Friday, October 30, 2015

“A Plea to My Sisters,” by President Russell M Nelson October 2015 General Conference

“Thirty-six years ago, in 1979, President Spencer W. Kimball made a profound prophecy about the impact that covenant-keeping women would have on the future of the Lord’s Church. He prophesied: 'Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world … will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.'

"My dear sisters, you who are our vital associates during this winding-up scene, the day that President Kimball foresaw is today. You are the women he foresaw!”

How does President Kimball’s prophecy on women along with President Nelson’s comment make you feel?

What responsibilities have we, as women, been given?

In this talk President Nelson gives “A Plea & A Promise.” What does he ask of the women of the church? What blessings does he promise?

Sisters, I am thankful to be a woman in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Lord has a plan for each of us. We are important to Him. His work cannot be done without women.

Please read this General Conference talk and come prepared to share your thoughts as we help teach one another about the greatness of women!

Love, Sister Marstella

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thy Kingdom Come

I am excited to discuss Neil L. Anderson's talk Thy Kingdom Come from the April 2015 Sunday Afternoon Conference Session. I have enjoyed studying his simple message about recognizing the Lord's hand in preparing for the second coming of our Savior. I was especially touched by his words:

"We are far from perfect, but we are not casual in our faith. We believe in Him. We worship Him. We follow Him. We deeply love Him. His cause is the greatest cause in all the world . . . We rejoice in these days and pray that we will be able to courageously face our struggles and uncertainties." 

I loved the faith-promoting stories Elder Anderson told about the faithful saints in regions around the world where the Lord's work and kingdom are moving forward. I invite each of you to ponder his questions:

"Can you see the hand of God moving His work forward? Can you see the hand of God in the lives of the missionaries in Haiti or the Kaivaivatanas in Thailand? Can you see the hand of God in the lives of the Assards and the Affoues? Can you see the hand of God in your own life?" 

With Elder Anderson, I express my gratitude for the hand of God in my life. Each of us anticipates our Savior's second coming with bright faith. Each of us plays an instrumental part in preparing for that day as we serve in our seemingly small roles and strive to share the sweet message of the gospel. I sincerely love each of you and I'm grateful for who you are.

 Love, Claira

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Airplane Cord

President Ward related the following story in Sunday Morning Stake Conference held at the Richardson Stake Center on 10/18/2015:

When he was a kid, President Ward flew a model airplane with his family. The model airplane had a cord attached to it which held the controls for the airplane. President Ward was flying the airplane when the cord came loose and the airplane started diving toward him. He ran to get away from the airplane but it kept chasing him across the field. President Ward smiled as he recounted his older family member laughing and retelling this story "until the day he died."

The cord which controlled the airplane can be likened until the following practices in our lives:

1) Family Home Evening Young couples should start their weekly Family Home Evening practice as soon as they are married. Don't wait until kids come around to establish good habits. Also, kids can help remind parents of FHE.

2) Family Prayer We were told specifically not to go to bed without Family Prayer. There is often one person in the family who pushes family prayer more than others and President Ward offered encouragement to that person to keep it up. Another reason why nightly Family Prayer is so important is because "It is the solution to anger."

3) Reading Scriptures President Ward referenced the following talk by Richard G. Scott about scriptures being "packets of light." Here is the link to that conference talk from October 2011. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/the-power-of-scripture?lang=eng

4) Attend Church/Keep the Sabbath Day Holy We have been recently warned by the First Presidency about the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy. Here are some striking things that President Ward said about church attendance: "Don't find a reason to miss church. It's just too easy." "Not attending church is a chink in the your marital armor."

5) Fulfill Your Callings Callings help us to grow, change and learn to serve. We shouldn't turn down callings because we're just not up for it now. When you commit to an activity, do not skip it. The most pointed remark was when he said, "If you don't do your calling, who will?"

6) Attend the Temple Often Marriages are weakened when couples do not attend the temple. If you don't regularly hear your covenants repeated, how do you expect to keep them?

Other specific words of warning and counsel from President Ward: Do NOT contact old boyfriends or girlfriends on social media. There is no good reason for this.

Challenges for the future: For all members twelve years old and up President Ward issued a challenge to prepare one name for the temple between now and the end of the year. He also reminded us of his previous challenge to read Preach My Gospel.

-Rachel Roark

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Lesson 19 Leadership

President Ezra Taft Benson said that in The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints there are no spectators. We are all given an opportunity to preside, teach, serve and minister to members of a ward or stake.  Please read the lesson where President Beson, gives us many of the attributes and skills needed to be an effective leader.

 What callings have you had during your time as a member of our church?

 What skills or Christ-like attributes have you developed as you have served in these callings?

 President Benson taught that Church leaders should follow Christ’s example as a delegator.
How does delegation build the Kingdom of God?

 In what ways have you benefited from responsibilities given to you? Have you personally been affected by a great Bishop, Relief Society President, Teacher, Visiting Teacher? Why were they effective?

 We are all in this together – Let’s have a great discussion Sunday.

 With love, Karen Bateman