Prepare Every Needful Thing
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“Prepare Every Needful Thing,” Ensign, Feb. 2003, 74

Visiting Teaching Message:

Prepare Every Needful Thing

Prayerfully select and read from this message the scriptures and teachings that meet the needs of the sisters you visit. Share your experiences and testimony. Invite those you teach to do the same.

D&C 88:119: The Lord gave counsel to the Saints building the Kirtland Temple that also applies to building righteous lives and righteous families today: “Prepare every needful thing.”

How do we determine what is “needful,” or of highest priority, as we prepare ourselves and our families?

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Jesus taught about priorities when He said, ‘Seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you’ (JST, Matt. 6:38, in Matt. 6:33, footnote a). ‘Seek … first to build up the kingdom of God’ means to assign first priority to God and to His work. The work of God is to bring to pass the eternal life of His children (see Moses 1:39), and all that this entails in the birth, nurturing, teaching, and sealing of our Heavenly Father’s children. Everything else is lower in priority” (“Focus and Priorities,” Ensign, May 2001, 83–84).

Patricia T. Holland, former first counselor in the Young Women general presidency: “On a pristinely clear and beautifully bright day, I sat overlooking the Sea of Galilee and reread the tenth chapter of Luke. But instead of the words on the page, I thought I saw with my mind and heard with my heart these words: ‘[Pat, Pat, Pat], thou art careful and troubled about many things.’ Then the power of pure and personal revelation seized me as I read, ‘But one thing [only one thing] is [truly] needful’ [Luke 10:41–42]. …

“Our loving Father in Heaven seemed to be whispering to me, ‘You don’t have to worry over so many things. The one thing that is needful—the only thing that is truly needful—is to keep your eyes toward … my Son.’ … All I needed to do was to renew my faith, and get a firm grasp on his hand” (“‘One Thing Needful’: Becoming Women of Greater Faith in Christ,” Ensign, Oct. 1987, 26).

How can we avoid distractions as we prepare ourselves and our families?

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Some places are sacred and holy where it seems easier to discern the direction of the Holy Spirit. The temple is such a place. Find a retreat of peace and quiet where periodically you can ponder and let the Lord establish the direction of your life. Each of us needs to periodically check our bearings and confirm that we are on course. Sometime soon you may benefit from taking this personal inventory:

“What are my highest priorities to be accomplished while on earth?

“How do I use my discretionary time? Is some of it consistently applied to my highest priorities?

“Is there anything I know I should not be doing? If so, I will repent and stop it now.

“In a quiet moment write down your responses. Analyze them. Make any necessary adjustments.

“Put first things first” (“First Things First,” Ensign, May 2001, 9).

3 Nephi 13:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Illustration by Julie Ann Allen