Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sustaining the Prophets by Elder Nelson

During our snow day today, we studied Elder Nelson's talk from General Conference called Sustaining the Prophets.

With General Conference just weeks away, we've got some catching up to do in our General Conference lessons, and this one had a very important message that I wanted my kids to learn well...what it means to sustain the prophets!

For our discussion, we focused on the imagery of raising one's hand to sustain the prophet, as mentioned in this quote by Elder George Albert Smith:

“The obligation that we make when we raise our hands … is a most sacred one. It does not mean that we will go quietly on our way and be willing that the prophet of the Lord shall direct this work, but it means … that we will stand behind him; we will pray for him; we will defend his good name, and we will strive to carry out his instructions as the Lord shall direct.

While we listened to Elder Nelson's talk, we traced our own hands onto card stock paper, cut them out.  Then we wrote the specific examples of things we promise to do when we say that we will sustain the prophets...on the fingers of our hands.  Conveniently, we came up with five main points.  They are as follows:

When we raise our hands to sustain a prophet, we promise to:

1. Stand behind him.
2. Pray for him.
3. Defend his good name.
4. Strive to Carry Out his instructions as directed by the Lord
5. Love him.

*We added this last point from an Ensign article by Elder Walker called "Follow the Prophet."  In it, Elder Walker says, "I believe the Lord expects us to love the prophet, to sustain him, and to follow his example."

This "handy" imagery will allow us to easily remember what we are promising to do when we raise our hands to sustain the prophets!

Here are some other points brought out in this talk:  

-the leaders of our church are called by proper authority (by God)
-no prophet or other leader in this church has ever called himself or herself into office and they are not elected. 
-because of this, his counsel will be untainted, unvarnished, unmotivated by any personal aspiration, and utterly true!
-you and I do not 'vote' on Church leaders at any level.  We do, though, have the privilege of sustaining them.
-unlike the world, we do not remove people from office if they grow old or become disabled.
-the church has been organized by the Lord himself.
-He has a system in place that provides for circumstances such as illness that comes with advancing age.
-there are counterbalances in place to make sure no one can ever lead the Church astray.

I liked the these points, "The living Lord leads His living Church!12 The Lord reveals His will for the Church to His prophet." and "Our sustaining of prophets is a personal commitment that we will do our utmost to uphold their prophetic priorities."  When I re-read that last line, I took some time to ponder just what are the "prophet's priorities" and am I doing my best to fulfill my personal commitment to uphold them?  This is a good thing for us to ponder and answer for ourselves.
Here's my hand.  I had to change the word "dictates" to "directs", because I like to use the words of the prophets just as closely to their actual words as I can when I teach my kids!
Oh, and we attached our hands to tongue depressors, because who doesn't like waving big hands around like they're cheering on their favorite sports team?  We certainly do!
Now here's just some pics of my kids, because I think they're cute!  Have a great day!

(Pretending they weren't pushing and pulling on one another moments earlier!) 

Even though it's work, I just love the memories we make, the goofiness that occurs and the silliness that ensues when we're studying the words of the prophets!

We love the prophets and we love General Conference!


  1. Great ideas, Jocelyn! I love the image of the hand, and the idea of writing on the hand so kids know what it means. Thanks for the great lesson idea.

  2. You always come up with great ways to make the Conference talks easily relatable to what kids can understand. You truly have a gift, my friend!

  3. fun ideas. love the snow out the window but the warmth inside....

  4. Love your General Conference lessons. You have helped start a new tradition at our house!

    1. Oh, that's awesome news! thanks for telling me that! I'd love to see what you do sometime!