Choice and Accountability

Faith / Divine Nature / Individual Worth / Knowledge / Choice-and-Accountability /Good Works / Integrity / Temple Marriage / Especially for Leaders/ 

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Object Lessons:

egg blown out with dyed water inside that has been decorated and one regular egg

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Quotes:

"If you don't change your direction, you may end up where you are headed."

Author Unknown

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Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. Mark Twain

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A lot of people spend six days sowing wild oats, then go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure. Fred Allen

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The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality. Dante Aleghieri (1265-1321)

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The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

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Quotes:

"Knowing our religion to be true, we ought to be the most devoted people on the face of the earth to the cause we have embraced. Knowing as we do that the gospel we have received promises all our hearts can wish or desire, if we are faithful, we ought to be very faithful, devoted, energetic, and ambitious in carrying out the designs and wishes of the Lord, as he reveals them from time to time through His servants. We ought not to be luke-warm, or negligent in attending to our duties, but with all our might, strength, and souls we should try to understand the spirit of our calling and nature of the work in which we are engaged."

Lorenzo Snow

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The power of choice is a God-given gift, and the purpose of life is happiness. Things which pertain to the physical nature are so easily obtained and the pleasure so immediate that many spend most of their time seeking them and neglecting the permanent joys of the spirit.--DNCS, June 6, 1951, p. 2.

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"The Lord will have a people to carry on his purposes who will obey and serve him....Those who have got oil in their lamps are men who live their religion, pay their tithing, pay their debts, keep the commandments of God, and do not blaspheme his name; men and women who will not sell their birthright for a mess of pottage or for a little gold or silver; these are those that will be valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ."

Wilford Woodruff

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"It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it."

Joseph Smith

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"We live in the day of the smooth and subtle sins, the fashionable immoralities, the clever compromises, the routine treason, with evil on the rampage."

Ezra Taft Benson

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"The laws of nature are the laws of God, who is just; it is not God that inflicts penalties, they are the effects of disobedience to his law. The results of men's own acts follow them."

Joseph F. Smith

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It is as manly and as praiseworthy for an individual to make the choice to do good, work righteousness and love and serve God -it is more noble, than to choose the downward road. One or the other will be the choice of every individual. Do not trifle with evil, or you will be overcome by it before you know. 12:231.

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"Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof until all of the events transpire."

Joseph Smith

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"Every world problem may be solved by obedience to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Joseph Smith

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Do you want to go on in this brief span that is called mortality, loving the fashions--the temptations, the allurements, all that this world can offer--because they are pleasant, and then come up in the resurrection from the dead to be a servant, to wait upon those "who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and eternal weight of glory"? That is what such persons are going to get. And it may be, if they are not honest and honorable they may even go into the terrestrial or the telestial kingdoms and may miss the celestial kingdom altogether, because we are going to receive according to our works.

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Man's success or failure, happiness or misery, depends upon what he seeks and what he chooses. What a man is, what a nation is, may largely be determined by his or its dominant quest. It is a tragic thing to carry through life a low concept of it.--CR, September-October 1950, pp. 108-109.

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The choice is given, whether we live in the physical world as animals, or whether we use what earth offers us as a means of living in the spiritual world that will lead us back into the presence of God.

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This means specifically:

Whether we choose selfishness or whether we will deny ourselves for the good of others;

Whether we will cherish indulgence of appetite, passion, or whether we will develop restraint and self-control.

Whether we choose licentiousness or chastity;

Whether we will encourage hate or develop love;

Whether we practice cruelty or kindness;

Whether be cynical or sanguine--hopeful;

Whether we be traitorous--disloyal to those who love us, to our country, to the Church or to God--or whether we will be loyal;

Whether we be deceitful, or honest, our word our bond;

Whether a slanderous or a controlled tongue.--DNCS, January 2, 1952, p. 3.

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Poems

The Bar

By a convict serving a life term in Joliet Prison, Illinois

       
The Saloon is sometimes called a Bar,
        A Bar to heaven, a door to hell
Whoever named it, named it well;
        A Bar to manliness and wealth
A door to want and broken health;
        A Bar to honor, pride and fame
A door to grief and sin and shame;
        A Bar to hope, a bar to prayer
A door to darkness and despair;
        A Bar to honored useful life
A door to brawling, senseless strife;
        A Bar to all that's true and brave
A door to every drunkard's grave;
        A Bar to joys that home imparts
A door to tears and aching hearts;
        A Bar to heaven, a door to hell
Whoever named it, named it well!

 

 

 

The Spider and the Fly

by Mary Howitt

      
"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the spider to the fly;
"'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things to show when you are there."
"O no, no," said the little fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."
"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the spider to the fly.
"There are pretty curtains drown around, the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in."
"O no, no," said the little fly, "for I've often heart it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed."
Said the cunning spider to the fly, "Dear friend, what shall I do,
To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome; will you please to take a slice?'
O no, no," said the little fly, "kind sire, that cannot be;
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see."
"Sweet creature!" said the spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eye!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you're pleased to say,
And bidding you good-morning now, I'll call another day."
The spider turned him round about, and went in to his den,
For well he knew the silly fly would soon be back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with the pearl and silver wing:
Your robes are green and purple; there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead."
Alas, alas? how very soon this silly little fly,
Hearing his wily flattering words, came slowly flitting by.
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing?
At last,
Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlor; but she ne'er came out again!
And now, dear little children, who may this so try read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

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Scriptures Stories:

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Scripture Quotes:

Quotes from Prominent People:

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Object Lessons:

1. PROTECTION: Preparation: Go through your house and find several objects that we use to protect ourselves. Some examples could be sunscreen, umbrella, coats, sunglasses, or boots. Use your imagination and come up with some really creative things to bring.

Analogy: Have the objects displayed on a table and go through them one by one and let the girls guess how they are used. After discussing that we use all of these items in order to protect our physical body then discuss what objects that we use to protect our spirit. Some of these could include scriptures, journal, not watching R-rated movies, or prayer.

When all of the objects have been named that are used as protection then make the point that Choice and Accountability is more than just making the right choices at the time. Sometimes we don't make the right choices because we haven't been doing those things that we need for protection against wrong decisions. An example may be of a girl who chooses not to drink but may frequent parties where alcohol is served. Another example may be of someone who chooses to get married in the temple but the boys she chooses to date are not worthy in accordance to her goal.

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2. HARMONY VS. DISCORD: Preparation: Find someone who plays the piano and either arrange to meet in a room that has a piano available or make a tape recording that can be played in class.

Analogy: Have someone play a familiar song such as a Primary song. The right hand is to be played as written but the left hand will be hitting wrong cords or notes.

After listening to several measures of the song ask the girls what was wrong. Explain to them that although it was originally a beautiful song that the left hand distracted you from hearing what the right hand was playing and took away from the spirit. This represents our spirit and our if we are doing things contrary to the gospel teachings then we don't feel the peace and harmony of the spirit we only feel contention and discord from our actions. Explain that the choices that we make effect others including our families. If someone in the family is making wrong choices then the home isn't in harmony and there is a lot of discord amongst the family members. If we want a beautiful song or harmony in our home and in ourselves then we need to make those choices that invite the spirit back into our lives. Be sensitive to those who are currently in this situation and express this object lesson in a visionary sense that they too can have peace if they following the teachings and how much others want to help them feel the peace and live a happier life rather than outright reprimanding their behavior.

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3. SHORTCUT COOKING: Preparation: Make a batch of cookies and don't measure major ingredients, mix up measurements, or cook them at double the temperature for half of the time.

Analogy: Tell the girls that you wanted to make some nice cookies and so you had heard a really good recipe and so you wanted to make it but you ran out of time and interest part way through. Explain the process you went through and go into great detail about how exact you were in the beginning but then you lost interest and were in a hurry to get to the outcome. Emphasize how because you had used shortcuts that the outcome wasn't what you had inten ded. Talk about we attend church which gives us the recipe to living a successful life and obtain a temple marriage, etc. We are in the middle of following that recipe. We need to be very careful in following that wonderful recipe we were given if we want the outcome that we were promised. There is no room for shortcuts or for not following the procedures that were told to us that we should follow.

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Science Experiments: Cabbage:

Oil and Vinegar Refuse to Mix: Put vinegar into an empty glass and add oil. They refuse to mix. (The oil doesn't weigh as much as the vinegar and so it floats on top.)

Make the analogy that God and Satan can't occupy the same space. Stir it again and put a piece of white bread into the mixture. The bread will only soak up the vinegar but not the oil. You could have someone taste it and they will only be able to taste the vinegar. Mention that we need to only soak up God's influence and leave behind Satan's influence. We were put on this earth to be happy (Men are that they might have joy.) If we allow ourselves to abstain from evil thoughts or actions just as the bread abstained from soaking up the oil then we will be happier and have the tools necessary to accomplish our goals.

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Raisins and Water: Soak raisins in one glass with water and in another glass with salt water (two tablespoons). After about an hour the raisins in the plain water will be swollen because they soaked up the water but the raisins in the salt water will not change: they will still be small and wrinkled. You could use this experiment to illustrate how a change in our life (although it may not be noticeable to others) could make a big difference in the outcome of our life and achieving our goals.

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Plants Breath: Get a leafy houseplant and put Vaseline on the top of some leaves and on the bottom of others. Let it sit for two days and then look at it. The ones with Vaseline under the leave will be dying because the air can't get through the vaseline. The ones with Vaseline on top will still be okay because the sunlight can still get through. You could use this to represent how we still appear to be functioning without reading our scriptures, praying, etc. just as the plant has not completely died because of this but how without the essential ingredient of air or the gospel our sprite slowly shrivels up and then dies.

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Balloon and Grains of Salt and Pepper: Rub the balloon against a sweater and then put it over a mixtures of salt and pepper. The pepper grains are lighter than the salt and so the pepper will be picked up but the salt grains won't be. This could be used to show that if we are not striving for righteous things that evil will get there first.

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History:

Ben Franklin: We have all heard the story about Ben Franklin flying the kite in the rain to discover the principle of electricity. After Ben Franklin's experiment there were others who died trying to repeat the experiment. The difference is that they didn't following the procedure exactly they neglected the use of an umbrella in order for the string not to get completely wet. Because of this small deletion, the circuit of electricity was completed and the electrical current flowed into their bodies and killed them. This may have seemed like a small omission at the time it occurred but it ended up having profound effects. What are small omission that we are committing in the gospel principles that will later have profound effects and may even eventually kill our spirit.

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Stories:

Lima Bean Story

DeSota waited to get married (Abusive Fianc=E9)

Martain Handcart Company

Gallileo and the inqusition (Choice and Accountability)

 

Attitude - our choice....

Frank was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply,"If I were any better, I would be twins. He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Frank was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Frank was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing his style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Frank and asked him, 'I don't get it! You can't be a positive, up person all the time. How do you do it?" Frank replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, 'Frank you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life." "Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes it is," Frank said. "Life is all about choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good or bad mood. The bottom line: it's your choice how you live your life." I reflected on what Frank said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard the Frank did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business: He left the back door open one morning and was held up at gun point by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. One of the robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Frank was found relatively quickly, and was rushed to the local trauma center. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Frank was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Frank about 6 months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door, Frank replied. "Then, as I laid on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I choose to live." "Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Frank continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I really got scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action." "What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Frank. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stoppedworking as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, "BULLITS!" Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'" Frank lived. Thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

 

Faith / Divine Nature / Individual Worth / Knowledge / Choice-and-Accountability /Good Works / Integrity / Temple Marriage / Especially for Leaders/ 

 

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Last modified: October 02, 2005

 

  

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