Monday, December 19, 2011

Gifts for the Savior

Young Women's Lesson

or a Family Home Evening Lesson...

Share this story {from YW Lesson Manuel 3, Lesson 2, Coming to Know the Savior} using a picture of the Savior.

Divine Redeemer by Simon Dewey
A man died and was resurrected and waiting in a room to be interviewed. Another man was ahead of him. The door opened, the man entered, and the door closed. The man on the outside could hear the conversation on the other side of the door. The interviewer began: “I want you to tell me what you know about Jesus Christ.”
“Well, He was born of Mary in Bethlehem; he lived thirty-three years, spending the last three organizing his church, choosing his Apostles, and giving the gospel to direct our lives.”
The interviewer stopped him and said: “Yes, yes, that’s all true, but I want you to tell me what you know about Jesus Christ.”
“Well, he suffered and died so that we could have eternal life. Three days later he was resurrected so that we might return to Heavenly Father.”
“Yes, yes, that is true, but I want you to tell me what you know about Jesus Christ.” The man, a little perplexed, again began: “Well, he restored the gospel in its fullness to the earth through Joseph Smith, reorganized his church, gave us temples so we could do work to save our dead. He gave us personal ordinances for our salvation and exaltation.”
The interviewer again stopped him and said, “All of what you have said to me is true.” The man was then invited to leave the room. After he left the door opened and the second man entered. As he approached the interviewer he fell upon his knees and cried, “My Lord, my God.”

Use this  section {from YW Lesson Manuel 3, Lesson 2, Coming to Know the Savior} :
Ask each young woman to consider her own situation and answer the following question in her mind.
  • Are you presently well enough acquainted with the Savior that you would recognize him if you were to walk into his presence?
We discussed how  each week they come to church and learn about Jesus Christ.  For many of them they have been learning about Him in primary, Seminary, and at home.  Then there comes a time when we must all become converted for ourselves and KNOW Christ by the way we live and keep His commandments 
    Be sure they understand that it is not necessary to see the Savior in order to come to know him. Even though he has promised to show himself to the righteous in his own way and time (see D&C 93:1), he also told Thomas, “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).


    Show the picture of Jesus at the door.
     What is the principle this picture is trying to teach? 
    Then let everyone discuss this and what this means to them.  The YW in my class really liked talking about this picture and it's application in their own life.  This is a great edification moment that we hope to create several times throughout the lessons where the youth are teaching themselves and discovering on their own.

    3 Nephi 9:14

     14 Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will acome unto me ye shall have beternal life. Behold, mine carm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.
    How blessed we are and can be when we open the door, letting the Savior in our life and taking part in the many blessings and gifts that He has for us.

    Gifts for the Savior

    Using excerpts for President Uchtdorf's[in red] {2011 First Presidency Christmas Devotional}, Of Curtains, Contentment and Christmas share the following:

    In these precious moments of the holiday season, we realize what we feel and know in our heart—that Christmas is really about the Christ.
    Quote from {here} Christ: The real gift of Christmas [love this]

    Christmas and some of the cherished traditions of the season remind us that we, like the Wise Men of old, should seek the Christ and lay before Him the most precious of gifts
    Question What are some gifts that we give the Savior daily?  Let the youth come up with what gifts they feel they give the Savior daily.  Then here is President Uchtodorf's...

    ...a broken heart and a contrite spirit. We should offer Him our love. We should give Him our willingness to take upon ourselves His name and walk in the path of discipleship. We should promise to remember Him always, to emulate His example, and to go about doing good.
    We cannot offer Him the gift of perfection in all things because this is a gift beyond our capacity to give—at least for now. The Lord does not expect that we commit to move mountains. But He does require that we bring as gifts our best efforts to move ourselves, one foot in front of the other, walking in the ways He has prepared and taught.

    For those who are willing to bring these  gifts to the Savior, He has a gifts for us in return.

    The Savior's gifts 

    Question: Do you have a friend who always gives better gifts than you?  Someone who gives you such gifts, that try as might, you cannot give them a gift that could possibly match what they have given you? This analogy was used to try to illustrate the Savior's gifts to us. This is what President Uchtodorf said...

    This may be the most one-sided gift exchange in the history of the universe. The Savior’s gifts to us are breathtaking.

    1.)Let us begin with immortality.  Because the Savior overcame death, all men and women—both the just and the unjust—will live forever.
    2.)Then, forgiveness—even though our sins and imperfections be as scarlet, they can become white as snow because of Him.
    3)And finally, eternal life—the greatest gift of all.
    4) Because of the Atonement of Christ, not only are we guaranteed an infinite quantity of life, but He offers the possibility of an unimaginable quality of life as well.
    Some of His divine gifts are reserved for that glorious future day when we return to His presence.

    Question: What are the gift the Savior gives to us daily? Use the little presents inside the box to illustrate this section

     He extends many gifts and His grace to us every day. He promises to be with us, to come to us when we need comfort, to lift us when we stumble, to carry us if needed, to mourn and rejoice with us.

     Every day He offers to take us by the hand and help transform ordinary life into extraordinary spiritual experiences-President Uchtodorf

    During His life, the Savior ministered to others
    How does He minister to you?

    Use this section to illustrate personal ways the Lord ministers to us everyday, given as gifts, much like He ministered to the people of His day
    Everyday the Savior ministers and serves you in very personal ways
    Has there been a time when He came to you, when you felt unable to save  or heal yourself from certain situations or trials?
    Was there a   time you felt spiritually low or even dead, and He raised you?
    Has there been something in your life that has felt impossible, [like being blind], and He personally healed you and showed  you that He does His best work in impossible situations?

    These are just a few get the idea

    Of course, we do not need a Christmas holiday or Christmas traditions to remember Jesus Christ, our Savior. But the celebrations of Christmas can help remind us of Him. The hallowed Christmas season can be an opportunity to recommit to keep the fire of the Spirit and the glory of the Son of God burning in our hearts every day throughout the year.

    {Using the internet for lesson ideas}



    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Toilet Paper Roll Pillow Boxes

    I found the idea and pictures@, Her Beautiful Mess,

    This is a craft using none other than TOILET PAPER ROLLS.
    I am not kidding.  They are so cute and so....affordableStart saving your rolls!!

    You can use scrap-book paper to dress it up or leave it with-out

    Although these look a little wider than toilet paper rolls....
    the idea is still there of what you can do to make it look cute

    I am thinking....this might be a cute something for my Laurels for Christmas.  I am not sure what to put in it...maybe some candy, or a picture, or a quote...etc.

    Here is my attempt at it:

    To make these all you need is:

    toilet paper roll
    paper cut to 10 1/2 X 14 cm
    any accessories

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Family Scripture Study & Following the Prophet

    Our family scripture study this past year has been PATHETIC

    My only consolation is that I knew that our teenager group was reading on their own every night-because of Seminary (ya for Seminary!)

    When our children were younger (non teenager-ish), family scripture study went pretty well.  We let everyone know what time it would be, and they obediently came and participated. 

     We started family scripture reading when our oldest, Amber, who is now 20, was just barely learning to read. She would read the easy words like: was, if, and it came to pass, etc.  We would help her say the bigger words like: nevertheless, stiffneckedness, and exceedingly. Reading scriptures was kind of a reading practice time.  For even the younger ones, we would tell them what to say and they would repeat us.

    We then progressed to the point that everyone could read a little bit on their own without help...and we would try to explain what was going on in those verses.  Richard had to leave for work by 6:30, so we had family scripture study at 6:15 AM. 

     We decided that we needed to get everyone their very own Book of Mormon that was just for family scripture time. 
     We went and bought one Book of Mormon for everyone in our family. They were $3 a piece.

    We then found a basket (the top picture) that fit them all in nicely and that became kind of our "thing" for family scripture study.

    And as a family we were blessed for following the prophet...

    WELL....lately our family scripture hasn't been so shiny and so good.

    My husband teaches early morning seminary and has to leave the house at 6:00 AM every morning.
    Our older girls have part-time jobs, and are involved with high school sports where they are getting home very late some nights.  We have 2 college daughters living at home who work and have busy lives and  ask "do I still have to get up for family scriptures?"

    We really struggled with our schedule and fitting family scriptures in.  A lot of the time it was me reading with the kids after Dad was already gone.  That was better than nothing...but not much better.

    Even at that it was very hit and miss...and without the priesthood, our Dad, really didn't feel the same.

    We tried reading at night...I think we did it one time.  That didn't work for us because so many people were gone. It wasn't our normal tradition, and we kept forgetting.  (did I mention that it was pathetic?)

    Without the consistency and power from daily family scripture study I noticed a lessening of the Spirit in our home.  I still felt it, but not as strong. 

    We also felt that the shield around our family was becoming thinner. (that is a scary thought)
    We all seemed more susceptible to temptations and the negative influences around us.

    We have been counseled on the importance of having family scripture study.  We know the promises {See Gospel Outcomes},  and we know what we need to do!

    We had to stop and ask ourselves a few personal questions:

           What is the most important thing in our lives?

      Are we putting God first?

    What sacrifices are we willing to make[or need to make] to follow the Prophet?

    So we are starting over with reading the Book of Mormon as a family...with our Dad.
    We are waking up at the bright and early hour of 5:45 AM to do that. 

    We had a few grumpy attitudes this morning.  Surprisingly not from the teenager crowd, but our two youngest.  So before we started, we knelt down and had our family prayer.  Everyone grumbled about leaving their soft place on the couch and their blanket that they were half asleep in. After prayer, Richard went around the room and had everyone s-m-i-l-e.  That seemed to wake everyone up.

    This morning in our family scripture study.... we bumped into this:

    2 Nephi 2:11-12
    11 Now this he spake because of the astiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did bmurmur in many things against their cfather, because he was a dvisionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.
    12 And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their afather. And they did bmurmur because they cknew not the dealings of that God who had dcreated them.
    Richard asked the girls What are you willing to do to follow the prophet?  Would you move if we were asked to?  Would you give up your precious things if that was required of you? Would you wake up at 5:45 AM to read the scriptures if that is what we needed to do?

    I loved that insight and application into our personal situation.

    What are we willing to do to follow the prophet?

    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Arise and Shine Forth

    Young Women Lesson

    "Arise and Shine Forth that thy light may be a standard for the nations"-Doctrine and  Covenants 115:5

    Before the lesson make a yellow banner and tie it to walking stick-
    after the lesson have your young women sign their names to it.  
    Two days after the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young and his associates hiked Ensign Peak.  At the tip of that peak they unfurled a banner-a yellow bandanna tied to a walking stick.

    Q: What do you think this banner symbolized to them?

     The banner symbolized an Ensign or standard to the nations of who they were, what they believed, and what they stood for.  The pioneer saints were to be the light and standard to the world. 

    The Young Women logo is a torch surrounded by the YW motto "Stand for truth and Righteousness"

    Q: What does the torch symbolize?

    It represents the Light of Christ, inviting all to come unto Him.

    Q: Can you think of another time when we have heard of a banner being waved in the scriptures?

    Alma 46: 12-15, 19-21
    12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—aIn memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
    13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his abreastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the btitle of liberty) and he cbowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of dChristians remain to possess the land—
    14 For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church.
    15 And those who did belong to the church were afaithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ btook upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or cChristians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.
    19 And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the arent part of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing which he had written upon the rent part, and crying with a loud voice, saying:
    20 Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and aenter into a covenant that they will bmaintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.
    21 And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running atogether with their armor girded about their loins, brending their garments in token, or as a ccovenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or, in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be dashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments.
    {Make sure you make a comparison to The Family a Proclamation to the World}

    Q: What did this do for Moroni and his people? 

    It strengthened them!!! It told people who they were and what they stood for!  There was strength in numbers.

    Our General YW Presidency when they were first called, also climbed Ensign Peak. They also had a yellow bandanna tied to a walking stick.  It was their banner calling for a

    Q: How did you feel while you watched this video clip on virtue?  So why virtue?

    Virtue is a prerequisite to entering the temple and having the blessings of being guided by the Spirit.  Virtue is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards. It encompasses chastity and moral purity.Virtue begins in the heart and mind.  It is the accumulation of the small and simple things we do everyday.

    Story of Daniel
    Since the beginning of time men, women (and I would add young women and young men) have showed tremendous courage in choosing not to falter, but to live righteously amid pressures from the unrighteous world around them.  A classic example from the scriptures is the story of Daniel from the Old Testament.  Turn to Daniel 1.

    Background:  Like many other prophets, Daniel was chosen, prepared, and raised up from the time of his youth.  In  the times of Daniel (about 600 BC) There were wars going on between Israel and Babylon.  In the conquest of one of these wars, Daniel and his friends were carried away captive into Babylon. 
    Think of it as if Canada(or whatever country is your bordering country-as an example for the youth to easier visualize) and  Utah (or whatever state you are from) were at war and you were carried captive into Canada where they had a different religion, different customs, different food, different everything.  The King  wanted to raise you up  to become Canadians which meant going against everything you were raised to believe was true. 

    Daniel and his friends were raised by their parents to worship God and to keep covenants.  Daniel and his friends were faced with a choice: they could remain true to who they were and true to God, or they could choose to lower their standards to fit in with those around them in their new country.  Nobody knew them and the pressure to become like the Babylonians was intense.

    The food
    Their first test came when the king ordered that Daniel and his friends drink of his wine and eat of his rich food. {point out that their rich food wasn't sugary fattening desserts.  It was meat that had not been properly drained of its blood, it was food that they offered up to false gods. It was prepared in an unclean manner.
    This type of food was against what their parents had taught him, it was against the word of  wisdom, and it was against what they knew the Lord had commanded.  Daniel and his friends made a choice to be strictly obedient to the Lord and refused to be involved in anything unclean.
    Turn to Daniel 1:15, 17 to discuss the results of this test
    Daniel knew he couldn't feel good about himself if defied God.  To him that would be worse than death itself.  So in spite of worldly pressures and trying circumstances, he chose to live righteously.
     The Lord blessed Daniel and his friends with protection and strength.

    The Latin word for virtue means STRENGTH. 
    Q: What kind of strength do you think virtue is?
    Think of someone in your life you as this kind of strength.  {Discuss being "the one" who sometimes has to be the firs or the only one to stand when no one else is}

    " You be the one to make a stand for the right, even if you stand alone.  Have the moral courage to be a light for others to follow.  There is no friendship more valuable than your own clean conscience, your own moral cleanliness-and what a glorious feeling it is to know that you stand in your appointed place clean and with confidence that you are worthy to do so."-(Thomas S. Monson, Dare To Stand Alone, October 2011)
     Have the YW share experiences they have had in standing up for what is right, or share one of yours.
    "I truly believe that one virtuous young woman or young man, led by the Spirit, can change the world, but in order to do so, we must return to virtue." (Elaine Dalton, Return to Virtue.October 2008)
    From the scriptures: 
     “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly"(D & C 121:45) “Cleave unto [your] covenants."(D & C 125:13) “Stand … in holy places." (D & C 25:13) “Lay aside the things of [the] world." (D & C 25:10)“Believe that ye must repent." (Mosiah 4:10)“Always remember him and keep his commandments." (D & C 20:77) And “if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, … seek after these things.”
     "A return to virtue is possible because of the Savior’s example and the “infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice.”22 I testify that we will be enabled and strengthened not only to do hard things but to do all things. Now is the time for each of us to arise and unfurl a banner to the world calling for a return to virtue. May we so live that we can be instruments in preparing the earth for His Second Coming, “that when he shall appear we shall be like him, … purified even as he is pure.”  (Elaine Dalton, Return to Virtue.October 2008)
    Application Activity: ( Show your stick with a yellow bandanna tied to it.) This is our standard of virtue.  Invite the YW come up and sign their name to the flag.


    Here is a great handout idea from my friend Kristin at that would be a great Birthday handout for the year, a New Beginnings handout, or could be used with this lesson.  Super cute!