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*Focus This Month: We Believe in the Atonement and Literal Resurrection of Jesus Christ
We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. (3rd Article of Faith)
This month, the Christian world celebrates Easter. We remember that Jesus Christ suffered in Gethsemane, died on the cross on Calvary, was buried in the garden tomb, and rose again from the dead. With this, we remember that Christ conquered both sin and deaththe two barriers which keep us from God.
Because Christ died and was resurrected, we too will be resurrected. We believe that everyone, righteous and wicked, will eventually be resurrected. Just as we did not have to do anything to gain a mortal body (Adams fall brought mortality into the world), we likewise dont have to do anything to gain an immortal body (Christs atonement redeems mankind from the Fall, which means that we will eventually be free from the necessity of physical death).
Christs atonement and resurrection also brings about the opportunity for repentance, which releases us from spiritual death. We are all given agency, the power to choose good or evil. With this blessing comes responsibility. When we sin, it is our fault. To have Christs redeeming blood applied to our sins, we must again use our agency, to show God that we really want his forgiveness and mercy. What must we do? We must obey Gods commandments and participate in gospel ordinances. We must humble ourselves, feel sorry for our sins, turn our ways toward God again, and ask for forgiveness. This does not earn forgiveness. However, it shows God our desire to follow Him. Forgiveness is given to us freely once we have demonstrated that we really want to follow Him and that we really appreciate what Christ did for us.
Two of my favorite hymns which talk about the Atonement and resurrection are "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" and "I Stand All Amazed" (Hymns, 136 and 193). They say many of the things that are in my heart. I too stand all amazed at the love Jesus Christ has shown me. I know that Jesus Christ died on the cross and that he really lives again. I know that He suffered and died because he loves us and wants us to return to live with our Father in Heaven. "Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: I know that my Redeemer lives!"
For More information on LDS beliefs on Easter, please see http://www.mormons.org/daily/holidays/easter/index.htm
*Object Lesson: What Was In Jeremy's Egg?
Jeremy Forrester was born with a twisted body and a chronic, terminal illness slowly killing him all his young life. Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and had sent him to St. Theresa's Elementary School. At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher. One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St. Theresa's for a consultation.
As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don't have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!"
Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke. "Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here." Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn't fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write. Why waste anymore time trying? As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her.
"Oh God," she prayed aloud, "here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared with that poor family! Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy."
From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy's noises and his blank stares. Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss Miller," he exclaimed, loudly enough for the whole class to hear. The other children snickered, and Doris' face turned red. She stammered, "Wh-Why, that's very nice, Jeremy. Now please take your seat."
Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg.
Now," she said to them "I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Miss Miller!" the children responded enthusiastically - all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently, his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.
That evening, Doris' kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy's parents.
The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller's desk. After they completed their Math lesson, it was time to open the eggs.
In the first egg, Doris found a flower. "Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she said. "When plants peek through the ground we know that spring is here." A small girl in the first row waved her arms. "That's my egg, Miss Miller," she called out.
The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. "We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes that is new life, too." Little Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller, that one is mine."
Next Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that the moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom. "My Daddy helped me!" he beamed.
Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy's, she thought, and, of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another. Suddenly Jeremy spoke up.
"Miss Miller, aren't you going to talk about my egg?"
Flustered, Doris replied, "but Jeremy - your egg is empty!"
He looked into her eyes and said softly, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty too!"
Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, " Do you know why the tomb was empty?"
"Oh yes!" Jeremy exclaimed. "Jesus was killed and put in there. But he lives again!" The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.
Three months later Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.
*Whats New on All About Mormons?
LDS Humor is continually expanding. Thanks to all those who have contributed so far! Keep on sending us your funny stories, jokes, etc. We want our humor to be enjoyable to all of our visitors, members and non-members alike, so please use discretion when choosing which ones to send. Our Other Good Stuff section is especially for non-religious humor. Laugh With Us!
All About Mormons now has even more information to keep you in touch with the Church, including Church related web sites and internet services, Church phone numbers, and magazine information. Check it out on our Welcome page!
For links to the following articles, check out our Whats New page.
Find creative ways to Present Brigham Young Lessons at the Relief Society Rest Stop. (3/30/98)
For a Homemaking Night craft, try making Scripture Story Quiet Books in the Relief Society Rest Stop. (3/30/98)
Now more ideas for Easing the Transition from Young Womens into Relief Society at The Young Womens Corner (3/29/98)
Cute ideas to help young women Keep Up with Personal Progress (3/29/98)
Young Women Camp Food ideas! (3/29/98)
A new accusatory question has been added answering the Question Are Latter-day Saints not Christian because they teach another gospel? (3/28/98)
Anti-Mormon Tactics has been updated. (3/24/98)
Rated-R Movies and Other Inappropriate Material is a collection of quotes from Church leaders on the subject (3/24/98)
A new accusatory question has been added answering the Question Could you please tell me how to explain my Mormon doctrine has changed so much since its founding? (3/24/98)
The Grace vs. Works article has been updated with some comments by W. John Walsh (3/22/98)
A new Easter home page has been created with a number of different articles. (3/15/98)
The Primary Corner, a new affiliated site, provides ideas for singing and sharing time, Achievement Days, quarterly activities, and teaching. Primary is for children 3-11. (3/10/98)
The Relief Society Rest Stop has added a Visiting Teaching section. (3/10/98)
The Dating and Marrying Nonmembers article has been updated with some additional quotes sent by a visitor (03/07/98)
The discussion on Adam-God has been updated. (03/01/98)
Do You Have My Name? is a new program emphasizing the importance of temple work. It is under Special Temple Nights at The Young Womens Corner.
Get ideas for Camp Fundraisers at YWC.
Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman? A Mall Activity and Special Temple Nights are now available in out Special Activity Nights section at YWC.
Info on adapting for blind and deaf young women at YWC.
*Response of the Month: How can I teach my children about Jesus Christ in a meaningful way?
My wife and I have found that what works for our children is to keep some pictures of the Savior in our home and in their bedroom. This way they know that He is important enough to their parents to warrant His picture to be in the home. Second, we try to use examples when we teach, discipline, and hold family home evening with them, of how the Savior handled himself, situations, taught the people, and so on. The parables Jesus used can also be very effective as children find them easier to follow them than trying to understand "doctrine." Finally, but not exhaustively, we try, as parents, to follow the Saviors teachings and example. They say that children want to be like their parents (the young children, at least), and they follow your words and actions, so what a better lesson than to set a Christlike example for them. Let them see you pray, read scriptures, obey the Sabbath, etc. These are some things that work for us -- hope they help... ~Steve and Susy
This is a very important topic. I believe that I have had some good experiences in this area.
As we study the life of Christ, we find him always serving others. He was always worrying about the people around him. He wanted to help them.
As a father, I have tried to involve my children in service. We started a tradition in our family every Thanksgiving and Christmas. We ask the bishop of the ward we live in to let us know a couple families that could use some assistance. We make up Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and take them to the families. We drop them on the door step, ring the bell, and run. We have never been caught in 11 years of this tradition. The children have learned to love others and understand the importance of sharing without recognition. We look for opportunities to assist the needy and take our children along. However, we don't just look for the needy. We try to be involved in our home teaching responsibilities. My son and I have been companions for the past three years. We have visited our families regularly 100%. This past 4 months we have been assigned a sister who has some challenges. She really has no family to speak of and she lives with a care provider. Our family has adopted this dear sister as our special friend. Each Sunday as we go to pick her up, I take one of my children with me. Each one of them try to be the one ready to go when I leave. Sometimes I take more than one. We have included her in our family activities. We experienced her receiving her patriarchal blessing and she is preparing to go to the Temple for the first time. She is 60 years old. She has her physical and mental handicaps but it has taught each member of my family the importance of love and service. It is not always easy to assist her but when we know that we are doing what the Savior did and taught, it makes us feel warm inside.
I tried this with my priest quorum also. We would take the sacrament to the shut-ins. One of my priests caught the spirit of service that he could always be found going the extra mile to help the sister he was assigned. He took her to her temple recommend interview with the Bishop and the Stake President. He would go grocery shopping for her. He would buy her medicine. He would be there every Sunday to administer the Sacrament and he always made sure she had her own personal sacrament meeting with talks and music. It was a neat experience when he was asked to speak at her funeral. He truly understands the blessings that come from living a Christ like life.
I sincerely believe that the best way to teach our children about Jesus Christ is to be about His Father's business and bring along our children. It is one thing to teach about Christ but it is a better thing to show how Christ lived by work and deed.
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you. It has given me an opportunity to reflect on some very special and spiritual occasions. ~Bryan
*Question of the Month: What are ways I can strengthen my relationships with family members who are far away from me?
Let us know what you think. We want your wisdom and input!
See you next month!
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