Inviting, References, and How to Know Where All the Important Scriptures Are!!!

     Remember how I said we would cover several topics in one lesson?  Ya, this is one of those.  :)    

     Always invite people to do something!  If you just share a message and don't invite, they'll think you are just coming to visit.  Lesson liner:  "Do you like to learn new things?"

     Hebrews 1 is a great missionary scripture!  pg 1521.  Cross Reference it to Amos 3:7


     I don't know about y'all, but I've been really nervous about knowing aaaall the scriptures that are important to know and where to find them.  Bro. Riggins shared some wisdom with me on the topic... If you don't know where to find every scripture (which you most likely won't) then mark your scriptures so THEY are smart even if you aren't :)
  •    In alphabetical order at the beginning of your scriptures, write topics that will be important to cover (go through PMG)
  •    Write at least one solid scripture to use in teaching each topic.  Use that as your "hub scripture".  Try to have a hub scripture from D&C, the Book of Mormon, and the Old and New Testaments.  
  •    Then mark your hub scripture and write a BUNCH of Cross Reference scriptures on each hub scripture.
Example:  Isaiah 1:18... "Okay I want to teach about repentance.  I'm going to go to Isaiah 1:18.  That's my hub.  Then where will I go from there?" etc.

     He also suggested to get a new set of scriptures.  He said that having a new set of scriptures allows the spirit to teach you with no limitations to old markings.  Just a thought :)

Hermana Cook

Obedience and "Lesson Liners"

     Brother Riggins was a fantastic teacher.  He was really good at catering the discussion to the questions that our class had.  Because of this... we often had a lesson that covered three seemingly incongruous topics (as you'll see in today's notes) :)  So don't get confused.

     My mission prep teacher spoke on Obedience at least once every lesson.  His son was sent home from his mission after being out for 23 and 1/2 months... 23.5 MONTHS!! That means he had  only two weeks left until he would be coming home.  His mission had a few elders that were extremely disobedient and several more that knew about it and did nothing to stop it.  13 elders were sent home that day.  He constantly told us to just be obedient!  Obey every single mission rule.  If your companion or even your leaders are breaking rules... call the mission president!  It isn't tattling... it is allowing the work to continue.  You will be BLESSED for obedience!

Helaman 10:4-5
Blessed art thou [Cassidy] for the things which thou hast done.  I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word which I have given unto thee unto this people and thou hast not feared them, and hast not sough thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.  And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee FOREVER!

Live your life, serve your mission, in a way that Heavenly Father will say THAT to you.  Blessed art thou.  You didn't fear the peer pressure (because there will be peer pressure!)  Just decide now to follow EVERY rule.  Never break a rule!

"When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, that is the moment God endows us with His power."  This should be our motto.


D&C 50

v. 17 & 18= what is expected of you
We are ordained/set apart to preach with the spirit of God.  We must teach by the spirit!  It is the ONLY way we can teach.

v. 19 & 20= Receiver of truth
However, just teaching by the spirit is not enough.  They must receive it with the Spirit of Truth.  We cannot force anything

Here are some "Lesson Liners" he gave.. These are things we can say and do to bring the spirit into a lesson and help our investigators learn and receive it by the spirit:

  • Start lessons with prayer.  Pray for them by NAME.
  • Say "We want you to know how grateful we are for the invitation into your home.  We want you to know that the fact that you invited us into your home is a sign to God that you have a soft heart."  Say you are REPRESENTATIVES OF CHRIST.  Not missionaries.  "We are authorized representatives of Christ and as such the message we have to share is not our message.  We are only messengers.  Therefore, we would like to give His message the way He would have us give it.  Because of that, can we start with a prayer?"  If they get nervous say, "We just want to show you how we pray- how Heavenly Father has asked us to."  Then show how by doing a mini lesson of prayer.  Then say, "Now John (or whoever), what we'd like to do, with you're permission, is to have one of us give the prayer.  And if you could listen very carefully, we'd like to ask you to give the closing prayer and we will help you!"

v. 21,22,23,24

  • "I want to show you so you can understand."  "I want to bear my testimony so you can feel my witness."
  • "When we were going through our list of names today God showed us yours."

Hermana Cook

Notes on the Spirit

      I have always been one of those who struggle with identifying the spirit.  I confuse my own emotions and thoughts with the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  However, in the past couple of years I've really learned to better understand how the Spirit speaks to me.  Sometimes this is harder when we just don't know the "what if's" for whether or not we follow a prompting.  The biggest thing I've learned is to just DON'T DOUBT!  Just trust!  Trust that the Spirit is protecting you and don't question where the prompting is coming form.  If it is good, it is from God.  So just trust.
     1 Nephi 4:6-7  Say prayers like this, "Heavenly Father, we are going out tracting today.  We don't know where we're going, but we are prepared.  Please guide us."   And then you GO.  Nephi "went and did" because he KNEW the Spirit would guide and protect him.  He would walk into the dark confidently because he had the Spirit.

Who is the Holy Ghost?
John 14:26
D&C 130:22

What is the Purpose of the Holy Ghost?
Acts 20:23
Romans 14:17
John 14:26-27
John 16:7,8,13,14

Who has Access to the Holy Ghost? (Difference of the Holy Ghost and the GIFT of the Holy Ghost)
Bible Dictionary: Holy Ghost (last paragraph, left column)
Acts 2
Acts 8

How does the Holy Ghost influence our lives for good?
John 14
John 16
Isaiah 55:8-9
D&C 11:20-24
Ephesians 1:13
Moroni 7:13

When you do good... is it because you're good?  or because God is good?  Give credit where credit is due!  EVERYTHING that is good or enticeth to do good is from God!
Matt 19:16

Hermana Cook

Temple Prep

      When I was getting ready to go through the temple for the first time, I was told maaaany many different things.  I heard stories about missionaries that went once and would never ever go again because it freaked them out.  I heard about people that said it was so weird that it made them doubt the church they'd been a part of their whole lives.  Other people told me of magnificent experiences of the spirit.  My stake president told me that the biggest defining factor that determines  our first temple experience is our level of preparedness.  

      When he told me this, I started right away doing all I could to prepare myself to have a good first experience in the temple of my Heavenly Father.  

     I read a fantastic book (Thanks Grama!) called "The Holy Temple" by Boyd K. Packer.  It helped me realize that the endowment is what gives us everything we need to pass from this life to the next.  It is helpful for our life now... but mostly we are just practicing to enter into the presence of our Heavenly Father!  

     It also talked about, as a bajillion people told me before I went through, that the temple is like 99% symbolism.  I know some people struggle with this... but it made perfect sense to me!  In Christ's day, he taught in parables and symbols.  One day His disciples said to him, "Can't you stop with the symbols and just tell us what we need to know?" (clearly not exact wording) :)  The principle the Savior taught is that everyone is at a different place with their knowledge and understanding.  By teaching with symbols, EVERYONE can learn no matter what stage of life and knowledge they are at.  The temple is designed for us to learn for 80+ years.  It is symbolic so you can learn on your first time... and you can learn on your 100th time.  

     It is really a beautiful day and a glorious session.  If you are spiritually prepared then nothing will come as a shock to you.  Pray to have the spirit with you that you may know of the truth of the ceremony and feel what you need to feel for your first time.  Everything kind of just makes sense and feels right.  It feels familiar.

     Whilst pondering before I went through the temple, I thought about how some people think the temple is cultish after they go through because of the repetition and symbolism.  I realized that every single ordinance we perform in the church contains two things:  Symbolism, and repetition.  Baptism is symbolic of the death and resurrection and the cleansing of our sins with the immersion of water and it is so important that we have a prayer repeated every time.  The Sacrament is symbolic of the flesh and blood of Christ and is so important that we have a repeated prayer every time.  Why would the ordinances performed in the temple be  any different??  As my wise missionary best friend, Sister Leslie Dixon in Finland, told me, "If baptism were too sacred to talk about, people would think that being dunked under the water was strange and shocking.  The only reason the temple is strange to people is that it is too sacred to talk about."  But if we are spiritually prepared and have the spirit with us, there is nothing to fear!  Everything will feel familiar and we will feel peace.

    In my mission prep class we talked about how receiving our endowments should be MORE exciting than receiving our mission calls!  You don't have to go on a mission to go to the Celestial Kingdom... but you DO have to go to the temple.  It is the best place in the world and I am so grateful for the blessings I've received through the House of the Lord!

Hermana Cook

Missionary Work and the Temple

I love the temple.  In this lesson, Brother Riggins taught us why it is so important for missionaries to be endowed before we serve.

Did you ever realize that you can go to the Celestial Kingdom without going on a mission?  You can! BUT you can NOT go to the Celestial Kingdom without going to the Temple.  As a mother, don't prepare your children to go on a mission.... prepare them to go to the temple!  put your emphasis on the covenants we make and how we keep them.  By doing so, our children (and ourselves) will desire to serve the Lord and a mission will come!

In D&C 37, God tells Joseph to move to "the Ohio", but He doesn't really say why.  In D&C 38:32, He starts to reveal the reason:  He is going to give Him His law and will endow him with power from on high in order to save Israel by going forth among all nations.  This is US as missionaries!  In order to save Israel, going forth to all nations, we must be endowed with power from on high.  From the temple we will be told how.  D&C 39 tells us of the blessings... His power will rest upon us and we shall have great faith.  The Lord will be with us and He will go before us.  

These are incredible blessings.  In the temple, we will give thanks and be instructed.  Our understanding will be perfected.  Almost every time the temple is mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants, it is coupled with missionary work.  There is absolutely NO WAY that little 19-year-old girls and 18-year-old boys fresh out of high school would be able to accomplish all that is required of them on a mission without this endowment, without this power from on high!  Prepare yourself for the temple.  Go to the temple often.  Keep the sacred covenants and know that you have power from God to accomplish the work He has called you to do!!

Hermana Cook

Espanol and Teaching by the Spirit

Brother Riggins was a native Spanish speaker, lucky for me.  Here are some tips he gave to help us learn Espanol (and specifically, a Spanish accent) for the mission!

Learning Spanish

  • Memorize scriptures and Articles of Faith is English then in Spanish.  That way you have a solid understanding of their meaning.
  • The vowels in Spanish are ALWAYS the same.  Learn how to pronounce each letter of the alphabet... then practice reading the scriptures in English but with Spanish pronunciation.
  • Read the Spanish Book of Mormon out loud and practice moving your lips a lot really wide.

Effective Tips for Teaching by the Spirit

  • Treasure up wisdom.  The Holy Ghost will bring to your remembrance things that are ALREADY there.
  • In private study, He will reveal new things to you.  But in teaching, you must prepare!
  • PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE.  Then have the confident to leave your notes behind.  (Boyd K. Packer)
  • That doesn't mean "leave it to chance"- PREPARE
  • Pray.  Then read again looking for the things the spirit would have you see that you didn't see before.

Hermana Cook

Use the Atonement to Become Christlike!

       I don't know about you... but as I prepare to be a missionary I feel a lot of pressure.  As missionaries we represent Christ.  As His messengers and His representatives, we need to develop Christlike attributes.  We need faith, charity, love, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence, obedience, etc.  My whole life I've been setting goals and trying to become all of these things- which is good!  But Brother Riggins, my Mission Prep Professor, helped me realize I was forgetting a very crucial part of my change and growth:  The Atonement.  The Atonement is NOT just for forgiveness of our sins!  It is NOT just for comfort!  It is through the Atonement that we are able to change and become someone better- someone more like Christ.  We CANNOT do it without the help of our Savior and His Atonement!

        My professor taught us this principle using charity as an example.  Look at this incredibly awesome scripture link he showed us.

Definition:  pure love of christ

Attributes: suffereth long, is kind, envieth not, is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh not evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity, rejoiceth in truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things, endureth forever!

It will take EONS to develop all those attributes.  Perhaps instead, we should consider the definition more.

In Mosiah 4&5, we read about King Benjamin's people.  He spoke to the people (the "first general conference") preaching unto them repentance and teaching of the Atonement.  At the conclusion of his speaking, they fell down and cried repentance to their Heavenly Father!  They received a mighty change of heart.  They had no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.  Because of their desire to have the Atonement applied in their lives, they desired only good!  They were able to change.

Ether 12:32-34  tells us that the laying down of Christ's life shows that He loved the world.  Verse 34 specifically says that this love is charity!  You know those little.. if a=b and b=c then a=c?  Well... if Christ's Atonement=love and this love=charity.. then the Atonement=charity.  Now replace the word "charity" with "Atonement." It is always about the Atonement.  It is through the Atonement that we receive Christlike attributes.  

"If ye have not charity ye are nothing."  Without the Atonement we are nothing.  

Keep using this word replacement as we read on..

Moroni 7:46-48 Have the Atonement. The Atonement never faileth.  Cleave unto the Atonement.  It endureth forever.  Be possessed of it.  Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart that ye may be filled with the Atonement.  

D&C 88:125 Clothe yourselves in charity- in the Atonement!

When the Atonement permeates us and fills us completely, the attributes of charity flow naturally.

Spend your time utilizing the Atonement, not on "working on" the attributes.  It is the Atonement that will get us through.  It is the Atonement that will change us.

My incredible professor suggested we pray in this way.. in a way that will allow us to use the Atonement in all we do.  "Heavenly Father, give me your eyes.  Let me see as you see.  Let me think as you think.  Let me walk as you walk.  Let me talk as you talk."  These are gifts of the Atonement.  Through these, you'll automatically be more patient, loving, and develop all Christlike Attributes.

Allow the Atonement to permeate you!  I know that it is through the Atonement that we can change.  I know it is real and it is for me and it is for you!  Cleave unto it.  Let it change you.

I say this en el nombre de Jesu Cristo, Amen.

Hermana Cook