Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Believe In Personal Revelation

This past week we had a Relief Society Activity and our theme was Believe In Personal Revelation.  I'm the Activity Coordinator and I have an awesome Committee.  One of the committee members came up with this amazing idea of using the Wizard of Oz as way to create the activity.  We started in the Relief Society Room, where I got caught in the "tornado."  This is the welcoming I gave:

Welcome to Kansas!  In the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum describes Kansas as being "in shades of gray".  Kansas was dreary and dull, uninteresting and without variety.

Elder David A. Bednar said, “I invite you to consider two experiences most of us have had with light.  The first experience occurred as we entered a dark room and turned on a light switch. Remember how in an instant a bright flood of illumination filled the room and caused the darkness to disappear. What previously had been unseen and uncertain became clear and recognizable. This experience was characterized by immediate and intense recognition of light.  The second experience took place as we watched night turn into morning. Do you recall the slow and almost imperceptible increase in light on the horizon? In contrast to turning on a light in a dark room, the light from the rising sun did not immediately burst forth. Rather, gradually and steadily the intensity of the light increased, and the darkness of night was replaced by the radiance of morning. Eventually, the sun did dawn over the skyline. But the visual evidence of the sun’s impending arrival was apparent hours before the sun actually appeared over the horizon. This experience was characterized by subtle and gradual discernment of light.”

In the movie, going from black and white to color signals a change in tone, pace, and content.  Elder Bednar goes on to say, “A light turned on in a dark room is like receiving a message from God quickly, completely, and all at once.  The gradual increase of light radiating from the rising sun is like receiving a message from God ‘line upon line, precept upon precept.’”

Back to the movie, Oz was exciting, colorful and engaging, it invites the audience to share in Dorothy's delight at being somewhere so much more interesting than Kansas.  Elder Bednar promises us that, “[if we] will ‘walk in the light of the Lord’ we will receive the ‘spirit of revelation . . . , [sometimes] immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, [and] enlighten your understanding….”  I invite you to Believe in Personal Revelation, to delight in something so much more interesting than our life here on earth can be, I invite you to move to the gym, our “Oz” for the evening where we hope you will find personal revelation to be exciting, colorful and even engaging as we share with each other what we learn.

We then followed the "yellow brick road" to the gym and I gave a talk as the scarecrow and here it is:

In the movie The Wizard of Oz, Scarecrow sings, “If I only had a brain.”  He could do things like … wile away the hours, confer with flowers, consult with the rain, unravel any riddle, tell why the ocean's near the shore.  He could think of things he had never thought of before, and, of course, he could sit and think some more.

One day years ago when my parents were here for a visit, I walked by the den and my dad was just sitting there seemingly staring at nothing.  I told him he could turn on the tv, but he said no he was enjoying just sitting there and thinking.  I have often pondered that moment and wondered if I took enough time to just think.  President Boyd K. Packer said:

“Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil.  But that is not all. To one who thought that revelation would flow without effort, the Lord said:  ‘You have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.  But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.’”

In the book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” Scarecrow asks the Wizard, “Can't you give me brains?"  The Wizard replies, "You don't need them. You are learning something every day. A baby has brains, but it doesn't know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get.”

As we grow and progress in the Gospel, we learn more and more.  Our experiences add to our knowledge.  In 2 Nephi 28:30 it says, “For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.”

In order to not be a nuffin' with a head all full of stuffin', we can do as Elder Robert D. Hales said, “We prepare to receive personal revelation as the prophets do, by studying the scriptures, fasting, praying, and building faith….”

The Wizard of Oz tells Scarecrow, “They have one thing you haven't got: a diploma.”  So he gives him an “honorary degree of ThD” which is a “Doctor of Thinkology.”  And, Scarecrow says, “The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side. Oh joy! Rapture! I got a brain!”

I know all of you already have a brain so you can “dance and be merry, your life will be a ding-a-derry,” but I also dub you all Doctors of Thinkology.  And, like my dad, I hope you will all take the time to study, ponder and think as you look for your own personal revelations.

After that we had a talk from the "tin man" on having the heart to seek our own personal revelation and after that we had a talk from our "lion" about having courage.  I wish I had their talks to share, they were wonderful!

We finished off doing some scripture journaling and this is the handout they all received:

“I like to think of my scriptures as a workbook.”  -Julie B. Beck

Read the following scriptures, pray about what each one means to you, ask Heavenly Father what was important and how to express it in your notes/art.  Write your notes or create your art in your own scriptures or journal you brought today, take one of the extra copies of the Book of Mormon on the tables and use that (this is yours to take home) and/or practice on the Book of Mormon wide margins copies provided.

Alma 17:3, Alma 5:46 & Ether 4:7

“I think the important thing is to make it meaningful to you and something that makes your heart happy and brings you closer to Heavenly Father.”  -Kayla Armstrong

IDEAS:  Color coding, add pictures and stickers, make notes in the margins, have a separate journaling book, have the Book of Mormon wide margin file copied onto heavier paper and spiral bound at a copy store, use washi tape to add note cards and memos into your scriptures, sponge around specific words, create or print scripture coloring pages, the ideas or endless!

SUPPLIES:  Black Fine Tip Pen (Papermate Inkjoy, Pigma Micron .005, Copic Marker 0.1), colored pencils (Crayola, Prisma Scholar), stickers, glitter glue, washi tape, ink pads and sprays, gessos, paints, stamps, watercolors, sponges, note cards, post-it notes, templates, markers, etc.

REFERENCES:Scripture Study for Early Readers: with printable pages to add to a large print Book of Mormon:
  • Wide Margin Book of Mormon PDF File:  http://www.bradjackman.com/wide-margin-edition-all-standard-works/
  • Illustrated Faith (combining faith & art) products by DaySpring
  • #bofmjournaling (over 600 ideas on Instagram posted so far)
  • Everything I researched is on my “My Faith-Study” Pinterest board (Renae Creates...)

Mighty Warrior Bible Page STSG 2: Scripture Journal - I love the way she journals her scripture study: 2016-Scripture-Hero-Journal: I love scripture journals and this lady has a bunch of neat ideas for studying the scriptures! I would definitely check out her site if you have the time.: Using a cheap blue book of mormon to cut out pages and do a larger doodle for- LOVE this idea!: Bible Journaling by @bekahblankenship: LDS Scripture Study Techniques but good for any religion. I am not lds but there are ideas here we can all use.: I am a huge fan of all of the Bible Journaling going on all over Pinterest. I love the idea of adding artwork to the sacred scriptures to s...: Scripture Color Coding Chart!❤️This one uses the Pentel PH158..."For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them..." 2 Nephi 4:15☀️: Triple the Scraps: {SCRLLC14} Scripture Lesson #19, Something in the Water by Patter Cross:

I had all kinds of supplies on the tables for them to use in getting creative with their scripture study.

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