Saturday, December 10, 2011

YW Lesson: The Spirit of Christmas

What's YW?

This is a special Christmas lesson I gave in YWs....hopefully it can help other YW leaders.

Read
White Stocking Poem with white stocking displayed. (I do not have permission to post the text from this original poem). However, you can find similar poems online.

I won't stand up here and tell you that I push aside worldly traditions and only focus on Christ's birth. I do celebrate the commercial aspects of Christmas as well. I don't think there is anything wrong with celebrating those things because that is part of the spirit of Christmas. It puts in our hearts a desire to give joy to other people. But, the celebration of Christmas should also put in our hearts a desire to keep our promise to always remember Christ and His gifts to us. And that remembrance should create a desire in us to give gifts to Him.
These gifts can't be found in a store or bought online. He has given us his "wish-list" of gifts that will bring Him joy.

(I had a mini tree on the table with mini gift boxes under it which held a slip of paper for each gift. I had each girl pick a gift as we went along.)


Gift 1: We can give Him the gift of doing for others what He would do for them.
Matthew 25:37-40
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
“Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?“
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Each act of kindness to anyone becomes a kindness to Him because He loves all of Heavenly Father’s children. And because that brings joy to Him, it also brings joy to His Father, to whom we owe thanks beyond measure.
Many of you have already done that and felt His appreciation. It may have been making cookies for a sick friend. It may have been joining with others in a project to help those in need.

Invite girls to share any experiences.


Gift 2: We can give him the gift of praying always, thereby remembering him in all things.

3rd Nephi 18: 19-20
19
Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;
20 And a
whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.
- Giving gratitude to Father for giving his son.
- Remembering his infinite generosity

Gift 3: We can give him the gift of sharing the gospel and be a good example to help bring others to Him.

With all the kindnesses we give for Him, the greatest we can offer is to point those we love and serve toward Him, the only source of eternal life.
This might be at the top of his wish list (as he repeated it three times in a row)
John 21: 15-17
15
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon,son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, a
Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him,a
Feed my bsheep.
Feed is sheep is referring to teaching others, sharing the gospel openly….
Another way of bringing others back to him is by your example.

Matthew 5:14-16
Ye are the light of world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel……

Gift 4: When we make mistakes, repent quickly and improve!
Alma 34:32–33
“I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance … ; behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed” Simply feeling remorseful is not repentance. True repentance leads to a new and righteous pattern of life.


Just think---he went to a lot of trouble to ensure that we could come back to live with him and Heavenly Father.
In Gethsemane, Jesus took upon himself not only the sins of the world but also the pain, afflictions, temptations, sorrow, and sadness of all God’s children. Jesus felt everything as we feel it in the flesh, including the temptations we endure It would be a tremendous gift and honor to Him for each of us to come back. We cannot do that unless we truly repent and try to become more righteous. It would make him very sad to see you not accept his gift of the atonement and falter from the gospel.

Gift 5: We can give Him the gift of keeping his commandments.
John 14:15, 21
If you love me, keep my commandments.

Very simple, yet direct. Does this only refer to the 10 commandments? No, modern day revelation as well.

Hymn #185 – last verse
Be obedient, I implore,
Prayerful, watchful evermore,
And be constant unto me,
That thy Savior I may be.
By keeping his commandments, we ourselves are able to return back to him and he is able to be our Savior.

Gift 6: Let Christ lift you up when the world weighs you down.

Moroni 9:25, John 14:27
25 My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto adeath; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and blong-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in yourcmind forever.
Sometimes, a good gift can be letting others help us...and Christ really wants to help us. He's asked us to let Him in. Let him be there when you're suffering and when you need help. We need to be humble and meek as a child. (What does that mean?) Compare to a mother and child… child needs help and lets his mother help because he couldn’t do it without her. Apply to us and Christ. We need Him and his atonement. Let Him in.
.............................................

Have you noticed anything odd about what happens when we give him these gifts?
What's one of the best things about birthday parties? Favors! It's fun that you go to give a gift, but you end up going home with some treasures yourself.
This is just like these gifts to Jesus. We give him these gifts, but he gives us so much more in return! He sends us home with our own treasures!
In those words in the scriptures, He makes clear what gifts we might give Him. As you do, you bring joy to yourself and to Him.
This handout from Holy Handouts works great as a take-home for the girls to apply the lesson to their lives. You can download it free at the link above.

Leave the girls with your testimony and of course, a handout...a mini white stocking (I made mine out of paper) and treat attached.
You can right click on the below image and save to your computer.... these are the little slips that go in each box under the tree.

8 comments:

  1. Love this! I think I might use this, this Sunday! :) Thank you! :)

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  2. This is so inspiring! Thank you,Cher, for sharing this wonderful lesson. I plan on using it to prepare my YW lesson for this coming Sunday.

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  3. You have saved me. :) I just found out that I am in charge of mutual this Wednesday. Your lesson will be great. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  4. Wonderful! Thank you! I'm adapting it to use with the Relief Society. :)

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing!!! Will be using this for Young Women's tomorrow!

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  6. We are using this for our YW lesson tomorrow. Thank you so much for sharing! We made little stockings out of felt and are putting their Christmas gifts inside. We also made them small enough so they can use them as an ornament. I made a small printout of the poem (adapted from a couple different ones we found online) and made it small enough to laminate and attach to the stocking. We are really excited to bring this spiritual and wonderful lesson to them!

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