The Parable of the Sower (FHE plans and quotes from Elder Oaks)

My 10-year-old daughter taught our Family Home Evening lesson tonight. She read the story of the Parable of the Sower, as recorded in Mark 4. We discussed and explained some of the words along the way as she read (like fowls and devoured and withered).

3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.

5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.

8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.

Then we watched the Bible Video of the parable. (We skipped over the section in the middle where Jesus explains why he teaches in parables).

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Then she gave a visual demonstration of the parable. She had gathered cups to show the wayside, the stony ground, and the thorns. Then everyone planted a seed in the good soil. Hopefully we can get the seeds to grow!

We finished with a discussion of a few quotes from Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Parable of the Sower”. April 2015 General Conference.

“My message concerns those of us who have committed to be followers of Christ. What do we do with the Savior’s teachings as we live our lives?”

“We have the seed of the gospel word. It is up to each of us to set the priorities and to do the things that make our soil good and our harvest plentiful. We must seek to be firmly rooted and converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ (see Colossians 2:6–7). We achieve this conversion by praying, by scripture reading, by serving, and by regularly partaking of the sacrament to always have His Spirit to be with us. We must also seek that mighty change of heart (see Alma 5:12–14) that replaces evil desires and selfish concerns with the love of God and the desire to serve Him and His children.”

Quick Quotes from the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles (April 2015 General Conference)

It is a great blessing to have a living prophet and apostles on the earth today. Their messages given at General Conference every six months are inspiring, and constitute as modern scripture and the Lord’s word for us in this day. I have made studying their words an active part of my life, and I am working to share their messages with my family also. We quite often have FHE lessons that are based from conference talks, and we review their themes and key scriptures during breakfast. I recently went through the conference talks and pulled out the key quotes and scriptures from each talk that stood out to me. I made them into a poster and laminated it for durability; now we have a quick reference guide to remember the important themes of the apostles. You might focus on entirely different aspects of their message, but this is what stood out to me.

If you would like a pdf of the poster I made you can download it here: 2015 Apr apostle highlights

President Monson
The blessings of the temple are priceless.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

President Eyring
Is not this the fast that I have chosen?

When we offer succor to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him.

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40).

President Uchtdorf
With the gift of God’s grace, the path of discipleship does not lead backward; it leads upward.

God loves us deeply, perfectly, and everlastingly.

“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25: 23).

“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).

President Packer
The end of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home, sealed for eternity.

Elder Perry
The family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness.

“Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph seven).

Elder Nelson
A sacred Sabbath truly is a delight.

No other work transcends that of righteous, intentional parenting!

“Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then … are ye sanctified in Christ.” (Moroni 10:32)

Elder Oaks
Spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival.

We have the seed of the gospel word. It is up to each of us to set the priorities and to do the things that make our soil good and our harvest plentiful. We must seek to be firmly rooted and converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We achieve this conversion by praying, by scripture reading, by serving, and by regularly partaking of the sacrament to always have His Spirit to be with us.

The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:3-8)

Elder Ballard
Balance your life with spiritual experiences that remind and prepare you for continued, daily ministering to others.

What we need now is the greatest generation of young adults in the history of the Church. We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate young adults who know how to listen and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as you make your way through the daily trials and temptations of being a young, contemporary Latter-day Saint.

“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;”(D&C 58:27).

Elder Hales
How we live our religion is far more important than what we may say about our religion.

4 Cornerstones of religious freedom: freedom to believe, share our freedom and our beliefs, form a religious organization, live our faith.

What can we do to safeguard religious freedom? 1-become informed 2-join with others
3-be a good example

Elder Holland
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.

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

Elder Bednar
Fear is dispelled through a correct knowledge of and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look to Christ- Build upon the Foundation of Christ-Press Forward with Faith in Christ

“Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23).

Elder Cook
Like the young sunflower, when we follow the Savior of the world, the Son of God, we flourish and become glorious despite the many terrible circumstances that surround us. He truly is our light and life.

It is vitally important that our children know they are loved and safe at home.

We can thrive and bloom if we are rooted in our love of the Savior.”

The Church has never been stronger.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
(Psalm 27:1).

Elder Christofferson
A family built on the marriage of a man and woman supplies the best setting for God’s plan to thrive.

“We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).

Elder Andersen
We see God’s miracles in His wondrous work and in our own personal lives.

Can you see the hand of God moving His work forward? Can you see the hand of God in your own life?

“Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36).

On Temples and Peace (FHE plans and quotes from President Monson)

Lesson Plan

Share the following quotes from President Thomas S. Monson, “Blessings of the Temple”. April 2015 General Conference.

“The blessings of the temple are priceless.”meme-monson-blessings-temple-priceless-1447015-gallery

“As we attend the temple, there can come to us a dimension of spirituality and a feeling of peace.”

“As we go to the temple, as we remember the covenants we make there, we will be better able to overcome those temptations and to bear our trials. In the temple we can find peace.”

Scripture of the Week

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

Discussion (inspired by this message in The Friend magazine)

President Monson announced the building of 3 new temples. Where are they located? Find them on a map (a helpful online map is available here).

Temple Math: 144 now open +13 being built+13 being designed+5 being renovated+3 new ones just announced=how many total temples?

Which temple is closest to you?

Which temples have we visited as a family (or have special meaning to our family)?

  • Mom visited the Cardston, Alberta temple as a youth.
  • Dad visited the Mesa, Arizona temple as a youth.
  • We were sealed in the Salt Lake City temple.
  • We attended the Provo, Utah temple while going to school at BYU.
  • As a family we visited the Atlanta, Georgia temple open house in 2011.
  • Dad, Mom, and Anwyn viewed the Fort Lauderdale temple dedication in 2014.
  • Our closest temple is currently the Orlando, Florida temple.

How can you prepare to go to the temple after you turn 12?

Another Important Quote

“Now my young friends… always have the temple in your sights. Do nothing which will keep you from entering its doors and partaking of the sacred and eternal blessings there.” (Thomas S. Monson,”The Holy Temple”. April 2011 General Conference.)

Marriage Matters: Celebrating our Marriage (FHE plans and quotes from Elder Perry)

My husband and I are celebrating 13 years of marriage today, and what better way to celebrate than a FHE lesson on marriage!

Lesson Plan

“Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph seven).fh_lt_antique_2_sm

image source

Use photo albums and scrapbooks to share pictures and stories from our wedding day thirteen years ago. 1-wedding_photo

Discuss ways that we can focus on and live the teachings of Jesus Christ in our family.

Celebrate our family with a fancy cake for dessert made by dad!

Further Discussion

Discuss the following points from Elder L. Tom Perry, “Why Marriage and Family Matter-Everywhere in the World”. April 2015 General Conference.

“The family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness.”

“Last November, Elder Perry attended a colloquium, which is an educational conference, at the Vatican in Rome, Italy, with Pres. Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, and Bishop Gérald Caussé. Explain how the location is honored by the Catholic religion and other Christians. The fact that leaders from our church would also be invited shows that many of our beliefs are honored by other religions too” (source).

Pope Francis opened the first session of the assembly with this statement: “We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment. This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. … It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis.”-

“It was remarkable for me to see how marriage and family-centered priorities cut across and superseded any political, economic, or religious differences. When it comes to love of spouse and hopes, worries, and dreams for children, we are all the same.”

“What the restored gospel brings to the discussion on marriage and family is so large and so relevant that it cannot be overstated: we make the subject eternal! We take the commitment and the sanctity of marriage to a greater level because of our belief and understanding that families go back to before this earth was and that they can go forward into eternity.”

On Fasting (FHE plans and quotes from President Eyring)

After attending a recent stake training meeting, my husband expressed a desire to me that we teach our children about fasting. This is a direction that came down the lines of church leadership to our stake leaders. It didn’t escape our notice that the first talk at General Conference was given by President Eyring on the topic of the fast. With Fast Sunday approaching this week, this is a perfect time to share this lesson with our children. As I am putting it together, I know this will be a topic of discussion for more than just one night.

What is a fast?

Use the points from this Friend magazine article. Cut up the points and hide them around the room, have the children find them and discuss them in order.

  1. Fast Sunday is on the first Sunday of each month. It is a special day to humble ourselves before the Lord by fasting, praying, and attending fast and testimony meeting.
  2. On fast Sunday, members of the Church do not eat or drink for two meals. Children may be encouraged to fast when they are old enough.
  3. Members donate the money they would have spent on food for the two meals to help the needy. This money is called a fast offering.
  4. Members can give fast offerings to one of the bishopric or branch presidency members. The bishop or branch president uses the money to help those in need in his ward or branch.
  5. Fast offerings may be used to help feed the hungry.
  6. Fast offerings might be used to care for the sick.
  7. In each way a fast offering is used, it helps take care of Heavenly Father’s children.


Discuss the following teachings from President Henry B. Eyring, “Is Not This the Fast I Have Chosen?”. April 2015 General Conference.

“When we offer succor to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him.”

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40).

“So the Lord has given us a simple commandment with a marvelous promise. In the Church today we are offered the opportunity to fast once a month and give a generous fast offering through our bishop or branch president for the benefit of the poor and the needy. Some of what you give will be used to help those around you, perhaps someone in your own family. The Lord’s servants will pray and fast for the revelation to know whom to help and what help to give. That which is not needed to help people in your local Church unit will become available to bless other Church members across the world who are in need.”

“Rich promises are made by the Lord to those who fast and assist the needy. … Inspiration and spiritual guidance will come with righteousness and closeness to our Heavenly Father. To omit to do this righteous act of fasting would deprive us of these blessings” (President Spencer W. Kimball).

Stories of helping others through fast offerings:

-Tropical Cyclone Pam hitting Vanuatu

“Other storms and tragedies will come across the world to people the Lord loves and whose sorrows He feels. Part of your fast offering and mine this month will be used to help someone, somewhere, whose relief the Lord will feel as if it were His own.”


An earthquake in Nepal on Saturday, April 25th, has killed thousands and left many more injured and in great need. How can we help?

Other scriptures about Fasting

“Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting” (Joel 2:12).

“They did fast much and pray much” (Alma 45:1).

“Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer” (D&C 59:14).

Further Study  

“Fasting, coupled with mighty prayer, is powerful.” (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Law of the Fast,” Ensign, May 2001, 73.)

October 2014 General Conference: Key Messages by the Prophet and Apostles

In March I had an assignment to teach a Primary Sharing Time lesson about prophets and apostles. I wanted to prepare the children for the upcoming General Conference, so we spent some time talking about the apostles and some of their key messages from the previous conference. We didn’t get through all of them, but this is a good summary for more personal study.

President Monson: Ponder the Path of Thy Feet
The Savior’s example provides a framework for everything that we do, and His words provide an unfailing guide. His path will take us safely home.

Physically walking where Jesus walked is less important than walking as He walked.

President Monson (closing remarks): Until We Meet Again
May we be people of honesty and integrity, trying to do the right thing at all times and in all circumstances. May we be faithful followers of Christ, examples of righteousness, thus becoming “lights in the world.”

President Eyring: Continuing Revelation
Heavenly Father hears your prayers. He loves you. He knows your name. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and our Redeemer. He loves you beyond your ability to comprehend. God pours out revelation, through the Holy Ghost, on His children. He speaks to His prophet on the earth, who today is Thomas S. Monson. I witness that he holds and exercises all the keys of the priesthood on earth.

President Uchtdorf: Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth
But I suggest that this personal testimony of the gospel and the Church is the most important thing you can earn in this life. It will not only bless and guide you during this life, but it will also have a direct bearing on your life throughout eternity.

God cares about you. He will listen, and He will answer your personal questions. The answers to your prayers will come in His own way and in His own time, and therefore, you need to learn to listen to His voice. God wants you to find your way back to Him, and the Savior is the way. God wants you to learn of His Son, Jesus Christ, and experience the profound peace and joy that come from following the path of divine discipleship.

President Uchtdorf (priesthood session): “Lord, Is It I?”
May I suggest that the holy scriptures and the talks given at general conference are an effective mirror we can hold up for self-examination. As you hear or read the words of the ancient and modern prophets, refrain from thinking about how the words apply to someone else and ask the simple question: “Lord, is it I?”

President Packer: The Reason for Our Hope
If we seek to understand His Atonement, we will come to a deep reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ, His earthly ministry, and His divine mission as our Savior. “Through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved” (Articles of Faith 1:3).

Elder Perry: Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families
The gospel of our Lord and Savior provides a sure and solid foundation.

Jesus is the great Exemplar. The only way to find lasting peace is to look to Him and live.

Helaman 5:12

Elder Nelson: Sustaining the prophets
A prophet has stood at the head of God’s Church in all dispensations, from Adam to the present day. Prophets testify of Jesus Christ–of His divinity and of His earthly mission and ministry. We honor the Prophet Joseph Smith as the prophet of this last dispensation. And we honor each man who has succeeded him as President of the Church.

The living Lord leads His living Church! The Lord reveals His will for the Church to His prophet.

Elder Oaks: Loving Others and Living with Differences
We challenge all youth to avoid bullying, insults, or language and practices that deliberately inflict pain on others.

Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. We should love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs. Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable.

Elder Ballard: Stay in the Boat and Hold On!
The words of the Lord are found in the scriptures and the teachings of the apostles and prophets. They provide us counsel and direction that, when followed, will act like a spiritual life jacket and will help us know how to hold on with both hands.

We should focus on studying, living, and loving the doctrine of Christ.

Elder Scott: Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority
Our Father in Heaven has given us tools to help us come unto Christ and exercise faith in His Atonement:
1) Prayer: Family prayer should be a nonnegotiable priority in your daily life.
2) Scripture study: Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!
3) Family home evening: Make it a meaningful experience for each member of the family. Family home evening is a precious time to bear testimony in a safe environment; to learn teaching, planning, and organizational skills; to strengthen family bonds; to develop family traditions; to talk to each other; and more important, to have a marvelous time together!
4) Temple attendance: Schedule a regular time to be in the temple. Don’t let anyone or anything prevent you from being there.

Elder Hales: Eternal Life—to Know Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ
My own testimony grew as I learned about Heavenly Father and the Savior from the teachings and testimony of my parents, teachers, the scriptures–which I read diligently–and especially the Holy Ghost. As I exercised faith and obeyed the commandments, the Holy Ghost testified that what I was learning was true. This is how I came to know for myself.

Helaman 5:12

Elder Holland: Are We Not All Beggars?
She hath done what she could. (Think of mother Teresa or the widows mite)

I pay a personal tribute to President Thomas Spencer Monson. I have been blessed by an association with this man for 47 years now, and the image of him I will cherish until I die is of him flying home from then–economically devastated East Germany in his house slippers because he had given away not only his second suit and his extra shirts but the very shoes from off his feet. “How beautiful upon the mountains [and shuffling through an airline terminal] are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace.” More than any man I know, President Monson has “done all he could” for the widow and the fatherless, the poor and the oppressed.

Elder Bednar: Come and See
Devoted disciples of Jesus Christ always have been and always will be valiant missionaries. A missionary is a follower of Christ who testifies of Him as the Redeemer and proclaims the truths of His gospel.
The Church of Jesus Christ always has been and always will be a missionary church. The individual members of the Savior’s Church have accepted the solemn obligation to assist in fulfilling the divine commission given by the Lord to His Apostles, as recorded in the New Testament.

Elder Cook: Choose Wisely
I encourage everyone, young and old, to review goals and objectives and strive to exercise greater discipline. Our daily conduct and choices should be consistent with our goals. We need to rise above rationalizations and distractions. It is especially important to make choices consistent with our covenants to serve Jesus Christ in righteousness.21 We must not take our eyes off or drop that ball for any reason.

Elder Christofferson: Free Forever, to Act for Themselves
I know that beyond desiring His help, we must exert ourselves, repent, and choose God for Him to be able to act in our lives consistent with justice and moral agency. My plea is simply to take responsibility and go to work so that there is something for God to help us with.

Elder Andersen: Joseph Smith
Each believer needs a spiritual confirmation of the divine mission and character of the Prophet Joseph Smith. This is true for every generation. Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers from God.

Strengthening and Defending the Family (Highlights from the April 2015 General Women’s Session)

The April 2015 General Women’s Session was such an inspiring meeting. As a wife and mother, I especially appreciated the focus on strengthening and defending the family, since this is something I think about and pray about everyday. After re-reading the talks, here are the quotes that stood out to me.

Cheryl A. Esplin “Filling Our Homes with Light and Truth”.

“When filled with the Spirit and with gospel truth, we have the power to withstand the outside forces of the world that surround and push against us.”

Families are the Lord’s workshop on earth to help us learn and live the gospel. We come into our families with a sacred duty to help strengthen each other spiritually. Strong eternal families and Spirit-filled homes do not just happen. They take great effort, they take time, and they take each member of the family doing his or her part.”

“The answers to our prayers may not come dramatically, but we must find quiet moments to seek greater light and truth.”

Carole M. Stephens, “The Family is of God”.

“As we use our time in mortality to study and apply the Savior’s teachings, we become more like Him. We come to understand that He is the way—the only way—we can overcome mortal challenges, be healed, and return back to our heavenly home.”

Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Defenders of the Family Proclamation.”

“The proclamation on the family has become our benchmark for judging the philosophies of the world”.

“We need to boldly defend the Lord’s revealed doctrines describing marriage, families, the divine roles of men and women, and the importance of homes as sacred places…If it is the Lord’s plan, it should also be our plan!”

“We eagerly teach our children to aim high in this life. We want to make sure that our daughters know that they have the potential to achieve and be whatever they can imagine…Do we also teach our sons and daughters there is no greater honor, no more elevated title, and no more important role in this life than that of mother or father?”

“We need to take a term which is sometimes spoken of with derision and elevate it. It is the term homemaker. All of us—women, men, youth, and children, single or married—can work at being homemakers. We should “make our homes” places of order, refuge, holiness, and safety. Our homes should be places where the Spirit of the Lord is felt in rich abundance and where the scriptures and the gospel are studied, taught, and lived. What a difference it would make in the world if all people would see themselves as makers of righteous homes. Let us defend the home as a place which is second only to the temple in holiness.”

President Monson (from the video):”The home is the basis of a righteous life.”

The Power of Memorizing Scripture

This year I have felt impressed that our family should work on memorizing scriptures. Over the years we have often had a scripture of the week that we posted on our wall, but we haven’t actually memorized them. I was inspired by a friend who is memorizing scriptures with their two daughters (age 7 and 5), and I knew if they could do it, we could do it too. I loved Elder Scott’s talk about the power of scripture, and I want those same blessings in my life and in the life of my children.

Here is how it works at our house:

1) Select a scripture. Most often the scripture is related to our FHE lesson. We spent all of January memorizing Helaman 5:12, since our lessons that month were tied around that scripture and our 2015 family theme. In February our scriptures were on the topic of love.

2) Display the scripture. I search online for pretty images of the scripture (these are usually pretty easy to find). Print, laminate, and post on the wall in a prominent place in our home.5ef76b1b78e9ff08777b219f9bef8d08

3) Practice the scripture. The best time we have found to review the scripture is doing our morning drive to school. The audience is captive in the van! Each of us takes a turn reciting the new scripture, or reviewing one from past weeks. Sometimes we review the scriptures at dinnertime. It only takes a few minutes.

4) Keep a binder. Once the scripture has been learned they go into our Family Memorization Binder (inspiration here) for us to keep and review.

Here are the scriptures we have memorized so far this year.

Helaman 5:12

John 15:12

Matthew 22:37

Mosiah 2:17

John 3:16

Malachi 4:6

2 Nephi 25:26

Matthew 28:6

My 10-year-old daughter is really good at this. She is always the first one to memorize a verse, and can be counted on to make sure the rest of us get it right. I am more lenient with my 7-year-old and 5-year-old (they tend to recite the same shorter verses when it is their turn, which is just fine for their stage of development). The more we have memorized, the harder it is to keep straight all of the references, but we do our best, and remember the message of the words is the most important thing.

It is really cool whenever we are at church and somebody quotes one of the scriptures we have memorized. It definitely catches the attention of us all!

Our next scripture to memorize is Moroni 10:32. We will likely have the youngest children just memorize the beginning, but some of us will work on the whole verse.

tumblr_ltfr4uhKeF1qg4713Image available here

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Elder Scott on the value of memorizing scripture.

Richard G. Scott, “The Power of Scripture.” October 2011 General Conference.

“Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.”

“Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.

Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship.”

“The scriptures can form a foundation of support. They can provide an incredibly large resource of willing friends who can help us. A memorized scripture becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time.”

Richard G. Scott, “For Peace at Home”. April 2011 General Conference.

If you young people would review a verse of scripture as often as some of you send text messages, you could soon have hundreds of passages of scripture memorized. Those passages would prove to be a powerful source of inspiration and guidance by the Holy Ghost in times of need.”

April 2015 General Conference Summary

General Conference was wonderful. The messages shared were inspiring and great reminders of the essential elements of the gospel. I am thankful to have living prophets and apostles on the earth today to give us God’s word. The next step is: what will we do with what we have heard? As Elder Nelson asked, “Because of what I have heard and felt during this conference, how will I change?”

As I watched the sessions I specifically listened for the following (and encouraged my children to do the same):

1) the key message of each talk (summed up in just a few words, or one quote)

2) scripture references that stood out to me

3) any references to our 2015 family scripture, Helaman 5:12, or the idea of foundation (I was thrilled when my 5-year old was the first to notice President Packer’s mention of foundation).

President Eyring: the law of the Fast

President Packer: marriage and family life, testimony of the atonement, foundation

Sister Burton: husbands and wives, “thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together”

Elder Oaks: the parable of the sower, “spiritual food is needed for spiritual survival”

Elder Clayton: choose to believe in him, Alma 32:27

Elder Perry: marriage and families, “Family is the center of life. It is the key to eternal happiness”.

Elder Bednar: Godly fear, Helaman 5:12, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Elder Christofferson: marriage and families

Elder Nielsen: parable of the prodigal son

Elder Holland: the fall and the atonement

President Uchtdorf: grace of God, “God loves us deeply, perfectly, and everlastingly”, 2 Nephi 25: 23, parable of the debtor

Elder Hales: religious freedom and liberty, “How we live our religion is more important than what we say about it.”

Elder Cook: parable of the wheat and the tares, family, Psalm 27

President Monson: temples, peace, John 14:27

Sister Wixom: believe in God, Mosiah 4:9, Helaman 5:12

Elder Teixeira: have joy

Elder Pearson: 6 principles to endure to the end, “Search the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophets everyday, everyday, everyday!”

Elder Andersen: can you see the hand of God in your life and the world around you?

Elder Sitati: be fruitful and multiply

Elder Nelson: how will I change because of what I have heard this conference? Sabbath day-is it a delight?, teach children the gospel, “No other work transcends that of righteous, intentional parenting!”

One of the great things about a General Conference weekend and hearing so many inspired messages at once is the ability to see patterns and themes. Did you notice how many talks were about marriage and families (especially including the General Women’s session)? And how each speaker bore witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ? I noticed a number of speakers referred to parables taught by the Savior, so add that to my spiritual study list. And Elder Pearson’s comment is a clear exhortation to study the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophets EVERDAY.

I am looking forward to studying these messages in depth and applying their teachings to my life!

Preparing myself for General Conference

Earlier this week I shared some of the plans I have to help my family prepare for General Conference. I have also been preparing myself spiritually by thinking and pondering about the answers and guidance I most need in my life right now.

The following articles/talks are great reads to help put anyone in the right frame of mind leading into a conference weekend.

Elder Robert D. Hales, “General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony”. October 2013 General Conference.

Elder Neil L. Anderson, “Teaching Our Children to Love the Prophets”. April 1996 Ensign.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “General Conference-No Ordinay Blessing”. September 2011 Ensign.

General Conference: A Paradigm Shift -Remember not to spend the weekend “shushing” the children. Make it a positive experience for all (and whatever I miss, I can read later!).

Preparing Yourself for General Conference