Friday, January 16, 2015

Come Unto Me - January (The Godhead) - How can I know my Heavenly Father




This week's lesson came together a bit more naturally and was well received and participated in by the girls.  I think learning to teach in a more question/discussion led manner leads to them bringing up relate-able things and allow more conversation.  I'm learning :)

handout:
prayer rock (fabric covered) with THIS handout

the Three talks suggested from Come Follow Me curriculum:
Richard G. Scott, “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2007, 8–11
Robert D. Hales, “Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 29–32
Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Grandeur of God,” Ensign or Liahona,Nov. 2003, 70–73

My goal this year is to more fluently pull in personal progress scripture reading/experiences into these lessons so that the girls can see that personal progress goes along with all the other life stuff and doesn't have to be a separate project or occasion every time.  So for this lesson I also borrowed info from PP Faith #1 so that we could sign it off!

We started the lesson talking about how we get around.   The girls quickly caught on and listed tools like GPS on their phone, maps, oral directions given by friends or family, etc.  Then I asked if any of these things would help their communication with their Heavenly Father?  We then discussed the similar tools like the Holy Ghost, Words of the Prophets and general authorities, and from the scriptures themselves:

1 John 2:3–5 by keeping commandments, not telling lies
            4:7–8 by loving one another
Enos 1:1–7 by prayer, repentance
Mosiah 4:9–12 by believing in Him, repentance
              5:13 by keeping the intents of our thoughts and heart pure
D&C 88:63–65 by prayer, specifically seeking with intent
          93:1 by repentance, obedience, keeping commandments

Not only can they use these resources to get to where they need to go, but in planning the journey and in communicating with Him often.

In an earlier week in YW one of our girls mentioned that she didn't know how he knew us individually since there were so many people so we had our Bishop come in and talk about his daughter who is currently on her mission in Taiwan.  He shared how he felt as a Dad and things that he loves and admires about her and his feelings toward her having a successful life.  and then He also bore testimony that in the same way he feels for his daughter, our Heavenly Father feels the same for us.  And just like he looks forward to those weekly emails from her to connect with her - our Heavenly Father ALSO wants to hear from us as often as possible.

This was an easy segueway into implementing the ways of communicating our love and respect that we had identified earlier to our Heavenly Father, and then redirecting back to the easiest way to communicate with Him - prayer.

We read the following to understand that we have to have faith when we pray:

Hebrews 11  having faith lets us understand word and work of God, it can change things, bring miracles
Alma 32:17–43 faith isn't proved through signs, but a hope for things which are not seen, but true.  Just like our learning comes precept upon precept, so does our faith.
Ether 12:6–22  examples of people who had faith and the outcome
Joseph Smith—History 1:11–20. Joseph Smith's experience after reading the scripture "if any of you lack wisdom..." (James 1:5)

and we briefly talked about how sometimes it is hard to keep believing when things around us seem to bring up questions - and I shared Pres. Uchtdorf's conference message from Oct. 2013 -

"It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true.


Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.8 We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."
and we discussed that prayer is a useful tool in taking our questions directly to our Heavenly Father so He can impress upon us personally if things are true or not.

CHALLENGE:
In order to reinforce the Personal Progress part of this, I challenged the girls to say their own daily prayers for 7 days.
(after note:  We have two Sundays between this lesson and the next time I teach our class, so I took a moment this past week and did a quick check and re-motivated them to "earn" their reward and get this signed off when we returned to class!)

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