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Mission: To help young adults understand and rely on the teachings and Atonement of Jesus Christ, qualify for the blessings of the temple, and prepare themselves, their families, and others for eternal life with their Father in Heaven.

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Your Potential, Your Privilege

The following question was submitted in class last night – I have a few references that will be helpful to both the women and the men:

QUESTION:
Why do boys have such a problem asking good, worthy girls out on dates?

President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 2011:
Now, I have thought a lot lately about you young men who are of an age to marry but who have not yet felt to do so. I see lovely young ladies who desire to be married and to raise families, and yet their opportunities are limited because so many young men are postponing marriage.
This is not a new situation. Much has been said concerning this matter by past Presidents of the Church. I share with you just one or two examples of their counsel.
Said President Harold B. Lee, “We are not doing our duty as holders of the priesthood when we go beyond the marriageable age and withhold ourselves from an honorable marriage to these lovely women.”6
President Gordon B. Hinckley said this: “My heart reaches out to … our single sisters, who long for marriage and cannot seem to find it. … I have far less sympathy for the young men, who under the customs of our society, have the prerogative to take the initiative in these matters but in so many cases fail to do so.”7
I realize there are many reasons why you may be hesitating to take that step of getting married. If you are concerned about providing financially for a wife and family, may I assure you that there is no shame in a couple having to scrimp and save. It is generally during these challenging times that you will grow closer together as you learn to sacrifice and to make difficult decisions. Perhaps you are afraid of making the wrong choice. To this I say that you need to exercise faith. Find someone with whom you can be compatible. Realize that you will not be able to anticipate every challenge which may arise, but be assured that almost anything can be worked out if you are resourceful and if you are committed to making your marriage work.
Perhaps you are having a little too much fun being single, taking extravagant vacations, buying expensive cars and toys, and just generally enjoying the carefree life with your friends. I’ve encountered groups of you running around together, and I admit that I’ve wondered why you aren’t out with the young ladies.
Brethren, there is a point at which it’s time to think seriously about marriage and to seek a companion with whom you want to spend eternity. If you choose wisely and if you are committed to the success of your marriage, there is nothing in this life which will bring you greater happiness.
When you marry, brethren, you will wish to marry in the house of the Lord. For you who hold the priesthood, there should be no other option. Be careful lest you destroy your eligibility to be so married. You can keep your courtship within proper bounds while still having a wonderful time.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign, May 2011 : “Your Potential, Your Privilege” http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/your-potential-your-privilege?lang=eng

lds.org As you read the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets with all your heart and mind, the Lord will tell you how to live up to your priesthood privileges.

[03/20/12]   Don’t forget that we will NOT have Institute tomorrow night due to it being temple night for the Allen 7th YSA Branch. Make sure you get to the temple, and keep reading your scriptures every day! I’ll see you next week – we will be in 2 Kings 20-25, Nahum, Zephaniah, and Habakkuk.

Timing - Dallin H. Oaks

It was awesome to have SO MANY of you come out to Institute last night! We were rockin’!

Remember to focus on the Savior as you study Isaiah 48-66. There are powerful prophecies therein that will increase your understanding and appreciation for the Atonement, which will increase your reliance on Him when you face adversity and suffering.

There was ONE question submitted last night:

• “How can you want something good so badly but it isn’t right for you?”

Here are a few of my favorite references with regard to this question:

http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=684

http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/good-better-best?lang=eng&query=good+better+best

speeches.byu.edu BYU Devotional

[03/05/12]   Here are a few things to be looking for in Isaiah 24-47:

• Look for what Isaiah taught and prophesied concerning the Second Coming
• Look for Joseph Smith in his prophecies, particularly in Isaiah 29
• ALWAYS look for the Savior in Isaiah – remember that He is the center of Isaiah’s prophecies.

I’m looking forward to being with you tomorrow night. I recommend reading the chapter headings for Isaiah 24-47, then select a few chapters to focus on.

[02/24/12]   Look for references in Isaiah that teach us of the Savior and His Atonement. Come to Institute on Tueday excited to get into Isaiah. Most people try to "run" from Isaiah, however, I'm confident that by the time class is over on Tuesday, you'll be inspired and love Isaiah too!

[02/02/12]   These are the questions that some of you submitted to me. I hope you’ll join in and respond (Remember that I don’t respond to each question on purpose – to get more of you involved)

• What constitutes the spirit of the fast for someone who cannot fully abstain from food and drink (health complications)?

• Where can I get guidance about the loss of a loved one?

• There is a constellation on the back of the Salt Lake Temple. What does it symbolize and do all temples have one? If so, are they the same one?

o That constellation is the Big Dipper. I do not know if it is on any other temples, but this is why it is on the Salt Lake Temple:
o High on the west center tower is a depiction of the Big Dipper, a constellation used by travelers for thousands of years to find the North Star. It is an appropriate symbol for the temple where patrons come to get their bearings on the journey home.
o Every temple is built with various symbols in place. An example would be the Mt. Timpanogos Temple. There is an array of designs and colors in many of the windows, symbolizing the revelation we can receive in the temple, especially that it can be “colored” [catered] to the variety of individuals who petition the Lord therein. The Salt Lake Temple is likely the most “decorated” temple when it comes to symbols. It’s exciting to study the meaning of these many symbols on the Salt Lake Temple. Perhaps sometime I will go through it with y’all.

[01/31/12]   Don’t forget that we have Institute TONIGHT at 7:30! See you soon -

lds.org

Things as They Really Are - Liahona June 2010

Three questions were turned in and I want to pass them along to you. I would love to answer each one of them, but I want you to get involved! I will give a partial answer to one of them, but I hope many of you will choose a question to respond to, and share your insights:

• Where do you draw the line when it comes to media? I want to better understand what it means to not watch/play/read things that “glorify violence.” How can I use my judgment properly?

* Moroni 7

One thing my wife and I have decided for our family is to not only avoid R-rated movies, but we also do not watch PG-13 movies. I’m not suggesting that all PG-13 movies are evil, but often what influences that rating is something evil. Since it is impossible to judge without seeing the movie and being influenced by it, we decided not to allow that influence in our lives. It may seem extreme, but we can be so easily desensitized. Media can gradually affect us to accept bad influences. We figured it isn’t worth it. Also, we have to be careful about trusting those who set the ratings! Just because Hollywood labels something “PG” does not mean it is moral. We are also very selective with what TV shows we will watch. Overall, life is too busy and filled with too many good things to spend a ton of time in front of the TV anyway! As you can imagine, we also have strict standards with video games . . . we have a PS3 and a Wii, but none of the games are violent (unless you consider Lego Indiana Jones violent).
I highly recommend this talk to you:
http://lds.org/liahona/2010/06/things-as-they-really-are?lang=eng&query=virtual+(name%3a"David+A.+Bednar")

• How can I help others realize that bad things happen to good people?

• How can the Book of Mormon impact me the way it does for non-members learning about the Church?

lds.org I raise an apostolic voice of warning about the potentially stifling, suffocating, suppressing, and constraining impact of some kinds of cyberspace interactions and experiences upon our souls.

[01/24/12]   Remember that we have Institute tonight at the Allen Stake Center at 7:30. We’ll be examining the life and faithfulness of Job – we can all benefit from that!

I hope you’ve been able to do some reading in Job and have some insights into his character. See you tonight!

[01/19/12]   We are starting an Institute class at Collin College McKinney today (room B106). We'll meet at noon, and I'll provide lunch. If you know anyone who attends CPC or lives nearby, please let them know. Thanks!

[01/09/12]   Institute class starts up again tomorrow night at the Allen Stake Center. Find a Proverb that means a lot to you. Be prepared to share why.

See you tomorrow!

[12/31/11]   I have moved up the start date for Institute to January 10th to accommodate a new schedule. Please tell EVERYONE and join us at the Allen Stake Center on Tuesday, Jan. 10th, @ 7:30pm.

Every 3rd Tuesday of the month will be TEMPLE NIGHT (instead of Institute), so TUESDAYS are a very important day of the week!

[12/01/11]   Don't forget about Institute TONIGHT! This will be our last class of the semester - I'll bring something EXTRA delicious to eat! We will resume classes on Tuesday, January 17th.

[11/10/11]   Don’t forget about Institute tonight! We’re going to put Samson up against Ruth and see who comes out victorious!

lds.org

The Power of Scripture

2. How do I really study the scriptures?
http://lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/the-power-of-scripture?lang=eng

lds.org Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high.

lds.org

The Infinite Power of Hope

Two questions were submitted, please feel free to respond with your insights (I responded with a few references that have helped me a lot):

1. How do I increase hope?
http://lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/the-infinite-power-of-hope?lang=eng&query=infinite+power+hope

2. How do I really study the scriptures?
http://lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/the-power-of-scripture?lang=eng

lds.org Hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges.

[11/03/11]   We’ll be discussing the book of Joshua tonight in Institute – please come join us. I missed you all last week; I’m excited to be with you again.

lds.org

Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer

• How can I know that I am going in the right direction?

o http://lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/using-the-supernal-gift-of-prayer?lang=eng&query=using+supernal

• If I have been diligently searching and trying to understand how the Lord sends me promptings, but do not feel that I always understand how He does so, how can I learn to interpret how He communicates with me?
(I e-mailed several quotes to help respond to this question)

lds.org Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul.

[10/20/11]   Don’t forget to join us at Institute TONIGHT. We will be discussing the book of Deuteronomy and the Christ-like life of Moses. I’m looking forward to being with you!

[10/14/11]   Only one question was submitted on the reading reports, but it is a GREAT one:

•The Prophet has said that no other success can compensate for failure in the home. What should you do if your family hinders your participation in the Church?

“Years ago, way back when I was just about 11 or 12, I remember my father had received his paycheck on Wednesday and finally came home Friday night. Nothing was left. There wasn’t any food in the house – at least very little. I had saved 67 cents for tithing. He took me by the hand and pulled me into his bedroom and said, ‘Vaughn, I understand you have 67 cents saved for tithing.’ I said, ‘Yes, I do.’ He said, ‘Vaughn, the Church doesn’t need your money.’ That was true. In those days you could buy a loaf of bread for 14 cents, a small loaf for a nickel, and you could buy a quart of milk for 14 cents. The money could have at least bought our family’s supper. So he said, ‘Vaughn, the Church doesn’t need your money. It has millions of dollars.’ That may have been true. Then he said, ‘Your brothers and sisters are hungry. We need that money for food. I want you to go get your money and give it to me.’ I remember I stood there. I couldn’t move. The tears came to my eyes. He was my father. I couldn’t say no. But I couldn’t move. I just stood there. I thought, ‘No, I’m not going to get it.’ A second time, a little heavier, he said, ‘I’m telling you, go get your tithing money.’ It was like my shoes were nailed to the floor. The tears came faster, and I didn’t move again. He was a big man. Then a third time, threateningly, he said, ‘I’m telling you Vaughn, you go get the tithing money.’ I remember standing there thinking, ‘I don’t care if he beats me, I’m not going to give it to him. It’s not my money. It’s the Lord’s money, and I’m not going to give it to him.’ My mother must have heard part of the conversation, because she came in and grabbed me, pulled me out of the bedroom, and said, ‘You let the boy alone. If he wants to pay his tithing, then he’s going to pay his tithing.’ I don’t think I’ve missed paying tithing in all the years since.”
- Vaughn J. Featherstone, BYU Devotional, Feb. 13, 2001

[10/07/11]   Questions submitted last night: • How can I go about receiving promptings from the Spirit?
• In the Millennium, will our bodies age like they do now (i.e. grey hair, wrinkles)?
• Why does the Lord allow me to remember past sins after being baptized?
• Does Heavenly Father continue to give us opportunities even when we skip out on some?
• I have been pondering about media we watch and have been wondering what we should and shouldn’t watch/read. I understand the basics outlined in For the Strength of Youth, but how picky should we be? Are common movies that may have mild swearing be considered sinful or what? Are they OK?

[10/07/11]   Just a heads up for next semester: Starting in January, class at the Allen Institute will be held on TUESDAYS rather than Thursdays. We will continue to meet at the Allen Stake Center. Please look ahead at your schedule and do your best to arrange it so that you can join us for Institute every Tuesday night @ 7:30

[09/23/11]   “The word of God, as found in the scriptures, in the words of living prophets, and in personal revelation, has the power to fortify the Saints and arm them with the Spirit so they can resist evil, hold fast to the good and find joy in this life.” - Ezra Taft Benson

[09/23/11]   Only two questions were submitted for us to answer as a class, and one of those was answered throughout the lesson, so here is our one question for the week (please respond with your insights, experiences, or references):

• How can I get the strength I need to actually heed the promptings I receive?

“As we increase our understanding and love for the Savior, His light will illuminate everything around us. We will then see evil for what it is.”
- Neal L. Anderson, Ensign, May 2005

[09/22/11]   Don't forget to come to INSTITUTE tonight!!! See you at 7:30!

[09/16/11]   A few more questions: • Once we know what to do to magnify what we love, how do we find ways to learn how?

• Why is it so hard for people/members not to make peace with issues in the past?

• Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart until the time that all of the firstborn of the Egyptians died? (see JST footnote for each time the scriptures say that “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart)

institute.lds.org

Pearl of Great Price Student Manual - Religion 327 - Abraham 1:20 - 31 - Pharaoh, King of Egypt

Another question: • Where can I go to find a history lesson about Egypt/Israel?
o http://institute.lds.org/manuals/pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/pgp-3-a1-20.asp
o http://institute.lds.org/manuals/pearl-of-great-price-student-manual/pgp-3-a3-f.asp
o http://institute.lds.org/manuals/old-testament-institute-student-manual-1/ot-in1-04-exo-9.asp

institute.lds.org Elder Bruce R. McConkie, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote: “After the immersion of the earth in the waters of Noah came a day of new beginning. As in Adam’s day, the faithful lived under a theocratic system, and as in the days before the flood, those who chose to live after the m...

lds.org

“Live in Thanksgiving Daily” - Ensign Sept. 2001

Here are some questions students turned in tonight. Feel free to answer or give a reference:
• Why is it so hard sometimes to notice the small things God does for us?
o http://lds.org/ensign/2001/09/live-in-thanksgiving-daily?lang=eng&query=living+thanksgiving+daily

lds.org From a devotional address given at Brigham Young University on 31 October 2000. Living in thanksgiving daily is a habit that will enrich our lives and the lives of those we love.

[09/09/11]   I answered the questions last week, now you get to respond:
1.If women are blessed and trusted by the Lord to have children, why is it that some women can’t have children? Are they cursed?
2.Could I just marry anyone who aligns with the gospel?
3.How can I rely more on the Spirit during frustrating times?
4.What is the most important decision we make?
5.Why don’t Mosiah’s sons take his place as king?
You’ll find some good answers to some of these questions in the slides I sent last night.

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