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Because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has temporarily suspended all church meetings, we would love to offer a few suggestions on how you can better worship as individuals and families at home.
We are grateful to have a prophet of God on the earth today to lead, guide, and prepare disciples of Jesus Christ. In the October 2018 General Conference, President Nelson prophetically announced “For many years, Church leaders have been working on an integrated curriculum to strengthen families and individuals through a home-centered and Church-supported plan to learn doctrine, strengthen faith, and foster greater personal worship.”
The call for home-centered worship has taken on new meaning, as members around the world have now been asked to step up to spiritual leadership in their homes and personal lives. Even when we cannot meet communally as saints, it is vitally important to continue to renew our commitments to our covenants each week by observing the Sabbath and trying to draw closer to the Savior.
While the task of replicating a church experience in your home may seem daunting, here are some ideas and suggestions to help make the transition easier. Having a home-centered worship experience will be a memorable and spiritually fortifying experience as we consecrate our efforts to the Lord.
1. Reflect on the Sacrament and your Covenants Regularly
In their most recent statement, The Church instructed bishops to council with their stake presidents “to determine how to make the sacrament available to members at least once a month.” This may mean blessing the sacrament in your own home, or participating in a virtual Sacrament Meeting held by your ward. Whatever form this takes, follow the counsel of your local leadership. Set aside time at least once each week to ponder and reflect upon the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Resources for Reflecting on the Sacrament
- KnoWhy #306: How Can One “Feast upon the Words of Christ”?
- KnoWhy #258: Where did Moroni Get the Sacramental Prayers from?
- KnoWhy #211: Why Did the Savior Emphasize His Risen Body in the Nephite Sacrament?
- KnoWhy #97: At Baptism, What Do We Covenant to Do?
- KnoWhy #59: What is the Purpose of Baptism in the Book of Mormon?
- KnoWhy #82: Why Does King Benjamin Emphasize the Blood of Christ?
Videos on the Sacrament
2. Hold Sunday School/Come, Follow Me
This suggestion is a step that Latter-day Saints are likely the most prepared for. Many Latter-day Saint families across the globe have already taken President Nelson’s commission to study the Come, Follow Me curriculum and discuss it on a weekly basis. With church currently suspended, it is more important than ever for individuals and families to be studying the Book of Mormon and the Come, Follow Me curriculum.
As an easy and engaging way to get in a “Sunday School” lesson, watch Taylor Halverson and Tyler Griffin’s video series on the Come, Follow Me curriculum. Each video covers one week of the Come, Follow Me materials, is about the length of an average Sunday School lesson, and is taught by Brigham Young University religious scholars who love the Book of Mormon.
3. Make the Book of Mormon Your Anchor
Apart from studying the Come, Follow Me curriculum, we hope you take hope and courage in the teachings of the Book of Mormon. As the keystone of our religion, the Book of Mormon is a sure source of strength and peace during troubled times. The Book of Mormon can also teach us examples of other times of unusual worship:
- By commandment of the Lord, Lehi and his family left their center of worship in Jerusalem to travel in the wilderness for 8 years, yet they continued to make time for worship, prayer, scripture reading and discussion, and gospel learning.
- Alma baptized hundreds of followers from Abinadi’s preaching. However, to stay safe from King Noah and his army, Alma and his followers had to worship in hiding and eventually flee into the wilderness. (Mosiah 18).
- When Alma and his people were in bondage under Amulon the wicked priest, Alma’s people lifted their voices to God in prayer. When Amulon forbid them to even pray to God, they persisted in praying silently in their hearts, until they were delivered by God (Mosiah 24:10–13).
- The poor among the Zoramites were expelled from their houses of worship because of their poverty. They instead learned to worship God in their hearts (Alma 32:1–8).
Through thick and thin, believers of Christ in the Book of Mormon often endured unusual and even dangerous circumstances for worship. Regardless of the form of worship, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will always support His people.
For even more insights from the gospel and the Book of Mormon to help during these troubled times, watch Taylor Halverson and Tyler Griffin teach important principles of hope and faith in a special episode below:
4. Reach Out in Kindness and Love to Others
Many people you love may begin to feel isolated, anxious, or depressed from social distancing. While exercising all necessary health precautions, reach out to those who may be struggling. Express your concern and love to those under your ministering care. A simple text, phone call, or video chat can go a long way. Remember the admonition of Alma, to always “mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Alma 18:9).
5. Trust in the Lord
As we embark on this new adventure, the miracles will be as strong as our faith. Ultimately, we know that God is in charge, and can find peace in His will and timing. As we do all we can to draw close to the Lord for comfort and strength, He will bestow us with an abundance of tender mercies.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
“Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.”
“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
“Be still, and know that I am God.”