The Fall of Adam and Eve (FHE plans and quotes from Elder Holland)

My husband taught our Family Home Evening lesson tonight about the Fall of Adam and Eve. He based the lesson on Elder Holland’s April 2015 General Conference talk.

Doctrine: The Fall of Adam and Eve

Scripture: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Story: two brothers rock climbing, “brotherly hands and determined arms that reached into the abyss of death to save us from our fallings and our failings, from our sorrows and our sins”.

Quote: “That first Easter sequence of Atonement and Resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift, the most excruciating pain, and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of this world. Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could, like lightning in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to eternal life.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet”. April 2015 General Conference.

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Messages on Love

Below are some timeless messages on love, messages that are worth studying repeatedly!

Thomas S. Monson, “Love-the Essence of the Gospel”. April 2014 General Conference.

“Love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar.”

“Our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes. Love should be the very heart of family life.”

“As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way.”

Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Great Commandment”. October 2007 General Conference.

“The measure of our love is the measure of the greatness of our souls.”

“Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship.”

“Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life.”

“Love is the greatest of all the commandments—all others hang upon it. It is our focus as followers of the living Christ. It is the one trait that, if developed, will most improve our lives.”

Moroni 7:45-48

“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.”

Jeffrey R. Holland,”How Do I Love Thee?” BYU Speeches, Feb 15, 2000.

“Real love is best shown in the “how”.

“True love blooms when we care more about another person than we care about ourselves.”

Jeffrey R. Holland, “The First Great Commandment”. October 2012 General Conference.

“My beloved brothers and sisters, am not certain just what our experience will be on Judgment Day, but will be very surprised if at some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter: “Did you love me?” think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand onecommandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all—“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.”13 And if at such moment we can stammer out, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that love thee,” then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty.”

Richard G. Scott,”The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”. April 2011 General Conference.

“Pure love is an incomparable, potent power for good. Righteous love is the foundation of a successful marriage. It is the primary cause of contented, well-developed children.”

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Caught living the gospel

While studying the June 2014 Ensign magazine, the following thought by Elder Holland really stood out to me:

“When He comes, I so want to be caught living the gospel. I want to be surprised right in the act of spreading the faith and doing something good.”

That is how I want to spend my life. Am I living each day of my life so that I might be caught living the gospel and doing something good???? Something to think about and strive for each day.

In the article, Elder Holland offered three lessons to remember in our call to be Christlike:

1) Never cheek your religion at the door

2) Be compassionate but be loyal to the commandments

3) Use gospel values to benefit communities and countries

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Christlike love can change the world (Highlights from Elder Holland-April 2014)

Christlike love is the greatest need we have on this planet…”meme-holland-love-1240450-gallery

Pure Christlike love flowing from true righteousness can change the world.”

Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Cost–and Blessings–of Discipleship”. April 2014 General Conference.

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Elder Holland’s words on depression (Oct 2013)

Elder Holland’s talk during the 2013 October General Conference is a talk that offers peace and hope. This is a talk that should be reviewed often for anyone who is dealing with mental illness, and for everyone else to read too! I especially liked the following quotes:

“Patiently enduring some things is part of our mortal education.”

“So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said to the Relief Society sisters so movingly last Saturday evening: “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.” 4 Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart. Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being. Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings. Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Like a Broken Vessel”. October 2013 General Conference.

MercifulGold2[4]

Image via shan-made

azteccollage9Image via Drab to Fab

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On faith and believing

“Brothers and sisters, this is a divine work in process, with the manifestations and blessings of it abounding in every direction, so please don’t hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will. In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.”

“…imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we.”

“Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Lord, I Believe”. April 2013 General Conference.

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Loyalty and love to Jesus Christ

“My beloved brothers and sisters, I am not certain just what our experience will be on Judgment Day, but I will be very surprised if at some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter: “Did you love me?” I think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand one commandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all—“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” And if at such a moment we can stammer out, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,” then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments,” Jesus said. So 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. The Crucifixion, Atonement, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ mark the beginning of a Christian life, not the end of it.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The First Great Commandment”. October 2012 General Conference.

GDLoveLoyaltyPrintable available from Spiritually Speaking

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FHE: Ensign to the Nations (General Conference April 2011, Elder Holland)

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.

“As our conference comes to a close, I ask you to reflect in the days ahead not only on the messages you have heard but also on the unique phenomenon that general conference itself is—what we as Latter-day Saints believe such conferences to be and what we invite the world to hear and observe about them. We testify to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people that God not only lives but also that He speaks, that for our time and in our day the counsel you have heard is, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, “the will of the Lord, … the word of the Lord, … the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.”

Jeffrey R. Holland, “An Ensign to the Nations”, April 2011 General Conference

Lesson Plan

Talk about General Conference. What do you remember from it? Talk about the living prophets on the earth today, and how their words spoken at General Conference are scriptures specific for our day. It is important to read and study their words, so that is what we will be doing at Family Home Evening in the coming months. Discuss the above quote.

Additional quotes that stood out to me

“In wanting to measure up to the stern as well as embrace the soothing in our general conference messages, please be reassured that when we speak on difficult subjects, we understand not everyone is viewing pornography or shirking marriage or having illicit sexual relationships. We know not everyone is violating the Sabbath or bearing false witness or abusing a spouse. We know that most in our audience are not guilty of such things, but we are under a solemn charge to issue warning calls to those who are—wherever they may be in the world. So if you are trying to do the best you can—if, for example, you keep trying to hold family home evening in spite of the bedlam that sometimes reigns in a houseful of little bedlamites—then give yourself high marks and, when we come to that subject, listen for another which addresses a topic where you may be lacking. If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you” (Holland, source).

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Blogiversary

“I take great delight in my role as a nurturer, which allows me to express my deepest identity as a woman. I never fail to be struck by the way that women, young women, and even little girls seem to have an instinctive interest and ability in nurturing. It is not only a mother’s primary responsibility but also part of our “individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). To nurture is to teach, to foster development, to promote growth, to feed, and to nourish. Who would not shout for joy at being given such a blessed role?” (Tanner, source).

This month of July marks three years since I started this blog. I’ve been reflecting a little on this “blogiversary”, and thinking about what things have changed and what has stayed the same in those three years.

July 4, 2008

In July 2008, the Ant Bug was three and a half, and the Sweet Bee was 9 months. Now the Ant Bug is six and a half, the Sweet Bee is approaching 4 years old, and we have since added Little Boy Z to our family (16 months old).

May 2011

We are still living in the same two bedroom town home in Florida. But we’ve made some improvements!

Then, I drove a 4-door car. Now I have joined the ranks of the mini-van driving moms.

Then, I was serving as the first counselor in our ward Primary presidency. We have changed wards, but I still spend my time in the Primary (secretary, and now second counselor).

Then, the favorite movie of my children was The Lion King. Now it’s Tangled, no question.

Then, my only time spent at the piano was playing and singing Primary songs with my children. Now I sit beside 10+ piano students every week as a teacher, and I’ve recently started a blog for my piano students.

Then, and now, I am thrilled to be married to the love of my life. We make a great team!

Then, I was a twenty-something mom who worried a lot about my role and responsibility as a mother. Now I am thirty-something mom who still worries about my role and responsibility as a mother. But I have faith that being a mother is a divine role, and as such, I am not left alone to navigate the ups and downs of parenting.

“We thank all of you, including our own mothers, and tell you there is nothing more important in this world than participating so directly in the work and glory of God, in bringing to pass the mortality and earthly life of His daughters and sons, so that immortality and eternal life can come in those celestial realms on high.

“You can’t possibly do this alone, but you do have help. The Master of Heaven and Earth is there to bless you—He who resolutely goes after the lost sheep, sweeps thoroughly to find the lost coin, waits everlastingly for the return of the prodigal son. Yours is the work of salvation, and therefore you will be magnified, compensated, made more than you are and better than you have ever been as you try to make honest effort, however feeble you may sometimes feel that to be.

“Mothers, we acknowledge and esteem your faith in every footstep. Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever” (Holland, source).

Thank you for joining me on this journey!

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Satan’s tactics against women

“If I were Satan and wanted to destroy a society, I think I would stage a full-blown blitz on women. I would keep them so distraught and distracted that they would never find the calming strength and serenity for which their sex has always been known.”

Patricia T. Holland, ““One Thing Needful”: Becoming Women of Greater Faith in Christ”, Ensign, Oct. 1987, 26

This is an excellent talk for any woman who has every struggled with the “perfect Mormon woman” mindset, or in other words, trying to do everything on your to-do list plus more. Just one more excerpt that made me smile because it is exactly how I feel. In speaking of young mothers Sister Holland states:

They described to me the struggles of trying to raise children in an increasingly difficult world, of never having enough time or means or freedom to feel like a person of value because they were always stretched to the ragged edge of survival. And there were so few tangible evidences that what they were doing was really going to be successful. There was no one to give them a raise in pay; and beyond their husbands (who may or may not remember to do it), no one to compliment them on a job well done. And they were always tired! The one thing I remember so vividly with these young mothers was that they were always so tired.

Go read the entire talk here.

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