Saturday, April 25, 2009

* Fasting With A Purpose

Fasting With A
Lesson 19

Always begin and end with prayer.

Give each family member an assignment.
Assignment Planner

Scripture: Matthew 6: 16-18

Music: Search Ponder and Pray

The Gospel Library Defines Fasting as:

Fasting and Fast Offerings
To fast is to go without food and drink voluntarily for a certain period of time. Fasting combined with sincere
prayer can strengthen us spiritually, bring us closer to God, and help us prepare ourselves and others to receive His blessings.

When do we fast?
Fasting is a monthly practice for all Latter-day Saints. We gather together on the first Sunday (typically) of the month for a special Sacrament meeting, dedicated as a Fast and Testimony meeting.

Bearing Testimony:
During this special Sacrament meeting every member has the opportunity to bear their personal testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Fast Offering:
We also donate a "fast offering" which is usually the amount of money for two meals. The leaders of the church have asked members to be generous, as possible, with fast offerings that are strictly used to help the needy.

Fast With Purpose:
Members are taught to fast with a purpose. Fasting allows us to draw closer to heavenly Father and Jesus Christ while focusing on the spiritual rather than physical. The Law of the Fast has been taught in all dispensations-- from Isaiah in the Old Testament to Joseph Smith in the Doctrine and Covenants. Isaiah taught that by fasting we can "loose the bands of wickedness and undo the heavy burdens..."

What are some things we can fast for?
Some of the things we can fast for are to be able to receive personal revelation, resist temptations, help with jobs, school, family, church callings, seeking specific blessings, medical and so on. Whatever your purpose, have it be a private matter between you and the Lord.

Doctrine & Covenants 88:119

What the Scriptures Say About Fasting : New Era

Read the articles below from Latter-day leaders:

The Law of the Fast

Fasting For Grandma

During Sacrament meeting on April 26th, we were asked by the Bishopric to use next Sunday's fast for the purpose of fasting for missionary work in our ward. As we prepare for our fas, we should pray and ask Heavenly Father to inspire our minds and hearts concerning our nonmember neighbors and friends. We should ask Heavenly Father to to help us have the spirit with us as we share the gospel as a member missionary.
Preach My Gospel pg 93
"Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke of the power of the Spirit: “True conversion comes
through the power of the Spirit. When the Spirit touches the heart, hearts are changed.
When individuals . . . feel the Spirit working with them, or when they see the evidence of
the Lord’s love and mercy in their lives, they are edified and strengthened spiritually and
their faith in Him increases. These experiences with the Spirit follow naturally when a
person is willing to experiment upon the word. This is how we come to feel the gospel is
true” (“Now Is the Time,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 75).
The Holy Ghost works in the hearts of people to bring about these changes. As people
choose to keep commitments, they will feel the power of the Holy Ghost more strongly
and will develop the faith to obey Christ. Thus, you should help the people you work
with grow in faith by inviting them to repent and to make and keep commitments."
Click on the home above and print it out.
Cut out the home and the five windows.
Glue each window in the window outlines on the gospel-sharing home.
With your family, talk about the ideas on the home.
Decide together what you can do to be missionaries now.
Place the gospel-sharing home where your family can see it.

Treats Keeping with the lesson, bake cookies and take them to a nonmember neighbor.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

* Testimony Building

Lesson 18:
Testimony Building

Prayer: Always begin and end with prayer.
Give everyone an assignment.

CLICK on this door sign, print and hang it where all can see it.

Scripture: Ether 12:4"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

Adult & Teens/Pre-Teens (Baptism age)
President Ezra Taft Benson spoke about the importance of a testimony and how it is one of the greatest blessings among the members of the Church.

"[The] Book of Mormon is of such value to Latter-day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (History of the Church, 4:461).

Studying the Book of Mormon helps us draw nearer to God. Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God, to be more like Him in our daily walk, to feel His presence with us constantly? If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book.

It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book.

You will find greater power to resist temptation.
You will find the power to avoid deception.
You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path.

The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance." (Ensign, Nov. 1986, pg. 7)

PLAN: Set up a plan for reading and studying the scriptures in your home. If you are already reading as a family, and studying individually, discuss how doing this is building your testimony.

What is a testimony?
How do we feel it?
What can make a testimony weak?
What can make a testimony grow?

Make a list of people you know who have a testimony. Make a date to contact a few of these people via phone, personal, or email. Ask these people to bare their testimony to you either in word or written.

Study these testimonies. How is your testimony the same? How is it different?

Activity & Treat: Make root beer floats and explain how each of us is the ice cream and the more we read the Book of Mormon, the more our testimony will grow or float.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

* Reflections Of Christ

Reflections of Christ

Happy Easter!

I wanted to make this week's Home Evening Lesson about our Savior. After General Conference last week, I left the TV on and watched a program called Reflections of Christ.
It touched me deeply.
Here are a couple of links you and your family might choose to explore together, viewing the slide shows, stopping to pause and bear testimony of Jesus Christ and His Ministry.
The DVD with testimony of how the photo's were created is also available at Deseret Book.
Gather your family around the monitor and turn up your speakers...
Click on the enlargment button ! It had me in tears.

Explore the site. It touched my spirit deeply, I hope it touches your family in a special way.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

* Our Prophet: Thomas S Monson

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: * Our Prophet Dear
This week I thought it would be powerful to learn more about our Prophet. You may also want to refresh your memory of our Prophet's words from this past weeks General Conference.

I testify that with God, all things are possible. He is our Heavenly Father; His Son is our Redeemer. As we strive to learn His truths and then to live them, our lives and the lives of others will be abundantly blessed.” Pres. Monson

Prophet and President:
Thomas S. Monson is the 16th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a prophet of God. On February 4, 2008, after the death of President Gordon B. Hinckley, the Church announced Thomas S. Monson as the president of the first presidency with Henry B. Eyring as his first counselor and Dieter F. Uchtdorf as his second counselor.

Prophets are Men of God:
A prophet is a man who has been called of God to speak for Him and be His messenger. A prophet receives the Lord's word for mankind including revelations, prophecies, and commandments. When a prophet writes down the word of God it is called scripture.
"A prophet, then, is the authorized representative of the Lord. While the world may not recognize him, the important requirement is that God speaks through him. A prophet is a teacher. He receives revelations from the Lord. These may be new truths or explanations of truths already received" (A. Theodore Tuttle, "What Is a Living Prophet?," Ensign, Jul 1973, 18).

As the prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ President Monson leads the Church and is the only one authorized of God to receive revelation for the entire body of the Church.
An Apostle of God:
President Monson was called as an apostle of God and a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles at the age of 36 in October of 1963. Apostles are sustained by the Church as prophets, seers, and revelators.As an apostle President Monson is a special witness of Jesus Christ and was one of the signers of the proclamation, The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles (pdf version).

Known for His Compassion:
One of the greatest things President Monson is known for is his outstanding compassion. He was called as a bishop at the very young age of 22 and served in a huge ward of over 1000 members, 85 of which were widows. He regularly visited and took care of these women during his years as their bishop, but continued to visit them after being called to other offices within the Church. He served these women for decades and eventually spoke at each of their funerals.

President Monson's great love for others also includes the youth. For almost three decades he served on the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America.
Speaking to the World:
Through his calling as God's prophet and apostle, President Monson is authorized to receive revelation for the church and to reveal the word of God to the world. Every six months the Church holds a General Conference which is broadcast worldwide. President Thomas S. Monson, along with his counselors, the apostles, and other church leaders speak to the world. Their words are recorded and made available in the following edition of the church's Ensign magazine and can also be viewed in the online archives.
Well Known Talks and Speaches:
President Monson is an eloquent speaker and is well known for teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ by sharing the stories and experiences of himself and others. These examples show how to come unto Christ through the service and compassion of others. Here are just a few of his numberless speeches:
"The Paths Jesus Walked"
"Mercy-The Divine Gift"
"Finding Joy in the Journey"
"An Attitude of Gratitude"
"Your Eternal Home"
"Never Alone"
"An Invitation to Exaltation"

Favorite Quote by President Monson:
"This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help."We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues" ("An Attitude of Gratitude, Ensign, May 1992, 54).

The Life of President Thomas S. Monson:
Born on August 21, 1927 to G. Spencer and Gladys Condie Monson, Thomas was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. At age 22 he married Frances Beverly Johnson, and continued his path in life by developing a remarkable professional career and selfless community and church service. From an early age President Monson has faithfully served in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Timeline of President Monson's Church Service.

02/04/2008 - Named 16th President of Church
03/12/1995 - First Counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley
06/05/1994 - Second Counselor to President Howard W. Hunter
11/10/1985 - Second Counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson
10/04/1963 - Ordained an Apostle
1959-1962 - President of Canadian Mission in Toronto, Ontario
06/1955 - Counselor in SLC Temple View Stake Presidency
05/07/1950 - Bishop of Sixth-Seventh Ward in Salt Lake City

I know that President Monson is God's living prophet today and that by listening and following his words we will be led unto Christ