Visiting Teaching Message (Sept ’11)
“Strengthening Families by Increasing Spirituality ,” Ensign/Liahona, September 2011
Study this material and, as appropriate, discuss it with the sisters you visit. Use the questions to help you strengthen your sisters and to make Relief Society an active part of your own life.
Strengthening Families by Increasing Spirituality
Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president, said: “There has grown in me an overwhelming testimony of the value of daughters of God. … I have felt that there has never been a greater need for increased faith and personal righteousness. There has never been a greater need for strong families and homes.”
Sisters can help create strong homes and families as they act on personal revelation. “The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life,” Sister Beck continued. “Qualifying for the Lord’s Spirit begins with a desire for that Spirit and implies a certain degree of worthiness. Keeping the commandments, repenting, and renewing covenants made at baptism lead to the blessing of always having the Lord’s Spirit with us. Making and keeping temple covenants also adds spiritual strength and power to a woman’s life. Many answers to difficult questions are found by reading the scriptures because the scriptures are an aid to revelation. … Daily prayer is essential to having the Lord’s Spirit with us.”1
We also strengthen our family members spiritually as we help them understand Heavenly Father’s eternal plan. “What can we do to better prepare our children spiritually for their eternal roles?” asked Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “Perhaps the most inclusive answer is: Teach them how to live the principles of the gospel.” This teaching comes through daily prayer, scripture study, and family mealtimes as well as weekly family home evening and Church attendance. Elder Ballard explains: “We prepare each day, right now, for eternal life. If we are not preparing for eternal life, we are preparing for something less, perhaps something far less.”2
From the Scriptures
Proverbs 22:6; Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
1 John 3:22; And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Doctrine and Covenants 11:13–14; Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy; And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.
Doctrine and Covenants 19:38; Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing—yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth and corruptibleness to the extent thereof.
Doctrine and Covenants 68:25; And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.
From Our History
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught the sisters in an April 1842 Relief Society meeting that they had a solemn obligation to seek their own salvation. He said, “After [my] instruction, you will be responsible for your own sins; it is a desirable honor that you should so walk before our heavenly Father as to save yourselves; we are all responsible to God for the manner we improve the light and wisdom given by our Lord to enable us to save ourselves.”3 He taught them to be righteous individuals, to become a holy people, and to prepare for temple ordinances and covenants.
What Can I Do?
1. How can I help my sisters increase in spiritual self-reliance?
2. How can I improve my own ability to recognize and respond to the Holy Spirit?
For more information, go to www.reliefsociety.lds.org.
Photo illustration by Welden C. Andersen
1. Julie B. Beck, “And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2010, 10, 11.
2. M. Russell Ballard, “Spiritual Development,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 65, 66.
3. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 355.
This article is found on LDS.org and posted here simply as a quick and easy reference. For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.