We are forever indebted to the Lord. He is generous in His gifts. When He asks us to keep the commandments, we are only returning a small portion of what He has already given us. Learn more in our Come Follow Me family home evening lesson for the week.
And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.
1. We give thee but thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be,
For all we have is thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from thee.
2. May we thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive,
And gladly, as thou blessest us,
To thee our firstfruits give.
3. To comfort and to bless,
To find a balm for woe,
To tend the lone and fatherless
Is angels’ work below.
4. And we believe thy word,
Tho dim our faith may be;
Whate’er we do for thine, O Lord,
We do it unto thee.
Teach: The top athletes in the world have to exercise a lot. They can’t stop for a week when they go on vacation. They can’t take two weeks off at Christmas. They find places to train no matter the weather. They have to work out really often, or their muscles won’t continue to grow and develop. But did you know that even the strongest, fastest athletes in the world have to take “rest days”? Here’s why.
Rest days give muscles a chance to grow.
Rest days reduce the chance of injury.
Rest days prevent mental and physical burnout.
Rest days keep you motivated.
Rest days help you sleep.
Rest days help your immune system so you’re less likely to get sick.
Taking a rest doesn’t make these athletes weaker–it makes them stronger! God has commanded us to take rest days too!
Read: Isaiah 58:13–14
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Teach: The Lord is teaching here that if we turn away from our normal activities and focus on Him instead, that we can delight in the Sabbath day. It can be a joy, rest, and blessing to us.
Ask: We may not be the top athletes in the world, so why does God want us to use the Sabbath to “rest from our labors”?
Teach: Let’s figure out how to rephrase each sentence above about how rest days help our fitness into ways rest days help our spirits. For example, “Rest days give testimonies a chance to grow.” How does a “rest day” help our spirits grow stronger?
Video: President Nelson taught how the Sabbath became a delight for him when he was a busy surgeon. Watch for how taking a day to rest was helpful for President Nelson.
Testify: Just like we are made physically stronger by taking a rest day from exercising, we are also made spiritually stronger by taking a day to do the Lord’s work instead of our own. When we spend the day “with Him,” it can be delightful!
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Teach: President Nelson has often spoken of our role in the last days to “gather scattered Israel.” Joseph Fielding Smith taught that the scattering of Israel (while a punishment at the time to Israel for not keeping the commandments) eventually became a blessing to the rest of the world because it elevated the world to have the Lord’s chosen people scattered among them.
Jesus taught in Matthew 13:33, “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” The scattering of gathered Israel functioned like mixing a little yeast throughout the flour to make the whole loaf of bread rise. The Lord now wants us to use His light within us to bring His scattered children back to Him in the last days.
Read: Isaiah 60:1–4
1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.
Ask: What does it mean to arise and shine? How does the light of Christ within us bring people to Him?
Story: President James E. Faust, former counselor in the First Presidency shared this story:
I recently recalled a historic meeting in Jerusalem about 17 years ago. It was regarding the lease for the land on which the Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies was later built. Before this lease could be signed, President Ezra Taft Benson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, then president of Brigham Young University, agreed with the Israeli government on behalf of the Church and the university not to proselyte in Israel. You might wonder why we agreed not to proselyte. We were required to do so in order to get the building permit to build that magnificent building which stands in the historic city of Jerusalem. To our knowledge the Church and BYU have scrupulously and honorably kept that nonproselyting commitment. After the lease had been signed, one of our friends insightfully remarked, “Oh, we know that you are not going to proselyte, but what are you going to do about the light that is in their eyes?” He was referring to our students who were studying in Israel.
Ask: What was the light shining in these young people’s eyes?
President Faust followed up with this question: “What are we doing to keep the light shining in our own eyes and countenances?”
Testify: Who we really are shines through. What do we want others to see in us? We can only show others who we really are. Let us be filled with the light of Christ and bring others to Him.
FOR SINGLE STUDY
Consider or Journal: What is the purpose of fasting? What is, or may be, accomplished through this act of faith?
Isaiah asked a similar question.
Read: Isaiah 58:5–11
5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?
[Is the point of fasting just to feel bad?]
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
[The true purposes in fasting come when our fasting brings about blessings both to those who fast and those who receive from fast offerings.]
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward.
9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
[Fasting brings about blessings from the Lord not available or open to us without fasting.]
Self-reflection: Am I giving a full, honest fast to the Lord? Am I giving a generous fast offering so that others in need can receive it?
When we participate in answering the prayers of others (providing for their needs), the Lord is more apt to provide for our needs and answer our prayers as well.
Video: We can all give a little–even if it is a very little. Watch how one faithful woman’s offering made her home sacred ground.
Cinnamon Apple Blondies
Enjoy this Fall twist on classic, chewy blondies!
Prepare “Blessing Bags” to keep in your car to give to people in need you may encounter. Many people who are homeless most need personal, human interaction and to know someone cares about their dignity and humanity. Some items you may include in your blessing bag are “lip balm, a comb, a face towel, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, soap, sunscreen, socks, T-shirt, toothbrush and toothpaste, any individually wrapped snacks, breakfast/cereal/granola bars” and more.
You may also consider a small monetary amount, a gift card to a local fast-food restaurant, or information about food banks or shelters in your area.