Relief Society Lesson 10: Flooding the Earth and Our Lives with the Book of Mormon

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You can find the original lesson here.  My version of this lesson follows the main points of the ETB lesson manual, but I didn’t feel very comfortable with a lot of the content of the lesson.  Ezra Taft Benson spent a lot of time talking about the power of the Book of Mormon and the need to flood the earth with it, but his quotes didn’t bring it to a personal level with his own experiences.  I feel that a powerful lesson needs to bring it to a more personal level.  So I would start off by mentioning that Ezra Taft Benson had a great love for the Book of Mormon.  Ask the class, what does the Book of Mormon mean to you?  Do you have any favorite scriptures or stories that have stood out to you?

Marjorie Pay Hinckley shared her feelings about the Book of Mormon and what the story of captain Moroni meant to her:

“In the book of Alma is a story that has fascinated me since I first read it. it is about a very colorful character named Moroni–not to be confused with the last survivor of the Nephites, who was also named Moroni. This man was a brilliant military commander, and he rose to be supreme commander of all the Nephite forces at the age of twenty-five. For the next fourteen years he was off to the wars continuously except for two very short periods of peace during which he worked feverishly at reinforcing the Nephite defenses. When peace finally came, he was thirty-nine years old, and the story goes that at the age of forty-three he died. Sometime before this he had given the chief command of the armies of the Nephites to his son Moronihah. Now, if he had a son, he had a wife. I’ve often wondered where she was and how she fared during those fourteen years of almost continuous warfare, and how she felt to have him die so soon after coming home. I am sure there are many, many stories of patience and sacrifice that have never been told. We each do our part, and we each have our story(1).”
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May 2015 Visiting Teaching Message: Teacher’s Choice from Conference

I confess that the past 12 months have not been easy for me. We moved house twice in this 12 months, and each time, waited 3 -4 months after each initial move for our things to arrive on moving trucks. I feel like I have been packing, unpacking and setting up house constantly for a year. With a perpetual feeling of displacement and clutter—in my physical home as well as in my mind, it has been hard for me to focus on General Conference.

 

 

viewIn the place before where we are now, we were in a remote area; though it took us an hour and 45 minutes each way on a twisty, sometimes slippery canyon road, we attended every other week or more. I was excited to be in this ward at first, but began to feel less and less welcome as the weeks passed. My husband and I were not given callings, not asked to speak, and I began to struggle to feel the spirit at church. I was cornered on one Sunday by two women, one who professed with acidic sweetness that I should follow the “Strength For Youth” pamphlet when making comments in Relief Society. They clearly didn’t like my comment (something on prayer), and were trying to “correct” me. The other woman backed away, sensing the lack of spirit in the other’s words, but the snake still spit at me until I shook myself free. I did not feel safe at church after that, and guarded against being cornered again.

 

As Kate Kelly was excommunicated, and I began to fear for my own safety within the church, my daughters began to be bullied at school. Their tormentor? The only other LDS child at their school. He was the same age as their ages combined, and he seemed to aim his venom most upon my youngest, who was 5 years old. His parents refused to meet with us, though his mother called to blame me and my daughters for tormenting him. She also contacted the bishop, blaming us for making their lives harder– in what way I do not know, as I barely knew her and had little to no interaction with the family. Soon the principal and teachers all became involved and I began driving my daughters to school and picking them up, lingering in the car both times, to ensure they were safe.

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Relief Society Lesson 9: The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion

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Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God, to be more like Him in our daily walk, to feel His presence with us constantly? If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book. 15 Ezra Taft Benson

How has the Book of Mormon brought you nearer to God?

Another Testament of Jesus Christ

The major mission of the Book of Mormon, as recorded on its title page, is “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.”13 Ezra Taft Benson

It is indeed another testament or witness of Jesus. This is one of the reasons why we have recently added the words “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” to the title of the Book of Mormon.  14 Ezra Taft Benson

Ask the class to share some of their favorite Book of Mormon scriptures about Jesus Christ. Here are some of mine:

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Relief Society Lesson 8: The Power of the Word of God

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Saturday April 4, 1986 marked the first day of the first General Conference that Ezra Taft Benson served as President and Prophet of the LDS Church. Our present lesson comes from the remarks he gave that evening in the Priesthood Session. It is also quick to affirm while the words were first spoken to “priesthood leaders” the principles taught “apply to all members of the Church.”

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Relief Society Lesson 7: Joseph Smith, An Instrument in the Hands of the Lord

Relief Society Lesson 7: Joseph Smith, An Instrument in the Hands of the Lord

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polygamy-smith

As I prepared this lesson an inspired tangent led me to delightful readings from the Church History Department on the first sister missionaries and their role in testifying of Joseph Smith and the restored gospel. The trying experiences of ETB in England illustrate the need for sister missionaries. I have used his experiences as a launching point for a deeper discussion of women as instruments in the hands of the Lord and the origins of sister missionaries. I have provided links and resources from the Church History Department to help you share the lives of Elizabeth McCune, Inez Knight, Jennie Brimhall, and Flora Benson (if you have time). Throughout the lesson, I return to the topic of Joseph Smith and provide questions for a discussion tying the voices of women to a testimony of Joseph Smith.

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April 2015 Visiting Teaching Message: The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Without Guile or Hypocrisy

Easter-Candy-CollageI am a diabetic. I have been a diabetic since I was just under 2 years old. And that is okay. No, I don’t love it. But I am okay with it…..kind of. Mostly. Well, for now.

 

As a child with diabetes, life was hard. I remember running away from my mother as she neared me with a loaded syringe. I remember being angry that I had to have shots/needles/injections, whereas my siblings didn’t. I remember coming out of a darkness, but feeling confused and nauseous as spoonfuls of honey were ladled into my mouth, saving me from dangerously low blood-sugars. I remembered my siblings being jealous and angry at the undivided attention I was given when I had blood-sugar problems—and how I longed, desperately to be ignored when I had those problems. It wasn’t fun. And it made me cry long, hard and often for a child so small. I really have very few happy childhood memories, and I think diabetes is the reason behind this.

 

However, my dad—he was great. He helped to make diabetic things into games.

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