June 30, 2016

Visiting Teaching Message July 2016

Visiting Teaching Message July 2016

“It was essential that God’s spirit children have mortal birth and an opportunity to progress toward eternal life,” taught ElderDallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “In light of the ultimate purpose of the great plan of happiness, I believe that the ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and our posterity.”1 Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “We believe in families, and we believe in children. “‘… God said unto [Adam and Eve], Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth’ [Genesis 1:28]. … “This commandment has not been forgotten or set aside in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”2
Though not all of us become parents in this life, we can nurture children of every age. We enjoy the blessings of being part of Heavenly Father’s family, and we experience the joys and challenges of being part of an earthly family. And for many, parenthood awaits them in the eternities ahead.

Additional Scriptures

Living Stories

“Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family,” said Elder Andersen. “My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: ‘[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.’ She then adds: ‘Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.’”3

Consider This

In what ways is our earthly family like our heavenly family?

“Eternal Means Forever”


Worldly means to have an end
while eternally means no end;

Families are eternal and forever
ties made here never to sever;

Taught by the Father and Son
thru obedience their word done;

Understanding there’s no end
this eternal blessing to extend!

Copyright © 2016 – cji

July 2016 Home Teaching Message

FIRST PRESIDENCY MESSAGE True to the Faith of Our Forefathers

John Linford was 43 when he and his wife, Maria, and three of their sons made the decision to leave their home in Gravely, England, to journey thousands of miles to join the Saints in the valley of the Great Salt Lake. They left behind their fourth son, who was serving a mission, sold their belongings, and took passage in Liverpool aboard the ship Thornton.
The journey by sea to New York City, and thence by land to Iowa, proved uneventful. Troubles began, however, shortly after the Linford’s and other Latter-day Saints who had sailed on the Thornton left Iowa City on July 15, 1856, as part of the ill-fated James G. Willie handcart company. The harsh weather and arduous travel took their toll on many in the company, including John. He eventually became so ill and weak that he had to be pulled in a handcart. By the time the company reached Wyoming, his condition had deteriorated significantly. A rescue team from Salt Lake City arrived on October 21, just hours after John’s mortal journey ended. He had died early that morning near the banks of the Sweetwater River. Was John sorry he had traded comfort and ease for the struggles, privations, and hardships of taking his family to Zion?
“No, Maria,” he told his wife just before he died. “I am glad we came. I shall not live to reach Salt Lake, but you and the boys will, and I do not regret all we have gone through if our boys can grow up and raise their families in Zion.”1 Maria and her sons completed their journey. When Maria passed away nearly 30 years later, she and John left behind a legacy of faith, of service, of devotion, and of sacrifice.

To be a Latter-day Saint is to be a pioneer, for the definition of a pioneer is “one who goes before to prepare or open up the way for others to follow.”2 And to be a pioneer is to become acquainted with sacrifice. Although members of the Church are no longer asked to leave their homes to make the journey to Zion, they often must leave behind old habits, longtime customs, and cherished friends. Some make the agonizing decision to leave behind family members who oppose their Church membership. Latter-day Saints move forward, however, praying that precious ones will yet understand and accept.
The path of a pioneer is not easy, but we follow in the footsteps of the ultimate Pioneer—even the Savior—who went before, showing us the way to follow.
“Come, follow me,”3 He invited.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life,”4 He declared.
“Come unto me,”5 He called.
The way can be trying. Some find it difficult to withstand the mocking and unsavory remarks of foolish ones who ridicule chastity, honesty, and obedience to God’s commands. The world has ever belittled adherence to principle. When Noah was instructed to build an ark, the foolish populace looked at the cloudless sky and then scoffed and jeered—until the rain came.
On the American continent long centuries ago, people doubted, disputed, and disobeyed until the fire consumed Zarahemla, the earth covered Moronihah, and the water engulfed Moroni. Jeering, mocking, ribaldry, and sin were no more. They had been replaced by sullen silence, dense darkness. The patience of God had expired, His timetable fulfilled.
Maria Linford never lost her faith despite persecution in England, the hardships of her journey to “the place which God … prepared,”6 and the subsequent trials she endured for her family and the Church.
At a 1937 graveside ceremony dedicated to Maria’s memory, Elder George Albert Smith (1870–1951) asked her posterity: “Will you live true to the faith of your ancestors? … Do strive to be worthy of all the sacrifices [they] have made for you.”7  As we seek to build Zion in our hearts, in our homes, in our communities, and in our countries, may we remember the resolute courage and abiding faith of those who gave their all that we might enjoy the blessings of the restored gospel, with its hope and promise through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Teaching from This Message

Consider asking those you teach to think of people in their lives who have gone before and been pioneers for them. Then ask them when they’ve had to be pioneers and prepare the way for others. Invite them to ponder the moments that they’ve had to sacrifice and why it was worthwhile. You could then challenge them to record their testimony of “the ultimate Pioneer,” the Savior.


True to Their Faith

President Monson tells a story about one pioneer family and then quotes President George Albert Smith: “Will you live true to the faith of your ancestors? … Strive to be worthy of all the sacrifices [they] have made for you.” Whether you have a pioneer ancestry or are a first-generation member of the Church, do you look to examples of faith for guidance and strength? Here’s a good way you can get started:
1. Make a list of people you admire. They can be members of your own family (past or present), friends, Church leaders, or people in the scriptures.
2. Write down the qualities they have that you like. Is your mom really patient? Maybe your friend is kind to others. Perhaps you love Captain Moroni’s courage.
3. Pick one quality from your list and ask yourself, “How can I gain this quality? What do I need to do to develop this in my life?”
4. Write down your plans for developing this quality and put it somewhere you’ll see it often, to remind you of your goal. Pray for Heavenly Father’s help and check your progress regularly. Once you feel you have sufficiently developed this quality, you can pick a new quality to work on.
Remember that as we develop great qualities in ourselves, we not only honor the faith of our ancestors and the sacrifices they made, but we can also be an influence for good to those around us.


You’re a Pioneer Too!

Pioneers are people who prepare the way for others to follow.
Draw a picture or find a photo of one of your ancestors. Can you find a story of how they prepared the way for you to follow? Write two ways you can be a pioneer today. You can share your ideas at your next family home evening!

“True to Our Covenants”


We each made covenants
pre-mortally with our Father
also with our loved ones
to be true to the faith
some have renewed covenants
here in their second estate
while most have forgotten
seeking not even to remember
seeing nothing after death
some maybe a spirit life
others nothing at all
yet we all made covenants
to be true to the faith
seeking to return to Father
and his Son our Savior
whose Atonement for us
would make it possible!

Copyright © 2016 – cji

June 29, 2016

"Wanting Not"

·         In Amos’s day the people did not want the prophets to speak about the consequences of sin. In what ways do people oppose or ignore the teachings of prophets today?
“Wanting Not”


How sad a generation found
wanting not to hear a Prophet
as then so it is today to be
ignoring prophetic warnings
ignoring the Scriptures all
pretending better than others
especially those gone before
needing no God or religion
forgetting the consequences
forgetting the consequences
forgetting the consequences
how sad this generation found
wanting not to hear a Prophet
when what is needed most!

Copyright © 2016 – cji

June 28, 2016

"Whispers in Visions"

“Whispers in Visions”


Weaving in and out of fog
dense diversions to follow
almost being heard silence
imagining within to realize
often caught off-guard quiet
while the maze of fog shifts
whispers in visions there
allowing another within
finding a shared smile
where little children
enter often in dreams!

Copyright © 2016 – cji

June 27, 2016

"Waiting for What" Ezekiel 37:16-20

“Waiting for What”


Men explain away or destroy
disregarding the Scriptures
professing a belief but not
everything is there to read
Greek Philosophy is better
justifies lying and sinning
mixing 90-10 with some truth
while each who stand alone
suffers Socrates’ death today
choosing truth over rhetoric
Bible and Book of Mormon
two sticks – one for Judah
thus there’s one for Joseph
two witnesses testifying
Jesus is the Christ always
leaving only the question
all to be asking themselves
waiting for what – are we
when it’s already here
if we open our ears/hearts
removing blindness to see
grasping truth in its purity!

 Ezekiel 37:16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
 17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
 18 ¶And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?
 19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.
 20 ¶And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

Copyright © 2016 – cji

June 26, 2016

"How Can You Understand" (Joel 2:1-3,10)

“How Can You Understand”
(Joel 2:1-3,10)


These are the latter-days
Jesus Christ has restored
his Gospel in full to earth
Prophets/Apostles called
ordinances and covenants
Temples and the Sealing
John’s words coming true
Joel’s words coming true
Isaiah’s words coming true
all the Prophets words true
how can you understand
what more can be said
weeping I seek to know
what more can I do for you
so you too can understand!

 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

Copyright © 2016 – cji

June 25, 2016

"Wisdom of Truth"

“Wisdom of Truth”


Wake up and hear wisdom
open your eyes from blindness
within your hearts have feelings
wisdom of truth to be discerned
within your Scriptures literally
this is the Sabbath Day to do
put aside the worldly messages
these are the latter-days now
read Joel – look around see
understand there’re no excuses
blaming another will not work
each is fully accountable
those who can reason/think
wake up and read wisdom!

Hosea 14:9 Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.

Copyright © 2016 – cji

June 24, 2016

"Went for a Ride"

“Went for a Ride”


Started in someone’s arms
(actually inside someone)
got wheeled around a bit
hospitals are that way
then into the carriage
even got to swing a bit
should’ve seen tricycle
then got a big-wheel
progress was a coming
soon riding my own bike
then dream of dreams
my first car to drive
went for a ride today
into memories space
now today a cart
around the isles of stores
sometime a wheel chair
went for a ride today
such memories there
now awaiting another’s
arms to hold me close!

Copyright © 2016 – cji