Posted in God's Love, Gratitude, Individual Worth | Posted on 22-03-2013
“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
1. How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
2. In ev’ry condition–in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea–
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.
3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
1. High on the mountain top
A banner is unfurled.
Ye nations, now look up;
It waves to all the world.
In Deseret’s sweet, peaceful land,
On Zion’s mount behold it stand!
2. For God remembers still
His promise made of old
That he on Zion’s hill
Truth’s standard would unfold!
Her light should there attract the gaze
Of all the world in latter days.
3. His house shall there be reared,
His glory to display,
And people shall be heard
In distant lands to say:
We’ll now go up and serve the Lord,
Obey his truth, and learn his word.
4. For there we shall be taught
The law that will go forth,
With truth and wisdom fraught,
To govern all the earth.
Forever there his ways we’ll tread,
And save ourselves with all our dead.
*For All Family Members*
Read or summarize “Focus on Values” by Elder Russel M. Nelson (taken from February 2013 Liahona). Testify of the importance and blessings of maintaining these values in our lives.
Developing eternal values will help us become all our Heavenly Father wants us to be.
I would like to talk about some of the values you ought to be focused on in your daily lives. You young women will recognize them. And you young men, they are not exclusively for the young women. These values are just as worthy of your attention as they are for the young women.
The first Young Women value is faith. In fact, faith is the first principle of the gospel. Your faith should be focused on our loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. You should also continually strengthen your faith in God’s plan of salvation.
It is important to develop faith to keep all of the commandments of God, knowing that they are given to bless you and bring you joy. You will encounter people who pick which commandments they will keep and which they will ignore. This practice of picking and choosing will not work. It will lead to misery. To prepare to meet God, you need to keep all of His commandments. It takes faith to obey them, and keeping His commandments will strengthen that faith.
The second Young Women value is divine nature. That’s a grown-up way of saying, “I am a child of God.” You have divinity within you. Our Heavenly Father created you.
Have you ever thought to be thankful for your heart? Look at the job it’s doing. It’s pumping enough fluid every day to fill a railroad tank car, about 2,000 gallons (7,570 liters). Inside the heart are four sets of valves that open and close 100,000 times a day, more than 36 million times a year, and they don’t break. No man-made material—paper, plastic, metal, or steel—can open and close that many times, with that frequency, without breaking. Every organ in the body is so well designed and so marvelous in its function.
You know if you try to swim underwater without taking a breath, you can go only so long. What is it that drives you up to take a breath? Carbon dioxide is being measured by two small meters in the neck, and they send word up to your brain as if to say, “Your carbon dioxide level is too high. Get rid of it.” So you swim up to the surface and exhale, getting rid of the carbon dioxide.
What incredible abilities your body possesses! Take good care of your body. Don’t do anything that would defile the natural beauty of this marvelous, God-given creation.
The next Young Women value is individual worth. A faithful disciple of Jesus Christ will become a devoted son or daughter of God—more concerned with being righteous than with being selfish, more anxious to exercise compassion than to exercise dominion, more committed to integrity than to popularity.
You know of your infinite worth. Indeed, each faithful young woman in the Church proclaims that individual worth is one of her most cherished values. She declares, “I am of infinite worth with my own divine mission, which I will strive to fulfill” (Young Women Personal Progress [booklet, 2009], 29). The same applies to young men. Each son and daughter of God is of infinite worth because of his or her divine mission.
Individual worth also includes the development of your faith as an individual. No one else can develop your faith for you. You can wish you had the faith of President Thomas S. Monson or some other hero, but you must develop it yourself. When you make a mistake, as an individual you repent of these past problems. When you were baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, it was done as an individual. So, as an individual, you make covenants. These ordinances of salvation are all an individual matter.
The greatest ordinances and blessings of membership in the Church come in the temple. There we have the ordinances of the endowment and the sealings to parents, spouses, and ancestors. All ordinances of exaltation are a family matter. Do you see that difference? The ordinances of salvation are individual; the ordinances of exaltationinvolve more than one person.
The next Young Women value is knowledge. In the Church, obtaining an education and getting knowledge are a religious responsibility. We educate our minds so that one day we can render service of worth to somebody else. Being educated is the difference between wishing you could do some good and being able to do some good.
Often people ask me what it’s like to be a doctor. They ask, “How long were you in school?” Well, it was a long time. From the time I got my medical degree until the time I sent my first bill for professional services rendered was 12½ years. It was a long time, but how old would I have been 12½ years later if I weren’t doing that? Exactly the same. So you might as well strive to become all that you can become.
My medical education is what allowed me to perform a heart operation on President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) in 1972. So don’t discount knowledge. The glory of God really is intelligence (see D&C 93:36).
Choice and Accountability
The next Young Women value is choice and accountability. This is another way of saying “moral agency.” Moral agency is part of life because Heavenly Father wanted each one of us to act for ourselves and to become what we want to be.
Choice and accountability tells you that for every choice you make, you are accountable for the consequences of that choice. So we need to make responsible decisions. It probably doesn’t matter much whether you wear a blue tie or a red tie or a purple dress or a green dress, but what does matter is whether your choice draws you closer to or away from the Lord and His way of life. And why do we counsel and plead with you to follow the way of the Lord? It’s simply because that is the way to happiness.
Next comes the Young Women value of good works. This value is patterned after the life of Jesus Christ, who loved people. To show His love for people, He served them. When we love somebody, we show it by doing something nice. So learn to serve: find a need and fulfill a need. Surprise people with a good deed they hadn’t planned on. We have that opportunity at home, at school, and at church.
I remember the first time I went to Africa as a General Authority. My traveling partner was Elder Russell C. Taylor. Each morning when I woke up, I found that he had shined my shoes. He didn’t need to shine my shoes, but that was his way of saying, “I love you.”
The next Young Women value is integrity. The word integrity comes from the word integer, meaning “whole” or “intact.” In medicine we talk about the structural integrity of the heart. So when something goes wrong—for example, a wound to the heart—we say it has lost its integrity; it no longer does what it’s supposed to do. Applied to the human being, integrity means you’re dependable—you can be counted on.
In the scriptures we read that the Prophet Joseph Smith’s brother Hyrum was loved by the Lord because of the “integrity of his heart” (D&C 124:15). The Lord was not talking about the anatomy of the heart; He was talking about the integrity of Hyrum’s spirit.
The newest Young Women value is virtue. Virtue is a wonderful word. What does it mean to you? Virtue means “purity.” But there’s also another meaning. Do you remember in the New Testament when the woman who had the issue of blood touched the hem of the Savior’s garment? The Savior said, “Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me” (Luke 8:46). In that case, virtue has a different meaning. In the Greek language it’s the word dunamis, which is the root from which we get the words dynamo and dynamite. It means “power.” We want both kinds of virtue for you precious young men and young women.
Become All You Can Be
Knowledge brings power; purity brings power; love brings power. We want you to have the power to become all that the Lord wants you to become. You’re growing, you’re changing, and you are in charge of what you will end up being.
I don’t think it makes any difference whether you are a furniture salesman, a surgeon, a lawyer, or an architect. Any worthy occupation, whatever suits you, is wonderful. But what really matters is what you are becoming.
Ask yourself these questions: Do I have integrity? Do I have purity? Do I have love? Do I have compassion? All of these attributes are beyond measure. And as you think about and live by the attributes of the Young Women values, they will help you become all that you can be.
Photo illustration by Derek Israelsen
Testify of the importance and blessings of maintaining these values in our lives.
*For Younger Children*
Love one another, and … serve one another (Mosiah 4:15).We believe in being honest (A of F 1:13).
I’d like to share with you two important lessons that I learned in my youth. When I was young, my friends and I often played ball in an alley behind our home. A woman named Mrs. Shinas rented a tiny house nearby, and she used to watch us play from her window. She rarely came out of her house, and when she did, she never smiled. We all thought that she was mean. She had a big dog, an English setter, and whenever one of our baseballs rolled in its direction—which happened often—Mrs. Shinas would send the dog to fetch it. We wouldn’t see the ball again. Soon we ran out of baseballs.
In those days, we didn’t have lawn sprinklers, and so each day I watered our lawn by hand with a hose. One day as I stood there watering our little stretch of grass, I noticed that Mrs. Shinas’s lawn looked a little shabby. It took only a few more minutes to water it, too, and soon I was watering her lawn each day.
When autumn came that year, one of my tasks was to clear our yard of leaves. I sprayed the ground with a hose, pushing the leaves into a pile with the force of the water. I decided to gather up the leaves on Mrs. Shinas’s yard as well, and as I was doing this one day, she came to her door and beckoned for me to come inside. I turned off the hose and went into her house.
She invited me to sit in her living room, and she gave me a cookie and a glass of milk. As I sat there eating my cookie, she showed me her collection of little china dogs. I could tell that they were her most prized possession. Then she thanked me for taking care of her lawn. It was the first conversation I had ever had with her.
Mrs. Shinas then went into her kitchen and returned with a box. In it were all the baseballs that her dog had taken. She handed me the box, said thank you—and smiled! It was the first time I’d ever seen her smile.
I believe that love is shown by how you live, how you serve, and how you bless others. When we serve others, we are showing them that we love them, and we are also showing Jesus Christ that we love Him.
The Primary theme this year focuses on love, a most important principle. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. … He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” (John 14:15, 21.)
I like the following poem, which is about love:
Which Loved Her Best?
Another important principle is honesty.
I was in the Navy at the end of World War II, when I was a very young man. My training took place near San Diego, California. Everyone in the Navy had to know how to swim, or they wouldn’t let him out of boot camp (training camp). I had learned to swim as a boy and could do it quite well.
One day an officer said, “All of you who can swim get to go to San Diego for the day. Those who can’t must have a full day of swimming lessons. So those of you who can swim, line up over here, and we’ll put you on a bus and take you into town.” I lined up with the swimmers—there were about thirty or forty of us. But instead of having my group get on a bus, the officer marched us into the gym, where the swimming pool was.
I thought, You’re mixed up, fellow. We’re the ones who can swim. But, of course, I said nothing. We prepared for swimming and were ordered to jump into the deep end of the pool.
Most of us obeyed, but about ten men in our group didn’t know how to swim. They had thought that they could go to San Diego without measuring up. The officer didn’t let them just stand there—he pushed them into the water. He let them go under the water, come up gasping for air, and then go down again. When they came up for the second time, a big bamboo pole was held out to them, and they were pulled to safety. Then the officer said sternly, “Don’t you ever lie to me again!” I tell you, I was glad I hadn’t tried that! The experience taught me the value of being honest and true to yourself at all times.
Love and honesty are two principles that will guide us all our lives.
Testify of the importance and blessings of maintaining these values in our lives.
Oreo Brownies or Caramel pecan rolls
- 5 1/2 oz unsalted butter
- 7 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 eggs
- 5 1/2 oz light brown sugar
- 3 tbs cocoa powder
- a pinch of salt
- 16 Oreo cookies, broken into pieces
- Preheat your oven to about 350°F (180°C). Line an 8x8x3-inch (20cm) baking pan with baking paper with the paper overlapping the sides (this will make them easier to lift out of the pan after baking.
- Melt your butter in a pan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate, stir until smooth and well combined.
- Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl until they triple in volume. Add half the brown sugar around the outer edge of the eggs in the bowl (so you don’t knock the air out of the mix) and whisk until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar again around the edge, and whisk again for a few minutes until the mix is smooth and you can’t feel any sugar crystals in between your fingers. Whisk the melted chocolate into the eggs quickly to incorporate it.
- Add the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt and a third of the broken up Oreos) around the edge of the bowl and fold in until combined, taking care not to knock the air out. Pour the mix into the paper-lined baking pan. Scatter the remaining chunks of Oreo cookies over the top of the mixture, pressing some into the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the middle is only slightly gooey.
- Get the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. When cooled, lift the baking paper and brownies out of the pan and set on a cutting board. Cut into 2×2-inch squares (in half and then half again, both ways). Makes 16 Oreo brownies.
(Taken from Sugar and Snapshots)
Caramel pecan rolls
- Sweet Dough
3/4 c +2 tbsp Milk
2 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Vegetable Shortening
1 tsp + 1/9 tsp yeast
1 Egg, Medium size
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1-3 c All Purpose Flour
- Sugar Filling
2/3 Sugar, granulated
1/3 c Brown Sugar, packed
1 tbsp Cinnamon, ground
4 tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
2/3 c Brown Sugar, packed
2/3 c Heavy Cream
1 tbsp Vanilla Paste (optional)
2 c Chopped Pecans
- In a small sauce pan combine the milk, honey, and vegetable shortening. Bring up to 110°F no higher, or it will kill the yeast. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add in the yeast and let bloom for 5-10 minutes.
- While the yeast is doing its magic, measure out 3 cups of flour. In a small bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon, mix well and set aside. Prepare your work surface by lightly dusting it with flour.
- Turn your attention back to the stand mixer, turn it on medium speed and add in the egg and salt. Mix until well combined. Once combined slowly add in 1 cup of flour. It will turn into a batter like constancy. Keep adding in the flour 1/4 cup at a time just until the dough pulls away from the sides. Let it kneed for 5 minutes. Transfer to your prepared work surface and kneed until the dough forms a ball, that is not sticky to the touch, but quite elastic. Cover with a towel, and let rise for 40 minutes.
- After it has risen for the 40 minutes, punch down the dough into a rectangular shape, and cover with a tea towel and let rest for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your baking pan I used a 10″x10″x4″ square cake pan. Line with foil, or spray with bakers spray. Set aside and begin making the caramel.
- In a small sauce pan add the brown sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla. Bring up to a boil and simmer until the sugar is melted completely. Pour the caramel into the bottom of your baking pan. Add 2/3 of the chopped pecans into the caramel in an even layer. Time to work the dough.
- Roll the dough out into a 24″ x 10″ rectangle. Take the softened butter and with a pastry brush create an even layer of butter over the top of the dough going to the edges. Pour the sugar mixture over the butter and with your hands spread out into an even layer.
- Roll it up length wise so you have a 24″ long tube. With a sharp knife, slice into twelve 2″ pieces.
- Place the rolls on top of the caramel pecan mixture in the pan leaving around 1″ between each roll. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes until the tops of the rolls are a golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes, place a piece of parchment over your serving tray, and put it over the warm rolls. Flip the pans so now the caramel pecan mixture is on top, and the rolls are on your serving tray.Serve warm covered in extra pecans and caramel with a cup of coffee, and watch your loved ones devour them with glee.
(Taken from Sugar and Snapshots)
1- Play Value’s Hide and go seek – You can have each family member stand for a value and/or use objects to represent them.
2- Play a game like Monopoly or Ticket to Ride