February 2017 Visiting Teaching Message

sisters

Artist Rhonda Gray, Their Eyes Were Watching God

In this month’s Visiting Teaching Message we are invited to reflect with our sisters on the Atonement of Jesus Christ as evidence of the love of God. This lesson includes a scripture question essential to understanding how to accept the atonement in our daily lives: Who shall separate us from the love of God? 

Romans 8:35, 38-39 states:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? …
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”

If it is not death, life, angels, principalities, powers, all things present or to come, height, depth, or any creature, how is it that all too often we find ourselves feeling separated from love? Who has that power?
I. Me. You. All of us have that power over our own life. We choose to entertain beliefs that separate us from the love of God.  We tell ourselves stories about the things that happen in our life. Sometimes in those stories, we reject the love of God and temporarily stop infinite goodness from healing and redeeming us.

Our power to block our own healing is immense. I have put together a list of some of the most common negative beliefs that separate us from the love of God.
20 Beliefs that Separate
1. I’m not good
2. I am not enough
3. I have to be perfect because I am inadequate
4. I don’t deserve love
5. I deserve to suffer
6. I am different/don’t belong
7. I am ugly/ My body is hateful
8. I am stupid
9. I am a bad person
10. I am insignificant
11. I am a disappointment
12. I deserve to be miserable
13. I do not matter
14. I am incompetent
15. I am worthless/inadequate
16. I am shameful
17. I do not deserve good things/experiences
18. I am permanently damaged
19. I am not loveable
20. I deserve bad things to happen to me

Be honest about how often and in what circumstances these beliefs cross your mind. Ask your sisters to do the same.
Pick one of these negative beliefs that harm you most in your efforts to accept the atonement of Jesus Christ in your life.
Now consider the opposite of the negative belief that separates you from the love of Christ.
For example: I am ugly/my body is hateful
The opposite belief is: I am attractive. My body is loveable.

Here is a list to help you identify the positive opposite belief.
20 Beliefs that Heal
1. I am good
2. I am enough
3. I am fine the way I am
4. I deserve love, I can have love
5. I deserve to feel joy
6. I am OK
7. I am attractive/ My body is lovable
8. I am able to learn/intelligent
9. I am a good and loving person
10. I am important
11. I am OK just as I am
12. I deserve to be happy
13. I matter
14. I am competent
15. I am worthy/worthwhile
16. I am honorable
17. I deserve good things/experiences
18. I am/can be healthy
19. I am loveable
20. I deserve good things to happen to me
During the next few days:
1. Notice when the negative belief that troubles you most comes up. What is going on when you have that thought? Where are you? What are you doing? How are you feeling? What pictures comes to mind?
2. State the opposite positive belief. Notice where you are, what you are feeling and the pictures that come to mind when you entertain the positive belief. Consider both the negative and positive belief. Which feels most true?
Keep repeating these acts of stopping and noticing when a troublesome negative belief crops up. Stop, notice, and immediately repeat the opposite belief as a neutral observer of yourself. No judgment.
Consider turning the negative thought over to God in prayer. For example:

“Dear Heavenly Parents,
I am trying to let go of the belief that I am ugly and that my body is hateful. Help me to feel more strongly and believe more deeply that I am attractive and that my body is loveable…”

Express confidence in your sister that she can more fully accept the unconditional love of God in her life through small measures such as routinely noticing when she is allowing a negative thought to separate her from unconditional love.
Finally, you may wish to ask your sister if she’d like to share a time that she succeeded in letting go of a negative belief and found a path to a more positive belief. How did she do it? What helped her to succeed?
Would your sister like you to pray for her or offer support in some other way?
Close with your observations of good and positive attributes of your sister and your confidence that she can accept the atonement more fully in her life.

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6 Responses

  1. Lisa Noel says:

    Thank you! This is beautiful, and sorely needed.

  2. spunky says:

    Thank you so much for this inspired message!

  3. Heather says:

    Love it. And tell me about that painting!

  4. paws says:

    I want to hear about the painting, too! And thank you for this. I needed it.

  5. April Carlson says:

    Oh no!! I left off artist attribution!!! I have edited to correct. Clicking on the picture should take you to a website where you can learn more about the artist Rhonda Gray and this fabulous piece, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

  6. Paulette says:

    I love this. Thanks 🙂

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