My second Relief Society lesson was based around Elder L. Tom Perry’s talk called, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ.” It was refreshing to dive into something basic and familiar to me — but to approach it from a slightly different perspective. I haven’t really pondered over a lot of these principles since becoming a mother, and I was surprised how much I learned.
Funny, how excited I was to blog about it earlier today, but couldn’t. Now that the kids are all in bed and the house is quiet, I don’t have nearly enough energy to put into this. Oh well. 🙂
The good news is that heaven was smiling down on me this morning, helping me get to church in one piece, with everything I needed. John finished with meetings early enough to hitch a ride home and help load kids/stuff into the car. (Wowzers! That never happens!) I had printed what I needed for the lesson earlier in the morning, but as we made the last trip out to the van, I remembered that (ACK!) I actually hadn’t printed my notes. Not again!!! Good thing we were running early, and good thing John was there to help. Amazing, how helpful it was to have an outline to refer to. 🙂
I was less nervous this time – more excited about what I had to share with the sisters there. They seemed a little more engaged this time, which was nice. Although, come to think of it, it may be just that I was a little more in tune with them than last time. Yeah, prob’ly that.
As I was preparing, one of the things Elder Perry said really stuck out to me:
When we think of eternal life, what is the picture that comes to mind? I believe that if we could create in our minds a clear and true picture of eternal life, we would start behaving differently. We would not need to be prodded to do the many things involved with enduring to the end, like doing our home teaching or visiting teaching, attending our meetings, going to the temple, living moral lives, saying our prayers, or reading the scriptures. We would want to do all these things and more because we realize they will prepare us to go somewhere we yearn to go.
Hm, I thought, prepare us to go somewhere we yearn to go. If we yearn to go somewhere, how do we feel when we’re getting ready to go there? Happy? Excited? Gleeful, even? I know in the 20 minutes I had to pack for my little vacation with John, I was ecstatic. I certainly wasn’t grudging the time I had to spend packing clothes, putting things in order, and I certainly didn’t mind the long drive up to our timeshare. It was all part of the adventure. As we live our daily lives, how do we feel about the things (little or big) we need to do to prepare to live with our Father in Heaven? Elder Perry is right. When we have a vivid picture of eternal life in mind, it’s easier to live righteously. It’s easier to be happy when we have that to look forward to. Not that life is easy or that there isn’t reason to be sad sometimes… but for me anyway, there’s an element of HOORAY!!!! when I remember what I’m here for, what Christ came for, and I that I can be with Him again. Lately I’ve been missing that perspective, and diving into this lesson brought it all back.
So I had the sisters visualize their dream vacation. Someplace they reeeeeally want to go. If we were going to make it a reality, how would you feel as you called your travel agent? Would you be dragging your feet? In the moment of teaching, it dawned on me to have them imagine that this dream vacation was all inclusive and all paid for. I got lots of smiles on that one. Sis. Ellis even said she’d have booked it yesterday. (Exactly the enthusiasm I wanted to see! Thank you!!!)
Our Savior made it possible to gain salvation. This destination to beat ALL destinations really is all inclusive and all paid for. He paid the price! It’s been totally taken care of! We just need to give our hearts and lives to him.
It was an analogy that grew out of that quote up there as I read the talk one last time Saturday night, and it grew a little more as I was teaching. Hopefully it went over well. I think it did. J
Every time I teach I learn a little more about what to do, what not to do, and I feel a lot more love for the people in the class. As I was looking around before hand, I really wanted them all to know how glad I was to see them there. Each of them. I love their insight, their experiences, their willingness to answer my silly questions (half the time up there I have to fight the urge to treat them all like nursery kids… Can’t help it. 2 year olds are so much easier for me to level with. Ha!). I love that they humored me and even laughed when I warned them about another nursery-question coming today. (hehehee)
[“What is a gate?” (lol!) No, really. A prophet in the Book of Mormon compares baptism to a gate – What, then, are characteristics of a gate? Think about it. It’s a great analogy. I love it. T’was another favorite moment teaching today.]