Sunday, August 23, 2015

Turn to the Light

A Lesson for Relief Society based on the talk,

In our pre-earth life, we all made the choice to follow the Son of God. In doing so we were given the opportunity to experience earth life with all of the challenges it presents. The best way to be successful again here is to make the choice, along with covenants, to follow the Son of God. He is our Savior, Lord, and Redeemer. He is our Light.

How many of you have seen sunflowers? Describe them. What do they do?

Sunflowers grow in extreme conditions. Sunflowers turn their faces towards the sun. Do we limit what we can do because we don't believe that our circumstances are optimal? Or do we take root and bloom even when we aren't necessarily where we want to be? Do we turn towards the Lord?

This life will present some real challenges for us. How will we respond? When the challenges presented come from friends, family members, or church members offending us or turning away from what we believe is right, how do we respond?

Do we experience anger and desire estrangement? Do we feel genuine love and sorrow, and hope to build others' faith as well as our own? Does pride get in the way of our own progression and desire to repent? Does it get in the way of us forgiving and accepting others? Do we allow pride to impede our progress?

The Light of Christ plants the eternal nature of the family in the hearts of all God's children” (Elder Cook).

“So much in life is extraneous, [but]...the family is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; the thing to watch over and care for and be loyal to” (Carla Carlisle).

Why is family the important thing, and how do we make family ties stronger?
It is important that we all build our testimonies. There are proper ways to do this.

Patiently and humbly studying, pondering, praying, living gospel principles, and counseling with appropriate leaders are the best ways to resolve questions and concerns” (Elder Coook).

This can be true when we are seeking our own growth, or when we are trying to gain understanding concerning someone else, so that we can appropriately respond to his or her needs.

If we faithfully have family prayer, scripture study, family home evening, priesthood blessings, and Sabbath day observance in our homes, our children will be counting on that pattern of faith even when they are away from home. These positive habits, accompanied with sincere concern and love for each others' well-bing, will provide our families with security and a safe harbor. Each member will gain the needed fortification to stand in today's world, making good choices” (Elder Cook).

We will be able to feel secure in the eternal safety of our children no matter what life's challenges may bring, knowing that Jesus will save them in this life and in the resurrection.

How can families work together towards their goal of eternal life? How have family prayer, scripture study, family home evening, priesthood blessings, and keeping the Sabbath day holy blessed you in your families and throughout your life?

How does our ward family act in harmony with each family's goal for eternal life? How does involvement in quorums and auxillaries help build us as individuals and strengthen our families? In what ways do home and visiting teaching offer us stability in an ever changing and challenging world?

Our ward family is important to our progress, happiness, and personal effort to be more Christlike” (Elder Cook).

We need to avoid the temptation to become disjointed. The Lord's emphasis has always been on unity. When the Nephite and Lamanite people were all converted to the Lord, there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.” As a result to this we read in 4 Nephi vs 16, “And surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.”

Because the love of God dwelt in the hearts of the people, there were no contentions. What must we do in our wards and in our homes in order to dispel contentions and build unity?

Our outlook is not bleak. If we look towards the Light, our destiny is to grow in His Light and become like Him. It will take a change of heart. We will need to determine now to love the Lord more and to love each other more. He will help us.

Our protections in this life and for eternity will be in individual and family righteousness, Church ordinances, and following the Savior. This is our refuge from the storm. For those who feel they are alone, you can stand resolutely in righteousness knowing that the Atonement will protect and bless you beyond your ability to fully understand” (Elder Cook).

We should remember the Savior, keep our covenants, and follow the Son of God as the young sunflower follows the sunshine. Following His light and example will bring us joy, happiness, and peace. As Psalm 27 and a favorite hymn both proclaim, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.”

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