When I was listening to “Gather Together in One All Things in Christ” by Elder David A. Bednar I kept thinking about Latter-day Saints around the world gathering together in Christ. Isn’t that such a great image? Families around the world gathering in their own homes to study the gospel which leads us all to gather together in Christ. I love that!
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints suggests the following for this talk:
“Consider bringing a rope and a checklist to display. Invite members to discuss the difference between viewing gospel truths and Church programs as a rope and viewing them as a checklist of individual topics and tasks. Encourage members to look for insights in the examples in Elder Bednar’s message. What does it mean to ‘gather together in one all things in Christ’? (see Ephesians 1:10). What can we do to receive the promise at the conclusion of Elder Bednar’s message?”
Questions to Ponder
How are we currently gathering all things in Christ? How does the Come, Follow Me curriculum and the 2019 adjustments help us to continue to gather together in Christ?
What might happen if we allow ourselves to be caught up in the logistics of the adjustments? What might this look like? What can we do to keep ourselves (and others) focused on the main purpose for these changes?
What experiences have you had with making the Sabbath a delight? What has changed about the spirit in your home? How would you encourage someone who needs help with this?
How has your ministering increased your faith in Jesus Christ? What difference has that made in your life or in the lives of those you minister to?
What are the dangers to living the gospel in a checklist way? What can you do instead?
How do you think having faith is different from having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
“Substances that may be quite unexceptional can be woven together and become exceptionally strong.” This follows the pattern of “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” How have you seen this in your life?
How have you seen the past programs and adjustments prepare you for how we “church” now?
How can you use the tools God has given us to bring about his eternal purposes for you and your family?
What gets in our way of becoming who God wants us to become? How can we endure to the end?
What do you notice about people who pick and choose parts of the gospel to live? How can we encourage ourselves and others to more deeply weave the “tapestry of truth” into our daily lives?
When have you gotten through a trial by exercising faith in Christ? How does that experience help you with future trials?
How do you feel the ordinance of the sacrament help us to trust in Him, rely upon Him, follow Him, and press forward in Him?
What can we learn about the increase in temple construction? What motivates you to attend the temple? How do you want to improve in your temple attendance?
What will increased perspective, purpose, and power look like in our homes as we implement living and learning the restored gospel of Jesus Christ?
What do you think it means to “gather together in one all things in Christ”?
These are my ideas. My hope is reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
Ask the class to create a typical checklist on the board. 1. Read scriptures 2. Pray 3. Fast 1x month, etc. Then erase each item and replace it with a faith centered idea instead. For example, erase “Pray” and replace it with: “Pray for ministering families by name and follow through with promptings of the Holy Ghost for what they need.”
Divide the class into 4 groups asking each group to study one part of the 4th Article of Faith. Have each prepare to teach that part of the Article of Faith to the whole class. Add in Elder Bednar’s words along with scriptures and real life experiences.
Ask for examples from the scriptures of people who have been converted to the gospel. What qualities do these people have in common? What can we learn from their example? Display some pictures of examples once mentioned or to help brainstorm ideas for people.
We made a covenant to take upon us the name of Christ. Make a list on the board of the qualities and characteristics of Christ. Encourage the class to pick 3 and implement those qualities. What are some other ways we can take upon ourselves the name of Christ?
Invite a class member to talk about each of the church programs Elder Bednar mentions: the 1978 declaration about strengthening Zion, the 1980 change to a three hour block, the 1995 proclamation, the 1998 announcement of smaller temples, the 2012 self reliance initiative, the Sabbath as a delight, and the alignment of Melchizedek Priesthood quorums. How did these programs increase your faith in Jesus Christ? Can you see how we learn line upon line, precept upon precept?
Pass out materials for each class member to make their own rope. Have them write a gospel principle on each string (you can wrap tape around each string to write on) and encourage them to display the rope in a prominent place in their home as a reminder to gather together in one all things in Christ.
Print my chart and have class members take a few minutes to write down some thoughts. Share and discuss solutions for those comfortable sharing.
Continue with Elder Bednar’s rope example. What’s the difference between a knot tied in a thin piece of rope and a thicker one? Which one would be more helpful as you attempt to climb a rope? Talk about how as we gather these strands together to make a rope, it makes it thicker. Then as we exercise our faith in Jesus Christ and his plan for us, we make knots in our rope. As we continue forward and endure to the end, we can use the knots we make to help us on our climb back to Heavenly Father.
Compare the rope Elder Bednar uses as an example to the iron rod. What similarities can your class draw upon? How can we use this example to further understand the gathering of all together in Christ?