Our Stake (Arlington Texas) studies one scripture per month. To help families to integrate the scripture into their homes in meaningful ways, for each scripture we share the following:
- the accompanying challenge
- free printables of the scripture or related challenge for display in the home
- family home evening lessons for all types of families
- ideas for using the scripture in a talk or lesson
You can find all of the resources at A Year in the Scriptures.
The scripture for September 2017 is Doctrine & Covenants 100:5-6.
5 Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;
6 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.
All members of the Arlington Texas Stake to fast on September 3, 2017, for missionary opportunities.
Then, be prepared to “speak the thoughts” that will be put into our hearts that we can hasten the work of salvation.
Ideas for accomplishing the challenge:
- Begin your fast with deliberate prayer and commitment.
- Write about your experience in your journal, especially your experiences speaking your thoughts following the fast.
- Print out the fridge reminder (below in Printables) and attach it to the fridge Saturday evening.
- If children are too young to fast, or if someone cannot fast for health or other reasons, they may still participate in a fast by:
- Fasting for a single meal, if appropriate, rather than the full twenty-four hours
- Praying sincerely, participating in the fast spiritually
- Fasting from social media or television or gaming
- Fasting by eating very simple foods
- Avoiding eating anything that would have a strong smell and make others hungry
- Fasting from favorite foods
- Considering what can be added, rather than focusing only on what is taken away. For example, add prayer, more time in the scriptures, feed the missionaries, make a donation to the ward or church missionary fund or local food pantry
- Cooking for others to share after the fast
- If you need to share basics of fasting with your family, the FHE Resource Book has a lesson on it.
- Peruse this list of 101 ways to do missionary work and pick any that are a good fit for you or your family.
- See Idea #3 under the adult FHE ideas for a great quote from President Hinckley. Use these words to encourage and inspire you in your quest to “speak the thoughts.”
- Consider making this a regular purpose of your fast, perhaps every September. Coming as it does around Labor Day, what better reminder that we are to labor in the Lord’s vineyards?
We’ve created a printable with four versions of a Fast Sunday fridge reminder for you. Click here or on any image below to download. Print out your favorite and attach it to your fridge the night before your fast.
Family Home Evening Ideas
Is there a more fitting FHE treat for this month than BYU Mint Brownies? Find our favorite recipe here, and deliver some to friends for your first (and very popular) missionary moment!
This 5-min FHE is fun, and not just because it has a yummy s’mores bars recipe!
Write to missionaries serving from your ward or family. Create a group letter, with each person writing one line at a time, then passing it to the next person. When it is not a person’s turn to write, that person should read the Stake Scripure as many times as possible, keeping a tally of how many times it’s read. Set a goal for how many times you will read the Stake Scripture, and give yourselves a bonus treat if you make it!
This idea takes more prep and lasts far longer than a single FHE, but has tremendous potential for being a powerful force in your family. Get a copy of the Book of Mormon for every member of the family (for fun, order the pocket edition). Begin reading the Book of Mormon in family scripture study, highlighting or noting anything you find that would have been new information or doctrine or clarifications of doctrine to Joseph Smith as he was translating the Book of Mormon. You may wish to read the Church’s resources on the experience and process of the translation before you begin.
Watch or read any of the Conference talks on missionary work (find a great list here).
Record your own conversion story and share it somewhere (Facebook, your journal, a phone call with a friend, etc.).
Read this quote from President Hinckley, “Now, my brethren and sisters, we can let the missionaries try to do it alone, or we can help them. If they do it alone, they will knock on doors day after day and the harvest will be meager. Or as members we can assist them in finding and teaching investigators. …
“Brothers and sisters, all of you out in the wards and stakes and in the districts and branches, I invite you to become a vast army with enthusiasm for this work and a great overarching desire to assist the missionaries in the tremendous responsibility they have to carry the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.” (source)
Decide how you can (individually or as a couple or family) can become a “vast army with enthusiasm” and develop a “great overarching desire to assist the missionaries.” Create a plan. How can you assist your missionaries? How can you assist the general missionary effort? How can you show enthusiasm? More importantly, how can you feel it?
Helps For Talks & Lessons
This section of the Doctrine & Covenants is particularly fascinating. It is well worth reading the background found at history.lds.org.
- It is interesting to look carefully at the two directives the Lord gives in verses 5 & 6 and match those directives to their corresponding promises.
- lift up your voices unto this people
- speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts
- you shall not be confounded before men
- it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.
- The word “confound” comes from the Latin confundere, meaning “to confuse.” Around 1300, it gained the meaning, “make uneasy or embarrass.” Later, the idea of “perplex” was added. The Lord’s promise here, then, is that if we are willing to speak the words He wants us to in missionary moments, we will not be confused. We will not be uneasy. We will not be embarrassed. We will not be perplexed. What is the opposite of these feelings? Why do you think the Lord promises this?
- Questions to consider:
- Why do you think the Lord tells Joseph and Sidney to speak the thoughts He will put into their hearts? What do we sometimes do instead?
- How can we avoid feeling nervous about what we’re supposed to say, and instead have faith that the Lord will tell us in the moment what to say?
- What experiences have you had when you have felt this? Which spiritual gift would you consider this to be?
- This revelation was given while Joseph and Sidney were in Canada, the prophet’s first formal proselytizing mission. He had left his family behind in Kirtland and was anxious about them, writing in his journal, “I feel very well in my mind. The Lord is with us, but have much anxiety about my family.” (History of the Church, 1:419n.) This revelation of comfort and promise came the next day.
- Can you imagine the prophet today leaving on a mission? What are the differences between the early Church and the contemporary Church with regards to missionary service?
- Joseph left a wife and two very small children. He was being actively persecuted by a disgruntled former member, and the Saints in Independence had just agreed to evacuate the city. In the midst of this, he left on a mission. What can we learn from this about our own resistence to missionary work or effort?
- Joseph & Sidney had gone to this specific place at the request of a man named Freeman Nickerson, who had ridden all the way to Kirtland to beg for missionaries to come teach his family. Only a handful of people joined the Church as a result of Joseph and Sidney’s efforts, but a few years later, in 1836, Parley P. Pratt returned to the area on his mission. Eleazar Nickerson, Freeman’s son, accompanied him. While there, Eleazar’s brother Moses gave Parley a letter introducing him to a fellow Canadian who was a religious seeker. That seeker was John Taylor, who became the third president of the Church.
- What does this story tell us about judging our missionary efforts on their immediate effects?
- Why do you think faith sometimes runs in families?