Happy Easter, Sisters!
I hope that all of you had a wonderful Easter today. I hope it was filled with thoughts of Christ. Today, Sister Sue Bean taught us lesson #30 from the Joseph Smith manual, Valiant in the Cause of Christ. It was a very appropriate lesson for Easter Sunday.
Sue started by reminding us of the prophet, Joseph Smith's sufferings in Far West and Richmond MO before he was taken to Liberty Jail. She reminded us that he and his companions were valiant in their testimonies of Christ. She quoted from a letter written by Joseph to Emma from Richmond jail,
"We are prisoners in chains and under strong guards, for Christ's sake and for no other cause....Brother Robinson is chained next to me; he has a true heart and a firm mind. Brother Wight is next, Brother Rigdon next, Hyrum next, Parley next, Amasa next, and thus we are bound together in chains as well as the cords of everlasting love. We are in good spirits and rejoice that we are counted worthy to be persecuted for Christ's sake."
Sue then taught the following points:
1. The valiant cheerfully do all they can, even during times of trouble.
2. The valiant love the cause of Christ and strive to develop Christlike qualities.
3. The valiant strive to improve themselves while in this life.
4. The valiant endure faithfully to the end and will receive a crown of celestial glory.
Sue also referenced two conference talks. The first talk, entitled "Have we not Reason to Rejoice?" was given by Elder Uchtdorf in October 2007. The second, "Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus" was given by President Ezra Taft Benson in April 1982.
Click each talk title to read the talk. They are both wonderful.
Sue finished with this scripture from 2 Nephi 31:19-20
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
The church has created a beautiful video using excerpts from Elder Holland's wonderful conference talk. If you have not yet had a chance to see it, go to lds.org . It is on the homepage. It is beautiful. Enjoy it.
We love you sisters. We are blessed by the unity and love that we feel for each other. Easter is a time of new beginnings. Let's each make one new goal today. One small thing that we can each do to become more valiant in the cause of Christ. If we each make one small change for good, we will bless the lives of all of those around us.
Your RS Presidency
PS Here is an update on Sister Debbie Hollingsworth. She had surgery today on her palate and they believe it was very successful. Her jaw is completely wired shut. They anticipate that she will be in the hospital for a couple more weeks. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org . Mike will pick up the messages at some point and read them to her. Thanks for all your love and prayers for the Hollingsworth family.