Tuesday, December 9, 2014

#SharetheGift: A Challenge

On Sunday I taught the lesson in our Relief Society. I had been strongly feeling for months that I needed to teach on a certain topic. My month to teach was nearing and then I found out I would no longer be able to attend that Sunday due to a baby blessing.  It was strange but I actually felt a little torn.  It was my sisters first baby and I definitely needed and wanted to be there but because I felt the urgency in my message I had feelings of uncertainty about not sharing the message I was supposed to in a timely manner. However, I knew that I needed to be there with my family and I was.  Over the next month my lesson morphed into something I wasn't aware it would become and I believe it was the exact message that I was meant to share with the Relief Society and Young Women of our ward (women that are 12 years and older). With the help of several who were willing to share their testimonies and experiences the Spirit was very strong and the direction the lesson took was guided heavily by the direction of the Holy Ghost.

On Sunday I felt nervous to teach, as usual, but I also felt a feeling of calm that doesn't always accompany my lessons. During fast and testimony meeting I kept feeling pushed to stand and share just a glimpse of my lesson with the entire ward.  I pushed it aside for a time rationalizing that I was already doing something "scary" or that made me nervous in Relief Society and that that was enough.  It most certainly was not because I felt pushed again and again and I stood. And now here I am again as I have felt prompted to share the message I was guided to share Sunday here on my stagnant blog. I hope that someone will come along and read and join in and #sharethegift this season.

First watch this beautiful video:

Birth of our Savior
 Years ago a babe was born in a manger; A baby that came to bring His Father's children back to Him.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

He lived as a perfect example and died to save us all. Jesus Christ made it possible for all of us to have salvation. "He is the Christ. He is Christmas. He is the Gift." He came to Earth to do his Father's work, "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39)".  In turn, as members of the church we have been given a 3 fold mission to help in the work of saving souls.We are to Perfect the Saints, Redeem the Dead, and Proclaim the Gospel.  Each of these directs us to share the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ.  What greater gift to give our brothers and sisters then to guide them back to their Father by sharing with them the Gift of Christ. President Ezra Taft Benson asked this question, “what can we possibly give to the Lord this Christmastime?” I suggest that the greatest gift we could give Him is one of His children; A child of God who has not yet received fully the Gift of Christ.

Now go and #SharetheGift by following the directions below:

Choose a Goal to Help in the work of Saving Souls
Choose a prepared goal below or create your own to fit one of the three sections. Select your goal prayerfully and with the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Your goal may not be what you expect. Listen to the Spirit and God will direct you to know how and to whom you might share the Gift of Christ.

Perfect the Saints (You, Your Family, and Your Ward Family)
Potential Goal - If you are not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make a goal to learn more about our Faith. (Chat with Missionaries Online, Request a free Book of Mormon and read it, or Read more at Mormon.org.)

Elder Bednar said, "When we invite you to attend church with us or to learn with the full-time missionaries, we are not trying to sell you a product. As members of the Church, we do not receive prizes or bonus points in a heavenly contest. We are not seeking simply to increase the numerical size of the Church. And most importantly, we are not attempting to coerce you to believe as we do. We are inviting you to hear the restored truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ so you can study, ponder, pray, and come to know for yourself if the things we are sharing with you are true."

Potential Goal - Make a personal goal to hold a current temple recommend. 

President Monson encouraged, “If you have not yet been to the temple or if you have been but currently do not qualify for a recommend, there is no more important goal for you to work toward than being worthy to go to the temple. Your sacrifice may be bringing your life into compliance with what is required to receive a recommend, perhaps by forsaking long-held habits which disqualify you. It may be having the faith and the discipline to pay your tithing. Whatever it is, qualify to enter the temple of God. Secure a temple recommend and regard it as a precious possession, for such it is.”

Redeem the Dead (Your Ancestors and Others Who have Passed on)
Potential Goals: - Work on your family history, find a name, and take it to the temple.
- Attend the temple more often to redeem the dead.

Elder Scott said, “Any work you do in the temple is time well spent, but receiving ordinances vicariously for one of your own ancestors will make the time in the temple more sacred, and even greater blessings will be received. The First Presidency has declared, “Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors.”

Proclaim the Gospel (Everyone)
Potential Goals: - Share the gospel (Bear testimony, give a Book of Mormon, share a Mormon message, etc.) - Extend an invitation to a neighbor, co-worker, acquaintance, friend, or family member. (Invite to Church, missionary discussions, an activity, Family Home Evening, etc)

President Eyring warned, “Well, the danger may be hard to see, but it is real, both for them and for us. For instance, at some moment in the world to come, everyone you met in this life will know what you know now. They will know that the only way to live forever in association with our families and in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, is to choose to enter into the gate by baptism at the hands of those with authority from God. They will know that the only way families can be together forever is to accept and keep sacred covenants offered in the temples of God on this earth. They will know that you knew. And they will remember whether you offered them what someone had offered you. It’s easy to say, “The time isn’t right.” But there is danger in procrastination."

Unified Deadline
If possible, set March 1st as your deadline to reach your goal. That gives you 12 weeks in your efforts. Also try to make the goal you choose be something that is attainable, something that can be completed. (Ex. make your goal to go x number of times to the temple per month not just to go to the temple more often or to find a name to take to the temple not simply to just do family history.) As we are all working and praying to fulfill our goals I know the Lord will bless us in our unified efforts.

Share and Learn Together
To create a little accountability to learn and grow from each other the sisters in our ward will be reporting back with their experiences and testimonies in a follow up lesson on March 1st.   If you'd like to join in and take this challenge with us you can come back to this post on or before March 1st and share your experience in the comments.  If you would like to be held further accountable to carry out your goal or simply to share your experience you may email your typed experience/testimony to becominglds@gmail.com and put “March Lesson” as your subject. If you send it to my email your giving me permission to share your experience in my Relief Society lesson on March 1st.

For God so loved the world and so loved you and you and you and every single one of us. He gave His son. He is the Christ. He is Christmas. He is the Gift. Share the Gift.

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