Personal Online Journal

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Teach in the context of what they are experiencing right at that moment"

"Sometimes the most powerful way to teach our children to understand a doctrine is to teach in the context of what they are experiencing right at that moment." (Cheryl A. Esplin. "Teaching Our Children to Understand" Mar 31,2012)

A wonderful story of teaching a child to recognize the sweet inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

Here is the whole story from 2:28-5:19 in the video.
I’m reminded of a phone call I received several years ago from our daughter, Michelle. With tender emotion she said, “Mom, I just had the most incredible experience with Ashley.” Ashley is her daughter who was five years old at the time. Michelle described the morning as being one of constant squabbling between Ashley and three-year-old Andrew—one wouldn’t share and the other would hit. After helping them work things out, Michelle went to check the baby.
Soon, Ashley came running in, angry that Andrew wasn’t sharing. Michelle reminded Ashley of the commitment they had made in home evening to be more kind to each other. 
She asked Ashley if she wanted to pray and ask for Heavenly Father’s help, but Ashley, still very angry, responded, “No.” When asked if she believed Heavenly Father would answer her prayer, Ashley said she didn’t know. Her mother asked her to try and gently took her hands and knelt down with her. 
Michelle suggested that Ashley could ask Heavenly Father to help Andrew share—and help her be kind. The thought of Heavenly Father helping her little brother share must have piqued Ashley’s interest, and she began to pray, first asking Heavenly Father to help Andrew share. As she asked Him to help her be kind, she began to cry. Ashley ended her prayer and buried her head on her mother’s shoulder. Michelle held her and asked why she was crying. Ashley said she didn’t know. 
Her mother said, “I think I know why you’re crying. Do you feel good inside?” Ashley nodded, and her mother continued, “This is the Spirit helping you feel this way. It’s Heavenly Father’s way of telling you He loves you and will help you.” 
She asked Ashley if she believed this, if she believed Heavenly Father could help her. With her little eyes full of tears, Ashley said she did. 
Sometimes the most powerful way to teach our children to understand a doctrine is to teach in the context of what they are experiencing right at that moment. These moments are spontaneous and unplanned and happen in the normal flow of family life. They come and go quickly, so we need to be alert and recognize a teaching moment when our children come to us with a question or worry, when they have problems getting along with siblings or friends, when they need to control their anger, when they make a mistake, or when they need to make a decision. (See Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching [1999], 140–41; Marriage and Family Relations Instructor’s Manual [2000], 61.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

An Illness We All Share

Here is a post that has a link to a 2008 talk by James L. Ferrell given at Southern Virginia University.  There is a link there to an mp3 of his talk. He is the author of The Peacegiver and The Holy Secret. I loved this talk.

He speaks about an illness that all humankind shares and how to overcome it. I will give away the end.  The solution is to Come Unto Christ and be healed.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Why is Jesus Important to me?

This seems like such a fundamental question. I am going to try to break down my feelings for Jesus Christ and why He is so valuable to me.

I have felt the consequences of my sin. There have been times when I recognize that I have acted against God's will resulting in the pain and harm of those I love. As I have prayed to know the right thing to do, I have been inspired to how to reconcile myself to God and to those I have offended. When I surrendered to those promptings and asked for forgiveness from the person(s) and from God, I have felt an immediate flood of relief and joy in my heart. It is especially potent when the other person frankly forgives me. 
It feels so good to be right with what I know God would want me to do. 

From the Book of Mormon, the New Testament and elsewhere in the scriptures, I have learned about the fall of Adam and how sin came into the world. I see this life as a chance to choose between right and wrong with only faith and my conscience (or light from God) to guide me. As I have followed that light I have been filled with joy.

That light of God comes from Jesus Christ. He was chosen before the world was created to be our Savior. We all agreed to come from God's presence into this world, so we can grow to be more like our Heavenly Parents. From Jesus comes all Good. He created the earth. All the good you see in this world comes from Him.

Jesus lived a perfect life. He came to earth as the physical son of Mary and of Heavenly Father. Because of that he had power to lay down his life and to take it up again. Because he was the son of Mary, he was subject to the normal ills of life. He grew up as a normal child.  Only he did not choose evil.  Not even once. 

At the end of his life he suffered for our sins. In a garden, he bled from every pore as he willingly allowed himself to feel the consequence of every sin ever committed. Not only sin, but every pain and heartache ever felt by any one on earth or that would ever be felt. He was able to withstand this because he is the Son of God. He was tested to the limits of his abilities. And He succeeded!  In all this pain He never sinned. He died for our sins and then lifted himself up on the third day. He lives again! And because he did, every person will live again in a perfected body.

Why is Jesus so important to me? He is everything that is Good. He has blazed the path for me to be joined forever to that Good if I only will. 

Monday, April 02, 2012

General Conference First Impressions

Here are some first impressions from General Conference.

David S. Baxter on Sat Afternoon
Single mother of 7 children. She had gone across the street to deliver something. As she left she heard several things from her children. “Mother, I need to go to the library. I need poster board tonight” The single mother said a prayer. “Father can I come and stay with you if only for tonight?” She seemed to hear an answer from above “No, my little one, you cannot come to me but I can come to you”

Deiter F. Uchtdorf Sun Morning
"Don't judge me because I sin differently than you"
Forgive others and ourselves.  Remove the scales of resentment.

President Packer
Make the church family friendly.  Make time for family.
Sometimes he hears someone say to him “Wouldn’t it be nice if”, The answer is almost always no. The next thing that comes after this phrase would almost always take time away from the family and not return a greater value to those involved.

Jeffrey R. Holland
Avoid envy Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20). Do not hold grudges. Set them free and be free myself.
The thrill of being merciful is what God loves most about being God.
There is no place low enough where the light of Christ cannot reach.

Larry Y. Wilson
Wise parents prepare their children to get on without them. Avoid compulsion as a leader.  Story of his daughter who wanted to play soccer on Sunday

Sister Esplin
Create an atmosphere where children can feel and recognize the Spirit
Story about Ashley. Ashley prays to ask her brother Andrew to help share with her. As she prayed she started to cry. She felt the influence of the Holy Ghost.

D. Todd Christopherson
The bright dawn of the first vision. The importance of the doctrine of Christ

Donald L. Hallstrom
Can I be active in the church and not active in the gospel?

Elder Paul E. Koelliker
Love one another - Missionaries knock on a door and a man opens the doors and says, “I told you not to come back, I said you you did it would not be a pleasant experience.”  The missionaries left.  As they did the older missionary put his arm around the other as an expression of comfort.  The man has been watching through the door to make sure the missionaries understood and took his message.  He expected them to make light of his curt response.  When he saw the expression of love his heart was softened.  He opened the door and asked the missionaries to come back and share their message.

Thomas S. Monson Sun afternoon
The spirit of contention is of the devil. Settle any differences I have with others.

Richard G. Scott
What he does to increase his ability to receive inspiration and revelation.
I fast. I pray to find and understand scriptures.
That process is cyclical.
Cautious with humor, be wary of loud laughter, a good sense of humor helps revelation.
Careful, quiet speech. Aided by good health, exercise, adequate speech.
Revelation given in a dream, strive to capture the content immediately.
Sacred feeling.  People we have great respect will teach us. God will use them so we know we can trust the message.
Messages must be protected from loss or intrusion by others.

David F. Evans
Share the gospel naturally and normally

Julie B. Beck
Align ourselves with the vision of the prophets

Thomas S Monson Sun morning
Wall of skepticism crumbled
Jesus calls, “Come back, Come up, Come in, Come unto me."

Ulisses Soares
You can’t be right by doing wrong. You can’t be wrong by doing right.
Be not deceived, God is not mocked.  Be not weary in well doing.

Russell M Nelson
Elder Nelson wondered about a tropical fish in a fish tank. He asked “Do you know who feeds them? “
“I do”
“Have they ever thanked you?”
“Not yet”
Some live in this life without thanking or acknowledging the God that gave them life.

President Monson Sat morning
**Oppose evil wherever it is found

He quoted Joseph Smith, "The truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." ( History of the Church, 4:540)

Quentin R. Cook
“Be in tune with the sacred music of faith” It is not up to us to judge.
“Have the courage to refrain from judging” Pres Monson
Do not be too judgemental. Mistakes that are foolish but not sinful.