Sunday, December 06, 2015

Church Services This Week at Ridge Crest Ward Northridge Stake Layton Utah 6 December 2015

Sacrament Service

Sunday School
My Lesson - How can I learn to serve more effectively in the Church?
What have you been learning in your gospel studies?

How can I learn to serve more effectively in the Church?

What is the 4 fold mission of the Church?  Proclaim the gospel, redeem the deem, perfect the saints, care for the poor.

Who has Church Handbook 2 with them?
“The work of salvation includes member missionary work, convert retention, activation of less-active members, temple and family history work, and teaching the gospel” (see Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010],5.0)

Which of the things listed in Handbook 2 fall into which mission of the Church?

All of these things require us to serve people, correct?  So the lesson wants us to learn how to serve more effectively.  What does the word effectively mean?  What are some examples of effective service?

Ask the youth to talk about any callings they have had in the Church. What were their responsibilities? What did they find difficult or challenging about the calling? How did the Lord help them? What were some areas where you felt you were effective in that calling.  What are some areas where you think you could have been more effective?  What are some examples of others where you thought someone’s service was particularly effective?  

Here’s a thought on effectiveness:
Is being on time important to be effective in your service or important in even just being an effective member of the Church?  It is easy when leaders are late to activities or meetings or our family members are late to activities and meetings to get discouraged and say to ourselves that they are going to be late, so why should I be on time.  If everyone gives up on trying to be on time, then nothing will ever change.  When someone says something starts at a certain time or people agree to meet at a certain time and everyone assumes that no one really means the time they said, then how is that effective.  Review the definition of effective again.

What can you do as a youth to take responsibility to do your part to make activities and meetings more effective by starting them on time?

Family councils to discuss goals to be on times.  Last week we talked about setting goals using the SMART pattern.  What would be a goal you personally could set using the SMART pattern to help yourself be on time and serve more effectively?  What would be a family goal to help your family be on time and to serve more effectively?

Share an experience of your own, and bear your testimony.
Ask the youth to share stories from the scriptures or modern prophets and apostles in which someone was given a difficult assignment and received help from the Lord.

Here are some examples from the scriptures that the manual online pointed out.

Let's read about Jeremiah’s call as a prophet. Jeremiah was around when Lehi was in

Jeremiah 1:5-9
5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
7 ¶But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

Jeremiah says that he cannot speak because he is a child.   The Lord tells him to fear not their faces. Perhaps Jeremiah was scared to talk in front of people.

Let's read a little about what Mosiah had to say about his being chosen to be king.

Mosiah 2:11
11 But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen by this people, and consecrated by my father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people; and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me.

Mosiah said that the Lord had might, mind, and strength.

Now let’s read about Enoch’s call.

Moses 6:31-14
31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.
33 Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.
34 Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.
Enoch, like Jeremiah felt he was too young and could not speak well and was scared to speak to the people.
Let’s read Emma Smith’s calling in the early days of the Church in Doctrine and Covenants 25.

What is she called to do?

What counsel is she given?

What promises is she given?

Talk to me about verse 15.
15 Keep my commandments continually, and a crown of righteousness thou shalt receive. And except thou do this, where I am you cannot come.

Elders Quorum
First presidency message - Make Time for the Savior, by President Thomas S Monson

First Presidency Christmas Devotional
Elder L Clayton Whitney, Fear Not
The transformative spirit of the Christmas season is rooted in the redeeming power of Jesus Christ to change our lives for the better.

And yet, despite life’s hardships, the message of the Lord to each of us is the same today as it was to the shepherds keeping watch two thousand years ago: ‘Fear not.’ Perhaps the angel’s injunction to fear not has more transcendent relevance to us today than it did in calming the shepherds’ fear that first Christmas night. Could he also have meant for us to understand that because of the Savior, fear will never triumph? to reinforce that ultimate fear is never justified? to remind us that no earthly problem need be lasting, that none of us is beyond redeeming?

If we accept the Savior’s invitation to follow Him, lasting fear is forever banished.

10 ¶Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

“The Son of God … came here as the Only Begotten Son to fulfill a mission, to be as a Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, to bring about salvation to all mankind. By giving His life He opened the door … and taught the way by which we could gain eternal life. … That was who Jesus was in all His grandeur.”(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee (2000), 18)

How could the Father tell the world of love and tenderness?
He sent his Son, a newborn babe, with peace and holiness.
How could the Father show the world the pathway we should go?
He sent his Son to walk with men on earth, that we may know.
How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death?
He sent his Son to die for us and rise with living breath.
What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say?
Have faith, have hope, live like his Son, help others on their way.
What does he ask? Live like his Son” (“He Sent His Son,” Children’s Songbook, 34–35; see also Friend, Dec. 1984)

“Of Him who delivered each of us from endless death, even Jesus Christ, I testify that He is a teacher of truth—but He is more than a teacher. He is the Exemplar of the perfect life—but He is more than an exemplar. He is the Great Physician—but He is more than a physician. He who rescued the ‘lost battalion’ of mankind is the literal Savior of the world, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One of Israel—even the risen Lord—who declared, ‘I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father’ [D&C 110:4].” (Thomas S. Monson, “Today Determines Tomorrow,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 51)

When times are difficult, we can make the choice to turn away from Him and struggle through our afflictions alone, or we can make the choice to turn to Him and the Father’s plan, finding that we will ‘suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ.’(Alma 31:38)”

The Restoration of the gospel in the latter days provides an important companion account of the Savior’s birth in the Book of Mormon.

What might it have been like to experience those three days of indescribable darkness and then, a short time later, gather with the multitude of 2,500 people at the temple in the land of Bountiful? Can you envision the majesty of the moment as the Savior descended from the heavens and declared, ‘Behold, I am Jesus Christ. … I am the light and the life of the world’? (3 Nephi 11:10–11; italics added).

Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
(“O Little Town of Bethlehem,” Hymns, no. 208).

President Dieter F Uchtdorf, The Generous One
Isn’t that the message of Christmas? Even when the world may appear quite dark—when things aren’t going right, when our hearts are overflowing with disappointment and worry, even in the midst of sadness and sorrow—we sing about ‘joy to the world’ and ‘good will toward men’2 because of Christ, who came ‘to give light to them that sit in darkness.’3

Inspired by that spirit, we sometimes spend hours looking for the perfect gift to give our friends and families. We seek ways to be more helpful and cheerful. We are prompted to spend a little more time with those we love. We become more aware of those in need, and often we extend ourselves more generously to aid them. All of this is our imperfect but heartfelt echo of the generosity of our Savior, whose birth we seek to honor.

Such humble expressions of pure gratitude may seem as rare today as they were in this story. But when they happen, they touch our hearts and inspire us to count our own blessings.

He frees us from a past of slavery and selfishness and opens the path to a present of purpose and a future of fulfillment.

May we, this Christmas season, remember our generous Heavenly Father and give profound and heartfelt thanks to our Almighty God, who has given all of His children wings to fly.

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