, upon  a solid and lasting foundation.[2]

 

The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. . . Let us therefore relay upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is.”[3]

Washington understood the power of the Declaration of Independence. On July 9, 1776, he had the Declaration read to his men.

Const-signers-AmericansWhoRiskedAllThe commitment and dedication of the signers is revealed in the covenantal concluding statement:

“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

After the reading, he reminded his men:

“The blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger–The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavour so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.” [4]

 

[1] Bible Dictionary, 651

[2] Bennett, The Spirit of America, 393

[3] Novak, Michael and Jana, Washington’s God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of our Country, 71

[4] Bennett, The Spirit of America, 390

Character Education Defining Moment: Biblical Values and Moral Compass vs. Liberal Hypocrisy

Character Education Defining Moment:

Biblical Values and Moral Compass vs. Liberal Hypocrisy

Morality Is NOT Determined by Individual Choice!

Rush Limbaugh

               The left mocked “family values” for fifty years and now they’re stunned to discover brutes among them. They tore down every standard of decency and now they’re dismayed to see they’re drowning in sewage. They’ve spent decades sneering at the traditions and institutions that served as societal guardrails and now they’re astonished they’ve gone off a cliff.

Yes, the absolute filth and reprobate behavior oozing from every corner of liberalism is nauseating. But . . .

  • We did not stop protecting and respecting women; you on the left did.
  • We did not stop believing in morality and virtue; you on the left called it prudery and utterly rejected it.
  • We did not stop treasuring honesty, and integrity, and character, and God; you on the left spat on all of it.

Back in 1987 when I was in Sacramento, I wrote a weekly newspaper column. One day I had writer’s block. To overcome it, I started jotting down one-sentence thoughts, hoping to inspire myself. These were pithy philosophical statements I knew were right: undeniable truths. Such as: “Communism kills.” And: “Freedom is God given.” I kept going until I looked at the collection of sentences and said, “Know what? This is the column.” They became the “35 Undeniable Truths of Life.”

My Undeniable Truth of Life No. 22 was:

                “Morality is not defined and cannot be defined by individual choice.”

               Morality is not defined by what you want it to be, by what you’d rather have it be. You don’t get to define what’s moral and not. What’s right and wrong, just and unjust, is established by God. (Undeniable Truth of Life No. 20: “There is a God.”)

Well, how’s that working out? This is exactly how we ended up with what we see all across the liberal culture: debauchery and abuse.

Choices Have Consequences

There are inescapable consequences for wrong behavior, which always, always carries a price. Conversely, morality is a protection, and striving for it (though we all fall short) is a blessing.

George Washington: Keep Moral Compass Alive

George Washington compiled his own list of undeniable truths, which he called “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” The bookend to my 22nd Undeniable Truth is Washington’s last rule, No. 110:

 “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

That, my friends, holds the secret to a good life.

The Limbaugh Letter, January 2018, p.3

How to keep their moral compass alive!

Judeo-Christian Definition: Christianity and Biblical Morals

Dinner Topics for Monday

Month-Defining Moment

Judeo-Christian Definition: Christianity and Biblical Morals

Ju•deo-Chris•tian

Definition of Judeo-Christian: A term worth defending

By Ed Vitagliano

We are a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values. Most evangelicals have a Judeo-Christian worldview. Our Judeo-Christian principles are under attack.

KJV BibleWe hear the term Judeo-Christian used quite frequently, but what does it mean? Here are a few ideas to consider regarding the term as used at American Family Association.

1. It does not refer primarily to Judaism.
Judaism itself can be a term that is frequently misunderstood. Usually, it refers to the religion of the Jewish people, rooted especially in the Law of Moses and the Old Testament.

Judaism also includes the more than 6,000 pages of commentary – developed over the last 2,000 years – incorporated in the Talmud, which explains the meaning of the Law.

2. It is not a term of religious equivalency.
Most Christians rightly examine the Old Testament as a source of religious teaching that informs their faith. Paul says in Romans 15:4, “Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction.” (See also 1 Corinthians 10:6.)

biblical-worldview2-christianHowever, using the term Judeo-Christian does not mean that Christianity and Judaism are viewed as equally valid faiths. The Bible is the Christian’s final authority on matters of faith, and the New Testament clearly teaches that Christianity supplanted Judaism as the revelation of God’s redemptive purposes in the earth. Hebrews 8:13 says that a New Covenant has been established through Christ, and thus God “has made the first [covenant] obsolete.”

As a result, the clarion call for this age is repentance and faith in Jesus Christ – and that call goes out to both Jew and Gentile alike.

3. It is a moral term.
Since Christianity flowed out of Old Testament Judaism, there is a perceived theological kinship between the Christian and the Jew that does not exist between, say, Christian and Muslim or Christian and Hindu.

As a result Christianity and Judaism share something – what Christians call the Old Testament. Paul, for example, gives great honor to the Jews – his own people – as those who “were entrusted with the oracles of God” (Romans 3:2; see also Acts 7:38; Romans 9:4.)

judeo-christian1It is here that Judeo-Christian begins to come into focus, for it is the equivalent of referring to the religious and moral principles shared by both Jew and Christian.

Those principles would include monotheism, religious law such as the Ten Commandments, ideas concerning the nature of man, biblical (as opposed to pagan) morality regarding human sexuality, marriage and family, the prophetic tradition of a holy people, the state subject to God Himself, etc.

Morality, of course, is not the same as religion. By “morality” we mean how men and women ought to live before a holy and just God, and how they ought to order their lives, families, communities, etc. People of different religions can share moral views; people who agree on morality can disagree on religion.

4. It is a cultural term.
judeo-christian2-10-commandmentsThese moral principles have become more important as they have increasingly come under attack, and so the term is used more and more in the context of the culture wars.

Judeo-Christian is therefore frequently used in contrast to those ideologies that have sought to overthrow the biblical view of marriage, for example, or the sanctity of human life.

Ironically, secularists who demand that America be cleansed of its Judeo-Christian heritage are simply advocating a return to pagan – or pre-Christian – views on these important issues.

Both Jews and Christians lived under such regimes, devoid of the law of God; and neither Jew nor Christian should ever want to return to those times of spiritual darkness.

That is why the battle to preserve Judeo-Christian values must continue in America.

Truth Matters: War on Christianity— a Defining Moment of Obama Presidency

Truth Matters:  

War on Christianity— a Defining Moment of  Obama Presidency

The one act that defined President Barack Obama

Peter Heck – Guest Columnist
http://www.peterheck.com

keyHow appropriate it was that President Obama delivered his farewell address from Chicago, the crime capital of America … for it is indeed his crime against a humble group of nuns that will be forever etched in many people’s memory.

little sisters of the poor

little sisters of the poor

I was unable to watch President Obama’s Farewell Address last Tuesday night delivered appropriately in the crime capital of the country, Chicago, Illinois.  That didn’t break my heart because I found myself indifferent to the spectacle for a number of reasons.

I do think it is fitting that presidents give farewell messages.  But given the venue and setting President Obama had chosen, it was fairly easy to surmise that this would be a final political rally/national lecture, which admittedly I had little desire to endure.  Though I think this president has great stage presence, I have felt for quite some time that he has been oversold as an orator and worse still, he has given almost the exact same speech for nearly eight years.  So for my own sake, and for the sake of my Obama-loving friends who didn’t want to hear my snark as they wept their final goodbyes, I skipped the speech.

obama-vs-christianityObviously I’ve offered many criticisms of the Obama administration the last eight years that I have no desire to rehash.  Future generations will have a better grasp on how to regard the success or failure of his time in office, and so I won’t bore you with my guesses as to what they will conclude.  I will simply recount the one lasting legacy of Barack Obama that will always be emblazoned in my memory.  When I think of him, I will think of this.  When I reflect on his promised era of hope and change, I will be drawn to this image.

Despite your personal feelings on his coolness, his character, his charisma, or his competence, Barack Obama will forever be the president who worked diligently to put the gun of government to the heads of the Little Sisters of the Poor, demanding that they either pay to destroy children in the womb or be crushed.

war-on-christianityYou can’t candy-coat that.  You can’t hide it.  You can’t pretend it wasn’t what it was.  For 177 years, the Little Sisters of the Poor has been a large Roman Catholic religious ministry that takes vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, and hospitality.  Serving the Kingdom of God on earth in over 30 countries, they have one stated mission: to care for impoverished people as they near the end of their lives.  As Ashley McGuire describes, “The only fight they go looking for is to make the last days of some very downtrodden people brighter and happier, to send as many people into the next life surrounded by love, not garbage.”

Barack Obama knew that, personally.  And regardless, he instructed his administration to rewrite executive regulations nine separate times to ensure these nuns be forced to either violate their conscience by helping distribute abortifacients, or be fined $70 million a year and out of existence.  Their beliefs, their ministry, their cause, and even the incredible work that they do was secondary to President Barack Obama’s devotion to funding and expanding the destruction of infants with tax dollars.

obama-abortion-p-parenthoodThe President’s own lawyers admitted in court that there were compromises available that would have met their objectives while sparing the Sisters’ consciences.  But President Obama refused.  Using the coercive power of the state to compel nuns to pay for abortion drugs became an issue of pride for this small man.

His obsession was so out of touch that the Supreme Court, divided as it is, issued a unanimous ruling telling Obama that he must find another way.  When Ruth Bader Ginsburg joins hands with Clarence Thomas to rebuke your fixation with forcing nuns to violate their consciences, you have reached the pinnacle of ideological extremism.

After 22 years of torture in a Cuban prison for his refusal to sign a government document supporting Fidel Castro, Armando Valladares was honored by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.  In his speech, he said of the Little Sisters of the Poor, “They know what my body knows after 22 years of cruel torture: that if they sign the form…they will be violating their conscience and would commit spiritual suicide.  If they did this they would forfeit the true and only wealth they have in abandoning the castle of their conscience.”

That President Obama failed to ever respect that eternal truth is both pitiful and shameful.  And it’s why I’m beyond elated to bid him a permanent farewell.

Related:

Pew: Religion Plummeted in USA During Obama Era

Defining Moment: What is Truth?

Defining Moment:

Oh Say, What Is Truth?

John Jacques

 

truth3freeOh say, what is truth? ‘Tis the fairest gem

That the riches of worlds can produce,

And priceless the value of truth will be when

The proud monarch’s costliest diadem

Is counted but dross and refuse.

 

Yes, say, what is truth? ‘Tis the brightest prize

To which mortals or Gods can aspire.

Go search in the depths where it glittering lies,

Or ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies:

‘Tis an aim for the nobles desire.

 

culture-war7-truthThe scepter may fall from the despot’s grasp

When with winds of stern justice he copes.

But the pillar of truth will endure to the last,

And its firm-rooted bulwarks out-stand the rude blast

And the wreck of the fell tyrant’s hopes.

 

truth1Then say, what is truth? “Tis the last and the first,

For the limits of time it steps o’er.

Tho the heavens depart and the earth’s fountains burst,

Truth, the sum of existence, will weather the worst,

Eternal, unchanged, evermore.

Defining Moment: Biblical Worldview vs. Political Correctness

Defining Moment: Biblical Worldview

First, Political Correctness is what the Biblical Worldview is NOT.

procrustesbedLike Procrustes, the legendary Greek robber who would stretch or cut off the legs of his prisoners to make them fit his bed, tyrants must stretch or cut out the TRUTH to fit the confines of their ideology.

 

The Origins of Political Correctness

 

William Lind

All ideologies are totalitarian because the essence of an ideology … is to take some philosophy and say on the basis of this philosophy certain things must be true—[for example,] such as the whole of the history of our culture is the history of the oppression of women.

Since reality contradicts that, reality must be forbidden.

PC-TruthIt must become forbidden to acknowledge the reality of our history. People must be forced to live a lie, and since people are naturally reluctant to live a lie, they naturally use their ears and eyes to look out and say, “Wait a minute. This isn’t true. I can see it isn’t true,” the power of the state must be put behind the demand to live a lie. That is why ideology invariably creates a totalitarian state.

 

The person who originated political correctness was Mao Zedong, the Chinese communist leader with the dreadful distinction of having caused more deaths than any person in human history—50 to 70 million, more than Stalin and Hitler combined.

Mao wrote down his rules for thought control in what was known as the “Little Red Book”.

 

biblical-worldview2-christianThe Biblical Worldview

Contrast Mao’s book, reportedly the second most widely printed book in history, with the Bible—the most widely printed and read book in history. Both books point to a “correct way” of thinking, speaking, believing, and behaving. But unlike Marxism and other bizarre ideologies that must be superimposed on us from the outside and thereby violate our minds and souls, the Bible’s fundamental principles do not conflict with conscience and human nature. ~David Kupelian

 

The Biblical Worldview is summed up in the terse, absolute, and unequivocal truth of the Ten Commandments, given to Moses many centuries ago, and still true and right today.

 

Moses and 10 cropThe Ten Commandments

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven images.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  10. Thou shalt not covet.

 

Tyrants cannot tolerate the first commandment, because they must play god themselves.

The Tenth Commandment against Envy

churchill-on-socialismThe tenth commandment at first glance seems to be the last and least of the ten, because it describes a thought, not an action. However, thought precedes action, does it not? And what kinds of actions does envy lead to?

Envy is the cornerstone of the socialist, fascist or communist philosophy. Winston Churchill described socialism as the “gospel of envy.”

 

 

People and nations who abide by the Ten Commandments enjoy more peace, happiness, and liberty than do any others. Yes, the Judeo-Christian culture happy-people-bibleis the best of all cultures, because of these aforementioned fruits. This is an unchangeable truth that tyrants cannot tolerate.

Thus we see that tyrants employ “Political Correctness”. They do not hesitate to lie, steal, and kill in order to enforce their “gospel of envy,” and to stamp out the truth that threatens their regime.

Quotations: Holy Spirit, Virtue, and Vice

Dinner Topics for Monday

Month-Defining Moment

Quotes by Alexander Pope

key“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.”

“What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.”

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

“Words are like Leaves; and where they most abound,
Much Fruit of Sense beneath is rarely found.”

Defining Moment

lineofdemarcationThere is a Line of Demarcation, well defined, between the Lord’s territory and the devil’s. If you stay on the Lord’s side of the line, you will have no desire to do wrong, but if you cross to the devil’s side of the line one inch, you are in the tempter’s power, and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly, because you will have lost the Spirit of the Lord. ~George Albert Smith

Character Education: Happiness and Self

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

Defining Moment

Defining Moment: Sometimes the simple act of reading definitions of words can give us interesting insights into life and ourselves.

Pleasure

Pleasure—sensual gratification, frivolous amusement

rollercoasterridePleasure is something that is enjoyable, but it is temporary; it does not last. Some examples of good pleasures might be: a delicious meal, dessert, a lovely fragrance, sight, or sound, a fun ride at an amusement park, a party, etc.

Some people find pleasure in harmful things, such as drugs, vile websites, etc. But the pleasure in such things is fleeting, so it becomes addictive, because a person seeks more and more for self-gratification.

Some pleasures might seem harmless, like video games, but they can be addictive, and cause harm because they waste a lot of time that could be used more productively.

Happiness

Happiness—a state of well-being and contentment

Notice that happiness is a state, or a condition. This means it is more lasting. “Joy” is also a more spiritual, lasting condition. Contentment means being satisfied with small things, not having unrealistic expectations, or obsessive and excessive desires, or insatiable appetites.

family3-silhouetteMany people find that happiness is elusive, because unlike pleasure, which might be more easily and quickly obtained, happiness is achieved. It usually takes effort or work, time, discipline of— rather than gratification of— self. It may be the product of a process of building good character; happiness results from a way of living. It is not always perceived by physical senses; it usually is not visible or touchable.

While pleasure is often linked to gratification of self, happiness is the opposite—a forgetfulness of self, lost in service, doing good for others, creating something beautiful or inspirational, helping others realize potential good, building good and lasting relationships with family and others. Happiness is associated with, and a result of righteousness. A prophet once said that wickedness never was happiness.

“The Lord’s [Jesus Christ’s] way is the only way for us to experience enduring happiness. His way brings sustained comfort to our souls and perennial peace to our homes.” ~Russell M. Nelson

Gospel Teachings: Jesus Christ, Cornerstone

Gospel Teachings: Jesus Christ, Cornerstone

Defining Moment

keyold“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

Ephesians 2:19–22

christ-cornerstoneFacts about the Cornerstone

L. Tom Perry (1922–2015)

What it is.

A cornerstone is the first stone placed upon a building’s foundation, in a corner of the structure.

What it does.

A cornerstone bears much of the weight of a building’s outer structure, and it connects and unites two of the walls. After it is placed, all other stones and their angles are measured out from it.

What its characteristics are.

Anciently, a cornerstone would normally be one of the largest, most solid stones a builder had to work with. The builder would examine his stones carefully and select the best one as a cornerstone, rejecting any stones that didn’t appear suitable.

What We Can Learn

A cornerstone:

Is the first. Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of all the Father’s children (see Colossians 1:15–17; Hebrews 1:6; D&C 93:21), the first to be resurrected (see 1 Corinthians 15:20), the one who was to “go to prepare a place for [us]” in His Father’s house (John 14:2), the “Beloved and Chosen from the beginning” (Moses 4:2), and “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

Unites. Jesus Christ “inviteth … all to come unto him” (2 Nephi 26:33). The Atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to repent, become sanctified through the Holy Ghost, and be reunited with Heavenly Father. The Apostle Paul showed that Jesus Christ, as the cornerstone, was the connecting point for the two “walls” of the Church in that day: the Apostles of the New Testament and the prophets of the Old Testament, perhaps illustrating the mix of Gentile and Jewish converts (see Ephesians 2:20). The prophets and apostles of today, along with those of old, help unite us in Christ—in His doctrine, His service, and His Church.

Aligns. Jesus Christ “marked the path and led the way, and ev’ry point defines” (“How Great the Wisdom and the Love,” Hymns, no. 195). He is our guide and our lawgiver, the one whose commandments we obey and whose words we heed.

Strengthens. Jesus Christ has taken upon Himself our sins so that we can be forgiven if we will repent. In this way, He strengthens us by removing the ill effects of sin. In addition, “the enabling power of the Atonement strengthens us to do and be good and to serve beyond our own individual desire and natural capacity” (David A. Bednar, “The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality,” Ensign, Apr. 2012, 42–43).

Open to All

“Our community of Saints is not one of exclusion but one of inclusion, built upon a foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. It is open to all of us who love, appreciate, and have compassion for our Father in Heaven’s children.”

Bible Facts

Psalm 118:22 refers to the Messiah, saying, “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” Jesus quoted this scripture in reference to Himself (see Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17), suggesting that although He would be “despised and rejected of men” in His day (Isaiah 53:3), He was in fact the Messiah and would bring salvation.

After the Savior’s Resurrection, Peter quoted this psalm when testifying of Jesus Christ to the people of Jerusalem (see Acts 4:11–12). He quoted it again in his first epistle, where he also mentioned another Old Testament verse that compares the Messiah to a cornerstone (see 1 Peter 2:6–7; Isaiah 28:16).