Friday, September 18, 2009

Sharing the gospel line upon line

"The plan of happiness is available to all of his children. If the world would embrace and live it, peace, joy, and plenty would abound on the earth. Much of the suffering we know today would be eliminated if people throughout the world would understand and live the gospel” -M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

I know this to be true, but how arrogant, presumptuous is this to people who do not share this belief? How off-putting would that be?

I have struggled to find out to share this truth with the friends and family members in my life.

Tonight the Spirit whispered in response to that query "Line upon line." That of course is from the verses in Isaiah.

This has been the approach I have been taking as a ward missionary in our ward mission activities. We have started doing semi-regular Family Home Evenings for the community and for Latter-day Saints to invite their friends. The lessons that we are starting with are pretty secular at first look. Yet, it is starting with one line of gospel truth.

This last Monday night, the truth was spending time with your family brings greater happiness to your family.

Most would agree with that, some practical ideas were suggested on ways to enjoy spending time together as a family. My two year old contributed to the conversation with "Eat food!" Very good, son. Eating meals together is an excellent way to strengthen family bonds.

I am hoping this approach is a gentle, non-intrusive introduction to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am vary of putting out there at first deep topics that can be off-putting to those who believe differently. For an atheist (which I once was), a lesson on Jesus is the Savior and Redeemer of the world would not help, invite or encourage that individual to return. Building on common grounds: simple gospel truths that most agree with, I hope is a way to invite community members to learn more about the more profound and overtly religious truths of the gospel.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Who created the earth?

According to Willem, Nana did.

This was during a family home evening lesson. After the prayer and song, he testified that he is a child of God.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

But I want to get married!

This is a conversation that Willem and I had today:

Me: Willem, we need to go visit the temple sometime soon.

Willem: We go to the temple with Julia?

Me: You still want to marry Julia in the temple?

Willem: Yup.

Me: Do you know how long it will be until you can get married? You aren't legally old enough to get married. As Latter-day Saints, we believe that we are subject to the laws of the land and we uphold and obey them. That means you can't get married until you are 18, or 16 if you have our permission as your parents.

Willem: But I want to get married! (and cries a little)

This is a continuation of a conversation that Willem and I started a few months ago when I told him that his daddy and I were married in the temple. He said that he wanted to get married in the temple too. When I asked him who he named a little boy who lived next door first. When I said that we believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and that he would have to think of a girl to marry, he picked a friends' little girl: Julia. He apparently remembers that's who he wants to marry.