Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 24 - The Godhead: How can I help others learn about Heavenly Father?

In class on Sunday, we were continuing the discussion about how the Holy Ghost helps us to learn the gospel and how he helps us in teaching others about Heavenly Father.

One of the great things about how Jesus taught (and how we aspire to teach) is that Jesus KNOWS us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. And, with that knowledge, he's able to know how BEST to teach us. And that's what we, as students of the gospel of Jesus Christ (and as member missionaries and future full-time missionaries and parents), need to learn to do.

A great example of this in the scriptures is the story of Ammon (Honestly, he's one of my favorites).

                                       

We talked about Ammon during most of class.
I figure that, if you're going to learn about something, dive in! Learn all that you can!
So, we discussed a bit about Ammon's history:
  • He was one of the sons of Mosiah.
  • Mosiah was the king over the Nephite people at the time.
  • They all hung out with Alma the Younger, who was the prophet's son.
  • They were EXTREMELY NAUGHTY.
  • They led a LOT of people away from the church by preaching false doctrine.
  • It was so bad that their families prayed so much that an angel appeared to them.
  • After that, they chose to turn their lives around. They became very active in preaching repentance to the people. They felt HORRIBLE about all the evil they had done (and had caused others to do).
  • When King Mosiah was ready to pass the kingdom on, none of his sons desired to be king.
    They all wanted to be missionaries instead.
  • Ammon and his brothers decided to teach the gospel to the Lamanites, since they were their brothers, after all. (It's just that the Lamanites didn't believe in the gospel. In fact, they had a practice of capturing and killing all Nephites since, according to their beliefs, Nephi was a big meanie-head and took everything that should have gone to Laman. ... Although, we know the real reason that Laman didn't receive the full birthright was that he wasn't being righteous. That and, you know, trying to kill his baby brother is rather frowned upon. Even if your baby brother isn't a prophet.)
SO, where were we? Ah, yes. Ammon goes to serve the Lamanites as a missionary.
He's captured and brought to King Lamoni. Lamoni is bemused (a word which here means, "puzzled, confused, or bewildered") that this Nephite guy came to be a servant ... and maybe live here for the rest of his life. BUT, hey, a new servant! So, Lamoni sends Ammon out to help guard his sheep. (By the by, I think it's great that Ammon gets to be a good shepherd. Just like our Good Shepherd [Jesus Christ].)

And some especially naughty Lamanites come and try to scatter and steal some of the king's sheep. And the rest of the servants are FREAKING OUT because the last time this happened, THOSE servants were put to death ... and these guys would very much rather stay alive.

And Ammon ... he's happy. He rallies his fellow servants, puts his trust in the Lord, and saves the sheep (either with skillful use with the sling [Like ANOTHER good shepherd, being David in the Old Testament. Remember ... the shepherd who slew Goliath with a sling? That one.] and, then, chopping off the arms of any of the thieves who're trying to kill him). The rest of the servants are ... pretty impressed. They know it's a crazy story ... they gather up the arms as proof and go to report to King Lamoni (as Ammon then, following instructions to a T, goes to feed and care for the king's horses).

King Lamoni, upon hearing of these (impressive) feats of his new servant, sends for Ammon to come and talk to him. And, once Ammon comes, Lamoni has no idea how to talk to him ... because, well, Ammon just might be a great spirit. And, well, if Lamoni offends him, this great spirit could KILL him or something. Maybe this great spirit is mad about the past servants (the ones who allowed the sheep to be scattered and stolen ... and who were killed) ...

And Ammon waits there, in the rather awkward silence, for the space of one hour (their time. Which COULD be the same as ours ... we don't know. But it was a LONG, AWKWARD SILENCE).

And, since Ammon was prepared -- he had, as they say in Alma 17:3, "[He had] given [himself] to much prayer, and fasting; therefore [he] had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when [he] taught, [he] taught with power and authority of God."

When we work to have the Holy Ghost with us, we can be blessed, too. We can have help in how we teach, in being inspired (and recognizing that revelation). We can be protected as Ammon was. We will be able to be led to speak the words that will reach those we are teaching (not just as missionaries, but as Home/Visiting Teachers, teachers in a class, parents, friends, etc.).
And the Holy Ghost can confirm in the hearts of those we teach that, if we are teaching with the Spirit of God, those things are TRUE.

Ammon, having the gift of the Holy Ghost, was able to discern what King Lamoni was thinking. And he started to answer the questions King Lamoni had.
King Lamoni gathered courage and asked more questions, after promising Ammon that, yes, he would believe what Ammon told him ... and he did, as the Holy Spirit confirmed the truth of what was being taught.

I love how, as Ammon taught King Lamoni, he worked to build a foundation of shared knowledge.
King Lamoni believed in a Great Spirit. Yes, this Great Spirit is God. Do you believe that God created everything on earth and in heaven? I believe that he created everything on earth ... but I don't know what this heaven is. ... and Ammon goes and takes this bit of knowledge and builds on it.

It can be harder to do this with people who haven't had any religious upbringing (remember the story about President Boyd K. Packer and the atheist on an airplane that we discussed a couple weeks ago?) ... but we all will have something in common, something to build on. And, if we are prepared to be able to feel and recognize the promptings and influence of the Holy Ghost, we will be able to find that. And not only will be we able to have the words give to us to speak and teach, but those we are teaching will be able to better feel the confirmation of truth that the Holy Ghost provides.

Sunday evening, I was able to attend a fireside about helping the Youth (that's you guys) to be better prepared for missionary service (And I'm aware that not everyone will serve a mission. however, I know that if you're preparing yourself for the possibility, you'll be well-prepared for adult life and being able to attend the temple and make those wonderful covenants with your Heavenly Father/Heavenly Parents ... so, really, is there a downside?).

Please, as you go through your day/week/life, don't just go through the motions. Don't perform the steps of the gospel and your covenants just because you feel that you're supposed to do these things. Please strive to find the motivation to WANT to: 
  • Read your scriptures because you WANT to be familiar with the gospel, because you WANT to grow closer to your Heavenly Father, because you WANT to be able to feel His presence, love, and protection ...
  • Pray because you WANT to talk to your Heavenly Father, you WANT to share your feelings and thoughts with Him, you WANT to bring yourself closer to Him.
  • Serve others because you WANT them to feel the love that their heavenly parents and their Savior have for them, because you WANT them to feel it and to be able to recognize it ... and then go seeking, themselves, after the source of that love and happiness which is found in our Father's great plan of happiness.
  • Attend Sacrament meetings, classes, and activities because you WANT to. Not because you feel that it's a duty that you HAVE to do, but because you WANT to renew your baptismal covenants, to always remember your Savior and all that He has done for you -- because HE LOVES YOU.
    Go to your Sunday School and YM/YW classes because you want to learn more about our Savior and YOUR relationship with Him. Because you want to strengthen your relationships with your spiritual brothers and sisters, so that you can feel His love for them and help lead them back to our heavenly home through your loving service to them.
    Attend your activities, whenever possible, not because you think it's going to be the best and most fun thing ever (sometimes it might not be), BUT because you choose to attend to strengthen your relationship with your Ward (or Branch)/Stake family.
  • Strengthen your family (this includes doing chores and working together), not because you are earning an allowance or because you know that you'll be in trouble otherwise ... but because you WANT to help create a home that is a refuge from the world, a place where you (and all those who enter your home) can feel the Holy Spirit and the peace and comfort that he brings.
Do you see my point? It's not an easy thing to do. I find myself often going through the motions ... which brings to mind, as I write this, one of the talks from last April's conference.
Elder Wilford W. Andersen gave a talk titled, "The Music of the Gospel." In it, he talks of the joy that the change of heart (through the power of the Holy Ghost) can bring.
I'm especially reminded of a statement made to a doctor by a Native American man: "I can teach you to dance, but you have to hear the music." ... And, to me, learning to be motivated to WANT to live the gospel is like learning to hear the music. We can go through the steps, yes, and that's a good thing. But choreography (steps/going through the motions) without feeling the music (desire/motivation) is pretty empty. (If you wonder what I mean, go watch a music video, one with lots of dancing, but turn the sound off. It's not at all the same, is it?)

Okay, I've written enough and have probably bored you to tears and/or sleep.

But I really would like for you to know that you're important. The Lord knows who you are. He loves you. You have been sent here, at this time, for a purpose. (And it's up to me, your parents, your other leaders, and those around you to help you prepare for whatever it is.)

I also want you to know that I love you. As a class, yes, but also as individuals. The more I get to talk with you, the more I love you. (So, please speak up/participate in class so I can get to love you more sooner! ^_^)
If you ever need someone to talk to, or a hug, just let me know. You're worth it. And I would be honored to be of service to you.

So, go out there and show the world, through your awesomeness, how great of a place the world can be ... and help them feel their Savior's love (you don't always have to preach. So don't feel that you HAVE to pull a Samuel the Lamanite all the time. Remember how Ammon served then taught. Sometimes your good example is enough. Sometimes you'll need to use words). 



If you need a motto for the day, you can totally use this one.
I didn't make/paint it myself. It's from designmilk.
But I still thought it was pretty applicable.

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 17 - How does the Holy Ghost help me learn?

Now, my dear students (and, if you're a student of mine, you're dear to me. Deal with it. :P), I hope that you asked your folks' permission before going online.

(Parents, thanks for taking a look at the blog! I'm hoping that this will be a good way to convey information and help us all be on the same page, per se, of what your children are learning in class.)

This week, we talked about how the Holy Ghost helps us learn. We also discussed who the Holy Ghost is, what his purpose is, and why this is important to know (We did this worksheet in class).

The Holy Ghost [as it says in True to the Faith (which, if you don't already have a copy of this book in your home, please get one. It's a great little resource that I'm finding rather invaluable. Gospel topics, in alphabetical order ... I learn something new every time I open it. Which means that I should definitely READ IT ALL, right?)
If you DON'T already have access to a copy, you can read it online here at lds.org.]

... Where was I?

Oh yes! The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead ... which you all already knew, you smart cookies! He works in perfect unity with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to help us live righteously and be able to receive the blessings of the gospel.
He witnesses the truth to us. He helps bring things to our remembrance. He guides us and helps to protect us. He comforts us.

Everyone can feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit ... as long as we are clean and pure. (And, well, even sometimes when we need a big, ol', spiritual kick in the rear.) BUT, when you're baptized and you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, you get something really awesome: You now have the right (as long as you're living right) to have the CONSTANT COMPANIONSHIP of the Holy Ghost.

Which means that you can ALWAYS have him to help you, guide you, protect you ... as you go about your life. He will assist you in doing everything to live the commandments and perform all that you've been commanded to do. (And, if you're anything like me ... and I REALLY hope that you're better than I am, you can use all the help that you can get.)

Here are some great images that I thought you all might find useful about the Holy Ghost.

Sometimes it's hard to KNOW if you're feeling/have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost ... which is why I really like this list ... in fact, I have a version of this list in my Seminary scriptures.
How to tell who is influencing you
The more you are able to tell if and when you're receiving inspiration from the Holy Ghost, the easier it will be to receive more. Which is something that our leaders really want for all of us. ^_^

Here's a nice list compiling roles of the Holy Ghost:
Roles of the Holy Ghost from thethingsilovemost.com

And this one is nice ... since sometimes you might not KNOW if you've got the Holy Ghost with you.
(If you do, GREAT! Make the most of it! ... If not, well, it's time to repent so that he can be with you again. You're never too far gone. No matter what, Heavenly Father STILL loves you and WANTS YOU back. Please always, always remember that. If nothing else I teach you sticks, just remember that your Heavenly Parents, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, your leaders, your teachers, your parents ... we ALL are rooting for you. We all love you. We want to help you be your best. Please, please KNOW this.)
When you have the Spirit vs When you Don't - HolyHandouts.com

I want to tell you that I'm really enjoying having you all in my class. I look forward to seeing you next Sunday so we can discuss (hopefully!) the lessons "How does the Holy Ghost help me teach the gospel?" and "How can I help others learn about Heavenly Father?"

I hope that you're looking for those tender mercies of the Lord in your life. And that you're also working for opportunities to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost.

See you on Sunday! Go and be awesome! ... And, if you happen to see any of your classmates (that I haven't gotten to meet yet) at school or out and about, please let them know that we miss them and would love to see them in class on Sundays. ^_^
(I'm going to try and get hold of everyone, too ... but, since they actually KNOW you, it's a lot cooler ... and less creepy ... coming from a friend.)

Your adoring teacher,
     Sister Cox


Saturday, January 16, 2016

January 10 - The Godhead - How can studying the scriptures help me learn about Heavenly Father?

This last week (and, YES, I know that it's already Saturday night and ONLY NOW am I blogging. Sorry.) we talked about how the scriptures can help us learn about Heavenly Father and how that can help us teach others about our Heavenly Father.

We really did focus on how we can learn about our Heavenly Father from the scriptures.

Also, since I like to joke that we have someone come into observe just about every other week ... I am going to mention that we had the Stake Sunday School President come to observe our class. No pressure, right? (At least, not for me. You all seemed cool and collected. :D)


I really love this infographic about the Godhead.
If you need me to print you a copy to put in your scriptures or into a journal, let me know.
Sometimes my Pinterest obsession really pays off!
You all are ahead of the game, knowing that the Godhead is composed of three beings AND who they all are. 50 gold stars to you all!

We mostly talked about the attributes of the Godhead that we can learn about by reading the scriptures.

As Joseph Smith said on the worksheet I gave you at the end of class (PDF link here - credit goes to Kourtney at deserethome.blogspot.com, since SHE made it, not me.), "It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the nature of God." and "If men [and women] do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves."

It is vital that we learn  and understand the nature of God.
We chose to come to earth, to have this mortal experience, so that we can learn and grow and become more like our Heavenly Parents. ... And how can we do that if we don't know what our Heavenly Parents are like?

In fact, Joseph Smith (along with a committee consisting of Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams) wrote Lectures on Faith (if you or your family don't have a book, you can access them on http://lecturesonfaith.com/). I took a great little Institute class about this work ... and I found that reading/studying this really helped me to better understand (1) what faith IS and (2) what God is like, what attributes the Godhead possesses.

I can testify that the more we understand what our Heavenly Father is like, the easier it is to emulate Him. And it's easier, also, to be more like Jesus Christ. And, hopefully, easier to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

I hope that you're still looking for opportunities to learn about the Godhead. I also hope that you're keeping your eyes open so you can notice those tender mercies of the Lord in your life.

Tomorrow, we're going to discuss "How does the Holy Ghost help me learn?"
I hope to see you all there!

Be awesome!
     Sister Cox

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2016 Mutual Theme - Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ (2 Nephi 31:20)


2016 Mutual Theme
designed by Latter Day Ideas
She even defined the theme ... so that we can better understand what we're memorizing

I found these while I was browsing around on Pinterest.

And, well, I thought that these were pretty cool.
The gal (I couldn't find her name) over at Latter Day Ideas did a great job at designing these. I really liked that she wrote up an explanation of the verse ... and at the blog post (linked above), she even told about how she was inspired by the "Get a Grip" Mormonad visual.

I just thought that maybe this might be something that you all might like and be interested in (I'll admit that I love me some printables. And I'm totally for anything that helps me to be a better student of the Gospel. Since, really, I need about all the help I can get).

I hope that you're still all looking for Heavenly Father's influence in your life today (and every other day)!
      Sister Cox

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 3, 2016 - The Godhead: How can I learn to see Heavenly Father’s hand in all things?

Happy new year, my class for 2016!

I know that I'm totally behind, not even starting this post until after I've already had you in class.

I wanted to thank you all for a good and fun start to the new year.

Most of class was spent getting to know you a little better (thanks for filling out the little surveys. I enjoyed reading through them!) and chatting a little ... but we did touch a bit on the lesson. ^_^

We read from Psalms 145:9 (Thank you all for bringing scriptures! That was awesome!)
"The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works."
And also from Doctrine and Covenants 59:21:
"And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments."

To me those verses say that (1) God wants to bless us. He's constantly blessing us. Even when we haven't done anything to EARN those blessings and (2) He's really disappointed when we don't recognize what he's doing for us.

And, really, I totally understand that. When I'm working hard on things and nobody gives me ANY gratitude, well, it really gets under my skin a bit (and then I have to repent. And I have more than enough repenting to do all the time anyways).

All good things come from God. He wants to bless us. He does bless us. Constantly.
So, it's a good idea to work to notice at least some of those blessings ... and express our gratitude for them.

And, that bring to mind a talk that President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave ... in his talk, Living the Gospel Joyful, especially the statement:
"In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us. It is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us."
If we work to look for and recognize the hand of God in our lives, our gratitude will help us to overcome our fear and doubts. We will be more motivated to repent and eschew (yes, I use big words. You can handle them. I believe in you.) sin ... which allows us to be able to receive even more blessings to help ourselves and others in our lives.

We also briefly talked about Elder Bednar's public recognition of a tender mercy of the Lord that occurred during his first General Conference talk as a newly-called apostle -- how the hymn directly preceding his talk, which had been chosen weeks in advance, was his favorite: "Redeemer of Israel," a hymn that he feels is especially "edifying and spiritually soothing."

That whole talk of his ("The Tender Mercies of the Lord") is a very good talk. I would highly recommend reading through it.

I shared a story from my own life.
A friend, I had considered her one of my besties, in fact, and I had ... fallen out.
It was strange and troubling for me. I still don't know what I'd done that would cause her to stop talking to me, to ignore emails or Facebook messages ... in fact, I was surprised that we weren't Facebook friends at all. (So I messaged her to ask about it. And apologize if there was anything that I'd unknowingly done) ...

But, yeah, I was sad. And confused.
My husband and mom both assured me that this wasn't my fault (which is sweet of them) ... but, well, they're family. They're predisposed to like me. (Even though I'm aware that if I was making poor decisions, they'd totally call me on it).

I was praying a lot about this. I hate being estranged from friends.
(In fact, I'm still bothered that I've lost touch with my first-grade bestie who moved away ... and I didn't have her address. Or the fact that I've still not managed to find my fifth-grade best friends from the one year I lived in Seattle. Yes, I'm weird like that.)

And, well, I got a new Visiting Teaching companion.
Who had also known my (ex-)friend.
And I was able to talk to her about things ... and felt better. And realized that I had a new friend.
Which was very comforting.

I mean, I still miss my past friend ... and I wish that I knew what I'd done (so I could NOT ever do that again) ... but Heavenly Father gave me what I needed.
It's really nice to KNOW that He's aware of me.

Just like I KNOW that He's aware of you, too. And I know that when we choose to recognize (at least SOME) of the many blessings that we've been given, we are happier.

And, well, I'd prefer that you all are able to be as happy as possible.

Now go and be awesome!
      Sister Cox

 


December 20 and 27 (Catch-up for my 2015 Class): Building the Kingdom of God in the Latter Days - Christmas and The Second Coming lessons

Wow ... sorry for totally dropping the ball on consistently blogging for you guys.
(However, I was quite chuffed that a few of you came and gave me hugs on Sunday. I miss you all something fierce!)

December 20th's class was dealing with the lesson "Christmas: How can I share my testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?"

And, well ... we discussed that. We talked about HAVING a testimony and being brave enough to share it.
I want you all to be aware that you can share your testimony, of course, over the pulpit on Fast Sunday. Or in Young Men's or Young Women's. Or face-to-face with someone. You can write it down in your journal. You can write it in a note or a letter to a friend. You can post it on social media. You can blog about it.

And it doesn't have to just be the whole "I believe this, I know that"-type of testimony.
You could post a quote from the scriptures or a church leader (even a teacher in your class ... but no pressure! :P) and write just a sentence or two about WHY you chose to post that.

What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't have to be a big, formal, scary thing.
And choosing to share your testimony is a wonderful way to strengthen it and to influence others.

On December 27th (my last class with most of you! *sniff!*), we talked about two of the lessons: "What can I learn from the scriptures to help me prepare for the Second Coming?" and "How can I understand the symbols used to teach about the Second Coming?"

Like it's been mentioned (often) the Savior often used parable and symbolism to express meaning to those He taught (and, since He knew them perfectly, He totally knew how to put things so that his students would completely understand what He was telling them. I, sadly, being imperfect, will not always be that effective of a teacher ... and part of this Sunday School Curriculum's goal is to help you all learn how to be able to teach as our Savior did. Since that's a REALLY GOOD TRAIT for missionaries [every member a missionary!] and parents to cultivate!).

We discussed a little about the ten virgins (remember? Five were foolish and five were wise. It's been revealed that ALL of them are representative of us in the Church. We should strive to emulate those wise ladies. Be prepared, as the Boy Scouts say. Constance vigilance, as Mad-Eye Moody states).
We also talked about the evil servant (how people can get complacent and assume that they'll have tons of time LATER to get everything in order ... but that's not so, since as we also discussed ...), how, since no one knows the day and time that Jesus is coming again, it will come as a thief in the night.

So, like it was stated, we need to be working to be ready NOW. This way, we have good habits and will find it easier to make righteous decisions.

And, if we're being righteous, we have no need to fear. We'll have peace and protection. We'll even have JOY ... even if the world's in even MORE of a mess than it is right now.

Most of the big events that need to be fulfilled before the Messiah comes again HAVE been fulfilled. There are still some things that we're working on (like taking the gospel to the WHOLE world. We're getting closer and closer) ... but ... well, we all might live to see that day.

And it will be a great time ... if we're righteous, anyways. If we're being naughty, it's not going to be so fun. And I'd really like you to have fun (I want to be able to have fun, too), so we all should work at making sure we're prepared (and you have FULL permission to call me to task if you see me slipping! I mean it!).

If you haven't already (since I'm SURE that you're reading all the references in the lesson plans ;D), you should totally read Dallin H. Oaks talk, "Preparation for the Second Coming."
It's a good one ... as are all the references that are given in the lesson plans. But you know what I mean.

Since one of the lessons from the last could weeks WAS about testimonies, I feel that I should share mine with you. It's not the most eloquent or anything ... but it's mine.

I know that we have a living Heavenly Father who loves us. He loves us enough to send his Only Begotten Son as a sacrifice so that we have the ability to have the fulness of the gospel here on the earth, we can repent and live with our Heavenly Parents, and so we all will be resurrected.

I know that God is a god of love. He loves all of us. He wants all of us to choose to return to live with Him, to be able to reach our full potential as sons and daughters of God. He also loves us enough to allow us the freedom to make our own choices ... choices which often hurt ourselves and others.

I know that we have the Atonement of Christ to allow things to be made right again. When we accept it and exercise faith in it, ... well, it will fix things. It will heal our hearts and minds. It will help us to forgive people, even ourselves. When we make full use of the Atonement, we are better able to be filled with charity towards everyone around us. We will be better able to do all the things that Heavenly Father has asked of us. We will be able to be better than we were.

I know that we have been blessed to have prophets and apostles. I love the fact that Heavenly Father loves us enough to do all He can to give us the knowledge that we need (while not compelling us ... since that's not how He works) to be able to make the choices that will bring us closer to Him and to be comfortable in His presence again.

I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who helped to usher in the last dispensation and bring the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. There is no way that he could have done even half of what he accomplished on his own. Therefore, I KNOW that he was inspired and strengthened by the Lord to do all that he did.

I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. I'm grateful for the wise counsel from him and our other leaders. I am comforted when I listen to and obey their counsel.

I know that I'm blessed because, even in the periods of my life when not everything was fun or easy, the gospel is the one thing that has always made sense.

I'm grateful for the fulness of the gospel that allows families to be together forever. I love my family. The idea of being without them frightens and saddens me. So I'm very thankful that I've been blessed with the opportunities that I've had to be sealed to them  ... and to KNOW that, as long as I keep the covenants that I've made with the Lord in His holy temples, I will have them. Forever. And everything will work out. Maybe not always how I'd like it to happen ... but, then again, I don't know everything. So I'm grateful that my Heavenly Father DOES.

I love you guys. You've been a wonderful class. I'm grateful that I've been blessed with the opportunity to get to know you and to love you. I hope that you KNOW that you're loved. Not just by me, of course ... but that there are lots of people who love you. Our leaders are praying for you, you know. We KNOW that you are capable of wonderful things. And I look forward to being led by you.
Heavenly Father and Mother and Jesus love you. You have ancestors and posterity who are all rooting for you. I want you to be aware of that.

And I say these things in the name of our Lord and Savior, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

... And, if you ever need someone to talk to or a hug or anything, just come find me. Because I love you all. And I want you to succeed. Because you're all awesome.
I know that the teenage and early adult years aren't always easy ... that's why I'm always after you to make sure that you are developing those good habits NOW (as opposed to Sister Cox, with the less-effective example), so that things will be better asap.

I want you to know that you're awesome. Really.

Love,
     Sister Cox

Now, go out and make awesome decisions. You're our future leaders. And I take comfort and joy in that thought. ^_^