Saturday, 28 May 2016

June 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.


Temple Ordinances and Covenants
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All the ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation are accompanied by covenants with God. “Making and keeping covenants means choosing to bind ourselves to our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ,” said Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president.1

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “The Lord said, ‘In the ordinances … the power of godliness is manifest.’

“There are special blessings from God for every worthy person who is baptized, receives the Holy Ghost, and regularly partakes of the sacrament.”2

“When men and women go to the temple,” said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “they are both endowed with the same power, which is priesthood power …

“… All men and all women have access to this power for help in their lives. All who have made sacred covenants with the Lord and who honor those covenants are eligible to receive personal revelation, to be blessed by the ministering of angels, to commune with God, to receive the fulness of the gospel, and, ultimately, to become heirs alongside Jesus Christ of all our Father has.”3

 

Additional Scriptures

1 Nephi 14:14; Doctrine and Covenants 25:13; 97:8; 109:22

 

Living Stories

In 2007, four days after a massive earthquake in Peru, Elder Marcus B. Nash of the Seventy met branch president Wenceslao Conde and his wife, Pamela. “Elder Nash asked Sister Conde how her little children were. With a smile, she replied that through the goodness of God they were all safe and well. He asked about the Condes’ home.

“‘It’s gone,’ she said simply.

“… ’And yet,’ Elder Nash noted, ‘you are smiling as we talk.’

“’Yes,’ she said, ‘I have prayed and I am at peace. We have all we need. We have each other, we have our children, we are sealed in the temple, we have this marvelous Church, and we have the Lord. We can build again with the Lord’s help.’ …

“What is it about making and keeping covenants with God that gives us the power to smile through hardships, to convert tribulation into triumph … ?”

“The source is God. Our access to that power is through our covenants with Him.”4

Consider This

How do temple ordinances and covenants strengthen and empower us?

Notes

1. Linda K. Burton, “The Power, Joy, and Love of Covenant Keeping,” Liahona, Nov. 2013, 111.
2. Neil L. Andersen, “Power in the Priesthood,” Liahona, Nov. 2013, 92.
3. M. Russell Ballard, “Men and Women in the Work of the Lord,” Liahona, Apr. 2014, 48–49.
4. See D. Todd Christofferson, “The Power of Covenants,” Liahona, May 2009, 19, 20–21.



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Thursday, 28 April 2016

May 2016

The message for May is taken from a conference talk. As you carefully consider the needs of those under your care select a talk/talks that would uplift them.

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Sunday, 27 March 2016

April 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

Daughters of Our Eternal Father 

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The scriptures teach us that “we are the offspring of God” (Acts 17:29). God referred to Emma Smith, wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as “my daughter” (D&C 25:1). The family proclamation teaches us that we are each “a beloved spirit … daughter of heavenly parents.”1

“In [the premortal] realm, we learned about our eternal female identity,” said Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.

“Our mortal journey to earth did not change those truths.”2

“Your Father in Heaven knows your name and knows your circumstance,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “He hears your prayers. He knows your hopes and dreams, including your fears and frustrations.”3

“We each belong to and are needed in the family of God,” said Sister Stephens. “Earthly families all look different. And while we do the best we can to create strong traditional families, membership in the family of God is not contingent upon any kind of status—marital status, parental status, financial status, social status, or even the kind of status we post on social media.”4


Additional Scriptures

Jeremiah 1:5; Romans 8:16; Doctrine and Covenants 76:23–24


From Our History

In his account of the First Vision,5 the Prophet Joseph Smith verifies many truths—including that our Heavenly Father knows our name.

Young Joseph struggled to know which church to join and found guidance in James 1:5. Joseph concluded he would ask God.

One spring morning in 1820, he went to the woods to pray but was immediately seized upon by some dark power. Of this he wrote:

“Just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

“It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Joseph Smith—History 1:16–17).



Consider This

How does knowing you are a daughter of God affect your decisions? 

Notes

  1.  “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 129.
  2.  Carole M. Stephens, “The Family Is of God,” Ensign, May 2015, 11.
  3.  Jeffrey R. Holland, “To Young Women,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 28.
  4.  Carole M. Stephens, “The Family Is of God,” 11.
  5.  See Gospel Topics, “First Vision Accounts,” topics.lds.org.
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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

March 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

Created in the Image of God

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“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. …

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26–27).

God is our Heavenly Father, and He created us in His image. Of this truth, President Thomas S. Monson said: “God our Father has ears with which to hear our prayers. He has eyes with which to see our actions. He has a mouth with which to speak to us. He has a heart with which to feel compassion and love. He is real. He is living. We are his children made in his image. We look like him and he looks like us.”1

“Latter-day Saints see all people as children of God in a full and complete sense; they consider every person divine in origin, nature, and potential.”2 Each is “a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.”3

“[The Prophet] Joseph Smith also learned that God desires that His children receive the same kind of exalted existence of which He partakes.”4 As God said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

Additional Scriptures

Genesis 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 3:17; Doctrine and Covenants 130:1

From the Scriptures

The brother of Jared in the Book of Mormon sought for a way to light the eight barges designed to carry the Jaredites across the waters to the promised land. He “did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones” and prayed that God would “touch these stones” with His finger “that they may shine forth in darkness.” And God “stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one.” The veil was taken from the eyes of the brother of Jared, and “he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man. …

“And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?

“And he answered: Yea, Lord.”

And “the Lord showed himself unto [the brother of Jared]” and said, “Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.” (See Ether 3:1–17.)

 

Consider This

How does knowing that each person is created in God’s image help us in our association with others?

Notes

1. Thomas S. Monson, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” in Conference Report, Apr. 1966, 63.
2. Gospel Topics, “Becoming Like God,” topics.lds.org; see also Moses 7:31–37.
3. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129.
4. Gospel Topics, “Becoming Like God,” topics.lds.org; see also Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 221.

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Sunday, 24 January 2016

February 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

Marriage is Ordained of God
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Prophets, apostles, and leaders continue to “solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan.”1
 
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “A family built on the marriage of a man and woman supplies the best setting for God’s plan to thrive. …

“… Neither we nor any other mortal can alter this divine order of matrimony.”2

Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, said: “Everyone, no matter what their marital circumstance or number of children, can be defenders of the Lord’s plan described in the family proclamation. If it is the Lord’s plan, it should also be our plan!”3

Elder Christofferson continued: “Some of you are denied the blessing of marriage for reasons including a lack of viable prospects, same-sex attraction, physical or mental impairments, or simply a fear of failure. … Or you may have married, but that marriage ended. … Some of you who are married cannot bear children. …

“Even so, … everyone can contribute to the unfolding of the divine plan in each generation.”

Additional Scriptures

Genesis 2:18–24; 1 Corinthians 11:11; Doctrine and Covenants 49:15–17

Living Stories

Brother Larry M. Gibson, former first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, remembered when Shirley, now his wife, said:

“‘I love you because I know you love the Lord more than you love me.’ …

“That answer struck my heart. …

“… [And] I wanted her to always feel that I loved the Lord above all else.”5

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “The Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point in a covenant marriage relationship. … [Imagine that] the Savior is positioned at the apex of [a] triangle, with a woman at the base of one corner and a man at the base of the other corner. Now consider what happens in the relationship between the man and the woman as they individually and steadily ‘come unto Christ’ and strive to be ‘perfected in Him’ (Moroni 10:32). Because of and through the Redeemer, the man and the woman come closer together.”6

Consider This

How am I individually and steadily striving to “come unto Christ”?

Notes

1. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 2010, 129.
2. D. Todd Christofferson, “Why Marriage, Why Family,” Ensign, May 2015, 52.
3. Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Defenders of the Family Proclamation,” Ensign, May 2015, 15.
4. D. Todd Christofferson, “Why Marriage, Why Family,” 52.
5. Larry M. Gibson, “Fulfilling Our Eternal Destiny,” Ensign, Feb. 2015, 21–22.
6. David A. Bednar, “Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan,” Ensign, June 2006, 86.


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Sunday, 20 December 2015

January 2016

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding the life and mission 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.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

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Of the general Relief Society meeting in 1995, when President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) first read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, said: “We were grateful for and valued the clarity, simplicity, and truth of this revelatory document. … The proclamation on the family has become our benchmark for judging the philosophies of the world, and I testify that the principles set forth … are as true today as they were when they were given to us by a prophet of God nearly 20 years ago.”1

“From the family proclamation,” adds Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, “we learn, ‘In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father’2

“… We each belong to and are needed in the family of God.”3

We live in a time when parents must protect their homes and their families. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” can guide us.

Additional Scriptures


Mosiah 8:16–17; Doctrine and Covenants 1:38

Living Stories


“Lee Mei Chen Ho from the Tao Yuan Third Ward, Tao Yuan Taiwan Stake, said the proclamation has taught her that family relationships help develop divine characteristics such as faith, patience, and love. ‘When I try to improve myself according to the proclamation, I can experience real happiness,’ she said.”4

Barbara Thompson, who was present when the proclamation was read for the first time and later served as a counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, said: “I thought for a moment that [the family proclamation] really didn’t pertain too much to me since I wasn’t married and didn’t have any children. But almost as quickly I thought, ‘But it does pertain to me. I am a member of a family. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a niece, and a granddaughter. … Even if I were the only living member of my family, I am still a member of God’s family.”5

Consider This


How is “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” a document for our day?


Notes

1. Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Defenders of the Family Proclamation,” Liahona, May 2015, 14–15.
2. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129.
3. Carole M. Stephens, “The Family Is of God,” Liahona, May 2015, 11.
4. Nicole Seymour, “‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ reaches 10-Year Milestone,” Liahona, Nov. 2005, 127.
5. Barbara Thompson, in Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society (2011), 148.

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Sunday, 22 November 2015

December 2015

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding the life and mission 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.

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

 The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Compassionate and Kind
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 “In the scriptures, compassion means literally ‘to suffer with.’ It also means to show sympathy, pity, and mercy for another.”1

“Jesus provided us many examples of compassionate concern,” said President Thomas S. Monson. “The crippled man at the pool of Bethesda; the woman taken in adultery; the woman at Jacob’s well; the daughter of Jairus; Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha—each represented a casualty on the Jericho road. Each needed help.

“To the cripple at Bethesda, Jesus said, ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’ To the sinful woman came the counsel, ‘Go, and sin no more.’ To help her who came to draw water, He provided a well of water ‘springing up into everlasting life.’ To the dead daughter of Jairus came the command, ‘Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.’ To the entombed Lazarus, ‘Come forth.’

“The Savior has always shown unlimited capacity for compassion. … Let us open the door of our hearts, that He—the living example of true compassion—may enter.”2

 

Additional Scriptures

Psalm 145:8; Zechariah 7:9; 1 Peter 3:8; Mosiah 15:1, 9; 3 Nephi 17:5–7

From the Scriptures

“My husband and I knelt by the side of our 17-year-old daughter and pleaded for her life,” said Linda S. Reeves, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. “The answer was no, but … we have come to know … that … [the Savior] feels compassion for us in our sorrows.”3
 
“One of my favorite stories from the Savior’s life is the story of Lazarus. The scriptures tell us that ‘Jesus loved Martha, … her sister [Mary], and [their brother] Lazarus.’”4 When Lazarus became ill, word was sent to Jesus, but when He arrived Lazarus had already died. Mary ran to Jesus, fell down at His feet, and wept. When Jesus saw Mary weeping, “he groaned in the spirit, and … wept” (John 11:33, 35).

“That is our charge. We must feel and see for ourselves and then help all of Heavenly Father’s children to feel and see and know that our Savior has taken upon Himself not only all our sins but also our pains and our suffering and afflictions so that He can know what we feel and how to comfort us.”5

 

Consider This

Who could be blessed by your compassion? 

Notes

1. Guide to the Scriptures, “Compassion,” scriptures.lds.org.
2. Thomas S. Monson, “The Gift of Compassion,” Ensign, Mar. 2007, 6–7, 10.
3. Linda S. Reeves, “The Lord Has Not Forgotten You,” Ensign, Nov. 2012, 120.
4. Linda S. Reeves, “The Lord Has Not Forgotten You,” 118.
5. Linda S. Reeves, “The Lord Has Not Forgotten You,” 120.

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