May 31, 2013

HT'ing Message June 2013


Home Teaching Message June 2013: “Walking in Circles”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Have you ever heard the old saying that people who get lost tend to walk in circles?
Jan L. Souman, a German psychologist, wanted to determine scientifically if this was true. He took participants of an experiment to a large forest area and to the Sahara desert and used a global positioning system to track where they went. They had no compass or any other device. Instructions to them were simple: walk in a straight line in the direction indicated.
Dr. Souman later described what happened. “[Some] of them walked on a cloudy day, with the sun hidden behind the clouds [and with no reference points in view]. … [They] all walked in circles, with [several] of them repeatedly crossing their own path without noticing it.” Other participants walked while the sun was shining, with faraway reference points in view. “These … followed an almost perfectly straight course.”1
This study has been repeated by others with different methodologies.2 All returned similar results.
Without visible landmarks, human beings tend to walk in circles.

The Landmark of the Scriptures

Without spiritual landmarks, mankind wanders as well. Without the word of God, we walk in circles.
Both as individuals and as societies, we see this pattern repeated over and over in every dispensation since the beginning of time. When we lose sight of the word of God, we tend to get lost.
This is undoubtedly the reason the Lord commanded Lehi to send his sons back to Jerusalem for the brass plates. God knew that the descendants of Lehi would need reliable landmarks—points of reference—that would provide a guide they could use to determine if they were on course.
The scriptures are the word of God. They are God’s landmarks that show the way we should travel in order to draw closer to our Savior and reach worthy goals.

The Landmark of General Conference

The instructions given at general conference are another landmark that can help us know if we are on course.
Occasionally I ask myself, “Did I listen to the words given by the men and women who spoke at the most recent general conference of the Church? Have I read and reread their words? Have I pondered them and applied them to my life? Or have I just enjoyed the fine talks and neglected to apply their inspired messages in my personal life?”
Maybe while you were listening or reading, you jotted down a note or two. Perhaps you made a commitment to do some things better or differently. Just think about the messages of last general conference. Many encouraged us to strengthen our families and improve our marriages. This issue of the Liahona also focuses on these eternal values, with many practical recommendations to bless our lives.
Are we noting and applying this worthwhile counsel? Are we recognizing and walking toward these real and valuable landmarks?

The Antidote to Wandering

Spiritual landmarks are indispensable for keeping us on the straight and narrow path. They give clear direction as to the way we should travel—but only if we recognize them and walk toward them.
If we refuse to be guided by these landmarks, they become meaningless, decorative masses that have no purpose but to break up the flatness of the horizon.
It’s not enough to go solely by our instincts.
It’s not enough to have the best of intentions.
It won’t do to rely only on our natural senses.
Even when we think we are following a straight spiritual path, without true landmarks to guide us—without the guidance of the Spirit—we will tend to wander.
Let us, therefore, open our eyes and see the landmarks our benevolent God has provided to His children. Let us read, hear, and apply the word of God. Let us pray with real intent and listen to and follow the promptings of the Spirit. Once we have recognized the supernal landmarks offered by our loving Heavenly Father, we should set our course by them. We should also make regular course corrections as we orient ourselves toward spiritual landmarks.
In this way, we will not wander in circles but walk with confidence and certainty toward that great heavenly blessing that is the birthright of all who walk in the straight and narrow way of Christ’s discipleship.

Teaching from this Message

As you prepare to teach from this message, you can search the scriptures for examples of people who were led by spiritual landmarks or people who wandered in circles. You could begin your study with these scriptures: Numbers 14:26–33; 1 Nephi 16:28–29; Alma 37:38–47. If you feel prompted, you can share insights from these examples with those you are teaching. Ask them what we can learn from these stories.

Landmarks for You

President Uchtdorf describes general conference and the scriptures as landmarks that help us avoid spiritual wandering. Ponder other spiritual landmarks that have influenced and guided your life. Write your experiences down in your journal. These quotations from President Monson may help you:
“Your [patriarchal] blessing is not to be folded neatly and tucked away. It is not to be framed or published. Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers.”
“Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 66.
“Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return. I speak of prayer. I speak too of the whisperings from that still, small voice.”
“The Race of Life,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2012, 92.

I Can Find My Way

President Uchtdorf says that we need to follow spiritual landmarks because they will help us choose the right and come closer to the Savior. Some of these landmarks are prayer, the scriptures, general conference, and the Liahona.
Find your way through the maze by following these landmarks.
Illustration by Scott Greer
With your family, read a talk from the last general conference. What does the speaker suggest that we do to stay on the right path? Set goals with your family to apply what you learned.

Visiting Teaching Message – June 2013


Visiting Teaching Message – June 2013

Temple Covenants

“The saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship and to be endowed with blessings and power from on high are worth every sacrifice and every effort,”1 said President Thomas S. Monson. If you have not yet been to the temple, you can prepare to receive sacred temple ordinances by:
·         Believing in Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.
·         Cultivating a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the restored gospel.
·         Sustaining and following the living prophet.
·         Qualifying for a temple recommend by paying tithing, being morally clean, being honest, keeping the Word of Wisdom, and living in harmony with the teachings of the Church.
·         Giving time, talents, and means to help build the Lord’s kingdom.
·         Participating in family history work.2
President Monson further taught, “As we remember the covenants we make within [the temple], we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation.”3

From the Scriptures

From Our History

“More than 5,000 Saints thronged the Nauvoo Temple after its dedication. …
“The strength, power, and blessings of temple covenants [sustained] the Latter-day Saints during their journey [west], when they [suffered] cold, heat, hunger, poverty, sickness, accidents, and death.”4
Like many Relief Society sisters, Sarah Rich served as a temple worker. She spoke of her experience: “If it had not been for the faith and knowledge that was bestowed upon us in that temple by … the Spirit of the Lord, our journey would have been like one taking a leap in the dark. … But we had faith in our Heavenly Father, … feeling that we were His chosen people … , and instead of sorrow, we felt to rejoice that the day of our deliverance had come.”5
The exodus was not a “leap in the dark” for faithful Latter-day Saint women. They were sustained by their temple covenants.

What Can I Do?

1.    Am I worshipping in the temple regularly?
2.    Am I encouraging my sisters to receive temple blessings?
“Serving in the Temple”
So many of our kindred dead awaiting
a simple act of kindness we can perform
submitting their names for their ordinances
able to assist where they were unable
some hundreds of years in the waiting
others not so long but so it would seem
thus we need to be found worthy for them
going and acting in their places while alive
serving in the Temple worthily willingly!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

May 30, 2013

“Joy and Great Gladness”

“Joy and Great Gladness”
Needing not ranting and raving
loud music or drums rolling
screaming of the spoken word
yet just the still small voice
bring to each who hears clearly
joy and great gladness of soul
for pure revelation is yet found
living Prophets truly of God called
teaching of the pure Gospel
needing not the logismoi of men
nor the false lifting of the soul!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“False Prophets”

“False Prophets”
Coming forth in the night time
spreading a gospel not of God
breeding contention and spoil
demanding payment as pelf;
More interested in serving self
not able for themselves to toil
pretending to be called of God
while in employ of men in crime!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“Off With the Old”

“Off With the Old”
Much anticipated was this day
off with the old boot now to play;
My sister in North Carolina happy
now she can do a jig quite snappy;
No longer the anchor upon her foot
no more stumbling from underfoot;
Walking again in a natural cadence
once more renewed confidence!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“Do You Love the Lord?”

“Do You Love the Lord?”
In our nation forsaken this day
many professing but not really
oh each day they pray for peace
unwilling themselves to obey
even the simplest of commands
answering the question above
resounding in their yes choirs
while in their hearts knowing not
in our nation forsaken this day!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

May 29, 2013

“The Fringe”

“The Fringe”
Some only to think as a dressing
embellishing a garment to be worn
missing the sacred meanings found
wherein the fringe more than seen;
The Mosaic Law full and sure of ages
Commandments more than just ten
as is seen and accounted for in fringe
six-hundred and thirteen in total;
Thus more than just a beautification
allowing the wearing to remember well
the law contained in the doctrine
passed generation to generation!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“A Back Atcha Hug”

“A Back Atcha Hug”
How often among special friends
we exchange concerns and cares
worrying about them and family
acknowledging their needs in prayer
then in closing each short note
with a well-wishing and then a hug;
Seemingly innocent without ends
a deep concern of how each fairs
are we not all one great family
thus our mutual needs to share
how then in meaningful words wrote
ending with a back atcha hug!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“To Believe”

“To Believe”
Ever so many proclaim ‘I believe!”
then go on as if nothing needed
ignoring the teaching so professed
acting as if some math theorem
useful only when doing the math
forgetting what it means to believe
is to be obedient to all it implies
without exception or any rebuttal
for to believe in the Savior is love
love to keep the Commandments
therefore to say, “I believe” requires
actions, works and obedience each
otherwise one is in reality saying,
“I believe, but not really do I!”
Copyright © 2013 – cji

“To Be As”

“To Be As”
To be as another to know another
thus to be weak to know the weak
found in hungered to know hunger
naked and as an orphan to be alone
coming forth able to endure and lift
able to understand each has needs
then able to address and meet all
for as the servant one is to be found
then able to lead, lift and carry all
to be as another to know another!
Copyright © 2013 – cji

May 28, 2013

“Seeking of Wisdom”

“Seeking of Wisdom”
Needful to be seeking of wisdom
not of the worldly logismoi sought
far more reaching into the eternities
wisdom of the spirit to enlighten
that which can save and preserve
helping others and then ourselves
for without our helping of others
to what avail is any intelligence
therefore seeking of wisdom always
to be eternal and of greater merit
lifting all to the greater plain of life!
Copyright © 2013 – cji