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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Because I know we are all children of God, I will share the gospel with others

Salt Lake University 2nd Ward FHE idea

Song: “Called to Serve” CS,#174

Scripture: D&C 71:1

Thought: Sydney S. Reynolds, “Sharing Time: Let Your Light Shine,” Friend, Oct 1999, 37

Have a large world map or a globe available. Have your children choose a place where they might someday serve a mission. Ask what they might need to learn about their mission locales? What preparations might they need to make to serve a mission anywhere? (learn another language, to cook, to work hard, to talk to people, to be kind, to sew a button and mend a rip, to wash clothes, to lead music, to conduct a meeting, to offer prayers, to tell the Joseph Smith story, to know what we believe [the Articles of Faith], to know the Book of Mormon, to bear testimony). Let each child choose a few things they think will be important and present one to the rest of the family by pantomime, reciting, singing a song, role-playing, etc. (Allow each person a couple of minutes). When the children have finished talk about things we all should be doing every day to be good examples and to share our testimonies and invite friends to Church meetings and activities. The July 2008 Friend has a great resource for this.  Share your feelings about the missionary work we do by example and calling.

General Authority Message: President Hinckley
I am optimistic concerning the work of the Lord. I realize, of course, that we are beset in the world with many tragic problems. I have been in areas where war rages and hate smolders in the hearts of people. I have watched with alarm the crumbling morals of our society. And yet I am optimistic. I have a simple and solemn faith that right will triumph and that truth will prevail. 

When I left for a mission years ago, my good father handed me a card on which were written five words: “Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36). I believe in the triumph of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the triumph of the Church and kingdom of God on the earth. The Lord declared that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached … for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14). Can it possibly be accomplished? I remember an insight that suggested how it can happen. I met a woman in South America who had just joined the Church. Fired by a great love for that which she had found, she had gone about enthusiastically telling others. During a period of only seven months since her baptism, she had referred 300 acquaintances to the missionaries. At one point, 60 had come into the Church.

Yes, this work requires sacrifice, it requires effort, it requires courage to speak out and faith to try. As Paul wrote to Timothy: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” (2 Tim. 1:7–8).

I wish that every member of this Church would put those words where he might see them every morning as he begins his day. They would give us the courage to speak up; they would give us the faith to try; they would strengthen our conviction of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that more miracles would happen over the earth. I know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that this is Their holy work.

Song: “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission”, CS #169

The Temple is a Blessing for Me and My Family.

Salt Lake University 2nd Ward June Family Home Evening

Song: “Families Can Be Together Forever”, CS #188

Scripture: D&C 124:40

Thought: adapted from The Friend July 2004, 37.

To help children learn about the ordinances and blessings of the temple, cut a picture of a temple into four puzzle pieces. You can easily print off a temple picture picture from Label each piece with the following scripture references and songs:

(1) Baptism for the dead—D&C 127:6–7, “When Jesus Christ Was Baptized” 
(p. 102, second verse),
(2) Confirmation—D&C 20:41, “I Like My Birthdays” (p. 104, third verse),
(3) Endowment—D&C 105:12, “I Love to See the Temple” (p. 95),
(4) Marriage and Sealing—D&C 132:46, “Families Can Be Together Forever” (p. 188).

Using two people, have one stand outside the room while another hides the first puzzle piece. Have the first person come back in and look for the puzzle piece as the family gives clues by singing the suggested song more loudly as the person gets closer to the puzzle piece and more softly as he or she moves farther away. Stick the puzzle piece on the wall. Read the scripture references and discuss the ordinance. For younger children you may want a picture to illustrate the ordinance. Choose more family members to repeat the process.

General Authority Message: Special Witness: Elder Russell M. Nelson Friend, April 2008, 22.

I’m not old enough to go to the temple. What can I learn about it?
A temple is literally the house of the Lord, reserved for ordinances of eternal significance. Those ordinances include baptisms, marriages, endowments, and sealings. The temple is closed on the Sabbath so that people can attend church and be with their families on that hallowed day. We must qualify for admission to the temple. We prepare physically, intellectually, and spiritually. In the temple, all are dressed in spotless white. Obedience to the sacred covenants made in temples qualifies us for eternal life—the greatest gift of God to man.

President Henry B. Eyring, Special Witness of Christ Video segment “I Love to See the Temple”

Song: “I Love to See the Temple”, CS #95

Heavenly Father Planned For Me To Come To A Family.

May Family Home Evening

Song: “Love Is Spoken Here”, CS #191

Scripture: 3 Nephi 22:13

Thought: adapted from Margaret Lifferth, “Sharing Time: My Family Can Be Forever,” Friend, Apr 2005, 13.

We can strengthen our family in the gospel in our homes. The family will move from room to room for brief activities. Help the child or children to lead or teach at a station as much as possible.

In the living room 

Older Children: Lead children on a scripture chase Include the following scriptures: D&C 19:38 (praying), D&C 1:37 (reading scriptures), John 14:15 (keeping the commandments), Ex. 20:12 (honoring parents), D&C 119 (paying tithing), and D&C 59:9 (attending meetings).

Younger Children: Conduct a similar activity—instead of using scriptures, ask the children to identify the principles as shown in pictures from the GAK.

In the kitchen have the children make a simple sack puppet (see TNGC,176–77). Show pictures of various foods and substances. Have the children open the puppet’s mouth if the food or substance shown is good for them and close the puppet’s mouth if it is not.

In the bedroom review with the children how to pray with the second verse of “I Pray in Faith” (p. 14) or by discussing the Lord’s Prayer (see Matt. 6:9–13). Help the children make cutouts of the sun and moon to remind them to pray morning and night.

General Authority Message: Special Witness: Pres. Ezra Taft Benson Friend, May 2001, inside front cover
The family unit is forever, and you should do everything in your power to strengthen that unit. In your own family, encourage family home evenings and be an active participant. Encourage family prayer and be on your knees with your family in that sacred circle. Do your part to develop real family unity and solidarity. …

Your most important friendships should be with your own brothers and sisters and with your father and mother. Love your family. Be loyal to them. Have a genuine concern for your brothers and sisters.

Remember, the family is one of God’s greatest fortresses against the evils of our day. Help keep your family strong and close and worthy of our Father in Heaven’s blessings. As you do, you will receive faith and strength which will bless your lives forever.

Next, … participate in a program of daily reading and pondering of the scriptures. …
Of the four great standard works of the Church … I would particularly urge you to read again and again the Book of Mormon and ponder and apply its teachings. The Book of Mormon was referred to by the Prophet Joseph Smith as “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion” (History of the Church, vol. 4, page 461).

Young [people], the Book of Mormon will change your life. It will fortify you against the evils of our day. It will bring a spirituality into your life that no other book will. It will be the most important book you will read in preparation for a mission and for life.

Song: “Seek the Lord Early”, CS #108