8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
1. The morning breaks, the shadows flee;
Lo, Zion’s standard is unfurled!
The dawning of a brighter day,
The dawning of a brighter day
Majestic rises on the world.
2. The clouds of error disappear
Before the rays of truth divine;
The glory bursting from afar,
The glory bursting from afar
Wide o’er the nations soon will shine.
3. The Gentile fulness now comes in,
And Israel’s blessings are at hand.
Lo, Judah’s remnant, cleansed from sin,
Lo, Judah’s remnant, cleansed from sin,
Shall in their promised Canaan stand.
4. Jehovah speaks! Let earth give ear,
And Gentile nations turn and live.
His mighty arm is making bare,
His mighty arm is making bare
His cov’nant people to receive.
5. –Angels from heav’n and truth from earth
Have met, and both have record borne;
Thus Zion’s light is bursting forth,
Thus Zion’s light is bursting forth
To bring her ransomed children home.
*For Younger Children* (Share this short message) Happy New Year Around the World and talk about the way you celebrate the New Year and what it means to you.
Bonne Année (French)
Buon Capodanno (Italian)
Feliz Año Nuevo (Spanish)
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar (Dutch)
Gott Nytt År (Swedish)
Gutes Neues Jahr (German)
Happy New Year (English)
The custom of celebrating the first day of the new year started in ancient Rome. On that day Janus, the one who the Romans believed had charge of gates and doors and of beginnings and endings, was honored. The month of January was named for him. On New Year’s Day the Romans gave each other presents.
People around the world have different customs for welcoming a new year. Boys and girls in Denmark save old broken cups, plates, and bowls. Then on New Year’s Day they drop them on the doorsteps of friends and neighbors. The more popular you are, the more broken dishes will be found on your doorstep.
French children look forward to the new year because that is the day they receive special gifts.
Children in Belgium also receive gifts, but this is combined with an unusual custom. The children gather keys to the rooms in their homes and then wait for a chance to lock an older person in one of the rooms. The grown-up must pay for his release by giving a gift to the boy or girl who has a key to the room.
People in Scotland believe that to be the first one to visit a house brings good luck to both the visitor and the household.
The Irish carry this custom even farther. They feel that to bring good luck, the first visitor to enter the house on New Year’s Day must be a tall dark-haired man.
On New Year’s Day in England during the eighteenth century, husbands gave their wives money to buy enough pins for the coming year. The custom disappeared later, but the term “pin money” still refers to small amounts of spending money. When the English people hear church bells, they open their doors to let the old year out and the new year in.
Another interesting custom that began in England long ago still survives.New Year’s Day was the time set aside for cleaning chimneys. It was believed that to do so would bring good luck to the household during the coming year. Today we say “cleaning the slate” rather than “cleaning the chimney.” This means to make resolutions to overcome faults and bad habits and to promise to improve in the new year.
What resolutions have you made for the new year?
*For The Whole Family* Share the following: Truth Lies and Your Self-worth and discuss the many ways in which we can use the new year to better live the gospel.
Don’t let the world tell you when to feel good about yourself.
A new year brings feelings of a fresh start and new hopes, but it also brings a wave of worldly messages telling you that a new year requires a new you. These messages say that you can only be happy if you lose weight, get new clothes, find more friends, and so on. You hear these messages in the media, at school, and sometimes from those closest to you.
The problem with these messages is that they’re not true. If you examine them closely, you’ll discover that the true motive behind the messages is usually to convince you to buy into something either with your money or your time. But you don’t have to!
Changing your physical appearance or material possessions may make you feel better for a little while, but it doesn’t really do anything to change your worth or your eternal happiness. That’s because your worth is already established. President Thomas S. Monson has taught: “Your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. … God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there” (“We Never Walk Alone,” Ensign,Nov. 2013, 123–24). You are a child of God. You already have infinite worth, and that does not change. So it’s important to understand how you can recognize these false messages about self-esteem and combat them with gospel truth.
World’s Lies vs. Gospel Truths
Lie: Your worth is determined by looking and acting in the world’s way.
Believing this lie means that you’re letting worldly influences determine when you will feel good about yourself. You then have to constantly change to conform with worldly ideals, which are inconsistent and temporary. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has warned: “When we choose to define ourselves or to present ourselves by some characteristic that is temporary or trivial in eternal terms, we de-emphasize what is most important about us and we overemphasize what is relatively unimportant. This can lead us down the wrong path and hinder our eternal progress” (“How to Define Yourself,”New Era, June 2013, 48).
Truth: Following the Lord’s way builds a sense of eternal worth.
The Lord taught that His ways are not the same as the world’s ways and that “my ways [are] higher than your ways” (Isaiah 55:8–9). Following the Lord’s ways allows you to receive eternal blessings and to have the Holy Ghost with you, which can help you feel good about yourself more deeply and consistently than anything the world has to offer. Instead of trying to be what the world wants you to be, try living your life by the standards the Lord has set. His ways never change, and you will never be unpopular to Him.
Lie: Your worth comes from how you compare to others.
As a teenager, you’re probably well aware of how you compare to your peers. You want to fit in and be your best, which often means you want to be like someone else. When someone seems better at something than you, you may feel like you’re not good enough and that you need to be better in order to be accepted. One problem with this lie is that by tying your self-worth to other people, you’re often comparing another person’s strength to one of your weaknesses (see President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Forget Me Not,”Ensign, Nov. 2011, 120). This can also lead to envy and pride, especially if you put down other people to try and make yourself appear better.
Truth: Everyone has different gifts. You can feel good about yourself and be grateful no matter what your talents are.
The Lord wants you to be yourself, not someone else. He knows that you and everyone on this earth have strengths and weaknesses. Comparing yourself to someone else doesn’t help you be better. Of course, it’s important to improve yourself and to make goals, but they should be based on doing your best, not someone else’s.
If you want to feel better about yourself, try being grateful for what you have. “Comparing blessings is almost certain to drive out joy,” says ElderQuentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “We cannot be grateful and envious at the same time. If we truly want to have the Spirit of the Lord and experience joy and happiness, we should rejoice in our blessings and be grateful” (“Rejoice!” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 30).
Lie: Self-esteem comes from worldly success.
This lie is related to the one about comparing yourself to others. Who determines what success is? Everyone’s definition may be a little different. And when you base your self-worth on achievements, you’re only telling yourself that you’re as good as your latest achievement. That’s simply not true.
Truth: God’s view and expectations are what matter.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has taught, “Disciples of Jesus Christunderstand that compared to eternity, our existence in this mortal sphere is only ‘a small moment’ in space and time (D&C 121:7). They know that a person’s true value has little to do with what the world holds in high esteem. … The Lord uses a scale very different from the world’s to weigh the worth of a soul” (“You Matter to Him,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 20, 22).
Once again, you can overcome this lie by following the Lord’s way and being more concerned about His definition of success than the world’s. If you can consistently feel the companionship of the Spirit in your life, then it means you’re living the way the Lord wants. And if you do feel like you’ve failed in the Lord’s eyes, remember that you can come back through repentance and the Atonement.
Lie: Good self-esteem is all about building me.
When people encourage you to focus on building self-esteem (rather than recognizing eternal self-worth), you may be tempted to think you’ll be happier with yourself if you focus on building you. That’s the tricky thing about this lie. It seems so logical that self-esteem should be all about you, but that’s how the adversary tricks you. If he can get you so obsessed with “improving” yourself (typically with the outward things the world values) that you’re totally focused on you, then it will distract you from all the people around you whom you could be helping.
Truth: You’ll find joy in serving God and others.
The Lord commanded His disciples to “esteem [your] brother as [yourself]” (D&C 38:24–25). Those who truly love themselves don’t rely on others’ attention and praise. They’re comfortable enough with their own worth that they can have good relationships with others and are able to serve them without ulterior motives. Think about it: When you’re serving others and forgetting about yourself, does it make you feel better? Of course it does, because you’re doing something worthwhile. And as you serve God’s children, you draw closer to Him, thus improving yourself at the same time.
Your True Self
In the end, loving yourself is not about tooting your own horn or conforming to the world’s view of self-esteem. It’s about being who you are—a unique child of God—and knowing that who you are is a good thing. When you understand your eternal worth and you live in a way consistent with your divine heritage, you will gain a lasting self-esteem that is better than anything the world can offer.
Churro Waffles & Reese’s Fudge Bars
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 Tablespoons white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the cinnamon/sugar covering:
3/4 cup sugar3-4 Tablespoons cinnamon1/2 cup melted butter
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and 2 Tablespoons sugar; set aside. Preheat waffle iron to desired temperature.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, 1/3 cup butter and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture; beat until blended.
Ladle the batter into a preheated waffle iron. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp.
Mix together the 3/4 cup sugar and 3-4 tablespoons cinnamon in a shallow bowl or dish. Place the melted butter into aanother shallow bowl or dish and dip the hot waffle first in the butter, then in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Be sure to coat both sides of the waffle with butter and cinnamon/sugar.
(From SixSistersStuff )
Reese’s Fudge Bars
- 22 individual Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (regular size), unwrapped -16 for the bottom and 6 crumbled on the top
- 3 cups chocolate chips
- 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
- Line a 9×9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the peanut butter cups in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. (You should use 16 on the bottom)
- Place chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until chips and milk are melted together.
Once everything is melted together, spread evenly over peanut butter cups in prepared pan. Immediately sprinkle with the crumbled Reese’s, pressing them lightly into the fudge.
Cool until firm. I like to cool the fudge on the counter until it’s room temperature, then cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator to harden completely.
Cut into squares and serve.
(From SixSistersStuff )
1- Have a Goal Setting session for the coming new year.
2- Plan ways to serve those around you this coming new year.
3- Enjoy a round of your favorite board game, or family game.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.