RS

RS

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Weekly Update - January 25th - January 31st

Faith

 

Lesson Review:

"Joseph Smith" 

 

General Conference Address - Oct. 2014

Doctrine:

Jesus Christ chose a holy man, a righteous man, to lead the Restoration of the fullness of His gospel.  He chose Joseph Smith.  His spiritual work began with the appearance of the Father and the Son, followed by numerous heavenly visitations.  He was the instrument in God's hands in bringing forth sacred scripture, lost doctrine, and the restoration of the priesthood.





Invitation to Action: 

 
The importance of Joseph's work requires more than intellectual consideration; it requires that we, like Joseph, "ask of God."

Each believer needs a spiritual confirmation of the divine mission and character of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  This is true for every generation.  Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God.

There will be family members and friends who will need your help.  Now is the time to adjust your own spiritual oxygen mask so that you are prepared to help others who are seeking the truth.

 



 
Promised Blessings:

A testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith can come differently to each of us.  It may come as you kneel in prayer, asking God to confirm that he was a true prophet.  It may come as you read the Prophet's account of the First Vision.  A testimony may distill upon your soul as you read the Book of Mormon again and again.  It may come as you bear your own testimony of the Prophet or as you stand in the temple and realize that through Joseph Smith the holy sealing power was restored to the earth.  With faith and real intent, your testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith will strengthen.  The constant water balloon volleys from the sidelines may occasionally get you wet, but they need never, never extinguish your burning fire of faith.

 


 Read or Listen to the entire lesson here:  
 





 

FAMILY



Valentines Day is just around the corner.  It's always a great time to think about our marriages and make a commitment to strengthen them if necessary.

"Marriage is a divine institution, ordained of God. Achieving success in the home is a supernal challenge—no other success can compensate for it. Unless, however, a husband and wife learn to work together as one, marriage can also be an infernal ordeal. There are too many unhappy marriages in the world today. There are too many marriages that do not stay the course, ending prematurely in divorce. There are too many children who are silently suffering from a lack of nurturing and care because their parents’ union is unhappy or dissolved.

The union between husband and wife is not something to be trifled with. The marriage covenant is essential for the Lord to accomplish His divine purposes. Consistently the Lord has declared that His divine laws were instituted to safeguard and protect the holy union between husband and wife."



 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1995/04/an-elect-lady?lang=eng&query=stregthening+marriages

 

RELIEF



Service changes people. It refines, purifies, gives a finer perspective, and brings out the best in each one of us. It gets us looking outward instead of inward. It prompts us to consider others’ needs ahead of our own. Righteous service is the expression of true charity, such as the Savior showed.

The wonderful thing about service is that there is no end to it. As President Benson says, “Therefore, let us serve one another with brotherly love, never tiring of the demands upon us, being patient and persevering and generous.” (So Shall Ye Reap, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1960, pp. 173–74.)
Yes, as we give Christlike service, it helps us grow spiritually, “[put] off the natural man and [become] a saint” (Mosiah 3:19)—that is, one who is honestly trying to follow the Savior and doing what He would want us to do. What a marvelous feeling it is to have the Spirit of the Lord poured out more abundantly upon us as we bear one another’s burdens and share with and mourn with those in need. (See Mosiah 18:8–10.)
 
 

 https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1990/04/the-spirituality-of-service?lang=eng&query=service


Sweeping the Earth As If a Flood:

 
 

What is the role of the Book of Mormon in conversion?

The Book of Mormon is powerful evidence of the divinity of Christ and proof of the Restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith. An essential part of conversion is receiving a witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. As a missionary, you must have a personal testimony that the Book of Mormon is true.

Understand the role of the Book of Mormon

Study “What Is the Role of the Book of Mormon?” (Chapter 5 in Preach My Gospel), and take notes in the margin to summarize what you learn. Talk with a family member, friend, or neighbor about what you have learned about the Book of Mormon.

Learn how the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ

Read the section titled “The Book of Mormon Testifies of Christ” on page 105 of Preach My Gospel. Study and mark the scriptures listed at the end of the section. Talk with your parents about what you learned from those scriptures. Ask the full-time missionaries how they help investigators understand that the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ.

Why should we read the Book of Mormon?

Read the last two paragraphs of the introduction page of the Book of Mormon. Determine how you would share these paragraphs to invite someone to read the Book of Mormon. Find someone in your community, school, or workplace to invite to read the Book of Mormon.

Responding to objections and concerns

Read “Use the Book of Mormon to Respond to Objections” on pages 108–9 in Preach My Gospel. With a family member or friend, role-play responding to the objections and concerns listed in the box on page 109.

Find answers to questions of the soul

Study “The Book of Mormon Answers Questions of the Soul” on pages 107–8 of Preach My Gospel, and watch “Questions of the Soul” (5:08) from The District. Ask a returned missionary or the full-time missionaries what questions of the soul they have been asked during their mission and how they have used the Book of Mormon to answer these questions. Find and share with a family member or friend other scriptures from the Book of Mormon that could help answer these types of questions.

Invite others to read the Book of Mormon

Study Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “Safety for the Soul” (16:48), and ponder your own testimony of the Book of Mormon. What sacrifices were made by Joseph Smith and others to bring forth the Book of Mormon? Also watch “Invitation to Read the Book of Mormon: Alejandra” (5:18) from The District. Think of people you can share the Book of Mormon with. What can you do to inspire them to want to read it?
 

Relief Society Announcements:



Congratulations to Shantelle Oliphant who had her baby last week!

"Becoming a More Holy Woman" - Stake Relief Society Fireside will be March 1 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at the Stake Center.  Please dress Sunday best.  There will be no nursery provided.

 

Lesson Schedule for February:

February 1st - President's Instruction
February 8th - Ezra Taft Benson #3 - "Freedom of Choice, an Eternal Principle"
January 18th - Ezra Taft Benson #4 - "Living Joyfully I Troubled Times"
January 25th - Teachings For Our Time



2015 Relief Society Curriculum:

Teachings of President's of the Church - Ezra Taft Benson

  
Recipes on the blog:

If you have a recipe you would like to share send them to:  drbennett1@hotmail.com or call or text them to 208-351-7083. We would love to have your favorite holiday recipes!

Visit the ward recipe blog:  www.burton4threcipes.blogspot.com

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly Update January 18th - 24th

Faith

 

Lesson Review:

"Pray Always" 

  Ezra Taft Benson - Chapter2



Doctrine:

"Remember that whatever you do or wherever you are, you are never alone.  Our Heavenly Father is always near.  You can reach out and receive His aid through prayer.  Thank God we can reach out and tap that unseen power, without which no man can do his best." - Ezra Taft Benson

"Men ought always to pray, and not to faint."  (Luke 18:1)

"Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation." (Matthew 26:41)

"Pray always lest that wicked one have power in you, and remove you out of your place."
 (D&C 93:49)




Invitation to Action: 

If we would advance in holiness-increase in favor with God-nothing can take the place of prayer.  And so I adjure you to give prayer - daily prayer - secret prayer - a foremost place in your lives.  Let no day pass without it.  Communion with the Almighty has been a source of strength, inspiration, and enlightenment to men and women through the world's history who have shaped the destinies of individuals and nations for good.



Promised Blessings:

Families that pray together are blessed with stronger ties of love and the peace of heaven.

There is power in prayer.  All things are possible through prayer.

"It is my testimony, my bothers and sisters and friends, that God does hear and answer prayers.  I have never doubted that fact.  From childhood, at my mother's knee where I first learned to pray; as a young man in my teens; as a missionary in foreign lands; as a father; as a church leader; as a government official, I know without any question that it is possible for men and women to reach out in humility and prayer and tap that Unseen Power; to have prayers answered.  Man does not stand alone, or at least, he need not stand alone.  Prayer will open doors; prayer will remove barriers; prayer will ease pressures; prayer will give inner peace and comfort during times of strain and stress and difficulty.  Thank God for prayer.  - Testimony of Ezra Taft Benson





 Read or Listen to the entire lesson here:  



FAMILY


Families Come First

Maybe we are one of the lucky ones who was raised in a happy and secure family with two loving parents. Maybe we weren’t, and growing up was tough without the love and support we longed for. Likely, as an adult you want a happy home for your family. Living peacefully in a family isn’t always easy, but in God’s restored Church, marriage and families are the most important social unit now and in eternity.
 
People who have lived through a disaster never say, "All I could think about during the earthquake was my bank account." They almost always say, "All I could think about was my wife and children." It shouldn’t require a disaster for us to know this truth. But too often, we let earning money, chasing pleasure, or even the needs of people outside our families divert our attention. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints families come first.


  

RELIEF



Can you believe we are more than half way through the month of January?  If you haven't done your visiting teaching please make sure you make your appointments now!  It is a great message about Obedience.



“A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important. A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence. But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently. The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life." —Julie B. Beck (Liahona, May 2010, 10-11)


Sweeping the Earth As If a Flood:


"With your guidance, those you lead will be able to see, want, and believe they can achieve their full potential for service in God’s kingdom." 


"God knows our gifts. My challenge to you and to me is to pray to know the gifts we have been given, to know how to develop them, and to recognize the opportunities to serve others that God provides us. But most of all, I pray that you will be inspired to help others discover their special gifts from God to serve.
 
I promise you that if you ask, you will be blessed to help and lift others to their full potential in the service of those they lead and love. I testify to you that God lives, Jesus is the Christ, this is the priesthood of God, which we hold, and God has prepared us with special gifts to serve Him beyond our fondest hopes. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."  - President Henry B. Eyring
 

Relief Society Announcements:


Lesson manuals - If you or any of the ladies you visit teach have not received an Ezra Taft Benson lesson manual or the teaching schedule please get with a member of the presidency.  They would like to make sure everyone who wants one gets a copy.

Have you had the chance to see all the cute new babies in the ward?

Congratulations to all the new moms and their families.

Calvin Ryan Hansen
Born:  November 14, 2014
8 lbs. 21 oz. - 21 inches
 
James "Madsen" Ball
Born:  November 21, 2014
10 lbs. 11 oz. - 21 inches
 
Noelle Collinwood
Born:  December 19, 2014
7 lbs - 19 inches

Lesson Schedule for January:



January 4th - President's Instruction
January 11th - Ezra Taft Benson #1 - "The Great Commandment" -  Love the Lord
January 18th - Ezra Taft Benson #2 - "Pray Always"
January 25th - Teachings For Our Time - "Joseph Smith" by Elder Neil L. Anderson - November General Conference


2015 Relief Society Curriculum:

Teachings of President's of the Church - Ezra Taft Benson

  
Recipes on the blog:

If you have a recipe you would like to share send them to:  drbennett1@hotmail.com or call or text them to 208-351-7083. We would love to have your favorite holiday recipes!

Visit the ward recipe blog:  www.burton4threcipes.blogspot.com



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Weekly Update - January 11th - January 17th

Faith

 

Lesson Review:

"The Great Commandment - Love the Lord" 

 

Ezra Taft Benson - Chapter 1

Doctrine:

The first and great commandment is to love the Lord.

The great test of life is obedience to God. “We will prove them herewith,” said the Lord, “to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:25).

The great task of life is to learn the will of the Lord and then do it.
The great commandment of life is to love the Lord.

“Come unto Christ,” exhorts Moroni in his closing testimony, “… and love God with all your might, mind and strength” (Moroni 10:32).

This, then, is the first and great commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30; see also Matthew 22:37; Deuteronomy 6:5; Luke 10:27; Moroni 10:32; D&C 59:5).

It is the pure love of Christ, called charity, that the Book of Mormon testifies is the greatest of all—that never faileth, that endureth forever, that all men should have, and that without which they are nothing (see Moroni 7:44–47; 2 Nephi 26:30).





Invitation to Action: 

Why did God put the first commandment first? Because He knew that if we truly loved Him we would want to keep all of His other commandments. “For this is the love of God,” says John, “that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3; see also 2 John 1:6).

We must put God in the forefront of everything else in our lives. He must come first, just as He declares in the first of His Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).

When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.

We should put God ahead of everyone else in our lives.







Promised Blessings:

When we choose to put God first in our lives, His blessing come in abundance.

Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life.

 


 Read or Listen to the entire lesson here:  




 

FAMILY

 

We had a wonderful sacrament meeting program on Sunday!  We were taught about the importance of having regular family home evening and family scripture study.

Here is what President Monson say's about Family Home Evening-

"We cannot afford to neglect this heaven-inspired program. It can bring spiritual growth to each member of the family, helping him or her to withstand the temptations which are everywhere. The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest."

As President Gordon B. Hinckley and his predecessors have stated, “The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place nor fulfill its essential functions.”


What makes family home evening successful?
  • Start and end with prayer. This invites the Spirit, increases love, and teaches your family how to pray.
  • Learn from the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets to help your family live the gospel.
  • Add music, such as hymns and Primary songs, to create an atmosphere of love, peace, and joy. 
  • Make it fun by playing games, acting out scripture stories, and making treats. Keep the atmosphere light and loving.
  • Be consistent. Monday nights are set aside by the Church for family home evening. If that doesn’t work, find a night that does.
  • Add variety. Help a neighbor in need, hold a lesson at the park, or go for a walk as a family.

Lori Fuller had a great article in the April 2013 church magazine.  She teaches that we should, "Build a strong foundation for you and your family through more consistent and meaningful scripture study."

She gives the following suggestions to help your family in your study:
-Study with a question.
-Study by topic.
-Study for guidance.
-Study with a promise.

President Ezra Taft Benson said,
"“When individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, … other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow.”


RELIEF

 

 The teaching part of Visiting Teaching is taught in the, "Teaching No Greater Call" manual.  Here is what is what we learn:
 
When you are assigned to be a visiting teacher, an important part of your responsibility is to “learn of the spiritual and temporal needs of the sister and her family” and to “give spiritual instruction through a monthly message” (Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2: Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders [1998], 203). You are a teacher of the gospel.

In order to teach the sisters assigned to you, you need to prepare yourself spiritually and learn to apply the principles of gospel teaching discussed in this book. You should also strive continually to improve your teaching (see “Making a Plan to Improve Your Teaching,” pages 24–27).

 As you select a message to share, remember the following instruction: “Visiting teachers give spiritual instruction through a monthly message. Messages that are published in the Ensign or the International Magazines are to be used as a guide and adapted to the needs of each sister” 

Prepare each visiting teaching message as carefully as you would prepare a lesson for a Church class.
 
The following suggestions will help you as you teach the sisters you visit:
  • Pray and read the scriptures together whenever possible. Use the scriptures at every appropriate opportunity. Bring them for each visit. Use them to answer questions or give counsel.
  • Follow the promptings of the Spirit as you teach.
  • Be sensitive to the time constraints of the sisters you visit.
  • Find ways for the sisters you visit to participate in the lessons. Show keen interest in what they have to say.
  • Testify of the truths you teach. Share examples of how to apply those truths in everyday life.
To read the entire lesson click on this link:
 https://www.lds.org/manual/teaching-no-greater-call-a-resource-guide-for-gospel-teaching/lesson-10-the-teaching-part-of-visiting-teaching?lang=eng&query=blessing+of+visiting+teaching

Sweeping the Earth As If a Flood:

 

 

Have you been tempted to share the gospel with someone who is close to you?  I loved this talk by Dallin H Oaks titled, "Sharing the Gospel."  He says, "I have concluded that we need three things to fulfill our prophet’s challenge. First, we need a sincere desire to share the gospel. Second, we need divine assistance. Third, we need to know what to do.

 Desire: 
As with so many other things, sharing the gospel begins with desire. If we are to become more effective instruments in the hands of the Lord in sharing His gospel, we must sincerely desire to do so. I believe we acquire this desire in two steps.
First, we must have a firm testimony of the truth and importance of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This includes the supreme value of God’s plan for His children, the essential position of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in it, and the role of The Church of Jesus Christ in carrying out that plan in mortality.
Second, we must have a love for God and for all of His children. In modern revelation we are told that “love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify [us] for the work” (D&C 4:5). The early Apostles of this dispensation were told that their love should “abound unto all men” (D&C 112:11).

Divine Assistance:
 We also need divine assistance to guide us in sharing the gospel. Just as our desires must be pure and rooted in testimony and love, our actions must be directed by the Lord. It is His work, not ours, and it must be done in His way and on His timing, not ours. Otherwise, our efforts may be fated to frustration and failure.

Know What to Do:
 When we have a sincere desire to share the gospel with others, and when we have sought divine assistance in our efforts, what should we do? How do we proceed? We begin by beginning. We should not wait for a further invitation from heaven. Revelation comes most often when we are on the move.

You can read the entire talk here:

He gives great perspective and wonderful ideas!

Relief Society Announcements:

 

Lesson manuals - If you or any of the ladies you visit teach have not received an Ezra Taft Benson lesson manual or the teaching schedule please get with a member of the presidency.  They would like to make sure everyone who wants one gets a copy.

 Lesson Schedule for January:

January 4th - President's Instruction
January 11th - Ezra Taft Benson #1 - "The Great Commandment" -  Love the Lord
January 18th - Ezra Taft Benson #2 - "Pray Always"
January 25th - Teachings For Our Time - "Joseph Smith" by Elder Neil L. Anderson - November General Conference


2015 Relief Society Curriculum:

Teachings of President's of the Church - Ezra Taft Benson

  
Recipes on the blog:

If you have a recipe you would like to share send them to:  drbennett1@hotmail.com or call or text them to 208-351-7083. We would love to have your favorite holiday recipes!

Visit the ward recipe blog:  www.burton4threcipes.blogspot.com



Saturday, January 10, 2015

Weekly update January 4th - 10th

Faith

Lesson Review:

"Strengthening and bearing your testimony."



Presidency Message


Doctrine:

A testimony is sure knowledge received from the Holy Ghost that"
  1. Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.
  2. Joseph Smith is the prophet through whom God restored the gospel.
  3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church and is led by prophets today.

 
Invitation to Action: 

From President Uchtorf in his talk, "Receiving a Testiomony of Light and Truth" from the Oct. 2014 conference:

"My dear friends, here is a fairly straightforward experiment, with a guarantee from God, found in a book of ancient scripture available to every man, woman, and child willing to put it to the test:
 
First, you must search the word of God. That means reading the scriptures and studying the words of the ancient as well as modern prophets regarding the restored gospel of Jesus Christ—not with an intent to doubt or criticize but with a sincere desire to discover truth. Ponder upon the things you will feel, and prepare your minds to receive the truth. “Even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you … that ye can give place for [the word of God].”
 
Second, you must consider, ponder, fearlessly strive to believe, and be grateful for how merciful the Lord has been to His children from the time of Adam to our day by providing prophets, seers, and revelators to lead His Church and help us find the way back to Him.
 
Third, you must ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unto you. Ask with a sincere heart and with real intent, having faith in Christ.
 
There is also a fourth step, given to us by the Savior: “If any man will do [God’s] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”  In other words, when you are trying to verify the truth of gospel principles, you must first live them. Put gospel doctrine and Church teachings to the test in your own life. Do it with real intent and enduring faith in God.
If you will do these things, you have a promise from God—who is bound by His word—that He will manifest the truth to you by the power of the Holy Ghost. He will grant you greater light that will allow you to look through the darkness and witness unimaginably glorious vistas incomprehensible to mortal sight."
 
 
 
 Promised Blessings:

Let us acknowledge that most often gaining a testimony is not a task of a minute, an hour, or a day. It is not once and done. The process of gathering spiritual light is the quest of a lifetime.
Your testimony of the living Son of God and His restored Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, may not come as quickly as you desire, but I promise you this: if you do your part, it will come.  And it will be glorious.
 
I offer you my personal witness that spiritual truth will fill your heart and bring light to your spirit. It will reveal to you pure intelligence with wonderful joy and heavenly peace. I have experienced this for myself by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 
As the ancient scriptures promise, the unspeakable presence of the Spirit of God will cause you to sing the song of redeeming love, lift your eyes to heaven, and raise your voice in praise to the Most High God, your Refuge, your Hope, your Protector, your Father. The Savior promised that if you seek, you will find.
 
I testify that this is true. If you seek God’s truth, that which now may appear dim, out of focus, and distant will gradually be revealed and clarified and become close to your heart by the light of God’s grace. Glorious spiritual vistas, unimaginable to the human eye, will be revealed to you.
It is my testimony that this spiritual light is within the reach of every child of God. It will enlighten your mind and bring healing to your heart and joy to your days. My dear friends, please do not delay the moment to seek and strengthen your own personal testimony of God’s divine work, even the work of light and truth.
 
Your personal testimony of light and truth will not only bless you and your posterity here in mortality, but it will also accompany you throughout all eternity, among worlds without end. Of this I testify and leave you my blessing in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. - President Uchtodolf
 
 
 
 
 Read or Listen to President Uchtodolf's talk here:  

FAMILY


 
 Happiness in Family Life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”
 
~ The Family: A Proclamation to the World 
 

RELIEF 

What is the purpose of visiting teaching?

 
Below is how the handbook defines a visiting teacher

Visiting teaching gives women the opportunity to watch over, strengthen, and teach one another. 

 Visiting teachers sincerely come to know and love each sister, help her strengthen her faith, and give service. … Taking into account each sister’s individual needs and circumstances, visiting teachers have regular contact (monthly if possible) with those they are assigned. When a personal visit is not possible, visiting teachers may use phone calls, letters, e-mail, or other means to watch over and strengthen sisters.

When appropriate, visiting teachers share a gospel message. See the current Visiting Teaching message.

 

 Visiting teachers give compassionate service during times of illness, death, and other special circumstances. 

 
 

Visiting teachers have important responsibilities to establish friendships with new members.  

 

Visiting teachers and other members may attend the [Gospel Principles] class to provide fellowship [for new members or investigators].

 

Ask yourself: Do I understand the importance of visiting teaching? Make a list of goals that will help you serve your sisters better. 



Please make sure to share January's Visiting Teaching Message with your sisters!




Sweeping the Earth As If a Flood: 

Sharing the gospel should be a natural part of life as a Latter-day Saint. As the Church grows, more and more people will ask questions, and it will be easier to respond with confidence if we pay attention to some basic principles.

One of those principles, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles teaches, is that the gift of discernment operates best when we are listening. So while talking about the Church, remember that it may help to ask clarifying questions and to do as much listening as we do talking. With that principle in mind, here are seven simple suggestions for sharing the gospel: 

 

1.  LIVE YOUR RELIGION. A Latter-day Saint’s life is his or her best sermon. Our conversations ought to be open, genuine, and engaged in with a spirit of kindness. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are most believable when our actions are in harmony with our beliefs.
2.  ESTABLISH A FOUNDATION. Rather than responding to random questions, it might be helpful to establish a foundation—explain that we embrace Jesus Christ as our Savior and accept the Bible’s teachings, but believe that the Christian world departed from basic truths, and so Christ needed to restore His Church.
3.     CONNECT THE DOTS. Try to discern the gospel principle at the heart of a question, and connect the answer back to the Savior. We do not need complicated, sophisticated arguments when the principles we try to live by come from the Son of God.
4.  SHARE EXPERIENCES. Answering questions is not about reciting memorized answers. Sharing genuine, personal experiences can invite the Spirit to bear witness and carry the message into the listener’s heart. 
5.  . UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE. The same conversation isn’t going to work for everyone—we all have different backgrounds. And remember that a casual question doesn’t require a half-hour lecture as a reply. Be sensitive to interest, comfort, and level of understanding. Signal that sensitivity so that those who are curious can feel at ease.
6.  USE RESOURCES. The Church has created online resources that can be helpful for members to share with those who have questions. Church magazines are available online and in print, and items available at distribution centers may be helpful. Sharing a copy of the Book of Mormon may also be appropriate. You can also create an online profile on Mormon.org.
7.  BE A FORCE FOR GOOD. Members of the Church can help clear up misconceptions and increase understanding of who we are and what we believe. People may see differences between what they believe and what Latter-day Saints believe, but they may also find common ground on which to build better relationships.

Relief Society Announcements:

Lesson Schedule for January:
January 4th - President's Instruction
January 11th - Ezra Taft Benson #1 - "The Great Commandment" -  Love the Lord
January 18th - Ezra Taft Benson #2 - "Pray Always"
January 25th - Teachings For Our Time - "Joseph Smith" by Elder Neil L. Anderson - November General Conference


2015 Relief Society Curriculum:

Teachings of President's of the Church - Ezra Taft Benson

  
Recipes on the blog:

If you have a recipe you would like to share send them to:  drbennett1@hotmail.com or call or text them to 208-351-7083. We would love to have your favorite holiday recipes!

Visit the ward recipe blog:  www.burton4threcipes.blogspot.com

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Weekly Update December 28th - January 3rd

Faith

Lesson Review:

"Ponder the Path of Thy Feet" 

Conference Talk by President Thomas S Monson - Oct 2014

Doctrine:

When we came to earth, we brought with us that great gift from God-even our agency.  In thousands of ways we are privileged to choose for ourselves.  Here we learn from the hard taskmaster of experience.  We discern between good and evil.  We differentiate as to the bitter and the sweet.  We learn that decisions determine destiny.


Invitation to Action: 

To help guide use we have the words of God and of His Son found in our holy scriptures.  We have the counsel and teaching of God's prophets.  Of paramount importance, we have been provided with a perfect example to follow-even the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ-and we have been instructed to follow that example.  Said the Savior Himself:  "Come, follow me."  "The works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do."  He posed the question, "What manner of men ought ye to be?"  And then He answered, "Verily I say unto you, even as I am."  "He marked the path and led the way."
 Promised Blessings:

We read in Proverbs the admonition, "Ponder the path of thy feet."  As we do, we will have the faith, even the desire, to walk the path which Jesus walked.  We will have no doubt that we are on a path which our Father would have us follow.  The Savior's example provides a framework for everything that we do, and His words provide and unfailing guide.  His path will take us safely home.


 Read or Listen to the entire lesson here:  

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/ponder-the-path-of-thy-feet?lang=eng


FAMILY

Have you read the recent article in the Church News, "Families are Forever - Beginning Today, Say Primary Leaders"

They suggest that we should have open conversations with your children and create experiences that will foster a vision of eternity.

“Our quest to become an eternal family is strengthened when we talk about how we can make it happen—one step at a time.” —Primary general presidency 


RELIEF


Sweeping the Earth As If a Flood: 

As we start the beginning of a new year set your goals of personal missionary work.  We have so much to do and we all have the power and ability to influence so many around us.


“Missionary work isn’t the only thing we need to do in this big, wide, wonderful Church. But almost everything else we need to do depends on people first hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ and coming into the faith. … With all that there is to do along the path to eternal life, we need a lot more missionaries opening that gate and helping people through it.”
—Jeffrey R. Holland

“We Are All Enlisted,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 46–47

Relief Society Announcements:

Lesson Schedule for January:
January 4th - President's Instruction
January 11th - Ezra Taft Benson #1 - "The Great Commandment" -  Love the Lord
January 18th - Ezra Taft Benson #2 - "Pray Always"
January 25th - Teachings For Our Time - "Joseph Smith" by Elder Neil L. Anderson - November General Conference

2015 Relief Society Curriculum:

Teachings of President's of the Church - Ezra Taft Benson

  
Recipes on the blog:

If you have a recipe you would like to share send them to:  drbennett1@hotmail.com or call or text them to 208-351-7083. We would love to have your favorite holiday recipes!

Visit the ward recipe blog:  www.burton4threcipes.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Weekly Update December 21st - December 27th

Faith

Lesson Review:

"Preparing for the Coming of Our Lord" 

Joseph Fielding Smith - Lesson 26

Doctrine:

We are rapidly approaching the great day of the Lord, that time of “refreshing,” when he will come in the clouds of heaven to take vengeance upon the ungodly and prepare the earth for the reign of peace for all those who are willing to abide in his law [see Acts 3:19–20].
Many things have taken place … to impress faithful members of the Church with the fact that the coming of the Lord is near. The gospel has been restored. The Church has been fully organized. The priesthood has been conferred upon man. The various dispensations from the beginning have been revealed and their keys and authorities given to the Church. Israel has been and is being gathered to the land of Zion. The Jews are returning to Jerusalem. The gospel is being preached in all the world as a witness to every nation. Temples are being built, and ordinance work for the dead, as well as for the living, is performed in them. The hearts of the children have turned to their fathers, and the children are seeking after their dead. The covenants which the Lord promised to make with Israel in the latter days have been revealed, and thousands of gathered Israel have entered into them. Thus the work of the Lord is advancing, and all these things are signs of the near approach of our Lord. …
The words of the prophets are rapidly being fulfilled, but it is done on such natural principles that most of us fail to see it.

Invitation to Action: 

I plead with the Latter-day Saints to stand firm and faithful in the discharge of every duty, keeping the commandments of the Lord, honoring the priesthood, that we may stand when the Lord comes—Whether we be living or dead, it matters not,—to be partakers of this glory.

There are many events in the world today which indicate that the great day of the Lord is drawing near when the Redeemer will again appear to set up his kingdom in righteousness preparatory to the millennial reign. In the meantime it is the duty of members of the Church to seek for knowledge and to prepare themselves by study and by faith for the ushering in of that great and glorious day.
We do not need to be worrying about the times and the seasons when Christ shall come, but we do need to watch and pray and be ready.


Promised Blessings:

The righteous will rejoice when he comes, because then peace will come to the earth, righteousness to the people, and that same spirit of peace and joy and happiness which prevailed upon this continent for two hundred years [see 4 Nephi 1:1–22] shall again be established among the people and eventually shall become universal, and Christ shall reign as Lord of lords and King of kings for a thousand years. We are looking forward to that time.
For one thousand years shall this happy time of peace prevail and in due time all the inhabitants of the earth shall be brought into the fold of the Church.

 Read or Listen to the entire lesson here:  




FAMILY

With the new year it seems like the perfect time we all reflect on the past year and set goals and resolutions for the new year.  I found a great article from the 2002 Ensign on setting and tracking goals with our family.

Tracking New Years Goals:

Setting goals and striving to achieve them at times can seem to be an insurmountable task. Often we procrastinate setting goals until we feel we are more committed or “the time is right.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Our family has discovered an easier way to set and achieve goals. We record our progress on a New Year’s goal poster.
  1. 1. 
    We reserve the first family home evening of the year for setting goals. It helps to teach the importance of prayer in selecting goals. By taking time to pray and ponder about our goals, we are able to focus on what will most benefit our family. Then we have a short lesson on the importance of goals, types of goals, how to choose a goal by focusing on what is realistic and most important, and how to achieve goals.
  2. 2. 
    We list our goals on a poster. To establish the goals we want to achieve, we list them on posters made of construction paper. Posterboard, cardstock, and other materials work well too. Then we spread magazines that we have saved, including Church magazines, on the table. With scissors and glue handy, we cut out pictures and words that represent the goals we are planning to work on throughout the year and paste them on the poster. Each poster is labeled with a family member’s name and the year. Then we help our children understand the importance of choosing goals in four different categories: spiritual, educational, physical, and temporal.
  3. 3. 
    We display our posters in a prominent area. After we finish the posters, we take turns showing them to each other. Then we hang the posters in a prominent place in our rooms. The posted goals are a daily visual reminder of what we plan to achieve. As we reach our goals, we cross them off. The first year we made goal posters, we were surprised when we reached all our goals.
Each December we review the goals we have accomplished for that year and save the posters in our books of remembrance. My husband and I began this goal-setting tradition during our first year of marriage. When we saw the successful results of our efforts, we decided to continue the tradition, especially when children came into our home.
Listing our goals on a poster allows us to review our commitment on a daily or weekly basis. Making goal posters at the beginning of every new year is an eagerly anticipated event for our family that has helped us successfully set and achieve worthwhile goals.Janalee Merrell Watkins, Maeser First Ward, Vernal Utah Maeser Stake


Another great article is found in the January 2014 Ensign by President Uchtdorf, 
 "The Best Time to Plant a Tree."


RELIEF

It seems like there are so many opportunities around us to serve others.  Sometimes it feels overwhelming or we may feel inadequate.  I loved this talk by President Uchtdorf, "Happiness is your Heritage."  


"I believe that the women of the Church, regardless of age or family status, understand and apply best the words of James Barrie, the author of Peter Pan: “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” 11 Often I have witnessed quiet acts of kindness and compassion by noble women who extended themselves in unselfish charity. My heart swells when I hear stories of the sisters of the Church and how they rush to the aid of those in need.


My dear sisters, I have a simple faith. I believe that as you are faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, as you draw closer to Him in faith, hope, and charity, things will work together for your good. 14 I believe that as you immerse yourselves in the work of our Father—as you create beauty and as you are compassionate to others—God will encircle you in the arms of His love. 15 Discouragement, inadequacy, and weariness will give way to a life of meaning, grace, and fulfillment.
As spirit daughters of our Heavenly Father, happiness is your heritage.
You are choice daughters of our Heavenly Father, and through the things you create and by your compassionate service, you are a great power for good. You will make the world a better place. Lift up your chin; walk tall. God loves you. We love and admire you."

I

***Please also remember those that are lonely this year.  I recently visited a couple of the widows in our ward.  They loved every minute I could spend with them.  They would enjoy getting to know you and your family.  A visit is the best gift you could ever give them and it doesn't cost you a thing!

 


Sweeping the Earth As If a Flood:

This was found on LDS.org
Sharing the Gospel - Center Your Relationships on Jesus Christ

As you share online, focus on relationships and messages that bring you closer to Jesus Christ. Use the Spirit as you find ways to share the gospel online. Have courage to share your testimony of the Savior when you feel prompted by the Spirit. Try to help those you associate with online realize the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
“As you participate in this conversation and utilize the tools of new media, remember who you are—Latter-day Saints. . . . There is no need to argue or contend with others regarding our beliefs. There is no need to become defensive or belligerent. Our position is solid; the Church is true. We simply need to have a conversation, as friends in the same room would have, always guided by the prompting of the Spirit and constantly remembering the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, which reminds us of how precious are the children of our Father in Heaven.” — Elder M. Russell Ballard (Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet,” Ensign, July 2008).
“I offer two questions for consideration in your personal pondering and prayerful studying: 1. Does the use of various technologies and media invite or impede the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life? 2. Does the time you spend using various technologies and media enlarge or restrict your capacity to live, to love, and to serve in meaningful ways?” — Elder David A. Bednar (“Things as They Really Are,” Ensign, June 2010).


Relief Society Announcements:


Lesson Schedule for January:

January 4th - President's Instruction
January 11th - Ezra Taft Benson #1 - "The Great Commandment" -  Love the Lord
January 18th - Ezra Taft Benson #2 - "Pray Always"
January 25th - Teachings For Our Time - "Joseph Smith" by Elder Neil L. Anderson - November General Conference

2015 Relief Society Curriculum:

Teachings of President's of the Church - Ezra Taft Benson

  
Recipes on the blog:

If you have a recipe you would like to share send them to:  drbennett1@hotmail.com or call or text them to 208-351-7083. We would love to have your favorite holiday recipes!

Visit the ward recipe blog:  www.burton4threcipes.blogspot.com