Saturday, 31 December 2011

1 A Loving Father - An Eternal Plan

Objecitve: To learn how knowing God's plan can help us to make daily decisions with an eternal perspective.

In this week's lesson we will be thinking about the purpose of our earthly life in the context of the rest of the plan of salvation. Our life is a 'One-way ticket' and it's up to what we do that will decide our destination.

Lots of people go through life not really knowing what the purpose of their life. At times they wonder which direction they should take, but as the Cheshire Cat explained to Alice - unless you know where you want to get to it really doesn't matter which way you go. 

Thankfully, we DO know which way we should go if we remember to make choices in life based on what we know about the plan of salvation.
If we want to return to our Heavenly Father and be exalted then we must make decisions that will lead us to the celestial kingdom and not away from it.

Preparing for Exaltation

This year the course is Preparing for Exaltation.
Over the last year we learned about each one of our latter-day prophets and the things that they taught through their words and their deeds. I will ask those of you to share some of your favourite stories about the prophets, so come prepared. I hope you have been able to understand that as you stay close to the words of the living prophet throughout your life they will lead you back to Heavenly Father.
Throughout the coming year we will come across the words of the prophets again, and as we do I hope you will be able to remember some of the things that they said and did, but most of all I hope that we can all follow their guidance a little bit better this year as we learn how to prepare ourselves for exaltation. As we do this we can ensure that 2012 is indeed a happy new year as I know from experience that following the words of the prophet leads us to be happy.

Happy New Year!

Last year I posted a video about New Year's Resolutions and not looking back, but looking forward. I will begin the new year by asking the class what you are looking forward to in 2012. Come to class prepared with some ideas to share. Personally, I am looking forward to the Olympics coming here (particularly the football which I have bought some tickets for) and the prospect of being a homeowner for the first time. I'm sure there will be lots of other unexpected highs and lows along the way, but for now that's what I'm looking forward to.

What are you looking forward to in 2012?

What are you worried about in 2012?

Post your comments below

(you can still join in if you're not in my class - it would be interesting to get some of our readers in different parts of the world involved too, whether you're a teacher, a student, whether you come here regularly or this is your first time).

Sunday, 18 December 2011

QR Code

I have created a QR Code to allow you to scan and access this blog easily on your phone. I will put a copy on our classroom board. Here it is:

QR Code

LDS Mobile Applications

Get the gospel apps on your mobile!

I mentioned this in class a couple of weeks ago, so click on the picture above to go to the website to get LDS apps on your phone. I find it really useful to have the scriptures on my phone as it means I am never without them.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

President Thomas S. Monson: On the Lord's Errand

Next week, we will watch the DVD entitled 'On the Lord's Errand' all about President Monson's service throughout his life.

You can get a copy of the DVD from the online store, or find it on youtube.

Thomas S. Monson: Doer of the word

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Gordon B. Hinckley: Handling the Challenges of Today

President Hinckley taught that we can handle today's challenges if we will each make good choices so that they become habitual:

"Of course you face challenges. Every generation that has ever walked the earth has faced challenges. We could spend the entire evening talking about them. But of all the challenges that have been faced in the past, the ones we have today, I believe, are most easily handled. I say that because they are manageable. They largely involve individual behavioral decisions, but those decisions can be made and followed. And when that happens, the challenge is behind us.

I suppose that most of you are in school. I am pleased that you have that opportunity and that desire. I hope that you are studying diligently and that your great ambition is to get A grades in your various courses. I hope your teachers will be generous toward you and that your studies will yield top grades and an excellent education. I could wish nothing better for you in your schoolwork.

Tonight I am going to let your teachers give you the A’s that I hope you earn. I want to talk about some B’s. You get the A’s; I will give you the B’s.

1. Be grateful.
2. Be smart.
3. Be clean.
4. Be true.
5. Be humble.
6. Be prayerful."

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Stake Conference Notes

Here are my notes from Stake Conference. Apologies if there are any inaccuracies, but hopefully this helps you to remember what was said today. Enjoy :)

Primary stake presidency released Emma Shaw called as President with Joanne Ferguson as counsellor.
Ron Kirby released as Stake Clerk and Frank Hoyle called.
A few new elders sustained
Kelsey Branch Whitefield ward achieved Young Women recognition award
Joseph Walsh achieved Duty to God  award but in Provo MYC ready to serve in Italy Milan Mission

Sustaining of church authorities read by President Mayall

Pres Mayall
Great things taking place as we have prepared ourselves to come today
To be edified by talks music and being together
Invited youth to chose a word to be our personal motto mine was listen. I would need to have more love and become more like our saviour. Alma 32:23 My kids have always loved bedtime stories. I read a short story to Rachel one night but she wanted a long story about a lost puppy. I looked at her to see if she was getting tired yet. I skipped a couple of pages. She said dad you have missed a page. - tried to deny it but she knew this was when the puppy met the foxes. My daughter was really listening to the story I have so much to learn about listening
A father said “I do a greater amount of good when I listen to my children than when I talk to them.” A little boy looked at his mother and said “Why are you mad at me your hands are on your hips and you are not saying anything.”
Children learn to listen and listen to learn from their parents.
A girl was killed in car accident. She had asked to go to a dance with a young man father felt uneasy but she insisted that she was going unless he could give her a good reason. Children honour your parents even when they cannot give a satisfactory reason for their feelings.
Thou shalt love the lord with all thy heart, soul and mind. Hearkening means obedienc. “Be still and know that I am God.” Pause at end of prayers and listen. Lord gives us line upon line – “unto him that receiveth I will give more.”
We know you have trials heavenly father knows and loves you we invite you to hear our saviours continuous call mine arm is lengthened out all the day long. Jesus is the Christ and redeemer of all mankind. Listen to learn in scriptures and prayer.

Sister Viner
Remembrance Sunday last week. The anniversary of Armistice Day nation fell silent. We are reminded in Downton abbey how war and epidemic affected that community.
A man lost his daughters and wife and he was desolate lonely and vacant. The only thought is she is not here she is gone - Joseph F. Smith. He pondered the scriptures and thought of all those who were losing loved ones and feeling similar grief. D&C 138 received at this time referring to the Saviour preaching the gospel in the spirit world. He saw the hosts of the dead. Faithful filled with joy and gladness rejoicing for deliverance was at hand. The saviour preached the gospel and resurrection and redemption from sin on conditions of repentance. All other necessary principles taught to them to be judged according to the flesh but live according to god in the spirit. Departed elders continue their work. The saviour has done his part and they are doing theirs. The dead are doing their part repenting but they need to be obedient to the ordinances of the house of the lord. We need to do our part for them. Scriptures full of admonitions to remember. Nation bows its head for two minutess once a year. Every time we go to the temple we honour and remember the hosts of the dead. This is the work of the saviour.

President Viner
I am grateful for my membership. It is essential that we know the details of the plan of salvation and our part in it. In the great council we agreed to the plan. We became party to the salvation of everyone under that plan. Saviours not only of ourselves, but the whole human family in partnership with the lord. John Widtsoe
Ponder on that and our attitude to temple work matures. We need to have a testimony of the birth life ministry and atonement of Jesus Christ. Only through him can we attain what our Heavenly Father wishes us to attain here on earth. Missionary work is to invite people to do this. The work does not finished when people are baptised but until each person or family has sufficient testimony to come through the doors of the temple. Each of us needs to receive the ordinances of the temple. John 17:3 we can come to know him through prayer, love, service and charity. Temple built that God’s glory and power be made manifest. D&C 84 - in the ordinances the power of God is manifested. We need the power of the ordinances. I testify that our individual; nature is changed in the temple by the words of the ordinances. Develop temple ears and temple eyes. “Be still and know that I am God.” Nephi and Lehi in Helaman heard a still small voice of perfect mildness that pierced them to the very soul. We need to do the work for our ancestors. Be in the temple to feel the still small voice to guide us on the path of righteousness.

Brother George Brown, Stake Patriarch
Blessing to serve and it’s great to prepare for each one. 31 years ago I joined the church I lived in council house working 60 hours a week on nights didn't have a car. Started dating my wife at 19. United fan but my wife got me out of that. Married at 23 and my dad taught me to save. We bought a home didn't have TV couldn't afford one. Our home was repossessed to build a new estate. Had to take a council property. In 1980 missionaries knocked on the door and I got baptised. How my testimony has got to this point is difficult to say. I love to home teach but eventually I started getting other  callings. I began to love the scripture matt 6:33. I stopped working overtime because of it. 3Ne the saviour teaches about prayer in 13:21 and also lay up treasures in heaven. Where our  treasure will be our heart will be also. We need to focus on the whole picture not just this life. Take no thought what shall we eat drink but seek first kingdom of God. I'm trying to live the commandments. How do we get to celestial kingdom? Hometeaching and visiting teaching. Repenting and improving regularly. Pray to lord and ask himto help us change. Greatest strength to me is my wife. She is ill with Parkinson’s please keep her in your prayers. Her testimony is so strong and she reminds me what I need to do to help people. She takes time to pray for people by name and doesn't leave anybody out. This is Jesus’ church it carries his name. The Book of Mormon is true and another testament of Jesus Christ. Follow the prophet and we won't go far wrong.

President Matthew Preston
Pay attention to feelings and promptings. We need to make room for the saviour like the innkeeper in the nativity story. The wise men travelled a long distance to bring gifts. We have to make a journey to come unto Christ and give him gifts of service and obedience.

Hymn Jerusalem.

Missionary musical item called to serve.

Sister Chapman, former stake primary president

Grateful to have worked with children and the primary presidencies and my counsellors for their dedication. I know the church is true. I am reading the Book of Mormon again.

Brother _________

I haven't prepared for this but today is the day I got baptised 28 years ago. I've had many experiences visiting with missionaries in homes of people from all walks of life has been a great blessing to me and strengthened my testimony. Sometimes difficult for missionaries when people are taking a bit longer. Love neighbour as self and lord with all might, mind and soul. I always thought green and pleasant land was east of the Pennines but it might be in Lancashire too. The people who lead us are called of god.

Sister Preston

Jacob 5:4 master working with servants to preserve olive trees in vineyard. What more could I have done for my vineyard. Hel 7:16 Satan tries to entice us to everlasting misery. Why would we serve such a person when our saviour loves us so much. Blessed are ye for working in my vineyard. As we work to invite others to come unto Christ we are promised blessings.

President Preston.

If you are indebted to a missionary raise your hand. Missionaries are given assignment to place a Book of Mormon on first day. Went to tram station to go to new areas with luggage and went to speak to people. They got thrown off the tram. Next tram came and they were told they could not get on. They had to make their own way didn't get home till half ten and half twelve. People come from all over the world to face rejection and cruelty yet 30 peopl emet with us today and that is why they come to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to people.

President Fletcher
I have learned a lot this conference. It’s a stressful time and patience is required of our wives and families. I'm grateful for the support my wife gives me. The music has touched me today especially to see the missionaries stand and sing. Those who are new or returning please stand. Some have a white carnation on so we can know who they are. They have made big strides and sacrifices to join the lord’s church. Take a moment to speak to them. The theme has been come unto Christ. How long we have been members is irrelevant but how close we are to Christ is what matters. Matt 11:28-30. Our prayer is that you who are laden will feel that your burden is lighter. Elder holland said some know where you want to go and some don't. Others feel less fortunate. Whoever you are I offer you the way and the life. Come unto him as the imperative first step in getting there. Wherever we are and whatever our problems the answer is the same come unto me learn of me follow me and I will show how I live and what I do. I will answer your prayers. We try to take upon us the name and identity of Christ. We call ourselves his children and he is the only source of eternal life. To those struggling with temptation come unto him and lay down your burden. The world is increasingly hostile and sinful. It splashes onto us and in some cases and may be nearly drowning you. Walk away from the darkness and come into the light. With his stripes we are healed. I know from personal experiences that we can be healed. I want to remind you of our saviour’s love for each of us. D&C 20. Why do we need to come unto him it’s there in section 20. Why did he do it? Because he loves us. Anyone seeking courage to repent and change church is not a monastery for the perfect but a hospital. Live more by the promptings and promises of the Holy Ghost. I have enjoyed this over the last few days as I have prayed over the names of people to lead the church forward. We see sometimes unhappy worried and gloomy latter day saints who are like puritans and remain miserable. Let not your heart be troubled neither be afraid. Burdens held deep inside and unseen but truly know that nobody is barred from coming unto our loving elder brother Jesus Christ. The apostles on the sea and the weather was rough and they were trying to row through the storm. The saviour had not forgotten them and he walked across the sea to them. They heard the voice of the master as he said “be still.” Peter wanted to join him. He focussed on the saviour but then he realised what he was doing panicked and started to sink. To come to Christ we need to focus on him and have an eye single to his glory. I'm grateful for the gospel and the blessings it has brought to me.

Gordon B. Hinckley: Making Correct Choices

Download and print the powerpoint with an image for each story from the life of president Hinckley used in the lesson.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Focus on the Temple

In a recent talk, President Monson has reminded us of President Kimball's counsel that every member's bedroom ought to have a picture of the temple in it:

“It would be a fine thing if … parents would have in every bedroom in their house a picture of the temple so [their children] from the time [they are] infant[s] could look at the picture every day [until] it becomes a part of [their lives]. When [they reach] the age that [they need] to make [the] very important decision [concerning going to the temple], it will have already been made.” (Cited in Monson, T.S., The Holy Temple, A Beacon to the World, Ensign, May 2011, 93)
I have made high-quality prints of the picture of the Preston temple on the first slide of the Howard W. Hunter powerpoint to give to my class so that they can follow the words of the Prophet by having a picture of the temple on display in their rooms and have going to the temple as one of their goals.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Patriarchal Blessings

A question was raised in today's lesson about patriarchal blessings.

Click the link above to read more information from a New Era article on what a patriarchal blessing is and what it is for.

As I showed you today, I keep a copy of mine in my scriptures and refer to it regularly as it is personal scripture to me. There are many points that I feel have already happened in my life, and plenty of guidance and warnings that I try to follow so that I am ready for tests and trials when they come, and so that I can remain faithful throughout the course of my life.

 You may feel you are not quite ready yet to be able to understand your patriarchal blessing, in which case you should continue to pray, study the scriptures and live the gospel until you are ready. When you feel you are ready to be interviewed for your patriarchal blessing you should speak to the Bishop, who will advise you further.

Howard W. Hunter: Focus on the Temple

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Fires of Faith

Surprisingly, the most popular post on this blog so far has been one that I posted as an aside because of a question that was asked in one of the lessons about who King James was. I have just added to this post about the King James Version of the Bible as I came across a documentary done by BYU TV all about how the book as we know it today came to be. Click to see the first  part of the documentary.

Here is the text from the original post:

In response to today's question about King James I can confirm, having watched a programme about the King James Bible, that he was a Protestant. Translating the Bible into English was, in itself, an act of defiance towards the Catholic Church which maintained that it should be kept in Latin. In 1604 he expelled all Catholic priests, and this was part of the reason for the infamous 'gunpowder plot' by Guy Fawkes and other conspirators in 1605. The King James Authorised Version of the Bible was published in 1611. If only I'd had access to wikipedia earlier!

BYU TV has recently made a documentary about the King James Bible which may be of interest to anyone who wants to know about how this book came to be.

Ezra Taft Benson - A Loyal Servant

Sunday, 16 October 2011

President Ezra Taft Benson: Teaching Sacrifice and Service to the Lord

Next week we will watch the above videos and you will be asked to answer these two questions:

What examples of sacrifice do you see?

What blessings come from these sacrifices?

You can prepare for the lesson by watching the video first and finding as many examples as you can.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Lengthen Your Stride

This poster is for lesson 39 'Lengthen Your Stride' You can download or view it here.

Also, click the picture below to read an article about the advantage Usain Bolt gains through his long stride:

Monday, 26 September 2011

Elder Russel M. Nelson & President Spencer W. Kimball

I came across this blog post on Elder Nelson today which provides the answer to the machine that he helped to develop - apparently it was a heart - lung machine. Points 3 & 7 are directly related to our lesson yesterday in which we mentioned the fact that Russell M. Nelson who performed heart surgery on President Spencer W. Kimball.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Spencer W. Kimball: Model of Forgiveness

Presdient Kimball wrote a book called The Miracle of Forgiveness. In it he taught some very simple steps for us to follow in order to fully repent of our sins:

  • 1. We must awake to the fact that we have committed sins. Read 2 Corinthians 7:9–10.
  • 2. We must abandon sin. Read James 4:7.
  • 3. We must confess our sins: (1) to persons we have offended, (2) to the Lord himself, and (3) to the Lord’s authorized representatives if the sins are of a serious nature. (See Doctrine and Covenants 58:43: “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.”)
  • 4. We must make restitution where we can. (See Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 194: “The repentant sinner is required to make restitution insofar as it is possible.”)
  • 5. We must thenceforth keep the commandments of God. (See Doctrine and Covenants 1:32: “Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven.”)

  • To prepare for the lesson on this:
    As you listen to conference next week listen out for what is said on the topic of repentance!

    Spencer W. Kimball

    Today you chose and we discussed the following topics related to the life of President Spencer W. Kimball:

    blessings - we mentioned that President Kimball signed official declaration no. 2 allowing all worthy male members to hold the priesthood

    gospel - President Kimball added sections 137 & 138 to the Doctrine & Covenants which tell us about how the gospel is extended to all of Heavenly Father's children who have died

    milk President Kimball learned the value of hard work and dealing with tough people as he worked on a dairy

    great President Kimball was a great leader and encouraged members to 'lengthen your stride' by becoming even better

    prophet President Kimball overcame great adversity before he became the prophet, including heart trouble and throat cancer

    mission President Kimball declared that every young man should serve a mission, and encouraged people to serve (including my dad!) which doubled the missionary force.

    We also mentioned the second coming again, so when I get chance I will post some more on here about that. Scroll down to find the videos on President Kimball.

    Sunday, 18 September 2011

    Your invitation to General Conference

    Not that you needed it I'm sure, but here is your own personal invitation to come to October General Conference. Who could you share this invitation with that might otherwise not come to conference? We are promised that if we come spiritually prepared, there will be something to help each of us in our lives.

    Spencer W. Kimball: Raised in a Refiner's Fire

    Wordle: Spencer W. Kimball Click on the picture above to link to a larger version. This is a word cloud with key words from next week's lesson. Which 5 words would you associate most with President Kimball and why?

    Spencer W. Kimball

    Harold B. Lee: Dynamic Leader

    Apologies for not having posted anything for a couple of weeks, it has been a rather busy time for me!

    Today we have discussed the qualities of a good leader described in the scriptures, such as:

    humility, compassion, obedience, love, and the power of the priesthood.

    Harold B. Lee developed many of these qualities working on the general Church Welfare Program before he became President of the Church. He was always conscious of the needs of others and willing to help.

    What can you do to help others and/or be a good leader?

    Friday, 9 September 2011

    Harold B. Lee Video & Questions

    I have produced a series of questions to help focus students' attention during the video. Click on the link to see them.

    Sunday, 4 September 2011

    Searching the Scriptures

    Going back a bit, but a few weeks ago we looked at some answers to gospel questions from the scriptures, as Joseph Fielding Smith used to do.

    Here are the results you found in class:

    1. Why are the scriptures important?

    Exodus 24:1-4 The prophet delivers insights straight from the Lord for us.

    1 Nephi 19:23 We should 'liken' the scriptures to our own situation to learn lessons from the past.

    Jacob 5:1 The scriptures remind us of the words of the prophets.

    1 Nephi 13:26 The Book of Mormon clarifies some of the 'plain and precious truths that have been lost.

    2. What is God like?

    Moses 1:1-2 He spoke to Moses face to face on a high mountain.

    Moses 1:6 He knows all things, He is the only God and we are created in the similitude (likeness) of His Only Begotten (Jesus Christ).

    3. What will the Second Coming be like?

    Job 19:25 The Saviour shall stand on the earth at the latter day.

    D&C 34:9 Before the Second Coming the sun shall be darkened, the moon turned to blood, the stars shall fall from heaven and greater signs in heaven and earth.

    Excellent work everyone! Remember, whenever you want to find scriptures on a particular topic use the Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary or Index.

    Harold B. Lee: From Boy to Man, Close to God

    In preparation for next week's lesson, watch the video below of a lighning strike. Watch closely and note what happens to the tree that is struck. Also, there is a spectacular picture and a video about the damage that lightning can cause . What would be the most likely outcome if a person was struck by lightning?

    Sunday, 14 August 2011

    Joseph Fielding Smith—Child of Promise, Student of the Scriptures

    “From my earliest recollection, from the time I first could read, I have received more pleasure and greater satisfaction out of the study of the scriptures... than from anything else in all the world”
    (Joseph Fielding Smith, in Conference Report, Apr. 1930, p. 91).

    Sunday, 24 July 2011

    David O. Mckay's Testimony

    David O. Mckay - Worldwide ambassador for the Church

    The first months of David’s mission were difficult. Only a short time before, he had been one of the most popular men on the campus at the University of Utah. Now he was among strangers and very unpopular. He tells in his own words how he was humbled and how the Lord taught him:

    “I was homesick and a little discouraged on this day. … I had just left school. I loved school and I loved young people. … I was with Peter G. Johnston, one of the truest friends in all the world. … As we were coming back into town, I saw on my right an unfinished dwelling, over the front door of which was a stone on which there was a carving. That was most unusual, so I said to Elder Johnston, ‘I’m going to see what that is.’ I was half way up the graveled walk when there came to my eyesight a striking motto as follows, carved in stone:

    “‘Whate’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.’

    “I repeated it to Elder Johnston. … We walked quietly, but I said to myself, or the Spirit within me, ‘You are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. More than that, you are here as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. You accepted the responsibility as a representative of the Church.’ …

    “That afternoon, by the time we found our lodgings, I accepted the message given to me on that stone, and from that moment we tried to do our part as missionaries in Scotland”

    Sunday, 17 July 2011

    David O. McKay - Honour for Home and Family

    "No other success can compensate for failure in the home."

    Background Photo of David O. McKay's childhood home in Huntsville UT, by RE Jackson

    Temple in France

    Click on the pictures to see the news articles.

    Peace In Troubled Times

    The Armour of the Lord Protects Saints during Times of Trouble and Trial

    The Apostle Paul gave some counsel to members of the Church in his time who were facing terrible trials. During those days, Christians were persecuted and even killed because of their beliefs.

    Sunday, 26 June 2011

    Which prophet..?

    As a summary of what we have learned about the Presidents of the Church, I have made this game for you to test your memory of what you have learned about the Presidents of the Church.

    Click here for larger version

    Sunday, 12 June 2011

    To be continued sign

    Sign needed for 'Heber J. Grant: Success through Reliance on the Lord' lesson.

    Heber J. Grant: Success Through Reliance on the Lord.

    I have created this 'glog' for next week's lesson. Click here to go see it at glogster, or even create your own.

    Friday, 10 June 2011

    Heber J. Grant: Man of Determination

    This powerpoint file contains the stories for this week's lesson and the stories from the life of Heber J. Grant to go with them.

    Sunday, 5 June 2011

    FamilySearch Indexing

    As we discussed in today's lesson, you can contribute to the redemption of the dead in a number of ways:

    1) Go to the temple and do proxy baptisms and confirmations (There is a youth visit on Tuesday).

    2) Research information about your family history.

    3) Index records to help other people find their ancestors. To do this go to FamilySearch Indexing and click on volunteer! (If you are not yet 13 you will have to wait until your birthday, as you have to be 13 or older to participate.)

    The Testimony of President Heber J. Grant

    Here is the video of President Grant's testimony for next week's lesson:

    "I want to bear my testimony to you … and tell you I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Eternal Father. I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, and may God help us so to live, that others, seeing our good deeds, will investigate the plan of life and salvation, I ask, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

    How have your good deeds or those of people you know, led people to investigate the gospel? (There were lots of examples in testimony meeting today!)

    Notes from Stake Conference Broadcast last week

    I made some notes at Stake Conference broadcast last week. If you would like to read them click on the link below:

    Stake conference notes

    Reminder: Fast Sunday

    I just wanted to post this reminder about the special purpose to which the Area Presidency (Elder Kopischke, Elder Caussé, Elder Teixeira) have asked us to dedicate our fast today. This is an extract from a letter read out in sacrament meeting recently:

    "We hereby invite every member to dedicate the fast Sunday in June to the purpose that our voice of invitation be heard. We further invite every one of you to bring each Sunday of June one person or family, either less-active or non-member, or someone in need, to visit sacrament meeting and feel the powerful influence of the gospel in their lives.

    As we will do so, our love for our neighbors will abound, our faith to reach out will be strengthened and our ability to build the kingdom will increase."

    What can you do to reach out to a less-active, a non-member or somebody in need this month?

    Sunday, 22 May 2011

    You may have heard someone say "He can't see the wood for the trees."

    Often, we see just the trees around us - whatever is close to us. What is near to us seems all-important, and we don't see the overall picture.

    In the story of Camelot, Merlin the wizard changed young Arthur into a hawk so he could fly above the earth and get a better view of the world. This taught him that there were no boundaries between kingdoms. Before this he could only see the trees, the narrow view.
    I'm sure it is a similar experience for astronauts who are able to see the earth from space.

    Perhaps there are things in your life that are "trees," detracting from the overall view. Things like sports, popularity or having fashionable clothes might seem important now, but if you could see your whole life through eternity they would probably seem less important to you. This is what we call an eternal perspective.

    Why do you think that the Lord has shown some of his prophets (like Abraham and Moses) visions of the world from beginning to end?

    We are blessed to have prophets in our time who have been shown or told the bigger picture.

    Joseph F. Smith's Voice

    Sunday, 8 May 2011

    Make Peer Pressure a Positive Experience

    Watch these two videos and try to identify What makes a good friend?

    John 15:13-14

    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

    Sunday, 1 May 2011

    Lorenzo Snow: Financing God's Kingdom

    This video explains the background to Lorenzo Snow's famous 1899 visit to St. George where he encouraged the members to pay a full tithe.

    Between 5:08 and 6:20 on the next video it is explained how President Snow reemphasised the law of tithing and promised the members of the church that if they would pay a full tithe the debt of the church could be repaid.

    Sunday, 17 April 2011

    Righteousness and the Protection of the Lord

    "I have broken both legs, one of them in two places; both arms,
    both ankles, my breastbone, and three ribs; I have been scalded, frozen, and drowned; I have been in two water wheels while turning under a full head; I have passed through a score of other hairbreadth escapes. The repeated deliverances from all these remarkable dangers I ascribe to the mercies of my Heavenly Father. In recalling them to mind I always feel impressed to render the gratitude of my heart, with thanksgiving and joy, to the Lord. I pray that the remainder of my days may pass in His service, in the building up of His kingdom." quoted in Cowley, Wilford Woodruff, 11-12

    Watch the video then read what Wilford Woodruff said about the accidents he had in his early life. What effect did these accidents have on him?

    The Testimony of President Wilford Woodruff

    Did you know that the oldest recording that exists of one of the prophets' voices is that of Wilford Woodruff? Here is his testimony, recorded in 1897, 18 months before he died:

    What did you learn about Wilford Woodruff from hearing his testimony?

    Thursday, 14 April 2011

    This word cloud shows the most common words at conference. The bigger the word, the more frequently it was used. You can create your own at

    Sunday, 10 April 2011

    Wilford Woodruff—Faithful and True

    Wilford Woodruff is known for having been a great missionary and the fourth President of the Church. He was also a great historian: the historical records he had kept were a major contribution to the Church. His journal consisted of more than seven thousand pages.

    Do you have a journal? If you start now you could probably write that much over the course of life.

    Another way to record your experiences and thoughts is to write them on your own personal blog. You could start one on here if you haven't already. You could also print off a collection of your facebook statuses and keep them in your journal along with photgraphs. Remember, it's always best to keep your own copies of things that are digital because then you have them under your control and they won't be lost if the site shuts done for any reason.

    Preparing for a mission

    Sunday, 27 March 2011

    A Missionary All Your Life

    Next week is General Conference so in two weeks the lesson will be 'A Missionary All Your Life. President Monson gave this advice on being a good missionary:

    “First, fill [your] mind with truth;

    second, fill your life with service;

    and third, fill your heart with love.”

    As you listen to the talks at conference, try to find specific examples of people filling their minds with truth, filling their hearts with service and their hearts with love.

    The Life of John Taylor Part 2

    What did John Taylor do to defend the faith?

    Sunday, 20 March 2011

    John Taylor: Defender of the Faith

    For next week, have a look at this article about the life of John Taylor. Although some of the information is repeated from last week's lesson, there are some more interesting stories from the life of John Taylor. I want to highlight the following quotation from President Taylor:

    ‘Do what is right. Live your religion and the bad men will honor you for it as well as the good.’

    Can you think of examples when you or people you know have been respected by others for following the gospel?

    King James

    In response to today's question about King James I can confirm, having watched a programme about the King James Bible, that he was a Protestant. Translating the Bible into English was, in itself, an act of defiance towards the Catholic Church which maintained that it should be kept in Latin. In 1604 he expelled all Catholic priests, and this was part of the reason for the infamous 'gunpowder plot' by Guy Fawkes and other conspirators in 1605. The King James Authorised Version of the Bible was published in 1611. If only I'd had access to wikipedia earlier!

    BYU TV has recently made a documentary about the King James Bible which may be of interest to anyone who wants to know about how this book came to be.

    Questions to go with the video on John Taylor

    The Life of John Taylor

    Sunday, 6 March 2011

    Click here to see photo's of the Beehive House. This is where Brigham Young lived in Salt Lake City. The area now known as Utah was named Deseret (meaning honeybee) by the pioneers. Why do you think bees were an important symbol for the pioneers?


    Why do you think I have uploaded a picture of a sunflower?

    Sunday, 27 February 2011

    Brigham Young - A Disciple Indeed

    Here are the 6 reports assigned for next week. You need to read the one you have been assigned and be prepared to give a summary of it in class next week.

    Learned Humility in His Early Years
    Report 1

    Brigham Young was born 1 June 1801 in Whitingham, Vermont, into a good family who were poor. He had only eleven days of formal schooling. In his later years he said, “We never had the opportunity of letters in our youth, but we had the privilege of picking up brush, chopping down trees, rolling logs, and working amongst the roots and getting our shins, feet and toes bruised. [He also learned to make bread, wash dishes, milk cows, and make butter]” (Preston Nibley, Brigham Young: The Man and His Work [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1936], p. 1).

    Found a Marvelous Book
    Report 2

    In 1828 Brigham Young moved to Mendon, New York, just a short distance from where the Church would be organized. In 1830 he read a copy of the Book of Mormon. Samuel Smith, the brother of the Prophet Joseph, was on his first mission and sold the copy to Phineas Young, Brigham Young’s brother. Phineas read the book and was deeply impressed by it. He passed it on to his father, who read it, believed its teachings, and passed it on to Brigham. Brigham studied it very carefully and reported to his brother that he felt there was something in Mormonism.

    Brigham Young later said, “‘I weighed the matter studiously for nearly two years … before I made up my mind to receive that Book. I looked at it on all sides … until I came to a certain knowledge of its truth. … I wished time sufficient to prove all things for myself’” (Susa Young Gates and Leah D. Widtsoe, The Life Story of Brigham Young [New York: Macmillan Company, 1930], p. 9). He was baptized in 1832.

    Loved the Prophet Joseph Smith
    Report 3
    No mortal man affected the life of Brigham Young as deeply as did the Prophet Joseph Smith. The meeting of these two now famous men occurred in September of 1832, five months after Brigham’s baptism and a few weeks after the death of his first wife, Miriam Works. Brigham Young, who with his brother Joseph and his friend Heber C. Kimball had journeyed to Kirtland, Ohio, recorded his thoughts about this meeting. Brigham said, “We found the Prophet, and two or three of his brothers, chopping and hauling wood. Here my joy was full at the privilege of shaking the hand of the Prophet of God, and received the sure testimony, by the Spirit of prophecy, that he was all that any man could believe him to be, as a true Prophet” (“History of Brigham Young,” Millennial Star 25 [11 July 1863]:439).

    Brigham Young was a staunch friend and follower of the Prophet Joseph Smith from the time of this meeting. He said later, “I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith” (Discourses of Brigham Young [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 458).

    Served as a Missionary in England
    Report 4

    In the city of Nauvoo living conditions were unhealthy because of the swamps near the Mississippi River, and many of the Saints had become sick from malaria associated with the mosquitoes. At this time, Brigham Young and his fellow Apostles were called by the Lord to leave their families and to preach the gospel in England. They were not only very sick, but left their families sick as well. Brigham Young reports: “My health was so poor I was unable to go thirty rods [160 yards] to the river without assistance. … I left my wife sick, with a babe only ten days old, and all my children sick and unable to wait upon each other” (“History of Brigham Young,” Millennial Star 25 [10 Oct. 1863]:646). But he left his loved ones in the care of the Lord, whose servant he was, having the assurance that they would be cared for.

    He was in England twelve months and sixteen days. As the president of the mission, he and his companions “baptized between seven and eight thousand [people], printed five thousand Books of Mormon, 3,000 Hymn Books, 2,500 volumes of the Millennial Star [a publication of the British mission], and 50,000 tracts” (Millennial Star 26 [2 Jan. 1864]:7). Also a shipping agency was established and a thousand converts emigrated to Nauvoo (see Millennial Star 26:7).

    Defended the Prophet Joseph
    Report 5

    Brigham Young recorded:

    “On a certain occasion several of the Twelve, the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and others of the Authorities of the Church, held a council in the upper room of the [Kirtland] Temple. [They met because a few men, including some of the General Authorities, were opposed to the Prophet Joseph Smith and wanted to depose him and appoint David Whitmer as President of the Church.] Father John Smith, brother Heber C. Kimball and others … were opposed to such measures. I rose up [Brigham Young said], and in a plain and forcible manner told them that Joseph was a Prophet, and I knew it, and that they might rail and slander him as much as they pleased, they could not destroy the appointment of the Prophet of God, they could only destroy their own authority, cut the thread that bound them to the Prophet and to God and sink themselves to hell. Many were highly enraged [said Brigham] at my decided opposition to their measures. … This meeting was broken up without the apostates being able to unite on any decided measures of opposition” (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801–1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson [Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968], pp. 15–16).

    Did Not Seek Positions
    Report 6

    Early in his career, responsibility fell to Brigham Young. He was a captain in Zion’s Camp, a small military force organized by the Prophet Joseph in 1834 to go to the aid of the Saints in Jackson County, Missouri, who had been driven from their homes. Brigham was President over the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and led the British Mission. Yet he did not seek such positions. His only desire was to proclaim the message of the restored gospel and to be schooled in the mysteries of God by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Brigham himself said, “I never let an opportunity pass of learning what the Prophet [Joseph] had to impart. This is the secret of the success of your humble servant” (in Journal of Discourses, 12:270).

    The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve

    Here are some more cards for another matching activity. You will need to shuffle them and see if they can be put back together again in the correct order - i.e. picture, name and date of ordination as an apostle. Note: This is not intended as a powerpoint presentation but to be printed out as handouts (6 per page) and cut out.

    Thursday, 24 February 2011

    Scatter Game: Match the years with the President of the Church by dragging them over each other.

    If you want to learn the years first choose 'flashcards' on the 'choose a study mode' tab at the bottom right.

    Sunday, 20 February 2011

    Succession in the Presidency

    For next week, just a few questions for you to try to find the answers to. Ask your parents or a leader for help if you need to. Comment here when you find out any of the answers.

    1. When the President of the Church dies, how do we know who will be the next President?

    2. Why were some people unsure about who should be the next President of the Church after Joseph Smith was killed?

    3. Who is currently the Senior (longest-serving) Apostle in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles?

    Purposes of revelation

    Here are the slides used to create the cards for today's matching activity. I think some of the guests to the site come here looking for ideas and resources for their sunday school lessons so I will upload them as I create them. You can view and download these slides from slideshare.

    Sunday, 13 February 2011


    1. Watch the video and think about this question:

    Why is modern-day revelation so important to us?

    Post your ideas below.

    2. Think of examples of revelation that has been given either to prophets, apostles, leaders, parents or yourselves. What were the purposes of the revelation? (i.e. Why was it given?) Be prepared to share some of these in class next week. If you are stuck for ideas this talk might help you.

    Sunday, 6 February 2011

    Energy drinks

    Although this is nothing to do with next week's lesson, I thought it might be beneficial for you to have a look at an article from the Ensign about energy drinks, following the question about Red Bull in today's lesson. Feel free to comment on it. For the article click here.
    How many prophets can you think of who have seen and spoken with the Lord? Comment their names below.

    The following verses may help you:

    Genesis 3:8–13
    8And they heard the voice of the Lord God awalking in the garden bin the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

    9And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

    10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

    D&C 107:54–55;
    54And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel.

    Genesis 5:22, 24;
    And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

    24And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

    D&C 107: 48-49
    48Enoch was twenty-five years old when he was ordained under the hand of Adam; and he was sixty-five and Adam blessed him.

    49And he saw the Lord, and he walked with him, and was before his face continually; and he walked with God three hundred and sixty-five years, making him four hundred and thirty years old when he was translated.

    Genesis 6:9
    9These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

    Moses 8:27
    27And thus Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord; for Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generation; and he walked with God, as did also his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

    Genesis 12:7;
    7And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.

    Genesis 18:1;
    1And the Lord aappeared unto [Abraham] in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

    Abraham 2:6
    6But I, Abraham, and Lot, my brother’s son, prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord appeared unto me, and said unto me: Arise, and take Lot with thee; for I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and to make of thee a minister to bear my name in a strange land which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice.

    Genesis 26:2
    1And there was a afamine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto bAbimelech king of the cPhilistines unto Gerar.

    2And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:

    Exodus 24:9-11
    9Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:

    10And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

    11And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink

    Exodus 33:11
    11And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

    Isaiah 6:1
    1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

    Ezekiel 1:1

    1Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

    44:4 4Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord: and I fell upon my face.

    Acts 7:55–56
    55But [Stephen], being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

    56And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

    Ether 3:6–15
    6And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear.

    7And the Lord saw that the brother of Jared had fallen to the earth; and the Lord said unto him: Arise, why hast thou fallen?

    8And he saith unto the Lord: I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood.

    9And the Lord said unto him: Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this?

    10And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.

    11And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?

    12And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.

    13And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.

    14Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.

    15And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.

    2 Nephi 11:2-3

    2And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him.

    3And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words.

    Mormon 1:15
    15And I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus.

    Joseph Smith—History 1:17
    17It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!