Prophets, Apostles, and Go Fish

Hello everyone!

So, I was searching around for games that would fit into an LDS format for class, and I stumbled upon this groovy lady over here. I found her idea for apostle go fish cards on Pinterest and loved it!!!

I’m not much for fanciness though, so I decided to make my own versions, which are more boring, but straightforward. Which is what I like sometimes. Apparently, this is one of those times.

Her version has colored borders around each dude. Mine don’t. Hers also have uber cute backgrounds. (If you’re wondering what the difference is.)  😉

If you’re one for fancy, click on her name up there and print out her version. Also, I haven’t poked around yet, but I’m fairly certain she probably has more genius ideas on her website. We should both check it out!

 

President Russell M. Nelson

 

Anywho.

I found pictures of the current president, his two counselors, and the twelve apostles on lds.org in the image gallery section. Printed those out and my uber awesome momma laminated them, brought them home, and I cut them out like the crazy lady that I am.

And *BOOM* go fish cards.

mwahahahahahahaha!

Besides, if I’m being honest, there’s just something awesome about making your own creative stuff and being like, “dudes, I made this.” *insert goofy, cheesy grin here*

I’m starved for creative opportunities lately and I’m 100% a creative type, so I pounced. Ta da!

 

I decided to make 2 different decks of Go Fish cards. 

ONE, a deck with the current president, his counselors, and the twelve apostles.

These are the links for the first deck.

Apostle Go Fish Cards (this is in word document format)

Apostle Go Fish Cards (this is in pdf format)

 

TWO, a deck of the seventeen prophets we’ve had since the restoration began with Joseph Smith in the 1830s.

These are the links for the second deck.

17 Prophets Go Fish Cards  (this is in word document format)

17 Prophets Go Fish Cards (this is in pdf format)

 

Joseph Smith

 

How to Play Go Fish

Make 4 copies of each guy. You can laminate if you’d like (or make your own).

Shuffle the deck.

Deal each player, face down, 5 cards.

Place the remaining cards face down in the middle of the players. This is the “go fish” pile.

Each person takes a turn choosing one opponent and asking them if they have a certain prophet or apostle. If they do, they give them all of that person. If not, they “go fish” and grab a card out of the pile of cards in the middle.

You can either make it so 2 of each apostle or prophet is a match, or 4 of each is a match. Make sure you state which way you’re playing before the game starts.

In other words, either each player needs to get 2 copies of the same person OR all 4 copies of the same person. The game goes much quicker if only playing for two to be a match.

When a person has 2 or 4 of each apostle or prophet, they place them face up on the ground beside themselves as a match.

Once there are no more cards left in play, the person with the most matches wins.


 

I think the card games are a genius way to get us to remember who each prophet, apostle, and counselor is, or at the very least to become more familiarized in our classes with who they are.

I was originally looking for a game to play at the end of our lesson, as it was going to be a short one.

Everyone loved it!

I hope you and your class can enjoy this as well. Or your family, for Family Home Evening.

 

Our Savior Jesus Christ

 


So… While putting this together I found something out I didn’t previously know…

Everyone knows Joseph Smith and Joseph F. Smith are two different dudes, right?

I didn’t realize there was a THIRD dude, by the name of Joseph Feilding Smith… I thought he was Joseph F. Smith!!!

I’ve been LDS my whole life and wow… just found THAT out.

0_o

I feel real slow right now. But oh well. I know now!

 

Let me know if there are any problems with the downloads. Have fun!

 


Sources

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-presidents

https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/category/latter-day-prophets-gospel-art-book?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/joseph-smith-art-lds-37715?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/meet-todays-prophets-and-apostles?lang=eng

 

*do keep in mind that all of these images are the property of LDS.org. So don’t try to sell these cards or anything like that.

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Anger

So… anger.

I have had a strange relationship with anger. Until I was out of high school, I didn’t realize I was angry. I shut myself in my room and hid from an unhappy and unhealthy home life and did my own thing, disappearing into stories and situations in my head where I had a measure of control, completely dissociating from my anger (and all emotions) and reality.

I wasn’t aware I was suppressing my anger until I was in my early twenties. At that point, it was so fully stuffed down inside me, I no longer knew how to reach it. By then I realized it wasn’t only anger. I didn’t know how to reach sadness, didn’t know how to cry when I felt the urge. It took a while longer for me to learn I didn’t feel joy. Nothing felt good. I was miserable.

We make excuses or we rationalize or we simply aren’t aware. I didn’t want to experience the situations I was in, so I began dissociating from reality at a very young age.

Once I realized what had happened, it took quite a struggle for me to figure out what to do about it.

Feel it.

It sucks. And I’m still really not certain what the right way of doing this is. But when it has come to emotions, particularly anger – especially since I was the victim of others’ anger most of my life – it is best to follow this rule:

Be honest. Express what I feel in creative outlets or exercise. Feel what I feel but DO  NOT take my anger (or any other emotion) out on other people.

There is a difference between being grumpy and taking my anger out on others.

Anger really is harmful. It can tear a human apart, especially if they’ve known nothing else.

I still have a hard time figuring out what to do with my anger now that I am in a situation where I can feel my emotions. I can feel it now, but knowing what to do with it is another story. With the help of therapy, support groups, prayer, scriptures, church, and trusted friends, I will figure it out. I think I’m doing pretty good, thank you very much. Most of it is Jesus though, trust me.

But knowing that my anger is a sign that something is wrong – that it is okay that I am not okay with others taking their issues out on me – helps. Tremendously. It’s like someone sat down next to me and said, “hey, you know, it’s not right for people to treat you that way. Your anger makes sense. But you need to let it go. Set healthy boundaries and learn to express your displeasure at being treated that way. But don’t suppress it, don’t ignore it, and don’t let it build up until you explode or become so depressed that you feel nothing. What they did isn’t right. That’s what your anger is telling you. Now move forward, learn to say no, and deal with your own issues in a healthy manner.”

Sometimes, it’s nice to know I’m not crazy. And I’m not a jerk for thinking people are making excuses for their unhealthy behavior.

 

So when I came upon this passage in the institute manuals for the Book of Mormon in my daily reading, I felt good. I’m not crazy. But I am responsible. For my emotions and reactions. Not anyone else’s.

 

 

  • Mormon wrote that the Nephites would “tremble and anger” (Moroni 9:4) against him when he spoke the word of God plainly to them. Such a response is consistent with other scriptural examples of those who had hardened their hearts to principles of righteousness. The Jaredites rejected Ether and sought to kill him (see Ether 13:22). The inhabitants of Jerusalem sought Lehi’s life (see 1 Nephi 1:19–20). The unrighteous in Ammonihah were so angry that they burned the believers and all of their scriptures (see Alma 14). This response to the word of God demonstrates an advanced state of wickedness that frequently precedes total destruction of cities or societies.

  • Many people in our day believe they are victims of their own anger. Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy explained that we are able to choose whether to react with anger or not:

    “A cunning part of his [Satan’s] strategy is to dissociate anger from agency, making us believe that we are victims of an emotion that we cannot control. We hear, ‘I lost my temper.’ Losing one’s temper is an interesting choice of words that has become a widely used idiom. To ‘lose something’ implies ‘not meaning to,’ ‘accidental,’ ‘involuntary,’ ‘not responsible’—careless perhaps but ‘not responsible.’

    “‘He made me mad.’ This is another phrase we hear, also implying lack of control or agency. This is a myth that must be debunked. No one makes us mad. Others don’t make us angry. There is no force involved. Becoming angry is a conscious choice, a decision; therefore, we can make the choice not to become angry. We choose!

    To those who say, ‘But I can’t help myself,’ author William Wilbanks responds, ‘Nonsense.’

    “‘Aggression, … suppressing the anger, talking about it, screaming and yelling,’ are all learned strategies in dealing with anger. ‘We choose the one that has proved effective for us in the past. Ever notice how seldom we lose control when frustrated by our boss, but how often we do when annoyed by friends or family?’ (‘The New Obscenity,’ Reader’s Digest, Dec. 1988, 24; italics added)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 105; or Ensign, May 1998, 80).

Source

 

I insanely love this explanation.

I love that our Heavenly Father gave us free agency. Nothing can force us into anything. We are promised that. But free agency comes with responsibility. I’d prefer to be responsible than to make excuses and act like I’m some exception. Even when that means I have to apologize to someone for reacting in an inappropriate manner.

Like one of my favorite quotes says,

“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”

Ryan Blair

 

It is certainly important to me to treat people with dignity, respect, and kindness. And to be treated in kind with those same Christlike qualities. That means I must take responsibility and realize that I DECIDE how I act. I decide to act out on my anger or not. I can choose to decide to listen to what my emotions are telling me and act in a healthy and Christlike manner from there. And if I don’t know what to do, all I have to do is pray and believe God will not abandon me. Our Father in Heaven never gives us a command that we cannot keep.

What is that uber known LDS scripture that talks about there always being a way prepared for us?

1 Nephi 3:7

7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Weak Things Become Strong

This verse just gained a new meaning for me.

I was writing this post and had an epiphany when I went to read over, edit, and revise.

My WEAKNESSES are my mood disorder, digestive disease, migraines, other health issues both physical and psychological, etc.

My STRENGTHS come from knowing how to combat these things, healthily cope with them, how to make my uphill battle with these trials enjoyable. How to live my life the way God wants me to with the challenges He has given me.

These things have BECOME my strengths THROUGH CHRIST.

Ether 12:27

27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

God gave me these weaknesses ON PURPOSE. He handcrafted me. So that I can become humbled, remember I need His Grace in every breath I breathe in order to be made STRONG, then become capable of helping others with these issues. Able to reach higher, get stronger, learn how to become the best Me I can become. Through my weaknesses, as they become my strengths. I can excel at something someone else cannot simply because I had to struggle with it until I felt there was nothing more to be done, hit bottom, and decided to plead with God for help… time and time again.

 

What a beautiful gift that God has given me. These weaknesses I constantly hate myself for having.

What beauty is there in pain, in suffering, in struggling, in trying time and time again to only fall one more time?

The beauty is in God’s extended hand. The beauty is in what happens when I stand back up, God’s grace in hand.

 

Our Choice

Every moment of every day, we are making a decision, whether conscious or unconscious.

Realistically, we are making loads.

I was reading in Mormon today and one verse really struck me.

Mormon 9:14

And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.

I know, I know, we hear this same thing over and over again. We don’t become some amazing superhero after the Lord comes again.

What we get is what we bring.

But today, it really occurred to me that we often CHOOSE to live as victims in this life.

This person MADE me feel this. That person GAVE ME NO CHOICE but to do this or that. I can’t help how I feel, __________ happened to me and I can’t change its effects on me.

That is utter nonsense.

Yes, there are things we cannot control. People are one of those things. But what we choose to amplify in our lives, IS our choice.

No one takes that away from us when we are abused, brainwashed, controlled, etc.

 he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.

That is what really gets me.

Whatever we choose in this life to become… that is who we are. I’m not trying to insult your intelligence, but do we really think about this that often?

What we choose today to focus on, is who we are becoming. It’s who we’ll be when Christ comes again. That is who God will judge.

So if we focus on how horrible our health is, we’ll be feeling horrible. And we’ll soak in our misery and have no friends and wonder why we’re so alone.

OR we can focus on the strengths we have BECAUSE of our weak health, and how we can help others with it. How we can capitalise on our strength in our life, in our own way.

When the Lord comes again, He won’t wave a magic wand over us and *POOF* we’ll be happy and doing great and handed loads of riches, a healthy mental state, and our dream job.

Our job is to get there now, in whatever way we’re able, to whatever degree we are able.

If we focus on how terrible everything is in our lives, guess what?

We feel terrible.

Yeah, life is unfair.

But Christ had the MOST unfair life. He suffered for every single sin and felt every single misery

Did He complain?

Ever?

No.

The pain was so intense that He asked for the cup to pass from Him if possible, but if not, He accepted. Can you imagine the amount of pain needed to get the Son of God to ask for it to stop?

Nephi must have recognized that life would be the most unfair for Jesus Christ. Though absolutely innocent, the Savior would suffer the most.

The closer we are to Jesus Christ in the thoughts and intents of our hearts, the more we appreciate His innocent suffering, the more grateful we are for grace and forgiveness, and the more we want to repent and become like Him.

By Elder Dale G. Renlund Source

Life is unfair. It is a test. A string of challenges and trials.

LIFE WAS NEVER GOING TO BE EASY.

We can’t always control the storms that life puts in our path. Sometimes things simply don’t go our way. We may feel shaken and blown about by the turbulence of disappointment, doubt, fear, sadness, or stress.

During those times, it is easy to get caught up in everything that is going wrong and to make our troubles the center of our thoughts. The temptation is to focus on the trials we are facing instead of on the Savior and our testimony of truth.

But that is not the best way to navigate through our challenges in life.

-President Uchtdorf  Source

 

We signed on for that before we came here. Ha – we jumped up and down and couldn’t wait to get down here to learn and prove ourselves!

But if we focus on the beauty, on the good, on the little things that can lift us from our own personal Hell to a sliver of paradise here and now, then life is enjoyable.

That is the whole point.

…so too should we keep our focus on the center of our faith—our Savior, His gospel, and the plan of our Heavenly Father—and on our ultimate goal—to return safely to our heavenly destination. We should trust God and make staying on the track of discipleship the focus of our efforts. We should keep our eyes, heart, and mind focused on living the way we know we should.

Showing our faith and trust in Heavenly Father by joyfully keeping His commandments will bring us happiness and glory. And if we stay on the path, we will get through any turbulence—no matter how strong it may appear—and return safely to our heavenly home.

-President Uchtdorf  Source

 

Not to soak in our misery.

The more we obsess about our difficulties, our struggles, our doubts, and our fears, the more difficult things can become. But the more we focus on our final heavenly destination and on the joys of following the disciple’s path—loving God, serving our neighbor—the more likely we are to successfully navigate through times of trouble and turbulence.

-President Uchtdorf  Source

The point is to stand up, deal with reality, hurt when we need to – because not feeling our emotions is a quick ticket to a horrible life where we are making zero progress – feel our emotions, aim for joy, and help to lift others…

Over the years, I have had the sacred opportunity to meet with many people whose sorrows seem to reach the very depths of their soul. In these moments, I have listened to my beloved brothers and sisters and grieved with them over their burdens. I have pondered what to say to them, and I have struggled to know how to comfort and support them in their trials.

– President Dieter F. Uchtdorf Source

The point is to endure to the end.

It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.

– President Dieter F. Uchtdorf Source

To fight on Christ’s side in the ongoing war between good and evil.

We are commanded to be at peace, time and time again in the scriptures.

John 14: 18, 27

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 

Matthew 14:27

But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

Doctrine and Covenants Section 6 Versus 33-37 repeat the phrase “fear not” three times. They also mention, “doubt not”.

There are TONS of verses in the scriptures which tell us to fear not, doubt not. That’s not an accident.

Ether talks endlessly about how “faith, hope, and charity are 100% needed.

Ether 12:32

32 And I also remember that thou hast said that thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared.

(bold added by me)

Because we don’t just “hope” God is there and that He will forever love us and reward us for following His laws and paths for us.

We know.

So the pain we feel is ALL for our gain. It is stretching us. Strengthening us.

We can do this.

 

…Anyway…

When I read that one verse in Mormon, it said something different to me today. It really connected and brought something I already knew alive in a new way. Impressing upon me that I want to choose happiness from now on. Really struck me that I want to live INTENTIONALLY.

We are not victims of circumstance or an apathetic deity. God has a plan for all of us. We choose every day who we are and who we are becoming.

I want to live after the manner of happiness. Which, of course, does not mean I’ll be happy all the time. I have mood disorders, grew up abused, have a digestive disease, migraines, a hard time finding work I can maintain with my health level, and on and on and on.

2 Nephi 2:25

men are, that they might have joy.

But I am optimistic. I am hopeful. And I know that even when I feel terrible, I can fall back on the truth that God is there, Christ’s Atoning sacrifice is there for me to tap into, and I am never alone. The pain will pass. And even if it doesn’t in this life, well then, I will endure to the end and reap my rewards when I meet God.

2 Nephi 5:27

And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.

Forgiving Others, Abusers, and Ourselves

Last Sunday, in third hour Relief Society meeting, we broke off into four groups and each had a topic to read over, discuss, and then talk about with everyone else.

Our subject was forgiveness.

*head desk*

Loaded subject.

 

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Forgiving Others

A grandmother described how she forgives quite quickly unless someone has wronged or hurt her children or grandchildren.

A few other mothers nodded with a smile.

For me, it’s rapists and animal abusers.

We all have our particular buttons, that when pushed, make it supremely difficult for us to forgive.

 

It helps to remember that we are ALL sinners. And we ALL need forgiveness. I have sinned. I have hurt others. Sure, I haven’t raped or beaten anyone, but that doesn’t make my sins “okay”. That doesn’t make it right for me to downplay the hurt I have caused.

And thusly, I remember to be humble and recognize that I am just as dependent on Christ’s Atonement as everyone else.

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

 

We need to remember that forgiving someone takes time and consistent effort. God will help us to forgive others if we remember to ask for it, and truly want it. If we don’t want to forgive but we know we need to… well, we can pray to God to help us to want to forgive.

Forgiving others is mainly for us. Often someone doesn’t even know they’ve wronged us and is happily going about their day. Meanwhile, we’re sitting their fuming and soaking in the resentment and building bitterness.

Forgiveness brings us peace. It allows us to move forward and enjoy our life, knowing that what happened is in the past.

 

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Forgiving Abusers

Familial and spousal abuse of all kinds are also subjects most people find hard to navigate when it comes to forgiveness.

Which brings us to all of the misconceptions around forgiving abusers. There’s an Ensign article that really helped with this one. I love that our LDS magazines are talking about these things, getting them out in the open. Because I don’t think these things are obvious. At least, they weren’t to me until I went to therapy and all that came after.

Forgiveness is not trust. That’s a big one. We can forgive someone and then keep them out of our life. We don’t have to trust someone when they have proved that they’re not trustworthy. We are responsible for setting boundaries for ourselves.

“The Savior asks us to forsake and combat evil in all it’s forms, and although we must forgive a neighbor who injures us, we should still work constructively to prevent that injury from being repeated.”

-Elder David. E. Sorensen

I used to believe that forgiving someone meant that I was giving them the power to hurt me again. I learned through the years of working on my relationship with Christ that this way of seeing forgiveness is false.

Forgiveness is not saying that what was done to hurt us is suddenly okay. It is not. Never was, never will be. In order to forgive someone, we have to recognize that what happened wasn’t okay in the first place. Then, and only then, can we forgive. We say, “hey, I know _______ is human too, and I don’t know how they got this way, but we all make mistakes”. And then we let it go.

That’s how we accept that we’re all in the same boat. But that doesn’t mean we have to approve of what has been done.

Which brings me to “forgive and forget”. In our group of Relief Society women, we talked about how we are to forgive but it is nearly impossible to forget. We need to remember the lesson that came out of whatever happened.

What is meant by forgive and forget is to not be obsessing on what happened. We are not to drag up ancient history to use it against someone. Or stew in anger by thinking about it over and over again. If it crosses our mind here and there, that is human.

 

If you have a hard time figuring out how the Savior forgives “those people”.  The ones that push our buttons… I have a confession. I often find myself wondering this same thing. *shrug* I’m human. Along with entertaining some very not Christian thoughts of payback and revenge.

What do we do with these emotions, thoughts, and frustrations?

Good thing you asked.

Proverbs 3:5

¶ Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

When I get this way, I remember that God knows what He is doing. He knows everything.

I do not.

He knows what happened to that rapist, the animal abuser, the abusive parent, when they were a child. He knows their heart and their desires. And while it is not my place to be happy at the thought of them suffering for hurting others in such terrible ways, I do remember… God is just.

And then I pray for help. 😉

I often think of these verses, when I’m anguishing over what someone has done to another and how I can do nothing to right it or keep it from happening again.

Alma 42: 24-26

24 For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.

25 What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.

26 And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of men, and also their destruction and misery.

Handing out justice is not for me to do. Or to worry about. God’s justice is perfect and He will handle it.

 

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Forgiving Ourselves

This is the hardest one for me.

If you grew up human, you know it’s not the simplest thing to forgive yourself for being… well, human.

Satan knows this and uses it to his advantage.

Good news. Christ is stronger than anything and everything. God is our Heavenly Father – and a loving one. He created everything for us, due to His love for us. He wants us forgive ourselves. And He can help us with that too.

That ensign article I mentioned, it talks about this very thing. How we need to forgive ourselves and then once we have, not allow Satan to make us think we haven’t forgiven ourselves. As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf so perfectly put it:

“Doubt your doubts.”

Confusing, I know. But you know what I mean.

As Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk pointed out, “Please also remember that an essential element of forgiveness includes forgiving ourselves.”

 

Do you have any insights into forgiveness of others and/or yourself? Any examples you’d like to share?

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As Christ Forgives


Quotes from this past April 2108 General Conference.

Even as Christ Forgives You, So Also Do Ye by Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk

 

 

“I want to focus on forgiveness, an essential and precious gift offered to us from our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.”

“I am not suggesting that we condone unlawful conduct. We know full well that individuals are to be held accountable for their criminal acts and civil wrongdoings.”

“…we also know that, as sons and daughters of God, we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. We are to be forgiving even when it seems others may not warrant our forgiveness.”

Matthew 6:14–15

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

“We can all receive unspeakable peace and partnering with our Savior as we learn to freely forgive those who have trespassed against us.”

“The teachings of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, are clear; the sinner must be willing to forgive others if he or she hopes to obtain forgiveness.”

Doctrine and Covenants 64:9–10

9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.

10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

“Please also remember that an essential element of forgiveness includes forgiving ourselves.”

Doctrine and Covenants 58:42

42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

“By having a forgiving spirit and acting upon it… we can realize the promise of the Savior:”

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 

Did you enjoy this Conference Talk? What were your favorites from this April?

What Can I Learn from President Monson about following the Spirit?

This is what I did for the month of May, for the lesson of the above title.

Here is the link to the LDS website that describes this lesson plan.

 

I know, I know, Thomas S. Monson isn’t our president any longer. The current president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is President Russell M. Nelson. But this is still the lesson planning for this month and I ran with it.

I teach ages 12 to 17 with a partner teacher. Meaning, I teach every other Sunday.

I broke this lesson up into three parts.

1 – scriptures

2 – experiences from Monson’s life focusing on following the Spirit

3 – activity

 

 

SCRIPTURES

Proverbs 3: 5-6

5 ¶ Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Doctrine and Covenants 8: 2-3

2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.

Moroni 10:5

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Doctrine and Covenants 35:10

19 Wherefore, watch over him that his faith fail not, and it shall be given by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, that knoweth all things.

Discussion Topics:

These scriptures point out that the Spirit knows all truth. God gives us his constant companionship (if we are worthy) so that we may know the truth as well.

God wants us to trust Him and know that He has a perfect plan for us. One that has directions we can discover if we are willing to ask in prayer and receive personal revelation from the Holy Spirit.

Our understanding is limited. We need to trust that God sees the whole picture and we will make it safely through if we submit to His will.

It was through the Spirit that Moses parted the Red Sea. Seriously, what righteous thing can we not do with God on our side, and the Spirit as our companion?

 

John 5:7

7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Discussion Topics:

Always good to point out that the Spirit is the 3rd member of the Godhead. He is a divine being to whom we are allowed constant access.

 

Romans 8:16

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Discussion Topics:

Always a good one to remind us that we are daughters and sons of God, our loving Heavenly Father. That is who we are, first and foremost.

If we are willing to ask in honesty, believing we will receive an answer, God will testify of the truthfulness of this to us through the Holy Ghost.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 76: 34-35

34 Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—

35 Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.

St John 3:5

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Discussion Topics:

There are many reasons the Spirit is important. Unless we are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, we cannot “enter the kingdom of God”.

We cannot be forgiven for denying the Holy Ghost. If we have been truly converted, baptized a member, and then go against or deny in any way the Holy Spirit – we are in some real danger.

 

EXPERIENCES FROM PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON’S LIFE FOCUSING ON FOLLOWING THE HOLY SPIRIT

Experience #1

In April of 1950, my wife, Frances, and I were in attendance at the Sunday afternoon session of general conference, held in this building. President George Albert Smith was the President of the Church, and in closing the conference, he delivered an inspiring and powerful message concerning the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Before he concluded his remarks, however, he sounded a prophetic warning. Said he: “It will not be long until calamities will overtake the human family unless there is speedy repentance. It will not be long before those who are scattered over the face of the earth by millions will die … because of what will come” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1950, 169). These were alarming words, for they came from a prophet of God.

Two and a half months after that general conference, on June 25, 1950, war broke out in Korea—a war which would eventually claim an estimated 2.5 million lives. This event prompted me to reflect on the statement President Smith made as we sat in this building that spring day.

Source

 

Experience #2

I have learned, as I have mentioned in previous messages, never to postpone a prompting. On one occasion many years ago, I was swimming laps at the old Deseret Gym in Salt Lake City when I felt the inspiration to go to the University Hospital to visit a good friend of mine who had lost the use of his lower limbs because of a malignancy and the surgery which followed. I immediately left the pool, dressed, and was soon on my way to see this good man.

When I arrived at his room, I found that it was empty. Upon inquiry I learned I would probably find him in the swimming pool area of the hospital, an area which was used for physical therapy. Such turned out to be the case. He had guided himself there in his wheelchair and was the only occupant of the room. He was on the far side of the pool, near the deep end. I called to him, and he maneuvered his wheelchair over to greet me. We had an enjoyable visit, and I accompanied him back to his hospital room, where I gave him a blessing.

I learned later from my friend that he had been utterly despondent that day and had been contemplating taking his own life. He had prayed for relief but began to feel that his prayers had gone unanswered. He went to the pool with the thought that this would be a way to end his misery—by guiding his wheelchair into the deep end of the pool. I had arrived at a critical moment, in response to what I know was inspiration from on high.

My friend was able to live many more years—years filled with happiness and gratitude. How pleased I am to have been an instrument in the Lord’s hands on that critical day at the swimming pool.

Source

 

Discussion Topics: 

Thomas S. Monson always listened to the warnings of the Prophet of the church, who receives revelation from God. He worked hard to always act on the promptings from the Spirit.

It is extremely important to learn how to discern the Spirit for ourselves.

It is always our responsibility to act on the promptings of the Spirit as soon as we receive them.

We need there to be love in our hearts if we are to care enough to act on the Spirit’s promptings. Monson truly loved those he served.

 

 

ACTIVITY

I involve everyone in activities. Youth, myself, and all adults in the room.

Step One – no Spirit

As a group, we all stood up and picked one person to be blindfolded. They went to one side of the room and waited. Once the blindfold was securely on (check to make sure they can’t see anything), the rest of us moved everything in the room around to be obstacles. Don’t use anything breakable or that could hurt the blind person. 😉

The objective is for the blindfolded person to get from one side of the room to the other, without running into anything.

Everyone else spends the time calling out false directions. Except for one person, who gives the correct directions.

This one person represents people in the world who know good information but are human, just like the rest of us.

Everyone else represent the world’s advice, confusion, opinions, competing ideas, cruelty, and indifference.

The blindfolded person isn’t going to keep from running into things. (Make sure they don’t get hurt.)

***When they’re done, discuss how we can easily get lost or hurt without the guidance of the Spirit in our lives.

While there are people who are well meaning or even members who know the right – only the Spirit knows the right thing for us to do on our own covenant keeping path. God has given us all a way to return to Him, but we need the Spirit’s insight to achieve this.

 

Step Two – Spirit Unheard

Repeat the above activity with a new person blindfolded. Once they cannot see, arrange everything in a different position so they don’t remember where to go.

Pick one person to play the Spirit. Have them stand at the opposite end of the room, whispering the correct directions the entire time.

As everyone else calls out incorrect directions or simply jabbers on about unrelated things.

***When they’re done, discuss how we all have the option of the Holy Ghost giving us perfect directions. And he most often is speaking to us. But unless we are listening and are worthy of his companionship, we won’t hear him.

As a class, list some ways that we can draw the Spirit into our lives, keep worthy of his companionship, and hear his promptings.

 

Step Three – Spirit Properly Utilized

Repeat the second version, with a new person blindfolded, the room rearranged, and a new person to stand in as the Spirit.

This time, have the Spirit stand next to the blindfolded person and give them the correct directions. Everyone this time around, will be whispering. The others giving false directions and random ramblings. The Spirit quietly helping them cross the room.

***When they’re done, discuss how God knows we are going to fail, fall down, trip up, get things wrong, and make mistakes. The Holy Spirit, as God’s mouthpiece, encourages us. Much like a parent teaching their toddler to walk, knowing full well they are going to fall, happily reaches out their hands to motivate them optimistically forward.

 

IN CONCLUSION

President Thomas S. Monson has always been a beautiful Christlike example for us. He had to work for his relationship with the Holy Spirit, just as we have to. Being a president of the church doesn’t make it easier. 😉 But we have to want a relationship with the Spirit and our Heavenly Father. And we must work for it.

I know God wants us to have a personal relationship with Him and our Savior Jesus Christ. The Spirit can testify to us the truth of this. The Spirit is here to help us at all times and in all things.

“In the coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”

President Russell M. Nelson, LDS General Conference, April 2018

God knows the answers. The Spirit can prompt us if we are worthy, willing, and listening.