Sunday, February 06, 2011

Sunday thoughts

Last Sunday, we had a special meeting where the Relief Society and Elder's Quorum leadership taught the young men and young women, and the y.m. & y.w. presidents taught the combined Priesthood and Relief Society. These meetings were scheduled in response to the concerns expressed recently in ward council about the youth.

I don't really know what was taught to the youth (Max said only that it was about preparing for the future and that it was good). But I do know that our meeting was great.

My thoughts today are from the talk given by our young men's president, which was based on Helaman 5:12:

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

(I absolutely love this scripture. How amazing would it be if the devil had no power over us? or over our youth? Clearly they need to build their foundation upon the rock of Christ.)

How do we help them to remember?

We are primarily to act and not merely be acted upon. Parents have the sacred responsibility to help their children to act. (Yikes. I'm not even sure I know how to do this.)

We can teach our children gospel principles every day, but until we get them to act upon them, they will not be able to build that strong foundation for themselves.

We should not be afraid to ask them to sacrifice, to do hard things. (He said that he actually prays for bad weather during things like campouts and trek because he knows the kids will be tested and he loves to see them step up and meet the challenge!)

When they do have that solid foundation, they will be better prepared to resist temptation, serve missions, and be spouses and parents.

When the Lord tells us to build on the sure foundation or the rock of our redeemer, keep in mind that foundations often need to be maintained. A foundation once made is not often able to withstand decades of use and abuse without maintenance. It is not sufficient to build our testimonies on the rock, but we need to maintain them – daily.

Also, this message from Boyd K. Packer was quoted in Sacrament Meeting:

"True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior.

"The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel."

It seems clear to me that we need not worry endlessly about all of the different wrong choices our youth can make. We need to focus all of our energy on teaching them to follow the Savior, to put their trust in him, and to listen to the Spirit. If they will do that, they will want to choose the right.


Susan said...

I love this. In teaching youth every Sunday, I really plan to incorporate this even more into my lessons.

My friend, Linda, and I had a conversation while we were away last month. She stated that the most important thing she felt she could teach her YW was to know the Spirit. I couldn't agree more. The Spirit teaches us and directs us to The Savior and makes us aware of our promises and the needs of others.

Thanks for sharing.

Jill said...

Memorizing Helaman 5:12 was pretty much the best thing I did last year! I review it in my mind regularly and always get emotional about it when I do--I think everyone can benefit from memorizing it.

I think there's almost always a disconnect between what we learn and how we live, and that is a huge challenge for the youth as well. They need to really internalize the truths they're learning...not easy.

jt said...

I love your last paragraph. Very comforting.

Charlotte said...

I also love your last paragraph. In teaching Primary kids, I feel that they rarely listen, much less internalize the important doctrines and stories we teach. But then I remember that while I may not remember a specific lesson or teacher really, I learned the gospel. I remember few specific FHEs from my childhood, but I learned how to be strong and how to build my testimony. I'm glad you had such an uplifting meeting to address the needs of your ward's youth.

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