Relief Society, which has the responsibility "to look after the spiritual welfare and salvation… of all the female members of the Church, was organized to provide 'relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow, and the orphan, and for the exercise of all benevolent purposes.' This includes 'relief of poverty, relief of illness, relief of doubt, relief of ignorance; relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of woman.' " - Julie B. Beck

Mormon Org & Official Church Website

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lorenzo Snow in 2013

We are grateful to have studied George Albert Smith and his teachings in 2012. Thank you to our teachers who serve so diligently.

In 2013 we will study Lorenzo Snow. Here is a link to the manual. If you prefer to use an electronic copy only, then please let our presidency know and we will not give you a book.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sisters In White

Friday, October 12th at the Seattle Temple is Cedar River Ward's Sisters In White. Meet for dinner at 6:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria. The go to either an Endowment session or Baptisms.  Please RSVP to Leslie Behunin.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Lesson

Sunday's lesson was #18 Stay on the Lord's Side of the Line given by Julee Schneider

George Albert Smith often repeated the counsel of his grandfather George A Smith of "there is a line of demarcation well defined between the Lord's territory and the devil's territory. If you stay on the Lord's side of the line you will be under His influence and will have no desire to do wrong; but if you cross to the devil's side one inch, you are in the tempter's power and you will have lost the spirit of the Lord." He would ask himself when he had a choice to make "which side of the line am I on." All safety, righteousness and happiness are found on the Lord's side of the line.

The world would have us believe that the Lord won't really require us to follow those commandments and teachings of the prophets and that we can do as we please, but we know that the result of living our lives as we please will be the loss of the Holy Spirit.

President Smith used to think that all those rules and laws were a way to punish us if we messed up, but he soon came to realize that the Lord blesses us in our obedience and is the only way to true happiness and peace in our lives.

The adversary will make every attempt to influence us to turn from God and destroy our happiness. None of us are free from temptation and the way will not always be easy. Satan will tirelessly and carefully try to lead us down a path of destruction and Nephi saw our day and the tactics that Satan would use. The scriptures can give us guidance in our day to day lives in how to overcome these temptations of the adversary. When we make a commitment to stay on the side of the Lord and strengthen one another and associate with others with a similar determination, we are able to live by the influence of the Holy Ghost. God allows us to choose which side we will be on and He will never forsake us when we choose to stay on the Lord's side.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Lesson

Lesson # 17 The Strengthening Power of Faith given by Traci Cline

In 1919, George Albert Smith was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and called as president of the European mission. Due to hard economic conditions at the close of World War 1, government officials were reluctant to issue visas to foreigners and there were very few missionaries as a result. He had great faith that the Lord would open a way for missionaries to be allowed to come back and preach the gospel to a word in need of it's message and President Smith was able to gain audience with the Minister of Labor and achieve the desired results.

Without faith, we cannot please God. It is a moving cause of action.
It was by faith that Noah built the arc.
It was by faith that Lot and his family were preserved in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra.
Daniel in the lions den was protected through his faith.
By faith the prophet Elijah called down fire from heaven to consume his offering.
Faith enabled the disciples of Jesus to endure persecution and it was the power of faith the Jesus performed His many miracles.
Faith led a young boy to kneel in a grove of trees to pray and to eventually receive the sacred records.
Brigham Young led the saints across the plains and settled a new frontier by faith.

President Smith reminded a young missionary to remember to give the Lord a chance, to ask Him to open the way and then act on that faith that this is indeed the Lord's work and He will prepare the way for the work to be accomplished.

Faith is a gift from God to the righteous. It is a fruit of righteous living and if we feel we are lacking in faith, we can renew our efforts to keep the commandments, to draw closer to God and trust that we will receive the reward of faith.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sunday Report

Sunday's lesson was given by Shari Carnahan on The Plan of Salvation.

The Plan of Salvation is the second lesson given in the missionary discussions as it lays out with clarity the answers so many people have about why we are here and where we are going. It speaks to our
very purpose in life and can give us clear direction in life.

We can know that we were among the sons of God shouting for joy at the opportunity provided to us to learn and grow and progress in coming to the earth, receiving bodies and walking by faith.

2nd Nephi 2;25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and joyful and the foundation of real joy comes from living the gospel. We don't have to walk in darkness when we follow the plan of happiness found in keeping the
commandments, studying the scriptures and serving and lifting one another.

Mosiah 18:8-9 speaks of a willingness to enter into baptism and then mourn with those who mourn and share one another's burdens, to be a comfort to one another and to stand as a witness of God at all  times.

The veil of forgetfulness is part of that plan where we will have to choose for ourselves the path we will take. It is natural to have many questions and questioning is good when it leads us to study and gain our own testimony. The temple and scriptures teach us many things about our purpose in life and give us sure guidance in returning to Heavenly Father.

The Plan of Salvation brings peace to our souls and the light of Christ can reflect in our countenance and increase our desire to share and help others. We are here to learn and grow together and to  continue shouting for joy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sunday Report

Sunday's lesson was #16 Offer Up Thy Sacraments Upon My Holy Day given by Yvonne Lucas

When George Albert Smith was a boy, he had the same desires to play ball on Sundays, just like all his friends, but his wise mother never said he couldn't go out to play, just told him that he would be happier if he did not do that. He received wise training in the home and came to learn where happiness comes from and it is in keeping the commandments of God and that keeping the Sabbath day holy brings great blessings.

The sacrament is all important to our Sabbath day worship and was instituted by our Savior, to partake in remembrance of the body and blood of His atoning sacrifice.
It is an opportunity to renew our covenants with Him who gave His life and to remember Him.
It is a sacred privilege to partake of the sacrament.

We regularly feed our physical body for strength and we need to feed our spiritual body for spiritual strength. The sacrament can be a deeply spiritual feast. We must always be sure to partake worthily and in a spiritual state of mind, with clean hands and a pure heart and a desire to be acceptable to our Father. We can come to better love one another as our Father has asked of us.

The Sabbath day can be one of rest, renewal, a spiritual uplift that can better prepare us for the coming week.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sunday Report

The lesson this Sunday was a continuation of the 3rd hour joint discussion on temple worship from last Sunday and was given by Becky Sandoval.

Temples provide the sacred opportunity to enter into the house of the Lord and make covenants on our own behalf, to provide ordinances for those who have gone beyond the veil and to bind families for eternity and is a place of personal revelation and inspiration.

David O. McKay in an address (click HERE to read his address) to missionaries receiving their endowment, spoke of some being disappointed in their first visit to the temple because they were not used to the symbolic nature of the teachings in the temple and were so focused on the mechanics of the endowment and not the spiritual nature of the temple. We likened it to the many ways a flag symbolizes a country. It is much more than fabric on a stick, it represents freedom, sacrifice, liberty and many more layers of meaning. We participate weekly in a symbolic act in partaking of the sacrament in remembrance of the body and blood of Christ and His atoning sacrifice. It also represents the bread of life and living waters.
Baptism also has symbolism of a bath to wash us clean from sin, a new life and rebirth in Christ and a tomb in the burial of the natural man and resurrection through Jesus Christ.

The scriptures are a great source for gaining better understanding of the covenants made in the temple.

In the 47th chapter of Ezekiel, he saw in vision the living waters flowing out of the temple and everywhere it flowed, it brought living, healing water. Ezekiel was instructed to wade into the water and it came to his ankles. He was told to walk farther down the river and the water rose to his loins. Upon entering again and again, the waters rose over his head, cool, refreshing, healing water to swim in and immerse himself in.
In our first visit to the temple, we barely get our feet wet, but as we wade in again and again, we will find great meaning and waters to swim in.
If we continue to attend the temple, even if it is only out of faith and service to others, we will eventually need to focus less and less on the mechanics and more on the spiritual teachings in the temple.

We can receive guidance for ourselves and our family and find answers to our questions both spiritual and temporal that can come to us in serving in the temple.
The temple is a place of peace, love and refuge from the world. Let us renew our efforts to learn and grow in our temple experience.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sunday Report

Sunday's lesson was combined with the Priesthood brethren and was graciously led by Brother Scott Campbell with the results of a survey on what prevents us from attending the temple regularly.

We sometimes feel we don't get anything out of going to the temple, but many people shared that by going anyway, slowly it became more meaningful. We can also go simply out of service to those beyond the veil, in a work that can only be done by us on their behalf.

A talk by President David O. McKay was referenced and the link is included below. We invite you to read this talk, ponder what it means in your life and temple experiences you have had.
The time for further discussion was all too short and we will expand on this topic next Sunday.

The temple is a place of peace and love. We can receive inspiration and revelation for our own benefit and that of our loved ones. Please free to share helps and ideas that have made a difference in your life and how we can prepare for our annual Sisters In White coming in October.

Click HERE for David O. McKay's talk.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sunday Report 6/10

Lesson 11 Revelation from God to His Children, taught be Julee Schneider.

President Smith shared an experience on a flight from California to Utah, when they suddenly flew into one of the worst fogs he had ever seen. When looking out the window, he could see nothing and his concern overcame him when he thought about the high mountains he knew were approaching. In his anxiety, he went into the cockpit to see how the pilot and co pilot were going to navigate the perilous situation. In the cockpit he noticed the pilot had a device over his ear that received radio beams to let them know when they were on or off course and was told when they listened to the clicking of the beam, they could continually readjust course to arrive at their destination safely.
He thought on this experience and the lesson he learned and likened it unto the scriptures and the leaders of the church. The Lord has given us advise through the scriptures, but He has given us a pilot in the form of a prophet who is guided by a voice that will that will enable him to lead us to where we should safely go.

If we are living as we know we should, we are entitled to the whispering of the still, small voice.
The thing that differentiates us from many other churches is that we believe in divine revelation, we believe our Father speaks today, just as he did in the time of Adam. Our Father has set his hand in this world for the salvation of the children of men.

We are each entitled to personal inspiration from the Holy Ghost if we obey the commandments. We don't need to rely on the word of someone else, we can know for ourselves through reading the scriptures, prayer, following the words of the prophets and obeying the commandments. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is a safe guide along the pathway of mortal life and a sure preparation for a home in His Celestial kingdom.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sunday Report

This past Sunday was Ward Conference and we did not have our traditional Relief Society lesson. Instead we were fortunate to hear from our ward and stake leaders. Most of us were able to attend the 3rd hour together. 

The thing I took away and have been thinking about was something President Rodarde said. As he talked about the huge struggles and challenges our youth are facing he stressed that we, the adults of the ward need to take care of the adults so that the bishop(ric) can take care of the youth. I never realized that by faithfully doing our home and visiting teaching we are indirectly helping the youth of the church. He also talked about the influence for good we can have on the youth as we associate with them. 

I'm grateful for these reminders.
-Sis. Behunin

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sunday Report

Lesson # 8 taught by Becky Sandoval "Temple Blessings for Ourselves and Our Ancestors"

As a new apostle, George Albert Smith toured many church history sites describes the view of seeing the Kirtland temple and knowing that the Savior appeared here to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. The saints built this temple in extreme poverty and sacrifice and the Lord blessed them.

In the temple we receive sacred ordinances that bind families for eternity. We are the only people in the world who know what temples are for. We have the opportunity to make sacred covenants that assure our family relationships for the eternities. 1Corinthians 15:19 says If in this life only had we hope, we would indeed be of all men most miserable.
The temple gives us knowledge of the eternal nature and purpose of our lives.
We must take the opportunity to see to our own covenants and avail ourselves to the blessing of the temple.

Through temple work we make blessings available to our deceased ancestors. Our Heavenly Father told the people through Joseph Smith that unless we perform the work for our dead, we would lose our own blessing and be cut off. Sister Johanna Moose shared her feelings of temple work for her ancestors and the love she has for her family. The challenge was made to increase our desire to see to the ordinances for our own families. Her desire was to be greeted on the other side of the veil by thousands of her family members, all bound under the covenant of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Lord will assist us in searching for our kindred dead. Many miracles occur in compiling our family history and President Smith related the story of Mr Dawes. A mistaken identity and meeting resulted in the church receiving a very valuable book of genealogy for the church library.
The Lord is helping us and the way will be opened, people are being prepared and prompted to do their genealogy.

We are blessed to live in these modern times with so many tools available to us. We live near temples and will be held without excuse. Let us commit to the work of binding our families together and reap eternal joy. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sunday Report

Sunday's lesson from the manual was #7 The Immortality of the Soul

President Smith in speaking at the passing of loved ones said,
"Instead of mourning I feel to thank our Father in Heaven for the
gospel of His beloved Son that has been revealed anew in our day.". He
taught that  our comprehension of this life is that it is eternal
life, that we are living in eternity today as much as we ever will
live in eternity.

Our earth life is such a small part of our existence, we lived in our
pre-mortal existence, our current earth life and eternities beyond.

What a happy people we should be with the knowledge we have that this
probation is not to prepare us to die, but to live, that the Father's
desire for us is that we may avoid every error and receive every
truth, and by applying truth to our lives become more like Him and
become worthy to dwell with Him.

This life is not given to us as a past time. There was a solid purpose
in our creation, in the life that God has given to us. Having this
knowledge will guide us in how we live our lives, the priorities we
set, and the paths we choose.

The purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to prepare every man,
woman and child for the time when all those who have died will be
brought forth from their graves and when our Heavenly Father will
establish his kingdom upon this earth and the righteous will dwell
there and Jesus Christ will be our King and our Law-Giver.

If, when our life's labor on earth was finished, we had no opportunity
to go on developing, there would be little to inspire us to live as we
should here. The knowledge that all the good we accomplish here and
all the development we make, will enhance our happiness eternally,
encourages us to do our best.

If those who have passed on could speak to us, They would say "Press
on, press on for the goal that will bring us eternal happiness
together." Do the things the Lord would have you do and you will not
miss anything that is worthwhile, but on the contrary you will be
continually laying up treasures in Heaven where moth and rust cannot

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday Report

This week's lesson was from teachings of George Albert Smith chapter 6 titled Sustaining Those Whom The Lord Sustains, given by Traci Cline.

When George Albert Smith was sustained as president of the church in general conference October 1945 he added this request: "I will need the help of every man and every woman and every child, not for my blessing, but for your blessing, and for the blessing of the children of men wherever they may be. That is not my responsibility, that is our responsibility.
We have a responsibility to do our part in sustaining our leaders and following their counsel, in preparing ourselves spiritually. Sustaining our leaders is a sacred is not just a symbol, but an indication that, with the help of the Lord, you will carry your part of the work.

Our leaders are chosen by the Lord and  He expects us to sustain them in word and action.
Those who preside over the church are prepared, chosen and inspired by the Lord.
Through His servants, the Lord teaches us the pattern for happiness and safety.
Those who are humble and faithful sustains and defends the Lords' servants.
When we sustain our leaders, we commit to follow their counsel and magnify our own callings.

When Moses led Israel through the wilderness they were attacked by Amalek at Rephidim.
When Moses held the rod of God above his head, Israel prevailed, but when he let his hands down because of weakness, Amalek prevailed. Aaron and Hur held up the hands of Moses and supported him until the battle was won. When he had the support of the people, they too were blessed.

God grant that we may hold up the hands of the servants of the Lord who preside over us and assist in every possible way to help carry the burdens that rest so heavily upon their shoulders.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sunday Report

The lesson for this week was the TFOT talk, given by Dallin H. Oaks entitled Teachings of Jesus, given by Yvonne Lucas. 
Dallin H. Oaks
"What think ye of Christ?" is a question asked by the Lord of the Pharisees of His day, and can just as well be asked of each of us in our time. What we think of Jesus will largely determine our eternal destiny.  Who He is and what He has done for us is something that each one of us must decide for ourselves and a then act accordingly.  That is basically the test of mortality.  Christ taught that He was the only Begotten Son of God sent to save the world through the Atonement.  God the Father confirmed this more than once.  Christ also taught that He was the creator of all things through direction of the Father.  He also affirmed that He was the God of Israel, the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament.

He came that we might have abundant life, for He declared that He was the light and life of the world.  Through His resurrection we all are assured that we, too, will live again and through the infinite Atonement we will have the opportunity to gain eternal life.  He came as the way, the truth, and the life, lighting our path in mortality, back to the Father.  He honored the Father and always did God's will.  Thus He became our way back to the Father, by showing us how to likewise always do the Father's will.  He was the Great Exemplar.

He brought the great priesthood powers back to the earth and gave them to His Apostles.  He also taught the Apostles and us about the Holy Ghost, which the Father would send in Christ's place to teach and guide and witness of the truthfulness of all things to all who humbly seek such knowledge.  He also gave commandments and clarified all aspects of the doctrine that had caused contention.  He counseled us to seek after eternal life, and not get caught up in the things of this world.  The Atonement was the culmination of His earthly ministry.  We are blessed with a fuller understanding of that great act through the Book of Mormon. " We therefore understand that the Atonement of Jesus Christ gives us the opportunity to overcome the spiritual death that results from sin and, through making and keeping sacred covenants, to have the blessings of eternal life."

"What think ye of Christ?" takes on more meaning when we consider these things.  There is no middle ground, for we are followers of Jesus Christ.  He is who He claimed to be.  He did the Father's will and performed the Infinite Atonement for each one of us.  If you do not yet know this for yourself, the knowledge is within your reach, through study and prayer and obedience to the commandments He gave us.  A modern day Apostle of the Lord, even Dallin H. Oaks, bears testimony of Christ and challenges us to get our own testimony and share it with all we meet.

Sunday Report

Peter, James, & John restoring the Melchizedek
The lesson for the day was Chapter 5 of the manual the Holy Priesthood--for the Blessing of God's Children, given by JoAnn Bohlin, substituting for Julee Schneider.  President Smith began by discussing the seriousness of the obligation assumed by twelve year old boys when they receive the priesthood and are ordained deacons.  He felt that they should know immediately that they have been given something that is eternally important, including the opportunity to bless the lives of others.  He then discussed how the Savior came to a world filled with evil at the meridian of time where the divine authority to act for God had been lost.  Christ needed to restore that authority in order ot organize His Church on the earth again. Choosing humble, teachable men who would believe Him, He taught them and conferred upon them the divine authority to act in the name of God.  When He left them they retained the authority to govern that Church and take its message to all the world.

After a time the wickedness of the world resulted in another apostasy, and the authority of the Apostles was lost from the earth for many centuries. Once more a restorer and a process of restoration was provided in another humble individual, Joseph Smith, who brought to the world not only the Lord's Church but additional scripture that testified in plainness of the Father's plan for the redemption of all of His children. Joseph and his scribe Oliver Cowdrey, received again the divine authority of the Holy Priesthood, first the Aaronic Priesthood under the hands of John the Baptist, a glorious resurrected being sent to teach them and ordain them, and second under the hands of Peter, James and John, the First Presidency of the Church after the Lord was crucified.  These men had held and magnified the priesthood in ancient times and were charged with bringing it back to earth at the time of the final restoration.

Those worthy men who function in the Church today, hold the same Priesthood that was restored to Joseph Smith by these men of former times.  They are required to minister in the ordinances of the gospel.  Because this authority was given by God, it is found on the earth today only in His Church.  It is through them that all the ordinances required to bring us back to Heavenly Father and allow us to be exalted in the Celestial Kingdom, must be administered.  Just as there is no other name under heaven by which mankind may be saved except that of Jesus Christ, so to there is no other organization on the earth that can administer the ordinances required for exaltation.  It is not out of arrogance or pride that this claim is made, but to let all men and women know where they must look for this the greatest of all the blessings of God.  

Good people of the earth, performing good works still need the authority of the Priesthood and its ordinances to receive exaltation.  They will be blessed for their goodness, but it is necessary for them to come unto Christ, in His true Church, and receive Priesthood ordinances through divine authority to receive all that the Father desires to give them.  Within the Church, those who hold the Priesthood and those who labor under their direction hold a sacred trust and have a sacred opportunity  to use that divine authority to bring all good people to Christ.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday Report

Sunday's lesson was taken from a conference talk given by Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve entitled Waiting upon the Lord:  Thy Will be Done, given by Sister Yvonne Lucas.  

Brother Hales, who has struggled with some significant health problems in  recent years, told of studying and learning more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the eternal blessings that are available because of that great sacrifice.  He noted that even before Christ's earthly mission, as He was preparing, He set the tone for His own mission, and a great example for us, as He the told the Father "Thy will be done and the glory by thine forever," thus exercising His agency to accept and carry out our Heavenly Father's plan.

Elder Hales pondered why trials and tribulations came so readily to the Son of God and to many of the prophets and faithful Saints when all were trying to do the will of the Father.  Since the purpose of life is for us to grow and develop and be strengthened by our experiences, the trials and challenges afford us the opportunity to show that we will use our agency to follow the Lord.  We have been promised  that no matter the difficulty of our circumstances, if we endure them well, they will give us experience and prepare us for eternal life.  Waiting upon the Lord, having the hope of and trust in the plan of salvation, will allow us to give ourselves over to the will of the Lord, knowing that He and the Father want only our eternal happiness and know best how to guide us to that. 

Elder Hales reminded us that every one of us is more beloved  to the Lord than we can possibly understand or imagine.  As we "wait upon the Lord, we are becoming 'saints through {His} atonement..."  Our Gethsemanes are the refiners fire that will make of us pure gold, fit to be in the company of all who have endured the adversities of mortality, ready to continue our eternal progression

Remember next week is Stake Conference and you may attend the video feed of the 10:00 general session in our own Wax Road Building
Sunday, March 11th will be Chapter 5 of the George Albert Smith manual, given by Julee Schneider.

Have a great week and remember our new Bishop and his family in your prayers. 

The Relief Society Presidency

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday Report

The Relief Society Lesson was Chapter 4 of the George Albert Smith manual, taught by a member  substituting for Traci Cline.  Entitled The Prophet Joseph Smith,God's Instrument in Restoring the Truth. It reminded us of the great debt the world owes to the prophet of the restoration, and strengthened our admiration for his latter day successor, President George Albert Smith, for his strong testimony and insight into this gospel.  

The lesson opened with a discussion of the dedication of a monument dedicated on the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Joseph  Smith at his birthplace in Sharon Vermont.  As a relatively new member of the Quorum of the Twelve, President Smith attended the dedication and participated in the program, and was profoundly moved with gratitude for the blessings the Latter-day Saints have received through the life and mission of the Prophet Joseph, and his sacrifice to seal his work and his testimony. 

At the age of fourteen Joseph received an experience that would forever change not only himself, but would profoundly alter the knowledge available to those who sought to know God and His words.  The First Vision gives to the world evidence that the heavens are not sealed, that a personal God, in the form of an exalted man, knows, hears and answers the prayers of those who sincerely seek Him.  It revealed the order of heaven, for the Father delegated to His exalted,living Son, Jesus Christ, the opportunity to open this the final dispensation by instructing Joseph who was foreordained to be the prophet to restore the truths of all former dispensations to the earth.  

From this initial experience in the Sacred Grove, came the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, line upon line, precept upon precept, to a maturing Joseph Smith:  the Book of Mormon, the ordinances of the gospel necessary for salvation, the official organization of the Lord's Church once more to the earth, a growing knowledge of what God and His Son are offering to each one of us and the requirements that are necessary to be met so that we can receive all that the Father has. 

From the moments in the Grove, when the Adversary, whose strength and evil Joseph felt with his whole being, sought to destroy this opportunity, to the final moments of a short but amazing life during which he completed his mission to bring to the earth once more the work and the word of God, after years of apostasy, he faced the best efforts of Satan to thwart the work of the Lord.  He knew that it would be required of him to seal this great work with his blood.  He and his beloved brother and companion, Hyrum went willingly to what they knew could be their deaths, inspired by that same Adversary into the hearts of evil men. Satan is still trying, in vain, to destroy the work of Joseph Smith.

Next Week will be TFOT by Yvonne Lucas using the talk by Robert D. Hales.  Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done   

Have a great week

The Relief Society Presidency

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Adult Social

Thank you to all who attended the adult social Friday evening.  It was a great activity with much food for thought as well as delicious treats and a time to visit, relax, and enjoy good company.  Much gratitude to all who helped make it possible.

Our fabulous speaker: Elena Cotton

Amazing carved fruit from our very talented Analee Meusburger

The whole spread- once again, thanks to all who volunteered their time and talents!

Sunday Report

The lesson for the week was Chapter 3 of the George Albert Smith manual entitled Our Testimony of Jesus Christ.  

Merrily Seely presented the lesson as Julee Schneider was out of town.  She began by asking if we had ever encountered the common accusation that we as Latter-day Saints are not really Christian and do not believe in Jesus Christ, or at least not the same Jesus Christ that other Christians worship.  We have all heard of this complaint against the Church in our day but she assured us that even in the time of President George Albert Smith this seemed to be a common, but troubling belief held by many.  As a special witness of Christ and as His Prophet on the earth,  President Smith held an unshakable testimony of the divinity of the Lord and of the divinity of the mission which He performed for the eternal benefit of all mankind.  

He spoke often of the Lord and of how we as members of the restored Church best understand the divine mission of Jesus Christ, believe Him to be the Son of God who today sits on the right hand of the Father and leads this Church.  We are assured of His authority to speak in the name of the Father, for He came to earth to do the will of the Father and He continues to do that today as He directs the work to be carried out by His Church in preparation for His return in power and glory to reign personally on the earth.

We as members of His true Church have additional witnesses of Christ's divinity in the Book of Mormon and in the words of the prophet of the restoration, Joseph Smith, and the words of each succeeding prophet called to lead this Church.  The resurrected Lord ministered to the righteous Nephites in the meridian of time, and the Father and the Son appeared to the young Joseph Smith in sacred grove, revealing important truths about the nature of the Godhead and the reality of the details of the mission of Christ as presented in the Bible.

All of this wonderful knowledge can form the basis for our own personal testimony that Jesus is the Christ.  Our knowledge, gleaned by searching and pondering the scriptures, listening and testing the words of the brethren through prayer, and coming to recognize the whisperings of the Spirit, making and keeping the sacred covenants and keeping the commandments, will give us the testimony of Christ and the gospel that will bind us to the Father and the Son for all eternity, if we remain faithful to it. 

It then becomes our mission to share that testimony with others for it will bring to them great peace and happiness in this life and eternal joy in the world to come.  We belong to the true and living church that holds the power of God unto salvation to all those who believe. The Spirit will witness of its truth to all who earnestly seek to know.  President Smith encouraged us to live as worthy exemplars of the Lord, that through our lives others will know that we are indeed believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Next Week:  Chapter 4  The Prophet Joseph Smith given by

Have a great week and try to find a quiet time to read for yourselves the words of George Albert Smith on the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Relief Society Presidency

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sunday Report

The lesson for the first Sunday of the month was the Presidency Message given by Linda Marler.  Appropriately she chose the theme of hearts for this month and based her lesson largely on a talk given by Elder Russell M. Nelson in April Conference of 2011 entitled Face the Future with Faith.  

She began by asking us what we feared in this uncertain, often violent, constantly changing world where the forces of evil will ever be in opposition to the forces of good.  Ours is a time of turmoil; natural disasters and political, social and economic conflicts are everywhere. It is only natural that we might be fearful, but Elder Nelson cautions that we must not let our fears displace our faith.  That means that we must ever be strengthening our own faith and helping our families and friends strengthen theirs.  We must be sure that ours is a Faith-Full  heart, for it is faith that can overcome fear in all things.

We must especially seek to teach our children and grandchildren to have that faith that will protect them from fear.  Faith in God's plan of salvation, faith in the power of obedience as a mighty protection  and a source of joy here and hereafter.  It will provide spiritual and physical protection, for the Lord has promised that He will go before our face and be on our right hand and on our left, His Spirit will be in our hearts and His angels will surround us. Prayer can be a mighty tool in strengthening our faith, and if we through our prayers can gain an eternal perspective, we will know that our righteous desires, our heartfelt pleadings will be heard and will be granted, and that which we have suffered will work for our eternal good.

We develop faith, and courage, or better, a faithful heart, as we seek to deal with life's trials in full knowledge of who we are as daughters of God with divine nature and infinite worth, who have been chosen to be on the earth at this tumultuous time.  We are among the standard bearers and covenant people, who have access to eternal blessings through the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood, including the blessings of the temple.  This knowledge should give us the heart, the courage to face those things that we fear, relying on the Spirit to guide and comfort and teach us.  Though the world is a scary place and evil abounds, with our eternal perspective, and the peace the Lord has promised us  (John 14:27) we can go forward with faith-full hearts walking uprightly and keeping the commandments.

Next week Sister Merrily Seely will teach Chapter 3 from the George Albert Smith manual substituting for Sister Julee Schneider.

Have a great week, fill your heart with faith and courage, knowing who you are and what you can do with the Lord's help.

The Relief Society Presidency

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday Report

Sunday was a very special day in that we were able to welcome sisters who usually serve  in YW and Primary to our meeting.  How wonderful to feel of the spirits of those who serve our tots to teens with such loving care.  We are all members of Relief Society which is God's organization for all of His daughters. 

In our annual Visiting Teaching Seminar we enjoyed watching and hearing a talk given by Mary Ellen Edmunds.  A well known speaker and author, she has had many experiences in all parts of the world  teaching and serving in many humble places.  She spoke of the humble sisters of Java, Indonesia, (take note Amber) whose testimonies and dedication to serving one another approached the concept of "pure religion and undefiled" and serve as examples to those of us who live in more complicated circumstances.  She admonished us to not ever let charity fail, but to seek to dedicate ourselves to making Relief Society, especially through visiting teaching, a place of sanctuary for the sisters and their families.

If possible take the time to click on the link and listen or relisten to Sister Edmunds' talk.  It will gain meaning by revisiting the profound things she says about visiting teaching (and you will probably enjoy her witty sense of humor) and you will be inspired to try even harder to serve and love those you have been asked to serve, for as she said, we are never asked, in the Lord's Church, to do anything stupid, or without greater meaning than might be apparent on the surface.  Visiting teaching really matters, and you as a dedicated visiting teacher can really make a difference, even in small ways, for we are taught that it is by small and simple things that great things, maybe even miracles, are brought to pass. 
We have been promised that angels will be our associates as we do this work and we will be showing our love for God, and our gratitude for the Savior's Atonement, as we love our neighbor as ourselves and serve them in the name of Jesus Christ.

Next week will be the Presidency message given by Sister Marler.

Have a great week and do try to spend a few minutes with Sister Edmunds and think about the good you can do as a visiting teacher.

The Relief Society Presidency

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sunday Report

Sunday's lesson was Chapter 2 in the manual entitled  Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself, given by Traci Cline. We have an obligation to share the knowledge whenever we can, and wherever possible to reach out in empathy to lift and encourage those who are struggling, helping them to understand this key fact that they are of infinite worth to God and to others, with the potential to succeed here and eternally.  We know that God loves each one of His children and we have been placed here to teach and help and nurture one another.

The gospel teaches us that we must have faith, hope and charity, and emphasizes that charity is the greatest attribute of all, because it is the defining attribute of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is a gospel of love and we often express that love, as a Church and as individuals, through service.  It is through that service, and through the influence of the Spirit, that our love for our fellow man will increase, our souls will enlarge and we will have the desire to bless all of God's children with an understanding of the truths of the gospel. 
President Smith encourages us to evidence by our conduct, our gentleness, our love and our faith, by our willingness to reach beyond our immediate circle of family and friends, that we keep that great commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.

We demonstrate charity not only by imparting of our substance to those in need, but by having charity for the weaknesses and failures and mistakes of our Father's children.  We can treat such with  kindness and love and encourage them to turn from error, acknowledging, with our kindness and respect, our knowledge that they are indeed beloved children of our same Heavenly Father, and whenever possible teaching them the truths that will help them see who they really are. 
That is our obligation as Latter-day Saints.  We cannot drive people to do things which are right but often we can love them into doing them, if they come to realize that we are sincere in our concern for their welfare.

True happiness comes in this life to those who love and serve others.  The more we give of that which is uplifting and enriching to others, the more we will be enlarged in our capacity to love and give and influence others for righteousness.  In this way we are showing our appreciation to our Heavenly Father for all that He has given to us. 
Let us become more aware of others, and of the needs, temporal and spiritual, which we might meet for them.  Many times the acts are simple and easy to give, such as a helping hand or a kind word, or a compliment.  Other times they will require more thought and sacrifice on our part.  Each act will shape our character and enrich our soul that we will be more "fit for the Kingdom."

Have a great week.  Keep the snow shovel handy. 
Look for opportunities to reach out to those we meet.

Next week will be TFOT given by Yvonne Lucas on the talk The Divine Gift of Repentance by D. Todd Christofferson from November's conference.

The Relief Society Presidency

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Self Defense

Our self defense class was AWESOME! A huge thank you to Steve Jenkins for sharing not only his knowledge in this area but his spunky sense of humor and his padded body! We shared the evening with the sisters from the Lake Lucerne ward and got to forge new relationships as well as cement previous ones. What an awesome program Relief Society is!

Here is a quick album of the photos taken during the evening... thanks Kailey! (Click the image to take you to the "show", select any image and then just use your arrow keys to scroll through the nights photos)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday Report

Dear Sisters,

This will be the second week of the new year and things should be settling into a routine.  Now is the time to be sure that you put aside some time to study the new Relief Society manual.  No matter where you are serving, you are an important part of the Cedar River Relief Society and we want to be sure that you are benefiting from the special lessons that we will be getting this year.  Teachings of the Presidents of the Church  George Albert Smith contains the thoughts and teachings of an inspirational prophet that most of us know little about.  Take the time to read the introduction and the Life and Ministry of George Albert Smith where you will meet a humble man of God who lived a life of inspiring service and self dedication to the cause of Heavenly Father's Plan. 

Also remember to look in the back of your manual for the lesson schedule for the year.  You will be able to follow the lessons being taught and benefit from them even if you are not in RS that week.  Thanks to sisters Bohlin and Hutchison for putting that together.

george_albert_smith_MDToday our newest teacher, Julee Schneider, started off our year of studying the teachings of George Albert Smith.  With this first lesson we are already learning what an extraordinary man of God President George Albert Smith was.  In the Chapter entitled Living What We Believe, we see that he was truly a dedicated servant of the Lord who framed for himself a personal creed early in his service as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.  In this creed we can see his compassion for his fellow sons and daughters of God,  his gentle desire to ease the burdens of any he might meet, and to overcome any negative tendencies in his own character, reveal an unfailing follower of the Lord.  "Knowing that the Redeemer of mankind has offered to the world the only plan that will fully develop us and make us really happy here and hereafter, I feel it not only a duty but also a blessed privilege to disseminate this truth."  This reflects perfectly the way he lived his life.

Obedience, the first law of heaven, is the thing that will qualify us as Saints.  We must be worthy to qualify for the title of Latter-day Saint, which demands more than our name on the records of the Church.  We must not only learn the will of the Father, but we must do it also, day by day building the foundation that can help us become like our Savior.  We have been given much knowledge and wisdom as members of the Lord's true church,  we have knowledge of the pre -mortal existence, and that we are here because we have been successful in being obedient in keeping our first estate, and  we have been given the opportunity and the tools to keep our second estate and thereby gain eternal life.  Because of these advantages,we will not be judged as will our brothers and sisters here in mortality, but will be held to a higher standard, for we have received the words of the Lord which can lead us back to the Father.  Should we fail to live those words, they will condemn us.

We are expected to prepare for and live worthy  of the blessings that He has promised.  We must store our minds with the truth and disseminate that truth to His children.  President Smith warns that we cannot live like the world and expect to obtain our rightful place in the Kingdom of God.  There is only one way to gain the blessings of eternal life, and that is through obedience to the commandments.

As we live to be worthy, serving with all our hearts, and being ever obedient, we will be blessed people.  Through the Spirit we can serve faithfully, and the desire to do good will help us overcome any temptations placed in our way. We will be examples  of good to those that observe us and our Heavenly Father will be glorified by our works. If we do as much as we can, in our callings and in our service to others, to reflect the will of the Father and the Son, we will be blessed and so will all those we touch.  If we are not yet at that level of dedication we have the opportunity and the obligation to step up our commitment.  If we are humble and prayerful, living the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, if we show our faith in God, and live a correct and consistent life, we will be bearing  the strongest testimony of the truth of this work.

Next week we will be hearing Chapter 2 “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself” given by Traci Cline.

Have a good week and think about formulating a creed to live by using President Smith's creed as an inspiration.

The Relief Society Presidency

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sunday Report

The lesson for the day was the Presidency Message given by Sister Vach, based on a talk given by President David O. McKay in 1941.   As the words of the prophet always do, this talk carries a timeless message on how we can best appreciate the temple experience by learning to see and feel beyond the surface events with the help of preparation and the Holy Spirit.  Too often people enter the temple totally unprepared and therefore apprehensive.  They therefore are usually disappointed and feel that they have failed in some way and that everyone else has been able to grasp and appreciate the deep spiritual meaning that they have somehow missed.  In reality the temple experience is a lifelong study in the basic principles of Heavenly Father's plan for His children's eternal welfare.  As we are faithful to the commandments and seek to keep the promises we make, we grow in our spiritual abilities and come gradually to understand more and more each time we experience the temple ceremonies.

As we seek to see more clearly and understand more thoroughly the message of the temple ceremony it helps to see beyond what President McKay calls the "mechanics" of the temple and truly grasp the spiritual significance of those "mechanics."  The temple message is symbolic in nature, each act carrying a connotation or deeper meaning that points to the Father's plan for us.  One of the first things we experience in the temple is the washing.  This mundane act in reality signifies the cleanliness that is required to be near and become like God;  cleanliness of mind, as well as body, for we must seek to rid ourselves of every ill feeling or vulgar thought.  Then we are anointed to become all that the Father knows that we can become: Queens and Priestesses to God.  How empowering to be reminded who we really are, especially in relationship to our Heavenly Father.  How different from the voices of the world which often make us feel unimportant and insignificant.  Clothed in the white temple garments we are given feelings of dignity and purity and moral strength, knowing that we can be clean totally through the Atonement and our willingness to repent. 

Then we make covenants that have great significance in how we will live here in mortality.  We covenant to live the law of Elohim, placing God at the center of our lives. How different from attending Church once a week!  Then we covenant to be willing to obey the law of sacrifice.  This means we must turn away from the worldly concept of selfish self interest and place other's welfare before our own.  How like the Savior this can make us if we are willing to keep that covenant.  Then comes the Law of the Gospel, contained in the standard works of the Church.  They are the word of God, the Iron Rod, that will lead us safely back to our Heavenly Father.  We must covenant to learn and live them. The law of chastity requires us to covenant to live a pure life, in deed and thought, and thus protect the power that is essential to Heavenly Father's Plan  of bringing his spirit children to earth and binding individuals into family units.  The world sees those same powers through different eyes and Satan uses these attitudes to seek to cheapen and desecrated these sacred powers.  Finally we covenant to keep the law of consecration which is the offering of all that we are and all that we have or may ever have, to Father in Heaven, to be used for the furthering of His divine purposes.

Making and keeping these covenants prepares us to pass through the veil and enter into His presence.  So we pass through the veil of the temple into the Celestial Room, symbolic of being in His presence.  Each time we go to the temple, if we prepare  through obedience and meditation, the symbols will be clearer and more meaningful, for the Spirit and our own life experience will deepen our understanding of the temple messages while allowing us to serve another of His children that they might make the same covenants and receive the same potential blessings.

(Temple recommend Questions from 1857)

Have a great week and take a few minutes to review the talk used in the lesson.
Next week will be Chapter ONE of the new manual Teachings of the Presidents of the Church  George Albert Smith by Julee Schneider.
The Relief Society Presidency

January's A.R.M

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Visiting Teaching

The December visiting teaching message is “An Extensive Sphere of Action”


You can read the entire message here:  LINK

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday Report

2nd_coming (1)The lesson for today was Chapter 46 of the Gospel Principles book, entitled The Final Judgment, given by Sister Pringle.  The scriptures tell us that the day will come when we will all stand before God and be judged.  It is important that we understand this process of judgment so that we can be prepared for this event.  We are told that we will be judged according to our works and also according to the desires of our hearts.

The judgment process begins here on earth when we are found worthy to receive ordinances such as baptism, and temple ordinances, or to receive callings within the Church, or priesthood advancement.  Alma taught that when we die we are assigned, in the spirit world, to a state of happiness or misery.  These are all types of judgment.

We are told that we will be judged by our thoughts, words and actions. Because we are mortal and therefore imperfect, we will make mistakes in our thoughts, words and actions.  By faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atoning sacrifice, we can take advantage of repentance and become clean and holy so that we can enter the presence of God someday.  We can get to the point where the Holy Ghost can change our hearts so that we no longer have a desire to sin.  This will be a life long process but we can accomplish it.

Judgment has been entrusted to the Lord Jesus Christ, by the Father. Christ will call upon others to aid in the process.  The Twelve Tribes of Israel will be judged by the original Twelve Apostles who served with Jesus when He was on the earth.  The twelve Nephite disciples will judge the Nephite and Lamanite peoples.

Our faithfulness in this life will determine  what place we inherit for our life in the eternities.  Whether we inherit  exaltation in the celestial kingdom or a kingdom of lesser glory, it will reflect our valiance in our commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Doctrine and Covenants 76 outlines the different kingdoms and what is required of us in this life to inherit each.  Even members of the church will inherit different kingdoms based on their faithfulness to the gospel principles.

With this knowledge we are empowered to live each day in preparation for that Final Judgment.  If we seek earnestly through repentance to overcome  our weaknesses, ever seeking to stay on the right path, we will be able to stand before the Lord when the time comes, confident that we have done all that is necessary to make us worthy of His grace, which is what will bring us back to the presence of the Father, after all we can do.

Next week’s lesson, “Exaltation” lesson #47 taught by Traci Cline.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday Report

imageThe lesson for this week was the TFOT given by Julee Schneider, who graciously agreed to substitute on this busy weekend.  Using the talk entitled You Matter to Him, given by President Uchtdorf, she had us consider the seemingly contradictory reality that we are less than we suppose and at the same time greater than we suppose. 

When we consider the vastness of the known universe, and the mysteries that it still holds despite the great scientific strides that have been made, we realize that we cannot  begin to grasp with our mortal minds the glorious vastness of God's creations. How small and insignificant we each seem by comparison.  And yet we have been told by modern revelation that he worth of souls is great in the sight of God.  We are the object of Hs work and His glory as all his creations exist to bring about the immortality and eternal life of each one of us. President Uchtdorf  called it  the paradox of man:  compared to God we are nothing; yet we are everything to God.

Satan uses this paradox in his efforts to lead the children of God astray.  He appeals to the pride of some to convince them that they are sufficient unto themselves,  better than most because of birth, status or ability, set apart and therefore above the rules and needs of the ordinary.  They lack the humility that will be necessary to succeed in the really important aspects of this mortal experience.  Others he attacks through discouragement, underscoring the insignificance so that we doubt that we are of any worth to anyone.  We are forgotten, even by God,
Satan would have us believe. 

The balance of the paradox comes when we learn, as disciples of Jesus Christ that the values of this world have little to do with the value of the next.
As we seek to become teachable, like little children, and to emulate the example of the Savior,  through love and service, we come to know that God is aware of us, of our needs, our sorrows, our righteous desires, and the things with which we struggle.  He has not forgotten or forsaken us.

Several sisters shared times in their lives when they came to know  that Heavenly Father had not forgotten them, was aware of their needs and ministered to them in the manner that best aided and reassured them of their worth and true identity as beloved daughters of a loving Father.  Finding the balance between humility and an awareness of our infinite self worth helps us to navigate the mortality which prepares us for our eternal destiny.

The Relief Society Presidency

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday Report

imageSunday's lesson was given by Sister Traci Cline based on chapter 45 of the Gospel Principles Book, entitled The Millennium.  Traci outlined what we know about this thousand year period, either from the scriptures or from modern day prophets. It will be a period of peace following the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  At the beginning of this period only the righteous will be here on the earth, those who will inherit the terrestrial or celestial kingdoms.  Mortals will continue to live on the earth, and bring children into a world that will also be visited frequently  by immortal beings who will participate in government and other work.

People will still have their agency and therefore will be free to continue to practice their own religions for a time, though eventually everyone will come to confess that Jesus is indeed the Savior of the world.  During this time He will reign personally on the earth.  The work of this time period will be much like it is on the earth today, in many ways, but temple work and missionary work will be the two areas of emphasis for members of the Church.  During this time, resurrected beings will come to help correct mistakes that have been made as men have researched their ancestors.  The teaching of the gospel will be done with power and authority and nonmembers will come to know the principles and ordinances of the gospel as they live with The Lord as their leader. 

The earth will be renewed during the Millennium and Satan will be bound by the righteousness of the people.  It will be a time without war and contention and death will be a simple change from mortality to immortality in the twinkling of an eye.  It will be a time when all truths will be revealed to us and all things will be done in righteousness.  At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be loosed for a short time and some people, despite all they know, will turn away from Heavenly Father. There will be one final struggle and Michael (Adam) and the hosts of heaven will cast Satan and those who have chosen to follow him, out forever.  The earth will then be changed into a celestial kingdom.

Next week TFOT will be the talk by President Uchtdorf “You Matter to Him”  given by Julee Schneider.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy time with family and friends and please included Marti Despain in your thoughts and prayers.

The Relief Society Presidency