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RS lesson "Now therefore, ye are no longer strangers and foreigners"

RS lesson "Now therefore, ye are no longer strangers and foreigners"

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Published by Dede Bessey
This is my intellectual property. If you would like to use something I have said, feel free, but please credit me as the author.
This is my intellectual property. If you would like to use something I have said, feel free, but please credit me as the author.

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Published by: Dede Bessey on Jun 05, 2012
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Startoffwithalargespoolofthinredyard.AsIaskquestions,loopyarnaroundpeople’shandsuntiltheyarniscrisscrossedthroughtheroom,touchingvariouspeople,woundaroundpeople,etc.AskthemtoholdontoituntilIaskthemtoletgo.Whoherehaseverbeentoosickorhurttogetoutofbedandcook?(Pickonepersonstartstringthere.)Whoherehasevertakenamealtoafamilybecausethemomwassick?(continuestringw/each??)Whoherehaseverbeensad,depressed,lonely?Whoherehaseverstoppedbytovisitsomeonejustbecausetheyfeltinspiredto?Whoherehaseverfeltoverwhelmed?Whoherehaseverofferedasmile,ahelpinghand,oracompassionateear?ChineseRedStringtheorysaysthataninvisibleredthreadconnectsthosewhoaredestinedtomeeteachotherinacertainsituationorhelpeachotherinacertainway,regardlessoftime,place,orcircumstances.Thethreadmaystretchortanglebutwillneverbreak.WhatIfoundinterestingintheapplicationofthistheoryisthatwhilethestringmayconnectSis.So-and-SotoSis.So-and-So,lookatallthepeopleittouchesalongtheway.Eachofusmaybedestinedtohelpanother,butwecanhaveaneffectonthosealongthepath.(Invitethoseholdingthestringtoletitgo.)Ibelievethatpartofthereasonthisredstringtheoryresonateswithmeisthatitconnectsustoeachother.Itshowsthatnoonecaneverbetrulyalone,becauseevenifyoudon’tfeelthetugofoneofyourstringstoanother,youarestillinthepath.Youarestillanimportantpartofsomeoneelse’sstory.Eachofusneedstofeelthatcompanionship,thatfellowship,thatlove.ElderJosephB.Wirthlindiscussessomeofthosecompanionshipsinhistalk“ValuedCompanions,”givenintheOctober1997GeneralConference.OneofthemanybenefitsofmembershipintheChurchisthatofcompanionshipwiththesaints.NomatterwhereyougointheChurch,youhaveanimmediatekinship,areofferedimmediatefellowship,andquiteoftenfindfastfriendships.Dependingwhereonelives,theymighttravelincrediblyshortdistancestoattendmeetings,ortheymighthavetotravelfordays.“Whenwecometogether,weare‘nomorestrangersandforeigners,butfellowcitizenswiththesaints,andofthehouseholdofGod.’(Ephesians2:19)Oursisthecommandmentandtheblessingto‘meettogetheroft,tofastandtopray,andtospeakonewithanotherconcerningthewelfareof[our]souls.’IngeneralconferencesandinotherChurchmeetingsaroundtheworld,wecometogetherseekingcompanionship—thegoodcompanyofbrothersandsistersinthegospelandthecomfortofsweetcommunionwiththeSpiritofGod.Inourworshipservices,thepresenceofthatSpiritfillsourheartswithloveforGodandforourfellowSaints.”Anotherbenefitofmembershipinthechurchistheunderstandingwehaveofcompanionshipoffamily.Lovingparents,brothersandsisters,children,andtheextendedfamilyhelptoshapeourdestiny.“ThesweetcompanionshipofeternalmarriageisoneofthegreatestblessingsGodhasgrantedtoHischildren.Ourlivesaretouchedforgood,andwearebothedifiedandennobledaswesavorthesweetblessingsofassociationwithdearmembersofthefamily.”Weareliterallytiedtothoseinourfamily,byheartstringsandapronstrings.Ofcourse,you’vegottahavefriends.Howmanytimeshasyourmood,yourday,yourentireexistencebeenshapedbythelove,service,andmercyofatruefriend?ElderWirthlinsays“ThecompassionofChristlikefriendsdeeplytouchesandchange
 
sourlives.WeshouldwellrememberthattheLordoftensends‘blessingsfromabove,thruwordsanddeedsofthosewholove.’LoveistheveryessenceofthegospelofChrist.InthisChurch,prayersforhelpareoftenansweredbytheLordthroughthesimple,dailyserviceofcaringbrothersandsisters.”WhenImovedtoSequim,Iknewexactlytwopeople,andIwasrelatedtothem.Now,sixyearslater,Ihavemadesomanywonderfulfriends.Ireadsomewherethatthefamilyyoucreatefromyourgoodfriendsbecomeyourtribe.Youhaveallbecomemyfamily,mytribe.Youhavebecomemysurrogatemothers,sisters,grandmasandauntiestomychildren.“Inthegoodnessofgenuinefriends,IhaveseenthereflectedmercyoftheLordHimself.”Everyyear,wehavetheopportunitytocommemorateourpioneerheritage.Werememberthestrengththatourforebearsfoundinworkingtogether.“Theyhadagreatspiritofcooperation.Ittookacompanionshiptopulltheirhandcarts.Thesewagontrainsandhandcartcompanieswerecommunitiesonwheels.Byrevealeddesignthepioneerstraveledinwell-organizedcompanieswithclearlinesofresponsibility.Thestronghelpedbeartheburdensoftheweak.”Doyouthinkthattheyonlyhelpedthosetheyknew?Orperhapsdidtheyfeelthepullofthosewhomstringstheywereconnected?DoyouthinkthatperhapsalongthetrailtheybecamefriendsandfellowcitizenswiththoseSaintswhostartedoutstrangersandforeigners?ManyofourassignmentsintheChurcharesharedwithcompanions.EversincetheLordsentoutHisdisciplestwobytwo,companionshipshaveadvancedtheworkoftheKingdom.AftertheLord’sascensionfromtheMountofOlives,twomessengersboretestimonyoftherisenLord.AndboththeFatherandtheSontogethervisitedJosephSmithtobeginthegloriousworkoftheRestoration.Inbearingtestimonyandestablishingtruth,twoarebetterthanone.Buildingonthisdivinemodel,thehometeachingandvisitingteachingprogramsoftheChurchhavethusbeenorganized.Companionshipsarecalled“towatchoverthechurchalways,andbewithandstrengthen[others].”Whenyouvisityourassignedmembers,youbringwithyouthelightofthegospel,theloveandSpiritoftheLord.Thosewhoarestrong,canhelp“beartheinfirmitiesoftheweak.”Workingcloselywithyourassignedcompaniontocarryoutyourvisitshelpsusrememberthatcompanionscanblessandstrengtheneachotheraswellasministeringtothosetheyvisit.Everyweek,wehavetheopportunitytopartakeofthesacrament.Indoingso,wepromisetorememberourSavior,JesusChrist,tokeepHiscommandmentsthatwemightbeworthytohavetheconstantcompanionshipoftheHolyGhost.“ItisthroughthepowerandinfluenceoftheHolyGhostthattheLordkeepsHispromisetobewithusalwaysand‘notleave[us]comfortless.’Asacaringtouchcomfortsafrightenedchildinthenight,sothewarmthoftheHolyGhostcantouchourheartsandcalmourfears.Asthesoothingvoiceofalovingparentcanquietthecryingbabe,thewhisperingsoftheSpiritcanhushthenaggingworriesofourlives.”TheHolyGhostcanhelpyourecognizeafriend,someonewithwhomyouareconnected,evenuponyourfirstmeetinginthismortalexsistence.Howdowebecomeavaluedcompanion?Howdowefollowtheredstringswefindourselvesattachedto?PresidentEyeringsaid“OurHeavenlyFatherhearstheprayersofHischildrenacrosstheearthpleadingforfoodtoeat,forclothestocovertheirbodies,andforthedignitythatwouldcomefrombeingabletoprovideforthemselves.ThosepleashavereachedHimsinceHeplacedmenandwomenontheearth.Youlearnofthoseneedswhereyouliveandfromacrosstheworld.Yourheartisoftenstirredwithfeelingsofsympathy.Whenyoumeetsomeonestrugglingtofindemployment,youfeelthatdesiretohelp.Youfeelitwhenyougointothehomeofawidowandseethatshehasnofood.Youfeelitwhenyouseephotographsofcryingchildrensittingintheruinsoftheirhomedestroyedbyanearthquakeorbyfire.BecausetheLordhearstheircriesandfeelsyourdeepcompassionforthem,HehasfromthebeginningoftimeprovidedwaysforHisdisciplestohelp.HehasinvitedHischildrentoconsecratetheirtime,theirmeans,andthemselvestojoinwithHiminservingothers.”TheLordregularlysendswake-upcallstoallofus.Sometimesitmaybeasuddenfeelingofsympathyforsomeoneinneed.Afathermayhavefeltitwhenhesawachildfallandscrapeak
 
nee.Amothermayhavefeltitwhensheheardthefrightenedcryofherchildinthenight.Asonoradaughtermayhavefeltsympathyforsomeonewhoseemedsadorafraidatschool.IaskedsomeofmyFacebookfriendstosharestoriesofhowtheyhavebeenliftedbycompanionstheyhavemetalongtheirstrings.Whohasstory#1?(Readstories)WhenwefirstmovedtoUtahIwaspregnantwithmysecondson.Welivedinmyfriendsbasementforthreemonthsandthenfinallymovedintoourplacefiveweeksbeforemyduedate.Wemovedinconferenceweekendsowedidn
 
tmeetanyoneinourwardfortwoweeks.TheTuesdayafterwewenttochurchthestarterwentoutinouronlycar.Wecouldn
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taffordtotakeittoamechanicafterbasicallymovingtwiceinthreemonthsoursavingswasdepleted.Myhusbandstayedhomefromworkthenextdaytotryandgetitfixedhimself.Wecalledthefirstpersonwemetatchurchandhecamerightovertogivemyhusbandaridetothehardwarestore.ThenheofferedtostayandtogetherwithYouTubevideostheylearnedouttoreplacethestarter.Hewasalifesaver.Mywaterbroketwodayslater!(Amonthearly.)Sinceourcarwasfixed,gettingtothehospitalwasnoproblem!IhadsomesistersinthewardwhocameovertohelpscruboutmyfoodstorageroomafterIgote-colipoisoningandwasinthehospital.Theywouldn
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tletmehelp,justcameoverandtookcharge.Itwassonicetonothavetodealanythingandhaveitalldone.IalsohadthisawesomefriendwhocameoverandhelpedmepackmyhouseforarushedmoveevenwhenIwasn
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tthere.IthinkthemainthingsaboutthesestoriesisthatIneededhelpandinsteadofjust"offering"tohelpthesepeoplejumpedinandhelped.It
 
slikethatquotefromGeneranConference.Insteadofjustaskingiftheycouldhelptheyactuallydidsomething.TheycouldseethatIwasdrowningandjumpedintosaveme.Myfamilywasmovingacrossthestate,andIjusthappenedtopostamessageinagrouponFacebookaskingforinfoaboutthearea.AdearsisterwhomIhadnevermetnotonlytookthetimetoanswermyquestions,thenextweekwhenwewereuplookingforhouses,sheinvitedusintoherhomefordinnerandFHEsothatwewouldn’thavetospendfamilynightinourhotel.Now,knowingherpersonally,thatshewoulddothisforcompletestrangersisnotatallsurprising,butatthetime,Iwascompletelyinaweofthisamazingwomanforthegenerosityandlovesheshowedmyfamily.Iwashavingareallyterriblemorning.Mydivorcehadjustbecomefinal,andIwasfeelingverylow.IwasshoppingforgroceriesandsuddenlyrealizedthatInolongerhadtobuysoymilkformylactoseintolerant,nowex-husband.Iwenttoputitbackanddroppedit,ofcoursecausingittoburstopenandspilleverywhere.Isatdownonthefloorandbrokedown.Literallycryingovermyspiltmilk.AladyIdidn’tknowsatdownrightnexttomeandjustheldmewhileIsobbed.WhenIfeltbetter,shegotupandleft.Istillhavenoideawhoshewas,butinthatmoment,shewasmybestfriend.Iheardaknockonthedoor...andIwastemptedtoignoreit.Thehousewasadisaster,thekidswerefighting,Iwasstillinmypj’sw/bedheadandnobraon.But...Iansweredit.ItwasSisterPerfectineveryway.Wewerenotreallyfriends,I’dalwaysbeenintimidatedbyher.Shesaid“Idon’tknowwhyI’mhere.”Shecameinside,sentmetotakeashower,andmadecookies.Twohourslater,shehadleft,mydaywasbetter,andIwasinspiredtofollowherexamplebyrandomlyshowingupatpeople’shousesanddoingwhatIcantohelp,thenleavingonthewind,likeMaryPoppins!Iwasnotamemberofthechurch,hadnotreallyeverconsideredjoiningthechurch...butIwasalsoalone,adrift,andlost.Imetthisfun,vibrant,funny,ladywhoIwasimmediatelydrawnto.Shewaskind,andrespectful,andneveroncepressuredmeaboutthebaddecisionsIwasmaking.OnedaywithinearshotofherIhappenedtomentionthatIwasunhappywithonecertainaspectofmylife.Shesaidtome“IhappentobeteachingalessonaboutthatonSunday,wouldyouliketocomehearit?”Iwasnotabletocometochurchwithher,butsheemailedmeacopyofherlesson,andwebegantodiscussseveralgospeltopics.Iwouldaskherquestionsatallhoursofthedayandnight,viatext,phone,email,orFacebook.Sheansweredthemallpatiently,andrespectfullywithoutmakingmef

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