R.S. Society Lesson - Love & Service

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R.S. Society Lesson - Love & Service

Post by AmyJ » 28 Mar 2019, 08:09

This past Sunday I taught the R.S. lesson in my branch. I combined Sister Sharon Eubank's message "Loves Pure Light" https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ ... t?lang=eng from the First Presidency Christmas Devotional with Sister Christina Franco's "The Joy of Unselfish Service" https://www.lds.org/general-conference/ ... e?lang=eng.

CONFESSION: I deliberately wanted to teach a lesson based on materials from talks given by sisters in the last 6 months. From there, it was easy to pick both of these messages because they resonated with me, I could authentically share, they could uplift the sisters, and they were likely to be culturally acceptable. The lesson turned out to be quote heavy, and I talked more than I wanted to, but I think it went well.

I asked the sisters to partner up and share with each other about love using the 5 senses (i.e. "What does love feel like?"). This illustrated pretty quickly one of the key points that we don't all experience love in the same way and we had a good discussion about that.

Sister Eubank
We talked about Sister Eubank's experiences with learning the song, "Silent Night" as a child.
I loved this statement,"That Christmas, I tried to apply what Sister Whitley had taught us, and I learned all the verses to “Silent Night.” Now, I apologize in advance to the translators because this will be tricky. As a 6-year-old, I thought hard about the words in the third verse, but I didn’t understand the punctuation. Instead of singing “Son of God, love’s pure light,” as in Jesus is the expression of light that flows from pure love, I understood it to say that the Son of God loves pure light—He adores anything made from pure light. Thinking like Sister Whitley, I tried to figure out how I could “love pure light” the way Jesus does."

Sister Franco
Sister Franco provided a story of service that she experienced as a child.
Her Primary teacher made a chocolate cake for the Primary kids each week out of love even though it meant that she and her children walked several miles to and from the church building instead of taking the bus. She stumbled on this fact decades later, with the adult understanding of the sacrifice it entailed. Sister Franco added these reflections on the experience," That day I had a better appreciation for her chocolate cake. More important, I learned that the secret ingredient in Victoria’s cake was the love she had for those she served and her unselfish sacrifice in our behalf... I have come to know that we don’t have to make a chocolate cake to be a successful or dedicated Primary teacher, because it was not about the cake. It was the love behind the action.”.

Sister Franco provided this commentary on the parable of the widow's mite, "The widow did not appear to hold a noticeable position in the society of her time. She actually held something more important: her intentions were pure, and she gave all she had to give. Perhaps she gave less than others, more quietly than others, differently than others. In the eyes of some, what she gave was insignificant, but in the eyes of the Savior, the “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” she gave her all.” [emphasis added].

Sister Franco closed with President Monson's teaching that it will not matter how many positions we held in this life, what will matter is how many people we helped in this lifetime. I want to include her comments that expand on this teaching. "In other words, sisters, it will not matter if we sat in the comfy seats or if we struggled to get through the meeting on a rusty folding chair in the back row. It won’t even matter if we, of necessity, stepped into a foyer to comfort a crying baby. What will matter is that we came with a desire to serve, that we noticed those to whom we minister and greeted them joyfully, and that we introduced ourselves to those sharing our row of folding chairs—reaching out with friendship even though we aren’t assigned to minister to them. And it will certainly matter that we do all that we do with the special ingredient of service coupled with love and sacrifice."

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Re: R.S. Society Lesson - Love & Service

Post by Roy » 28 Mar 2019, 08:32

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing Amy. You are a blessing to your ward sisters.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Re: R.S. Society Lesson - Love & Service

Post by mom3 » 28 Mar 2019, 12:12

Sister Franco closed with President Monson's teaching that it will not matter how many positions we held in this life, what will matter is how many people we helped in this lifetime.
The other day I was cleaning out a drawer and found a copy of a commemorative overview of his life. My husband asked why I kept it. For me Monson's greatest gift was this very idea of helping people. It spoke to me as a twelve year old, and has been a place to rest my heart ever since. I wish the church PR team had grabbed harder hold of that - then again maybe it would have changed sincere service and kindness to a program.

Amy you are doing amazing. I am glad we get your overviews here.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Re: R.S. Society Lesson - Love & Service

Post by Curt Sunshine » 30 Mar 2019, 18:42

I love it.

I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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