Sunday, February 13, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Study this material and, as appropriate, discuss it with the sisters you visit. Use the questions to help you strengthen your sisters and to make Relief Society an active part of your own life.
From the Scriptures
"The covenants we make with the associated ordinances we receive in the temple become our credentials for admission into God's presence. These covenants elevate us beyond the limits of our own power and perspective. We make covenants to show our devotion to build up the kingdom. We become covenant people as we are placed under covenant to God. All the promised blessings are ours through our faithfulness to these covenants. . . .
"What can the women of the Church do to claim the blessings of the temple?
"Through His prophets, the Lord invites those who have not yet received the blessings of the temple to do whatever may be necessary to qualify to receive them. He invites those who have already received these blessings to return as often as possible to enjoy again the experience, to increase their vision and understanding of His eternal plan.
"Let us be worthy to have a current temple recommend. Let us go to the temple to seal our families eternally. Let us return to the temple as often as our circumstances will permit. Let us give our kindred dead the opportunity to receive the ordinances of exaltation. Let us enjoy the spiritual strength and the revelation we receive as we attend the temple regularly. Let us be faithful and make and keep temple covenants to receive the full blessings of the Atonement."1
Silvia H. Allred, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.
From Our History
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) taught that Relief Society grew out of sisters' desire to worship in temples:
"During the construction of the Kirtland Temple the women were called upon to grind their china into small particles to be mixed with the plaster used on the walls of the temple, which would catch the light of the sun and the moon and reflect that light to beautify the appearance of the building.
"In those times, when there was very little of money but an abundance of faith, the workmen gave of their strength and resources to the construction of the Lord's house. The women supplied them with food, the best they could prepare. Edward W. Tullidge reported that while the women were sewing the temple veils, Joseph Smith, observing them, said, 'Well, sisters, you are always on hand. The sisters are always first and foremost in all good works. Mary was first at the resurrection; and the sisters now are the first to work on the inside of the temple.' . . .
"Again in Nauvoo, when the temple was under construction, a few women joined together to make shirts for the workmen. It was out of these circumstances that twenty of them gathered on Thursday, 17 March 1842, in the upper room of the Prophet's store."2
What Can I Do?
- What support can I offer to help my sisters prepare for and attend the temple?
- How can I exemplify the heritage of the early sisters who sacrificed to receive temple blessings?
- How can I claim the blessings of the temple?
For more information, go to www.reliefsociety.lds.org.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Strengthening Families and Homes
“Strengthening Families and Homes,” Ensign, Jul 2010, 7
Study this material, and as appropriate, discuss it with the sisters you visit. Use the questions to help you strengthen your sisters and to make Relief Society an active part of your own life.
Strengthening at Every Opportunity
“Each of us is in a different family situation. Some families have a mother and father with children at home. Some couples no longer have children at home. Many members of the Church are single, and some are single parents. Others are widows or widowers living alone.
“No matter what our family looks like, each of us can work to strengthen our own families or help in strengthening others.
“[Once] I stayed in the home of my niece and her family. That evening before the children went to bed, we had a short family home evening and a scripture story. Their father told about the family of Lehi and how he taught his children that they must hold fast to the iron rod, which is the word of God. Holding fast to the iron rod would keep them safe and lead them to joy and happiness. If they should let go of the iron rod, there was danger of drowning in the river of dirty water.
“To demonstrate this to the children, their mother became the ‘iron rod’ that they must cling to, and their father played the role of the devil, trying to pull the children away from safety and happiness. The children loved the story and learned how important it is to hold fast to the iron rod. After the scripture story it was time for family prayer. …
“Scriptures, family home evening, and family prayer will strengthen families. We need to take every opportunity to strengthen families and support one another to stay on the right path.”1
From the Scriptures
From Our History
From the beginning Relief Society has had a charge to strengthen families and homes. The Prophet Joseph taught sisters at an early Relief Society meeting, “When you go home, never give a cross or unkind word to your husbands, but let kindness, charity and love crown your works henceforward.”2
In 1914 President Joseph F. Smith told Relief Society sisters, “Wherever there is ignorance or at least a lack of understanding in regard to the family, … there this organization exists or is near at hand, and by the natural endowments and inspiration that belongs to the organization they are prepared and ready to impart instruction with reference to those important duties.”3
What Can We Do?
1. What ideas for strengthening families and homes will you share with your sisters? As you ponder their individual circumstances, the Spirit can bring ideas to your mind.
2. What priorities can you change this month to better strengthen your own family and home?
For more information, go to www.reliefsociety.lds.org.
Photo illustration by Robert Casey
Friday, June 4, 2010
Renewing Covenants through the Sacrament
“Renewing Covenants through the Sacrament,” Ensign, Jun 2010, 7
Teach these scriptures and quotations or, if needed, another principle that will bless the sisters you visit. Bear testimony of the doctrine. Invite those you visit to share what they have felt and learned.
Jesus Christ Instituted the Sacrament
“Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his Apostles, saying, ‘Take, eat’ (Matt. 26:26). ‘This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me’ (Luke 22:19). In a similar manner he took the cup of wine, traditionally diluted with water, said a blessing of thanks for it, and passed it to those gathered about him, saying: ‘This cup is the new testament in my blood,’ ‘which is shed … for the remission of sins.’ ‘This do in remembrance of me.’ …
“Since that upper room experience on the eve of Gethsemane and Golgotha, children of the promise have been under covenant to remember Christ’s sacrifice in this newer, higher, more holy and personal way.”1
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
We Renew Our Baptismal Covenants through the Sacrament
“When we are baptized, we take upon ourselves the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Taking upon us His name is one of the most significant experiences we have in life …
“Each week in sacrament meeting we promise to remember the atoning sacrifice of our Savior as we renew our baptismal covenant. We promise to do as the Savior did—to be obedient to the Father and always keep His commandments. The blessing we receive in return is to always have His Spirit to be with us.”2
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“I was with an eight-year-old girl on the day of her baptism. At the end of the day she said with all confidence, ‘I have been baptized for a whole day, and I haven’t sinned once!’ But her perfect day did not last forever, and I am sure she is learning by now, like we all learn, that as hard as we try, we do not always avoid every bad situation, every wrong choice …
“… It is not possible to make real change all by ourselves. Our own willpower and our own good intentions are not enough. When we make mistakes or choose poorly, we must have the help of our Savior to get back on track. We partake of the sacrament week after week to show our faith in His power to change us. We confess our sins and promise to forsake them.”3
Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president.
Helps for Visiting Teaching
As you come to know a sister and her family, look for ways you might help her renew her covenants through the sacrament. If she does not attend sacrament meeting, could you invite her to attend or offer help for her to do so (transportation, assistance with children, a friend to sit by, and so on)?
Photograph by Jerry Garns
2. Robert D. Hales, “The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom,” Liahona, Jan. 2001, 8; Ensign, Nov. 2000, 8.