Sunday, 28 August 2016

September 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

Parenthood Is a Sacred Duty 

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Our Heavenly Father established families to help us teach correct principles in a loving atmosphere. President Thomas S. Monson said: “Give your child a compliment and a hug; say, ‘I love you’ more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”1

Susan W. Tanner, former Young Women general president, taught: “Our Father in Heaven exemplifies the pattern we should follow. He loves us, teaches us, is patient with us, and entrusts us with our agency. … Sometimes discipline, which means ‘to teach,’ is confused with criticism. Children—as well as people of all ages—improve behavior from love and encouragement more than from fault-finding.”2

“If we faithfully have family prayer, scripture study, family home evening, priesthood blessings, and Sabbath day observance,” said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “our children will … be prepared for an eternal home in heaven, regardless of what befalls them in a difficult world.”3

 

Additional Scriptures

1 Nephi 8:37; 3 Nephi 22:13; Doctrine and Covenants 93:40; 121:41
 

Living Stories

“I was reading the newspaper when one of my young grandsons snuggled up to me,” said Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “As I read, I was delighted to hear his sweet voice chattering on in the background. Imagine my surprise when, a few moments later, he pushed himself between me and the paper. Taking my face in his hands and pressing his nose up to mine, he asked, ‘Grandpa! Are you in there?’

“… Being there means understanding the hearts of our youth and connecting with them. And connecting with them means not just conversing with them but doing things with them too. …

“We must plan and take advantage of teaching moments. …

“… The more I live, the more I recognize that the teaching moments in my youth, especially those provided by my parents, have shaped my life and made me who I am.”4

Consider This


Why is the gospel best taught by the language and example of love?

Notes

1. Thomas S. Monson, “Love at Home—Counsel from Our Prophet,” Ensign, Aug. 2011, 4.
2. Susan W. Tanner, “Did I Tell You … ?” Ensign, May 2003, 74.
3. Quentin L. Cook, “The Lord Is My Light,” Ensign, May 2015, 64.
4. Robert D. Hales, “Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders to the Rising Generation,” Ensign, May 2010, 96, 95.

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

August 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.


 Nurturing Families Together
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A “husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.”1 “The home is to be God’s laboratory of love and service,” said President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“Our Heavenly Father wants husbands and wives to be faithful to each other and to esteem and treat their children as an heritage from the Lord.”2

In the Book of Mormon, Jacob said that the love that husbands had for their wives, the love that wives had for their husbands, and the love that both had for their children was among the reasons the Lamanites were at one point more righteous than the Nephites (see Jacob 3:7).

One of the best ways to invite love and harmony into our homes is by speaking kindly to our family members. Speaking kindly brings the Holy Ghost. Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, asked us to consider: “How often do we intentionally ‘speak kind words to each other’?”3

 

Additional Scriptures

Romans 12:10; Mosiah 4:15; Doctrine and Covenants 25:5

 

Living Stories

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a childhood experience that impressed upon him the importance of a loving family. When he and his brothers were boys, their mother had radical cancer surgery that made it very painful for her to use her right arm. With a family of boys, there was a lot of ironing, but as his mother ironed, she often stopped and went into the bedroom to cry until the pain subsided.

When Elder Christofferson’s father realized what was happening, he secretly went without lunches for almost a year to save enough money to buy a machine that made ironing easier. Out of his love for his wife, he set an example of nurturing within families for his boys. Of this tender interaction, Elder Christofferson said, “I was not aware of my father’s sacrifice and act of love for my mother at the time, but now that I know, I say to myself, ‘There is a man.’”4

 

Consider This

How does loving and caring for one another invite the Spirit into our homes?

 

Notes

1. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 129.
2. Russell M. Nelson, “Salvation and Exaltation,” Ensign, May 2008, 8.
3. Linda K. Burton, “We’ll Ascend Together,” Ensign, May 2015, 31.
4. D. Todd Christofferson, “Let Us Be Men,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, 46.
 


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Sunday, 26 June 2016

July 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

Our Potential for Parenthood

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 “It was essential that God’s spirit children have mortal birth and an opportunity to progress toward eternal life,” taught Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “In light of the ultimate purpose of the great plan of happiness, I believe that the ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and our posterity.”1

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:

“We believe in families, and we believe in children. …

“‘… God said unto [Adam and Eve], Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth’ [Genesis 1:28]. …

“This commandment has not been forgotten or set aside in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”2

Though not all of us become parents in this life, we can nurture children of every age. We enjoy the blessings of being part of Heavenly Father’s family, and we experience the joys and challenges of being part of an earthly family. And for many, parenthood awaits them in the eternities ahead.

Additional Scriptures


Psalm 127:3; Matthew 18:3–5; 1 Nephi 7:1; Moses 5:2–3

Living Stories


“Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family,” said Elder Andersen. “My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: ‘[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.’ She then adds: ‘Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.’”3

Consider This


In what ways is our earthly family like our heavenly family?

Notes


1. Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 72, 75.
2. Neil L. Andersen, “Children,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 28.
3. Neil L. Andersen, “Children,” 28.


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Saturday, 28 May 2016

June 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.


Temple Ordinances and Covenants
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All the ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation are accompanied by covenants with God. “Making and keeping covenants means choosing to bind ourselves to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ,” said Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president.1

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “The Lord said, ‘In the ordinances … the power of godliness is manifest.’

“There are special blessings from God for every worthy person who is baptized, receives the Holy Ghost, and regularly partakes of the sacrament.”2

“When men and women go to the temple,” said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “they are both endowed with the same power, which is priesthood power …

“… All men and all women have access to this power for help in their lives. All who have made sacred covenants with the Lord and who honor those covenants are eligible to receive personal revelation, to be blessed by the ministering of angels, to commune with God, to receive the fulness of the gospel, and, ultimately, to become heirs alongside Jesus Christ of all our Father has.”3

 

Additional Scriptures

1 Nephi 14:14; Doctrine and Covenants 25:13; 97:8; 109:22

 

Living Stories

In 2007, four days after a massive earthquake in Peru, Elder Marcus B. Nash of the Seventy met branch president Wenceslao Conde and his wife, Pamela. “Elder Nash asked Sister Conde how her little children were. With a smile, she replied that through the goodness of God they were all safe and well. He asked about the Condes’ home.

“‘It’s gone,’ she said simply.

“… ’And yet,’ Elder Nash noted, ‘you are smiling as we talk.’

“’Yes,’ she said, ‘I have prayed and I am at peace. We have all we need. We have each other, we have our children, we are sealed in the temple, we have this marvelous Church, and we have the Lord. We can build again with the Lord’s help.’ …

“What is it about making and keeping covenants with God that gives us the power to smile through hardships, to convert tribulation into triumph … ?”

“The source is God. Our access to that power is through our covenants with Him.”4

Consider This

How do temple ordinances and covenants strengthen and empower us?

Notes

1. Linda K. Burton, “The Power, Joy, and Love of Covenant Keeping,” Liahona, Nov. 2013, 111.
2. Neil L. Andersen, “Power in the Priesthood,” Liahona, Nov. 2013, 92.
3. M. Russell Ballard, “Men and Women in the Work of the Lord,” Liahona, Apr. 2014, 48–49.
4. See D. Todd Christofferson, “The Power of Covenants,” Liahona, May 2009, 19, 20–21.



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Thursday, 28 April 2016

May 2016

The message for May is taken from a conference talk. As you carefully consider the needs of those under your care select a talk/talks that would uplift them.

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Sunday, 27 March 2016

April 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

Daughters of Our Eternal Father 

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The scriptures teach us that “we are the offspring of God” (Acts 17:29). God referred to Emma Smith, wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as “my daughter” (D&C 25:1). The family proclamation teaches us that we are each “a beloved spirit … daughter of heavenly parents.”1

“In [the premortal] realm, we learned about our eternal female identity,” said Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.

“Our mortal journey to earth did not change those truths.”2

“Your Father in Heaven knows your name and knows your circumstance,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “He hears your prayers. He knows your hopes and dreams, including your fears and frustrations.”3

“We each belong to and are needed in the family of God,” said Sister Stephens. “Earthly families all look different. And while we do the best we can to create strong traditional families, membership in the family of God is not contingent upon any kind of status—marital status, parental status, financial status, social status, or even the kind of status we post on social media.”4


Additional Scriptures

Jeremiah 1:5; Romans 8:16; Doctrine and Covenants 76:23–24


From Our History

In his account of the First Vision,5 the Prophet Joseph Smith verifies many truths—including that our Heavenly Father knows our name.

Young Joseph struggled to know which church to join and found guidance in James 1:5. Joseph concluded he would ask God.

One spring morning in 1820, he went to the woods to pray but was immediately seized upon by some dark power. Of this he wrote:

“Just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

“It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith—History 1:16–17).



Consider This

How does knowing you are a daughter of God affect your decisions? 

Notes

  1.  “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 129.
  2.  Carole M. Stephens, “The Family Is of God,” Ensign, May 2015, 11.
  3.  Jeffrey R. Holland, “To Young Women,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 28.
  4.  Carole M. Stephens, “The Family Is of God,” 11.
  5.  See Gospel Topics, “First Vision Accounts,” topics.lds.org.
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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

March 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

Created in the Image of God

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“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. …

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26–27).

God is our Heavenly Father, and He created us in His image. Of this truth, President Thomas S. Monson said: “God our Father has ears with which to hear our prayers. He has eyes with which to see our actions. He has a mouth with which to speak to us. He has a heart with which to feel compassion and love. He is real. He is living. We are his children made in his image. We look like him and he looks like us.”1

“Latter-day Saints see all people as children of God in a full and complete sense; they consider every person divine in origin, nature, and potential.”2 Each is “a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.”3

“[The Prophet] Joseph Smith also learned that God desires that His children receive the same kind of exalted existence of which He partakes.”4 As God said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

Additional Scriptures

Genesis 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 3:17; Doctrine and Covenants 130:1

From the Scriptures

The brother of Jared in the Book of Mormon sought for a way to light the eight barges designed to carry the Jaredites across the waters to the promised land. He “did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones” and prayed that God would “touch these stones” with His finger “that they may shine forth in darkness.” And God “stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one.” The veil was taken from the eyes of the brother of Jared, and “he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man. …

“And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?

“And he answered: Yea, Lord.”

And “the Lord showed himself unto [the brother of Jared]” and said, “Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.” (See Ether 3:1–17.)

 

Consider This

How does knowing that each person is created in God’s image help us in our association with others?

Notes

1. Thomas S. Monson, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” in Conference Report, Apr. 1966, 63.
2. Gospel Topics, “Becoming Like God,” topics.lds.org; see also Moses 7:31–37.
3. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129.
4. Gospel Topics, “Becoming Like God,” topics.lds.org; see also Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 221.

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