Study helps: Ronald A Rasband – By Divine Design

From http://www.lds.org:

To encourage discussion about Elder Rasband’s message, it might be helpful to invite a few members to bring a sewing pattern, a blueprint, or a recipe and talk about why these are helpful. What examples or teachings from Elder Rasband’s message inspire members to recognize God’s design for their lives? Perhaps class members could share experiences in which they saw that the Lord was directing their lives. What have they done to show God that they “treasure” His direction? Why is it important to recognize God’s “divine design”?

Our lives are like a chessboard, and the Lord moves us from one place to another—if we are responsive to spiritual promptings. Looking back, we can see His hand in our lives.

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What examples can you think of in the scriptures where the Lord has moved people from one place to another to accomplish his purposes?

Significant events unfold in the gospel and in the Church that further the kingdom of God on earth. They are not by accident but by God’s plan. He who fashioned this world can calm the seas with His word and can steer both Alma and Amulek and Nephi and Laban to be at the right place at precisely the right time.

Likewise, events and associations unfold in each of our lives that further God’s work on earth.

Consider the life of Joseph of Egypt as recorded in the book of Genesis – what examples of divine design can be found in that story? To what end?

Can you think of examples in your own life where you can see the hand of the Lord moving to further His work on earth?

Through the experience of my own life’s journey, I know that the Lord will move us on that seeming chessboard to do His work. What may appear to be a random chance is, in fact, overseen by a loving Father in Heaven, who can number the hairs of every head. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father’s notice. The Lord is in the small details of our lives, and those incidents and opportunities are to prepare us to lift our families and others as we build the kingdom of God on earth. Remember, as the Lord said to Abraham, “I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.”

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How does it make you feel to know that the small details of our lives?

‘The Latter-day Saints should be the happiest people upon the face of the whole earth. I believe we are. There is one thing the Lord has done for us. He has removed that uncertainty and fear that people have respecting the future. And if we do right, if we keep the commandments of God to the best of our ability, confessing our sins and repenting of them, we have no cause to be unhappy. If afflictions come, if death enters our habitations, shall we bow down our heads and mourn as though we had no hope? No. Let us accept it as from God, believing that he controls all things for the good of his people.’ (George Q Cannon, Journal of Discourses)

“We are living on a small planet that is part of a very modest solar system, which, in turn, is located at the outer edge of the awesome Milky Way galaxy. If we were sufficiently distant from the Milky Way, it would be but another bright dot among countless other bright dots in space, all of which could cause us to conclude comparatively, ‘that man is nothing.’ (Moses 1:10.) Yet we are rescued by reassuring realities such as that God knows and loves each of us, personally and perfectly. Hence, there is incredible intimacy in the vastness of it all. Are not the very hairs of one’s head numbered? Is not the fall of each sparrow noticed? (Matt. 10:29-30.) Has Jesus not borne, and therefore knows, our individual sins, sicknesses, and infirmities? (Alma 7:11-12.) (Neal A Maxwell, We Will Prove Them Herewith, pp. 1-2.)

What should you be looking for in your own life? What are God’s miracles that remind you that He is close, saying, “I am right here”? Think of those times, some daily, when the Lord has acted in your life—and then acted again. Treasure them as moments the Lord has shown confidence in you and in your choices. But allow Him to make more of you than you can make of yourself on your own. Treasure His involvement. Sometimes we consider changes in our plans as missteps on our journey. Think of them more as first steps to being “on the Lord’s errand.”

What can we do to allow God to make more of us than we can make of ourselves?

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