Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Relief Society

Ever wondered what relief society is?  Well its the one hour (of the 3 we are at church) where we meet as just women and really I love it.  Ok I lied. That is relief society meeting. BEING in relief society means you can serve anywhere in the church and it is the largest women's organization in the worrrrld!!!!!! It's motto is charity never faitheth.

Lindsey and I were just talking about how in your career you go to trainings and continuating education and that's what relief society feels like for me. On womanhood. And all the aspects related to but most importantly connected to God. And how to improve that relationship with Him . Literally I could probably go on and on about relief society and what it encompasses but this post is not about that. It's about teaching

 I think I'm finally over my fear of teaching and it happened when I just decided to embrace who I am and not try and teach like other people. Don't get me wrong I still get nerves in the beginning though.

I type up all the notes every week for the lesson and then we post them on Facebook and email them out so typed up mine too.  I will take out the comments of other people for their privacy but wanted to put it up here because I LOVED THIS LESSON.  Relief Society has taught me so much and I love studying the prophet.  President Howard W Hunter was so cool!  Wise, wise man.  Very inspired and speaks very direct like I like.

Guess what else?  Just had a really successful PTA meeting that I was really nervous about.  Why was it so good?  Well I decided to just run it like Relief Society!  so I brought food and set a pretty table and brought tablecloth and had it all organized with signups.  Helped so much and wow feel like I've really been prepared to do this (cause it feels a bit daunting being pta prez sometimes).  We can do hard things!

Okay so here are the notes.  (if it seems choppy its probably where I took out someones comments ;)

I  taught lesson #3 “Adversity: Part of God’s Plan for our eteral possession” in the President Howard W Hunter manual Yes these notes are long so if you get to the end you get a sugarfree mint ;) 
and after beating my head on the wall for a few minutes thinking of adversity I actually read through the whole lesson it quite wonderful really, President Hunters words have lots of meat to it!

What is adversity?  There are some words in the church that we don’t use in real life much and adversity is one of those words ;)  Adversity is misfortune, ill luck, trouble, difficulty, hardship, distress, disaster, suffering, affliction, sorrow, misery, tribulation, woe, pain, trauma, mishap, accident, upset, reverse, setback, crisis, catastrophe, tragedy, calamity, trial, cross, burden, blow…….are we done yet?  Probably not but that will do it for now.  Sounds like a party right? 

And just so we can get President Hunters perspective, what adversity did he suffer in his life? 

-His son died in infancy
-His wife had major health problems and had to be in a nursing home
-He was in a wheelchair himself as the prophet and had major circultion problems
-Lost his job and had to move in with his inlaws during the depression
-He couldn’t get baptized because his father said no

So during this lesson, he is surely speaking from a place of experience.  And yet here is what he says about it…which I thought was so inbelievable!

President Hunter said,”
“I have observed that life—every life—has a full share of ups and downs.  Indeed, we see many joys and sorrows in the world, many changed plans and new directions, many blessings that do not always look or feel like blessings, and much that humbles us and improves our patience and our faith.  We have all had those experences from time to time, and I supose we always will…
President Spencer W Kimball, who knew a good deal about suffering, disappointment, and circumstances beyond his control, once wrote:  ‘Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluing our greatest friends and benefactors.  Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self mastery.’”

Greatest friends and benefactors?  Really!!!? 

Has anyone else experienced this? 

(lots of good sharing right here, from their mother's death to a husband who had a stroke to a son who was diagnosed with autism to struggles in health and finances with strengthen their marriage)

Okay so then President Hunter talks about Christ’s visit to the pool of Betheseda (which painting is hung in the breezeway at church!) in John 5:2-9 where he asked the man “Will thou be made whole?”

We will have adversity, but Christ can make us whole even if our adversity is not removed from us.  I told about my rhuematoid arthristis that I got when I was 24 and have had many priesthood blessings regarding it. I still have it, but  I have been able to have the life I wanted in spite of it including having all my children.  (and then I whined about I did find out I need to eat healthier after some blood results but President Hunter says when one door closes another always opens! So bring on the salad!...and sugar free mints ) 

We watched a video from of this amazing woman who is paralyzed.  Does she seem like she has allowed Christ to make her whole? 

Here is the link

President Hunter also says this…

“We have every reason to be optimistic and confident even in times of difficulty.  There have always been some difficulties in mortal life, and there always will be.  But knowing what we know, and living as we are supposed to live, there really is no place, no excuse, for pessimism and despair. 
“In my lifetime I have seen two world wars, plus Korea, plus Vietnam and more.  I have worked my way through the Depression and managed to go to law school while starting a young family at the same time.  I have seen stock markets and world economics go crazy, and I have seen a few despots and tyrants go crazy, all of which caused quite a bit of trouble around the world in the process.  So I hope you won’t believe all the world’s difficulties have been wedged into your decade, or that things have never been worse than they are for you personally, or that they will never get better.  I reassure you that things have been worse and they will always get better.  They always do—especially when we live and love the gospel of Jesus Christ and give it a chance to flourish in our lives…”

But even with its blessings, President Hunter says obviously we do not seek out suffering and avoid it whenever we can. 

MATTHEW 11:28-30
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

What does it mean to take Christ’s yoke? 

To be like him!  

Okay, so then President Hunter kinda flips the focus of the lesson.  It was something I never thought about with adversity but President Hunter addresses FEAR!

“I want to stress that these feelings are not necessary for faithful Latter-day Saints, and they do not come from God.” 

What are some things we can fear besides ya know the normal spiders and earthquakes and such?  Trusting someone.  Trying new things.  Terrorism.  Making a goal.  Reaching out to someone.  Worry of our family

And in D & C 6:34 it says
Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. 

I loved this one because I want to be in his flock! 

President Hunter says if we are prepared ye shall not fear.  And he says if we can answer yes to these 3 questions than we can bid fear to depart our lives. 

1.    Are we prepared to surrender to God’s commandments?
2.    Are we prepared to achieve victory over our appetites? 
3.    Are we prepared to obey righteous law? 

He says, “Surely the degree of fear in our hearts may well be measured by our preparation to live righteously.”

And I believe we can even be sinning by holding onto that fear!

So then I busted out my nerf gun that said FEAR ON IT.  and someone read this quote …it was quite a culminating moment because it was her favorite quote from the lesson too!

“Fear which can come upon people in difficult days, is a principle weapon in the arsenal which Satan uses to make mankind unhappy.  He who fears loses strength for the combat of life in the fight against evil….

“A timid, fearing people cannot do their work well, and they cannot do God’s work at all.  The Latter-day Saints have a divinvely assigned mission to fulfill which simply must not be dissipated in fear and anxiety.”

Did you hear that?  Its Satans greatest weapon against us!  So do not let him win.  Rely on Christ!  Take up His yoke.  God wants us to be confident women.  That does not mean we have to have the same personalities.

And then we ended with another one of my favorite quotes from the lesson…

“Our detours and our disappointments are the straight and narrow path to Him.” President Hunter

Special thanks to the anonymous donor of the relief society chocolate this week.  She dropped it off at my door and swore Luke to secrecy   It was Sees J  Dark and milk chocolate.  I tossed it out to the ladies when they commented or read or answered a question (with the option of sugar free mints as well) was quite effective.  


Lindsey said...

Thank you for posting this!! I miss Relief Society b/c primary and I loved this. Do you care if i share in on FB?

Alvhild Evans said...

Great lesson! I really need to get over my fear of teaching. Teaching is the worst part of this calling for me. I think I'd rather go to 1000 meetings and make 1000 meals than teach. I never had this problem teaching young women's or primary. Give me your tips!

Brooke McCoy said...

Dude I'm just figuring it out at 36 I'm sure you will get it much sooner. But I felt the same

Nancy Jo said...

Loved this lesson! You are an excellent teacher!

Brooke McCoy said...

love you mom but totally wasn't me just a good lesson material :) i'm glad not to be crying afterwards lol