Either the heavens, or the leaders, have a sense of humour

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mackay11
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Either the heavens, or the leaders, have a sense of humour

Post by mackay11 » 18 Feb 2014, 19:04

Or it's pure coincidence... who knows...

Remember a few weeks back I had an outburst in priesthood when the stake were teaching Home Teaching badly:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5104

I went as far as to say that:
"We obsess about Home Teaching because it's measured and reported. We ignore those who are truly in need because there's no statistical recognition for it."

2 weeks ago the High Priest Group Leader approached me and asked me to teach the p'hood lesson on 23rd February. I said I'd be happy to and asked which conference talk it would be. He said he couldn't remember, but would check and email it over.

Yesterday I finally got the email and almost laughed out loud. The talk I've been assigned is "True Shepherds" from Oct 2013 Priesthood Session:
The wisdom of the Lord has provided guidelines whereby we might be shepherds to the families of the Church, where we can serve, we can teach, and we can testify to them. Such is called home teaching, and it is about this that I wish to speak to you tonight.
I've been asked to teach a lesson on home teaching??!!!

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Either the heavens, or the leaders, have a sense of humo

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Feb 2014, 19:50

:lol: :clap: :P :lol: :clap: :P

Awesome!! You get to teach the lesson you would want to hear. Congratulations! :D

I actually mean that. I love leading lessons about Home Teaching, since I can control what is discussed - and there is SO much good in the concept and principle of visiting, caring for and ministering to members in their homes.
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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mackay11
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Re: Either the heavens, or the leaders, have a sense of humo

Post by mackay11 » 18 Feb 2014, 20:11

Curtis wrote::lol: :clap: :P :lol: :clap: :P

Awesome!! You get to teach the lesson you would want to hear. Congratulations! :D

I actually mean that. I love leading lessons about Home Teaching, since I can control what is discussed - and there is SO much good in the concept and principle of visiting, caring for and ministering to members in their homes.
:)

Indeed! I almost turned it down.

Instead I'm going to teach a lesson (using the talk and other LDS resources) on:

How Home Teaching can be Home Healing.

I'm going to draw on the discussion we had on the newsroom article Hawkgrrl shared (this one: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/w ... ing-within)

I quoted:
"To this point, Rabbi David Wolpe taught that religion “can go into a world in which there is a great deal of pain and suffering and loss and bring meaning and purpose and peace.”
And then said:
I like the idea of religion being most useful when it eases pain through either hands or hope.

Healing through hands is not, of course, exclusive to religion. The irreligious also care for those in need.

But I think a religion should be partly evaluated by how much it motivates people to heal with hands.

Hope, eternal hope, is perhaps more exclusive to religion. Hope that the pain is not meaningless. Hope that pain is part of going through the refiner's fire.
I'm hoping to touch on 3 or 4 areas where we can help to "heal" through hands or hope:

Hands:
- Service. Matthew 25 and the "gather all nations" message. HT offers a structured opportunity to serve. Some of our members just need to be cared for practically. President Monson is a great advocate of this.

Hope:
- Not sure how to address this but something about less actives and Elder Uchtdorf's "Join with us/why people leave" message. A recognition of why some of the people we teach no longer attend (not sin/laziness/offense).
- Something on the disheartened (we already had the mental illness lesson from Elder Holland's talk... but may revisited). A chance to sit with friends, like Job's friends... even if it needs to be in relative silence. Friendship and companionship.

A bit of a jumble and brain dump. I'll sort through it.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Either the heavens, or the leaders, have a sense of humo

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Feb 2014, 22:51

I love to point out the difference in meaning between "Do My Home Teaching" (performing an action with the emphasis on one's self, not the person being visited) and "Home Teach people" (where the focus is on the other people). It almost always surprises people and makes their heads snap back a bit.

I also like to share the story of my father, who was assigned to be one man's Home Teacher even after the ward boundaries were changed and the man lived in a different ward. Everyone else insisted on teaching him and his family inside their home; my father was willing to respect the man's wishes and just talk with him on his porch - and, one month, sit next to him on a bar stool in order to see him that month. My dad was the only person who would follow the spirit of the program and provide the service that man wanted, rather than the actions the other men wanted to give him.
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

nibbler
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Re: Either the heavens, or the leaders, have a sense of humo

Post by nibbler » 19 Feb 2014, 05:33

We had this lesson several weeks ago and it turned into a 45 minute "you should feel terrible" lesson.

I remember that at the time the comparison between the two shepherds at the beginning didn't sit well with me. I dissected it too much. :sick:

On the one hand you have a shepherd that led the way, the good shepherd. On the other you had a shepherd that trained and used dogs to guide the sheep. Which shepherd represents church leadership? Perhaps a HT is merely a trained dog while the leadership of the church is asleep at the wheel. :twisted: Like I said, I dissected it far too much. He was so quick to point out that the one shepherd using dogs was a bad steward by comparison that he failed to recognize that the shepherd had trained the dogs to herd sheep, had trained the horse as to the path that should be followed, etc. (and I mentioned as much). Besides, it could all come down to cultural differences. I'm sure the "bad" shepherd would change his game if he started losing sheep.

Yes I seized on that one analogy far too much, but the rest of the class turned into you aren't doing this, you aren't doing that, families are being lost because of you, how do you think god feels, etc. The typical rally the troops to do HT lesson.

I'm glad you get to teach this particular lesson. I've heard the shepherd says jump the sheep ask how high version, I'd much rather sit in on your version of the lesson.

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mercyngrace
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Re: Either the heavens, or the leaders, have a sense of humo

Post by mercyngrace » 19 Feb 2014, 06:31

mackay11,

My thinking is that if we lived as we ought, we wouldn't need a program to look after one another.

I usually tell a story to illustrate the point. My sister-in-law had three little girls when her fourth was born with down's syndrome. There was no forewarning of the abnormality and she found out when the nurse laid the baby in her arms. It was a shock that began a period of constant adversity. Unlike her other children, this newborn would not sleep. She had trouble feeding. She cried almost round the clock for the entire first year. One morning, as my sister-in-law sat in her pajamas crying because she had reached her wit's end, the phone rang. A sweet voice on the other end said, your name came to me when I prayed today. How can I help you? And help she did. She swooped in and gave my sister-in-law a much needed reprieve. No formal calling necessary.

And one from my own life. Our family was going through a soul-crushing period of adversity. I was home with our children. My husband was away. I was at my breaking point. It was Monday evening and I was skyping my sister. Feeling utterly alone and abandoned by God, my feelings spilled out as I tearfully wrote "I give up. I don't think God even knows my address anymore." I signed off to go downstairs and make dinner for the children. As I exited Skype the doorbell rang. It was my bishop. "I had a feeling as I was leaving work that I needed to stop by tonight. Is that okay? My family is out of town. Can I have FHE with you? I brought ice cream." He held out the carton and I smiled wryly at God's impeccable sense of timing. He didn't just know my address, He knew my broken heart. This good brother had a calling but that's not how he ended up at my door. This was the most humble, genuinely charitable, and concerned bishop I've ever known.

I wish I were half as inspired. I need a program, like a crutch, to keep me upright and moving forward. But I hope I never make the mistake of confusing the hobbling I do aided by a poor prosthetic with running full speed with two good legs to be the Lord's hand and feet in this world. Our programs are so much less than our potential.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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Sheldon
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Re: Either the heavens, or the leaders, have a sense of humo

Post by Sheldon » 19 Feb 2014, 11:25

mercyngrace wrote:And one from my own life. Our family was going through a soul-crushing period of adversity. I was home with our children. My husband was away. I was at my breaking point. It was Monday evening and I was skyping my sister. Feeling utterly alone and abandoned by God, my feelings spilled out as I tearfully wrote "I give up. I don't think God even knows my address anymore." I signed off to go downstairs and make dinner for the children. As I exited Skype the doorbell rang. It was my bishop. "I had a feeling as I was leaving work that I needed to stop by tonight. Is that okay? My family is out of town. Can I have FHE with you? I brought ice cream." He held out the carton and I smiled wryly at God's impeccable sense of timing. He didn't just know my address, He knew my broken heart. This good brother had a calling but that's not how he ended up at my door. This was the most humble, genuinely charitable, and concerned bishop I've ever known.
Not to derail a beautiful action by a caring bishop, but [sarcasm on] how could you let a man into your home when your own husband was out of town? What would the neighbors think? What does the bishop tell his wife he did for the evening (Hi honey, I went to sister Mercy’s house because her husband was out of town, and we had family night together!) [Sarcasm off]

Your bishop was living the spirit of the law, and not the Church Handbook of Instructions.

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mercyngrace
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Re: Either the heavens, or the leaders, have a sense of humo

Post by mercyngrace » 19 Feb 2014, 13:18

Sheldon wrote:
mercyngrace wrote:And one from my own life. Our family was going through a soul-crushing period of adversity. I was home with our children. My husband was away. I was at my breaking point. It was Monday evening and I was skyping my sister. Feeling utterly alone and abandoned by God, my feelings spilled out as I tearfully wrote "I give up. I don't think God even knows my address anymore." I signed off to go downstairs and make dinner for the children. As I exited Skype the doorbell rang. It was my bishop. "I had a feeling as I was leaving work that I needed to stop by tonight. Is that okay? My family is out of town. Can I have FHE with you? I brought ice cream." He held out the carton and I smiled wryly at God's impeccable sense of timing. He didn't just know my address, He knew my broken heart. This good brother had a calling but that's not how he ended up at my door. This was the most humble, genuinely charitable, and concerned bishop I've ever known.
Not to derail a beautiful action by a caring bishop, but [sarcasm on] how could you let a man into your home when your own husband was out of town? What would the neighbors think? What does the bishop tell his wife he did for the evening (Hi honey, I went to sister Mercy’s house because her husband was out of town, and we had family night together!) [Sarcasm off]

Your bishop was living the spirit of the law, and not the Church Handbook of Instructions.
He was living the spirit of the law.

And thank goodness!


PS My husband was not just out of town - he was away for an extended period so even my home teacher dropping by monthly was the same kind of thing. I'm not anywhere near Utah/Idaho/Arizona so my neighbors wouldn't have thought a thing of it. They may have wished their pastors were as caring... Also, knowing him and his wife, I am 100% positive she would have approved.
Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ~ Luke 7:47

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baldzach
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Re: Either the heavens, or the leaders, have a sense of humo

Post by baldzach » 19 Feb 2014, 13:39

mercyngrace wrote:mackay11,

My thinking is that if we lived as we ought, we wouldn't need a program to look after one another.

I usually tell a story to illustrate the point. My sister-in-law had three little girls when her fourth was born with down's syndrome. There was no forewarning of the abnormality and she found out when the nurse laid the baby in her arms. It was a shock that began a period of constant adversity. Unlike her other children, this newborn would not sleep. She had trouble feeding. She cried almost round the clock for the entire first year. One morning, as my sister-in-law sat in her pajamas crying because she had reached her wit's end, the phone rang. A sweet voice on the other end said, your name came to me when I prayed today. How can I help you? And help she did. She swooped in and gave my sister-in-law a much needed reprieve. No formal calling necessary.

And one from my own life. Our family was going through a soul-crushing period of adversity. I was home with our children. My husband was away. I was at my breaking point. It was Monday evening and I was skyping my sister. Feeling utterly alone and abandoned by God, my feelings spilled out as I tearfully wrote "I give up. I don't think God even knows my address anymore." I signed off to go downstairs and make dinner for the children. As I exited Skype the doorbell rang. It was my bishop. "I had a feeling as I was leaving work that I needed to stop by tonight. Is that okay? My family is out of town. Can I have FHE with you? I brought ice cream." He held out the carton and I smiled wryly at God's impeccable sense of timing. He didn't just know my address, He knew my broken heart. This good brother had a calling but that's not how he ended up at my door. This was the most humble, genuinely charitable, and concerned bishop I've ever known.

I wish I were half as inspired. I need a program, like a crutch, to keep me upright and moving forward. But I hope I never make the mistake of confusing the hobbling I do aided by a poor prosthetic with running full speed with two good legs to be the Lord's hand and feet in this world. Our programs are so much less than our potential.
This is EXACTLY how I feel about Home Teaching. In one ward, I had a home teacher who was (and still is) one of my best friends. He is someone I would actually call at 3 a.m. if I needed a blessing. In 15 years of married life in the church (that is, on my own, not at parents, not in Single's Ward, etc) that has never happened before or since. When a HT is there to "check the box", even if with good intentions, the home teach-ee can feel it, and it doesn't do anyone any good, other than the EQP who gets to report a better number.


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