Thought: We cannot and we must not allow ourselves to get distracted from our sacred duty. We cannot and we must not lose focus on the things that matter most.
(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down," Ensign, May 2009, 59-62.)
Song: "I Want to Live the Gospel," Children's Songbook, p. 148.
Scripture: Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. (2 Nephi 31:20)
Lesson: Have your family tell of different times in history when people have been killed for what they believed. Ask, "Why would one group of people kill another group for what they believe?"
Take turns reading 3 Nephi 1:4-9. Ask:
- What were the wicked people going to do to the righteous? Why?
- Why do you think the truth makes some people so angry? (See Helaman 13:25-28.)
- If your life was threatened by a wicked group of people because of what you believed, what would you do?
- What most impresses you about this group of Nephites?
- Even though they were spared, how was their faith tried?
- How do you think they felt when "at the going down of the sun there was no darkness"? (Verse 15.)
- Do you think you would have remained faithful in this circumstance? Why or why not?
- Even though we may not face the threat of death, what lessons can we learn from 3 Nephi 1 about preparing for the Second Coming?
Story: An example of tremendous courage in the face of certain death is the story of Rafael Monroy and Vicente Morales, two brethren from Mexico who lived during the Mexican civil war. The rebels who fought against the government in hopes of gaining power were called Zapatistas; they were followers of Emiliano Zapata. The civil war caused much bigotry, cruelty, anarchy, and bloodshed, reaching into the most isolated villages. Amid the violence, personal, political, and religious scores were often settled. In 1912 while this terrible civil war was in full swing, the Monroy family was contacted by LDS missionaries. They eventually accepted the gospel and were baptized.
"They were accused of having abandoned the faith of their fathers, consorting with foreigners, and selling poisoned food in their store. Even local religious leaders ridiculed them. Some townspeople began painting graffiti on the walls of their home, while others boycotted their store. Despite these trials, the family stood firm with an increased commitment to the Church.
"Rafael had been a member only three months when the civil war forced the evacuation of all foreign missionaries from Mexico. Before leaving Mexico, President Pratt ordained Brother Monroy to the Melchizedek Priesthood and set him apart as president of the San Marcos branch. . . .
"The Zapatistas eventually arrested President Monroy and his three sisters for associating with North Americans and for allegedly being in league with the Constitutionalists. The Zapatistas also arrested Vicente Morales, who had married into the Monroy family and served with Rafael in the San Marcos branch presidency.
"Acting on erroneous reports that the Morales family was hiding guns and ammunition, the Zapatistas ransacked the family store. Finding no weapons, they demanded that the men 'give up their arms.' Brothers Monroy and Morales were beaten after they presented their scriptures in reply. Later, they were told their lives would be spared if they would denounce their faith. When they refused, they were executed. One author wrote of the family's loss:
"'It had rained most of the night, and the air was damp. Jesucita Monroy had not slept and was out on the street early, pleading with the officers of the Zapatista army. . . . Her early morning appeal was successful, and the Zapatistas released her three daughters from army custody. After getting two of her daughters home, Jesucita and her oldest, Guadalupe, went to the place where the two executions had taken place the evening before. Already burdened with emotion and grief, these two women began the task of moving the . . . bodies of their son and brother, Rafael, and their nephew-in-law and cousin-in-law, Vicente Morales, home to prepare for the funeral and burial. Victims of the brutality of a civil war in Mexico, these two men had lost their lives in the violence they had deplored. For many members of the family and for many friends, Rafael and Vicente became examples of faith and dedication to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.'"
(F. LaMond Tullis, "Los Primeros: Mexico's Pioneer Saints," Ensign, July 1997, pp. 49-51.)
Activity: Mark a two lines on the floor, five feet apart, with tape. Give each person five washers and have them take turns tossing them from behind one line toward the goal line. The person who gets his washer across the line, but closest to it, wins all the washers tossed during that turn. The person who finally gets all the washers wins. Explain that the people who remain closest to the Lord will receive the greatest rewards.
(Alma Heaton, The LDS Game Book, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1968], p. 43.)
Refreshment English Toffee
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
Pour into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle chocolate over hot candy, and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil to melt. Sprinkle with ground almonds. Makes approximately 2 pounds candy.
(Paula Julander and Joanne Milner, Utah State Fare, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 1995] p. 47.)