February 28, 2013

Visiting Teaching Message: Activation

Visiting Teaching Message:  Activation

Our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, has encouraged us to “reach out to rescue those who need our help and lift them to the higher road and the better way. … It is the Lord’s work, and when we are on the Lord’s errand, … we are entitled to the Lord’s help.”1

Many years ago LaVene Call and her visiting teaching companion visited a less-active sister. They knocked on the door and found a young mother in her bathrobe. She looked ill, but they soon realized her problem was alcohol. The visiting teachers sat and talked with the struggling young mother.

After they left, they said, “She is a child of God. We have a responsibility to help her.” So they visited often. Each time, they could see and feel a change for good. They asked the sister to attend Relief Society. Though reluctant, she eventually attended regularly. After encouragement, she and her husband and daughter attended church. The husband felt the Holy Ghost. He said, “I’m going to do what the bishop suggests.” Now they are active in the Church and have been sealed in the temple.2

From the Scriptures

From Our History

Helping those who have gone astray come back to the gospel of Jesus Christ has always been part of being a Latter-day Saint and a member of Relief Society. President Brigham Young (1801–77) said, “Let us have compassion upon each other, … and let those who can see guide the blind until they can see the way for themselves.”3

Eliza R. Snow, second Relief Society general president, gratefully acknowledged the efforts of sisters in Ogden, Utah, USA, to strengthen one another. “I am well aware that a great deal is donated [in terms of service] that never reaches the [record] books,” she said. But recognizing that a heavenly record is kept of the sisters’ work as they reach out to those whose hearts have grown cold, she said: “President Joseph Smith said this society was organized to save souls. … Another book is kept of your faith, your kindness, your good works, and words. … Nothing is lost.”4

What Can I Do?

1.   Am I confident asking a less-active sister to attend a Relief Society meeting with me?

2.   Do the sisters I watch over feel comfortable asking me questions about the gospel?
“Reaching Beyond”
Making a visit here and there
sending the message via mail
making a phone call to say, ‘hi’
so much for each to do so easy
picking up another’s Spirit within
reaching beyond the masks to see
none letting go of friendship’s role
finding time to be a friend eternal
thus hearing the promptings all
allowing another to see as we
holding hands towards the light
reaching beyond as a friend to be!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

Home Teaching Message: “Peace, Be Still” President Thomas S. Monson

Home Teaching Message: “Peace, Be Still” President Thomas S. Monson

Peace, Be Still

One day a few years ago, after taking care of matters at the office, I felt a strong impression to visit an aged widow who was a patient at a senior care center in Salt Lake City. I drove there directly.

When I went to her room, I found it empty. I asked an attendant concerning her whereabouts and was directed to a lounge area. There I found this sweet widow visiting with her sister and another friend. We had a pleasant conversation together.

As we were talking, a man came to the door of the room to obtain a can of soda from the vending machine. He glanced at me and said, “Why, you are Tom Monson.”

“Yes,” I replied. “And you look like a Hemingway.”

He acknowledged that he was Stephen Hemingway, the son of Alfred Eugene Hemingway, who had served as my counselor when I was a bishop many years ago and whom I called Gene. Stephen told me that his father was there in the same facility and was near death. Gene had been calling my name, and the family had wanted to contact me but had been unable to find a telephone number for me.

I excused myself immediately and went with Stephen up to the room of my former counselor, where others of his children were also gathered, his wife having passed away some years previous. The family members regarded my meeting Stephen in the lounge area as a response by our Heavenly Father to their great desire that I would see their father before he died and answer his call. I also felt that this was the case, for if Stephen had not entered the room in which I was visiting at precisely the time he did, I would not have known that Gene was even in that facility.

We gave a blessing to him. A spirit of peace prevailed. We had a lovely visit, after which I left.

The following morning a phone call revealed that Gene Hemingway had passed away—just 20 minutes after he had received the blessing from his son and me.

I expressed a silent prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father for His guiding influence, which had prompted my visit to the care center and led me to my dear friend Alfred Eugene Hemingway.

I like to think that Gene Hemingway’s thoughts that evening—as we basked in the Spirit’s glow, participated in humble prayer, and pronounced a priesthood blessing—echoed the words mentioned in the hymn “Master, the Tempest Is Raging”:

Linger, O blessed Redeemer!

Leave me alone no more,

And with joy I shall make the blest harbor

And rest on the blissful shore.

I still love that hymn and testify as to the comfort it offers:

Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea

Or demons or men or whatever it be,

No waters can swallow the ship where lies

The Master of ocean and earth and skies.

They all shall sweetly obey thy will:

Peace, be still.1

Through tears and trials, through fears and sorrows, through the heartache and loneliness of losing loved ones, there is assurance that life is everlasting. Our Lord and Savior is the living witness that such is so.2 His words in holy writ are sufficient: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). I testify to this truth.

Teaching from This Message

This message can comfort those who have lost a loved one to death or those who are struggling with a trial. In addition to President Monson’s message, consider sharing one of the following scriptures, based on the needs of those you teach: Job 19:25–26; 1 Corinthians 15:19–22; Mosiah 24:13–15; Doctrine and Covenants 122:7–9. If prompted, you could testify of the peace the Savior has given you in your trials.


Please Heal My Heart

By Kelsey LeDoux

Kelsey LeDoux lives in Minnesota, USA.


On the anniversary of my brother’s death, I reflected on my time since he died. I remembered not only the extreme pain I felt but also the blessings God gave to me.

I never understood how people could say that the death of a loved one could bring blessings. I couldn’t understand how I could possibly have joy and gratitude for something that hurt me so deeply. There was one night, however, that changed my perspective entirely.

I woke up in the middle of the night with the heaviest heart I’d ever had. The pain was suffocating me. I fell to my knees and sobbed a prayer to my Heavenly Father. All my life I had been taught about the Atonement and Jesus Christ’s miraculous healing power. Now my faith was being tested. Did I really believe? I asked my Father in Heaven to please heal my heart. The pain was too much for me to deal with alone.

Then a feeling of peace, comfort, and love swept over my entire body. I felt as though God had wrapped His arms around me and was protecting me from the intense pain I had felt. I still missed my brother, but I was able to see with different eyes. There was so much for me to learn from this experience.

I know the Lord’s love and peace are available. We need only to partake.


“To Be Where We Need to Be”





Amid the noise of today do we hear

is our Spirit within ever pure and clear

does our light so shine life to embrace

feeling the promptings of what to do;


Can we be counted upon to listen all

hearing uninterrupted Father’s call

to go and to be where we need to be

at all times and places in our service!


Copyright © 2013 – cji

February 27, 2013

“Feeling the Chill”

“Feeling the Chill”
More frequently or so it seems
aching and soreness lingering
some day’s just difficult to move
others seem like a bit of youth
feeling the chill of the winter
having wandered like forever
January till now December
a life full but still much to do
never emptiness is found
but now and again to find
feeling the chill of the today
seeking the warmth of forever!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“Casting Off”

“Casting Off”
Reaching ever upward to grasp
leaping and then again falling
chasing shadows day or night
searching for the why’s of then
seeking somewhere an end
but knowing without one to be
for eternal and eternal is life
while mostly we’re found here
being relentless at casting off
places more familiar to be bound!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“Wistful of Thoughts”

“Wistful of Thoughts”
As the rains and snows falling
So is the past frequently calling;
Nothing loud or shrill to be found
Just the nethermost to be bound;
Wistful of thoughts to maybe stay
But on at other times to go away;
A child’s rhyme comes to mind
‘rain, rain, go away’ to remind;
Somewhere I’m to be less tacit
Wistful of thoughts not explicit;
Remembering as in the past
Dwelling in today found at last!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“All Too Well”

“All Too Well”
Some things matter more
some things matter less
who’s to know or guess
when memory is poor;
All too well to remember
where and when and what
all that history has forgot
in our ageless December!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“Understand It”

“Understand It”
Hungry, dirty and so alone
helpless with the incoming
unable to move undercover
sleeping on the sand of heat
freezing during the night
eating from a can when able
cherishing old letters worn
complaining not but to uplift
all relying on mutual strength
understand in not or ever
when never been or going
never being far from home!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“Pass it Along”

“Pass it Along”
Sadness creeps into within
a mind shutters remembering
long ago and far away once
at the door step now again
never too far to travel today
most anything to be a prompt
embracing where and when
battles fought in savagery
no quarter given or asked
thus life is to pass along
sadness creeping within!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

February 26, 2013

“A Snow Day”

“A Snow Day”
Early last evening praying hard
needing a break from school
oh please give us a snow day
12 or even 24 inches would do
the buses can’t run the roads
snowplows stuck in the drifts
just 24 hours of pure delight
having a snow day tomorrow!
Copyright © 2013 – cji
Photo Copyright © 2013 – cn

“Hide and Seek”

“Hide and Seek”
Into the snow to run and hide
even though I’m a black Lab
none will ever find me today
bounding through the snow
till a perfect place is found
but yet something is wrong
everyone is finding me today
what could it be they know
then looking back I can see
my tracks leading right to me!
Copyright © 2013 – cji
Photo Copyright © 2013 – cn


Spellbound in the stillness
nothing moving or stirring
birds are quiet squirrels too
nature asleep within the snow
falling gently inching higher
watching as magic transforms
cloaking in beauty all around
spellbound in the stillness!
Copyright © 2013 – cji
Photo Copyright © 2013 – cn

“Pretty and White”

“Pretty and White”
So much nicer than wet stuff
mud isn’t too bad for rolling
yet snow is so much better
able to romp and play all day
without tracking in the house
sneaking up on the squirrels
chasing the coyotes away
pretty and white in the night
a full moon to brighten up
allowing me to romp about!
Copyright © 2013 – cji
Photo Copyright © 2013 – cn