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Boyd K. Packer, "A Defense and a Refuge,"  Ensign, Nov 2006, 85-88


Scripture: D&C 115:5-6

5 Verily I say unto you all: aArise and shine forth, that thy blight may be a cstandard for the dnations;

6 And that the agathering together upon the land of bZion, and upon her cstakes, may be for a defense, and for a drefuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be epoured out without mixture upon the whole earth.

Purpose: To review the October 2006 Conference talk and teach the importance of living the standards and principles of the Gospel on a daily basis.

Ask: What are the weather storms that rage on earth? (tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms, etc.)

Ask: What kinds of places are there to keep us safe from these storms? (home, church, buildings, mountains, etc.)

Ask: If you had to walk to school in a rainstorm, what kinds of clothing would you want to protect you from getting wet? (use pictures of umbrella, boots, raincoat, rain hat)
Define storm in the gospel sense. (challenges and trials)

Ask: What kind of personal storms or challenges might a person encounter in life? (adjust to the age of the children) Write these "storms" on a rain cloud and display.

Ask: How do we prepare to have refuges from these personal storms? From Elder Packer's talk: "We are to keep the law of tithing. We attend to our responsibilities in the Church. We gather each week for sacrament meeting to renew the covenants and earn the promises in those simple and sacred prayers over the bread and water. We are to honor the priesthood and be obedient to the covenants and ordinances."

"If we will gather into the Church, live the simple principles of the gospel, live moral lives, keep the Word of Wisdom, tend to our priesthood and other duties, then we need not live in fear. The Word of Wisdom is a key to both physical health and revelation. Avoid tea, coffee, liquor, tobacco, and narcotics" (Write these on umbrellas and tuck under the storm clouds that you displayed earlier. Explain that if we are doing the things we have been asked to do, they become a defense and a refuge from the storms that may rage in our lives.)

Quote: "We are to be happy and positive. We are not to be afraid. Fear is the opposite of faith."

We know that activity in the Church centers in the family. Wherever members are in the world, they should establish a family where children are welcome and treasured as "an heritage of the Lord" (Psalm 127:3). A worthy Latter-day Saint family is a standard to the world.

Not only are we to maintain the highest of standards, but each of us is to be a standard, a defense, a refuge. We are to "let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works, and glorify [our] Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16; see also 3 Nephi 12:16)."

Conclusion: If a well-worn yellow bandana was good enough to be an ensign to the world, then ordinary men who hold the priesthood and ordinary women and ordinary children in ordinary families, living the gospel as best they can all over the world, can shine forth as a standard, a defense, a refuge against whatever is to be poured out upon the earth.


Closing Song:

Closing Prayer: