For more information on this topic read “He Truly Loves Us,” by Paul E. Koelliker, Ensign, May 2012, 16.
The feeling of love from our Heavenly Father is like a gravitational pull from heaven. As we remove the distractions that pull us toward the world and exercise our agency to seek Him, we open our hearts to a celestial force which draws us toward Him.
(Paul E. Koelliker, “He Truly Loves Us,” Ensign, May 2012, 18.)
“Where Love Is,” Children’s Songbook, p. 138.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
Explain to the family that we can feel Heavenly Father’s love. Divide the family into two teams.
1. Give each team five minutes to write down on a piece of paper all the examples they can think of that demonstrate Heavenly Father’s love for us.
2. At the end of the five minutes have each team share what they wrote down. Each team receives one point for each item they have, plus a bonus point if they have something the other team doesn’t.
3. Discuss the ways we can personally see and feel God’s love.
Hugh B. Brown
I should like to give some reasons for [my] faith and attempt to justify my allegiance to the Church. Perhaps I can do this best by referring . . . to an interview I had in London, England.
I had met a very prominent English gentleman, a member of the House of Commons and formerly one of the justices of the supreme court of Britain. . . . He called me on the phone one day and asked if I would meet him at his office and explain some phases of my faith. He said, “There is going to be a war, and you will have to return to America, and we may not meet again.” His statement regarding the imminence of war and the possibility that we would not meet again proved to be prophetic.
When I went to his office, he said he had been intrigued by some things I had told about my
church. He asked me if I would prepare a brief on Mormonism and discuss it with him as I would discuss a legal problem. He said, “You have told me that you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that you believe that God the Father and Jesus of Nazareth appeared to him in vision.
“I cannot understand,” he said, “how a barrister and solicitor from Canada, a man trained in logic and evidence and unemotional cold fact, could accept such absurd statements. What you tell me about Joseph Smith seems fantastic, but I wish you would take three days at least to prepare a brief and permit me to examine it and question you on it.”
I suggested that, as I had been working on such a brief for more than 50 years, we proceed at once to have an examination for discovery, which is, briefly, a meeting of the opposing sides in a lawsuit where the plaintiff and defendant, with their attorneys, meet to examine each other’s claims and see whether they can find some area of agreement and thus save the time of the court later on.
I said perhaps we could find some common ground from which we could discuss my “fantastic ideas.” He agreed, and we proceeded with our “examination for discovery.”
Because of time limitations, I can only give a condensed or abbreviated synopsis of the three-hour conversation that followed. I began by asking, “May I proceed, sir, on the assumption that you are a Christian?”
“I assume that you believe in the Bible—the Old and New Testaments?”
“Do you believe in prayer?”
“You say that my belief that God spoke to a man in this age is fantastic and absurd?”
“To me it is.”
“Do you believe that God ever did speak to anyone?”
“Certainly, all through the Bible we have evidence of that.”
“Did he speak to Adam?”
“To Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jacob, and to others of the prophets?”
“I believe he spoke to each of them.” “Do you believe that contact between God and man ceased when Jesus appeared on the earth?”
“Certainly not. Such communication reached its climax, its apex at that time.”
“Do you believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God?”
“Do you believe, sir, that after the resurrection of Christ, God ever spoke to any man?”
He thought for a moment and then said, “I remember one Saul of Tarsus who was going down to
Damascus to persecute the saints and who had a vision, was stricken blind, in fact, and heard a voice.” “Whose voice did he hear?”
“Well,” he said, “the voice said ‘I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.’”
“Do you believe that actually took place?”
“Then, I am submitting to you in all seriousness that it was standard procedure in Bible times for God to talk to men.”
“I think I will admit that, but it stopped shortly after the first century of the Christian era.”
“Why do you think it stopped?”
“I can’t say.”
“You think that God hasn’t spoken since then?”
“Not to my knowledge.”
“May I suggest some possible reasons why he has not spoken. Perhaps it is because he cannot. He has lost the power.”
He said, “Of course that would be blasphemous.”
“Well, then, if you don’t accept that, perhaps he doesn’t speak to men because he doesn’t love us anymore. He is no longer interested in the affairs of men.”
“No,” he said, “God loves all men, and he is no respecter of persons.”
“Well, then, if you accept that he loves us, then the only other possible answer as I see it is that we don’t need him. We have made such rapid strides in education and science that we don’t need God any more.”
And then he said, and his voice trembled as he thought of impending war, “Mr. Brown, there never was a time in the history of the world when the voice of God was needed as it is needed now. Perhaps you can tell me why he doesn’t speak.”
My answer was, “He does speak, he has spoken; but men need faith to hear him.”
(Jack M. Lyon, Linda Ririe Gundry, Jay A. Parry, Best-Loved Stories of the LDS People, Vol. 1, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997], p. 249.)
Explain that we can learn about some of the wonderful things God has created for us by using our senses. Give everyone one or two turns wearing a blindfold to use one of their other senses to guess an object. Some ideas are listed below.
clapping hands crumbling dry leaves whistling
bird or animal noise
1 1/2 cups pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1⁄3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
11⁄2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup water
Pastry for 1-crust pie
Whipped cream, if desired
Place pumpkin in large mixing bowl. In separate bowl, mix cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Add to pumpkin and mix until blended. Add eggs and evaporated milk and mix until blended. Add water and mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 375 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Makes 1 pie.
(Lion House Classics, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2004], p. 121.)