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Garden of Values
by Jenny Scoville Walsh
Decorate using wheelbarrows, watering cans, bird houses, flowers, potted plants, gardening tools, sun hats, gloves, garden swing or bench, trellis with vines, ivy, seed packets, fertilizer bags, etc.
Hand-outs could include seed packets and little pots, watering cans or garden gloves (make different labels for seed packets to include all of the values and instructions include prayer, scripture study, regular meeting attendance, service, etc.)
Refreshment Ideas--fruit and vegetables with dip and punch; or cake decorated like a garden, dirt--chocolate pudding topped with crushed Oreos and gummy worms--seeds are jelly beans and served with water to drink; or pies made from fruit or vegetables (rhubarb, pumpkin)
Have a young woman present each value by reading the selection and hang up both the seed and the plant of the value color. Have another young woman (or several young women) share the scriptures or general authority quotes. Then have each young woman who did a project related to that value present the project and share her testimony about the value.
Song: choose one--"The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden" (CS p. 237), "We Are Sowing" (Hymns #216), "Faith" (CS p. 96), "I Will Follow God's Plan" (CS p. 164)
(Put up a white seed) I plant the seed of faith as each day I read my scriptures and test the word. I follow the examples set for me and the teachings given to me in the scriptures, especially by Jesus Christ. As I feel joy through my obedience, my faith is strengthened. I develop deeper faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Put up a white flower--such as white coral bells) As my seed sprouts and grows, I have greater faith in the purpose of life, in the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and in important principles such as following the prophets, repentance, and sharing the gospel with others. I cultivate my seed of faith by following the Gospel.
"Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place,
that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if
ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord,
behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling
motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves--It must needs be that this is a good
seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to
enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
"Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
"But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.
"And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.
"But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.
"Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.
"And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.
"But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
"And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst." (Alma 32:28-30; 37-42)
(YW share their projects on Faith and testimonies about this value)
The seed of my Divine Nature was planted long ago when I lived with my Father in Heaven. (Put up a blue seed) Because I am a daughter of God, I can become like him. Now that I am on earth, I cultivate this seed by learning about who I am and acting according to my birthright and by developing my talents and God-like attributes. (Put up a blue flower--such as forget-me-nots) I develop love, patience, compassion, and knowledge. I develop talents such as singing, writing, gardening, and many other things. I also remember that my most important divine inheritance is my eternal role of mother. As I develop myself to become a righteous mother, I develop my Divine Nature, for God prefers the title "Father."
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption
that is in the world through lust.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:4-8)
President Ezra Taft Benson taught:
"Let our actions be Christlike so that by our diligence and with
God's grace we may add to our character faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience,
brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, and diligence. Our objective is to
attain such a "divine nature." (See 2 Peter 1:5-7.)
"Let us therefore strive to have, as Alma admonished, "the image of God engraven on [our] countenances" (Alma 5:19). Let our personal lives, our homes, and our work performance reflect our Christlike character. So live that others will say about you, "There is a true Christian!"
"Yes, we believe in Jesus Christ, but morewe look to Him, we trust Him and strive to emulate His attributes because there has not been nor will there ever be "any other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent" (Mosiah 3:17). ("After All We Can Do," Christmas Devotional, Salt Lake City, Utah, 9 December 1982. Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.328-329)
(YW share their projects on Divine Nature and testimonies about this value)
The seed of my Individual Worth was also planted long ago. (Put up a red seed) I get a sense of worth from understanding what God thinks of me. I learn in Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." To prove it, He sent his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins so I could return to live with Him again. If I question my worth, I can remember my Savior's red blood with he lovingly spilt for me. (Put up a red flower--such as red holly hocks) Once I know my own worth, I need to act on this knowledge and help others see how precious each of them are to God.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!" (D&C 18:10-13)
(YW share their projects on Individual Worth and testimonies about this value)
I plant the seed of knowledge by learning about my Savior, his gospel, and the world around me. (Put up a green seed) I can do this by studying the scriptures and reading other good books, using uplifting media, attending church, seminary, and school classes, and experiencing many good things. (Put up a green plant or flower--such as ivy) This plant continues to grow throughout my life and beyond the grave. With each good thing I learn, I become more like my Heavenly Father, who knows all things.
"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.
For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:29-30)
"For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have." (2 Nephi 28:30)
"And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness" (Alma 38:9)
"The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge." (Proverbs 18:15)
"If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things--that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal." (D&C 42:61)
"Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it
will rise with us in the resurrection.
And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come." (D&C 130:18-19)
(YW share their projects on Knowledge and testimonies about this value)
~Choice and Accountability~
My life is like a garden. Every choice I make is like a seed. I decide what I want to grow in my garden. (Put up an orange seed) If I plant good choices, I'll enjoy love, peace, joy, and closeness with the Spirit. If I plant bad seeds, I'll grow unhappiness. Luckily, if I don't like the plants I'm growing, I can choose to weed by repenting. Seeds and choices are very similar. We choose what to plant, but we can't decide what will come up--that was already decided by what we plant. We can choose our actions, but we can't decide the consequences for those actions. (Put up an orange flower--such as a pumpkin blossom) Plus, just like seeds grow up into plants that make even more seeds, my choices have long reaching consequences--sometimes expanding, other times limiting my future choices. If I learn to make righteous choices, I'll have great blessings and the opportunity for many other good choices in the future. (Put up a pumpkin, a pumpkin pie, and roasted pumpkin seeds)
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are
given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal
life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according
to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable
like unto himself.
And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;
And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom." (2 Nephi 2:27-29)
"Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to
act for yourselves--to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.
Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen." (2 Nephi 10:23-25)
(YW share their projects on Choice and Accountability and testimonies about this value)
If Good Works were flowers, I'm sure they'd be sunflowers. Their yellow blossoms make a garden look warm and cheerful. (Put up a yellow seed) I feel that way as I serve. They stand tall on a stalk and have bright yellow petals. They remind me of a flame on a tall candlestick. "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16). The sturdy stalk also reminds me that as I serve, I strengthen my testimony and my love for others. Did you know that sunflowers face the sun and follow it across the sky? (Put up a sunflower) When I do good works, I'm like a sunflower, turning my face towards the Son of God and following his example. Sunflowers not only gladden hearts of those that see them, but they also produce edible seeds which they share with birds, animals, and humans. As they give, some seeds drop to the ground, producing even more sunflowers. True service gladdens those who give it, those who receive it, and even those who see it performed. We, like the sunflower, can share our good works with everyone around us and spread good will to all.
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17)
"Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen." (Mosiah 5:15)
"Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him." (Alma 5:41)
"And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works." (Alma 7:24)
"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing--unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance." (Alma 26:22)
"Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls." (Alma 37:34)
"For I remember the word of God, which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also." (Moroni 7:5)
(YW share their projects on Good Works and testimonies about this value)
I plant myself in the gospel soil. (Put up a purple seed) How I grow shows my integrity. When winds of opposition blow, I will stand firm in my testimony. (Put up purple flower, or a flowering tree with purple flowers) When storms of troubles come, I will use them to become stronger by relying on my Heavenly Father. Every day, no matter what is around me, I will stretch myself to get closer and closer to the sun, God's Son. And when the end of the day comes, I will still reach towards heaven.
"And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause." (Job 2:3)
When Job's friends and wife told him to curse God and die, he replied, "God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach [me] so long as I live." (Job 27:5-6)
"And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord." (D&C 124:15)
"And again, verily I say unto you, my servant George Miller is without guile; he may be trusted because of the integrity of his heart; and for the love which he has to my testimony I, the Lord, love him." (D&C 124:20)
President Brigham Young taught--There is one principle that I wish the people would understand and lay to heart. Just as fast as you will prove before your God that you are worthy to receive the mysteries, if you please to call them so, of the Kingdom of heaventhat you are full of confidence in Godthat you will never betray a thing that God tells youthat you will never reveal to your neighbor that which ought not to be revealed, as quick as you prepare to be entrusted with the things of God, there is an eternity of them to bestow upon you. Instead of pleading with the Lord to bestow more upon you, plead with yourselves to have confidence in yourselves, to have integrity in yourselves, and know when to speak and what to speak, what to reveal, and how to carry yourselves and walk before the Lord. And just as fast as you prove to him that you will preserve everything secret that ought to bethat you will deal out to your neighbors all which you ought, and no more, and learn how to dispense your knowledge to your families, friends, neighbors, and brethren, the Lord will bestow upon you, and give to you, and bestow upon you, until finally he will say to you, "You shall never fall; your salvation is sealed unto you; you are sealed up unto eternal life and salvation, through your integrity." (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.93)
(YW share their projects on Integrity and testimonies about this value)
Remarks by Bishopric member and/or stake yw leader
Closing song: choose one--"The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden" (CS p. 237), "We Are Sowing" (Hymns #216), "Faith" (CS p. 96), "I Will Follow God's Plan" (CS p. 164)
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