President and Sister Dunn

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Heard and Seen- Zone Conference Session

Heard and Seen
””For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.                                                     ~Acts 22:15

In this last zone conference I enjoyed the discussion of how we can all share our experiences and relate the gospel to those we encounter through applying it to personal situations. I loved the examples that were voiced and know many of you shared even more with your companions. I encourage you to continue to do so while you practice this skill of applying the gospel to real life situations for both your edification and for more effective teaching of your investigators.

I have asked Elder Nelson to share the example he came prepared with, since it was so powerful and relevant. He came prepared with pictures to go along with his personal example. I asked him to write this up for the Cumorah Crest.

From Elder Nelson:
Scenario: Sharing with someone about how to dive deeper into the scriptures….
”Relating to the scriptures, I've come across three different ways in which we handle or use these sacred records. This is based on what I've "seen and heard" in my life and in the lives of others. These three different ways that I relate how useful the scriptures can be, actually remind of something I loved to do back home in Brisbane, Australia. I grew up loving the ocean and everything about it. I just love being in ocean water, no matter what I am doing. But, specifically I have grown up loving wake boarding, snorkeling and scuba diving.  I think these three different ways I love being in the ocean, can be similar to how I can read and study the scriptures.
First, wake boarding: In this sport you are going fast across the water. It's fun and you may only see glimpses of what's in the beautiful ocean as you are skimming over the surface. I liken this as someone just skimming and quickly going through the pages of the scriptures, and not seeing the wonders of what's really inside.

Second, snorkeling, In this sport you are just under the surface of the ocean looking down into the wonders from a distance. Beautiful things catch your attention while you snorkel, but you cannot discover everything from the surface while snorkeling. I liken this to those that read in the scriptures and have an understanding of what is inside them, but they don't put the effort in to go deeper.

Third, scuba diving: This is the sport where one prepares themselves in their swim gear to go deep under the water, and they are the ones who really have fun discovering the beauty of the ocean. They search and are there in among the mysteries and wonders of the reefs. They study and learn and find life and wonders that you would never see from the surface. They are the true ocean explorers. I liken this to the people who diligently search and study the scriptures. They are those which receive the promises given in 1 Nephi 10:19, “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost..”

They are the ones that put in the effort to dig deep just as a scuba diver does and he gains much more than the snorkeler and wake boarder. I know that this is the most effective way to use the scriptures, I know by experience because I've used them in all three ways and I prefer to stick with searching, studying, and feasting upon the words of Christ because it benefits me the greatest. I advise everyone to do the same.

I promise you as you learn to be as a scuba diver, immersing yourself in the scriptures, you will discover and learn how to improve yourself. I have found personally how to build relationships and knowledge of those I read about,  especially Jesus Christ. My faith has strengthened, adding to my own “Armour of God”, The Holy Ghost has taught and comforted me, especially when I am in the deep waters. As promised in John 5:39, “hold fast to the iron rod which keeps us on the straight and narrow path that leads to Eternal Life.”  I testify that this is the way that the Lord wants us to use and apply his word, and the blessings will be ours.

I compliment Elder Nelson on a great example and a great write-up. I encourage all of you to have “eyes that see and ears that hear” spiritual things, as you are open more to the word of God…that is speaking to…… and through……… you to others!

More notes from the actual workshop:

Zone Conference
March 29-30, 2016

Session Title: Teaching what you have “Heard and Seen”


Zachary Braden Dunn was a baby we looked so forward to his birth. Coming just before we were about to announce to our children that we were headed on a mission. Our oldest son was getting a son!  All went perfect in pregnancy. But then the night of the delivery started to go awry. An emergency C-section delivered a baby that was not perfect. First sign was an ear that was not fully shared and a face that was different and sunken in a bit. What we came to know was a syndrome called Treacher Collins…was the more serious effects were that he would not hear perfectly, due to small ear canals. And he would not see perfectly, due to missing bone structure that holds the eye sockets in place. Many of his challenges can be surgically improved over time, but we had a baby that could not hear and see as other babies would.

Ironically, as President Dunn and I were feeling devastated, overwhelmed, scared, shocked (all the natural emotions) we started quickly to feel incredible comfort. And as I look back, I know see that the Lord was speaking to us through this tragedy (or what seemed like a tragedy) we started to reflect on the countless ways we had been prepared, both us an dour son and his wife.
We then thought about the things that happened at the birth that most assuredly let us know that God was there with us.  He was speaking to us through this experience. He had our attention…but we heard and saw it.
It strengthened my testimony of the reality of God’s love of the gift of the Atonement like nothing else. I saw the miracle of it al…and I have the expectation to share that with everyone I can.

The Atonement is real, yet is gets applied for us in everyday experiences. It is through our life journey that we come to know if it ourselves.
It doesn’t always have to be an enormous challenge for us to see it. But, in our experiences, we can apply the power of God’s love because that is where we see them and hear his voice speaking to us through the still small voice of the Holy Ghost.

Journal: (here is a picture of our little Zach at 1 year of age! Oh, how we love this little guy. He is teaching us so much.

In summary:Little Zachary was born with eyes that cannot see properly and ears that cannot hear properly…but in the process of this change of expectation, I had my eyes opened and I heard the Lord speaking and comforting us.

Excerpts from my journal:.......

Read all the Scriptures missionaries can find that have the words: “Heard and Seen

All through recorded scripture history, prophets have seen and heard. Can you think of any examples you could turn to????

How about looking these up from the board?

Acts 4:20:
2 Nephi 4:16
Enos 1:19
Acts 4:20
D and C 52: 36
3 Nephi 27:23
Acts 22:15
Mormon 1:1
1 John 1:3
1 Nephi 20:6
John 3:32
D&C 64:19
Luke 7:22
1 Nephi 1:18
Helaman 2:9 

I am passing around (to save time from looking these up) a few examples. Please read them and pass them on….(quietly or outloud)

On the board, I have listed these, if you want to write them down for later reference and study.

Q an A: Why is it important to have prophets in our day that have seen and heard?
So many self proclaimed prophets can be leading people astray?

Is it our responsibility to see and hear for ourselves? Personal revelation?

Discussion: What have you heard and seen???

The opportunity we have as missionaries is to share the reality of the Atonement or any of the major principles of the gospel with our investigators, through our own personal examples.

How has the Atonement been real in your life? How can you take it from an abstract topic and bring relevance of it to you and to others?

What does Preach My Gospel says on page 175
What can you find there about using your own experience?
Personal experience
Make things relevant for others
Invite members to share experiences that relate
Apply the gospel

Demo: Zone Leaders: Share an example of talking form your own experience with a focus on the principle of the Atonement or repentance or choose!

Tips about sharing your own experiences:
My tips
PMG Tips

More practice:

How can you most effectively share your testimony with others- share your personal experiences?  You have to have them, identify them and then practice sharing them.

What about the spirit putting into our mouths the moment we need it exactly what to say?

He wants us to acknowledge what we have heard and seen.
It is this activity that roots us in the gospel and allows us to change hearts and minds.

Preach My Gospel Tips:

Seek first not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word. You must gain “spiritual knowledge” What is that?

How have you developed that? P. 18
Structured programs vs. meaningful learning experiences on your own        What has worked best for you
1 Nephi 10:19
For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well as in these times as in times of old.
Strive to consistently study, treasure up, and apply the doctrines in your life.

May the Lord fill us with light, for “that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things” (D&C 88:67). We do not yet comprehend all things. But I bear witness of Him who does. It is my conviction that the only way for us to fulfill our purpose as individuals or as institutions within His kingdom is to make our eye single to His glory. If we will do so, He will fill us with light and comprehension beyond our fondest dreams.

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