Sunday Thoughts

I want to share highlights of the lesson given in my Relief Society class today. I was taking notes because it was that good! The credit for the inspiration behind this post goes to the 2nd counselor, Heidi, who gave the lesson.

She started out by giving a background history of the Provo Tabernacle. The Provo Tabernacle was completed in 1898 and served as a beautiful gathering place for the community until one December morning in 2010 when a devastating fire struck. leaving only the shell and spires of the historic building. In the October 2011 General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson, announced that the tabernacle would be converted into Utah's sixteenth temple.

Provo City Center temple (photo credit- media)

Don't we all experience "fires" of some kind in our own lives? These could be described as any event that shakes up our faith. I knew one young mother whose faith was shaken when her son was born with a heart defect. Other "fires" might be a tragedy, the death of a loved one, divorce, betrayal or as one sister in class pointed out, a series of little things that just add up.

When a "fire" happens in our lives, we usually do one of two things. Either we allow the fire to consume us, or we choose to rebuild. When we make the choice to rebuild, as the Church did with the Provo Tabernacle, it's an opportunity for deep spiritual growth and rebirth.

Heidi put the rebuilding process into 4 steps:

Step 1. Choose to rebuild. It has to be our own choice to rebuild our faith and testimony after a "fire".

Step 2. Clear debris and ruble. In order to rebuild, it's important to clear out those parts of our lives (bad habits, time wasters, etc.) that aren't serving us in the best way. One sister gave the advice to avoid comparison of others and to only consult with the Lord to know what aspects of our lives need to be cleared away.

Step 3. Reinforce the good parts. There is always some good in us along with the bad. It's important to recognize what we are already doing right and build on that. If nothing else, we can build on the fact that we are children of God, with divine natures and individual worth. A great Bible story to demonstrate this is found in 1 Kings 17 about Elijah and the widow. Read it!

At this point of the lesson, Heidi talked about scaffolding. Who is our scaffolding and how can we be the scaffolding to others? My closest friends are often my scaffolding. And my husband, of course. One sister said that for her, getting back to the basic things we should all be doing, serves as her scaffolding. Things such as personal scripture study and prayer. Serving others can be a type of scaffolding. Then Heidi reminded us that we always have one person who promised to be our scaffolding- our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have my own thoughts on how to be a scaffolding to others: We can act on promptings to reach out to others. We can be available just to listen. And we can be an example and pillar of strength.

Step 4. Pour a new foundation or reinforce the one that remains. An excellent scripture verse for this is found in Helaman 5:12.

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Our Savior is the master builder so we need to accept His plan for us and then let Him build, trusting that He can do much more for us than we can do on our own. Heidi ended with a wonderful quote by C.S. Lewis.

The Provo City Center Temple is nearly finished. The open house starts next January (2016). If you are in the Provo area, please take advantage of this opportunity to see the inside of a brand new LDS temple before it's dedicated. Any and all of the public are welcome to the open house! For more info. click HERE.

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