HollysHome - Church Fun
This blog is to share some of my ideas that I use in my church classes, and some that I have used in my home. A list of all of my work sheets and ideas can be found on the right in the Archive list. Feel free to use whatever you would like. If you click on the graphic, it will give you a large one to copy. You can right click on your mouse and copy it. Then you can paste it on your computer and print it.
Lesson Plan (I appoligize for the format. I was in a hurry and will fix it later)
parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard in your own words.
Ask the sisters if they think this is fair,
or what their feelings may be. See if
anyone has a problem with it. Share your own feelings on this.
2. Read the quote from the talk:
"Indeed, if there is any sympathy to be generated, it should at least
initially be for the mennotchosen who also had mouths to feed
and backs to clothe. Luck never seemed to be with some of them. With each visit
of the steward throughout the day, they always saw someone else chosen.”
Talk about this a little bit.
3. Elder Holland goes on to say:
"But just at day’s close, the householder returns a surprising fifth time with a remarkable eleventh-hour offer! These last and most discouraged of laborers, hearing only that they will be treated fairly, accept work without even knowing the wage, knowing that anythingwill be better than nothing, which is what they have had so far. Then as they gather for their payment, they are stunned to receive the same as all the others! How awestruck they must have been and how very, very grateful! Surely never had such compassion been seen in all their working days.
It is with that reading of the story that I feel the grumbling of the first laborers must be seen. As the householder in the parable tells them (and I paraphrase only slightly): “My friends, I am not being unfair to you. You agreed on the wage for the day, a good wage. You were very happy to get the work, and I am very happy with the way you served. You are paid in full. Take your pay and enjoy the blessing. As for the others, surely I am free to do what I like with my own money.” Then this piercing question to anyone then or now who needs to hear it: “Why should you be jealous because I choose to be kind?”
Talk about this quote a little bit.
is where Elder Holland makes his first point.
Have someone read quote #1:
“Brothers and sisters, there are going to be
times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives
some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not
to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not
diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each
other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful
or even the most blessed. The race we arereallyin is the race against sin, and
surely envy is one of the most universal of those.”
What is his first point?
Write #1. Do not envy on the board. Discuss
the dangers of jealousy. Point out that “envy
is a mistake that just keeps on giving.”
5. Write Elder Holland’s
second point on the board: #2. Do not give up your blessings.Share how Elder Holland talks about how
someone might have thrown “his coin in the householder’s face and stormed off
someone read quote #2:
“My beloved brothers and sisters, what
happened in this story at 9:00 or noon or 3:00 is swept up in the grandeur of
the universally generous payment at the end of the day. The formula of faith is
to hold on, work on, see it through, and let the distress of earlier hours—real
or imagined—fall away in the abundance of the final reward. Don’t dwell on old
issues or grievances—not toward yourself nor your neighbor nor even, I might
add, toward this true and living Church. The majesty of your life, of your
neighbor’s life, and of the gospel ofJesus
Christwill be made manifest at the last day, even if such majesty is not
always recognized by everyone in the early going. So don’t hyperventilate about
something that happened at 9:00 in the morning when the grace of God is trying
to reward you at 6:00 in the evening—whatever your labor arrangements have been
through the day.”
How does this relate to our lives? Let’s take a close look at the grudges that
we hold, and the things in our past that might be keeping us from our
blessings. Discuss with the sisters.
7.. Have someone read quote #3:
“We consume such precious emotional and spiritual capital clinging
tenaciously to the memory of a discordant note we struck in a childhood piano
recital, or something a spouse said or did 20 years ago that we are determined
to hold over his or her head for another 20, or an incident in Church history
that proved no more or less than that mortals will always struggle to measure
up to the immortal hopes placed before them. Even if one of those grievances
did not originate with you, it can end with you. And what a reward there will
be for that contribution when the Lord of the vineyard looks you in the eye and
accounts are settled at the end of our earthly day.” Discuss with the
8. Read this quote:
“Which leads me to my third and last point.
This parable—like all parables—is not really about laborers or wages any more
than the others are about sheep and goats. This is a story about God’s
goodness, His patience andforgiveness, and the Atonement of the Lord JesusChrist. It is a story about generosity and compassion.
It is a story about grace. It underscores the thought I heard many years ago
that surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being
merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t
deserve it.” Write #3. God is
merciful. Discuss with the sisters.
9. Have someone read quote #4:
“I do not know who in this vast audience
today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but
however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed,
however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t
have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I
testify that you havenottraveled beyond the reach of divine
love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of
Christ’s Atonement shines.”
You go on to read:
“there is nothing in either case that you
have done that cannot be undone. There is no problem which you cannot overcome.
There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be
Wow, that is quite a statement! Is that how society wants us to think? Is that how we think? Discuss with the sisters this statement.
someone read quote #5:
“I especially make an appeal for husbands and
fathers, priesthood bearers or prospective priesthood bearers, to, as Lehi
said, “Awake! and arise from the dust … and be men.”5Not always but often it is the men who choose
not to answer the call to “come join the ranks.”6Women and children frequently seem more
willing. Brethren, step up. Do it for your sake. Do it for the sake of those
who love you and are praying that you will respond. Do it for the sake of the
Lord Jesus Christ, who paid an unfathomable price for the future He wants you
can we, as sisters, help the men around us to answer this call?
11. Take the time to discuss the blessing that
come from being an early laborer in the vineyard. If you could chose to be an earlier labor, or
one that comes at the eleventh hour, which would you choose? Discuss with the sisters.
12. End by reading the quote:
“So if you have made covenants, keep them. If
you haven’t made them, make them. If you have made them and broken them, repent
and repair them. It isnevertoo late so long as the Master of the
vineyard says there is time. Please listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit
telling you right now, this very moment, that you should accept the atoning
gift of the Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the fellowship of His labor. Don’t
delay. It’s getting late. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
Here is a handout for the lesson. You can copy it and paste it into your word program and make it whatever size that you need.
When my boys were on their missions, they loved to collect ugly ties. They would trade them at zone conferences. When we would put together care packages we would always try to include some ugly ties for them to trade. I thought it would be cute to give some as gifts so I made a poem and a gift bag to give to new Elders. Here's what I came up with:
Use the print out below to make your tie card and gift bag. If you copy and paste it into your word program you can make the tie as big as you need to.
Cut out each of the pieces. Use the tie poem as a template to cut out the top
of the card from scrapbook paper.
Glue the top of the tie together, then glue it onto a white gift bag. I cut out a collar to fit the top of the bag and then I glue it over the top of the tie.
I bend up the corners a little bit just to give it some character. Then I wrote the name of the Elder on the tag, glued it to the pocket and then glued the pocket to the bag. I think that it turned out pretty cute!
When my boys were younger and preparing to go on their missions, I wanted to try to encourage them to read the Book of Mormon on their own. I got this idea from my father, who used to read his scripture when he went to the bathroom every day. So I went out an got a cheap hardcover Book of Mormon and had it embossed with the words "Bathroom Copy" on the cover. I'm not sure if they used it, but all three of them served missions. Since then I have noticed that it ended up in my daughter's bathroom. I have to admit that it has come in handy on several occasions. Who knows, maybe a guest might find it interesting enough to learn more?
Here's where we keep it now:
When I was a teenager someone gave me this reading chart to chart my progress of the Book of Mormon. I wore out the one they gave me, and redrew it many years ago. I know that in the age of computers that someone could really make a fantastic version of this chart, but this one holds a soft spot in my heart.
1.Write the title
of the lesson on the board. Ask the
sisters what they think the lesson will be about from the title. Write all the answers on the board.
2.Refer to a situation of when you were lost and how
scary it was. How did you find your way? Refer to the GPS and how handy it is.
3.Read together Luke, chapter 15. Break down the story and discuss who the
Savior was teaching, and then how he tells
of the effort of a shepherd searching for his lost sheep, of a woman searching
for a lost coin, and of the welcome received by the prodigal son returning
home. Why did Jesus teach these parables?
story of talking to a missionary in Argentina.
He is in an area where there are 800 members and only 40 people will
come to church. Last month they had 5
baptisms. When asked about those
baptisms he referred to it as “Completing 5 families.” In this missionaries view, the missionary
work of finding the lost meant to complete families.
someone read quote #1 from
Elder Ballard’s talk: “Now, brothers and sisters, we have available to us a tool
even more remarkable than the best GPS. Everyone loses his or her way at some
point, to some degree. It is through the promptings of the Holy Ghost that we
can be brought safely back onto the right path, and it is the atoning sacrifice
of the Savior that can return us home .Being lost can apply to whole societies
as well as to individuals. Today we live in a time when much of this world has
lost its way,
particularly with regard
to values and priorities within our homes.”
word “families” in large letters over all the answers that you have written on
the board. Ask the sisters how they
think that families have lost their way?
read quote #2: “One hundred years ago, President
Joseph F. Smith connected happiness directly to the family and admonished
us to focus our efforts there. He said: “There can be no genuine happiness
separate and apart from the home. … There is no happiness without service, and
there is no service greater than that which converts the home into a divine
institution, and which promotes and preserves family life. … The home is what
8.Discuss and write on the board the statistics
from Elder Ballard’s talk: more
than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage, among
couples in the United States who do marry, nearly half get divorced, those who
stay married often lose their way by letting other things interfere with their
family relationship, the gap between rich and poor,
9.Quote #3: “Equally worrisome is the
ever-growing gap between the rich and poor and between those who strive to
preserve family values and commitments and those who have given up on doing so.
Statistically, those who have less education and consequently lower incomes are
less likely to marry and to go to church and much more likely to be involved in
crime and to have children outside of marriage. And these trends are also
troubling in much of the rest of the world. Opposite of what many had thought,
prosperity and education seem to be connected to a higher likelihood of having
traditional families and values.
sisters how does family life effect education, quality of life for children,
etc. What are the benefits of living in
the family unit?
sister how do we keep from becoming lost?
Have someone read quote
#4: “So what can we do to not
become lost? First, may I suggest that we prioritize. Put
everything you do outside the home in subjection to and in support of what
happens inside your home. Remember President Harold B. Lee’s counsel that
“the most important … work you will ever do will be within the walls of your
own homes” Organize your personal lives to provide time for prayer and
scriptures and family activity. Give your children responsibilities in the home
that will teach them how to work. Teach them that living the gospel will lead
them away from the filth, promiscuity, and violence of the Internet, media, and
video games. They will not be lost, and they will be prepared to handle
responsibility when it is thrust upon them.
12.Write on the board the first step of “Prioritize with family
first.” Then write the next four steps
as they are discussed.
second step is “to do things in
theright order! Marriage first and then family.” He tells those who are not married to focus
on finding an eternal companion. He goes on to say “Young men, remember
something else that President Joseph F. Smith said: “Bachelorhood …
[carries] to the superficial mind the idea that [it is] desirable because [it
brings] with [it] the minimum of responsibility. …The real fault lies with the
young men. The license of the age leads them from paths of duty and
responsibility. … Their sisters are the victims … [and] would marry if they
could, and would accept cheerfully the responsibilities of family life” And to
you young women, I would add that you must also not lose sight of this
responsibility. No career can bring you as much fulfillment as rearing a
family. And when you are my age, you will realize this even more.” Discuss as a
14. Have someone read quote #5 “Third,
husbands and wives, you should beequal partners in your marriage. Read often and
understand the proclamation on the family and follow it. Avoid unrighteous
dominion in any form. No one owns a spouse or children; God is the Father of us
all and has extended to us the privilege of our own family, which was
previously only His, to help us become more like Him. As His children we should
learn at home to love God and to know that we can ask Him for the help we need.
Everyone, married or single, can be happy and supportive within whatever family
you may have.” Discuss as a group.
15.Fourth, use thefamily resources of the
Church. What are the family
16.End with quote #6: Now, if
for any reason you individually or as a family have lost your way, then you
need only apply the Savior’s teachings from Luke, chapter 15,
to correct your course. Here the Savior tells of the effort of a shepherd
searching for his lost sheep, of a woman searching for a lost coin, and of the
welcome received by the prodigal son returning home. Why did Jesus teach these
parables? He wanted us to know that none of us will ever be so lost that we
cannot find our way again through His Atonement and His teachings. As you seek
to live the gospel and doctrine of Christ, the Holy Ghost will guide you and
your family. You will have a spiritual GPS to tell you always where you are and
where you are going. I bear witness that the resurrected Redeemer of mankind
loves all of us, and He has promised if we will follow Him, He will lead us
safely back into the presence of our Heavenly Father, of which I testify in the
name of Jesus Christ, amen.
1. First start out by asking everyone what are some of the main messages of our church. Write them down on the board. Hopefully someone will mention that families can be together forever. Mention the “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” Circle it on the board. Then ask, what if our family is broken? Does this message still apply? For some, this message may be difficult.
Read quote #1
Although you may at times have asked, why me? it is through the hardships of life that we grow toward godhood as our character is shaped in the crucible of affliction, as the events of life take place while God respects the agency of man. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell commented, we cannot do all the sums or make it all add up because “we do not have all the numbers.”
2. Mention that about 1/3 of our LDS households have single parents. Explain a little how Elder Baxter was raised by a single mother and how he witnessed the hardships she experienced. How can single parent families participate in a family centered church? What kind of feelings might they be dealing with? How can the message of families can be together forever help in their homes?
3. Have someone read this quote #2 from the February 2012 visiting teaching message:
Barbara Thompson, now second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, was in the Salt Lake Tabernacle when President Hinckley first read the proclamation. “That was a great occasion,” she remembers. “I felt the significance of the message. I also found myself thinking, ‘This is a great guide for parents. It is also a big responsibility for parents.’ I thought for a moment that it 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. I do have responsibilities—and blessings—because I am a member of a family. Even if I were the only living member of my family, I am still a member of God’s family, and I have a responsibility to help strengthen other families.’”
Discuss how we are all part of a family, whatever our circumstances.
4. Why are we addressing this as a ward, instead of a special class just for single parents? Why do we all need to hear this message? Have someone read quote #3:
Whatever your circumstances or the reasons for them, how wonderful you are. Day to day you face the struggles of life, doing the work that was always meant for two but doing it largely alone. You have to be father as well as mother. You run your household, watch over your family, sometimes struggle to make ends meet, and miraculously you even find the wherewithal to serve in the Church in significant ways. You nurture your children. You cry and pray with them and for them. You want the very best for them but fret every night that your best may never be good enough.
Discuss how we can be of help to these struggling families.
5. Have someone read quote # 4.
My message is for the single parents in the Church, the majority of whom are single mothers—you valiant women who, through the varying circumstances of life, find yourselves raising children and running a home on your own. Perhaps you have been widowed or divorced. You may be coping with the challenges of single parenthood as a result of having taken a wrong turn outside of marriage, but you are now living within the framework of the gospel, having turned your life around. Bless you for avoiding the type of companionship that would come at the expense of virtue and discipleship. That would be far too high a price to pay.
Point out the highlighted area. What would be the reason for this statement? Could it be to help those in this circumstance to forgive themselves? How about those who might be judging the past actions of someone who may have made some bad choices? As President Uchtdorf has told us "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you!"
6. Have someone read quote #5:
This is not exactly what you hoped or planned, prayed for or expected, when you started out years ago. Your journey through life has had bumps, detours, twists, and turns, mostly as the result of life in a fallen world that is meant to be a place of proving and testing.
Meanwhile, you are striving to raise your children in righteousness and truth, knowing that while you cannot change the past, you can shape the future. Along the way you will obtain compensatory blessings, even if they are not immediately apparent.
With God’s help, you need not fear for the future. Your children will grow up and call you blessed, and every single one of their many achievements will stand as a tribute to you.
Please never feel that you are in some kind of second-tier subcategory of Church membership, somehow less entitled to the Lord’s blessings than others. In the kingdom of God there are no second-class citizens.
Discuss the highlighted area. Do we view these circumstances as being "second-tier"?
7. Have someone read quote #6:
We hope that when you attend meetings and see seemingly complete and happy families or hear someone speak of family ideals, you will feel glad to be part of a church that does focus on families and teaches of their central role in Heavenly Father’s plan for the happiness of His children; that in the midst of world calamity and moral decay, we have the doctrine, authority, ordinances, and covenants that do hold out the best hope for the world, including for the future happiness of your children and the families they will create.
What can we do to promote the message of family in a positive light with all the pressures of the world? Discuss.
8. Have someone read quote #7 (if time):
In the general Relief Society meeting of September 2006, President Gordon B. Hinckley related an experience shared by a divorced single mother of seven children then ranging in ages from 7 to 16. She had gone across the street to deliver something to a neighbor. She said:
“As I turned around to walk back home, I could see my house lighted up. I could hear echoes of my children as I had walked out of the door a few minutes earlier. They were saying: ‘Mom, what are we going to have for dinner?’ ‘Can you take me to the library?’ ‘I have to get some poster paper tonight.’ Tired and weary, I looked at that house and saw the light on in each of the rooms. I thought of all of those children who were home waiting for me to come and meet their needs. My burdens felt heavier than I could bear.
“I remember looking through tears toward the sky, and I said, ‘Dear Father, I just can’t do it tonight. I’m too tired. I can’t face it. I can’t go home and take care of all those children alone. Could I just come to You and stay with You for just one night? …’
“I didn’t really hear the words of reply, but I heard them in my mind. The answer was: ‘No, little one, you can’t come to me now. … But I can come to you.’”2
9. Have someone read quote #8 (or maybe read it to them):
Although you often feel alone, in truth you are never totally on your own. As you move forward in patience and in faith, Providence will move with you; heaven will bestow its needful blessings.
Your perspective and view of life will change when, rather than being cast down, you look up.
Many of you have already discovered the great, transforming truth that when you live to lift the burdens of others, your own burdens become lighter. Although circumstances may not have changed, your attitude has. You are able to face your own trials with greater acceptance, a more understanding heart, and deeper gratitude for what you have, rather than pining for what you yet lack.
You have discovered that when we extend lines of hopeful credit to those whose life accounts seem empty, our own coffers of consolation are enriched and made full; our cup truly “runneth over” (Psalm 23:5).
Through righteous living, you and your children may one day enjoy the blessings of being part of a complete, eternal family.
Reread the highlighted areas. What is the remedy that Elder Baxter suggests to solve our loneliness or depression? Do we know of people who have been a good example of this? Discuss.
10. Read quote #9:
“Ask yourself, 'How did God bless me today?' If you do that long enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes, you will have gifts brought to your mind which you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God’s hand in your life.” –Henry B. Eyring
Discuss how remembering our blessings helps us to cope with our trials.
11. Discuss how we can all benefit from today's message. Pass out handout and read quote #10:
Single parents, I testify that as you do your very best in the most difficult of human challenges, heaven will smile upon you. Truly you are not alone. Let the redemptive, loving power of Jesus Christ brighten your life now and fill you with the hope of eternal promise. Take courage. Have faith and hope. Consider the present with fortitude and look to the future with confidence. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Here is a handout:
When I taught this lesson I saved this handout as a jpg and had it printed as a picture instead of printing it out on my computer. Then I printed out enough for the Relief Society and encouraged the sisters to take extra for those who might benefit from the message. I also printed out a large version to use for my lesson.
I was asked to give a motivational comment on Visiting Teaching this month. In the past I have listen to some "motivational" talks on how to be a visiting teacher, and walked away unmotivated. For my approach I thought that I would just start with the basics. What does the church think that a visiting teacher is? I decided to use the church's exact words to share with the sisters what is required of us to be a visiting teacher. Then I thought it would be nice for the sisters to have a printout that they could read for themselves. I know that we all have different demands on our time, so I hope that we can go through the list of ideas and find ways to visit teach that works for us, and works for our sisters.
My message was simple:
Be the Best Visiting Teacher You Can Be!
Here is my handout:
Here are the links to the LDS website where I got my quotes from:
1. Discuss Nehor. Read together Alma (Alma 1:4).. Talk about the things he taught. Read Alma 1:16 & 17. Discuss how the people would "spin" the truth. How is that like our day?
2. Explain that the beliefs of Nehor were carried on throughout the Book of Mormon and referred to as "The Order of the Nehors." Have someone read quote 1 from the conference talk:
"About 15 years later, Korihor came among the Nephites preaching and amplifying the doctrine of Nehor. The Book of Mormon records that “he was Anti-Christ, for he began to preach unto the people against the prophecies … concerning the coming of Christ” (Alma 30:6). Korihor’s preaching was to the effect “that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime” (Alma 30:17). These false prophets and their followers “did not believe in the repentance of their sins” (Alma 15:15)."
3. Discuss: Why did Mormon include this? How is it like our times? How does the world view sin?
4. Throughout history the words "Repent" have been view in a negative way. Why do you think it is has the "spin" of being negative? Why don't people want to repent?
5. Have someone read quote 2:
"On the surface such philosophies seem appealing because they give us license to indulge any appetite or desire without concern for consequences. By using the teachings of Nehor and Korihor, we can rationalize and justify anything. When prophets come crying repentance, it “throws cold water on the party.” But in reality the prophetic call should be received with joy. Without repentance, there is no real progress or improvement in life. Pretending there is no sin does not lessen its burden and pain. Suffering for sin does not by itself change anything for the better. Only repentance leads to the sunlit uplands of a better life. And, of course, only through repentance do we gain access to the atoning grace of Jesus Christ and salvation. Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when we speak of it. It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace. Rather than interrupting the celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for true celebration."
How can we take the negative "spin" of repentance and speak about it with a smile on our face?
6. Read (D&C 20:30–31).. Discuss what this tells us about justification and the sanctification of Christ.
7. Elder Christofferson gives us five aspects of this fundamental gospel principle that he hopes will be helpful.
FIRST: the invitation to repent is an expression of love. Have someone read quote 3:
"If we do not invite others to change or if we do not demand repentance of ourselves, we fail in a fundamental duty we owe to one another and to ourselves. A permissive parent, an indulgent friend, a fearful Church leader are in reality more concerned about themselves than the welfare and happiness of those they could help. Yes, the call to repentance is at times regarded as intolerant or offensive and may even be resented, but guided by the Spirit, it is in reality an act of genuine caring (see D&C 121:43–44)."
SECOND: repentance means striving to change. Have someone read quote 4:
"Perhaps as much as praying for mercy, we should pray for time and opportunity to work and strive and overcome. Surely the Lord smiles upon one who desires to come to judgment worthily, who resolutely labors day by day to replace weakness with strength. Real repentance, real change may require repeated attempts, but there is something refining and holy in such striving. Divine forgiveness and healing flow quite naturally to such a soul, for indeed “virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; [and] mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own” (D&C 88:40)."
THIRD: repentance means not only abandoning sin but also committing to obedience. Discuss how we can do this.
FOURTH: repentance requires a seriousness of purpose and a willingness to persevere, even through pain. Have someone read quote 5:
"Confessing and forsaking are powerful concepts. They are much more than a casual “I admit it; I’m sorry.” Confession is a deep, sometimes agonizing acknowledgment of error and offense to God and man. Sorrow and regret and bitter tears often accompany one’s confession, especially when his or her actions have been the cause of pain to someone or, worse, have led another into sin. It is this deep distress, this view of things as they really are, that leads one, as Alma, to cry out, “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death” (Alma 36:18)."
What kind of pain did the Lord suffer?
“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; “Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup” (D&C 19:16–18).
Is this what we want for ourselves and our friends?
FIFTH: whatever the cost of repentance, it is swallowed up in the joy of forgiveness. Discuss briefly the story of the Donner party. Have someone read quote 6:
“Among them was fifteen-year-old John Breen. On the night of April 24 he walked into Johnson’s Ranch. Years later John wrote:
“‘It was long after dark when we got to Johnson’s Ranch, so the first time I saw it was early in the morning. The weather was fine, the ground was covered with green grass, the birds were singing from the tops of the trees, and the journey was over. I could scarcely believe that I was alive.
“‘The scene that I saw that morning seems to be photographed on my mind. Most of the incidents are gone from memory, but I can always see the camp near Johnson’s Ranch.’”
Said President Packer: “At first I was very puzzled by his statement that ‘most of the incidents are gone from memory.’ How could long months of incredible suffering and sorrow ever be gone from his mind? How could that brutal dark winter be replaced with one brilliant morning?
“On further reflection I decided it was not puzzling at all. I have seen something similar happen to people I have known. I have seen some who have spent a long winter of guilt and spiritual starvation emerge into the morning of forgiveness. When morning came, they learned this:
“‘Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more’ [D&C 58:42]."