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FHE: You Are Not Alone

We are Never Alone

Conference Talk

For more information on this topic read "None Were with Him," by Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May 2009, 86-88.

Thought

Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of [the] Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path - the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends.

(Jeffrey R. Holland, "None Were with Him," Ensign, May 2009, 86-88.)

Song

"God is Watching Over All," Children's Songbook, p. 229.

Scripture

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:18)

Lesson

Wrap one family member in a big, fluffy quilt and ask the person how it feels. Ask the rest of the family how they feel when they wake up in the middle of the night because they are cold and then pull a big, fluffy comforter over them.

Tell your family that there are two Comforters to comfort us. Read aloud John 14:16-18, 25-27. Ask:

  • According to verse 16, footnote a, and verse 26, who are the two Comforters?
  • What will the Comforters do for us? (Verse 18; see all of the footnotes.)

Teach your family that the comfort spoken of is the assurance that while Jesus is not present we still belong to Him, and that He has provided a way for us to be where He is. (See verses 2-6.) Furthermore, not only will we receive the assurance that we belong to Him, but this same gift of the Holy Ghost will "teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance" (verse 26) so we will know the way (verses 5-7).

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The New Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006], p. 132.)

Story

During the time World War II raged, Mrs. Terese Patton was proud of the blue star that graced her living room window, representing to every passerby that her son Arthur, my boyhood friend, wore the uniform of his country. When I would pass the house, she often opened the door and invited me in to hear the latest letter from Arthur. She would read until her eyes filled with tears, and I would then be asked to read aloud.

Arthur had blond, curly hair and a smile as big as all outdoors. He stood taller than any boy in the class. I suppose this is how he was able to fool the recruiting officers and enlist in the Navy at age fifteen.

To Arthur and most of the boys, the war was a great adventure. I remember how striking he appeared in his Navy uniform. How we wished we were older, or at least taller, so we too could enlist.

Arthur meant everything to his widowed mother. I can still picture Mrs. Patton's coarse hands as she would carefully replace the letter in its envelope. These were honest hands that bore the worker's seal. Mrs. Patton was a cleaning woman in a downtown office building. Each day except Sundays, she could be seen walking up the sidewalk, pail and brush in hand, her gray hair combed in a tight bob, her shoulders weary from work and stooped with age.

Then one day she received the dreaded news that Arthur had died at sea. The blue star was taken from its hallowed spot in the front window. It was replaced by one of gold. A light went out in the life of Mrs. Patton. She groped in darkness and deep despair.

With a prayer in my heart, I approached the familiar walkway to the Patton home, wondering what words of comfort could come from the lips of a mere boy. The door opened, and Mrs. Patton embraced me as she would her own son. Home became a chapel as a grief-stricken mother and a less-than-adequate boy knelt in prayer.

As we arose from our knees, Mrs. Patton gazed into my eyes and spoke: "Tom, I know that you are a religious young man. Tell me, will Arthur live again?"

I do not recall the exact words of comfort I spoke to her that day. However, years later, in 1969, as I spoke in general conference, I addressed my remarks to Mrs. Patton and said, "Mrs. Patton, wherever you are, from the backdrop of my personal experience, I should like to once more answer your question, 'Will Arthur live again?'"

I mentioned the words of the Psalmist: "If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." (Psalm 139:9-10.) I quoted the words of the Savior, as well as the testimony of John the revelator when he said, "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; . . . and the sea gave up the dead which were in it." (Revelation 20:12-13.)

At the conclusion of my address, I added the testimony of a witness, saying, "Mrs. Patton, God our Father is mindful of you. Through sincere prayer you can communicate with Him. He too had a Son who died, even Jesus Christ the Lord. He is our advocate with the Father, the Prince of Peace, our Savior and Divine Redeemer. One day we shall see Him face to face. In His blessed name I declare to you the solemn and sacred truth: Oh, Mrs. Patton, Arthur lives!"

Following the broadcast of that message, I received a touching letter from Mrs. Terese Patton, Arthur's mother, who was living in Pomona, California. Among other things, she wrote, "I don't know how to thank you for your wonderful and comforting words. God bless you always."

(Thomas S. Monson, Inspiring Experiences That Build Faith: From the Life and Ministry of Thomas S. Monson, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1994], p 190-191.)

Activity

Play "hangman" with the phrase YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Place one dash on the bottom of a piece of paper for each letter of the phrase. Leave a space between words.

Draw a "gallows" on a sheet of paper.

Have family members guess one letter at a time. Fill in the letter (everywhere it appears) on the appropriate dash (or dashes) each time the person guesses correctly.

Add one body part to the drawing each time the letter chosen is not in the word (head, body, right leg, right foot, left leg, left foot, right arm, right hand, left arm, left hand). Note each letter guessed on the paper, to keep track of the letters. The goal is to figure out the phrase before the person is completed.

Refreshment

Cherry Chocolate Cake

CAKE

  • 1 chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
  • frozen whipped topping (optional)

CHOCOLATE ICING

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, carefully fold cake mix, eggs, and pie filling together by hand until well blended. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13-inch pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

To make chocolate icing, combine chocolate chips and milk in a saucepan and heat over low heat until chips are melted. Remove from heat, stir in butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar.

When cake is cool, frost with chocolate icing or thawed frozen whipped topping, if desired. Makes 15 servings.

(Lion House Entertaining, [Salt Lake City:Eagle Gate, 2001], p. 121.)