Sunday, October 17, 2010

Preparing to make and keep sacred covenants.

We attended Nsambya ward today for Relief Society and Priesthood meeting.  The lesson was on "Eternal Marriage."

Our discussion leader was a young sister, not married, but was anticipating a time when she would be married and would want to go to the temple.

We talked about how marriage is a vital part of God's plan and is ordained of God.  We discussed why eternal marriage was essential for exaltation.

We read in the Doctrine and Covenants that an eternal marriage must be performed by one who holds the sealing power. The Lord promised, “If a man marry a wife by … the new and everlasting covenant … by him who is anointed, … and if [they] abide in [the Lord’s] covenant, … it … shall be of full force when they are out of the world” (D&C 132:19).

I was asked to share what I thought were the benefits of Eternal Marriage.   I realized I was talking to six sisters who I was almost sure had not gone to the temple and had not received their endowments or been sealed as a family .  I told them about the blessings that come to a husband and wife as they continually work together for that goal of eternal life - that we are entitled to His help in raising our families and solving our problems when we have covenanted with Him in the temple.

The next part of the discussion was "How do we prepare to go to the temple?"
As I listened to the sisters I realized they were struggling to come up with the steps to prepare for the temple.  At that point I saw 'in my minds eye' the Personal Progress book from Young Women.

I remembered the beautiful picture of the temple on the front of the book and inside a picture of Christ  overlayed with  an outline of the temple.

I realized that Personal Progress literally is preparation for going to the temple.

I asked the sisters if any of them had been through the Personal Progress program.  Two of them had and they bore testimony of how much they grew during their time in Young Women's and how they have continued to practice the  principles of learning that they used in the program: setting goals, giving service, reading the scriptures etc.  Personal progress had become a way of life for them.

I asked them if they remembered the Young Women's Theme and we recited it for the rest of the sisters.
WE ARE DAUGHTERS of our Heavenly Father,
who loves us, and we love Him.
WE WILL "STAND as witnesses of God at all times
and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9)
as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:

Faith • Divine Nature
Individual Worth • Knowledge
Choice and Accountability
Good Works • Integrity
and Virtue

WE BELIEVE as we come to accept and act
upon these values, WE WILL BE PREPARED
to strengthen home and family,
make and keep sacred covenants, receive
the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy
the blessings of exaltation

I told the sisters that I had been invited by my granddaughter, Rachel, to participate in personal progress with her and her mother.  I have been working on the values ever since I have been on a mission and I have learned a lot about myself and about my Father in Heaven

I encouraged them to get a personal progress book from the distribution center and work their way through the program and when they finished they would know they were ready to go to the temple.
What you can learn and gain from participating in personal progress.
You are a daughter of Heavenly Father.
You can increase your faith in and testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
You can remain worthy by obeying the commandments and living the standards of the church.
You can come to recognize and act upon the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
You can prepare now to be a better wife, mother, homemaker, and leader.
You can keep your baptismal covenants and be worthy to make and keep sacred temple covenants.

Thank you Rachel for inviting me to participate in Personal Progress.  What a wonderful way to prepare yourself to go to the temple.  Any women whether she was a member of the church or not should be striving for those values listed in the YW theme. 
What would the world be like if every woman strived to have Faith, a Divine Nature, if she knew her Individual Worth, if she strived to continually gain Knowledge, if she would try to make good Choices and was Accountable for her actions, if she was continually doing Good Works, if in all things she showed great Integrity and if she truly understood what is 'a woman of virtue'.
I love the church and the opportunity for personal growth that it affords me as I have participated in all the wonderfully inspired programs.  I often wonder who would I be if I wasn't a member of the true church of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for a husband who accepts his role as leader of our family, who honors His priesthood, who loves me and will continue for all eternity.
I have come to realize something about myself:   I am centered in the gospel. . .  it defines me . . .it is who I am.

 Young Women Personal Progress Program


Lincoln Farrell and Marilyn Barlow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LBJ said...

As a young women leader for all my life I love the personal progress program and have actually done it three times in three different eras. We hope someday to have it in French in our mission for our young sisters. i think too it seems like a great suggestion for us older sisters too. it's principles are timely and helpful for all ages.

Tandy said...

Several times this past month I've been reminded of all the time you spent teaching us when we were first in your Merry Miss class and then in Young Women's a few years later. This post reminded me of many lessons, and also of the temple marriage prep class you both taught Aaron and I took before we were married.

You have blessed so many with your testimony of the gospel! I am so happy to know you. :)