June 30, 2015

Visiting Teaching July 2015

VISITING TEACHING MESSAGE Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ: Forgiving and Merciful

(Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding the life and roles of the Savior increase your faith in Him and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.)


Faith, Family, Relief

This is part of a series of Visiting Teaching Messages featuring divine attributes of the Savior.

Understanding that Jesus Christ has been forgiving and merciful to us can help us forgive and extend mercy to others. “Jesus Christ is our Exemplar,” said President Thomas S. Monson. “His life was a legacy of love. The sick He healed; the downtrodden He lifted; the sinner He saved. At the end the angry mob took His life. And yet there rings from Golgotha’s hill the words: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’—a crowning expression in mortality of compassion and love.”1

If we forgive others their trespasses, our Heavenly Father will also forgive us. Jesus asks us to “be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36). “Forgiveness for our sins comes with conditions,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. “We must repent. … Haven’t we all, at one time or another, meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy—to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed? … Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another.”2

Additional Scriptures

From the Scriptures

“We are to forgive even as we are forgiven,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.3 The story of the prodigal son shows us both sides of forgiveness: one son is forgiven and the other son struggles to forgive.

The younger son took his inheritance, quickly spent it, and when a famine arose, he worked feeding swine. The scriptures say “when he came to himself,” he returned home and said to his father he was not worthy to be his son. But his father forgave him and killed a fatted calf for a feast. The older son returned from working in the fields and became angry. He reminded his father that he had served many years, never transgressed the commandments, yet “thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry.” The father replied, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found” (see Luke 15:11–32).

Consider This

How can forgiveness benefit the one forgiving?



“Forgiving is Forgetting”





‘Go and sin no more’

gives us reason to be

found same as our Savior

forgiving and forgetting

including a self-repentant

keeping Commandments

continuing in the vineyard

serving with willingness

merciful onto all others

forgiving is forgetting!


Copyright © 2015 – cji


Home Teaching July 2015


By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf Second Counselor in the First Presidency


As I think about our pioneer heritage, one of the most moving things that come to mind is the hymn “Come, Come, Ye Saints” (Hymns, no. 30). Those who made the long journey to the Salt Lake Valley often sang this hymn during their trek. I am very much aware that all was not well with these Saints. They were plagued by sickness, heat, fatigue, cold, fear, hunger, pain, doubt, and even death.

But despite having every reason to shout, “All is not well,” they cultivated an attitude we cannot help but admire today. They looked beyond their troubles to eternal blessings. They were grateful in their circumstances. Despite evidence to the contrary, they sang with all the conviction of their souls, “All is well!”

Our praise for the pioneers is empty if it does not cause inner reflection on our part. I mention a few of their attributes that inspire me as I contemplate their sacrifice and commitment.


The pioneers cared for each other irrespective of social, economic, or political background. Even when it slowed their progress, caused inconvenience, or meant personal sacrifice and toil, they helped each other.

In our goal-driven and partisan world, individual or party objectives can take precedence over taking care of others or strengthening the kingdom of God. In today’s society, reaching certain ideological goals can appear to be a measure of our worth.

Setting and achieving goals can be a wonderful thing. But when success in reaching goals comes at the expense of disregarding, ignoring, or hurting others, the cost of that success may be too precious.

The pioneers looked after those in their company, but they also considered those who came after them, planting crops for the wagon trains that followed.

They knew the strength of family and friends. And because they depended on each other, they became strong. Friends became family.

The pioneers serve as a good reminder of why we must break away from the temptation to isolate ourselves and, instead, reach out to help each other and have compassion and love for one another.


“Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear.”

This phrase became an anthem to the weary travelers. It is difficult to imagine how hard these great souls worked. Walking was one of the easiest things they did. They all had to pull together to provide food, repair wagons, tend animals, minister to the sick and feeble, seek and collect water, and protect themselves from the pressing dangers of the elements and the many hazards of the wilderness.

They woke up each morning with clearly defined purposes and goals that everyone understood: to serve God and their fellowmen and to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley. Every day those purposes and goals were clear to them; they knew what they needed to do and that each day’s progress mattered.

In our time—when so much of what we desire is so easily within our reach—it is tempting to turn aside or give up whenever the road ahead seems a little bumpy or the slope tends to rise steeply before us. In those moments, it might inspire us to reflect on those men, women, and children who did not allow sickness, hardship, pain, and even death to deter them from their chosen path.

The pioneers learned that doing hard things deepened and strengthened body, mind, and spirit; magnified their understanding of their divine nature; and heightened their compassion for others. This habit firmed their souls and became a blessing to them long after their trek across the plains and mountains had ended.


When the pioneers sang, they voiced a third lesson: “But with joy wend your way.”

It is one of the great ironies of our age that we are blessed with so much and yet we can be so unhappy. The wonders of prosperity and technology overwhelm us and shower us with security, entertainment, instant gratification, and convenience. And yet all around us we see so much unhappiness.

The pioneers, who sacrificed so much, went without and hungered for even the most basic of necessities to survive. They understood that happiness doesn’t come as a result of luck or accident. It most certainly doesn’t come from having all of our wishes come true. Happiness doesn’t come from external circumstances. It comes from the inside—regardless of what is happening around us.

The pioneers knew that, and with that spirit they found happiness in every circumstance and in every trial—even in those trials that reached down and troubled the deep waters of their very souls.


We sometimes look back on what the pioneers endured and with relief say, “Thank goodness I didn’t live in that time.” But I wonder if those courageous pioneers, had they been able to see us today, might not have voiced the same concern.

Though times and circumstances have changed, the principles for facing trials and successfully living together as a caring and prospering community under God have not changed.

From the pioneers we can learn to have faith and trust in God. We can learn to have compassion for others. We can learn that work and industry bless us not only temporally but also spiritually. We can learn that happiness is available to us no matter our circumstances.

The best way we can honor and show gratitude to the pioneers is by incorporating into our own lives faithfulness to God’s commandments, compassion and love for our fellowmen, and the industry, optimism, and joy the pioneers demonstrated so well in their own lives.

As we do so, we can reach across the decades of time, take the hands of those noble pioneers in ours, and add our own voices to theirs as we sing with them: “All is well! All is well!”

Teaching from This Message

You may want to begin by singing “Come, Come, Ye Saints” (Hymns, no. 30) with those you visit. You could share an experience when you or someone you know has applied the principles of compassion, work, or optimism. If prompted, you could testify of the blessings that come from living these principles and promise those you visit that they can receive similar blessings.


Keeping a Record

President Uchtdorf compares our day to the times of the pioneers. While you may not have crossed the plains, you are more like the pioneers than you may think! You also can show compassion, hard work, and optimism. And just as we know that the pioneers demonstrated these qualities because of the records they kept, your posterity can get to know you through your journal too.

Take a few minutes to record a little about yourself in your journal. You can write about spiritual things, like how you gained your testimony or overcame challenges with Heavenly Father’s help. You can also help your great-great-grandchildren (who might read your journal someday!) to know what your daily life was like. What projects are you doing in school? What does your room look like? What’s your favorite memory of your family?

As you begin writing a little bit every day, you will not only be able to see more clearly how Heavenly Father helps you through your daily life, just as He guided the pioneers, but you will also be leaving a legacy for your own future posterity.


Following the Pioneers’ Example

President Uchtdorf shares a few ways that the pioneers showed love for Heavenly Father. You can follow their example. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


Write a kind note or make a treat for someone who is sad.

Help a classmate with his or her homework.


Set a goal. Do something every day this month to help you reach your goal.

Help your parents make dinner.


Make a list of 10 happy things in your life.

Smile at everyone you see.

“Our Attitude”





What motivates us in reality

fear, incentives or internal

calling upon us through ages

endure – but endure all well

all have trials – tribulations

many invite them in obedience

choosing not the worldly way

but Heavenly Father’s will

our attitude in our reflection

what we see and some others

internal and enduring all things

being thus happy inside and out!



Copyright © 2015 – cji

June 29, 2015







Simple and plain truths

written for a plow boy

easy to understand all

literally true and sure

unacceptable by most

justifying and protesting

shameful the actions

politically correctness

in not found in literalness

wherein nations to fail

when being non-obedient

to eternal laws of God!


Copyright © 2015 – cji


June 28, 2015

"Firing the First Shot" (short commentary)

"Firing the First Shot"





When unprovoked causing injury

firing the first shot always wrong

giving way to the mob violence

putting one on the defensive sure

till in the end comes a victor

hanging soon all of the losers

changing history to meet wants

media to intercede with prejudice

causing innocent people to die

becoming victims of sure violence

agitating and instigating racism

caring not who wins or loses

as long as they gain so fully

microseisms in our society

tremors of discontent begun

whether in the world or locally

whether China, Korea, St. Louis

firing the first shot or so blamed

convicted in the media prejudice

throwing the blame as they will

for firing the first shot always wrong

when unprovoked causing injury

(supported by the biased media)!


Copyright © 2015 – cji


When men/women - nations/colonies - someone fires the first shot! Japan - Pearl Harbor; Germany - pick a place; Japan - China; Now in micro-viewing in our own neighborhoods - matters no longer who's right or wrong or even why - only until a winner is decided. The history of the US has always been one of violence - the winner claiming it's rights and the loser 'hanging' (per Benjamin Franklin). Mob justice many times prevailed and of course the more action the better the movie or story in supporting the winning side. The fact that there is abundant evil in the world - however there were some who were not evil - and caught in a Catch-22 allows more evil to grow and consume. When no radios/tv's/or other media outlets to carry accurate views of the times (then as today too much bias) - and in many cases reactive situations occur.


Flags don't kill people - people kill people - governments kill people - governments kill freedoms - evil men/women kill innocence - and the hatred of government and leaders like those who run their mouths kill people (or cause them to be killed). Rewriting their own history in the media only justifies them. They teach ignorance and indolence - provide entitlements and a Supreme Court which ignores the Constitution - common sense - and penalizes the honest citizen in favor of the minority causes which are based on hatred and not productivity.


However, we know the world is a wicked place - and it'll get much worse - too many are stuck in their own minds - in front of the boob tube/video games/movie houses - music of chaos - rather than seeking learning, understanding and truth.


Sadly it'll continue this way - however, those who oppose ignorance will continue to be beaten and the target of those who seek their destruction. There are good people in the world - but, as we've been told throughout history only the winners preside in the world - while the righteous are to endure till the end in obedience to pass mortalities test beyond this world.



Copyright © 2015 – cji

June 27, 2015

“To Un-Riddle”

“To Un-Riddle”





This is the Sabbath Day

one day a week to rest

pondering the Scriptures

reading carefully quietly

discerning the word of God

applying it into our lives

singularly and as a family

capturing the feelings

prompting of the Spirit

to un-riddle as James 1:5

not through paying others

but listening to the Father

the Prophets – the Savior

to un-riddle is to read

pondering the Scriptures

one day a week to rest

this is the Sabbath Day!


Copyright © 2015 – cji

June 26, 2015

“A Voice of Warning”

“A Voice of Warning”





Over and over and over

never to cease to speak

a voice of warning to give

never to cease to share

caring for something more

beyond this mortality

pushing the string ahead

worrying not about self

caring for others welfare

nothing earthly but eternal

calling upon common sense

the Gospel Restored today

Prophets, Apostles, Revelations

never to cease to write

over and over and over!


Copyright © 2015 – cji

June 25, 2015

“Eyes of the Bat”

“Eyes of the Bat”





Wise men/women digressing

sharing wisdom of greatness

found within their own minds

clearly in their foolishness

recounting all of their guesses

nearing and wavering in time

as the darkness came onward

more loudly they bragged on

forgetting their wisdom logismoi

seeing as the eyes of the bat

all blurred and in smokiness

fools recounting foolishness!


Copyright © 2015 – cji

June 24, 2015

“Questing Thoughts”

“Questing Thoughts”





Trails and riddles to follow

reading sign and dreams

seeking beyond the norm

whispering within illusions

reality often stings lethally

denial and subjections

entitlements decaying

leads and trails lost

questing thoughts argue

common sense disturbed

pure truths being missed

trails and riddles lost!


Copyright © 2015 – cji


June 23, 2015

“Into a Trap”

“Into a Trap”





Politeness and guile

invitingly offering pelf

illusions and cute images

flattering words to appease

profusions of grandness

promises of greatness

spreading petals of flowers

gifts of rose colored glasses

leading many into a trap

the trap of the worldly

filled with worthless things

of value only in mortality

unlike the truth pure

eternal and forever

never to entice any

invitation to the light

quietly without guile!



Copyright © 2015 – cji