Scripture of the Month

For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children.

~2 Nephi 4:15



Showing posts with label Missionary Work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Missionary Work. Show all posts

Sunday, August 4, 2013

In the Lord's Way

lds.org
My patriarchal blessing states, "You will have the opportunity to be a missionary and to bear witness of Jesus Christ and of Joseph Smith and of the Church. You will have the opportunity to sit down and discuss gospel principles with many."

Regretfully, I did not serve a mission. I knew everything in blessings does not come to pass in the way we think, so once I married, I assumed this passage pertained to senior missionary service. Then just the other day when I was explaining to my neighbor what a patriarchal blessing is, I suddenly realized it had already started being fulfilled.

The last few months I have had the opportunities to testify of and teach the gospel, and both my neighbor and her son have now been baptized (read about their story here). The ramifications of their conversions I know will be magnificent, which is humbling indeed. I have been able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands in a very special way, different than how I wanted and expected, but no less important and life changing.

This experience has reminded me,
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:8-11)
Sharing Time: Share a time in your life when something you asked God for was given to you but not in the way you expected.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Was It Worth It?"


From the talk "Was It Worth It?" by Elder David F. Evans in April 2012 General Conference. 

Dave Orchard grew up in Salt Lake City, where most of his friends were members of the Church. They were a great influence on him. In addition, Church leaders in his neighborhood constantly invited him to activities. His friends did the same. Even though he didn’t join the Church at that time, his growing-up years were blessed by the influence of good LDS friends and Church-sponsored activities. After he entered college, he moved away from his home, and most of his friends left on missions. He missed their influence in his life.

One of Dave’s high school friends was still home. This friend was meeting every week with his bishop in an effort to put his life in order and be able to serve as a missionary. He and Dave became roommates, and as would be both natural and normal, they talked about why he wasn’t then serving as a missionary and why he was meeting frequently with the bishop. The friend expressed his gratitude and respect for his bishop and the opportunity to repent and serve. He then asked Dave whether he would like to come to the next interview. What an invitation! But in the context of their friendship and circumstances, it was both natural and normal.

Dave agreed and was soon meeting with the bishop himself. This led to Dave’s decision to meet with the missionaries. He received a testimony that the gospel is true, and a date for his baptism was set. Dave was baptized by his bishop, and a year later, Dave Orchard and Katherine Evans were married in the temple. They have five beautiful children. Katherine is my little sister. I will be forever grateful to this good friend who, together with a good bishop, brought Dave into the Church.

As Dave spoke of his conversion and bore his testimony regarding these events, he asked the question, “So, was it worth it? Was all the effort of friends and youth leaders and my bishop, over all the years, worth the effort to have just one boy be baptized?” Pointing to Katherine and his five children, he said, “Well, at least for my wife and our five children, the answer is yes.”

Whenever the gospel is shared, it is never “just one boy.” Whenever conversion happens or someone returns to the Lord, it is a family that is saved. As Dave and Katherine’s children have grown, they have all embraced the gospel. One daughter and two sons have served as missionaries, and one just received his call to serve in the Alpine German-Speaking Mission. The two oldest have married in the temple, and the youngest is now in high school, faithful in every way. Was it worth it? Oh yes, it was worth it.

Sister Eileen Waite attended the same stake conference where Dave Orchard told of his conversion experience. Throughout the conference, all she could think of was her own family and particularly her sister, Michelle, who had long been away from the Church. Michelle was divorced and trying to raise four children. Eileen felt impressed to send her a copy of Elder M. Russell Ballard’s book Our Search for Happiness, together with her testimony, which she did. The very next week a friend told Eileen that she too had felt that she should contact Michelle. This friend also wrote Michelle a note, sharing her testimony and expressing her love. Isn’t it interesting how often the Spirit works on several people to help one in need?

Time passed. Michelle called Eileen and thanked her for the book. She said that she was beginning to recognize the spiritual void in her life. Eileen told her that she knew that the peace she was seeking could be found in the gospel. She told her that she loved her and wanted her to be happy. Michelle began to make changes in her life. Soon she met a wonderful man who was active in the Church. They married and a year later were sealed in the Ogden Utah Temple. Recently her 24-year-old son was baptized.

Sharing Time: I am very thankful for the missionaries who found my dad and the friend who introduced my mom to the gospel. Because of them and my parents' decisions to join the Church, I have an eternal family. Every one of us in the Church is the result of missionary work, whether in this generation or a hundred years back. We all owe gratitude to someone for sharing the gospel with us or our ancestors. What is your story?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

"Line upon Line"

Continued story about missionary work with our neighbors:

Our neighbors returned to church again on Sunday, and the boy wanted to stay the third hour instead of going to his church to go to Sharing/Singing Time with me. He enjoyed it and asked if he could stay again next time.

That evening the missionaries and another member stopped by for a surprise visit to talk to our neighbors at our place. They talked for a couple hours and asked her if she would be baptized. She said yes! She shared how she almost got baptized in her own church, but was saved by a very strong and sudden urge to use the bathroom, which had a very long line. She also felt that the Gospel Essentials lesson on baptism earlier that day and something Justin said during their discussion prepared her for this moment.

After they left, she talked more to Justin about some concerns she had. Later I admitted to Justin that I felt very out of place the whole evening since the other members there had been or currently were missionaries and knew what to say and how and when to say it. He reminded me that I had done the hardest and most important part in introducing our neighbors to the gospel.

Tuesday night all of us there Sunday night went to the Mesa Temple Visitors' Center to watch the Joseph Smith movie. We were early, so my friend talked to some sister missionaries while we waited. She still had some concerns going forward with her commitment to join the Church and felt very overwhelmed by all the information she had gained and how it would affect her life.

After the movie, she shared the parallels it had with her present situation. Her son was emotionally affected by the persecution shown in the movie. I didn't realize how intense the movie could be for a ten-year-old.

I hope they continue to gain a testimony of the gospel and the Church, "line upon line, precept upon precept" (2 Nephi 28:30), and take the leap of faith in getting baptized in the near future. Please pray for them!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

"The Spirit of God like a Fire Is Burning"

My previous post was about the missionary work I started with my neighbor. Today she and her son went to church with us. She had met a couple other people in the ward previously at my house too, and we sat with one of them.

I explained to her about the sacrament and told her she was welcome to bear her testimony if she felt impressed to do so. When testimony meeting started, I was nervous. I knew I was going to go up, but I didn't know when and I had no idea what I wanted to say. I usually only go up because I have something specific to share. After a few people went, my neighbor whispered to me, "I'm going up!" I told her I would too. I went first and bore my testimony of the Church, Book of Mormon, keeping the commandments, and President Monson. She then followed, asking me to stay up with her. She shared the story I shared with you about our conversations and how she has seen God in her life. She ended pleading with the members to open their mouths and share the gospel. I was very impressed with her courage (and a little embarrassed to be up there while she was talking about me in front of the whole ward!). More people shared their testimonies, one of which particularly touched her. It was such a powerful testimony meeting. I have felt the Spirit before in testimony meetings, but not so intensely and collectively as today. It was in the whole room, not just in my heart. I felt the value of and connection between each testimony. As the hymn proclaims, "The Spirit of God like a fire [was] burning."

At the end of the meeting, many people welcomed her and thanked her for her testimony, and she talked to the sister who moved her. When she realized she had more time than she thought, she decided to stay for Sunday School. I asked the other ward member she knew to stay with her while I took her son to Primary and got some stuff. Another brother suggested she go to Gospel Essentials, and that is where I met up with her and our friend. The teacher, a recently returned missionary, taught about repentance. My neighbor was attentive and took notes and even asked for a copy of the Gospel Principles book.

They could not stay for the last hour, but she said she would like to return, especially since the time allows for her to make the first two meetings before her church begins. I did ask her to come all three hours just one Sunday in the future so her son could be with me in Primary Sharing/Singing Time and she could go to the women's meeting. I hope she eventually will want to stay the whole time at our church every week! Pray for all of us!

Challenge: As my neighbor asked, open your mouth and share the gospel!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"How Great Shall Be Your Joy"

Sometimes I still struggle with the fact that I did not get to serve a mission, especially since the age has been lowered and sister missionaries now are more common and viewed more positively. When I start feeling jealous or inferior, I remind myself that I don't need a name tag to be a missionary and that the emphasis is on members being the fishers now. But how to start? High school presented plenty of opportunities to share and defend the gospel, and I even gave a Book of Mormon to a friend. Then while attending BYU and living in Mesa/Gilbert, it was harder to find and interact with nonmembers. But now here in Phoenix, the field is white and ready to harvest!

A couple weeks ago I finally met my downstairs neighbors, a mom and her 10-year-old son from the Chicago area. We've been hanging out ever since. Monday evening they were over here and we got talking about what Mormons believe. It led to me giving the mom a Book of Mormon and discussing the gospel until 9:30 p.m. She shared that she felt peace at that moment and the Spirit in our home every time she comes. She was so excited, and I was excited that she was excited. She said she felt like this is what she was missing in her life.

I could not believe my ears! Although my close friends have always been respectful of my beliefs and willing to listen, and the friend I gave the Book of Mormon to accepted it, I have never received the kind of response my neighbor displayed. I was so ecstatic and nervous--and lost at times because I felt so out of practice. She reignited the fire within me. Even before this golden missionary moment, her closeness to the Spirit and desire to follow God's will and trust Him completely inspired me to work more on my own spirituality and relationship with Christ.

Yesterday we discussed the Atonement. My simple explanation taken from Alma 7:11-13 gave her the comforting answers she was looking for. I told her about fast and testimony meetings and she asked if she could come to the next one. I asked her if she wanted to meet with the missionaries and she agreed, though she doesn't understand why it's necessary since she said I was doing just fine teaching her. She thanked me for giving her this great treasure (a "nugget" in her own words).

Today she shared with me that she told her out-of-state boyfriend about what happened and he reacted positively. I was afraid he would tell her to stop talking to me or something, but apparently, before now, neither had heard anything about Mormons beyond the name!

I feel like a real missionary. I am so excited and happy, as described in D&C 18:15. I wonder if this is how the missionaries feel when they teach investigators and if the feeling wears off as time goes on or gets more intense. I am so happy to be part of this woman's spiritual journey, even if it doesn't lead to baptism. She has proven to be a blessing in my life as well. We already have a great friendship!

Challenge: Don't let fear or insecurity keep you from sharing the most precious gift you can offer Heavenly Father's children. You don't have to be a formal missionary to be an instrument in the Lord's hands!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What the New Missionary Ages Really Mean

Today we had a regional stake conference, in which Elder Holland spoke. He ended his talk with what lowering the missionary ages really means and how missionary work affects all of us:

1. The change had nothing to do with convenience for young adults and everything to do with the large labor before us. The world needs more missionaries!

2. Time spent at the MTC has been cut down a third. The real MTC is the home, and preparation must start earlier. (I feel strongly about this, as I wrote in my post "This Is My Sacred Duty.")

3. Just as we want our children to have successful missions wherever they go, so do the parents of the missionaries sent to our area. We need to help them.

4. Tracting is no longer a reality today. We have to be the finders. Missionaries are simply the teachers.

Discussion: What can we do to make missionaries successful, both ones we send out and ones we receive?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Follow the Savior's Example

Part 3 of my sacrament talk (read Part 1 and Part 2):

With so much responsibility to teach by good example, show love, and learn along with and from our children, it is important that we have good examples to follow. Heavenly Father gave us the best example: His Son, Jesus Christ. “What manner of men ought ye to be?” asked the Savior. “Even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27). We will never fail by doing what He did.
Sometimes it is hard to emulate the Savior because He was so perfect, so he has given us other examples to follow: Christ-like Church leaders and family members. If we ever do not know how to act in a situation, we can watch and imitate them, and in turn be imitating Christ. Our children will also be inspired to follow good examples as they see us strive to do the same and see the happiness and peace it brings to our lives.

Being an example in our homes and following the example of our Redeemer fulfills His call for us to be a light unto the world and a standard unto the nations. Those around us will notice our positive family lives and be touched by our examples, which will plant gospel seeds in their hearts, allowing them to someday accept the gospel and change their families to positive influences as well. So by being an example of the believers to our children we are doing missionary work.

I then closed by bearing my testimony, reminding our ward to be examples of reverence to our children so we can accomplish our goal of being more reverent, and embarrassed my son's Nursery teacher by sharing how her example has touched me.
Sharing Time: Who are good examples in your life?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"Be Thou an Example of the Believers" at Home

Today, my husband and I spoke in sacrament meeting. Here is the first part of my talk (read Part 2 and Part 3):

“The effect of our words and acts is tremendous in this world. Every moment of life you are changing to a degree the lives of the whole world.” Those are the words of President David O. McKay.* If we have such an astounding influence over the world, we need to be examples of righteousness. As Paul counseled, “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. . . . Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in so doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:12, 16).
The Lord said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also” (John 14:12). So to be an example of the believers is to do what the Lord has done so that we can “save [ourselves], and them that hear [us].”
We usually apply this principle to missionary work, but it also extends into family life. As The Family: a Proclamation to the World teaches, “the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” and “the family [is] the fundamental unit of society.” If we are first examples in our own homes, our righteous families will bless the communities in which we live and help others desire to know more about the gospel and become like us.
President Wilford Woodruff warned, “In our zeal to preach the Gospel to the people of all nations, we should not forget the duties devolving upon us in regard to the proper bringing up of our own children, instilling in them, when young, a love for truth and virtue, and reverence for sacred things, and affording them a knowledge of the principles of the Gospel. . . . It is . . . a great blessing to children to have parents who pray and teach their children good principles, and set a good example before them.”
Setting a good example is the best way to teach our children. No matter how much we talk about the gospel, they won’t truly learn, understand, and gain a testimony of it unless they see us live it. Our actions must follow our words.
“It is the duty of parents and of the Church,” said President McKay, “not only to teach but also to demonstrate to young people that living a life of truth and moral purity brings joy and happiness, while violations of moral and social laws result only in dissatisfaction, sorrow, and, when carried to extreme, in degradation.
“It is our duty as adults and [as parents] to set them a proper example in the home and in society. It is our responsibility to impress our children with our sincerity in our belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Never should parents teach one thing about the gospel and do another. Children are very susceptible to insincerity.”
And President Woodruff said, “Parents cannot properly reprove [or correct] children for doing things which they practice themselves.”
I haven’t been the best example to my son. I like to hit Justin playfully when he says something obnoxious or teases me. One day my son started to do the same. He would hit Justin and laugh. I immediately had to stop the behavior, much to Justin’s joy, because I did not want my son to hit his father or others and think it funny. [In his talk, Justin said I still hit him, I'm just cautious about it, making sure Caden isn't around first.] I’ve had to reevaluate all my actions to make sure they are not ones I wouldn’t want my son to imitate, especially in how I express my anger.
The Book of Mormon prophet Jacob told us the consequences of being bad examples as parents: “Ye have . . . lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them . . . Remember your children, how that ye have grieved their hearts because of the example that ye have set before them; and also, remember that ye may, because of your filthiness, bring your children unto destruction, and their sins be heaped upon your heads at the last day” (Jacob 2:35, 3:10). Our children will not trust us and obey us if we are bad examples, making us partially responsible for their bad choices.
On the other hand, a righteous example holds much power. A couple months after my son was born, I was determined that our family have scripture study together, something my immediate family and Justin and I were not consistent in. Every night we would sing a Primary song, pray, and read the Book of Mormon. One night when Caden was about a year old, he suddenly folded his arms when we were about to pray. Justin and I were shocked. It was not something we were actively teaching him; we didn’t fold his arms for him during prayer. He learned simply by watching us. I then understood how important my example as a parent is in teaching my son the gospel.
I too saw good examples from my parents. Although we didn’t always have family scripture study while I was growing up (they do now with my younger sister), I always saw my parents reading the scriptures, the Ensign, the Church News, and other Church material. They would often share with us what they were reading and learning. Because of their examples, personal scripture study was not something I struggled with during my adolescent years, a time when many teens do. I desired to do it and it felt natural to me. Ever since I left their home, I have struggled to maintain the dedication I had when I was younger, but I continue to work on it so that my children will have the same example to follow as I did.
Sharing Time: How were your parents good examples to you?
*All quotes taken from the Teachings of Presidents of the Church series.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Called to Serve Where He Wants Us to Serve

lds.org
Two years ago I wrote a post about our attitude toward mission calls. Yesterday, I read this passage from Elder W. Christopher Waddell's General Conference talk, "The Opportunity of a Lifetime," in October 2011.

We have a Father in Heaven, who knows us—our strengths and weaknesses, our abilities and potential. He knows which mission president and companions and which members and investigators we need in order to become the missionary, the husband and father, and the priesthood holder we are capable of becoming.

Prophets, seers, and revelators assign missionaries under the direction and influence of the Holy Ghost. Inspired mission presidents direct transfers every six weeks and quickly learn that the Lord knows exactly where He wants each missionary to serve.
 
A few years ago, Elder Javier Misiego, from Madrid, Spain, was serving a full-time mission in Arizona. At that time, his mission call to the United States appeared somewhat unusual, as most young men from Spain were being called to serve in their own country.
 
At the conclusion of a stake fireside, where he and his companion had been invited to participate, Elder Misiego was approached by a less-active member of the Church who had been brought by a friend. It was the first time this man had been inside a chapel in years. Elder Misiego was asked if he might know a José Misiego in Madrid. When Elder Misiego responded that his father’s name was José Misiego, the man excitedly asked a few more questions to confirm that this was the José Misiego. When it was determined that they were speaking about the same man, this less-active member began to weep. “Your father was the only person I baptized during my entire mission,” he explained and described how his mission had been, in his mind, a failure. He attributed his years of inactivity to some feelings of inadequacy and concern, believing that he had somehow let the Lord down.
 
Elder Misiego then described what this supposed failure of a missionary meant to his family. He told him that his father, baptized as a young single adult, had married in the temple, that Elder Misiego was the fourth of six children, that all three boys and a sister had served full-time missions, that all were active in the Church, and that all who were married had been sealed in the temple.
 
The less-active returned missionary began to sob. Through his efforts, he now learned, scores of lives had been blessed, and the Lord had sent an elder from Madrid, Spain, all the way to a fireside in Arizona to let him know that he had not been a failure. The Lord knows where He wants each missionary to serve.

Challenge: Remember that mission calls, and all other callings for that matter, are divinely inspired so we can be instruments in the Lord's hands and bless His children.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

How to Create Missionary Opportunities

lds.org
Our stake conference today focused on missionary work, a responsibility of every member of the Church. Some of us are very enthusiastic and fearless about sharing the gospel. Others are very intimidated and clueless as to how to start. If you fit in the latter category, here are some ways you can create missionary opportunities and bring up the Church or the gospel easily by arousing people's interests non-aggressively:
  • Wear jewelry and clothing with LDS sayings on them, such as CTR or I love to see the temple. You can also put decals with LDS sayings and symbols on a backpack, tote bag, car, laptop, phone, etc.
  • When someone asks you about your weekend, talk about any church activities you attended, like baptisms, ward activities, temple weddings, and, of course, church on Sunday.
  • Display beautiful photos of Jesus and temples in your home and work area.
  • Read the Ensign, scriptures, or LDS books at the doctor's office, bus stop, and other waiting areas.
  • Invite friends to fun church activities, such as sports games, dances, a recreational family home evening, community service, or ward holiday activities. Also invite them to spiritual activities in which your family is involved, like your child's baby blessing or baptism, speaking in sacrament meeting or Primary, or participating in a special musical number.
  • Invite friends to very special Church events, like any pageants, concerts, or temple open houses in your area.
Pray to know how to answer questions people may have, for courage to answer them, and for them to feel the Spirit and let seeds be planted, if not more.

Discussion: What are other ways we can create missionary opportunities?

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Power of Service

I received this story from my father, who got it from his bishop. It has been edited for usage and clarity. Names have been changed for privacy:

This is an amazing story, a miracle really, that happened right here in the loving Lake Elsinore Ward.

There was a very less-active man married to a very active woman: the Smith family. They lived in Horse Thief and had three little children. Sister Smith held callings and juggled her kids and was as active and faithful as could be. What an example she was. Brother Smith was a good guy, but just didn't care much for the Church. 

They asked us to help them move out when Brother Smith found his dream job across the country on the East Coast. As always, our sweet priesthood brethren and our Relief Society sisters jumped in without hesitation to assist in the move. 

The Lord works in mysterious ways! Here's the rest of the story as written in a Facebook message from Brother Smith: 
"Hello Bishop Johnson! Thanks for accepting my friend request. Sister Smith says she's updated you in Christmas letters about my progressing LDSification.

"I thought to get in touch with you because I came across a photo I took the day some guys from your ward helped me pack our
 whole house into a truck! The service I received and the love I felt that day were important parts of my conversion. I'd like to show you the pic, and maybe if the guys in it are still around, you could thank them for me. You could also let them know that the part-member family they helped that day is now sealed in the temple! I've served in many Young Men callings and am thrilled to now be Ward Mission Leader. I have a great love for my Father in Heaven, and I love to serve His children in any way He'll let me. Since we live in a university town, I get a lot of opportunities to follow the good brothers in that photo, helping people move. That is some of my favorite service because it's a hard transition, moving, so people are very clearly in need and willing to accept the service. Also, you really get to know new members when you wrestle their pianos in and out of apartments.

"The photo is attached.

"Also, I would like to thank you for baptizing my son Max. I'm sorry that I couldn't have been more a part of that ordinance and that special day. But you must have done a good job! He is an amazing young man that his peers and adults alike enjoy and respect. Two weeks ago he got his patriarchal blessing and I got to share in it with him. Awesome!

"Brother Smith"



This story is just one example of the power of service in bringing people to Christ. Never underestimate the influence the smallest act of service can have in someone's life.

Challenge: Accept any opportunity to serve, no matter how small or simple.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

'Tis the Season...

Mesa Temple
....for missionary work! There is no better time to share the gospel than during the Christmas season. People are more receptive because the Spirit is strong, everyone is kind and cheerful, and there is a lot of focus on Christ. Invite friends and family to:
  • walk the temple grounds, especially if it has a visitors' center, is decorated with lights and a nativity, or hosts mini concerts.
  • watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional the first Sunday in December.
  • watch Joy to the World, the Church's short DVD on the Savior's birth.
  • watch any Christmas video by the Church.
  • read or reenact the story of Christ's birth.
  • go to a religious Christmas pageant.
  • participate in service.
  • attend your ward's Christmas party.
  • go caroling, singing Christmas hymns.
  • write letters or send care packages to missionaries.
  • join you for Family Home Evening.
  • come to church.
  • read the Book of Mormon.
Challenge: Invite friends or family to do one of the above activities. Share your testimony with them afterward.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Saturday's Warriors

As corny and somewhat doctrinally incorrect the play Saturday's Warrior is, the main song is truly inspiring:



Who are these children coming down, coming down,
Like gentle rain through darkened skies,
With glory trailing from their feet as they go
And endless promise in their eyes?

Who are these young ones growing tall, growing strong,
Like silver trees against the storm,
Who will not bend with the wind or the change,
But stand to fight the world alone?

These are the few, the warriors saved for Saturday,
To come the last day of the world.
These are they on Saturday.
These are the strong, the warriors rising in their might
To win the battle raging in the hearts of men on Saturday.

Strangers from a realm of light who have forgotten all
The memory of their former life, the purpose of their call.
And so they must learn why they're here and who they really are.
They must learn why they're here and who they are!

These are the few, the warriors saved for Saturday,
To come the last day of the world.
These are they on Saturday.
These are the strong, the warriors rising in their might
To win the battle raging in the hearts of men on Saturday.

In their sunlight armor they march forth to conquer all.
And with their swords ablaze with fire watch the darkness fall.
But first they must learn why they're here and who they really are.
They must learn why they're here and who they are!

These are the few, the warriors saved for Saturday,
To come the last day of the world.
These are they on Saturday.
These are the strong, the warriors rising in their might
To win the battle raging in the hearts of men on Saturday.

These are they
Who come forth on Saturday,
Saturday, Saturday!

It reiterates what prophets have said about our generation. "I regard you as the finest generation in the history of the Church," proclaimed President Hinckley. "Each time I have stood before such a group, there has come into my mind the great and prophetic statement made by Peter of old. Said he: 'Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.' (1 Pet. 2:9.)

"I know of no other statement which more aptly describes you, nor which sets before you a higher ideal by which to shape and guide your lives."

The same goes for past generations, not just ours, as noted by Elder John M. Madsen: "President Joseph Fielding Smith declared: 'Our young people … are the nobility of heaven, a choice and chosen generation who have a divine destiny. Their spirits have been reserved to come forth in this day when the gospel is on the earth, and when the Lord needs valiant servants to carry on his great latter-day work.'

"President Spencer W. Kimball declared, 'We are rearing a royal generation … who have special things to do.'"

All of us in this last dispensation--"Saturday"--were reserved for this time because we are great warriors needed to fight for the Lord before He returns. Unfortunately, not everyone has joined His army. Therefore, it is imperative that they "learn why they're here and who they really are." This responsibility is ours, as parents, as friends, as missionaries. The change in the world would be magnificent if every child of God knew of his or her divinity and acted upon that knowledge. Just think: Hitler used to be an innocent baby straight from heaven. Can you imagine what kind of leader he could have been if he had remembered his divinity and not allowed evil to enter his heart?

Let us all remember that we are children of God, armed with great power and strength to defeat Satan. Let us live up to our potential as Saturday's warriors and fight for the Lord!

Challenge: Remember who you are and why you're here and help others remember.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"I'm Going to Boise!"

The LDS comedy The Singles Ward plays up the oft-used missionary joke of being called to serve in Boise, Idaho. After a young man opens his mission call, his friends say something polite and quickly come up with excuses to leave, commenting privately how awful his call is. When the young man shares his call at a store, the employee smiles politely and says, "How nice." Other mission calls viewed as awful include a missionary's home country, a place only a few hours away, or a place where they speak the missionary's native language.

Why do we have this attitude about mission calls? The purpose of a mission is not to go on a vacation, study abroad, or collect stories for bragging rights (as played up in The RM). It's not about us! The purpose of a mission is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). Heavenly Father wants all His children to return to Him and He loves them all the same, regardless of where they live or what language they speak. No people are worth more or less to Heavenly Father, no mission is better than another, and all missions have challenges. We must view a mission call as an opportunity to bless His children with the joy of the gospel. We must learn to love the people, the place, and the culture. Only when we have the right attitude about missionary work will we be successful.

Challenge: Next mission call opening you attend, have genuine excitement and support for the missionary no matter where he or she is going. If the call is your own, pray for sincere love and joy before opening it.

photo from ldsfilm.com

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Praise to the Man"




















June 27 marks the 166th anniversary of Joseph Smith's death. I found this amazing video in honor of him (click here for another good one). I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and restored His church to the earth. I know that he loved the Saints and the Lord and that he sacrificed so much to bring us the blessings of the gospel. Praise to the man!

Challenge: May we continue to share his story and our testimony of him with all the world so that he did not die in vain.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Salt of the Earth

Christ commanded us to be the salt of the earth (3 Nephi 12:13, Matthew 5:13). What is so special about salt? The Israelites had to use salt in their sacrifices to symbolize the Lord's preserving them just as salt preserves food (Leviticus 2:13, Numbers 18:19). Christ fulfilled the law of Moses and did away with sacrifices, but He still used salt symbolically when He called us the salt of the earth.
  1. Salt is obtained by evaporation, the removal of moisture by sunlight. We become the salt of the earth by allowing Christ, the source of all light, to remove our sins.

  2. Salt is white, the color of purity. We too must be pure.

  3. Salt preserves food, drying out moisture that allows it to spoil. We can preserve souls by bringing them to Christ and showing them how to repent of all soul-spoiling sin.

  4. Salt draws out and intensifies the natural flavor of food. Likewise, we can draw out and intensify the natural goodness in others by being an example of good.

  5. Salt adds flavor to bland food. We can add purpose (flavor) to others' lives by sharing the gospel with them and helping them be happy.

Also, isn't it interesting that the Lord had the Saints settle in the Great Salt Lake area?

Discussion: How else can we be the salt of the earth?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mormon Messages


ldsmediatalk.com
 On the Church Web site, at the bottom of the home page and on the right sidebar, are featured videos called Mormon Messages. They are short clips from General Conference talks with music, photos, and background videos added to them. My favorite is the one entitled "Prayer."

Mormon Messages is a great way to share short and uplifting stories, testimonies, and counsel with family and friends, whether they are LDS or not. Above the featured video on the Church Web site is a toolbar allowing you to post the video or link on various social networking sites, such as Facebook. Mormon Messages also has a channel on YouTube, with videos in Spanish, to which you can subscribe. Share the light!

Sharing Time: Which Mormon Message is your favorite?