Sunday, December 29, 2013

What does it mean to stand as a witness of God?

-Mosiah 18:9

You are God’s precious daughters, and you have a great work to do. In order to accomplish your divine mission and live the plan of happiness, you too must be steadfast and immovable “at all times and in all things, and in all places.” – Sis. Dalton

-What do you think it means to be “stead fast and immovable”?

-Draw a picture of the three sheds on the board

-Several years ago I was given a photograph of three sheds, two of which were leaning on the third and smallest shed. The accompanying caption read: “You need to be strong when you are the last one to take a stand.” You too need to be strong. As you are faithful and righteous, others will look to you for support and strength.- Sister Dalton

-Movie with Pres. Monson

-Has there ever been a time when you have had to stand alone?
-Share an experience

-A young man I know well was elected to be the student body president at a large university. The university sent him to a leadership seminar where student leaders from across the United States gathered in Chicago, Illinois, to be trained and educated. They participated in an initial game outdoors on the college campus so that they could become acquainted with each other. The students were presented with current issues facing today’s youth and were asked to take a position. In response to the issue presented, they were directed to run to several trees in the grassy area marked “strongly agree,” “partially agree,” “strongly disagree,” or “mildly disagree.”

Toward the end of this exercise, the leader asked, “Do you believe in premarital sex?” Without hesitation, this young man ran to the tree marked “strongly disagree.” To his amazement, he was the only one there! All the other student leaders were laughing and pointing at him and saying, “Oh, Jess, you are so funny. We all know you’re not really serious.” At that moment Jess said he knew exactly what he must do and so he loudly declared, “I’m not funny. I’m serious!” There was a stunned silence, and then the group dispersed, leaving Jess standing alone by the tree. He felt out of place and, yes, weird. But he wasn’t weird. He was right. And he was not alone. During the week, many of the student leaders came to him privately and said that they wished they had known years earlier what he knew. Jess later said, “It was easy because I knew that I represented not only the university but my family, the Church, and the Savior.”

A testimony that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer made Jess firm and quick to respond. You can gain that same confidence as you pray daily, search for answers in your scriptures, and obey the commandments. As you sincerely seek to gain a testimony, the knowledge that will come through the Holy Ghost will assist you with your challenges, with questions, and with living the standards. And it will be easy for you also to commit to be steadfast and immovable at all times and in all things and in all places.

The precious gift of your body enables you to exercise your agency and put your faith and obedience into action. Have you ever noticed that nearly all of Satan’s attacks are directed at your body? Pornography, immodesty, tattoos, immorality, drug abuse, and addictions are all efforts to take possession of this precious gift. This was a gift that was denied Satan. Obedience to the commandments and standards enables each of you to be steadfast and immovable in protecting the precious gifts of your agency and your body.

-Show VIDEO "You are never alone"

-We are never truly alone. When we stand BOLD for what is right the Lord will ALWAYS stand with us

Testimony and handout

I made lion broaches for my girls to help them to remember to stand bold as the lion.

I just used oven baked clay (walmart had a multi pack for about $8. The dark brown shape is from a cookie cutter. I got mine from walmart it was less then $3 for a pack of several different sizes. Then I used a medicine cup for the face, shaped the snout and used a permanent marker for the eyes and nose. The girls loved them, and they look adorable of a scarf! Let me know if you would like pictures of the things I used. Enjoy!

How does Heavenly Father want me to use my spiritual gifts?

 -Start by asking the girls what gifts or talents they have, and write the responses on the board.
-Show this VIDEO
-Not all gifts are as easy to recognise. Read D&C 46:8-26
-Now list all the spiritual gifts
-I printed THIS section from the gospel principles manual and had each girl take one, read it and then explain to everyone what each gift ment.

-Another gift that is rarely talked about is the gift of being quick to observe.
-Read Isaiah 42:20: Talk about seeing vs observing
"When we are quick to observe, we promptly look or notice and obey. Both of these fundamental elements—looking and obeying—are essential to being quick to observe." -Elder Bednar

Mormon, even in his youth, is described as being “quick to observe.” As you study and learn and grow, I hope you also are learning about and becoming quick to observe. Your future success and happiness will in large measure be determined by this spiritual capacity. –Elder Bednar

-Tell this story...
 "Before attending her sacrament meetings, Sister Bednar frequently prays for the spiritual eyes to see those who have a need. Often as she observes the brothers and sisters and children in the congregation, she will feel a spiritual nudge to visit with or make a phone call to a particular person. And when Sister Bednar receives such an impression, she promptly responds and obeys. It often is the case that as soon as the “amen” is spoken in the benediction, she will talk with a teenager or hug a sister or, upon returning home, immediately pick up the phone and make a call. As long as I have known Sister Bednar, people have marveled at her capacity to discern and respond to their needs. Often they will ask her, “How did you know?” The spiritual gift of being quick to observe has enabled her to see and to act promptly and has been a great blessing in the lives of many people."
-Talk about how the gift to observe goes right along with the gift of discernment.
“First, I mention the gift of discernment, embodying the power to discriminate … between right and wrong. I believe that this gift when highly developed arises largely out of an acute sensitivity to impressions—spiritual impressions, if you will—to read under the surface as it were, to detect hidden evil, and more importantly to find the good that may be concealed. The highest type of discernment is that which perceives in others and uncovers for them their better natures, the good inherent within them. …
. . . Every member in the restored Church of Christ could have this gift if he willed to do so. He could not be deceived with the sophistries of the world. He could not be led astray by pseudo-prophets and subversive cults. Even the inexperienced would recognize false teachings, in a measure at least. … We ought to be grateful every day of our lives for this sense which keeps alive a conscience which constantly alerts us to the dangers inherent in wrongdoers and sin.” 2

If the foundation of faith is not embedded in our hearts, the power to endure will crumble.- Elder Eyring

Tell this story...
"As a young man I worked with a contractor building footings and foundations for new houses. In the summer heat it was hard work to prepare the ground for the form into which we poured the cement for the footing. There were no machines. We used a pick and a shovel. Building lasting foundations for buildings was hard work in those days.
It also required patience. After we poured the footing, we waited for it to cure. Much as we wanted to keep the jobs moving, we also waited after the pour of the foundation before we took away the forms.
And even more impressive to a novice builder was what seemed to be a tedious and time-consuming process to put metal bars carefully inside the forms to give the finished foundation strength.
In a similar way, the ground must be carefully prepared for our foundation of faith to withstand the storms that will come into every life. That solid basis for a foundation of faith is personal integrity.
That curing does not come automatically through the passage of time, but it does take time. Getting older does not do it alone. It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength." –Elder Eyring

-Bear your testimony that as we build upon our faith and our existing talents that we can be blessed with more gifts an talents to bless the lives of others.

-For the handout I made little boxes tied with twine and had each girl fill out a paper with the gifts she has now, and the gifts she would like to work on receiving. 

HERE is the pattern for the box.

Why is hard work an important gospel principle?

-Split up into three groups and read the stories about the YW who have found value in hard work. (An article from the NEW ERA) I chose the 3 about young women.
-Ask the young women Why is hard work important and what have these YW learned from their efforts?
When we have examined our own interests and abilities and when we have taken counsel from those who know and love us—especially the Lord—we need to seek both education and experience in our chosen career field. Education and training are among the most worthwhile investments anyone can make.
Learn to love learning. Just as it is important to continue making deposits to a savings account, it is important to continue educating yourself in your chosen profession or career so that your skills will always be marketable. Just as a sailor keeps an eye on the horizon for changing weather, keeping up-to-date in your career will help you spot changing conditions in your field and make necessary course corrections. –Bishop Burton
-Talk about my profession, and how what I have learned has benefited me.
Work is not a matter of economic need alone; it is a spiritual necessity. Our Father in Heaven works to bring about our salvation and exaltation (see Moses 1:39). And, beginning with Adam, He has commanded us to work. Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam was instructed to “dress [till] it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). After the Fall, Adam was told, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” (Genesis 3:19). As with any other commandment, there is joy in its keeping. To work—honestly and productively—brings contentment and a sense of self-worth. Having done all we can to be self-reliant, to provide for our own needs and those of our family, we can turn to the Lord in confidence to ask for what we might yet lack–Bishop Burton

-Tell a story of hard work in your life

Today, many have forgotten the value of work. Some falsely believe that the highest goal in life is to achieve a condition in which one no longer needs to work. President David O. McKay (1873–1970) was fond of saying, “Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success.”   -Bishop Burton

As a young man, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, wanted a different work experience than that of a laundry delivery boy for his family. He did not overly enjoy the cart, the heavy bike, or the work; nevertheless, he worked hard to help his family.
He relates the following regarding a blessing that came from that challenging work experience:
“Many years later, when I was about to be drafted into the military, I decided to volunteer instead and join the Air Force to become a pilot. I loved flying and thought being a pilot would be my thing.
“To be accepted for the program I had to pass a number of tests, including a strict physical exam. The doctors were slightly concerned by the results and did some additional medical tests. Then they announced, ‘You have scars on your lung which are an indication of a lung disease in your early teenage years, but obviously you are fine now.’ The doctors wondered what kind of treatment I had gone through to heal the disease. Until the day of that examination I had never known that I had any kind of lung disease. Then it became clear to me that my regular exercise in fresh air as a laundry boy had been a key factor in my healing from this illness. Without the extra effort of pedaling that heavy bicycle day in and day out, pulling the laundry cart up and down the streets of our town, I might never have become a jet fighter pilot and later a 747 airline captain. …
“If I had only known back then what I learned many years later—if I had only been able to see the end from the beginning—I would have had a better appreciation of these experiences, and it would have made my job so much easier.” –Bishop Burton

-Tell a story of someone in your life that has set a good example for you of hard work.

-Show VIDEO “A Work in Progress”

Sexual Purity- Why is Chastity important?

Watch“Say No to Strangers”

-What do we allow to be “strangers” in our lives?
-Safety online
-Facebook friends (only people you know)

We must be concerned with the violent and sexually charged lyrics of much of today’s popular music and the relatively new “art form” of the music video. According to industry observers, 40 percent of the music video audience is under the age of 18. 4 One study reports that approximately three-fourths of all the music videos that tell a story utilize sexual imagery, and nearly half involve violence. 5 And the fashion trends spawned in their images are about as far away from being “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” as you can get. Ours surely is a time when men “call evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20). –Elder Ballard

-Good music and the LDS Youth Music Site

If we do not make good choices, the media can devastate our families and pull our children away from the narrow gospel path. In the virtual reality and the perceived reality of large and small screens, family-destructive viewpoints and behavior are regularly portrayed as pleasurable, as stylish, as exciting, and as normal. Often media’s most devastating attacks on family are not direct or frontal or openly immoral. Intelligent evil is too cunning for that, knowing that most people still profess belief in family and in traditional values. Rather the attacks are subtle and amoral—issues of right and wrong don’t even come up. Immorality and sexual innuendo are everywhere, causing some to believe that because everyone is doing it, it must be all right. This pernicious evil is not out in the street somewhere; it is coming right into our homes, right into the heart of our families.”

The choices we make in media can be symbolic of the choices we make in life. Choosing the trendy, the titillating, the tawdry in the TV programs or movies we watch can cause us to end up, if we’re not careful, choosing the same things in the lives we live. -Elder Ballard
Is pornography or sexual addiction something that girls can struggle with?
-Mention this article

Pornography is like that evil stranger, that enemy operating in secret chambers. It targets children, teens, and adults—both male and female. Its purveyors often operate in secrecy and seek to deceive us by claiming to offer something normal and pleasurable that doesn’t harm anyone. Pornography is more prevalent today than at any other time. For most people of earlier generations, pornography was something hidden in the dark corners of society. Nowadays, because of the Internet, it seems that encountering pornography is increasingly not a matter of if but when. That is why it is important that you decide now to prepare a way to flee from this evil stranger.
-Loren Cook

-Share a story about a loved one who struggles/struggled with sexual addiction
-Share a personal story of someone who has bested the pornography addiciton

Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable. …
“Have the courage to walk out of a movie or video party, turn off a computer or television, change a radio station, or put down a magazine if what is being presented does not meet Heavenly Father’s standards. Do these things even if others do not.”- “For the Strength of Youth”

There is help through the Atonement…

If you are tempted to view pornography, there are ways to resist. If you have developed a habit of viewing pornography, there is help. Talking with your bishop about these things may seem scary, uncomfortable, or embarrassing, but he, along with your parents and your Heavenly Father, loves you and wants only the best for you.
The best way to stay safe is surprisingly simple—talk to your parents and ask for their help in avoiding pornography. Make a plan together so that they can support you.
The best way to escape if you need to repent is also simple, though it may require courage: go to your bishop and confess completely and honestly. “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them” (D&C 58:43). Complete truthfulness with the appropriate authority is a necessary step. Talk to your parents, your bishop, or a professional counselor. You cannot overcome pornography alone; it will not stop without help. Willpower alone will not be enough to help you back on the road to recovery and peace.

I remember one experience I had. It was my sophomore year in college. I remember I messed up again for the millionth time, and I was so frustrated with myself. I was praying, but I was yelling at anything that would listen, “Heavenly Father, how can you forgive me? I keep doing it, then I keep apologizing, but I keep doing it and then apologizing. Why do you keep buying it? I’m not even buying it anymore!”

“Then I got this overwhelming impression saying, “Stop pretending you understand how much I love you or how I can forgive you, because you never will be able to. Just trust that I can. That’s all you need to know.” It just hit me that we try to project our own understanding on God. We think that because we keep messing up He should stop trusting us, but that’s not how God sees it. He sees our potential and our desires. He sees everything about us, things we don’t even know about ourselves yet. So obviously, he has a different perspective on our mistakes than we do, because He’s God.

We know that God has a plan for our lives. I know that God plans for our mistakes. He knows you so well and He knows what will make you the person you need to become. Your mistakes are part of that plan. Christ can take those mistakes and make them into something positive. He doesn’t just erase them—He takes them and uses them to make you into a stronger person. I wouldn’t trade my addiction for anything. Because of it, I know without a doubt in my mind that Christ lives and that He atoned for my sins and that repentance is real. Because of this, Iknow Christ. When I’m down on my knees, in the pit of despair, He’s the one that comes to me. Because of this, I’ve developed compassion. Because I’m still not over it, there’s still more things that it can teach me. I don’t know what they are, but I know that I’m a much stronger person than I ever would have been without it. Allow Christ to be there for you. Don’t confuse your mistakes with who you are.”- –Article from Second Breakfast

-End with my testimony of the Atonement and the Savior’s love for all of us.

How can I be more Christlike in my service to others?

-Have a girls recite the beginning of the Young Women’s theme

-Read Mosiah 18:9

"A story is told that during the bombing of a city in World War II, a large statue of Jesus Christ was severely damaged. When the townspeople found the statue among the rubble, they mourned because it had been a beloved symbol of their faith and of God’s presence in their lives.
Experts were able to repair most of the statue, but its hands had been damaged so severely that they could not be restored. Some suggested that they hire a sculptor to make new hands, but others wanted to leave it as it was—a permanent reminder of the tragedy of war. Ultimately, the statue remained without hands. However, the people of the city added on the base of the statue of Jesus Christ a sign with these words: “You are my hands.”
There is a profound lesson in this story. When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. And He always talked with, never down to, people. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation.
That is what He did during His mortal life; it is what He would be doing if He were living among us today; and it is what we should be doing as His disciples and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands; our eyes, His eyes; our heart, His heart.
The Savior revealed the perfect priorities for our lives, our homes, our wards, our communities, and our nations when He spoke of love as the great commandment upon which “hang all the law and the prophets.” 13We can spend our days obsessing about the finest details of life, the law, and long lists of things to do; but should we neglect the great commandments, we are missing the point and we are clouds without water, drifting in the winds, and trees without fruit. 14
Without this love for God the Father and our fellowmen we are only the form of His Church—without the substance. What good is our teaching without love? What good is missionary, temple, or welfare work without love?
Love is what inspired our Heavenly Father to create our spirits; it is what led our Savior to the Garden of Gethsemane to make Himself a ransom for our sins. Love is the grand motive of the plan of salvation; it is the source of happiness, the ever-renewing spring of healing, the precious fountain of hope.
As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit." – Elder Uchtdorf
-Share stories of time when you have given service and received it.
-This is the story of that I used and you are welcome to as well.
"I had the great opportunity of going to beauty school at Evan's Hairstyling College in Utah. Throughout school we were given many opportunities to use our talents to better the lives of other. Among many other examples, (fundraisers, toys for tots, etc) Kelli Evans, the owner, would organize for anyone who wanted to join her in giving haircuts for the homeless. 

She did this many years before I went there and has done it just about every month since, rain or shine. She has since won several community awards for her humanitarian efforts for the homeless. 
She is such a great example to me. She never did any of it for the recognition, she just wanted to give back and to teach all of us at the "budding" of our careers to share our talents with those less fortunate, and to be good people as well as professionals."
-Show the VIDEO “For Madison”
-Tell a summary of this story... 
“An old Jewish legend tells of two brothers, Abram and Zimri, who owned a field and worked it together. They agreed to divide both the labor and the harvest equally. One night as the harvest came to a close, Zimri could not sleep, for it didn’t seem right that Abram, who had a wife and seven sons to feed, should receive only half of the harvest, while he, with only himself to support, had so much.
So Zimri dressed and quietly went into the field, where he took a third of his harvest and put it in his brother’s pile. He then returned to his bed, satisfied that he had done the right thing.
Meanwhile, Abram could not sleep either. He thought of his poor brother, Zimri, who was all alone and had no sons to help him with the work. It did not seem right that Zimri, who worked so hard by himself, should get only half of the harvest. Surely this was not pleasing to God. And so Abram quietly went to the fields, where he took a third of his harvest and placed it in the pile of his beloved brother.
The next morning, the brothers went to the field and were both astonished that the piles still looked to be the same size. That night both brothers slipped out of their houses to repeat their efforts of the previous night. But this time they discovered each other, and when they did, they wept and embraced. Neither could speak, for their hearts were overcome with love and gratitude. 8
This is the spirit of compassion: that we love others as ourselves, 9 seek their happiness, and do unto them as we hope they would do unto us.” –Elder Uchtdorf

"True love requires action. We can speak of love all day long—we can write notes or poems that proclaim it, sing songs that praise it, and preach sermons that encourage it—but until we manifest that love in action, our words are nothing but “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” 11
Christ did not just speak about love; He showed it each day of His life. He did not remove Himself from the crowd. Being amidst the people, Jesus reached out to the one. He rescued the lost. He didn’t just teach a class about reaching out in love and then delegate the actual work to others. He not only taught but also showed us how to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.” 12
Christ knows how to minister to others perfectly. When the Savior stretches out His hands, those He touches are uplifted and become greater, stronger, and better people as a result. If we are His hands, should we not do the same?"- Elder Uchtdorf

-Show the VIDEO “Opportunities to do good
*CHALLENGE- Set a specific goal of how they are going to do more good over the next week, and come prepared to share their experiences next week.*