Grace again? It’ll pop up a few more times!

I know I’ve been talking about grace a lot, but it is my focus for another few days.  I think that by the time I’ve actually stood up before our young women that I’ll be able to teach the class cold without my notes and just go where the spirit leads.

Thats the way I like teaching and like to give talks.  I always have a plan and always want to be ready with handouts or teaching tools that I may be led to because sometimes the Spirit will hijack my lessons and lead me in a different direction that my class needs to go.

In the case of my class, I want these young women to know how important grace is.  I’m not considering grace as only a part of the atonement or a part of the plan of salvation, but also as a part of our ability to heal and our ability to not just live but thrive!

Wow!  Just wow. 

So getting ready for Sunday, which is only four more days away isn’t a scary thing, but I do have a little bit of a case of nerves.  While I’ve taught most of the girls in my class on a regular basis, there are a few that I haven’t met yet and it will be the first time presenting a lesson with our Young Women’s leadership team being present.  While I’ve given a talk in which all but two of our leadership were present, it’s definitely a huge change.

Here are the questions I answered yesterday:

  • What is grace?
  • What will we receive because of grace?
  • Why do we need grace?
  • How can we use grace in our every day lives?

I also took a look at a number of scriptures about grace including the five from the ‘What is grace?‘ lesson outline:

 For by grace are ye saved through faithand that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

23 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.

 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecyand having all these witnesses we obtain hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weaknessthat we may know that it is by his graceand his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

32 Yea, 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 is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
 33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sinsthat ye become holywithout spot.

What have I learned from delving into thses scriptures?  Well, I have a few points of interest:

  1. by grace we are saved through the power of faith
  2. after all that we can do, (good, bad, serving our fellow men and women), grace is able to save us
  3. through our identity in Christ our faith is strengthened adn we can accomplish anything
  4. grace can help us find our perfection through our identity in Christ

Not too bad of a start for this journey in grace.

The next step in getting ready for this lesson was to find a number of talks and resources that addressed the topic of grace and the ‘after all we can do’ prase found in 2 Nephi 25:23.

Yesterday, I posted about a few talks that I had found that include:

The lesson outlien itself also includes In the strength of the Lord which was given by Elder David A. Bednar in the October 2004 General Conference.

From this talk, we’re able to take away one of the most amazing bits of information about grace that I’ve ever heard or seen in print.  “Grace is strenth and an enabling power…”

I keep going back to that thought which is a theme which also occurred in the October 23, 2001 BYU Devotional which also answered an amazing question about the journey of life and what it is a amazing roll grace plays in it.

The framework for my message today is a statement by President David O. McKay. He summarized the overarching purpose of the gospel of the Savior in these terms: “The purpose of the gospel is . . . to make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature” (from the film Every Member a Missionary, as acknowledged by Franklin D. Richards, CR, October 1965, 136–37; see also Brigham Young, JD 8:130 [22 July 1860]).

Thus the journey of a lifetime is to progress from bad to good to better and to experience the mighty change of heart–and to have our fallen natures changed.

Thats right, make bad men good and good men better through the power of the atonement with grace as it’s enabling power.

WOW!  I like wow moments and this one was very much a paradigm shift.  I don’t know about you, but with that right there, I get the chills.

Grace is the divine means to help and to strengthen and guide us through our darkest times.

For some of us, our darkest moments are ones where our lives are endangered, face a personal tragedy or struggling with the pain of depression which may come seasonally, as a result of imbalance in our brains or after facing our past.

I can’t even begin to tell you which of the circumstances are the worse, but when it comes down to it, it isn’t up to me to decide which is the worse.  In the end, it also isn’t up to us to decide if someone elses journey is harder than our own.

What is important is to know that no matter what our struggle is that we have grace to strengthen us.  Additionally, we can reach out to those around us that may be struggling to support and love on each other.

I know it isn’t always easy, but often we hear the promptings of spirit and feel that nudge to reach out to someone that may need us.


Welcome to Young Women, Sister G!

Last week the Second Counselor and I had training with the president of our Young Women’s organization at church and I learned so much about the program, and yet I know so little!

If you aren’t a member of the Church ofJesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or are a concert like me, the number of organizations and programs within the church that are always running can be overwhelming.

As a new convert I was given the opportunity to not only learn the gospel and gospel principles, I taught them as I learned them. That doesn’t mean I know the who’s who of the Book of Mormon yet, but I’m working on it.  

BTW thank you to TheRedHeadedHostess for the amazing DoodleBooks!!!! I hope that they will help me become closer with the Book of Mormon. While I’ve read through it and listened through several times, I’m still learning the history and the stories and know that the journals and DoodleBooks created by her will be a benefit for me.

Anyway, LDS Organization in a nut shell, ready go!  Kidding… 

I’ve said before that as a convert (silly auto correct keeps changing convert to concert… Replace convert with concert in the previous fragment and laugh), I have not had the opportunity to go through the Young Women’s program. I’m still struggling with mottos and themes and personal progress. 

There are also things that I don’t struggle with like loving the young women and the youth leaders, teaching when it’s my turn in the rotation.

I will learn the motto.  I love the theme:

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. (D&C 4:2)

I don’t know, there is just something about this quote and embarking in the service of God that speaks directly to me. While I missed our New Beginnings program and have no idea what that even is at this point, I am embarking in a new service to God and it is a bit exciting.

While our Ward is not as large as others and your Young Women meet together I have an amazing and very special group of young ladies that I have the opportunity to get to know as a Bee Hive Advisor.

During training I got to learn that we rotate which group of young ladies will conduct each month, how we rotate activities during the month and a bit about the young ladies that I will be serving.

I will also be the Personal Progress Coach. 

This part is one that is a bit scary for me. I am being encouraged to participate in Personal Progress and complete the program with my girls since I have not had the opportunity to do so before.

This was a wow moment for me. Part of my responsibilities will be to know what extra steps and activities we can do with a lesson to fulfill requirements for personal progress.

What a challenge that will be! I’m being asked to become an expert about something I know nothing about, for me this means reading through the personal progress book really fast a few times to get the gist of what this part of the program looks like and then start throwing together go to lists and activities. I can do this.

At the end of training, there was something that was more precious to me.

I was officially welcomed to Young Women. I received my Young Women pendant.   With a hug, I felt like after years of continuing in growing in my testimony and still growing in my conversion, that I finally belong.

I don’t have a chain for it yet, but I’ve been carrying it with me this week and look forward to completing my own Personal Progress and earning my medallion with my girls.

You could say that this years theme was just for me. Like my girls, I’m embarking in service of the Lord.