The imagery in this talk drew me in immediately, "...as we face the light and warmth of a campfire, we leave the darkness and uncertainty behind us." Imagine the trials and hardships of our lives as the "night" or "darkness". When the brightness of the day begins to fade, and we enter in to a season of sorrow, doubt, or disappointment, what is the source of light that we turn to? Have we been building our campfire of faith "to strengthen us through the night?" Throughout his talk, Elder Gong beautifully illustrates 5 ways of how we can build our campfire of faith, one log at a time.
We'll discuss in more detail this week on Instagram, but I am SO excited to have Lorren kick us off with a discussion on creativity and the knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father! xoxo, Rio
In Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s talk, “Our Campfire of Faith,” Elder Gong shares an experience with Elder Richard G. Scott, who invites him to watercolor with him. Elder Gong appreciates the opportunity, but fears his own inadequacy. He says to Elder Scott, “I have no skill to watercolor. I worry it may frustrate you to try and teach me.”
However, Elder Gong overcame his worries of inadequacy and met with Elder Scott. He came out of the experience with a painting modeled on Elder Scott’s Campfire at Sunset and lessons in his heart about the importance of creativity and faith.
Do you consider yourself to be a creative person? Many of us perceive creatives to be only those who paint or craft, but in reality we are all innately creative as children of God. Elder Gong quotes President Eyring, describing “the love of a Creator who expects His children to become like Him--to create and to build.” Elder Scott encourages, “Attempt to be creative, even if the results are modest. Creativity can engender a spirit of gratitude for life and for what the Lord has woven into your being.”
As children of Heavenly Father, our creativity is not limited to something that can be placed on a bookshelf or hung on a wall. Our creativity may be expressed through paintbrush and pen or dance and song. However, creativity is also expressed through powerful Gospel lessons shared in our wards and families, preparing nourishing meals for ourselves and others, and seeking out personal ways to serve others. It may be expressed in the way we solve problems in our relationships or find God in the ordinary moments of our lives.
As we embrace creativity in our lives, we will learn for ourselves that “all things denote there is a God” (Alma 30:44) and increase in our faith, just as Elder Gong did.
Read Elder Gong's full address here.
FAITH IN ACTION:
Elder Gong felt nervous and inadequate when Elder Scott invited him to watercolor, but ultimately the experience of trying a new creative pursuit strengthened his faith and testimony--so much so that he gave his first full General Conference talk on the subject! How can you express your creativity in a way that strengthens your faith? Don’t be afraid to try something new!
One of Elder Gong’s five lessons from the campfire of faith is being encouraged “to minister in new, higher, and holier Spirit-filled ways.” Spend some time brainstorming unique ways that you can help your ministering sisters. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Perhaps you could invite them and/or their families on a short walk or hike in nature. If you feel impressed, share some things that you notice along the way that testify to you of a loving Heavenly Father!
ACTIVITY / LESSON:
Sing the song “Heavenly Father Loves Me” and discuss the way Heavenly Father’s creation shows His love. Then spend time together in a creative activity. Some ideas include making play dough or clay sculptures, making paintings, making music together, or having a family cooking or baking challenge. You can also use this download below to fill out and discuss as a family how your five senses help you to know there is a real, and loving God!