Monday, November 16, 2015

Spiritual and Temporal Self-Reliance: How Can I Stand as a Witness of God? - Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wow, that was one enthusiastic class.

I'm glad that you were all full of energy, though it was not always focused on the lesson's topic, ha ha.
Still, thank you all for coming and participating.

Besides, your asides let me get to know you better ... which helps me to be a better teacher.

Okay, so we worked on talking about standing as a witness of God. And on some ways that we can prepare ourselves to do that.

And, as I was going through a bunch of links that I'd bookmarked to get to (eventually -- do you ever do that? In all seriousness, I have about 200 "saved" links for Facebook alone. I just really want to KNOW ALL THE THINGS! as the meme says) ... and, in it, I found this ...

Okay, do not let the name throw you. It's a really good read (as are his other posts). And, just because he's not young or whatever, that doesn't mean that he doesn't have good stuff to post that might help. (Knowing you all, though, I'm sure that I don't have to give you that push to hearken to those with experience. Heck, y'all listen to me well enough in class [THANK YOU], and I'm *gasp* over TWICE your age! SO, as I was saying, you guys and gals are very cool and wise. My job is to just help you become cooler and wiser. :P)

BUT, the post linked above is helpful ... Brother McBride (since that's the real name of MMM) even gives a list of thoughts/behaviors that can lead to apostasy ... and, if you don't have the time to read it all, here's the main gist is that people who have the Holy Ghost with them are not fooled by alternate voices of the adversary

If you have the Holy Ghost with you, if you can recognize his promptings, and if you choose to follow them, you will be a strong and faithful member of the Church. You will BE spiritually self-reliant.

And that is one of our desires for you -- from the prophet on down to your local leaders, including me as your teacher, and your families -- for you to be able to weather all the tests and trials that you will eventually face ... In fact, we don't want you just able to endure them, but to blaze through them, finding joy and peace on that journey, to be an example of the believers to all who happen to come into contact with you.

Because we believe in you. Because we KNOW that you each have the potential for awesomeness.


Okay, back to the class report.

We missed one of our classmates this week (visiting friends), but everyone else of our usual bunch was there. (Should we maybe send a card or something to those who haven't attended in a while? What are your thoughts on this?)

We discussed, again, a bit about the policy changes/clarifications and some of the reasons behind them (protecting children from having to deal with issues that are beyond their maturity to face, protecting ALL families, etc.).
We also discussed that the main and most important thing is that we love ALL people. As members of the restored Church, we have covenanted to remember Christ always. And, if we want to be considered to be part of His fold, we also covenant to be "willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; ... and ... willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life."

Part of this covenant is that we love others. ALWAYS. Even if we don't support their lifestyles or all their choices, we do our darndest to LOVE them with Christ's love. We treat them with love, respect, and compassion ... because they, like us, are children of our Heavenly Father. And He loves them , too. The best way we can improve our lives, their lives, and the world at large, is to LOVE them.

We also discussed a few scriptural examples of those who stood as a witness of God, especially in pretty awful circumstances. Samuel the Lamanite, Daniel, Joseph of Egypt (good Seminary answer!), Joseph Smith, Abinadi, ... There are bunches that we didn't cover at all, too: Ester, Mormon, ... and countless others.

I did issue a CHALLENGE: This week, will you look for examples of those standing as witnesses of God (in your life, in the scriptures, in the news ...) AND/OR look for opportunities where YOU can stand as a witness of God.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week! I expect to hear some great stories and insights! ^_^

Also, next Sunday, I'm planning (unless the Spirit steers me elsewhere) of discussing making your own decisions and setting goals towards becoming spiritually and temporally self-reliant.
If you need to look at the lesson outlines (including scriptural references and some applicable talks), look in the column on the right. I'd be thrilled if you chose to read ahead. I'll still love you, even if you don't, though.

Have a great week! I'll see you on Sunday!
Be kind, be courageous, be loving, be awesome!
        Sister Cox

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