Saturday, May 18, 2013

How Can A Patriarchal Blessing Help Me?

Get this week's lesson here.

Ugh!  This is kind of a hard one for me!  And here's why...
I LOVE my patriarchal blessing so much.  I received it the summer before I started high school and I have had so many amazing, spiritual experiences because of it.  But it's personal and sacred.  It's for me and not something I should share.  So, the whole time I teach on Sunday, my spirit is going to be bursting with happiness inside of me because of how much it means to me, but I'll have to keep it to myself.  Lovely.

1 Nephi 16:10, 16
And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.

And we did follow the direction of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.

The usefulness of the Liahona was dependent on the faith and righteousness of Lehi and his family (See 1 Nephi 18:11-12, 20-21).  Patriarchal blessings are similarly conditional on faith and righteousness.  We can receive the promised blessings only when we follow the counsel and commandments we are given by the Lord and his servants.

Look how young President Monson is?!?  I love it.

Sugardoodle suggested the idea of bringing an empty laundry basket to class and asking the girls to take off their shoes and put them in the basket.  Then one by one, with eyes closed, have them pull out two shoes to wear for the rest of the lesson.  All the girls will get different shoes: some that don't fit, some get two lefts or two rights, heels on one and flat on the other, etc, etc.  Then explain that patriarchal blessings are unique to each of us.  Just like the shoes that don't fit, you understand that your blessing is just for you and it "fits" just you.

In class I want to work on Personal Progress: Individual Worth value experience 2
Learn about the importance of patriarchal blessings by studying about them in TRUE TO THE FAITH and recent conference talks.  Find out why they are given and who can give them.  Discuss with a parent or Church leader how to prepare to receive a patriarchal blessing and how it can teach you of your worth and identity and be a guide throughout your life.  If you have not received your blessing, prepare to receive it.

I'm kind of stealing from another church lesson I found and combining it with this personal progress experience.
Remember those birthday party announcements you used to get as a kid?
WHO: Billy Jones
WHAT: His 8th Birthday Party
When: Saturday at 3:00...

I'll have the girls answer these W?W?W?W?H? questions about patriarchal blessings on their own little party invitations.

WHO can receive a patriarchal blessing?  WHO gives a patriarchal blessing?
WHAT is a patriarchal blessing?
WHEN can a person receive a patriarchal blessing?
WHY should a person seek a patriarchal blessing?
HOW can a person prepare to receive a patriarchal blessing?

I took parts out from TRUE TO THE FAITH and Julie B. Beck's talk YOU HAVE A NOBLE BIRTHRIGHT and color coded the paragraphs that answered all the W?W?W?W?H? questions.
 You can download it here.

My patriarchal blessing is amazing.  In my life, I find myself reading a passage that I have read over and over that was never significant to me, but depending on my circumstances and what I'm going through, that particular sentence will bring overwhelming words of comfort and strike me like lightning.  
I have so many tear marks and smudges on the pages from times when I cried from feeling the spirit and knowing Heavenly Father was talking directly to me.  It's like my personal scripture.  It's exciting to see things in my blessing come to pass and read about events that I still have to look forward to.  I hope I can share with the girls my love and excitement for patriarchal blessings this Sunday.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

How Can I Strengthen My Testimony?

Get this week's lesson here

A testimony is a spiritual witness of the truth given by the Holy Ghost. As members of the Church, we have sacred opportunity and responsibility to obtain our own testimonies. If we seek a testimony through study, prayer, and living the gospel, the Holy Ghost will help us know for ourselves that the gospel is true.

The world around you is not equipped to provide the help you need to make it through this often-treacherous journey. Is there a way to safety?  The answer is a resounding YES!  I counsel you to look to the lighthouse of the Lord.  There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue.  It beckons through the storms of life.  It calls, "This way to safety. This way to home."
-President Thomas S. Monson

I always loved the primary song THE WISE MAN AND THE FOOLISH MAN.
Our testimonies of Christ need to be solid when the rains come tumbling down.
Was this object lesson intended for little children?  Yeah
Do I still want to do it?  Duh.

I'm thinking of sharing the arrangement of this song that my mom wrote for her ward's primary program.  It has a more reverent feel so the kids weren't pounding their fists in the middle of sacrament meeting.  Some of the kids from her primary recorded singing it so you can hear what it's supposed to sound like.

As a class, make a list of individuals in the scriptures who gained a testimony. Discuss what these people did and how they received their spiritual witness (see 1 Nephi 10:17–19Alma 5:45–46). 

I went through the Topical Guide and made a tally chart counting all the people who bear their testimony of Christ.  THERE'S SERIOUSLY LIKE 25 DIFFERENT PEOPLE!!!!!  It's so awesome when you look at the scriptures and can point at a literal number of people who share your belief.  Hearing others share their testimony has always been a way to help me strengthen mine.
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My testimony:

I am so grateful for this amazing gospel.  I know that I have a Father in heaven who loves me very much and that I belong to the true church of Jesus Christ on this earth today. 

I know that the Book of Mormon is a true record of ancient prophets and that Joseph Smith truly translated it with the power of God.  I know that Joseph Smith saw my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the sacred grove when he set out to know for himself which church was true.  And I believe that we have been blessed today with the opportunity to gain a testimony for ourselves in Jesus Christ and the gospel through reading the Book of Mormon and the scriptures.

 I can not express my gratitude for the Savior and the sacrifices He has made for me.  Through the atonement He has died on the cross so I can live again.  His perfect example of love and righteousness allows us to follow in his footsteps and return to live with our Father in heaven again.   And He is always there to lift me up whenever I feel troubled.

I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet today.  The Lord has not abandoned us in these latter days, and has given us living prophets and apostles to guide us, warn us, and teach us how to live our lives faithfully and overcome the constant temptations of the adversary.  When we listen to the wisdom and revelation of our righteous leaders, we will not be lead astray and will continue to grow spiritually.
I have an indescribable love for the temple.  It is truly a piece of heaven on earth.  I know, because of the temple, the living can assist those who have passed on with their covenants and ordinances, allowing them to enjoy the blessings of exhalation.  I know that I can live with my family forever... that I will never have to say goodbye to my best friend and eternal companion and that the children I will have the opportunity to nurture in this life can always be with me forever in the next as well.  The Lord has richly blessed me with so many spiritual experiences that have nurtured and strengthened my testimony.  I know with my whole heart that this gospel is true and I know if I continue to try my hardest to do what I know it right, it can continue to grow, and grow, and grow.

I got this week's handout from All Things Bright and Beautiful.

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