Relief Society Lesson 1: To Live With Him Someday
From Lynnette at Zelophehad’s Daughters.
Main Points from the Manual:
President Kimball recommended that words to “I Am a Child of God” be changed to “teach me all that I must do.” The gospel is a way of life.
We lived with God in the premortal life, where we had progressed as far as we could. We agreed to come to this life to continue our progression, even knowing that it would be difficult.
One purpose of this life is obtaining physical bodies. We are here to develop ourselves, and to prepare to meet God.
The gospel of Christ is the only way to exaltation. Because of the atonement, we are able to repent. Keeping the commandments is the only way to eternal happiness.
Only those who remain faithful and valiant will achieve exaltation.
1. LDS teachings tell us that one of the crucial purposes of this life was to obtain a physical body. How does this influence the way we view our bodies? This seems particularly significant for women, as we live in a culture which encourages us to continually critique our physical appearance. How do make peace with and appreciate our bodies?
2. Why was it necessary for us to forget the premortal life? Are there advantages to living in an existence in which so much is ambiguous? We talk a lot about the importance of faith, but why exactly is it a virtue to believe beyond what we can see, to act without certain knowledge?
3. Christianity is sometimes accused of encouraging people to live righteously in hopes of gaining an eternal prize, rather than pursuing righteousness for its own sake. What do you think about the hope of achieving exaltation (or the fear that one wont) as a motivation for keeping the commandments?
4. What kinds of learning and development can we gain in this life that we couldn’t get in the premortal life (particularly considering that we likely had both superior mental capabilities and greater access to knowledge there)?
5. How does our belief that this life is only a small piece of a much bigger picture shape our attitude toward it? Does belief in a better life to come cause us to value this life less?
6. According to a quote on p. 6 of the manual, “[God] does not want Satan and others to control our lives. We must learn that keeping our Heavenly Father’s commandments represents the only path to total control of ourselves, the only way to find joy, truth, and fulfillment in this life and eternity.” Why is it that if we follow the devil, we are said to be under his control, but if we follow God, we are said to be in control of ourselves (as opposed to being under God’s control)?
7. I have to admit that when I hear statements about “only a few” reaching exaltation (p. 9), my immediate reaction is sometimes to start looking at others as the competition, and to then quickly conclude that there’s no way I’m in that top percentile. What might be other ways of thinking about this?
8. This lesson has a lot to say about the importance of our efforts to be faithful. What role does grace play in this?
“Life isn’t a true-false test. It’s literally multiple choice. On many of the choices, all of the answers are partially right, but none is completely right. The only way we can get that problem wrong on the test is to leave it blank.”
–Chieko Okazaki, Lighten Up (SLC: Deseret Book, 1993), 106
“We are here, in these mortal bodies, because we chose the Father’s plan. This fact should be a source of great hope and confidence to us. We all trusted the Father. We all loved the Savior. We all chose their plan once. This should give us confidence that we can continue to seek the Savior’s way, recognize his voice, and make correct choices.”
–Chieko Okazaki, Sanctuary (SLC: Deseret Book, 1997), 153
“We know why we are here. When we are on the path, we can feel it. The fruits of eternal progress are manifest in joy, peace, love, hope, increased confidence in the Lord. Though the path is narrow, it is sure. It is on this path that we testify daily of our love for the Lord, His children, His church, His counsel, and the richness of His blessings. By our good works we magnify what is mighty in us all, one step at a time, one day at a time, all the time.”
–Elaine Jack, “Walk With Me,” May 1994 Ensign
O my Father, thou that dwellest In the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence And again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation, Did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood, Was I nurtured near thy side?
For a wise and glorious purpose Thou hast placed me here on earth
And withheld the recollection Of my former friends and birth;
Yet ofttimes a secret something Whispered,”You’re a stranger here,”
And I felt that I had wandered From a more exalted sphere.
I had learned to call thee Father, Thru thy Spirit from on high,
But, until the key of knowledge Was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav’ns are parents single? No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason, truth eternal Tells me I’ve a mother there.
When I leave this frail existence, When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation Let me come and dwell with you.
–Eliza R. Snow, “O My Father”
“When we make room in our hearts for Christ and his abundant love for us, we are fulfilling the cause of Christ. When we think, speak, and act with love, we are carrying forward the cause of Christ. This is a great cause. It is the greatest cause we will ever know. It is the cause that prompted us in the preexistence to declare our allegiance to Christ, to trust him, and to desire to be like him so intensely that we were willing to take the frightening risks of mortality. We assumed the burden of freedom because we loved Christ so much. And he assumed the burden of being our Savior because he loved us so much. Before we were born, then, we had become part of a web of love, like a cat’s cradle, that sustains and supports us. It connects us with every other spirit and intelligence in the universe. It connects us with God himself and makes the atonement of Jesus Christ operational on our behalf if we will acknowledge the pattern and open our hearts to his love.”
–Chieko Okazaki, Cat’s Cradle (SLC: Bookcraft, 1993), 163
What other thoughts or questions do people have about these topics? What issues would you like to see discussed when this lesson gets taught in Relief Society?