Last conference, several Church leaders taught about the unique characteristics, divine roles, and strengths of men and women. For example, see:
Sister Carole M. Stephens: lds.org/go/123Know.
As Sister Stephens taught, “We all need each other. Sons of God need daughters of God, and daughters of God need sons of God. We have different gifts and different strengths.”
We all do need each other! The ways to help are endless. Young men, you can encourage young women in their Personal Progress efforts. You can show respect for womanhood. You can lend a hand—or a listening ear—whenever you’re needed. You can be a righteous example.
Young women, you can also provide righteous examples. You can encourage young men in doing their duty to God. You can compliment them whenever they act as gentleman to show them it’s appreciated. You can support their efforts as they prepare to serve a mission.
And, of course, we can all build friendships at any age.
Join in the Jubilee
Photograph by Richard M. Romney
“Join in the jubilee,” the hymn says. “Mingle in song” (“Thanks for the Sabbath School,” Hymns, no. 278). Every Sunday for more than three years, a group of youth in Utah have done just that. Not out of assignment or obligation, but out of love for sacred music and a desire to serve, they show up each Sunday at a local care center to sing hymns.
Like many others, Kaden G., 17, started singing at the care center when a friend invited him to join in. “At first I thought, ‘I’ll do it because it’s service,’” he says. “But I found it builds your testimony to sing the hymns. Hymns invite the Spirit. They have a huge influence on people.”
“I love seeing people smile when we sing for them,” says Allie G., 17. “I love seeing how much they appreciate it when we come, and I love the good feeling we have when youth get together to do something good.”
One of the residents, Nadine Taylor, has responded to the kindness of the teenagers by making pillowcases. “They’re personalized for each of us,” Allie says. “Nadine pulled me aside and asked me what my interests are.” Because Allie loves music, including composing songs, her pillowcase features musical notes. “It’s so detailed and stitched so perfectly,” she says. “It’s awesome to receive a personal ‘thank you.’”
“Mine has a soccer player on it,” Kaden says. “It has my jersey number and color from when I used to play.” Nadine obtained that information from some of the other teens. “I was really surprised,” Kaden says. “It means a lot.”
“I’m grateful that these young people are so dependable,” Sister Taylor says. “They come every Sunday, and their singing makes us feel loved.”
My Favorite Scripture
Photograph courtesy of Chantel L.
A couple of years ago my little brother passed away. My heart shattered like glass, and I felt so hopeless. When I found this scripture, it brought me comfort and peace. I know that when I place Christ in the center of my life, He will strengthen me. Over the years, I have seen His hand in my life and know that He is there for me every step of the way.
Chantel L., 17, Idaho, USA
Mutual Activity Idea: Spreading Yuletide Cheer
Photograph by iStockphoto/Thinkstock
Anonymous gift-giving can brighten and add meaning to the holidays both for you and for that special friend or stranger for whom you decide to sneak in some kindness.
If you’re planning to give gifts to bless others this year, think about ways you can give service while learning a skill at the same time. For example, what if you gave some handcrafted wooden toys or a small patchwork quilt? Or perhaps a plate of cookies or brownies—made from a new recipe—attached with a kind note to put a smile on someone’s face long after the last cookie crumb is gobbled up.
There are bound to be members in your ward or branch with equipment and know-how who can teach you how to make inexpensive but meaningful gifts from the heart. Consider spending some time during the weeks leading up to Christmas to work on creating presents while helping the youth in your ward learn new skills along the way.
Christmas Craft Kits for Kids
Photograph courtesy of Debbie Twigger
Young women in the East Midlands area of England wanted to do something special for the holidays to help out children in their community. Together with their Young Women leaders, they created 80 different handmade craft kits for children at the local hospital. These kits allow children who are patients to make crafts or do fun activities while they stay at the hospital. The kits include flycatchers, mobiles, puzzles, paper dolls, and puppets, all of which are ready for the kids to make.
“I was really happy to serve the children,” says 15-year-old Bethany H. “The feeling we got was nice.”
The young women built the kits during Mutual activities. When they delivered the craft kits, they also brought brand new Christmas decorations for the hospital. The project helped brighten the holidays for all involved. “I’d like to do it again,” Bethany says.
Christmas Hymn Vocabulary
Do you know the meaning of all the words in the last Christmas hymn you sang? Choose the correct definition for each of the following words that can be found in one or more of our hymns.
“Belfries” (Hymns, no. 214)
Fried, bell-shaped potato wedges
A type of sweetbread
“Radiant” (Hymns, no. 204)
High in elevation
Vividly bright or shining
Sudden or without warning
“Seraph” (Hymns, no. 211)
A thin mustache
An angelic being
A rare and precious oil
A heavenly law-enforcement officer
“Cloven” (Hymns, no. 207)
Split or broken apart
Made with garlic cloves
Done in haste
Joyful or happy
“In excelsis” (Hymns, no. 203)
Latin for “Be ever with us”
Latin for “Angels singing”
Latin for “In eggshell seas”
Latin for “In the highest”