This Mormon Life is a blog focused you helping you find joy in the journey of being a Latter-day Saint. The podcast is geared to provide help and assistance so you can be the best teacher you can be.
We also interview Mormon personalities and influencers to help you feel like you aren't alone in your Mormon life.
How to Have an Effective First Sunday Council Meeting
Are you nervous about holding a First Sunday Council Meeting? Have you been holding them and they aren't going as you hoped? We are here to help.
A new change to the 2018 Come, Follow Me Curriculum for Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society classes is the addition of a First Sunday Council Meeting. This is a departure from the old way of having a lesson selected at the Presidency's discretion. If you aren't careful, you might fall right back into that old way.
I invited Kurt Francom of Leading LDS to join us because he recently shared 6 Tips for First Sunday Council Meetings. We expound of each of his points and how you can incorporate them to lead an effective First Sunday Council Meeting. Kurt mentions a helpful resource called 7 Unbreakable Rules of Church Meetings.
For reference the 6 tips are:
No lessons, videos, quotes, talks, or books
Set Rules & Expectations
You need a clear vision statement
Obsess over the room setup
Send topics ahead of time
Are you looking for additional resources on how to lead a council? I'd recommend Elder Ballard's book, "Counseling With Our Councils". You can get it on Amazon or subscribers can read or listen to it for free on BookshelfPlus by Deseret Book.
If you are looking for more way to improve your teaching skills, Kurt will have a virtual summit coming up called, "Teaching Saints." Keep an eye out for it.
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Gordon B. Hinckley- Chapter 25: Move Forward with Faith
When faced with hard trials, how do you Move Forward with Faith?
We go out on location to discuss Chapter 25: Move Forward with Faith from the Gordon B. Hinckley Manual. It brings an end to the Third Hour of Power podcast series, but also allows us the freedom to broaden the range of what we produce for the podcast for you and how it can enhance our mission.
The end of this lesson features President Hinckley pleading with the Lord to increase of the faith of the Latter-day Saints. It was from a General Conference talk in 1987. You can view it here. It might be good to share with your class. Start the video at 15:32.
I invited my friend Mario to join us for this episode. Mario's story in remarkable. I remember when when he first showed up in a polo and shorts. Then I remember how he gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting about being homeless in a local park. He shared how he was about to take his life and was pleading with God to give a him sign that he should not carry out his plan. It was then that two missionaries asked him, "Who are you talking to?"
Mario shared some more details from his conversion during our conversation in the park, the very park he met the missionaries in. We talk about how he was able to turn to God at his lowest moment. While this did not remove all his trials, it did allow him to endure them.
You can read more of his story in his book, "Where Was God? by Chris" now available on Amazon.
They were many that were a Light in Mario's conversion to the Church. If you would like to be a Light to others, you need to add the #LightTheWorld calendar to your phone.
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Gordon B. Hinckley- Chapter 24: The Atonement of Jesus Christ: Vast in Its Reach, Intimate in Its Effect
Christmas is the perfect time to remember the impact of the Atonement of Jesus Christ: Vast in Its Reach, Intimate in Its Effect
We are reaching the end of the Gordon B. Hinckley Manual, Chapter 24: The Atonement of Jesus Christ: Vast in Its Reach, Intimate in Its Effect. This is a tent pole lesson. I recommend you find a way to fit it into your teaching schedule if you are behind.
There is going to be a lot of emphasis on the Nativity during December, but we should also take time to focus on the Atonement. The Lesson quotes President Hinckley;
There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection.
I brought on Ryan Shupe to be my guest for this lesson. He provides some powerful insights as he joins us right from attending a funeral. While Christmas can be a time of joy, it can be very hard for those who have lost their loved ones. The Atonement has the power to heal that hurt.
We can participate in the healing as we use Christmas as an opportunity to #LightTheWorld! That is what Ryan Shupe is doing this Christmas.
Ryan has a series of shows coming up for Christmas as part of #LightTheWorld. He is encouraging fans to go out and serve like the Savior would. Then post about it with a hashtag for your location. Lucky winners will be selected from each of his tour dates come and see a concert as Ryan's guest.
There is so much going on for #LightTheWorld and we want to help you get engaged. We created a Google Calendar with the daily #LightTheWorld prompts to help you easily find them. Not only will you find the content from Mormon.org, but you will also find content from over 20 collaborators. We've all banded together to help you #LightTheWorld.
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Gordon B. Hinckley- Chapter 23: The Blessings of the Holy Temple
What do you do to receive the blessings of the Holy Temple?
I found that living so close to the temple hasn't increased my attendance. It still takes an concerted effort to attend regularly and partake in the blessings of the Holy Temple.
I am joined my son Garren to discuss Chapter 23: The Blessings of the Temple. Garren is a Deacon now and he shares some of his feelings when it comes to going to the Temple.
If you need more help in getting more from the Temple, we share 4 Tips to Get More From the Temple. In fact there was a time I was struggling with something, and I went to the Temple for help. When the Church announced policy on the children of same sex parents I had concerns. You can read about what happened when I took my concern to the Lord and went to the Temple.
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Gordon B. Hinckley- Chapter 22: Reaching Out with Love to New Converts and Less-Active Members
Are you reaching out with love to new converts and less-active members?
Being a new convert to the Church or returning after an absence can be hard. In this episode we talk about how to make that transition a joy for those making it. We are discussing Chapter 22: Reaching Out with Love to New Converts and Less-Active Members from the Gordon B. Hinckley Manual.
Converts who join the Church give up a lot, sometimes even family. When Al Carraway joined the Church she lost her relationship with her father for many years. She recounts it in her book, "More Than the Tattooed Mormon". Read our review here. Hearing about her experience at Cafe Rio caused me to check how I treat people who might not look like they 'fit the mold'.
Less-active members can also have a difficult transition back to the fold. My sister Summer had such a journey. You can watch the interview I did with her about her experience. It was such a blessing for me to be able to help her during this time.
In this episode, Kristie is here and we discuss the 3 things every new convert needs.
With the ever-increasing number of converts, we must make an increasingly substantial effort to assist them as they find their way. Every one of them needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with “the good word of God”.
We shared a way to be able to build a stronger ward by building connections. Kristie is excellent at this. She loves hosting parties and inviting people over and celebrating friends. Check out some of her fun parties that she has done.
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Gordon B. Hinckley- Chapter 21: The Latter-Day Miracle of Missionary Work
How has The Latter-Day Miracle of Missionary Work impacted you?
I often say that if your last significant spiritual experience was on your mission, you might have missed the point. Perhaps we can extend that your last missionary experience too. Now in full disclosure, I am pretty sure my last significant missionary experience was on my mission. This lesson is meant to help people like me take part in The Latter-Day Miracle of Missionary Work.
Member missionary work can be a challenge and this episode is meant to help you get some ideas and inspiration for sharing the gospel. I loved the Apostolic promise that Elder Anderson gave in his talk, "It's a Miracle".
This is why the missionaries need your referrals. Otherwise they do stuff like this all day.
My wife Kristie joins us and shared some of the things she does to help our kids prepare to serve missions some day. Her website, Our Kerrazy Adventure, is a great resource for families. She just posted a fun way to thank heroes during Veterans Day.
When I was a missionary there were a lot of influential experiences. One of the ones that always stood out was the final conversation I had with my Mission President. You should read the 5 Things I Wish My Mission President Told Me Before I Went Home.
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3rd Hour of Power
What a great help the 3rd Hour of Power is. I've been listening for over a year now. I teach HP. Can't imagine preparing my lesson without listening to Grady's comments. He has such great insight and comments. This helps me to develop questions that start good discussions in the class.
I'm a youth leader, so I miss being in Relief Society for these lessons. I love that I still get to learn about the teachings of the presidents of the Church by listening to this podcast. It's short enough that you can finish it during a 30-minute commute and I love that host and guest get to share their insights to the lesson. Keep up the good work, Grady!