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Personalizing the Holy Ghost

Last month, I was asked yet again to speak on the Holy Ghost at an investigator baptism on February 11. It would be the third time, in addition to numerous church talks on the same subject. Also, the baptism was of the parents and oldest children of a family, so I had to consider the varying ages. I was trying to think of what I could say that I hadn't already said to make it more meaningful. It then came to me that I should share how the Holy Ghost can help each family member specifically. I found scripture verses for the Spirit's role relevant to each person.

Family member: second oldest daughter
Trial: bullying issues at school
Spirit's relevant role: Comforting us
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, John 14: 16-18

Family member: oldest daughter
Trial: boy problems
Spirit's relevant role: Helping us feel God's love
Scripture: 1 John 3:16, Romans 5:5

Family member: mother
Trial: parenting
Spirit's relevant role: Revealing to us everything we need to do
Scripture: 2 Nephi 32…
Recent posts

The Children's Speaking Parts for the 2016 Primary Program

The children chose their themes and wrote their speaking parts, with some help from the Sharing Time manual and their parents.

Aiyana (6yo): October
Prayer is reverent communication between God and Me. I can pray to God, and he hears me. When I get scared I pray to God to keep me safe. At night I say my bedtime prayers. From reading scriptures, they have taught me how to pray. I have learned that God may not answer my prayers right away, but He does when the time is right. Through my prayers I have developed a strong bond with God. I love going to church whenever I can.
Cameron (10yo): June
The theme for the month of June was “The first principles and ordinances of the gospel make it possible for me to live with God again.” We talked about faith in Jesus Christ leads us to love Him, trust Him, and keep His commandments. The next week we learned that repentance brings forgiveness. On the third week, we talked about when we are baptized we make a covenant. On the fourth week, I learned th…

"I Know the Scriptures Are True"

My talk today to introduce the Primary presentation.

The purpose of the Primary presentation is for the children to share what they've learned throughout the year in Sharing Time. Each child picked a monthly theme and wrote their understanding and testimony of it. The other part of the program is the music. The songs teach gospel doctrine, make it easier to remember and learn the doctrine, and invite the Spirit to testify of the truth of the doctrine.

This year's theme was "I know the scriptures are true," and the accompanying scripture was "For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them" (2 Nephi 4:15).

The letter in the manual from the Primary General Presidency states:
The scriptures are the word of God. As you prayerfully read the scriptures and apply the principles taught in them and in this outline, you will be spiritually prepared to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the children in your Primary. You will also be able to use …

Get Your Kids Involved in Family History Work

My lesson from last month's Primary activity on family history:

Elder Allan F. Packer said, "Temple and family history work is part of living the gospel at home. It should be a family activity far more than a Church activity."

Elder Bednar explained,
Many of you may think family history work is to be performed primarily by older people. But I know of no age limit described in the scriptures or guidelines announced by Church leaders restricting this important service to mature adults. . . .It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies. Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation. . . .I promise you will be protected against th…

"Take Time to Be Holy"

I came across this song yesterday and fell in love with the poetic lyrics:
Take Time to Be Holy (Dickman)Music for ChoirsSubmitted Music (2007-2011)
Take time to be Holy, speak oft with thy Lord. Abide in Him always and feed on His word. Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak, Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on. Spend much time in secret with Jesus alone; By looking to Jesus like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy guide And run not before Him whatever betide. In joy or in sorrow still follow thy Lord, And looking to Jesus still trust in His word.
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul. Each thought and each motive beneath His control; Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love, Thou soon shall be fitted for service above. Thou soon shall be fitted for service above.
Text:  William D. Longstaff Music:  Traditional Irish Melody Arranged By:  Ann…

Teaching Children Really Does Make a Difference

A talk from stake conference today reminded me of the testimony I gave in September and meant to post here. Here's the gist of it.

Sometimes I wonder if teaching the gospel to my children is really making a difference, especially because I don't see the results right away. Scripture study and family home evening require a lot of effort, and most of the time is spent getting them to sit and pay attention and not fight with each other. It reminds me of when Elder Bednar shared similar thoughts in a past conference:
Sometimes Sister Bednar and I wondered if our efforts to do these spiritually essential things were worthwhile. Now and then verses of scripture were read amid outbursts such as “He’s touching me!” “Make him stop looking at me!” “Mom, he’s breathing my air!” Sincere prayers occasionally were interrupted with giggling and poking. And with active, rambunctious boys, family home evening lessons did not always produce high levels of edification. At times Sister Bednar and …

To the Rescue: Don't Forget the Children!

Part 3 of my talk from August 21. Read Part 1 and Part 2.


The other talk I chose is Elder Neil L. Andersen's, "Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me." In our rescue efforts, we mustn't forget the children. At the stake auxiliary in May, one of the general auxiliary leaders said if Jesus were at church, Primary is where he'd be. That statement made me consider how much effort I was putting into making Primary an inviting place where children want to go because they feel welcomed and loved. Primary, usually nursery, is the first interaction children have with church. It's an important time to lay that foundation for them so they want to return.

There are plenty of children in our branch, in all types of circumstances, that we can reach out to. Elder Andersen stated,
[M]y plea today is for the hundreds of thousands of children, youth, and young adults who do not come from these, for lack of a better term, “picture-perfect” families. I speak not only of the youth wh…