A Creed for Preparation

In light of new assignments, and stemming from recent conversations, and in light of scriptures such as this one:

But notwithstanding those things which are written, it always has been given to the aelders of my church from the beginning, and ever shall be, to bconduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit. (Doctrine and Covenants 46:2)

The need to be spiritually prepared is presently before me, as an ongoing and constant need. This need is not only in personal preparation, but now spreads to a larger realm of duty, for which I too must prepare.

To accomplish these ends, the proposed daily routine should include the following:

  • Review of General Handbook 2 instruction.
  • Review of Preach My Gospel instruction
  • General Conference Addresses
  • Scripture Mastery/Memorization

This should happen immediately following your half hour of personal study, on a daily basis for another half hour. Specific lesson preparations may be included as part of this time.


The natural man cannot see the opportunities to do good.

My brothers and sisters, I declare to you, however, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the Spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments. That Spirit cannot be present at the kinds of activities in which so much of the world participates. (Pres. Thomas S. Monson, General Conference, October 2011, Sunday Morning Session)

I passed over the full implication of this statement in the first reading. Many activities that have to do with money and how to spend it, how to beautify one’s self, and one’s surroundings.

I like the quote from CS Lewis where he talks about how our charitable contributions should cause us to experience a degree of discomfort or sacrifice. (Find the quote.) I also like the assurance recently offered by Pres. Eyering who reminded me of the words of other inspired leaders:

President Marion G. Romney said of welfare work, “You cannot give yourself poor in this work.” And then he quoted his mission president, Melvin J. Ballard, this way: “A person cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.”


I have found that to be true in my life. When I am generous to Heavenly Father’s children in need, He is generous to me.


A second gospel principle that has been a guide to me in welfare work is the power and blessing of unity. When we join hands to serve people in need, the Lord unites our hearts. President J. Reuben Clark Jr. put it this way: “That giving has … brought … a feeling of common brotherhood as men of all training and occupation have worked side by side in a Welfare garden or other project.”


(Pres. Henry B. Eyering, General Conference, April 2011,  Saturday Morning Session)


To Do: I am reminded of the importance of studying and understanding welfare principles. I need to become better minded in these matters.

5.2 Convert Retention

Three things that converts, and all members of the Church, need to stay active:

  1. friendship
  2. opportunities to mature and serve in the Church
  3. nourishing by the word of God.

Bishopric’s responsibilities to accomplish this includes

  • facilitating fellowshipping opportunities
  • assigning callings to each new adult member.
  • ordaining worthy male converts to priesthood office.

Ward Council helps by discussing ways to help new members feel:

  • the love of other members.
  • the joy of serving in the Lord’s kingdom.
  • the peace that comes from living gospel principles.

Ward council can also discuss possible service opportunities in family history or temple work.

The bulk of the work of convert and new member retention should rest on the Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders.

Gospel Principles Class should be attended by new converts for a few months. No specific time frame is given beyond that. It impresses me that there should be an emphasis on teaching from the Book of Mormon in this class using it as the main support to the lesson manual. Another aspect of this class is to encourage members to be reading regularly from the Book of Mormon.




First Presidency Message: The Choice to Be Grateful

The Choice to Be Grateful, by President Henry B. Eyering, Ensign December 2011

This past week, I had the opportunity to put this teaching into practice in my own life. I prayed specifically to know who I could go and help. When the answer came I was able to go and spend time with that person.

From my journal entry “7 & 8 December 2011” –

Yesterday, in my prayers, I was following the counsel from Pres. Eyering’s message in the December Ensign, specifically to pray for others who I might be able to help. Doing so, Pres. Eyering promised the blessing of gratitude for acting on such promptings


I felt strongly that I should go follow up with [a family in the ward]. Being there I don’t know if I actually helped any, but afterwards and this morning, it became more apparent to me the blessings that I am enjoying which probably could be had more abundantly in their home. This realization caused me to cinsider even more the blessings that are mine, so much so that at one point in my work day today I felt nearly overwhelmed with joy as I realized that my happiness can be directly attributed to the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps, overwhelmed with joy is the wrong way to state that, but I know now why am able to feel joy and peace. It is yet another reminder of the abundant blessings of the Lord that no matter how hard I try I will not be able to repay.


FHE: Welcome to Zion

Rachel suggested that we do a family home evening lesson on Zion and what it means to establish Zion. Point to her patriarchal blessing and discuss that with the children.

Here is where you will prepare for that assignment…

Maybe take them on a car ride around the neighborhood and tell them we’re going to Zion. Maybe send a letter to our family that Talks about Zion and making our home like Zion.

Watch a clip from the video Legacy that talks about when they went to Zion.


26 December 2011

Dear Brother Leavitt,

You and your family are hereby called to come to Zion and establish a home in Zion. It will not be easy, but we cannot under emphasize the importance of starting immediately. Your assignment is expected to last a life time. To establish Zion in your home will require your very best efforts on your part and on the part of every member of your family.

As you do so you will feel an increase of the Spirit of the Lord in your home. We encourage you to use the kindest words possible when talking with one another. Especially. when you are angry. Do not fight, but be patient with one another and the windows of Heaven will be open to your home.Others will feel that they are in Zion when they are in your home.

To accept this invitation to establish Zion, proceed immediately to your car and drive around the neighborhood looking for clues on how to establish Zion in your home. Do not delay!

The Brethren

Make a sign that says “Welcome to Zion”



Find five scriptures or quotes about Zion:

-“let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion—the pure in heart;” D & C 97:21

-“Zion shall be redeemed, although she is chastened for a little season” D & C 100:13

-“And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion;” Moses 7:69

– “And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost;” 1 Nephi 13:37

-“They that remain, and are pure in heart, shall return, and come to their inheritances, they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the waste places of Zion” D & C 101:18

-“And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.” D & C 45:70

-“And the Lord called his people aZion, because they were of bone heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” Moses 7:18

-“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion” Isaiah 59:20