Relief Society Lesson 17: Sealing Power and Temple Blessings

Don’t be fooled! This lesson plan can be a real challenge. I think that more often than not, an almost automated response to this lesson is to ask whoever is serving as the ward or branch genealogy specialist to teach this lesson. And likely, this person will be a genealogy bug and will swirl rings of testimony about how “easy” doing the admin side of genealogy is, topped with a dose or two of guilt for not doing the work, thereby paining us with reminders of our duty to those who have gone before us.

 

So. To be clear, I want to do more genealogy and family line temple work because I have a testimony of it. But I have deep empathy (and experience!) in not feeling motivated to do the work because of raw and aching relationships with genetically or legally “close” family members whom either I, or they, do not seek an ongoing familial relationship now— much less in the eternities. It seems I am not alone in this feeling. (plus, I thought the intro in the lesson seemed a bit pompous. I think that Joseph Fielding Smith’s story was never intended to be pompous—but rather a revelling in the miraculous. But still. The story did not address the real issue of apathy or even hurt in regard to dealing with the closeted skeletons of family history and temple work.) Therefore, as I am wont to do, I re-angle the lesson for those of us (ME) who have family issues.

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Visiting Teaching Message July 2014: The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Advocate

Visiting Teaching Message July 2014: The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Advocate

EstherThe term “advocate,” when used in an LDS context, in my experience, usually means a) Christ is advocating for my forgiveness, because I am an unworthy sinner, and b) social and political advocates are outspoken about good things, but in an unruly and distasteful way, which is unbecoming of a “good Mormon girl.”

 

Neither of this things is really all that positive or inspirational. And yet…. This message isn’t about either of these things. As complicated as it is to be a woman in the church, this message, for the first time in my church life, breathed hope in regard to the term “advocate.”

 

Consider the use of the story of Esther in the From The Scriptures section:

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A Moving Mormon Performance

I could not sleep. It was as though it was midday and had the energy of a racehorse about to take flight. empty houseBut it was really 2 AM, and I had been awake since 1AM. I had fallen asleep in utter exhaustion around 11PM, but woke at 1 …and there I remained, twitching.

 

The ghosts of the day were haunting me and tears filled my eyes. But I withheld any sound, silently weeping, trying to not wake my husband.

 

The day before had been traumatic. We had packed to move, and left our house in a state. It wasn’t untidy, but I had not the time to make all of the runs to the Salvation Army on that day, nor had I the time in the preceding days to list all that I had hoped on eBay. As a result, clusters of items I deemed valuable were in boxes, or loosely stacked piles, awaiting to be unceremoniously bagged and taken to the dump.

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Bienvenue! (Welcome!)

Exponent II fête ses 40 ans cette année! En honneur de cette occasion, nous faisons traduirerosegardenstatue les ressources des leçons de la Société de Secours en français. Nous invitons nos soeurs mormones du monde francophone à se rencontrer, à se connaître et à contribuer au blog Exponent II. Bienvenue!

 

(Exponent II turns 40 this year! As a part of this celebration, we are having our Relief Society lesson resources translated into French. We invite Mormon sisters in the French speaking world to meet, become familiar and contribute to the Exponent II. Welcome!)

Bonjour! Je m’appelle Amanda et je suis ravie de travailler avec The Exponent sur les traductions des leçons de la Société de Secours en français. Je suis actuellement mère au foyer et je cherche à réintégrer le monde du travail après 4 ans de pause. J’habite en région parisienne avec mon mari et mon enfant. J’aime coudre, lire, le féminisme et la France!
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