Tag Archives: Elder Ballard

“First observe, then Serve.”

“For some, serving or ministering one by one, following the Savior’s example, doesn’t come easily. But with practice, each of us can become more like the Savior as we serve God’s children. To help us better love one another, I would like to suggest four words to remember: “First observe, then serve.”

Sister Linda K. Burton, “First Observe, Then Serve”. October 2012 General Conference.

 

“All of this symbolism attests to one fact: great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands “anxiously engaged in a good cause” (D&C 58:27). Imagine what the millions of Latter-day Saints could accomplish in the world if we functioned like a beehive in our focused, concentrated commitment to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“In your morning prayer each new day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of His precious children. Then go throughout the day with your heart full of faith and love, looking for someone to help. Stay focused, just like the honeybees focus on the flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen. If you do this, your spiritual sensitivities will be enlarged and you will discover opportunities to serve that you never before realized were possible.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Be Anxiously Engaged”. October 2012 General Conference. 

Setting goals

“I believe you can train yourself to become a positive thinker, but you must cultivate a desire to develop the skill of setting personal worthy and realistic goals. I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the technique of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When you learn to master the principle of setting a goal, you will then be able to make a great difference in the results you attain in this life.”

“I would suggest that if you want to have success in the goal-setting process, you learn to write your goals down. I would even put them in a prominent place—on your mirror or on the refrigerator door.”

“Set clear and specific goals. When you set a goal and commit yourself to the necessary self-discipline to reach that goal, you will eliminate most of the problems in your life. Spend your energies doing those things that will make a difference. Then you can become what you think about. If you just have the simple faith that God is in His heaven and He is your Heavenly Father and He does know that you are here and He does love you—and that Jesus is the Christ, that He is your Savior, that He is your Redeemer, and that you love Him with all your heart and are going to do all you can to keep His commandments—then peace comes.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Go for it!” New Era, March 2004.

There is no such thing as “done”

“We need to thoughtfully allocate our resources of time, income, and energy. I would like to let you in on a little secret. Some of you have already learned it. If you haven’t, it’s time you knew. No matter what your family needs are or your responsibilities in the Church, there is no such thing as “done.” There will always be more we can do. There is always another family matter that needs attention, another lesson to prepare, another interview to conduct, another meeting to attend. We just need to be wise in protecting our health and in following the counsel that President Hinckley has given often to just do the best that we can.

“The key, it seems to me, is to know and understand your own capabilities and limitations and then to pace yourself, allocating and prioritizing your time, your attention, and your resources to wisely help others, including your family, in their quest for eternal life.”

M. Russell Ballard, “O Be Wise,” Ensign, Nov 2006, 17–20

FHE: Do Good (General Conference 2011, President Eyring)

After viewing the most recent General Conference session last April, I felt impressed that I needed to review the messages that were shared with my children. What better time and place to do that then during Family Home Evening?

This week I am sharing the lessons that we have done in the last few months which were related to the April 2011 General Conference. In most cases I focused on one or two quotes from the talk, and then had a coloring page or activity for the children to do. The highlighted quote and activity page are displayed on our wall throughout the week as a reminder of the lesson. In addition, I make sure to show a picture of the General Authority whose words we are studying, so my children can connect a face with the words.

“There is a hymn about the Lord’s invitation to this work that I have sung since I was a little boy. In my childhood I paid more attention to the happy tune than to the power of the words. I pray that you will feel the lyrics in your hearts today. Let’s listen to the words again:

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.1

“The Lord regularly sends wake-up calls to all of us. Sometimes it may be a sudden feeling of sympathy for someone in need. A father may have felt it when he saw a child fall and scrape a knee. A mother may have felt it when she heard the frightened cry of her child in the night. A son or a daughter may have felt sympathy for someone who seemed sad or afraid at school.”

Henry B. Eyring, “Opportunities to Do Good”, April 2011 General Conference

Lesson Plan

Discuss what it means to “Do Good”. Sing the hymn “Have I done any good?” (Hymns, 223).

My children aren’t familiar with this hymn, so I created a few posters to help them with the words. The girls helped me with the coloring.
Watch the following video (Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “Have I done any good?”)

Take turns letting each family member share something good they did recently to help another person.  Challenge the family to find ways to “Do Good” everyday.

Watch this video (President Monson Mormon Messages)

Additional Notes

Elder Ballard’s talk tied in nicely with this theme. We didn’t make the connection during the lesson, but I shared the following quotes with my family later in the week.

“In all of our service, we need to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. The still, small voice will let us know who needs our help and what we can do to help them.

President Spencer W. Kimball said: “It is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. … So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving … help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow … from small but deliberate deeds!” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 82).

And President Thomas S. Monson has counseled:
“The needs of others are ever present, and each of us can do something to help someone.
“… Unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives” (“What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2009, 85).

M. Russell Ballard, “Finding Joy through Loving Service”, April 2011 General Conference

FHE: The Golden Rule (General Conference 2011, Elder Ballard)

After viewing the most recent General Conference session last April, I felt impressed that I needed to review the messages that were shared with my children. What better time and place to do that then during Family Home Evening?

This week I am sharing the lessons that we have done in the last few months which were related to the April 2011 General Conference. In most cases I focused on one or two quotes from the talk, and then had a coloring page or activity for the children to do. The highlighted quote and activity page are displayed on our wall throughout the week as a reminder of the lesson. In addition, I make sure to show a picture of the General Authority whose words we are studying, so my children can connect a face with the words.

“Charity begins at home. The single most important principle that should govern every home is to practice the Golden Rule—the Lord’s admonition that “all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12). Take a moment and imagine how you would feel if you were on the receiving end of thoughtless words or actions. By our example, let us teach our family members to have love one for another.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Finding Joy Through Loving Service”, April 2011 General Conference

Lesson Plan

Share and discuss the above words of Elder Ballard.

Play this song from My Turn on Earth to give the children a catchy way to remember the Golden Rule. (“The Golden Rule, is a terrific tool…”I remember listening to this song on our record player as a kid!)

Take turns choosing a scenario that I previously wrote down, reading then discuss what is the best way respond.

Notes

The song was a big hit! The Ant Bug has been singing it ever since. We’re still working on actually practicing the rule itself…

The “clarion call” of the Family Proclamation

Elder Ballard counsels parents everywhere to get a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World and to compare the simple, clear, prophetic language with the convoluted notions of the family often proffered by society today.

“Read it and strive to align your marriage and your family to its inspired, revealed direction from the Lord,” he says. “Then be the very best and act the very best you can. God will give you strength beyond your own as you strive daily to fulfill the most sacred mortal responsibility He gives to His children. Listen to the voice of the Spirit and the counsel of the living prophets. Be of good cheer. God did not place you on earth to fail, and your efforts as parents will not be counted as failure unless you give up.”

Further Reading: Proclamation on the Family is Still a Clarion Call