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“Come Follow Me” FHE: From Ruins to Restoration

by | Jul. 12, 2019

Lesson Helps

This week's FHE lesson topic comes from the Come, Follow Me reading in Acts 10-15. Check out this week's Come, Follow Me study ideas on LDS Living for additional resources and suggestions.

Thought

“It matters not how completely ruined our lives may seem. It matters not how scarlet our sins, how deep our bitterness, how lonely, abandoned, or broken our hearts may be. Even those who are without hope, who live in despair, who have betrayed trust, surrendered their integrity, or turned away from God can be rebuilt. Save those rare sons of perdition, there is no life so shattered that it cannot be restored. The joyous news of the gospel is this: because of the eternal plan of happiness provided by our loving Heavenly Father and through the infinite sacrifice of Jesus the Christ, we can not only be redeemed from our fallen state and restored to purity, but we can also transcend mortal imagination and become heirs of eternal life and partakers of God’s indescribable glory.”

(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016)

Scripture

“After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:16-18).

Lesson

If you can, pull up an image of the Provo Tabernacle ruins. Talk about how this beloved tabernacle was destroyed through an overnight blaze in 2010. Then show a picture of the completed Provo City Center Temple, which was built on the same spot as the tabernacle and retains a likeness. Read this C.S. Lewis quote:  

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.”

(C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, New York: MacMillan Co., 1960, p. 160)

Read Acts 15:16-18 and discuss how these scriptures relate to this quote and the Provo City Center Temple. Share with each other any experiences you have had where you felt broken down and in ruins and then rebuilt and restored by Jesus Christ. Read Acts 15:18 and ask, “How does knowing that the Lord knows the beginning from the end help us trust His plan for us?”

Story

Read Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s story about his return to Dresden, a city that had been rebuilt itself after its destruction in World War II:

During my visit I saw the beautiful Lutheran church Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady. Originally built in the 1700s, it had been one of Dresden’s shining jewels, but the war reduced it to a pile of rubble. For many years it remained that way, until finally it was determined that the Frauenkirche would be rebuilt.

Stones from the destroyed church had been stored and cataloged and, when possible, were used in the reconstruction. Today you can see these fire-blackened stones pockmarking the outer walls. These “scars” are not only a reminder of the war history of this building but also a monument to hope—a magnificent symbol of man’s ability to create new life from ashes.

As I pondered the history of Dresden and marveled at the ingenuity and resolve of those who restored what had been so completely destroyed, I felt the sweet influence of the Holy Spirit. Surely, I thought, if man can take the ruins, rubble, and remains of a broken city and rebuild an awe-inspiring structure that rises toward the heavens, how much more capable is our Almighty Father to restore His children who have fallen, struggled, or become lost?

(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “He Will Place You on His Shoulders and Carry You Home,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016)

Lead image from Shutterstock
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