Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weekly update August 16th - 22nd

FAITH

"On Being Genuine"

Dieter F Uchtdorf - April 2015 Conference Talk


Doctrine:




I pray that we will resist the temptation to draw attention to ourselves and, instead, strive for a far greater honor: to become humble, genuine disciples of Jesus Christ.


Whether your testimony is thriving and healthy or your activity in the Church more closely resembles a Potemkin village, the good news is that you can build on whatever strength you have. Here in the Church of Jesus Christ you can mature spiritually and draw closer to the Savior by applying gospel principles day by day.
With patience and persistence, even the smallest act of discipleship or the tiniest ember of belief can become a blazing bonfire of a consecrated life. In fact, that’s how most bonfires begin—as a simple spark.
  
Invitation to Action:





The greatest, most capable, most accomplished man who ever walked this earth was also the most humble. He performed some of His most impressive service in private moments, with only a few observers, whom He asked to “tell no man” what He had done.15 When someone called Him “good,” He quickly deflected the compliment, insisting that only God is truly good.16Clearly the praise of the world meant nothing to Him; His single purpose was to serve His Father and “do always those things that please him.”17 We would do well to follow the example of our Master.  


Brethren, this is our high and holy calling—to be agents of Jesus Christ, to love as He loved, to serve as He served, to “lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees,”18 to “look [after] the poor and the needy,”19 and to care for the widows and orphans.
I pray, brethren, that as we serve in our families, quorums, wards, stakes, communities, and nations, we will resist the temptation to draw attention to ourselves and, instead, strive for a far greater honor: to become humble, genuine disciples of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 
  
Promised Blessings:

We will find ourselves walking the path that leads to our best, most genuine, and noblest selves. 




 Read, study, or listen to the entire lesson here:  


FAMILY 


A family built on the marriage of a man and woman supplies the best setting for God’s plan to thrive—the setting for the birth of children, who come in purity and innocence from God, and the environment for the learning and preparation they will need for a successful mortal life and eternal life in the world to come. A critical mass of families built on such marriages is vital for societies to survive and flourish. That is why communities and nations generally have encouraged and protected marriage and the family as privileged institutions. It has never been just about the love and happiness of adults.

The social science case for marriage and for families headed by a married man and woman is compelling.19And so “we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”20 But our claims for the role of marriage and family rest not on social science but on the truth that they are God’s creation. It is He who in the beginning created Adam and Eve in His image, male and female, and joined them as husband and wife to become “one flesh” and to multiply and replenish the earth.21 Each individual carries the divine image, but it is in the matrimonial union of male and female as one that we attain perhaps the most complete meaning of our having been made in the image of God—male and female. Neither we nor any other mortal can alter this divine order of matrimony. It is not a human invention. Such marriage is indeed “from above, from God” and is as much a part of the plan of happiness as the Fall and the Atonement.

Read or listen to Elder Christofferson's talk here:  



   

 RELIEF 



Do you ever wonder - What is Relief Society for?  Aileen Clyde gave a wonderful talk that answers this question in October 1995.

Remember, my sisters: “Charity never faileth.” This is more than our motto. It is our divine commission. As sisters, let us love one another and love our brethren in this great work. Let us show in our charity our faith.
“Cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all. …
“It endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with [her].
“Wherefore, my beloved [sisters], pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ” (Moro. 7:46–48).
The Relief Society was organized by God’s prophet Joseph and has been led and is led today by a prophet so that we may become true followers of Jesus Christ. That is the answer to the question, “Why Relief Society?” That is why we participate and that is what it can do for us: instruct us more perfectly in our covenant obligations and promises to be disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Or, as Joseph Smith instructed those first sisters in 1842: “[This] … Society is not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls” (History of the Church, 5:25). 
Read or listen to her talk here:

SWEEPING THE EARTH AS IF A FLOOD




Elder Ballard gave a wonderful talk, "The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work."
He explains, "We must prepare ourselves to assist the missionaries in finding those of our Heavenly Father’s children who will embrace the message of the Restoration."

Remember, brothers and sisters, we’re not marketing a product. We’re not selling anything. We’re not trying to impress anyone with our numbers or our growth. We are members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, empowered and sent forth by the Lord Himself to find, nourish, and bring safely into His Church those who are seeking to know the truth.
Viewed from that eternal perspective, what we are to do seems so simple and clear, but I know that member missionary work can be challenging and sometimes frightening. Please allow me to suggest three simple things that we can do to assist in this divinely commissioned responsibility.
First, we should exercise our faith and pray individually and as families, asking for help in finding ways to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to open the way. Prayerfully set a date with your family to have someone in your home for the missionaries to teach. Remember, brothers and sisters, this is the Lord’s Church. Let Him guide you through constant prayer. With a prayer in your heart, talk to everyone you can. Don’t prejudge. Don’t withhold the good news from anyone. Talk to everyone, and trust in the promised power of the Spirit to give you the words you should say. Let them make the decision to accept or reject your invitation. Over time, the Lord will put into your path those who are seeking the truth. He is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep, and they will know His voice, spoken through you, and they will follow Him (see John 10).

Second, leaders must lead by example. The Spirit will prompt and guide you in finding those interested in our message. Your personal worthiness will give you the courage and the spiritual power to inspire your members to actively help the missionaries.

Third, member missionary work does not require the development of strategies or gimmicks. It does require faith—real faith and trust in the Lord. It also requires genuine love. The first great commandment is to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. … The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:37, 39).


Read or listen to Elder Ballards talk here:




Relief Society Announcements: 

Lesson Schedule

August 30th - Bishops Choice
September 6th - Presidents Instruction
September 13th - Ezra Taft Benson lesson 17
September 20th - Ezra Taft Benson lesson 18
September 27th - Teaching for Our Time





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

Visit the Relief Society blog:  www.burton4thrs.blogspot.com





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Friday, August 21, 2015

Weekly Update August 9th - August 15th


FAITH

"The Elderly in the Church"
Ezra Taft Benson - Lesson 16


Doctrine:




The Lord knows and loves the elderly among His people. It has always been so, and upon them He has bestowed many of His greatest responsibilities. In various dispensations He has guided His people through prophets who were in their advancing years. He has needed the wisdom and experience of age, the inspired direction from those with long years of proven faithfulness to His gospel.

  
Invitation to Action: 




Our desires are that your golden years will be wonderful and rewarding. We pray that you will feel the joy of a life well spent and one filled with fond memories and even greater expectations through Christ’s atonement. We hope you will feel of the peace the Lord promised those who continue to strive to keep His commandments and follow His example. We hope your days are filled with things to do and ways in which you can render service to others who are not as fortunate as you. Older almost always means better, for your wealth of wisdom and experience can continue to expand and increase as you reach out to others.

We can make the most of our senior years.

May we suggest eight areas in which we can make the most of our senior years:
1.  Work in the temple and attend often.
2.  Collect and write family histories. 
3.  Become involved in missionary service.
4.  Provide leadership by building family togetherness.
5.  Accept and fulfill Church callings.
6.  Plan for your financial future. 
7.  Render Christlike service. 
8.  Stay physically fit, healthy, and active. 



It is important that families give their elderly parents and grandparents the love, care, and respect they deserve.

Let us remember the scriptural command that we must care for those of our own house lest we be found “worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8). I am so grateful for my own dear family and for the loving care they have given their parents over so many years.

Furthermore, our parents deserve our honor and respect for giving us life itself. Beyond this they almost always made countless sacrifices as they cared for and nurtured us through our infancy and childhood, provided us with the necessities of life, and nursed us through physical illnesses and the emotional stresses of growing up. In many instances, they provided us with the opportunity to receive an education, and, in a measure, they educated us. Much of what we know and do we learned from their example. May we ever be grateful to them and show that gratitude.

  
Promised Blessings:



I leave you my testimony of the joy of living—of the joys of full gospel living and of going through the Refiner’s fire and the sanctification process that takes place. As the Apostle Paul so well said, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).
I leave my blessing upon you. The Savior lives. This is His church. The work is true, and in the words of our Lord and Savior, “Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life” (3 Nephi 15:9).


 Read, study, or listen to the entire lesson here:  




FAMILY 


In April 2013 conference, Elder Richard G. Scott said that not only parents but also children have an important role in strengthening the family and the feeling of peace at home. “Be certain that every decision you make, whether temporal or spiritual, is conditioned on what the Savior would have you do. When He is the center of your home, there is peace and serenity. There is a spirit of assurance that pervades the home, and it is felt by all who dwell there”

Read Elder Scott's talk here:  



   

 RELIEF 




Visit the elderly (this could be on a special occasion or holiday however they love visitors anytime). Families could visit individuals in their homes or visit an assisted-living or retirement facility. Consider preparing a short musical presentation or talent show to share. Take each elderly person a small gift or treat, or prepare songs or games to share. If visiting a facility, get approval first. You could also turn this into a service activity in which each family member performs small acts of service or kindness for an older member of the ward. 

SWEEPING THE EARTH AS IF A FLOOD:



Have you read the article on LDS.org, "Sharing the Gospel by Sharing You?"  It gives some great advice on what we need to do to make sharing the gospel with others easier.

For some of us, sharing the gospel comes naturally. But for many of us, it’s not that easy. In fact, we might even be afraid of opening up to friends, family, or neighbors to talk about the gospel, even though we know how important it is to do so.
Further, sometimes when we think about missionary work, we focus too much on the method, activity, or outcome, rather than focusing on helping the individual. The problem is that any efforts that lose sight of the individual can make those efforts feel forced and insincere.
There may be a better way.
That way is to become more converted to the gospel—as individuals—and let the example of our lives and our friendly conversation open the way. The more converted we become, the more comfortable we are with our religion, and we begin to feel an increasing desire for others to enjoy the blessings of the gospel. When that happens, sharing comes more naturally.
In fact, we may not even realize we are sharing the gospel. As we increase the level of our faithful discipleship, the effect it has on our actions, speech, and even countenance will be difficult to ignore. “Your good works will be evident to others,” explains Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “The light of the Lord can beam from your eyes. With that radiance, you had better prepare for questions."
Heavenly Father’s children need the perspective the gospel offers. For members who follow the gospel pattern, their life stands as a witness of Christ’s love. When members focus on actively becoming like Jesus Christ, building meaningful friendships, and developing charity, sharing the gospel becomes a natural outgrowth of who they have become. As they work to share who they are, members can find comfort and guidance in the Savior’s words to His disciples: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32).

Read or listen to the article here:


Relief Society Announcements: 

Lesson Schedule:

August 2nd - Presidents Instruction
August 9th - Ezra Taft Bensen lesson 15
August 16th- Ezra Taft Bensen lesson 16
August 23rd - Teaching For Our Time - "On Being Genuine"  by President Uchtdorf - April 2015
August 30th - Bishops Choice



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

Visit the Relief Society blog:  www.burton4thrs.blogspot.com





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Weekly Update August 2nd - August 8th

FAITH

"The Sacred Calling of Fathers and Mothers"
Ezra Taft Benson - Lesson 15


Doctrine:



  
Invitation to Action: 



God help us to support one another. May it start in the home as we support our families. May there be a spirit of loyalty, unity, love, and mutual respect. May husbands be loyal to their wives, true to them, love them, strive to ease their burdens, and share the responsibility for the care, training, and the rearing of the children. May mothers and wives show a spirit of helpfulness to their husbands, uphold and sustain them in their priesthood duties, and be loyal and true to the calls that come to them from the priesthood of God.

May we be faithful to this great obligation of parenthood, this sacred obligation, that we may build our homes solidly upon eternal principles, that we may have no regrets. May we never be recreant [unfaithful] to the great trust which has been imposed in us. May we always keep in mind that these spirits that have entered our homes are choice spirits.

*See the lesson for a list of responsibilities of a mother and a father.

  
Promised Blessings:



Husbands and wives, as co-creators, should eagerly and prayerfully invite children into their homes. … Blessed is the husband and wife who have a family of children. The deepest joys and blessings in life are associated with family, parenthood, and sacrifice. To have those sweet spirits come into the home is worth practically any sacrifice.
When parents, in companionship, love, and unity, fulfill their heaven-imposed responsibility and children respond with love and obedience, great joy is the result.
 Read, study, or listen to the entire lesson here:  




FAMILY 



"If you and your husband will strive to love God and live the gospel yourselves; if you will plead for that guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit promised to the faithful; if you will go to the temple to both make and claim the promises of the most sacred covenants a woman or man can make in this world; if you will show others, including your children, the same caring, compassionate, forgiving heart you want heaven to show you; if you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do." - Jeffrey Holland


 RELIEF 



As we minister to others, we become true followers of Jesus Christ, who set the example for us. President Thomas S. Monson said: “We are surrounded by those in need. … We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children.”
Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, taught: “With practice, each of us can become more like the Savior as we serve God’s children. To help us better [minister to] one another, I would like to suggest four words to remember: ‘First observe, then serve.’ … As we do so, we are keeping covenants, and our service, like President Monson’s, will be evidence of our discipleship.”
We can pray each morning to recognize opportunities to serve others. “Heavenly Father will guide you, and angels will assist you,” said David L. Beck, Young Men general president. “You will be given power to bless lives and rescue souls."

SWEEPING THE EARTH AS IF A FLOOD:







Relief Society Announcements: 

Lesson Schedule:

August 2nd - Presidents Instruction
August 9th - Ezra Taft Bensen lesson 15
August 16th- Ezra Taft Bensen lesson 16
August 23rd - Teaching For Our Time - "On Being Genuine"  by President Uchtdorf - April 2015
August 30th - Bishops Choice





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

Visit the Relief Society blog:  www.burton4thrs.blogspot.com





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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Weekly Update July 26th - August 1st

FAITH


"Filling Our Homes With Light and Truth"

Cheryl Esplin - April Conference 2015


Doctrine:

In order for us and our families to withstand the pressures of the world, we must be filled with light and gospel truth.


One place where we best seek to be filled with light and truth is in our own homes. The words in the chorus of the song we heard remind us, “God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be.”  Families are the Lord’s workshop on earth to help us learn and live the gospel. We come into our families with a sacred duty to help strengthen each other spiritually.

Strong eternal families and Spirit-filled homes do not just happen. They take great effort, they take time, and they take each member of the family doing his or her part.  Every home is different, but every home where even one individual seeks for truth can make a difference.




Invitation to Action: 

We are continually counseled to increase our spiritual knowledge through prayer and through studying and pondering the scriptures and the words of the living prophets. In his general conference talk about receiving a testimony of light and truth, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said:

“The Everlasting and Almighty God … will speak to those who approach Him with a sincere heart and real intent.

“He will speak to them in dreams, visions, thoughts, and feelings.”

President Uchtdorf continued: “God cares about you. He will listen, and He will answer your personal questions. The answers to your prayers will come in His own way and in His own time, and therefore, you need to learn to listen to His voice."



Promised Blessings

I leave you with my testimony that I know as we fill our hearts and homes with the Savior’s light and truth, we will have the inner strength to withstand in every circumstance. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 




 Read, study, or listen to the entire lesson here:  


Another Great Conference talk on this subject is:

Receiving a Testimony of light and Truth by President Uchtodorf: 



FAMILY


Last week I shared an article on keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.  Because we continue to still be reminded of it I am going to share another article that came out in the Church News this month.  

"Five Ways to Celebrate the Sabbath as a Family" 
(This is just a brief overview.  See article for all the ideas shared)



As individual members of the Church of Jesus Christ, it’s easy to generate a list of things we can do to keep the Sabbath day holy. It takes more creativity to think of what a family with children of different ages can do to make Sunday a special, spiritual day. Most families try and fail and try again. It’s hard. But those families that stick with it until they find their own ways to successfully celebrate the Sabbath will reap blessings of stronger family relationships, kinder communication, spiritual depth, and more family fun.

Here are five principles, with numerous practical applications, that might help families make Sunday sacred in their homes:

1. Worship together as a family.

Along with attending church meetings together, there are many ways a family can make the Sabbath a day of worship.



  • Get to bed early on Saturday night.
  • Pray and read together
  • Give priesthood blessings. 
  • Fast as a family. 
  • Proclaim the gospel. 
  • Redeem the dead
  • Don't take a vacation from the Sabbath

2. Make the Sabbath different.
As a day of worship, Sunday should feel distinct from other days of the week. By carefully controlling the home atmosphere, families can help create and maintain reverence throughout the day.
  • Sunday should look different. 
  • Sunday should sound different
  • Sunday should feel different.
  • Sunday may not be the best day for children to play with friends. 
  • Sunday should taste different. 

3. Build family relationships.
Because family members spend time together Sunday, it is a good time for them to get to know each other better and strengthen their relationships.



  • Celebrate marriage.
  • Create a shared family history. 
  • Read and walk together. 

4. Plan for family happiness.

Sunday is a great day to serve others as a family. By opening your home and by looking for opportunities in your community, you can find many ways to experience the joys of service on this day.



  • Set couple and family goals.
  • Hold family councils. 

5.  Serve Others

Sunday is a great day to serve others as a family. By opening your home and by looking for opportunities in your community, you can find many ways to experience the joys of service on this day.



  • Perform Family Service
As this compilation of ideas and practices illustrates, there are as many ways to successfully celebrate the Sabbath as a family as there are families. It’s not easy, but through persistence families can discover practices that are both fun and meaningful for all family members. And keeping the Sabbath day holy as a family will not only invite the Spirit but will improve communication among family members, increase love and kindness within marriage, and strengthen all family relationships. It’s worth the effort.

Make sure to read the article here:

https://www.lds.org/church/news/five-ways-to-celebrate-the-sabbath-as-a-family?cid=HP_WE_7-22-2015_dOCS_fBYU_xLIDyL2-3_&lang=eng 



 RELIEF 


Have you done your visiting teaching for July?  There is a great message on being more forgiving and merciful.  It's a message we all need to be reminded of.


*Please remember to pray for the sisters you visit teach and their families.

SWEEPING THE EARTH AS IF A FLOOD



President Thomas S. Monson, “Come, All Ye Sons of God,” Liahona, May 2013

“Missionary work is an identifying feature of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Always has it been; ever shall it be. As the Prophet Joseph Smith declared, 'After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.' ”

Elder Neil L. Andersen, “It’s a Miracle,” Liahona, May 2013

“If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart—painted, as Paul said, 'not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.' ...
“Our desire to share the gospel takes all of us to our knees, and it should, because we need the Lord’s help.”

Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Catch the Wave,” Liahona, May 2013

“Together, members and missionaries invite all to learn of God, of Jesus Christ, and of His gospel. Each inquiring individual should seek earnestly and pray fervently for the assurance that these things are true. The truth will be manifest by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “A Word for the Hesitant Missionary,” Liahona, Feb. 2013

“My dear friends, today there are more ways than ever for us to open our mouths and share with others the joyful news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a way for everyone—even the hesitant missionary—to participate in this great work.
“ 'Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work' (D&C 4:3).”

Elder Clayton M. Christensen, “Seven Lessons on Sharing the Gospel,” Ensign, Feb. 2005

“The ability to share the gospel isn’t a 'gift' that has been given to only a few Latter-day Saints and denied to the rest. We have concluded from our own experiences and from watching others that finding people for the missionaries to teach can be easy and natural for all of us—if we go about it the Lord’s way.”

President Ezra Taft Benson, “Keys to Successful Member-Missionary Work,” Ensign, Sept. 1990

“Our work will be light and easy to bear if we will depend on the Lord and work.
“Don’t worry about being successful. We are going to be successful—there is no doubt about it. The Lord has sent us to earth at the time of harvest. He does not expect us to fail. He has called no one to this work to fail. He expects us to succeed.”



Relief Society Announcements:


*For our Relief Society Activity in the month of July, we invite you to choose a day to invite someone to attend the Temple with you.  That may be your spouse, or a friend, your visiting teaching companion, or the sisters you visit teach.  You may want to attend a session, do sealings, initiatory work, or Temple baptisms.  We just invite you to make an effort to go sometime in the next month and to invite someone to go with you!

*Ward Campout - August 14th - 15th (More details to come)

Calendar:

August 2nd - Presidents Instruction
August 9th - Ezra Taft Bensen lesson 15
August 16th- Ezra Taft Bensen lesson 16
August 23rd - Teaching For Our Time
August 30th - Bishops Choice

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

Visit the Relief Society blog:  www.burton4thrs.blogspot.com

RS

RS