Monday, February 1, 2016

February 2016 Visiting Teaching Message

February 2016 Visiting teaching Message

Marriage Is Ordained of God

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” increase your faith in God and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.
                                                               happy married couple
 
Prophets, apostles, and leaders continue to “solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan.”1
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “A family built on the marriage of a man and woman supplies the best setting for God’s plan to thrive. …
“… Neither we nor any other mortal can alter this divine order of matrimony.”2
Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, said: “Everyone, no matter what their marital circumstance or number of children, can be defenders of the Lord’s plan described in the family proclamation. If it is the Lord’s plan, it should also be our plan!”3
Elder Christofferson continued: “Some of you are denied the blessing of marriage for reasons including a lack of viable prospects, same-sex attraction, physical or mental impairments, or simply a fear of failure. … Or you may have married, but that marriage ended. … Some of you who are married cannot bear children. …
“Even so, … everyone can contribute to the unfolding of the divine plan in each generation.”4

Living Stories

Brother Larry M. Gibson, former first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, remembered when Shirley, now his wife, said:
“‘I love you because I know you love the Lord more than you love me.’ …
“That answer struck my heart. …
“… [And] I wanted her to always feel that I loved the Lord above all else.”5
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “The Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point in a covenant marriage relationship. … [Imagine that] the Savior is positioned at the apex of [a] triangle, with a woman at the base of one corner and a man at the base of the other corner. Now consider what happens in the relationship between the man and the woman as they individually and steadily ‘come unto Christ’ and strive to be ‘perfected in Him’ (Moroni 10:32). Because of and through the Redeemer, the man and the woman come closer together.”6

Consider This

How am I individually and steadily striving to “come unto Christ”?

Friday, January 1, 2016

January 2016 Visiting Teaching Message

VISITING TEACHING MESSAGE

The Family: A Proclamation to the World

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding the doctrine of the family bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.
family at the ocean
Of the general Relief Society meeting in 1995, when President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) first read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, said: “We were grateful for and valued the clarity, simplicity, and truth of this revelatory document. … The proclamation on the family has become our benchmark for judging the philosophies of the world, and I testify that the principles set forth … are as true today as they were when they were given to us by a prophet of God nearly 20 years ago.”1
“From the family proclamation,” adds Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, “we learn, ‘In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father.’2 …
“… We each belong to and are needed in the family of God.”3
We live in a time when parents must protect their homes and their families. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” can guide us.

Living Stories

“Lee Mei Chen Ho from the Tao Yuan Third Ward, Tao Yuan Taiwan Stake, said the proclamation has taught her that family relationships help develop divine characteristics such as faith, patience, and love. ‘When I try to improve myself according to the proclamation, I can experience real happiness,’ she said.”4
Barbara Thompson, who was present when the proclamation was read for the first time and later served as a counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, said: “I thought for a moment that [the family proclamation] really didn’t pertain too much to me since I wasn’t married and didn’t have any children. But almost as quickly I thought, ‘But it does pertain to me. I am a member of a family. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a niece, and a granddaughter. … Even if I were the only living member of my family, I am still a member of God’s family.’”5

Consider This

How is “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” a document for our day?


Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 2015 Visiting Teaching Message

Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ: Filled with Charity and Love

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding the divine attributes of the Savior increase your faith in Him and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.
This is part of a series of Visiting Teaching Messages featuring divine attributes of the Savior.
women
The Influence of Righteous Women, by Julie Rogers
The Guide to the Scriptures defines charity as “the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love” (“Charity”). It is the pure love of Jesus Christ. As we learn of Jesus Christ and strive to become like Him, we will begin to feel His pure love in our lives and be prompted to love and serve others as He would. “Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down,” said President Thomas S. Monson. “It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.”1
In the Book of Mormon, we learn the great truth that we “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that [we] may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that [we] may become the sons [and daughters] of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure” (Moroni 7:48).

From Our History

“A sister who had recently been widowed was grateful for visiting teachers who mourned with her and comforted her. She wrote: ‘I was in desperate need of someone to whom I could reach out; someone who would listen to me. … And they listened. They comforted me. They wept with me. And they hugged me … [and] helped me out of the deep despair and depression of those first months of loneliness.’
“Another woman summed up her feelings when she was the recipient of true charity from a visiting teacher: ‘I knew that I was more than just a number on the record books for her to visit. I knew that she cared about me.’”2
Like these sisters, many Latter-day Saints around the world can attest to the truth of this statement by President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015), President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “How consoling it is to know that no matter where [a family may] go, a Church family awaits them. From the day they arrive, he will belong to a quorum of the priesthood and she will belong to Relief Society.”3

Consider This

How is Christ our perfect example of love and charity?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September 2015 Visiting Teaching Message

Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ: Powerful and Full of Glory

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding the divine attributes of the Savior increase your faith in Him and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

Christ raising Lazarus
Detail from Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead, by Carl Heinrich Bloch
This is part of a series of Visiting Teaching Messages featuring divine attributes of the Savior.
The scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ “received all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him” (D&C 93:17). Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that by this power our Savior created the heavens and earth, performed miracles, and endured the pain of Gethsemane and Calvary.1 As we come to understand this, our faith in Christ will increase, and we will become stronger.
As we make and keep temple covenants, the Lord blesses us with His power. Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, said: “Covenant keeping strengthens, empowers, and protects. … I recently met a dear new friend. She testified that after she had received her temple endowment, she felt strengthened with power to resist temptations.”2
Nephi bears testimony of covenant power: “I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended … upon the covenant people of the Lord, … and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:14).

From the Scriptures

Being filled with great compassion for Martha and Mary, Jesus Christ raised their brother Lazarus from the dead by the power of God He possessed.
Jesus arrived at Martha and Mary’s home after Lazarus had been in the grave for four days. They went to Lazarus’s tomb, and Jesus commanded that the stone covering the entrance be taken away. Jesus said to Martha, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” He then prayed to God the Father and “cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
“And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes.” (See John 11:1–45.) The Savior uses His power to redeem and empower us. Our faith in Him will increase as we remember that He is full of power and glory.

Consider This

How does the power of God arm us with power and glory?

    Notes

  1.   1. 
    See M. Russell Ballard, “This Is My Work and My Glory,” Liahona, May 2013, 18.
  2.   2. 
    Linda K. Burton, “The Power, Joy, and Love of Covenant Keeping,” Liahona, Nov. 2013, 111

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 2015 Visiting Teaching Message



August 2015 Visiting Teaching Message
Please report your visiting teaching to your supervisors.
Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ
Meek and Humble
Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding the life and roles of the Savior increase your faith in Him and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching?
This is part of a series of Visiting Teaching Messages featuring divine attributes of the Savior.
Christ in white robes with a yellow sash, kneeling to wash the feet of one of His Apostles while the other eleven sit around the table.
Jesus Washing the Feet of the Apostles, by Del Parson
Jesus said, “He that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth” (Luke 22:26–27).
“The Savior is our supreme example of the power of humility and submissiveness. After all, His submitting His will to the Father brought about the greatest, and even the most powerful, event in all of history. Perhaps some of the most sacred words in all the scriptures are simply, ‘Not my will, but thine, be done’ (Luke 22:42).”1
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we always seek to be like Him. “Meekness is vital for us to become more Christlike,” said Elder Ulisses Soares of the Seventy. Without it we won’t be able to develop other important virtues. Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control.”2 As we work to develop this attribute, we will find that “humbly submitting our will to the Father brings us the empowerment of God—the power of humility. It is the power to meet life’s adversities, the power of peace, the power of hope, the power of a heart throbbing with a love for and testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ, even the power of redemption.”3
Additional Scriptures
From the Scriptures
One of the sweetest and most powerful moments of Christ’s ministry was when He washed the feet of His disciples. “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded” (John 13:4–5).
As the Savior introduced this ordinance, the disciples may have been overwhelmed that their Lord and Master knelt before them and performed so meek a service. Jesus then explained the lessons He wanted them and all of us to learn:
“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14–15).
Consider This
How can having humility help us love as the Savior did?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2015 Visiting Teaching Message


Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ: Forgiving and Merciful

Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding the life and roles of the Savior increase your faith in Him and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? 
This is part of a series of Visiting Teaching Messages featuring divine attributes of the Savior.
Christ forgiving
Understanding that Jesus Christ has been forgiving and merciful to us can help us forgive and extend mercy to others. “Jesus Christ is our Exemplar,” said President Thomas S. Monson. “His life was a legacy of love. The sick He healed; the downtrodden He lifted; the sinner He saved. At the end the angry mob took His life. And yet there rings from Golgotha’s hill the words: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’—a crowning expression in mortality of compassion and love.”1
If we forgive others their trespasses, our Heavenly Father will also forgive us. Jesus asks us to “be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36). “Forgiveness for our sins comes with conditions,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. “We must repent. … Haven’t we all, at one time or another, meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy—to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed? … Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another.”2

From the Scriptures

“We are to forgive even as we are forgiven,” said Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.3 The story of the prodigal son shows us both sides of forgiveness: one son is forgiven and the other son struggles to forgive.
The younger son took his inheritance, quickly spent it, and when a famine arose, he worked feeding swine. The scriptures say “when he came to himself,” he returned home and said to his father he was not worthy to be his son. But his father forgave him and killed a fatted calf for a feast. The older son returned from working in the fields and became angry. He reminded his father that he had served many years, never transgressed the commandments, yet “thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry.” The father replied, “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found” (see Luke 15:11–32).

Consider This

How can forgiveness benefit the one forgiving?