July 31, 2012

“Froward”


“Froward”

cji
8/1/12

How stand you counted
desolate and contentious
without morals or virtue
inviting thy self within
rather that skunks enter
their smell known bad
while beguiling come you
impure to be with impure
rather than pure with pure
measured by what you do
not a countenance sad
or salutations to render
unable to endure sin
but instead to be true
you found pretentious
remain thus uncounted!

Copyright © 2012 – cji

Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching August 2012

Home Teaching Message: The Savior’s Call to Serve

President Thomas S. Monson
All who have studied mathematics know what a common denominator is. For Latter-day Saints, there is a common denominator that binds us together. That common denominator is the individual call each of us receives to fill assignments in God’s kingdom here upon the earth.
Are you ever guilty of murmuring when a calling comes to you? Or do you accept with thanksgiving each opportunity to serve your brothers and sisters, knowing that our Heavenly Father will bless those whom He calls?
I would hope that we would not lose the real objective of our cherished opportunities to serve. That objective, that eternal goal, is the same spoken of by the Lord and found in the Pearl of Great Price: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”1
May we ever remember that the mantle of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a cloak of comfort but rather a robe of responsibility. Our duty, in addition to saving ourselves, is to guide others to the celestial kingdom of God.
By willingly walking the path of service to God, we will never be in the position of Shakespeare’s Cardinal Wolsey. Stripped of his power after a life of service to his king, he sadly lamented:
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, He would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.2
What kind of service does heaven require? “The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.”3
I pause when I think of the words of President John Taylor (1808–87): “If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty.”4
Like a glowing searchlight of goodness is the life of Jesus as He ministered among men. “I am among you as he that serveth,”5 Jesus declared as He brought strength to the limbs of the cripple, sight to the eyes of the blind, hearing to the ears of the deaf, and life to the body of the dead.
With the parable of the good Samaritan, the Master taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves.6 With His answer to the rich young ruler, He taught us to shed our selfishness.7 With the feeding of the 5,000, He taught us to see to the needs of others.8 And with the Sermon on the Mount, He taught us to seek first the kingdom of God.9
In the New World, the resurrected Lord declared, “Ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do.”10
We bless others as we serve in the shadow of “Jesus of Nazareth … who went about doing good.”11 God bless us to find joy in serving our Father in Heaven as we serve His children on earth.

Teaching from This Message

“[The Lord] will not permit us to fail if we do our part. He will magnify us even beyond our own talents and abilities. … It is one of the sweetest experiences that can come to a human being” (Ezra Taft Benson, in Teaching, No Greater Call [1999], 20). Consider sharing an experience when you or someone you know has felt the Lord magnify his or her talents and abilities. Invite the family to share some of their own positive experiences as they have responded to “the Savior’s call to serve.”
Youth

Serving in the Temple

When I turned 17, I started thinking seriously about my future, and I prayed to Heavenly Father about what I could do to prepare to go on a mission and receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. I felt that I ought to go to the temple more often because it is the house of the Lord and would be the place where I could feel closest to my Heavenly Father.
So I set a goal to do 1,000 baptisms in a year. I truly felt the need to set this goal; I fasted to know if this was what I ought to do. Our Heavenly Father answered me, and I began to go to the Tampico Mexico Temple every Saturday.
After I had done 500 baptisms, I set a goal to do family history research on my ancestors, and I liked doing the research so much that I could not sleep because I was looking for names. I found 50 names and eight generations of my family history; I helped do the temple work for all of them.
I ended up doing over 1,300 baptisms, and I graduated from seminary, received the Melchizedek Priesthood, and am now serving as a full-time missionary, which was one of my biggest goals in life.
Children

I Can Do Something for Others

Each of us can do something to help others. President Monson taught that we should love everyone and learn to see how we can help them.
Look at the boy sitting by the tree. Can you see others around him he could help?
When you have dinner with your family, suggest that each family member share one thing he or she did to serve someone that day. Write your own service experiences in your journal each day.
“Thy Servant Find Me”

cji
8/1/12

Prayers ascending into the heavens
pleadings and thankfulness of love
wonder and amazement of His hearing
humbled by such pondering of faith
knowledge as wisdom given so pure
they servant find my Father so sure
leave me not vacant, alone or wraith
let me feel the refining fires searing
let my prayers flee heavenly above
as truly the Balm of Gilead leavens!

Copyright © 2012 – cji

Visiting Teaching Message: Taking Action in Time of Need

As visiting teachers, one of our purposes is to help strengthen families and homes. The sisters we visit should be able to say, “If I have problems, I know my visiting teachers will help without waiting to be asked.” In order to serve, we have a responsibility to be conscious of the needs of the sisters we visit. When we seek inspiration, we will know how to respond to the spiritual and temporal needs of each sister we are assigned to visit. Then, using our time, skills, talents, prayers of faith, and spiritual and emotional support, we can help give compassionate service during times of illness, death, and other special circumstances.1
Through the help of reports from visiting teachers, the Relief Society presidency identifies those who have special needs because of physical or emotional illness, emergencies, births, deaths, disability, loneliness, or other challenges. The Relief Society president then reports her findings to the bishop. Under his direction, she coordinates assistance.2
As visiting teachers we can have “great reason … to rejoice” because of “the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work” (Alma 26:1, 3).

From the Scriptures

From Our History

In the early years of the Church, membership was small and centralized. Members could respond quickly when someone was in need. Today our membership is over 14 million and is spread throughout the world. Visiting teaching is part of the Lord’s plan to provide help for all His children.
“The only system which could provide succor and comfort across a church so large in a world so varied would be through individual servants near the people in need,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency.
“… Every bishop and every branch president has a Relief Society president to depend upon,” he continued. “She has visiting teachers, who know the trials and the needs of every sister. She can, through them, know the hearts of individuals and families. She can meet needs and help the bishop in his call to nurture individuals and families.”3
For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

What Can I Do?

1.    Am I using my gifts and talents to bless others?
2.    Do the sisters I watch over know that I am willing to help them when they have a need?

“The Action Taker”

cji
8/1/12

Seeking to be found active
stepping in sure and true
hearing the prompting soft
another has a need of me
the action taker they see
without any hesitation oft
knowing and doing too
in thy service proactive!

Copyright © 2012 – cji

July 30, 2012

“Coverings”


“Coverings”

cji
7/31/12

Wearing garments of deceit
high and mighty aloft all
above the law and morals
fighting to prove immortal
putting down the righteous
in their pretended pious
standing in a Grecian portal
while contenting in quarrels
vengeance their clothing raw
coverings bloody thus replete!

Copyright © 2012 – cji

July 29, 2012

“Envy”


“Envy”

cji
7/30/12

Like worms and lice and mites
ticks and bacteria entwined all
eaten from within and without
cancerous and malignant too
defeating and deflating much
destroying all they touch
most of all that is so true
in anger uselessly to shout
on their swords each to fall
turning out happiness’s lights!

Copyright © 2012 – cji

July 28, 2012

“Where Stand Ye?”


“Where Stand Ye?”

cji
7/29/12

In the forest thick and dark
or in a swamp dank and hot
in freezing rain or icy cold
or facing tornados fierce
are ye so foolish to pretend
enviously wanting another’s
thinking the worldly of worth
or caving to the peers of want
asking to receive of the lusts
or are you found on your knees
giving thanks and acceptance
finding rest this Sabbath day
attending to your meetings
partaking of the sacrament
renewing covenants taken
preparing to be worthy
eternal and forever so to be
where stand ye – today?

Copyright © 2012 – cji

“Vilipended”


“Vilipended”

cji
7/29/12

Oh ye media servants found
bitterly giving up your rights
bowing to politics of contempt
making them as Gods proud;

You’re mocking rings loud
demeaning all that’s good
vilipended by the proud
worshiping idols of wood!

Copyright © 2012 – cji

"No Rain"

(Photo by cn Copyright © 2012)

“No Rain”

cji
7/28/12

Fields lying dormant seen
soft winds raising but dust
desolation and starvation
no rain to come yesterday
no rain yet came today
no rain for on the morrow
bringing much sad sorrow
prayers said in invitation
forgotten in God to trust
unthankfully do we glean!

Copyright © 2012 – cji

"Weeping Willows"

(Photo by cn Copyright © 2012)


“Weeping Willows”

cji
7/28/12

Winds swayed you for years
yet your roots deep in earth
but now we feel your tears
nearing death once birth;

Fast was your infant growth
tall did you grow to see
shading and swaying both
seemingly forever so free;

Yet time and age attack
bacteria from deep within
water starving air to lack
vengeance from Gwyn;

Thus your beauty lingers
early Spring to late Fall
catching lyrics of singers
till the earth to recall!

Copyright © 2012 – cji

“A Daughter”


Photo by cn Copyright © 2012

“A Daughter”

cji
7/28/12

Adopted and fair to see
late in a life so to find
with a spirit quite free
love of Father to remind;

With a son-in-law good
three grandkids to boot
to spoil each I should
which I’d find a hoot;

But more sacred found
this family of mine new
in forever love so bound
in cherished tears I view!

Copyright © 2012 – cji

July 27, 2012

“My Feet Were Almost Gone”


“My Feet Were Almost Gone”

cji
7/28/12

Lost on the desert floor
blistered and burned
raw and bloodied sand
my feet were almost gone
while yet onward I walked
standing straight and tall
ever towards light and call
never in stumbling balked
fearful of the night or dawn
my prayers never banned
my faith never to be turned
found at the Father’s door!

Copyright © 2012 – cji