Friday, July 10, 2015

This Week's Lesson: July 5, 2015

Sabbath Day Observance 

taught by Tara Gotfredson

Elder Russel M. Nelson said in his most recent talk in General Conference, “The question for each of us is: because of what I have heard and felt during this conference, how will I change? Whatever your
answer might be, may I invite you also to examine your feelings about, and your behavior on, the
Sabbath day.” We have been talking a lot about Sabbath day observance in preparation for our time
change today. As we continue to talk more about it, I hope that we can continue to learn and decide
what changes we can make.

I want to start out by explaining the background for our time change. The First Presidency of the church training leaders on the importance of Sabbath Day observance around the time of our last conference. They felt that although basic, we need a reminder of how to make the Sabbath a more meaningful experience for us. Why do you think this is something that the First Presidency wants us to work on?

Why is the Sabbath important to you?

In this past general conference, there were at least 15 references to the sacrament in different talks.
Today, I’m hoping we can look at some of those references to learn more about the importance of the
sacrament. If you have any comments or stories, please feel free to interrupt.
Elder Oaks, The Parable of the Sower, Spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival, especially in a world that is moving away from belief in God and the absolutes of right and wrong. In an age dominated by the Internet, which magnifies messages that menace faith, we must increase our exposure to spiritual truth in order to strengthen our faith and stay rooted in the gospel.Young people, if that teaching seems too general, here is a specific example. If the emblems of the sacrament are being passed and you are texting or whispering or playing video games or doing anything else to deny yourself essential spiritual food, you are severing your spiritual roots and moving
yourself toward stony ground. You are making yourself vulnerable to withering away when you
encounter tribulation like isolation, intimidation, or ridicule. And that applies to adults also.

Elder L. Whitney Clayton, Choose to Believe, Our actions are the evidence of our belief and become the substance of our faith. We are choosing to believe when we pray and when we read the scriptures. We are choosing to believe when we fast, when we keep the Sabbath day holy, and when we worship in the temple. We are choosing to believe when we are baptized and when we partake of the sacrament. We are choosing to believe when we repent and seek divine forgiveness and healing love.

Elder Wilford W. Andersen, The Music of the Gospel, Parents, if our lives are out of tune with the music of the gospel, we need to tune them up. As President Thomas S. Monson taught us last October, we must ponder the path of our feet (see “Ponder the Path of Thy Feet,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 86–88). We know how to do it. We must walk the same path that we walked when we first heard the heavenly strains of gospel music. We exercise faith in Christ, repent, and take the sacrament; we feel more strongly the influence of the Holy Ghost; and the music of the gospel begins to play again in our lives.

Elder Dale G. Renlund, Latter-day Saints Keep on Trying, Our theology does teach us, though, that we may be perfected by repeatedly and iteratively “relying wholly upon” the doctrine of Christ: exercising faith in Him, repenting, partaking of the sacrament to renew the covenants and blessings of baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost as a constant companion to a greater degree. As we do so, we become more like Christ and are able to endure to the end, with all that that entails.In less formal terms, God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than about who we once were. He cares that we keep on trying.

Elder Michael T. Ringwood, Truly Good and without Guile, The good news of the gospel of Jesus
Christ is that the desires of our hearts can be transformed and our motives can be educated and refined. When we are baptized into the true fold of God, we begin the process of becoming new creatures (see2 Corinthians 5:17; Mosiah 27:26). Each time we renew the covenant of baptism by partaking of the sacrament, we are one step closer to that ultimate goal. As we endure in that covenant, we access the strength to mourn with those who mourn and to comfort those who need comfort (see Mosiah 18:9). In that covenant, we find the grace that enables us to serve God and keep His commandments, including loving God with all our hearts and loving our neighbors as ourselves. In that covenant, God and Christ succor us so we can succor those who stand in need of our succor

Elder Jose A. Teixeira, Seeking the Lord, It is refreshing to put aside our electronic devices for a while and instead turn the pages of the scriptures or take time to converse with family and friends. Especially on the Lord’s day, experience the peace of participating in a sacrament meeting without the constant urge to see if you have a new message or a new post.

Elder Neil L. Andersen, Thy Kingdom Come, Come, O thou King of Kings!” We are a very large
worldwide family of believers, disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have taken His name upon us, and each week as we partake of the sacrament, we pledge that we will remember Him and keep His
commandments. We are far from perfect, but we are not casual in our faith. We believe in Him. We
worship Him. We follow Him. We deeply love Him. His cause is the greatest cause in all the world.

What meaningful experiences have you had with the Sacrament?

What have you tried to do to make your time at Church on the Sabbath more meaningful?

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