January 13, 2012
By Jen Altman
I had the opportunity to substitute teach this past Sunday for Relief Society, and I’m sure many of you had the same lesson, Lesson 1 from the Teachings of the Prophets – George Albert Smith Manual. It was such a great reminder to me, and I felt prompted to share with all of you, just in case you hadn’t heard (or read) the lesson yourself.
To often we get caught up in our day to day life; all to often we find ourselves just going through the motions, but not really progressing. I know this is how I feel. I know the gospel is true, I have a testimony of the gospel, but what have I done lately to improve upon that testimony or to improve my life in the gospel?
Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is more than just a religion, it’s a lifestyle. President George Albert Smith reminds us of this.
I found President George Albert Smith’s lesson “Living What We Believe” to be a great reminder of our purpose hear on earth. Just because we are members of the church, and have the restored gospel in our lives, does not alone qualify us for exaltation. What are we doing to ensure we follow the Lord’s commandments and to ensure we are on the path to eternal life?
There were many examples of the righteous man that President G. Smith was, but the most moving of this lesson were the 11 life statements he made to better himself; each of which were testified by others that he truly lived.
It gave me a new look into the tradition of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, or as I like to call them ‘Life Improvement Goals’. If we were to take upon even one of these creeds into our own lives, how much more like Christ we would become and how much more prepared we would be to live with our Heavenly Father once again.
The ideals he strived to live by were written as such:
“I would be a friend to the friendless and find joy in ministering to the needs of the poor.
“I would visit the sick and afflicted and inspire in them a desire for faith to be healed.
“I would teach the truth to the understanding and blessing of all mankind.
“I would seek out the erring one and try to win him back to a righteous and a happy life.
“I would not seek to force people to live up to my ideals but rather love them into doing the thing that is right.
“I would live with the masses and help to solve their problems that their earth life may be happy.
“I would avoid the publicity of high positions and discourage the flattery of thoughtless friends.
“I would not knowingly wound the feelings of any, not even one who may have wronged me, but would seek to do him good and make him my friend.
“I would overcome the tendency to selfishness and jealousy and rejoice in the successes of all the children of my Heavenly Father.
“I would not be an enemy to any living soul.
“Knowing that the Redeemer of mankind has offered to the world the only plan that will fully develop us and make us really happy here and hereafter, I feel it not only a duty but also a blessed privilege to disseminate this truth.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, 2010, pgs 1-2).
How much better the world would be if everyone would strive to live by such ideals. It is my hope that each of us might make similar creeds for ourselves, and work to better live what we believe each and every day, for there is always room for improvement in all of us!
The thought just came to me (while writing this post) to incorporate each ideal as a monthly theme starting in February, would love to hear any other ideas you may have on how you might be planning to incorporate and or teach these ideals in your family/home school.
This month's Ensign has even more great examples of the President GA Smith living up to his personal creed.
(*photo was taken from LDS Handouts Blog, a blog I recently discovered with handouts for YW, RS, VT and Primary lessons)