The October 2011 Visiting Teaching Message comes from the special Book of Mormon Ensign issue. It talks about the mothers of Helaman’s warriors (Alma 53; 56-58) and the tremendous impact they had on their rising generation. As a result of their mothers’ examples and teachings, the stripling warriors faced adversity with great courage, faith, and exact obedience. They surely saw how their parents kept with precision the covenants that they had made with God, and learned from their examples to do the same. We can have the same powerful effect on the youth in our circles of influence.
Thinking about the following quote by Sister Beck, I wanted to create a visual reminder to live the covenants we have made with precision:
“When we honor our covenants, Heavenly Father can prepare the way for us. We are to live our covenants with precision. We can, for example, be precise in praying, in studying the scriptures, in holding a current temple recommend, in dressing modestly, in honoring the Sabbath. As we do so, our children will know and be able to say, “We do not doubt our mothers knew it” (Alma 56:48).
This matter of precise covenant keeping can be likened unto the pattern in a beautiful tapestry. As our own pattern of behavior is consistently obedient to God’s commandments, the beauty of gospel living will be evident to those that are watching and learning from our examples. There will doubtless be times that we miss a stitch in our pattern, that we may need to go back and fill in a design that was overlooked in error, but the important thing is that we are consistently striving to keep our patterns of behavior clean, bright and true.
I put together this small “tapestry” with some ways in which we can live our covenants with precision. You might consider these ways and others in which you can be completely obedient to the covenants you have made, and then use the tapestry as a guide to be 100% obedient in these things. Over the period of a couple weeks, color in a little of the pattern each day, until the tapestry is filled with your pattern of faith and commitment to the Lord.
To prepare this teaching aid to share with those you visit teach, download and print the file at the bottom of this post onto white cardstock. Cut the paper in half, so you have the “tapestry” on one paper, and the instructions on another.
I made a fun paperclip bookmark by cutting two heart shapes out of red felt, and sandwiching the top bit of a jumbo paperclip between them with hot glue. I then used hot glue to add a button and felt flower to the front. To add a bundle of crayons, select 5 different colors, stretch a rubber band around them (micro baby hair bands work great), then tie a ribbon over the band. Hook the ribbon over the spoke of the paper clip, and you will have a cute little package to share.
One other tip to share: you may want to use the instructions as the top sheet of your package (not the tapestry as pictured). The crayons make colorful little marks on the paper as you attach and transport them, and it’s nice to have the visual part of the teaching aid unmarked.
Have a great month, and enjoy the October issue of the Ensign. There are so many great articles that have inspired me to recommit to studying the Book of Mormon.
You can download the “Pattern of Precise Behavior” file below (thank you so much to my translators: Birgitta, Blanche, Christine, Ana Carolina and Delmy!):