Wednesday, September 24, 2014

THE BLESSINGS OF VISITING TEACHING

by Lorrie Lou Stark

I have a testimony of visiting teaching and know that it is an inspired program from the Lord.

My family’s life was blessed by Relief Society Visiting Teaching Service when I nearly died from a ruptured appendix. My husband had the help he needed with home and meals and children while he “held down the fort” until I recovered.  Throughout many “Life Events”, RS has been there for me.  I know that I am not alone, and am so grateful for the “sisterhood” of RS that helped in “bearing one another's burdens” and also sharing in the many joys of life.

My family’s lives have been improved by the homemaking skills I learned in Relief Society.

My life as a Visiting Teacher has been blessed through my prayerful preparation of the messages* and in seeking inspiration on how to serve “my sister.” I like to think of these as my “Mary” times (instead of “Martha.”)

As a “teachee” I truly appreciate the sweet spirit that my visiting teachers share. I learn a different interpretation of the message from them, thus learning much.

Especially important to me are the gifts of sharing with a visiting teaching companion. Over the years with many companions I have grown and matured spiritually and socially. I have learned proper etiquette in relationships. Having patience, love and understanding is a blessing when associating with so many personalities. Each daughter of God has her own attitudes which makes her special. Learning to respect the differences helps me to grow and mature.

Visiting teaching has truly enriched my life.






*Visiting Teaching is a part of the Relief Society organization. Each month a message is published in the LDS Church magazine, The Ensign. This message is delivered to each sister by an assigned pair of visiting teachers. 
See https://www.lds.org/callings/relief-society/visiting-teaching-messages?cid=HP14VTM&lang=eng

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mormon Sunday School

Does The Lord answer our questions?

 A while ago, I received an invitation on Facebook to attend the Mission farewell of a friend who had previously stated that he wasn't going to serve a mission. I was surprised, but I decided to attend anyway. During his talk, he revealed that he hadn't intended to serve a mission. He spoke about his experience at a summer youth program called "Especially for Youth" where they had an activity where they were to open their scriptures with a question in mind, and see if it was answered. He said that he was reluctant to do so, but eventually gave in and opened up his scriptures and began reading. He became frustrated when it seemed like he wasn't getting an answer. He continued to try to find an answer when a counselor from the program approached him and said, "I don't know why I feel the need to tell you this, but your Heavenly Father loves you." He became emotional and told the congregation that this was the answer to his question. It hadn't been answered in the way he was expecting, but it had been answered!
The Lord loves each and every one of us and knows how each of us need to be reached. Call on The Lord in faith with a question in heart, and he WILL answer you. It may not be in the way that you'd expect, it may not be when you expect it: but it will be answered. I've seen it in my own life as well as the lives of my friends.
-Tim Kay Jr.
18 years old





I have a testimony of the reality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

I have a testimony of the reality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that He is my Savior and that when I do as He asks, He blesses my life. Daily scripture study, one of His commandments, has especially affected my life on a daily basis. I notice that when I don't do the simple commandments like reading my scriptures, I don't have as good of a day. We are commanded to study the words of God daily and we are blessed when we do.
During the summer, I had the opportunity to attend a boys summer camp in Wyoming. During that camp, we all received a medallion with the scripture Ephesians 6:10-18 engraved on it. In that scripture we are challenged to put on the armor of God. Our leaders challenged us to "Armor Up," by reading our scriptures daily. I felt the Spirit so strongly when I received my medallion and I have rarely missed a day since. I love my scriptures because they help to bring the Spirit into my life.

-   Kai Johnson   -
17 years old




Joseph Smith

The man who started this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a man who gave his life for the welfare of this church, and the good people who followed him.  A great human being who gave his life for the ability to have his church survive.  No man who did not know that God even existed would give his life to just to create a church based on false visions, though he was persecuted he persevered.  “I know what I have seen and though others do not believe and persecute me for what I say this does not change what I know I saw in the grove.”  This man, a man of God, knew and did not falter but pushed through the hatred with the love of God.
-Nick
17 years old





The Book of Mormon

I know the Book of Mormon is the true word of God, and God answers our prayers through the Book of Mormon.  If you have any doubts read your Book of Mormon, pray about it. Heavenly Father is watching over us.  He answers our prayers and while answers may not come immediately or appear to us that he agrees with us, Heavenly Father knows what is best for us.
-Mack
17 years old



Do Miracles Exist Today?

        I would answer that question with a definite "yes"!  I have been blessed in my life to be the recipient of miracles, especially in relation to my health and the desire to have children.

        When Darren and I were first married, we wanted a large family and were soon blessed with twin boys.  A couple of years later, we had a beautiful baby girl.  We were thrilled with our family and grateful to have 3 wonderful children.  A month after the birth of our daughter, I was diagnosed with cancer.  I underwent surgery and two months of radiation therapy and was able to be in remission later that year.  The doctors advised me not to have any more children, since the cancer had developed during the pregnancy of our daughter.  I was devastated, since I did not feel like our family was complete.

        My husband and I took the advice of my doctors and focused on our family and regaining my health.  After a few years, Darren and I prayed about having another child and felt it was the direction we should take, and I soon became pregnant.  During the third trimester of the pregnancy, I became very ill.  I had a fever, chills and was unable to keep anything down.  After a couple of days, I became worse and was taken to the Emergency Room.  While there, I was treated for dehydration and blood was drawn to help determine what had caused the illness.  The doctors were unable to figure out what caused the sickness, but the lab work revealed that I had a blood disease called ITP and that at that point my platelets were at extremely low. The next morning after leaving the ER, I started on an IV treatment to increase my platelet count.  A month later, I was able to give birth to a healthy baby boy.  In fact, he is currently serving a mission for our Church in Argentina.  It was a miracle that I was diagnosed at that time, because the doctor had said that if I had gone into labor, there is a chance that they would not have been able to save either myself or our baby.  I witnessed the hand of The Lord in my life that day in the ER and am so grateful for the blessings I have received.  After that we were able to add two more boys to our family and after the birth of our sixth child, I felt like our family was complete.  I have a strong testimony of miracles and I know that our Father in Heaven loves us and blesses in many ways each day.

Submitted by Diane Scruggs
Mom/Wife/Sunday School Teacher






Monday, September 8, 2014

The Book of Mormon, not a musical!!

       This year one of our ward missionaries put out a challenge to read the Book of Mormon in the same amount of time it took the Prophet Joseph Smith to translate the entire book.  If any of you are like me, I had to look up on lds.org to find out what kind of a timeframe I was looking at.  After a little research, it was figured it took him from April 7-June 30.  In my mind I knew this was not going to be an easy thing for me but it would be a good challenge.    And that’s where my Book of Mormon Marathon reading began.

During this time of my life, I was also training for a Marathon.  Normally, I do most of my running with some running partners.   It just so happened that this year there were injuries and conflicting schedules that did not make running together possible.  Of course, this meant a lot of running on my treadmill.    Typically, I don't enjoy running alone or on a treadmill.   My training regimen all of a sudden became very depressing and not enjoyable!!

It was at this point that I decided I was going to read my Book of Mormon while training on the treadmill!!  Each morning I would wake up and take to the treadmill.  Those long runs no longer seemed so long or tedious.    I didn't mind running alone anymore.  I was anxious to get back to my reading every single day.

Now this story isn't about running on treadmills and reading.   No, this story is about the world that opened up to me every single day as I took an hour or more to read from the Book of Mormon.   The stories from the Book of Mormon spoke to me in a new way.  I saw my life and the life of those around me in all the words I read.  I found it difficult to read and not be overcome with the Spirit most days.   I found myself anxious to read, ready to connect with people who came long before me.  I found myself loving these people, loving their dedication to the Lord.  I wanted to become a better person because of their stories.  

My inner desire to be more like the Savior has grown stronger than ever before.   My love of the Book of Mormon has made me a better person.   I think this quote summarizes the Book of Mormon perfectly:
“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book”

The Book of Mormon is not a musical.  No, it’s a book that will change your life for the better.  You will be touched in ways you didn't think possible.  You will find happiness that you didn't know was missing.  You will become the kind of person God wants you to be.   You will have peace that cannot be found anywhere else.  If you haven't read the Book of Mormon, then do it!!  Jump on your treadmill and start reading!!  You won't regret it, I promise!!!

-Heidi Prosser