January 2016 January Week 1 - The scriptures are the word of God The scriptures are the word of God The scriptures can help us obey Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ because they contain many of their commandments. We need the scriptures as much as those in the days of old. The Eighth Article of Faith reads, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” It means that the Bible and the Book of Mormon contain the word of God, and that they contain true teachings. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ commanded the prophets to write down these teachings for future generations. If we did not have the scriptures, we might forget the commandments and not obey them. Then we would not receive the blessings that come from living the commandments. January Week 2 - We are to feast upon the words of Christ We have scriptures that reveal the word of God to mankind through the ages. When we feast upon the word of God, we open our minds to eternal truths and our hearts to the gentle whisperings of the Holy Ghost. Henry B. Eyring said “We need to go to the scriptures humbly and eagerly. Establish a regular time to study the scriptures. Once you get used to regular scripture study, you miss it if you don’t have it. When we come to a crisis in our life, we should go looking in the scriptures for specific help. We will find answers in the scriptures. If you read the Book of Mormon with an open heart, you will know that it is the word of God and that it is true. In time, if you truly begin to feast upon the scriptures, you will find that they become a part of you.” January Week 3 - The words of Christ will tell us all things we should do Do you remember that Lehi and his family had to leave their home and go into the wilderness? Do you remember that one morning they found a special ball outside their tent door? It was a compass to direct them in their journey. They called it the Liahona. One pointer on the Liahona showed them the way to go, but it only worked when they had faith in God and obeyed His word. When they were lazy or unkind to each other, it stopped working, and they lost their way. Alma also tells us that the words of Christ—His teachings—are just like that compass. His words show us the straight course that will lead us to our Father in Heaven. We can read His words in the scriptures. We can hear His words in the messages of His living prophets. When we have faith and choose the right, we will hear the whisperings of the Holy Ghost and understand the words of Christ. We will know the right way to go and what to do.
January Week 4 - I can know the scriptures are true The Savior’s words are recorded in the scriptures. His teachings are there. As you search the scriptures to understand what you should know and what you should do, you will hear His. This “hearing” is often a feeling that comes into your mind and your heart. If you read the scriptures with faith, desiring to believe and seeking to understand, you can know for yourself. In Moroni 10:4-5 we read, “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” When we search, ponder, and pray about the scriptures, we know that they are true, that they contain the word of God.
February 2016 February Week 1 - Heavenly Father has a plan for me Before there was a sun, a moon, or even ground to sit on, we all lived in heaven with our heavenly parents. We were their spirit children, and we didn’t have physical bodies yet. We loved Heavenly Father. And He loved us so much that He wanted us to grow up to be like Him and live with Him forever. He wanted us to know everything He knew. But how could we learn all that? Heavenly Father had a wonderful plan. He gathered us all together and told us about His plan. He would create a beautiful world with rivers, mountains, flowers, and animals. Then He would give each of us a chance to come to earth and have a physical body. We would be able to hold warm sand in our hands and feel soft grass under our feet. On earth we wouldn’t be able to remember Heavenly Father, so we would need to learn about Him. The scriptures, the prophets, and our parents teach us about Him and His plan. Through them, we can prepare ourselves to live with Him and our families forever. February Week 2 - Jesus Christ created the earth for me The heavens and the earth were created by Jesus Christ under the direction of Heavenly Father. Everywhere you look you can see all that They created for you. The sun, stars, seas, animals, trees, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and all else show that you have a Heavenly Father and a Savior who love you. It pleased Them to create the earth and all the things upon it to bless you and help you be happy. You are part of Adam’s family, and you, too, can help care for the earth. You can plant a flower, a tree, or a garden to make the earth more beautiful. Plants also provide oxygen, food, and shelter. You can help save water and food by not using more than you need. You can help to keep the earth clean and beautiful by picking up litter wherever you see it. You can thank Heavenly Father for these blessings when you pray. When you care for the plants and animals of the earth, you are showing your gratitude and reverence for these wonderful creations. February Week 3 - Families are central to Heavenly Father's plan Moroni was the captain over the Nephite armies. When he heard that many people were being led away by Amalickiah, Moroni became angry with him. He knew the people were in danger of losing their freedom. He tore off a piece of his coat and wrote on it, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children”. He fastened the fabric to the end of a pole and called it the title of liberty. Then he prayed for the people and visited them, waving the title of liberty and calling on the Nephites to join him in protecting their freedom. We live in a day when
there are people like Amalickiah who want to lead us away from following Heavenly Father’s plan. One of the most important parts of that plan is families. Heavenly Father wants members of the Church to understand His plan for families. The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” to declare what we believe about families. Like the title of liberty, the proclamation can encourage us to remember and explain what we believe. The family is central to His plan. Because He loves us, He has given us families so that we can love and learn from one another. By following Heavenly Father’s plan, families can return to Him and live with Him forever. February Week 4 - I will follow God's plan Aurelia Spencer Rogers began at a very young age to follow Heavenly Father’s plan for her. She was six years old when her parents joined the Church. Her family moved from Deep River, Connecticut, to Nauvoo, Illinois. When the Saints were forced to leave Nauvoo, Aurelia’s mother died, leaving seven young children. They and their father crossed the Missouri River and went to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, where he built a log cabin for them to live in. When she was twelve, her father was called to serve a mission in England. She and her fourteen-year-old sister, Ellen, said that they would care for the family while he served the Lord. How would you feel if your father went to serve a Church mission and left you in a new land to take care of little brothers and sisters? Aurelia loved all children and was concerned about them. When she was a young married woman, she felt that parents needed help in teaching their children about the gospel and about how to treat one another with kindness. When the Primary was established in 1878, Aurelia was called to be its first president. Today, all of us can enjoy Primary because Aurelia Spencer Rogers followed Heavenly Father’s plan for her. Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. We can know of His plan for us through prayer and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
March 2016 March Weeks 1 or 2 - Prophets speak for Heavenly Father It’s a beautiful summer evening and you have been playing outside with your brothers and sisters. Your mom calls to you and asks you to tell them to come in for dinner. You are speaking for your mom, delivering a message for her to your family. Will they listen? Throughout the ages, Father in Heaven has chosen certain men to speak for Him. These men are called prophets. They teach us what Heavenly Father wants us to know. They warn us about what will happen if we disobey. They also tell us about the wonderful blessings that will come when we do obey. Will we listen? We have a living prophet today...President Thomas S. Monson. He is the President of the Church, and he speaks to us for the Lord. He was chosen by God and called through proper priesthood authority. He testifies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and he teaches us the gospel. All the prophets testify of Jesus Christ and teach us what He wants us to do. When we pray to Heavenly Father, we can know that the words of the prophets are true. Prophets are men who “walk with God”. They keep His commandments and are obedient to the things He tells them to do. When we hear the prophet, we will know that he speaks to us for the Savior. Yes, we will listen. March Week 3 - We are led by a living prophet today Some of us are members of clubs. Some countries choose their leaders by voting. In some countries, leaders are chosen by their birth. Every organization needs some order, someone to lead them. In
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Lord chooses the President to lead His people. The Lord also calls twelve men to be Apostles, special witnesses of Jesus Christ to all the earth. President Thomas S. Monson has been called by Heavenly Father to be our prophet and the President of the Church today. He has traveled to many countries and taught the people to follow the Savior. He cares about what happens to members of the Church throughout the world. He is helped by his two Counselors and by the Twelve Apostles, who also travel throughout the world, testifying of the Savior and teaching the people. These men are all special witnesses of Jesus Christ and His gospel. When we listen to our prophet, we are listening to the one whom Father in Heaven has called to represent Him and speak for Him. When we do what the prophet asks us to do, we are doing what Heavenly Father wants us to do. We can be sure that He will bless us when we do what the prophet asks us to do. March Week 4 - There is safety in following the prophet One night a family watched a terrible storm from the window of their home near a beach. Huge waves crashed against the shore. They battered the family’s wooden boat dock, breaking it apart. The next morning they found pieces of the dock all along the shoreline. But their boat was floating peacefully and unharmed in the water. It was held in place by the strong anchor they had tied it to the night before. The anchor had held the boat and kept it from crashing into the shore and being destroyed. Just as the boat was safe in the storm because it was held by an anchor, we can be kept safe when we listen to and follow the prophet. Listening to and obeying his counsel is like an anchor in our lives. The prophet tells us the things Heavenly Father wants us to do. He tells us things that will guide us. He tells us how we can have peace, even during times of fear and worry. Prophets are sent to protect and guide the children of Heavenly Father. There has always been safety in following the prophet. The instruction our prophet gives us is important for our own situations. We should seek to follow his counsel in all things. By following the prophet, we will be prepared against the dangers that we face today.
April 2016 April Week 1 - Jesus Christ was chosen to be our Savior Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ cannot live where there is sin. Something had to be done so that if we sinned and then repented, we could live where They are. Before anyone was born on this earth, Jesus Christ was chosen to be the one to atone for the sins of the world. He came to earth to show us how to live. He came to earth to pay the price (atone) for our sins and provide a way for us to live with Him again. The first principle of the gospel is to have faith in Jesus Christ. We must believe in Him and do what He tells us to do. He has told us that we must repent of our sins. When we are old enough to be accountable for our sins, we repent and are baptized by immersion to show that we want to be members of His Church and have our sins washed away. When we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, our sins can be forgiven and the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion. He can guide us when we have choices to make. April Week 2 - Jesus Christ is the perfect example for me When Jesus Christ lived on the earth; He set a perfect example for us to follow in treating other people. He said, “For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you”. He showed us at least three things that each of us can do: He was kind. He loved everyone. He served
others. I can be kind. Jesus taught that we can share what we have with others. We can visit people who are sick. We can make someone who is new feel welcome. Jesus did these things, and we can, too. He said that when we do these things for others, we are doing it for Him. Surely that is why being kind helps us to have a good feeling and to feel close to our Savior. I can love everyone. When Jesus knew that He was about to be crucified, He gave His disciples a most important commandment—to love one another the same way He loved them. People will know that we are followers of Jesus Christ when they see that we are trying to love everyone. I can serve others. Jesus spent His whole life serving others. He even gave His life for others—for us. He taught that the greatest among us would be those who serve others as He did. Jesus Christ taught a better way—to serve others by helping them, by comforting them, by treating them as He treated others. April Week 3 – Through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved When Paul H. Dunn of the First Quorum of the Seventy was eleven years old, baseball was an important part of his life. Paul’s parents permitted his team to use their large backyard for a baseball diamond. It was completely fenced in, with an alley running along the outside. Beyond the alley was a large church with a beautiful stained glass window that faced the center-field fence. One hot summer evening an exciting baseball game was in progress in the Dunn backyard. Paul came to bat late in the game and hit an outside pitch. It looked like it might be the best hit he had ever made! The ball cleared the center-field fence, crossed the alley, and then, to everyone’s dismay, entered the church building through the large stained glass window some 260 feet away. It seemed to young Paul that the glass fell for hours. The players scattered in every direction. When Paul got up the courage to return home, he discovered that his father had two visitors. They were both ministers from the neighboring church. To Paul’s surprise, they seemed to know from which house the baseball had come. Paul admitted to the ministers that he had hit the ball that had broken the window and told them that he was very sorry. He apologized for the mishap and asked how much it would cost to replace the stained glass window. They told him that it would be about $500. His father asked the ministers if they understood the principle of Christ’s atonement. They seemed a little puzzled. His father said, “In our Church, we believe that ‘through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel’. He explained that the atonement allows each of us to be forgiven of our sins if we repent. Jesus paid for all our sins when He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane. As the only perfect person who ever lived on earth, He was the only one who could do this for us. We could not do it for ourselves. Without His sacrifice, we could never be forgiven of our sins and would not be able to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus again. Taking his checkbook from his coat pocket, he wrote out a check for the amount needed and said, “As Paul’s father, and because I love him, I will pay the price that he cannot.” This experience helped Paul understand what Jesus did for us when He atoned for our sins. April Week 4 - Jesus Christ was resurrected, and I will be too Nathan and his cousins were playing by a large irrigation ditch. They knew that they shouldn’t play so close to it, but it was fun to throw rocks into the water, and it was cooler near the water on this hot summer day. Suddenly Nathan slipped and fell in. His cousins yelled for help. Fortunately the aunts and uncles were not far away. Uncle Gary jumped the pasture fence, ran to the ditch, and pulled Nathan from the water just before he went into a culvert under the road. Uncle Gary saved Nathan’s life that day. Nathan will die someday. Everyone will die someday. But Jesus Christ made it possible for us to live again. He gave His life for us. Three days later He was resurrected—His spirit body reunited with His body of flesh and bones, to never again be parted. He lives today! He said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”.
Because He did this for us, each of us will be resurrected. He is our Savior. You can probably imagine how grateful Nathan’s family was to Uncle Gary that summer day. How much more grateful we ought to be to Jesus Christ! His Atonement made it possible for us to live again forever. His Atonement paid the price for our sins if we repent.
May 2016 May Week 1 – The church of Jesus Christ has been restored Imagine a glass full of clear, pure water. If we bump the glass, some water might spill out and the glass wouldn’t be full anymore. When Jesus Christ was on the earth, He established His Church. He taught the fulness of the gospel: faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and obedience to the commandments. Jesus showed all people how we should live. He became the Savior of us all. The gospel glass was full. But as the years passed, parts of the gospel were lost because wicked people changed it or didn’t obey it. The fulness of the gospel was no longer on the earth. Heavenly Father promised His children He would give them the fulness of the gospel again. He called Joseph Smith to help Him restore the fulness of the gospel. He calls prophets to teach everyone His gospel so we will know the way back to Him. We are blessed to have the fulness of the gospel in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our gospel glasses are full to the top, and Heavenly Father has promised that the gospel will never be taken from the earth again. May Week 2 - Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration When Joseph Smith was fourteen years old, he had a question. He was living on his family’s farm in Palmyra, New York. In the town where they lived, there was a great deal of excitement about religion. There were many preachers from many different churches. Each said that he had the truth and tried to convince people to join his church. Joseph wondered which of the churches he should join. He asked himself, “What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?” He decided to pray and ask God. The Savior told Joseph that he should not join any of the churches because they were all wrong. Joseph had the answer to his question. Later, he received visits from other heavenly messengers and learned what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ wanted him to do to help restore the gospel to the earth. He followed Their directions. Joseph Smith organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and became the first prophet and President of the Church. We, too, can go to Heavenly Father in prayer and receive answers to important questions in our lives. Through prayer we can also receive a testimony from Heavenly Father that Joseph Smith was a prophet. May Week 3 – The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ The Lord called Joseph Smith to be a prophet when he was just a young man. The true Church of Jesus Christ was no longer on the earth, and the Prophet Joseph was called to restore it. He received the priesthood—the power and authority of God—and all the priesthood keys needed to restore the Church. He translated the Book of Mormon, the story of Lehi’s people and another testament of Jesus Christ. One of the promises the Lord made to us is that in the last days He would combine two records, or accounts, of people who have lived on this earth. These records, the Bible and the Book of Mormon, both testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Together they teach us the fullness of the gospel and tell us the commandments that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to keep.
May Week 4 – The priesthood has been restored In 1829, under the direction of the ancient apostles Peter, James, and John, John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. He laid his hands upon their heads and conferred the Aaronic Priesthood upon them. Oliver Cowdery said, “Think for a moment, what joy filled our hearts, and with what surprise we must have bowed, when we received under his hand the Holy Priesthood”. Later, along the banks of the Susquehanna River in New York or Pennsylvania, Peter, James, and John, the same apostles who had received their authority from Jesus Christ, conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood on Joseph and Oliver. Without the priesthood, the Church could not have been organized, no one could be baptized or receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, no one could receive the blessings of the temple, and no one could return to live with Heavenly Father. How wonderful it is that a kind and loving Heavenly Father restored the priesthood so that His servants on the earth could have the power to act in His name!
June 2016 June Week 1 – Faith in Jesus Christ leads us to love Him, trust Him, and keep His commandments What does it mean to have faith in Jesus Christ? To have faith in Jesus Christ means that although we have not seen Him, we believe that He lives and loves us and that we trust Him. When we read the scriptures, we can learn about Him. When we listen to the prophets, we can understand what we can do to follow Him. When we pray in faith for help to choose the right, we can know that our prayers will be answered. When we listen to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, we can feel Him close to us and know that He loves us. Alma tells us that if we nourish the word of God by our faith, it will grow as large as a tree and bring forth fruit. This means that our faith in Jesus Christ will grow strong and bring blessings for us and for others. What joy that brings! We have faith in Jesus Christ when we believe Him, trust Him, obey Him, and follow Him. June Week 2 - Repentance brings forgiveness Repentance brings forgiveness Heavenly Father knew when He sent us to earth that we would need to become accountable for our choices. Being accountable helps us learn to make wise choices. Heavenly Father knew that we would not always choose the right. He and Jesus Christ have provided a way for us to correct our mistakes so that we can be happy here on earth and one day return to live with Them forever. The way is repentance. When we repent, we accept responsibility for our wrong choices, feel sorry, ask forgiveness, and correct our wrongs. Then we try very hard to not repeat that sin. Heavenly Father has given us commandments to help us to be happy. He has promised us blessings—happy consequences—if we obey. Giving us the chance to repent and be forgiven is one way Heavenly Father shows us He loves us. June Week 3 - When I am baptized, I make a covenant with God When I am baptized, I make a covenant with God Baptism is the first ordinance of the gospel. It puts you on the path that leads to eternal life. By being baptized, you show that you believe in Jesus Christ and have faith in Him. When you are baptized you make a covenant to take upon you the name of Jesus Christ, to always remember Him, and to obey His commandments. When we are baptized we make a covenant with Heavenly Father. We promise to take upon us the name of Christ, remember Him, serve Him and be obedient. If we keep our covenants, Heavenly Father will bless us by forgiving us of our wrong doings and having the gift of the Holy Ghost to help us continue to make good choices so we can return to live with Him.
June Week 4 - The Holy Ghost comforts and guides me Not all people who live on earth have the privilege of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Only those who have been baptized and confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have that blessing. When we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost at confirmation, we become official members of the Church. At that time, the Holy Ghost will be with you as long as you live worthy of His promptings. He testifies of Jesus Christ and bears witness when you are taught the truth and will help guide you and your family in following Jesus Christ and making good choices.
July 2016 July Week 1 – God has commanded His people to build temples In December 1832 the Lord commanded the members of the Church to build a temple in Kirtland, Ohio. They were to “establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God” (D&C 88:119). The Lord commanded the Saints to build the Kirtland Temple because he needed a place where he and other heavenly messengers could come to restore essential keys of the priesthood. The Saints also needed a place where they could meet together and learn from their leaders. Building the Kirtland Temple was a great task, but the members worked hard and had faith that the Lord would help them do what he had asked them to do. By March 1836 the temple was ready to be dedicated. Today, we continue to build temples. They are a sacred place of worship. By preparing ourselves now, we can someday enter the temple and enjoy these same blessings and help others to do the same. July Week 2 – Families are blessed through sacred temple ordinances Abraham knew how important it was for Isaac to marry a faithful woman who believed in God as he did. Abraham knew that doing so was the only way that Isaac could be married in the covenant and receive all the blessings that Heavenly Father had promised. Abraham was so concerned about this that he sent his servant miles and miles away to search for the woman with the same religious beliefs as Isaac and who was chosen by God for him to marry. The Lord helped Abraham’s servant find Rebekah. When you are married in the temple, you are promised the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. One of these blessings is that you and your family, through priesthood power, can be sealed together forever. This is a wonderful gift from Heavenly Father. The Lord promised this and other blessings to Abraham’s righteous descendants. They were promised the priesthood and were given the responsibility to teach the gospel to others so that all families everywhere might have “the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal”. When you grow up and go to the temple, you will learn more about the blessings of salvation and the great plan of happiness. You will make covenants. If you keep your covenants, Heavenly Father will bless you with “the greatest of all the gifts of God,” which is eternal life. By choosing to marry in the covenant, as Isaac and Rebekah did, you can have the great blessings the Lord wants to give you and your family. July Week 3 – The pioneers worked hard and sacrificed to build t The pioneers worked hard and sacrificed to build temples What do you think of when you hear the word pioneer? Do you picture a woman wearing a long dress and a bonnet? Is she pulling a handcart? Perhaps you think of children trudging westward across the American plains during a blizzard. What can you do to be a pioneer?
You can help build temples for yourselves and future generations when you pay your tithing. When you pay tithing, you are also doing one of the things that will help make you worthy to enter the temple. You can prepare for baptism and keep your baptismal covenants—another way to be worthy to enter the temple. You can help others understand the importance of the temple, and if no one in your own family has been to the temple, you can be a pioneer by helping them set a goal of being worthy to enter it. As you make sacrifices to help your own family and others enjoy temple blessings, you will be like the pioneers of the past. You will help yourself and your brothers and sisters throughout the world enjoy the blessings of attending a temple close to home, where you and they can receive the wonderful ordinances that will help you and them return to Heavenly Father. July Week 4 - I can prepare to be worthy to go to the temple Have you ever been excited for a special day? Maybe it was your birthday or a vacation. Sevenyear-old Adair was excited for a special day. Her family set a date to go to the temple one year from the time of their baptism. Adair’s family held a special family home evening. Her dad and mom explained how important it was for everyone to prepare to go to the temple. They made a list of the things they could do: pray individually and as a family, read the scriptures, pay tithing, keep the commandments, and follow the prophet. Adair’s mother gave her a picture of the temple and wrote Adair’s name and the date that her family would be going to the temple underneath. Every day Adair tried her best to prepare for when her family would be sealed in the temple. Adair felt good inside as she realized that each day she prepared to receive the blessings of the temple was a special day. She felt a surge of excitement as the special day came. Being sealed as a family was a blessing Heavenly Father gave them that brought them closer to Him and to each other. Great blessings come from going to the temple. As you prepare now to receive the blessings of the temple, each day will be a special day!
August 2016 August Week 1 – My body is a temple The temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are unique. Even though each temple looks different, all are beautiful and are built for the same purpose. They are places where special ordinances take place that are needed for us to return to Heavenly Father. Temples are also places where Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father can come. You are like the temple. You are different from everyone else, but you, too, are a house for the Spirit of God (the Holy Ghost). The Apostle Paul said: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? … For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Cor. 3:16–17.) August Week 2 – Dressing modestly shows respect for Heavenly Father and myself Rebecca’s best friend, Cindy, lived just down the street. They played together all the time. They played with the same dolls and rode on the same bikes and even liked to dress alike. One day, Cindy came over to play. She was carrying a big plastic bag. “I brought you some clothes I grew out of,” Cindy said. “I thought you might like them.” “Thanks!” Rebecca said. “Now I can really dress like you.” Later that evening, after Cindy had gone home, Rebecca’s mom came into her room and sat on the bed. “Let’s try out those new clothes you got,” Mom said. Rebecca squealed with excitement and dumped out the bag of clothes. She went through the clothes one by one. First, she held up a pink dress. “What a pretty dress,” Mom said. “That will fit you perfectly.” She hung the dress in the closet.
Next they looked at a pair of blue pants. “Hmm, they look a little small,” Mom said. “Let’s give those to your younger sister.” Then Rebecca picked up a blue tank top. “This is so cute,” Rebecca said, holding it up. “Can I wear it?” “It’s a cute color,” Mom said, “but I don’t think you should wear it.” “Why not?” Rebecca asked. “It will be great to wear this summer.” “It’s not modest,” Mom said. Rebecca thought for a moment. “What does it mean to be modest?” she asked. “Being modest means dressing in a way that shows Heavenly Father we respect our bodies,” Mom said. “But, Mom, it’s so cute. And Cindy used to wear it!” Rebecca said. Mom patted Rebecca on the shoulder and said, “I’ll let you decide what to do with it.” Rebecca sighed. She knew it was important to listen to her mom, but she really liked the shirt. So when her mom left the room, Rebecca hid the tank top in her drawer underneath some other clothes. She thought maybe she could wear it one day when Mom wasn’t home. A few weeks later when Rebecca was cleaning out her dresser, she found the blue tank top. She pulled it out. Once again, she saw how cute it was. But she remembered what her mom had said and decided that she would rather show respect for her body than wear something immodest. She went to talk to her mom. “Mom, remember that tank top Cindy gave me?” Rebecca asked as she held it out. “Well, I kept it hidden in my drawer. But I decided I don’t want to wear it. I would rather please Heavenly Father.” Mom smiled and gave Rebecca a hug. “I’m glad you chose the right,” she said. “When you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit and can exercise a good influence on those around you.” August Week 3 – Living the Word of Wisdom shows respect for my body Our bodies are the temples of our spirits. Even though we choose what to do with them while we are here on earth, we must remember that they are sacred because Heavenly Father created them. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “Our bodies … are the tabernacles of our spirits. He who is the Father of those spirits would have us build strength and virtue into these personal tabernacles.”* President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, “If you are well groomed and modestly dressed, you invite the companionship of the Spirit of our Father in Heaven and exercise a wholesome influence upon those around you. … Dress and groom to show the Lord that you know how precious your body is.” Satan is jealous of everyone who has a body, because he cannot have one. He tempts us to ruin our body’s purity by wearing inappropriate clothing or taking harmful substances. He even tempts us to be ashamed of our bodies—-to think that they aren’t good enough, tall enough, strong enough, or pretty enough. If we follow the Spirit, we will be able to build “strength and virtue” into our bodies, and we won’t believe the devil’s lies about them. Heavenly Father is pleased with the earthly temples created for our spirits. We must show reverence for our bodies and treat them as holy temples. August Week 4 – Reading, watching and listening to wholesome things keeps my mind clean Just as you treat temples with respect, you should treat your own body with respect. You can do this by obeying the Word of Wisdom, by dressing modestly, and by following the counsel of our prophet. You should also keep your heart and mind clean by reading, listening to, and watching only “things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father”. If you are clean in mind and body, you can receive great blessings because “the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell” (Alma 34:36). We need to keep ourselves worthy and stay away from things that take away from the Spirit.
September 2016 September Week 1 – The scriptures teach that the gospel will be preached in all the world Every year, there is at least one harvest time. In some parts of the world, it is harvest time now. Green vegetables, juicy fruits, and healthy grains, which have been growing for months in good soil and sunlight, are ripe and ready for harvesting. Farmers and gardeners work hard so that everything can be gathered and nothing is lost. The Lord’s harvest is humble people who are ready to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Like the farmer who has worked in the field or the missionary who has served a full-time mission, you can see the fruits of your labor. You have worked hard to choose the right. What is your harvest? Your friends and family members have noticed your good example and want to come to church with you. Your bishop is happy because you qualify for a recommend, if you are a baptized member of the Church, to go to a temple dedication. And Heavenly Father is pleased because you have shown your love by keeping His commandments. As you continue to keep the commandments, you shall continue to have many harvests. September Week 2 – Missionary work blesses everyone Jesus Christ taught those who followed Him that they were “the light of the world.” He said that you don’t light candles and put them under baskets. When you light a candle, you put it on a candlestick so that it gives light to everyone in the room. He told us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (See Matt. 5:14–16.) What does this mean? It means that if you are a good example, if you “let your light shine,” then when other people see your good example, they will know that you love Heavenly Father and they, too, will want to honor Him. We can do this by keeping the commandments and choosing the right. When we are honest, when we keep the Sabbath holy, when we are kind, we are letting our lights shine. When we obey the Word of Wisdom, when we dress modestly, when we use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently, we are letting our lights shine. When we let our light shine, it can bless those around us to come closer to Christ. September Week 3 – I can prepare now to serve a mission Missionaries work is hard but there are certain things we can do now to prepare ourselves. You can make important choices to exercise, to get enough rest, and to keep your body clean. You can also choose to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. These choices will bless you and your body now and in the future. Just like your body, your spirit needs food. Reading the scriptures feeds your spirit. Attending your Sunday meetings, partaking of the Sacrament, praying every day, and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost will help to keep your spirit strong and growing, will help you avoid sin and sorrow, and will bring you blessings now and for the rest of your life. September Week 4 – I can be a missionary now Did you know that you can be a missionary now? The best missionaries love the Lord, and they love other people. When we love others, we want to share with them our greatest treasure—the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can learn in the Book of Mormon how Ammon became a great missionary). He and his brothers wanted to share the gospel with those who had never heard it. We can be missionaries just like Ammon. President David O. McKay said, “Every member a missionary.” That means you can be a missionary now! Sharing the gospel with others will remind us of our baptismal covenant to
always remember Jesus Christ: I can be a missionary now. I don’t have to wait until I’m grown. I’ll live each day the best that I know how, And they’ll see I have a testimony of my own, A testimony of my very own.
October 2016 October Week 1 – I can pray to Heavenly Father In the scriptures there are many stories of answers to prayer. Do you remember these? Nephi was told how to build a ship and where to find food; Daniel prayed for protection from the lions; Enos prayed all day and into the night that his sins would be forgiven; Hannah prayed that she could have a baby. There’s another story about prayer of a young boy who wanted to know something. He wanted to know which church he should join. His friends and his family were finding churches to join. He just didn’t know which church was right. He was only 14 years old. We, too, can pray to our Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere for any reason. We are His children and He loves us a lot. He wants us to come to Him in prayer often. October Week 2 – The scriptures teach me how and when to pray When you need to know an answer to a question, whom do you ask? When you are hurt, who can help you? When you are sad, who can comfort you? In the scriptures, we read of men, women, and children who prayed to Heavenly Father when they had questions or needed help. - Joseph Smith was fourteen years old when he wanted to know which church to join. He prayed one morning in a grove of trees near his family farm. - Moses wondered about all of God’s marvelous creations. He asked questions about them on “an exceedingly high mountain”. - Enos had gone to the woods to hunt when he recognized that he needed forgiveness for his sins. - Daniel lived in a busy city near the king’s palace. He prayed daily for guidance even though the law said that people who prayed would be thrown into a den of hungry lions. - Esther fasted and prayed because she was afraid to go to the king’s court to plead for her people. Each of these people prayed for help. They believed that no matter where you are or what time of day it is, Heavenly Father can hear your prayer. The scriptures show us that Heavenly Father did hear their prayers and that He answered them. October Weeks 3 or 4 – Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers Heavenly Father hears and answers the prayers of His little children. You are His child. He loves you and will hear and answer your prayers. Before you begin to pray, take a few moments to think carefully about the beautiful blessings Heavenly Father has given you. This careful thinking is called pondering. Pondering about Heavenly Father’s blessings to you will bring a feeling of thankfulness, or gratitude, into your heart, and this feeling will help you prepare to talk to Him. As you begin your prayer, let the feelings of your heart come through your voice. Speak to Heavenly Father with love and reverence. When you speak from your heart, He will listen. Tell Him how much you love Him. Thank Him for your blessings. Ask Him for the blessings you need. Tell Heavenly Father how you feel about His Son, Jesus Christ. Share with Heavenly Father the things that make you happy and the things that make you sad or frightened. Ask for the Holy Ghost to be with you. You can talk to
Heavenly Father about anything. When you pray to Him, take your time and do not hurry. When you finish your prayer, sit quietly for a moment and “listen” by thinking about Heavenly Father. Praying can invite a sweet, peaceful feeling that comes from the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father will answer your prayers in a way that is best for you. As you pray, you will feel His love for you, and your love for Him will grow.
November 2016 November Week 1 – Reverence is love and respect for God Elder L. Tom Perry said, “One Sunday my granddaughter Diana, who is four years old, was sitting next to her father at church. Diana sat reverently, enjoying the comfort of her father’s arm holding her close to him. However, when the bishop stood up and announced the sacrament hymn, Diana gently lifted her father’s arm from her shoulder and placed it in his lap. Then she sat up straight and folded her arms. She looked over at her father and encouraged him to do the same. Diana’s message to her father was perfectly clear. She was telling him to turn his complete and total attention to the Savior.” Reverence is an attitude of deepest love and respect for Heavenly Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is not enough to behave reverently; we must feel it in our hearts. Reverent behavior without a reverent attitude is empty of meaning if it is performed only for the praises of men. Reverence is something we feel inside no matter what is going on around us. It is a personal responsibility. We cannot blame others for disturbing our reverent attitudes. May we learn to show reverence and respect for Heavenly Father. November Week 2 – Reverence during the sacrament helps me to remember Jesus Christ Jesus gave us the sacrament to help us remember the sacrifice He made for us in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. He suffered for our sins so that we could be forgiven if we repent. He gave His life and took it up again so that we could be resurrected and live again. The sacrament bread represents Jesus’ body, and the water represents His blood, which was shed for us. When we take the sacrament, we renew the covenants made at baptism: We are willing to take His name upon us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we will always remember Him, and we will keep His commandments. There are many ways we can reverently remember Jesus, especially while the sacrament is being passed. We can remember how He suffered for our sins and how He died and was resurrected. We can remember His life and teachings and think about how we can become more like Him. We can remember the things we have done wrong, repent, and ask for forgiveness. We can remember the many blessings He has given us. Jesus said, “And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you”. The sacrament is a great blessing in our lives. November Week 3 – I can show reverence for sacred places and things Our temples and meetinghouses are dedicated to the Lord as sacred space. … A sense of the sacred should lead us to act and speak with reverence in and around these buildings. It offends Heavenly Father when we come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. We should think and feel and dress and act in ways that show reverence and respect for sacred things, sacred places, sacred occasions. When we develop a deepening reverence for sacred things, the Holy Ghost becomes our constant companion. We are Saints of the great latter-day dispensation— and we need to look and act the part.
November Week 4 – Reverence for God helps me respect and love others When the Saints began to settle in Nauvoo and surrounding areas, a French Catholic priest by the name of Father John Alleman, who lived in neighboring McDonough County, needed transportation to visit a sick member of his church. The Prophet Joseph Smith provided him with ferry service to cross the river, and a carriage to his destination. This quality of respect for others, no matter what their belief or religious affiliation, seems to have been a part of the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He stood for truth and he had no patience with those who were intentionally mean to anyone else. This quality came from his reverence and love for Heavenly Father. He wanted to treat everyone with love and respect and we should too.
December 2016 December Week 1 – Prophets prophesied about the birth of Jesus Christ From the time of Adam, righteous men looked forward to the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophets taught that Jesus Christ would come to save all of Heavenly Father’s children from death. They also taught that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, men could be forgiven of their sins and return to Heavenly Father. Many of the prophets knew of the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ, long before it happened. Some of those prophets were Isaiah, Lehi, Nephi and Samuel. When the Savior, Jesus Christ, was born, the prophecies were fulfilled. The time that all the holy prophets had waited for had finally come. An angel appeared to shepherds while they watched their flocks. The angel spoke to the shepherds, saying, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” December Week 2 – Jesus Christ was born Because our Heavenly Father loves us, He gives us many gifts. In John 3:16, we read about a most precious gift: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus came to earth as a baby born in Bethlehem. His life is an example for us. He also atoned for our sins and gave us the opportunity to return to live with our Heavenly Father again. If we follow Jesus Christ in faith, we can receive another wonderful gift: “If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God”. As we follow Jesus Christ in faith, we look forward to the time when He will return to earth. We know that He will come again and that someday we will receive the greatest of all the gifts of God—eternal life. December Week 3 – Jesus Christ will someday return to the earth It is fun to imagine that we lived long ago and heard Samuel prophesy about the coming of Jesus Christ. Many prophets besides Samuel told the people of their times about the Savior’s birth. Those prophecies were fulfilled that night in Bethlehem. Just as the prophets testified of the Savior’s birth, they have prophesied that He will come again. At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will come not as a child but as an adult, and He will then rule and reign forever. All people everywhere will know that He is the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world. Although we do not know when He will come again, we have been told to prepare for that time. We can prepare for His Second Coming just as the righteous people in Zarahemla prepared for His birth. We can follow the words of the prophets.
We can study the scriptures and pray to Heavenly Father. We can keep our baptismal covenant and heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Prophets today continue to prophesy that the Savior will come again. If we follow the prophet, we will be prepared. What a joyful day that will be! December Week 4 – To prepare for the Second Coming, I will follow Jesus Christ Baby Jesus was the One all the prophets promised would come into the world to be our Savior and Redeemer. He came to earth to show us how to live. He came to earth to die for us so that we could live again with our Father in Heaven. We are so grateful to Jesus Christ for what He did for us that we honor His birth by celebrating Christmas. With great joy, we also honor His resurrection by celebrating Easter. There is another day we are going to celebrate: the day when Jesus Christ will return to earth. Hosts of angels will be with Him then, too. The same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, was crucified, and was resurrected, will come to earth again. After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, angels promised His Apostles that He would come again. Modern prophets have also told us about the day when He will return. When the Savior comes again, He will bring peace. He will bring safety and joy for all the righteous. Those who love Him will be prepared.