Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Are they HEARING what you are TEACHING?

[okay, so this one is sort of random... because I was thinking of my sweet little goat, Josie.]

Our youth need less criticism and more models to follow. You advisers to the Aaronic Priesthood quorums are teachers and models for the young men. Do you know the gospel? Have you prepared the lesson? Do you know each boy and prayerfully determine how you might reach his mind, his heart, and help fashion his future?

Remember, it isn’t sufficient to assume that when you teach, the boy is listening to what you say. Let me illustrate:

In what we call the west boardroom of the Church Administration Building, there hangs a lovely painting rendered by the artist Harry Anderson. The painting depicts Jesus sitting on a small stone wall with numerous children gathered around, knowing they are the object of His love. Each time I gaze at that painting, I think of the passage of scripture, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”( Mark 10:14.)

On one occasion, I had given a priesthood blessing in that room to a small lad who was soon to undergo major surgery. I directed his attention and that of his parents to the painting of Jesus and the children. I then made a few remarks concerning the Savior and His never-failing love. I asked the boy if he had any questions. “Yes,” he replied seriously. “Brother Monson, how does a boy go about getting a little goat and a leash for it like that one in the painting?”

~Thomas S. Monson, “Today Determines Tomorrow,” Ensign, Nov 1998, 48

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sacredness of the Prophet's Teachings

[Today and tomorrow is the semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is a time to sit at the feet of the Lord's prophets. If you want to hear what they have to say, even right online, go ahead right here.

In that light...]

"You might ask yourself, 'Do I see the calling of the prophets and apostles as sacred? Do I treat their counsel seriously, or is it a light thing with me?' President Gordon B. Hinckley, for instance, has counseled us to pursue education and vocational training; to avoid pornography as a plague; to respect women; to eliminate consumer debt; to be grateful, smart, clean, true, humble, and prayerful; and to do our best, our very best.

"Do your actions show that you want to know and do what he teaches? Do you actively study his words and the statements of the Brethren? Is this something you hunger and thirst for? If so, you have a sense of the sacredness of the calling of prophets as the witnesses and messengers of the Son of God."

D. Todd Christofferson, "A Sense of the Sacred," CES fireside for young adults, Nov. 7, 2004