Friday, December 13, 2013

Day 5 (14 day/week study for conversion) TFOT Handout

Day 5 - The Fruits of Your Labors
·         Do not be discouraged. Be longsuffering, joyous and of good cheer.
·         Do I have the spirit of love, joy, peace and longsuffering? They shall know you by your desires and works.
·         Alma 36:25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors

He has invited and commanded us to participate in His work to lift up those in need. We make a covenant to do that in the waters of baptism and in the holy temples of God. We renew the covenant on Sundays when we partake of the sacrament.
My purpose today is to describe some of the opportunities He has provided for us to help others in need. I cannot speak of them all in our brief time together. My hope is to renew and strengthen your commitment to act.
There is a hymn about the Lord’s invitation to this work that I have sung since I was a little boy. In my childhood I paid more attention to the happy tune than to the power of the words. I pray that you will feel the lyrics in your hearts today. Let’s listen to the words again:
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.

The Lord regularly sends wake-up calls to all of us. Sometimes it may be a sudden feeling of sympathy for someone in need. A father may have felt it when he saw a child fall and scrape a knee. A son or a daughter may have felt sympathy for someone who seemed sad or afraid at school. President Marion G. Romney said of welfare work, “You cannot give yourself poor in this work.” And then he quoted his mission president, Melvin J. Ballard, this way: “A person cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.”  I have found that to be true in my life. When I am generous to Heavenly Father’s children in need, He is generous to me.
I know that God the Father lives and hears our prayers. I know that Jesus is the Christ. You and those you serve can be purified and strengthened by serving Him and keeping His commandments. You can know as I know, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that Joseph Smith was God’s prophet to restore the true and living Church, which this is. I testify that President Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet of God. He is a great example of what the Lord did: going about doing good. I pray that we may seize our opportunities to “lift up the hands [that] hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” (Opportunities to do good, Pres. Henry B. Eyring, April 2011 Conference)

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