Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Women's Conference Notes

Last Saturday, I got to teach at our Stake Women's conference. It was an incredible experience -- mainly the preparing for the conference, but also the teaching. Here is a very jagged outline of my lesson. You'll have to insert dialog and commentary as you see fit. My topic was "Who are you little one? And what will you become through the Atonement of Jesus Christ?" I took about 3 minutes to talk about those two questions, and then added a third "How can who we are becoming (through the Atonement of Jesus Christ) help others?"

A Palace under construction...

* Who are you little one?
A daughter of God. The plan of salvation/ happiness and then your plan w/in that plan.

*What will you become through the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

RESURRECTION: Immortal, resurrected beings
REPENTENCE: Repented, clean, worthy to live with the Father
RESILIENCE: the capacity to recover from difficulties; Enabling power of the Atonement: Strengthened, improved, who we are meant to be.

C.S. Lewis quote
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.

Write down 3 trials that you have had to overcome or deal with.

Now, next to each one, write down qualities or attributes you’ve developed or sharpened or strengthened because you have turned to the Savior. 

Share some of these — Write on the board next to second question.
Side note: this is the WHY behind our trials. God needs us to BECOME these things. 

NOW, I’m going to add a question: HOW CAN WHO WE ARE BECOMING HELP OTHERS? (Becoming, not become — it’s an ongoing process)
-too often, discussion of trials or adversities stops with the why and what we can learn, as if our own betterment in life were the only end goal. But everything about the gospel is to help others.

The qualities and attributes we developed or learned from trials are to bless others.
These are gifts to us from our Savior
Gifts of the Spirit — always to bless others
Parable of the Talents — do we bury our gifts? — Think of the list of qualities or attributes we’ve gained or been given as talents - or gifts from our Lord. Now re-read the parable.
Lovest Thou Me? Savior and Peter.  After 3 years spent by the side of the Savior, learning, being trained and being taught all of these attributes and qualities, after the death of the Savior, Peter and the others returned to their boats and their fish. They had missed the mark that the Savior wanted them to use all that they had learned to bless the lives of others. (Feed my Sheep)

Elder Holland’s quote: 

“We have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord. We can’t quit and we can’t go back. After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before.” - Elder Holland

Have we been changed by the Atonement? Then we cannot quit and we cannot go back. After our encounter with the Son of God — after His atoning influence in our lives, — nothing is ever again to be as it was before. As changed individuals, we can look forward and look upwards, whilst on bended knee asking for guidance to know which neighbors to bless, which children to protect and how. Which poor (in spirit, in mind, in friendship) to lift up, which truth to defend by our own experiences. We have good to do. You have unique good to do because of how the atonement has helped you. You can now share that knowledge with those who are grasping for a sliver of hope.

Parable of the talents:  (v. 16 ‘went and traded with the same’) — Prayer for guidance, always following the spirit to know who could use your help, and how to best help.

Examples: My health / panic attacks - able to help others and be a physical, tangible someone they can talk to or hold on to while they turn to the Savior. “The light from my refining fire can illuminate someone else’s path” - Josie Thompson

One of the main differences between a cottage and a palace is that a palace can provide shelter to so many more people struggling through their own personal rainstorms. We were meant to be palaces. 

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