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Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 14th Lesson

Faithfulness in Times of Trial:
"From the Shadows into the Glorious Sunshine"
We had a great lesson this week that came from the Teachings of Lorenzo Snow chapter 7.

We started the lesson off with an analogy of being camping and needing to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. We don't know what scary things might be out in the darkness, and a lot of the time all we have is a dim flashlight. The darkness represents our trials, and the flashlight represents our faith.

2 Nephi 2:11 speaks of opposition in all things. Even though our trials will be hard they will help us improve. pages 110 and 111 in the book speak of how we are made perfect through our suffering, and that even our Savior had to suffer trials.

I love a passage from page 113 we read. It says: "If a stormy cloud sweep over the horizon...; if the cup of bitter suffering be offered, and you compelled to partake; Satan let loose to go among you, with all his seductive powers of persecution lifted against you;-then, in that hour, lift up your heads and rejoice that you are accounted worthy to suffer thus with Jesus, the saints, and holy prophets; and know that the period of your redemption has approached."

Though we might not see our blessing in the midst of trials, we can receive much through our suffering.
We can gain knowledge
Our faith and hope grow and our light will increase. Just like a brighter flashlight in the night will illuminate a few more feet ahead, through exercised faith we will be able to see a litter farther and increase in knowledge.
Peace will come
Like in the quote above, the time will come when we can rest from our suffering. There is light, and it will come.
We can help others
The light we gain from our trials will enable us to help others through their trials. We can share our light through visiting teaching, being a good friend, even acts of kindness as simple as a smile.

No matter what trials we are called to face, the Lord will be there for us. He will not turn away from us, so run to Him!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

Jesus the Christ

Since it was Easter and the fifth Sunday of the month Relief Society and Priesthood combined and our Bishopric gave the lesson. The lesson material came from the book Jesus the Christ written by James E. Talmage. Anyone unfamiliar with James E. Talmage just know he is brilliant, and this book is so amazing! I encourage everyone to get a copy and study from Jesus the Christ. It is a tough read, but the sacrifice put into reading it will strengthen ones testimony of the Beloved Son of God.

This beautiful Easter I hope we have all taken time to reflect on the Savior's life, sacrifice, atonement, death, and resurrection.

Rather than go over points of the lesson today I want to bear my testimony of the Savior. I know that Christ is the literal Son of God. He lived a perfect life, and spent His days teaching the gospel and serving. He showed love to all He met and performed miracles. He performed the perfect and infinite Atonement. I know he suffered for all my sins, pains, and heart aches. He understands all I have been through because He has been through it too. He was beaten, mocked, and killed in the cruelest of ways, but He endured all things with love. Christ rose with a perfectly resurrected body, and broke the bands of death that we may also be resurrected and return to the presence of our Father and and Him our Savior. Jesus Christ knows me and every detail of my life. He loves me so much and each of us individually. He cares and will always be there for me when I turn to Him. When we run to Him, He will meet us half way. He will morn with us, and dry our tears. Through Him everything that is wrong will be made right. I know these things are true in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 24th Lesson

Being a More Christian Christian 

Our lesson this week in Relief Society came from Robert D. Hales talk from last conference "Being a More Christian Christian. Below is a link to his talk which I encourage everyone to reread/relisten to; it is so great.

What does it me to be a Christian?

Think about this for a minute. What do you think it means to be Christian?
We discussed that it means to...
Take upon the name of Christ
Testify of Him
Know of the divinity of the Godhead and
Follow the example of Christ

We read scripture that show what it means to be Christian.

Matthew 4:18-20
Christ says to follow Him and He will make us fishers of men. Peter and Andrew left everything and followed Christ.

Mark 8:34
Christ asks us to deny ourselves (by putting off the natural man) and follow Him.

Mosiah 5:2
We are asked to do good continually.

Even if we falter in following the Lord, we can always return to Him. He will never leave us.

We sang hymn 270 "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" which as great incite on what it means to be Christian.
"I'll go where you want me to go,
I'll say what you want me to say,
I'll be what you want me to be."

The Lord needs us to be His valiant Christians. Elder Hale gives us ways to become more Christian by strengthening our Christlike attributes. These include:
Endurance to the End
By working on these attributes we can come closer to the Lord, learn to follow Him, and prepare ourselves for the Celestial Kingdom.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 10th Lesson

Ward Conference

For our Relief Society Meeting during ward conference we had speakers from the stake relief society presidency and stake presidency.

Our theme for ward conference was Moroni 10:32
"Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him..."

The first part of the lesson focused on the theme. I encourage us to go back and review this scripture and think about what it means to Come unto Christ. Along with coming unto Christ for ourselves, it is important for us to invite others to church and Christ.

Sister Allen spoke on her experience running a marathon and related it to the gospel. Her journey through training for her marathon turned into a spiritual journey. Things the marathon taught her were...
*We can't make it through this life alone we need others and we need Christ.
*Pray to the Father-what is important to us is important to Him.
*Endure to the end-there are people who love us along the way cheering us on!

We had a beautiful violin solo with a medley of the songs I feel my Saviors Love, I'm Trying to be like Jesus, and Our Saviors Love.

Brother Allen spoke more on the importance of coming unto Christ. He talked of a man he and his companion converted on their mission. He fell away later and through other missionaries was able to renew his testimony again. Even if we have accepted the gospel and turned away it is possible to return to the Savior. His arms are always stretched out waiting for us to return to Him. The gospel will change our lives if we let it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday, February 3rd Lesson

Count your Blessings

What blessings do we receive from the Gospel?
*Christ's Atonement- Sacrament
*Eternal Families
*Baptism-gift of the Holy Ghost
*Knowledge that we are children of God
*Prayer- the Heavens are open

This list can go on and on. I invite you to ponder on the blessings you receive from the gospel.

We are so blessed to have the gospel in our lives, and it is our responsibility to share these blessing with those who are searching for the truth.

A missionaries journal shares the story of one convert named Gertrude Specht. She invited the missionaries in  to talk religion and revealed to them that she had 3 PhD's dealing with religion, and was the religion teacher at the near by university. She accepted a Book of Mormon from them and read it. She ended up reading the Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and many other church writing. At her baptism she expressed her feelings saying to the members "I don't think you understand what you have". Without the gospel she had been in a famine starving for the truth, and not even her PhD's could fill her. There are many others like Gertrude out in the world that are starving for the truth we have because they don't know where to find it. They need us to bear our testimonies unashamed of the truth.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sunday, January 20th Lesson

Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost
Chapter 2 from Teachings of Presidents of the Church Lorenzo Snow

President Snow tells his baptism story on page 47 of the book. He was a convert, but at first had anxiety about being baptized. He knew that by being baptized he would have to put away the world. "Through the help of the Lord... I laid down pride, worldly ambition... humble as a child, went to the waters of baptism, and received the ordinances of the gospel."

At baptism we promise to...
Be a witness of Christ
Take upon us the name of Christ
Remember Him
and keep His commandments

In return the Lord promises that we can...
Receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost
Have a remission of our sins
Be born again

Each week when we partake of the Sacrament we renew these covenants. The Sacrament is like being re-baptized.
Baptism is an outward ordinance connected to our inward works of faith and repentance.

The steps to return to our Heavenly Father are...
Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
Endure to the end.

Remember that Baptism is the gate that opens the way. It is essential for each of us to be baptized and live our covenants to return to Him.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday, January 13th Lesson

The Power of Thought

At the beginning of our lesson each of us received a "Clicker". During the first minutes we counted up on our clickers all the negative things that happened to us throughout our week. This list includes: snow, cold, school, the news, boys. As you can guess the feelings that came with all these things were negative as well.
Then we counted up all the positive things during our week including: sunshine, the temple, missions, boys. As we thought about all the good things we were lifted up with positive feelings.

The idea of the Clickers came from Hilary Weeks after she heard that the average person has 300 negative thoughts a day. She decided to test this, so she got a clicker and counted up all the negative thoughts she had a day. At the end of a week she was feeling so depressed from concentrating on these negative feelings. She then decided to count up all her positive thoughts, and her attitude drastically changed.

Along with the clicker we got a hand out that says:
What is Clicking?!!?

*We become what we think about.
*We think about what we focus on.
*Clicking is about learning and developing what we focus on.

D&C 121:45
"and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God"

Drops of Awesome! I thought. Every time you do something good, something kind, something productive, it's a drop in your Bucket of Awesome. You don't lose drops for every misstep. You can only build. You can only fill.

Drops of Awesome was another idea focused on in the lesson similar to the clicker. Every time we do, think, or say, something good or kind it is a Drop of Awesome into our bucket. Just like it says above, the drops can't be taken away or diminished by a bad or neglectful deed. This helps us to focus on the good we do which rewards us with joy and in return helps us to do more good.
It is also important to remember the Atonement fills our buckets as well. Even when our accumulated drops of awesome seem meager, the Savior fills our buckets and our souls to overflowing.

(Wendy has plenty of extra "clickers" if anyone missed Sunday and would like one to remind them about thinking positively.)