Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why Is It Important To Study The Scriptures?

Get this week's lesson here.

Once I gave a Relief Society lesson from the George Albert Smith manual.  The chapter was called: THE SCRIPTURES, THE MOST VALUABLE LIBRARY IN THE WORLD


I thought just the title alone was so awesome and shows how important the scriptures are.  When I think of a library, I think of Beauty and the Beast and the overwhelming FLOORS of shelves of books everywhere.  

I have a couple of funny quotes for all the book worms out there who are passionate readers...


I can totally relate to this one.  I yell at my books all the time.  
"No!  Don't do it!   ... You love Edward!"

Are we passionate when we read our scriptures and do we treat them like the most valuable library in the world?

The Lord uses action words to describe how to study the scriptures... Treasure up (D&C 84:85), search diligently (Mosiah 1:7), hold fast (1 Nephi 15:24), FEAST...

Elder Henry B. Eyring describes what helps him make his scripture studying a routine.  He mentions establishing a regular time that you can usually control.  For him, he studies at the beginning and the end of the day.  He says, "Once you get used to regular scripture study, you miss it if you don't have it. It's like food.  I don't miss a regular meal, and I don't miss regular scripture study."

I don't look at the scriptures this way enough.  If I looked and longed for them the same way I crave In-N-Out animal style french fries, I would be very, very spiritually obese.




Just as the body requires daily food for survival, the spirit needs nourishment as well.  The spirit is nurtured by eternal truth. 

"If you don't have time to pray and study the scriptures, you are busier than God ever intended you to be."


There is this blog that I wanted to share that has helped me TRULY become excited about studying the scriptures.  I found her through a Pinterest post and LOVE the way she studies her scriptures.
She has these scripture journals you can buy that help you organize your thoughts and categorize everything while you do your scripture studies.  I made myself a personal version of scripture study pages that I print out every time I study by topic and then I organize it all together in a 3 ring binder, but I want her to get credit for the idea, so I'll just let you check out her journal version instead... Because they are RAD!!!!

Richard G. Scott said, "Our Father in Heaven understood that for us to make desired progress during our mortal probation, we would need to face difficult challenges.  Some of these would be almost overpowering.  He provided tools to help us be successful in our mortal probation.  One set of those tools is the scriptures."


About a year ago I worked as a nanny and I loved helping the girls with their homework when they came home from school.  One day after school, Brynlee handed me this science project packet she had to work on and I got super excited.  I started brainstorming what we could do for the poster board and the model and the essays.  I looked down at the last page in her packet and in big, bold letters it said: PARENTS CAN NOT HELP WITH THIS PROJECT OR STUDENTS GET MARKED DOWN.  URGH!!!
But that's ok.  If she needed help with anything, even though I wasn't able to do her project for her, I could always open one of her research books to a specific page and kinda scoot the book toward her across the table and say, "Hmmmm, you might find the answer you're looking for on this page!"
I can't help but feel like Heavenly Father feels the same way at times.  He can't live our lives for us, but he's given us access to the answers we need in this life through the scriptures.

Romans 15:4 says, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning."
We can always turn to the scriptures for answers.

My mother-in-law gave me her mother's primary songbook that was used back in 1943.  I wanted to share the lyrics to one of the songs.  This is by Edwin Hodder and E. Lester Thurman (NO. 91)



Thy Word is like a garden, Lord, 
With flowers bright and fair;
And ev'ry one who seeks may pluck
A lovely cluster there.
Thy Word is like a deep, deep mine;
And jewels rich and rare
Are hidden in the might depths
For ev'ry searcher there.

Thy Word is like a starry host:
A thousand rays of light
Are seen to guide the traveler, 
And make his pathway bright.
Thy Word is like an armory, 
Where soldiers may repair,
And find, for life's long battle day,
All needful weapons there,

O may I love Thy precious Word,
May I explore the mine.
May I its fragrant bowers glean,
May light upon me shine.
O, may I find my armor there,
Thy Word my trusty sword,
I'll learn to fight with ev'ry foe
The battle of the Lord

CHALLENGE:
Here's my challenge for the girls.  Reading the entire Book of Mormon on your own can seem a little overwhelming when you're young.  When I was little, the first time I "read the Book of Mormon" I went through and only read all of the chapter summaries.  So, a super summed up version of the B.o.M.  But you know what?!?  I remember being very proud of myself and realizing, "Hey, that wasn't so bad.  I think I can actually do this normal reading thing."  I want to challenge the girls to read all the chapter summaries.  I'll bring a color-in sheet they can fill out every week when they report on how they did and we'll see how long it takes them.



Also, on our way to church last week I told my husband in the car that I wished I brought more snacks for the girls in class.  I don't want them to be a distraction or take away from the lesson, but honestly, when I was little, and STILL NOW, it brightens a person's day when their teachers hand out a treat.  So, here's what I'm thinking of doing this week...

Found it here.
........................

OK!!!  LAST THING!!!  I PROMISE!!!!

I seriously want to do this when we have kids!!!  Here is a great way to keep your family motivated about doing family scripture study together.  Reward yourself every time you finish a book in the Book of Mormon.  I found this idea at
Also, happy Testimony Tuesday...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

How Was The Priesthood Restored?

Get this week's lesson here.

I think the Restoration board game could totally work with this week's lesson.  You could introduce the lesson with it and then tell the girls that the priesthood events are the ones they'll be focusing on that day.  I also decided to print out black and white copies of the game pieces for each of the girls so they can take them home and teach the FHE lesson to their families for their challenge of the week.


With permission from the bishop, invite the father of one of the young women or another priesthood holder to visit the class and share his priesthood line of authority with the young women and explain what a line of authority is. What does the line of authority teach the young women about the restoration of the priesthood?

I asked myself, "What priesthood holders in the ward would the girls want to listen to the most?" and then it hit me.... DUH!  The MISSIONARIES!  I always had crushes on the missionaries when I was their age, and why not have them teach part of the lesson so the girls would actually pay attention and remain focused?  Right?!?

These aren't our ward missionaries.  This is a pic of my lil bro in Brazil right now ;)

Also, having the elders come in can help the girls relate to their peers as priesthood holders instead of only thinking of the older men and father figures.  I know it's kind of straying from the Restoration topic, but I remember this story from the old YW manuals that I think is great to share to help the girls think about the support they can show to the YM their age who hold the priesthood.

STORY
A young elder who had been called to serve a foreign mission spoke in his ward sacrament meeting. Many young people were in attendance, including a large number of young women.
“In his closing remarks I began to sense the powerful influence friends had had on this young man who was spiritually mature beyond his years. After expressing gratitude for family and loved ones, and before his final testimony, he grasped the pulpit on either side and leaned forward. He dropped his head just a moment. Then, looking up, he quietly said, ‘And I give thanks to all my friends, especially you girls in the audience who have kept the standards and encouraged me to do the same.’ His voice deepened as he continued, ‘Thank you for your influence that has helped me prepare for a mission’”

Quote: sister ardeth kapp
“Young women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, [1] do the young men you associate with know that you have a standard of excellence from which you will not depart? [2] Do they know by what you say and do that you honor and respect your parents and that [3] you follow the counsel of the leaders of the Church? [4] Do they know you will delay dating until after you are 16 because a prophet of the Lord has given that direction? [5] By your actions do they know that you have made up your mind to be good and that you will not weaken? [6] Can they look to your friendship to gain confidence and respect for themselves? [7] Will your language, your dress, your choice of entertainment, music, books, and movies help the young men who associate with you develop admiration and respect for womanhood? As young men are exposed to the world’s distorted role of womanhood, [8] can they see in you the refinement and sweetness that encourage an attitude of reverence, respect, and honor for that sacred calling?
“Strange that I had not realized before, but it is not as a young woman encourages a young man to go on a mission that her greatest influence is felt. Rather it is through her actions as she reveals her commitment and testimony to the gospel of Jesus Christ and gives evidence through her power and influence in the advancement of good” 

Found these perfect handouts from All Things Bright And Beautiful that I'll print out super small so they can fit in their lesson notebooks.



My testimony of the priesthood is unshakable.  I am so grateful for my husband who holds the priesthood in our home, for the blessings I have received because of it, and the spirit I can feel when it is surrounding me.  I know when I receive a priesthood blessing the words are coming directly from my Heavenly Father.  I am grateful for the restoration and the keys that have been restored to this earth so ordinances can be performed, I can be baptized, sealed to my family, and go to the temple.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Why Was A Restoration Necessary?

Get this week's lesson here.


Show pictures of events from the Restoration (for some examples, see Gospel Art Book, 90–95). Ask the young women to read “Restoration of the Gospel: Events of the Restoration,” found in True to the Faith (pages 136–38), and match the picture with the events. Invite each to share an event and what was restored. How are we blessed because of the restoration of these things?

GAME BOARD
High fives for fun games!  On the back of each square I printed out a picture representing events from the restoration.  Whoever raises their hand and can guess the event first gets to keep their square.  For a little participation motivation I can give a candy bar to whoever collects the most squares or get's the most points by the end of the game.  Then I'll pull out a long timeline and have them work together to puzzle the events together in order.  TEAMWORK WORKS!!!



P.S. I had to make my game board UGLY and MANLY this week so Mitch could use it for his YM lesson, otherwise I would have used pretty colors, cute fonts, and ribbon instead of a dirty rope for the timeline.

Here's what the picture squares look like...

Early spring, 1820. Seeking the true Church of Jesus Christ, 14-year-old Joseph Smith prayed in a grove of trees near his home in Palmyra, New York. In answer to his humble prayer, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ visited him and told him that he must not join any of the churches on the earth at that time. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:11–19.) In the Church we refer to this experience as Joseph Smith’s First Vision.


September 21–22, 1823. Joseph Smith was visited by an angel named Moroni. Moroni prophesied of coming events and told Joseph of the Book of Mormon record, written on plates of gold. The angel allowed Joseph to see the gold plates, which were buried in the nearby Hill Cumorah. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:27–53.)



September 22, 1827. Joseph Smith received the gold plates from Moroni at the Hill Cumorah after having met with Moroni on 22 September of each of the previous four years. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:53, 59.)



May 15, 1829. Having read about baptism for the remission of sins as they worked on the translation of the gold plates, Joseph Smith and his scribe Oliver Cowdery went to a secluded area to inquire of the Lord concerning the matter. There, on the banks of the Susquehanna River near Harmony, Pennsylvania, they received the answer to their prayer. John the Baptist, a resurrected being, came to them as “a messenger from heaven … in a cloud of light.” He conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood. Then, in obedience to his instructions, Joseph and Oliver baptized each other and ordained each other to the Aaronic Priesthood. (See Joseph Smith—History 1:68–72; see also D&C 13.)


May 1829. The ancient Apostles Peter, James, and John conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. (See D&C 128:20.)


June 1829. Guided “by the gift and power of God” (D&C 135:3), the Prophet Joseph Smith completed the translation of the Book of Mormon.
March 26, 1830. The first printed copies of the Book of Mormon became available in Palmyra, New York.


April 6, 1830. The Church was organized in Fayette Township, New York, beginning with six members.



March 27, 1836. The Kirtland Temple, the first temple built in this dispensation, was dedicated. The Prophet Joseph Smith offered the dedicatory prayer, which had been given to him by revelation. (See D&C 109.)



April 3, 1836. The Savior appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. Moses, Elias, and Elijah also appeared and gave priesthood keys to Joseph and Oliver. Elijah brought the keys of the sealing power, which make it possible for families to be sealed together forever. (See D&C 110.)

Friday, April 19, 2013

YM Activity Idea

I know I work with YW's so this shouldn't count... but if anyone needs any mutual night ideas for the Young MEN my rad hubby put together this Wednesday night activity.  PARKOUR!!  They filmed all evening at the park, then he put together this video for all the guys to see later.  They loved it!  I loved it!  I love Mitchell.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why is the First Vision Important?

Get this week's lesson here.


 Listening to uplifting music while reading scriptures always helps me feel the spirit.  I remember when my brother and I listened to The Prince of Egypt soundtrack while taking turns reading about Moses and the Israelites in the bible.  Ha.  We were special... But it totally set the mood.

I was very blessed to grow up in a musical home.  My mom is a composer and wrote this song Grove of Light inspired by the first vision.  Please check out her blog where she posts all her music and compositions: http://terrihutchings.blogspot.com


I'm thinking of maybe playing this song in the background while we read Joseph Smith's first vision (hopefully the weather's nice and we can be outside to help it feel more realistic). I also made the girls these bookmarks with the assigned reading on the front.  I printed the "Reflection" page out and glued it to the back so they could flip it over and fill it out if they finish reading before the music ends.



For PDF version click here (front)
and here (back).

Also, the Restoration video is a great way to kill time.  I think the Joseph Smith actor is so cute!  I'm sure the girls wouldn't mind watching it.

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