Archive Monthly Archives: January 2017

Teach so they Become Effective Teachers

As a missionary I memorized the Standard of Truth written by Joseph Smith. I always thought that it was meant only for missionaries. But recently I have concluded that it is for mothers too.

The Lord has asked us as covenant keeper to proclaim the Lord’s teachings unto the entire world and to prepare to accomplish what the Prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed – to see that “the truth of God [goes] forth boldly, nobly … till it has penetrated every continent … swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of god shall be accomplished. …” (Documentary History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 540.)
In order to proclaim and to prepare the world we must teach our children not only to be righteous covenant keepers, but to become effective teachers too. As mothers we are their teachers, but how are we teaching them to become teachers?
Here is how to teach them how to teach: 
The church has two new manuals/programs to help us: Gospel Teaching and Learning and Teaching Christ’s Way. They are both fantastic in helping us become better teachers and teaching how to teach.
Here is a few things the Savior said about teaching:

It is our duty as mothers to prepare our children “to develop a strong foundation and belief in the true gospel of Jesus Christ” and to improve our teaching techniques to bring about worthwhile changes in their lives. It is our responsibility to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom” (D&C 88:77) and teach it effectively so that we, ourselves, our children and their children will be able to perceive and comprehend the teachings of our Master. And we help them by teaching them to teach effectively.
The next few Table Talk Discussions will be focusing on a learning pattern to help you and your children how to teach effectively so that we, as mothers, are preparing to accomplish and witness the “truth of God [going] forth boldly, nobly, till it has penetrated every continent … swept every country and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of god shall be accomplished. …”

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Twelfth Witness – Herod

Then Herod was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem.  ~  Matthew 2:16

The final witness is Herod the Great. He is unlike the other righteous witnesses. He massacred priests, cause his brother to be drowned, strangulated his favoite wife, everyone who he became suspicious to him was murdered including three sons. 

When the wise men from the east came to him and bore testimony of Jesus, the rightful king of Israel Herod listened. He would not have given credence to any of the other witnesses. They had credentials that estabished them as men of great wisdom.

Herod responded to the testimony of the wise men with murderous wrath. He “was exceeding wroth, and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem.”  (Matt. 2:16.) The glad tidings of heaven brought no joy to Satan, the prince of darkness nor any of his servants. It is fitting that the evidence of his anger completes the nativity story. 

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Eleventh Witness – The Wisemen

The Sought “the Messiah of the Jews,”  (JST, Matt. 3:2.)

“There came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.” (Matt. 2:1.) We know that the wise men were ignorant of the political situation at the time, for they sought Christ’s whereabouts from Herod: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matt. 2:2.) 

Wise men, guided by a new star, came to Bethlehem to worship Jesus sometime after His birth. They were not ordinary men. Magi were “privileged to search out the Son of God and give Him gifts, and were spiritually sensitive and knowledgeable, suggests that they were actually prophets on a divine errand.” (Bible Dictionary) They were holy men from a land east of Palestine.  ​
“Who will care about the King of Jews?,” “The Jews!”  Most of the Jews lived in Babylon and were there until 1000 AD when the Muslims took over Babylon.  So the wise men most likely came from Babylon.  
We also know from the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible that the wise men came seeking “the Messiah of the Jews,” thus following the pattern of witnesses that brought seekers of the Son of God to testify of him. (JST, Matt. 3:2.)
Magi or wise men bearing gifts came of the east – symbolic of Jesus returning from the east bearing eternal gifts!  

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Tenth Witness – Anna

Anna bore testimony of the Messiah to those in Jerusalem who “looked for redemption.” ~ Luke 2:38

Another special witness of the birth of Christ in the temple was Anna—the aged widow whose name means “full of grace.” She was a devout and saintly woman who worshipped for many years in the temple, she was undoubtedly well known among the faithful.

She approached the holy family and immediately recognized divinity. She then bore testimony of the Messiah to those in Jerusalem who “looked for redemption.” (Luke 2:38.)

What a wonderful example of faith and witnessing. She recognized divinity. When is the last time you saw divinity in someone? or one of God’s creations? I recently watched a video of a mother and her daughter-in-law whose relationship was not ideal. They were put together in an unique situation and ended up healing and strengthening that relationship. As I watched the healing process and the love oose out of both of them for each other I felt divinity. I believe whenever there is healing and stregnthing of relationships there God is also.

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Ninth Witness – Simeon

Mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people.   ~ Luke 2: 30-32

Simeon, whom Luke described as “just and devout” was the ninth witness. He was able to hold the Christ child. He had been promised of the Lord that he would not die until he had seen the Savior. That day he was moved to go to the temple.

When the parents and the child entered the temple—Mary for the ritual of cleansing and Joseph to pay the tax necessary to redeem the firstborn from priestly service—Simeon took the child in his arms and declared, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word. For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel.” (Luke 2:29–32.)
Joseph McConkie said Simeon’s declaration “reached far beyond the understanding and hope of those of his nation, for he saw the universal nature of Christ’s ministry. He bore witness that Jesus was Savior to Jew and Gentile alike.” (Joseph F. Mcconkie, Twelve Witnesses of christ’s Birth, Ensign, December 1990) 
What has God promised you? Are you sharing what he has given you?

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Eighth Witness – Heavenly Hosts

Suddenly there was … a multitude of the heavenly host praising God.  ~ Luke 2:13

Following the angel’s announcement to the shepherds, “suddenly there was … a multitude of the heavenly host praising God.” (Luke 2:13.) The heavenly choir then sang to the humble shepherds of Judaea “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14.) One religion teacher said it was better translated as, “Glory to god in the highest, and on earth peache [among men of] good will.”

The angels were heralding with music the Savior’s birth among the scattered remnants of Israel.
​Were you there? Singing and prayer are the two ways we praise God together as a whole, as one. Think about a time when you felt the spirit as you sang a song in a large congregation. I remember knowing that Joseph Smith was a prophet while I sang, “Praise to the Man” with two thousand missionaries. It was a powerful moment I’ll always remember. 

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Seventh Witness – Shepherds

They made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.   ~ Luke 2:16–17

At the birth of Him who is called the “good shepherd” (John 10;14), shepherds were the first to receive the announcement of His holy birth. (Like 2: 8-16) These were not ordinary shepherds, for it had been prophesied among the Nephites that angels would declare the glad tidings of the Messiah’s birth to “just and holy men.” (Alma 13:26.) These were probably the priesthood holders acting as shepherds in the temple fields.

Their job that night and other nights was to witness the birth of the lambs!  Many gave birth to two lambs and they needed to know the first born so they could become sacrifical lambs. They would mark the first born male with a red cord around the neck. This special night they got to witness the first born son of God – the Lamb of God.
Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who leads and watches over his followers. Many prophets compared him to a shepherd. “The Lord is my shepherd.” (Ps. 23:1) “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd.” (Isa. 40:11) “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” (John 10:11,14)​
​The special witnesses borne by these shepherds were to be told to family, friends, and neighbors. They were to be told in the courts of the temple, and from there to be told among all nations of the earth. Luke tells us that after the shepherds had seen the “babe lying in a manger, … they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” (Luke 2:16–17.) Such was the declaration of the angel who stood before them that holy night, that these “good tidings of great joy” should “be to all people.” (Luke 2:10.)
Jesus was witnessed and visited by shepherds – symbolic of him becoming our “Good Shepherd” keeping us safe as he leads us back home!  ☺️

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