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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

True Shepherds ~ Visiting Teaching

Taught by Terry S.
(click on scripture references to read)
I want to start off by reminding you of all the good things we did last year!
1. Seven babies were born and meals taken in to all their families-
Dardens, Pierces, Salts, Wallaces, Beckers, Horsleys, Butterfields.
Since Rachel Butterfield was put on bed rest for about 6 weeks, many meals were supplied to them.

2. We had 2 funerals and provided the meals for them. 

3. We did a secret sister activity.

4. All of the clothing left over from our clothing swap was donated to a shelter.

5. We put together about 100 clean birth kits for third world countries.

6. Blankets and pillowcases were made and donated to the Ronald McDonald House.

7. We did the Angel Tree- Sub for Santa Project.

*Many other acts of service were performed by wonderful visiting teachers that are not advertised.
Do you think the world is a better place because of the things that we did?

How do we gain a testimony of 
visiting teaching? 

You cannot gain a testimony of visiting teaching without first doing it.

President James E Faust tells of an experience he had:  
     “When I was a very small boy, my father found a lamb all alone out in the desert.  The herd of sheep to which its mother belonged had moved on, and somehow the lamb got separated from its mother, and the shepherd must not have known that it was lost.  
     Because it could not survive alone in the desert, my father picked it up and brought it home.  To have left the lamb there would have meant certain death, either by falling prey to the coyotes or by starvation because it was so young that it still needed milk.  My father gave the lamb to me and I became its shepherd.

     For several weeks I warmed cow’s milk in a baby’s bottle and fed the lamb.  We became fast friends.  It began to grow.  My lamb would play on the lawn. Sometimes we would lie together on the grass and I would lay my head on its soft, wooly side and look up at the blue sky and the white billowing clouds.  I did not lock my lamb up during the day.  It would not run away.  It soon learned to eat grass.  I could call my lamb from anywhere in the yard by just imitating as best I could the bleating sound of a sheep.
     One night there came a terrible storm.  I forgot to put my lamb in the barn that night as I should have done.  I went to bed.  My little friend was frightened in the storm, and I could hear it bleating.  I knew that I should help my pet, but I wanted to stay safe, warm, and dry in my bed.  I didn’t get up as I should have done.  The next morning I went out to find my lamb dead.  A dog had also heard its bleating cry and killed it.  My heart was broken.  I had not been a good shepherd or steward of that which my father had entrusted to me.  
     My father said, “Son, couldn’t I trust you to take care of just one lamb?”  My father’s remark hurt me more than losing my wooly friend.  I resolved that day, as a little boy, that I would try never again to neglect my stewardship as a shepherd if I were ever placed in that position again.”

We have been told by Christ to "feed my sheep" if we lovest thou him. John 21:15-17

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a talk in general conference recently about this very exchange between Peter and Christ.  He elaborates on what Christ is really saying to Peter:
“What I need, Peter, are disciples- and I need them forever.  I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs.  I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith.  I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do.  Ours is not a feeble message.  It is not a fleeting task.  It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history.  It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world.”

What do you worry about most?
How does this coincide with what is most important in life?
To stay true to our desire to live with Heavenly Father again, we must find a way to work through obstacles and discover what is really important in life.
Ask yourselves these questions;
  • What do I really believe, and how true to that am I really willing to live?
  • How do we know if we have been truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Richard G. Scott:
“True conversion will strengthen your capacity to do what you know you should do, when you should do it, regardless of the circumstances.
The more I learn what it means to be truly converted, the more I wonder if I am.
Bonnie L. Oscarson:
“True conversion is more than merely having a knowledge of gospel principles, and implies even more than just having a testimony of those principles.  It is possible to have a testimony of the gospel without living it.  Being truly converted means we are acting upon what we believe and allowing it to create “a mighty change in us, or in our hearts.”
“True conversion occurs as you continue to act upon the doctrines you know are true and keep the commandments day after day, month after month.”
I was recently watching a show on TV, and there was a woman whose teenage daughter had become interested in religion.  The daughter asked her mother what she thought about Jesus and the mother’s response was, “I think he was a man who lived 2000 years ago and has little to do with me now.”
I was really taken aback by this response.  I don’t know why-  I’m sure there are lots of people with this same attitude but I can’t imagine what my life would be like without my faith in Jesus Christ.

Elder Holland also said:
“I am asking you to re-examine and more clearly understand the commitment you made when you were baptized not only into Christ’s church, but into his life and his death and his resurrection, into all that he is and stands for in time and eternity.”
“The war is on, and we have been conspicuously enlisted, and certainly it is a war worth waging.  But we are foolish, fatally foolish, if we believe it will be a casual or convenient thing.  We are foolish if we think it will demand nothing of us.”
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.
Your Father in Heaven expects your loyalty and your love at every stage of your life.

President Monson gave a talk in the General Priesthood Meeting at the last general conference addressing home teaching.  I’m going to substitute the words visiting teaching for home teaching.  He said, ”If any of you have slipped into complacency concerning your visiting teaching visits, may I say that there is no time like the present to rededicate yourself to fulfilling your visiting teaching duties. Decide now to make whatever effort is necessary to reach those for whom you have been given responsibility.  There are times when a little extra prodding may be needed, as well, to help your visiting teaching companion find the time to go with you, but if you are persistent, you will succeed.  Ours is the sacred privilege to brighten, to touch, and to save those precious souls entrusted to our care. There is one Teacher whose life overshadows all others.  He lived not to be served but to serve, not to receive but to give, not to save His life but to sacrifice it for others.”
In close, I was reading in preparation to give this lesson and I came across this scripture:
I want you to read it substituting your name for Nephi’s.

May the Lord bless you in your service as you give of yourself to bless those you serve.


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