Showing posts with label guide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guide. Show all posts

Monday, August 11, 2014

Some Examples on Gifts of the Holy Ghost

           Lola gave the lesson yesterday on the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She asked for participation – though the first example that came to mind took more time to explain than I thought was appropriate.  As I listened to her lesson, I came up with a few examples from my own life.

         The first example I thought of was one of Warning  
         I was 17 and hadn’t had my driver’s license for long.  I hadn’t learned to drive a stick and thus drove the family station wagon (since it was automatic).

         My brother, Patrick, and I both worked at Snelgroves Ice Cream Store – approximately a 15 minute drive from where we lived.
I had asked Patrick if he would move the Honda, which was behind.  Patrick was only 15, but he had a lot more experience with the cars than I did.  He told me that if I wanted to drive the Honda to work, he would work the stick for me and tell me when to clutch.  I thought it would be good experience and decided to take him up on that.

         We were less than 2 blocks from Snelgroves when I tried to slow down using the brake, but was stepping on the clutch and not slowing down.  We rounded a corner going about 35 mph and I veered from the right lane into the left lane, went over a curb and came only a few feet short of hitting the store that sold organs. 

         Patrick’s eyes bugged out of his head, but he never said anything.  I have always admired him for that.  We were both somewhat shaken when we got to work.  I was determined NOT to drive home. 

         At that time the store closed its doors at 10:00 or 11:00.  Clean-up took a couple of hours – depending on what job task we were given.  That particular night we didn’t get out until well after 1:00.  The next day was Sunday.  Church started at 8:00 a.m.

         I handed the keys to Patrick and said, “If you want to get home, you’ll have to drive because I’m not driving.  We’ll say a prayer first.”

         Patrick was nervous, as he knew what the consequences were involved if we were pulled over and he was found behind the wheel.  At the same time I think he may have had a secret desire to “test his wings” so to say. 

I swore him to secrecy that he was never to tell anyone about this until he was interviewed by the bishop for his mission.

         During Sacrament meeting, my mom turns to me and says, “Did Patrick drive the car home last night?”

         You think that would have surprised me, but I was actually quite offended that she would even think such a thing.

         “Why would you even ask me that?” I let her know that I was offended. 

         “I don’t know”

         She asked me two more times in the process of arguing with herself – or rather questioning the promptings of the Spirit.  It finally came out that “Yes – Patrick had driven the car.”

         I think that she was in greater shock than how I felt offended. 

         It turned out that I had broken the rims of the wheels – probably all four of them.  And if my dad had taken the Honda to work the next day, it may have landed him in an unnecessary accident. 

         Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had inadvertently asked for that blessing before Patrick and I had left the Snelgrove’s parking lot the night prior. God does answer prayers – often in ways you don’t expect.

         The next example that came to mind was a time when Sunny was preparing for a primary sharing time on the subject of the Holy Ghost and the gifts we can receive.

         She had pondered all month about her approach.  On Saturday night (12 or so hours before the sharing time message was to be shared) she had a dream about a video she really had seen in real life.  She felt that was the message she was to share.

         She had gone to the Church early enough to reserve the video.  However it couldn’t be found in that library, but Sunny knew she had seen it before – at a stake activity.  So the stake center library was called, but they didn’t have the video either.  Sunny was frantic.
         She went into the primary room and got on her knees and poured her heart out as the tears fell.

         Meanwhile, a sister (I’ll call her Pat) who was in her same stake, was walking passed the Church when she felt a prompting to go inside and find the primary room.  She thought it strange as the ward she attended did not even meet in that particular building.  Fortunately she followed the prompting and went inside.

         She found Sunny in the primary room crying and asked if she could help.  Sunny blubbered her thoughts and described the video in detail. 

         Pat knew what video Sunny was talking about.  It was one that Pat had in her personal collection.  She went home to get the video for Sunny to share with her primary children.  But it wasn’t so much the video that Sunny had to share – it was more to relate the experience she had had in obtaining it.

         Translation          One of the first primary baptisms I had attended in this stake was one conducted by the Spanish ward – which then was just a branch.

         The first speaker gave a talk on baptism.  She spoke in English, but there was a brother there who translated her words into Spanish (as there was a youth from the Spanish ward being baptized that day) The second speaker spoke in Spanish about the gifts of the Holy Ghost and the same brother translated in English.

         The English Speaker paused after every sentence or two to allow the brother to translate, but the Spanish speaker didn’t seem to allow much for translation. 
         I remember one part in particular as she was rattling on, I thought, “Give that poor man the opportunity to translate.”

         And when he got up (I don’t remember the exact quote) he said that one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost is the power to translate.  Let me demonstrate as I finish my talk and let Bro. Hill translate what I say.  But he will be translating by the Spirit  . . . “

         Wow!  That demonstration was so powerful.  I really did understand the message that was brought by the Spirit.

         At the time Jenna was baptized, it was also the Spanish ward that was conducting.  Each speaker had brought his/her own translator.  The second translator seemed to miss much in translation.  But oh, you could so feel the speaker’s spirit, and that was more powerful than any words that were spoken.

         As Lola concluded her lesson, she focused on the Holy Ghost acting as a comforter. I know I have more recent experiences, but this is the one that pressed most on my mind.

         I was working for a privately owned business in which communication was just not that great.  Only five people were involved.  The owner (Thomas) his wife (Penny) her mother (who was co-owner) Charity (my co-worker) and me.
In frustration, Charity and I decided to put in our notice.  Penny seemed quite understanding about it, but Tom did not seem so understanding.  Charity and I were both in tears when her mom came to pick her up. 

It sounds unprofessional that Charity’s mom was acting as the mediator on our behalf – but I know that if Tom didn’t understand us when we were speaking clearly, there was no way he was going to understand our blubbering noises.

My mom called me just as we were wrapping things up.  She was wondering why I hadn’t gone to a tithing settlement I had signed up for.  In all that had happened, I had forgotten, but was told I could drive to the church to meet with the bishop as soon as I was done.

At the conclusion of my tithing settlement, my bishop asked if there was anything that I needed.  Still in tears and upset with the prior situation, I asked if I could have a blessing and explained a bit about the events that had taken place. 

At that point I didn’t care if I still had a job or not, I just wanted to feel some peace.  And I did.  Immediately.  It was awesome.

For me it is easier to write about the past than to post something I consider sacred right now.  Perhaps I will share more at a later time.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Taking Comfort in His Tender Mercies

There are some people who are so gifted in being in tune and teaching by the Spirit that the words they use just seem to flow so eloquently through their mouths and everything they say is so profound.  And you know that you can really learn from what is being taught.  That is how it is with my sister Sunny.  There are also several leaders in our ward that have that gift.

I know that there are a few posts in which I mention that I co-teach the youth Sunday school class.  There is no longer a manual provided.  Leaders and instructors are given general themes and guide lines of what is to be taught each month.  This is to help us to get in tune and teach by the Spirit – though I haven’t always felt that I have been prepared enough to teach by the spirit. 

I think I have attended all but two classes since I accepted my calling.  I don’t always teach, but choose to sit in on the days that Kelly teaches. Kelly does not attend each week and so sometimes we end up teaching from the same exact references. 

The leaders of the young men have chosen to sit in on the Sunday school lessons along with their youth – which I do truly appreciate as they both seem to invite the Spirit as they speak.
Most of the youth are very quiet and, though they appear to be listening, don’t participate a whole lot.

Before I gave my lesson last week I typed up my lesson and cut out parts to pass to the youth and would ask them to read or share his or her own example.  The lesson was on tender mercies, and I had used some examples out of two of Elder David Bednar’s talks and some from Corey’s blog (in case I needed more with my quiet class)

         The way I had tried to involve my class last week didn’t fly really well and I really didn’t feel the Spirit as I have with previous lessons.  I obviously had not been directed by the Spirit to hand out lesson parts to get my youth to participate. Kelly had told me that she’d be out of town and so was not there when I presented my lesson.

Randy said that he’d be giving a talk and invited me to come to his ward. Turns out our meetings are at the exact same time. I didn’t realize it was ward conference or I may have found a way to attend his church in Magna.  During my lifetime I have realized that ward conferences are either really very good or else I leave church very unfulfilled.  Fortunately most of it was positive for me.

Since I have been teaching in this ward, the most people we’ve ever had attend a youth class has been eight.  But today we had nine leaders (most visitors from the stake) and five youth squashed into our tiny room.  I was so grateful that it was Kelly’s turn to give the lesson. Turned out to be the same one I had delivered last week.  Same references and stories from Elder Bednar.  But with an added touch of stake leaders making comments in addition.

After the young men excused themselves and Kelly finished up the lesson, I used an example I had used last week (as only one youth remained that had heard it last week) I also realized that I’m not as out of touch with the Spirit as I think I am – not if Kelly and I keep landing on the same page of example.  So at the end of this particular lesson, I felt his tender mercy for myself.  And I am grateful to understand that now.

In Sacrament meeting the speakers are assigned the same topic throughout the month.  Our bishop went first and then there was a beautiful musical number – a medley of “Come Follow Me” and “Lord, I Would Follow Thee” played on violin.  It was awesome.  Musical numbers often are.

The second counselor in the stake presidency (who also happens to be a member of our ward) stood up and stated how he doesn’t like to follow the musical number.  I can so relate to that.  

I enjoyed his talk very much.  He had prepared two talks – one on the assigned topic of the month but chose to give the other as to not repeat anything.  Right away he had my attention.  And as Jenna spent the night with Randy and attended his ward this morning, I was actually able to listen to his wonderful talk.

Five things stood out as he began his talk:

1              “Don’t miss the boat!”

He said the boat is the ward thus
2              “We are all in the same boat!”
3              “Noah built the ark before it started raining.”

4              “We all need to work at our own pace.”
5              “The ark was built by armatures, the Titanic was built by professionals.

Food for thought.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Postcomment for Jake Abhau: - A Mormon Dad of a Gay Teen

While I was reading  this post, my mind flooded with ideas for a comment I might leave – but there were too many thoughts racing through my mind that my fingers couldn’t keep up with what I thought I wanted to say – so while trying to condense my comment (so that it did not come out to be longer than the Jake’s post) I made errors with spelling and smooth transitions.  My comment sounded disjointed and stupid – to me anyway. 

Perhaps not all of it sounded unpolished and sloppy.  My thoughts were flying faster than I could get the words out. When I reread through the first comment that I left, I realize I should have just stopped at the second paragraph. I copied the first two paragraphs and deleted my original comment and tried again – with just the two paragraphs and a link for my brother’s blog. I’d like to share my ideas and hope that they are valid and helpful.  But I don’t want to sound preachy.

Some of the thoughts that went through my mind were words I had already written in such posts found here, here and here among several others.  I had also thought about the lesson given in Relief Society, several of Corey’s posts, and a talk I had given in Sacrament meeting.

The lesson in Relief Society was chapter 15 of Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow in which we learn that sometimes things don’t go as we had planned but that we need to make the best of it and realize that perhaps that was part of the plan all along – that Pres. Snow was destined to be in Malta rather than India, that we ourselves may have another mission that doesn’t seem compatible with what we’ve been taught all of our lives.

Corey had been taught to go on a mission, get married in the temple, honor his priesthood, etc. etc.  But that isn’t the path he chose for himself – nevertheless believed it was expected.  And then God allowed for Corey and Joh to cross paths.  Corey is now on a mission through his blog.  He has a strong testimony of the Church gospel.  But he also values gay awareness. 

My belief is that his calling right now is to assist in bridging that gap between the LDS Church and the LGBT community.  But his records had to be removed from the Church in order to get the following that he did (and continues to get) And I think he has done an amazing job – though that was not his intent.  Corey is a happy and complete person – neither of which existed before he came out – before he found Joh.

I gave a talk in Church.  The subject I had been given was on forgiveness.  I didn’t want to come right out and say, “Corey, I’ve been assigned a talk.  Allow me to be your proxy; you write the talk and I will give it.” Though that is what I wanted to do.  I emailed the three paragraphs which I had been given and told him that I needed to make a talk out of it and was looking for his ideas – which he shared.  But not a complete talk’s worth.

Ironically about half of my talk came from some of the posts that he had created about a friend who had been sent to prison.  So unbeknownst to him, I actually did make most of it his talk rather than my own.  Just because he’s been excommunicated doesn’t mean his relationship with God is over.  Quite the contrary.  It has gotten stronger.

We don’t always understand why we’ve been given certain trials.  We don’t often understand why God would give a commandment (“Thou shalt not kill” for example) that we accept and imbed into our brains and strongly agree with and then tells someone (Nephi, for example) “Kill Laban” and we’re like “What?”

There are some people who I believe have been chosen – yes “chosen” to marry outside of their faith or not serve a mission or leave the Church to build strength in either their own character or become an example for others to follow.  I truly believe that. 

I do have a testimony of this church gospel.  I do.  But I have strayed from the strict teachings I grew up with and have ventured outside the box into a world where I want to understand others – what their viewpoints are.  And I’m seeing the flaws of men – mankind who are church goers – some are Pharisees, some try their hardest to fit into the perfect Mormon mold, and others explore.  There are some mighty strong members who have strayed and returned – and then there are others (like my brother) who remain strong but cannot return – at least for the time being.

I think so many of us feel discrimination at one time or another.  And yet Jesus did not or does not discriminate.  So why is it we may feel that when we are attending His Church?  Because there is still leadership run by imperfect men.  None of us is perfect.  We're not expected to be perfect in this earth life - just to stay on the path that will lead to perfection. God isn't going to discriminate because Jordan is gay - just as he will not discriminate against my bother. It's his mission. You can see it in his blog.

I hope that Jake does not give up on the Church.  But I do understand where he is coming from.  The Church teaches values.  It builds foundation. But it is hard to live the concept of “Families are Forever” and then have imperfect leaders tell us that unless we repent of the unrepentable that we can’t be together forever.  We have to have hope and faith and realize that God’s love and perfection is so much mightier than any man’s.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Power of Prayer

          Christmas is the season for miracles.  But miracles happen everyday.  Not just at Christmas time.   

          Often my mom and I would drive to Bakersfield to see my brother and watch him perform in whatever current play he was in.

          One February when we happened to be on our way down, it was not the greatest of weather.  Snowing hard.  Blizzard almost.  It was ugly.

          We had stopped off in Nephi to get something to eat.  Mom asked if we should check into a hotel and continue our journey the next day.  I left it totally up to her – for I was for getting off the freeway two exits passed our home town – which is less than ten miles.  I definetly wouldn’t be driving in that kind of weather.  But mom opted to go on.

          Going through the canyon was worse part of our journey. We probably should have gotten a room – but than I wouldn’t have this incredible experience to share:

          The snow was falling so hard and it was dark outside and the headlights seemed to make this small star-shaped outline and was our only window to see not too far ahead.  Sometimes we didn’t even know if we were actually on the road or not.

Every once in a while a car would pass us.  Mom would speed up in order to follow the lights from the other car.  But then we’d have to slow down again.  If an animal ran out into the road, we would not see it.  Besides we couldn’t do over seventy in that particular car as it would sound as though it would fall apart.

 At least three cars had passed us and mom would speed up and then slow down again as we watched them disappear.  They were going too fast.  How could anybody possibly drive that fast in that kind of weather?  It was as though we were the only car being snowed upon.

          And then out of nowhere a truck appeared.  The driver guided us through the canyon.  We followed the lights until we were in the clear – and the truck was gone.  Vanished – like it had been beamed into the cold wet sky. 

          The truck was a miracle – whether real or imaginary – it had been a blessing.  An answer to thousands of prayers that were given in our behalf.

Monday, November 19, 2012

“Brave” and the Liahona

         Roland and I took mom to the movies after our Saturday Thanksgiving dinner.  We chose “Brave” because it was the shortest wait.  Mom enjoyed it which in itself made it worth it.   I felt intrigued by the parallels that seemed unfold – for me anyway.

          Merida is typical of many teens – many who have gone beyond teen hood but still place more faith in self than  a higher being.

          Merida’s mother attempts to prepare Merida for the role of princess and what expectations are included and what the future holds – none of which fit into Merida’s own plans of “freedom” of expressing herself, of taking on adventures without the hassles of trying to please everyone by fulfilling a role that is clearly NOT the fate she would choose for herself.

          The story incorporates the legend ofthe wisp

          “The will o' the wisp definition if we could actually define it would go something like this: a supernatural luminescent, flickering or dancing white to blue light occasionally seen over bodies of water, in meadows, and in forests . . . There has been a lot of theories as to what the will o' the wisp meaning or message really is. As previously mentioned, many people in Scotland, Ireland, and England thought that the will o' the wisp was actually lights emanating from fairies.” -   It is the “wisp” that Merida follows with the belief that it will change her fate.

          When she meets a witch who agrees to give her a spell, she is guaranteed that her fate will indeed be changed. Right away I figured that her fate would indeed be changed – but not in the way Merida had hoped or expected.

          Often we think that we want our lives to go a certain way – or perhaps it is expected of some of us to follow in the footsteps of the family business or practice.  Perhaps it’s expected of some to make the most of his or her education.  And perhaps there are many who feel that restrictions have been placed upon them and that freedoms have been taken away.  We seek a path that is pleasing to us and follow our hearts or the legendary “wisps” or perhaps we turn to a more powerful source.  Perhaps we acknowledge deity and ask for assistance to take us down the road of our desires.

          Like the witch in “Brave” our Father does provide us with assistance, often sending us tools that we may “grow” our own blessings.  But often we don’t realize that what has been “planted” is not at all what we had asked for – or thought we had asked for rather.  Often we are given a different path, or another direction and must go with it in faith and do our best to understand why we have been placed in a certain position, when really, that is not we asked for at all.  Or did we?

          The following day I was to give the lesson in our youth class.  I had read the lesson, tried pondering it, tried studying, but it just wasn’t coming together for me.  It’s not that my understanding of the material was limited (as is often the case) but just seemed that it would be majorly short if I didn’t get the participation that I needed.

          I may have mentioned it before – only I can’t find where – we have only one youth.  In addition there is the other class instructor and two of the young men instructors (one who is married to the instructor that I alternate lessons with) and a brother who would like lessons as they are simplified to the youth.

          I wasn’t well prepared.  The lesson itself was on the name of the church (3 Nephi 27), the desires of the twelve disciples (3 Nephi 28), and the pride cycle (4 Nephi).  I can’t remember why Bro. Basic brought up the Liahona  – but Jack held up his Ipad and said that it was the Liahona.  And the Young Men leaders ran with it.

Jed compared it to the compass used by Lehi and his family and pointed out that the Ipad or smart phone can be used for direction just as a compass.  We can choose to follow in faith or we can be misguided by our own weakness or pride.  We can find tools that will help us on the path to eternal life or we can find paths that may lead us to destruction.  I had never thought of that before.  I thought it was a cool analogy.

I feel quite blessed to be serving a calling in which I am learning more from the class members than I imagine they can be learning from me.  I feel quite blessed with the class participation and the profound thoughts that help me simplify and better understand things.

I feel blessed too to view things in a way that many people may not.  Such as finding God’s message hidden in a Disney/Pixar animation. That was definitely not intended.

I’m grateful for analogies and parables and those who are gifted with words to speak to the intelligent but also explain things on a “Dick and Jane level that I too may understand.

I’m grateful there are those who can translate Isaiah.  I still don’t grasp all of it.  There are some who have viewed me as one who is knowledgeable in the scriptures.  There is a lot that I do understand.  But there is even more that I don’t.

I’m grateful that we have wisps and Liahona’s in our lives to guide us if we will but have the faith to follow.   I'm grateful that there is a force greater than ourselves who really does know best.

Monday, September 3, 2012

There Must Be Uniformity at the Pulpit


Shortly after Roland was called to the bishopric, he was asked to summarize a talk that had been given about the conformity of testimonies and submit it to the monthly newsletter – which actually didn’t exist before this particular bishopric. 

Now there are a few people in the ward who tend to drone on and on until the gratitude that is felt in their hearts turns into penetrating boredom on the part of the audience.  Every ward has them.  They start off by expressing what it is that brought them to the podium – and then they take us on a stroll down memory lane, or into their health, or into their entire week.  Gradually the testimony gets lost in their words.  And all eyes turn to the clock and you can almost hear a chorus of silent groans.

Sometimes there is a dead silence and often times the droner just feels it’s his (or her) duty to fill the silence while the audience wonders which is worse: the silence or the droning on and on.

Today it was announced in each first meeting (primary, Relief Society and Priesthood) that if one spends more than three minutes at the pulpit than it is no longer testimony.  And we are reintroduced to five subjects that should be topic of one’s testimony.

I get it to a certain degree – the timing thing.  Sadly, it doesn’t seem to register with the ones who are guilty of running off the mouth.  And though I do have a testimony of the five given subjects, I don’t always feel inspired to share – especially because it now seems so conforming.  I like to hear individual experiences and a brief history of the belief – but not by just one individual for the whole entire meeting.

Sweet Jeff got up to bear his testimony.  He’d written it down so that he wouldn’t stumble.  And yet he did.  He is a member of the special Olympics.  They treat him like he matters, but not all people do.

Our ward mission leader quickly followed him up to the stand, and stood by his side.  The words he used were non-conforming and perhaps out of line with what a true testimony is – but it was real.  It was genuine.  And as he teared up with his plea for prayer support, the ward mission leader stepped closer to the mike and finished reading what Jeff had written.

Before Corey had even decided to go on a mission, my dad had had a series of strokes.  His brain wasn’t able to communicate to his muscles quickly enough to have them do what and when he wanted. 

He had a one or two minute talk, but it had taken him an entire minute just to get out the first sentence.  Corey lovingly put his arms around dad and asked him if he (my dad) would like  Corey to finish reading it.  That moment between Jeff and our ward mission leader triggered those memories.  I started bawling.  But it was actually a good memory – for there had been so much gratitude on my dad’s part – it shined as he told Corey “thank you.”  And I wasn’t the only one crying.  Those who didn’t cry (if any) were definitely in the minority.

Shortly after Jeff sat down, a couple came to the stand.  Roland and I often refer to them as Frank and Marie Baronethough he is certainly way more humble than Frank could even dream of.  It’s just the constant bickering they seem to do with one another.  They genuinely do love one another.  And perhaps their arguments are just playful on their part (well at least on his) it still doesn’t seem in harmony with a happy marriage.

He got it.  His testimony was short, sweet, covered at least three of the subjects.  He was very humble.  His testimony was genuine.  It was nice.

His wife didn’t drone on as much as usual – but she did drone.  Time to sit down, Marie.  Oh, I would not want the bishop’s job for anything.

I enjoy watching the second counselor.  His expressions often mirror my own thoughts.  He looked like he was trying to keep from laughing while the bishop painfully checked the clock.  She finally sat down without his inviting her to do so.

Overall, it really was a nice meeting.  Not a lot of conformity.  I must say I liked that as well.  I realize that I do not go to meetings to be entertained.  But the heart gives me more focus than guidelines do – though I really do understand their purpose.  I just think it’s sad that so many of us have to be asked to conform because there are individuals that just don’t get it – even with the guidelines.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Boundaries and Languages of the LDS Church

          The words ward and stake refer to the geographical boundaries of those who belong to the LDS Church.  A certain number of members are assigned to a certain building.

          First off there is a chain of command.  Perhaps it might be easier to an individual to compare the chain of authority (but not the religion itself) to a business or military leadership, let’s say.

          The CEO or President does not show up in every store, in every franchise, in every company that she or he has built.  They hire staff who they hopefully communicate to.  They in turn hold meetings at their assigned areas and let their people know what the CEO expects. 
          The corporate moves from states to cities – with even more employees representing the different locations within the surrounding areas.  This is how the chain of command operates.  This is how the CEO communicates to his fellow worker.

          In the LDS Church there is a Prophet who is referred as President of the Church.  He in turn has counselors.  They preside over what is known as the twelve apostles who in turn preside over the Quorum of 70’s.

          Each member of the 70 is assigned to preside over certain regions.  A region is a geographical boundary which includes several stakes.  Each stake is divided into wards and branches (a branch includes a much smaller membership than does a ward) who in turn each have a bishop (or branch president) and counselors.  And the chain of command goes through each region, each stake, each ward, etc. The boundaries are included in the Church organization.

          Recently, when we had visited with Roland’s family, I was trying to explain this to one of my sisters-in-law.  Our youngest son, Randy, was also having a similar conversation with another family member.

          In the past I had typed up the address of where we were staying to find the address of a nearby Church – and usually had a choice of locations (as the site brought up at least three surrounding in the area) but this year it gave only one.  I did not question it until we were driving there.  I don’t remember it having been such a long drive the last time we were there.  We had gone to another building in the years prior. But after the meeting started, I realized that it was a meeting where we needed to be.

          The first speaker warned the congregation that even though LDS language is familiar to its members, for many outside of the Church some of our words are a bit foreign (just as most military terms are to me; Tony can use initials and military terms when speaking to Roland and he will understand them, but I will not)

          We refer to the youth Sunday school as “Primary”.  Primary means first in sequence, most important, basic, original and relating to early education.  All of these definitions fit what primary is in the LDS Church.  Our youth are important.  They learn the basics of the gospel.  They have activities in primary.  They sing songs.  It’s an introduction designed for children.  It is inviting to most children, really.

          The teenage group is referred to as Young Men/Young Women.  Back in my day it was referred to as MIA:  Mutual Improvement Association.  (though there is the joke of many youth who seem to be missing in action) It is a program designed to help the youth to stay on course and create goals and achieve them. 

          The programs purpose is to help build self-esteem and awareness and offers guidelines on how to conduct one’s self and how to face daily living.  There are youth activities during the week in addition to the lessons given on Sundays.

          The Relief Society: the oldest and largest women’s organization in this or any other dispensation.  It teaches strength and gives counsel on rearing one’s family, on loving ourselves, on loving one another, on teaching, on learning, and just on rejoicing in being a daughter of God.

          Within the Relief Society is the visiting teaching program.  This program was designed to strengthen the welfare of each sister.  Several sisters will be assigned to visit a certain amount of sisters and/or families in the ward once a month – just to see how they are doing, to report back any concerns, to stay in touch with those who may not be coming to Church for whatever reason.

          There is a lot more to mormonology.  This post doesn’t even begin to touch the surface.  But perhaps I’ve accomplished a few things with a few readers.  Hopefully anyway.