June 2020 Come Follow Me Ministering – Abish’s Spiritually Defining Memories
This month, the June 2020 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable ties together Elder Neil L. Andersen’s April 2020 General Conference talk “Spiritually Defining Memories” with June’s “Come, Follow Me” Lesson on Alma 17-19 and the story of Abish.
These ministering printables are a great way to help families incorporate the “Come, Follow Me” lessons into their own study. They are also perfect for Young Women’s, Relief Society, or Sunday School. While church gatherings are temporarily on hold due to the recent pandemic, I hope that these ministering printables will be a simple way to reach out to those we minister to. We can’t visit each other, but we can drop off something as a little pick-me-up!
Download June 2020 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable
I wanted to find something glow-in-the-dark for this message, but couldn’t find anything that I loved. So I decided to use Lemonheads because they kind of look like the illustration of the “luminous stones” that Elder Anderson used in his talk. I loved the way they looked with the printable.
June 2020 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable
Alma 17-22: Abish’s Spiritually Defining Memories
In his talk “Spiritually Defining Memories,” Elder Neil L. Andersen talks about how previous testimony building experiences can help lighten our path when things get dark.
He says, “You might think of your spiritual memories this way. With constant prayer, a determination to keep our covenants, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, we navigate our way through life. When personal difficulty, doubt, or discouragement darken our path, or when world conditions beyond our control lead us to wonder about the future, the spiritually defining memories from our book of life are like luminous stones that help brighten the road ahead, assuring us that God knows us, loves us, and has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to help us return home. And when someone sets their defining memories aside and is lost or confused, we turn them toward the Savior as we share our faith and memories with them, helping them rediscover those precious spiritual moments they once treasured.”
The Story of Abish
Elder Anderson mentions Abish, a Lamanite servant, as an example of someone who had a spiritually defining memory. This remarkable woman is also covered in this month’s “Come, Follow Me” scripture block in Alma 17-22. Abish was a servant to King Lamoni and his wife. She converted to the gospel years before due to her father’s remarkable vision. Only a servant and living in a repressive society, she keeps her conversion a secret for years.
Even when Ammon brings the gospel to King Lamoni, she stays silent. Later, when both King Lamoni and his wife are overcome by the spirit and fall to the ground, she sees her chance to share the gospel. She runs house to house calling all the people to witness what has happened.
But things didn’t turn out exactly as planned. Not understanding what had happened, many people misconstrue the spiritual experience for something sinister. The people start to argue and one even falls dead when he tries to kill the prostate Ammon. Poor Abish starts to cry and takes the queen by the hand, which awakens the queen. When the queen and king arise, they bear their testimonies and share the gospel. Some of the people stay and have miraculous experiences, but many leave in disbelief. This experience was the start of the conversion of a remarkable people, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.
Abish was prepared to act thanks to a spiritually defining memory. The memory of her father’s vision led to her conversion and sustained her testimony for years in a hostile environment. As a result, she had the faith to act when she saw a chance to share her testimony with others. It would have been easy for her to run and hide. But in a bold act of courage, she recognized the hand of the Lord and put herself in the center of what was turning into a dangerous situation.
Our Spiritually Defining Memories
Like Abish, our spiritually defining memories can bless others and sustain us through hard times. Elder Anderson tells us to, “Embrace your sacred memories. Believe them. Write them down. Share them with your family. Trust that they come to you from your Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son. Let them bring patience to your doubts and understanding to your difficulties. I promise you that as you willingly acknowledge and carefully treasure the spiritually defining events in your life, more and more will come to you. Heavenly Father knows you and loves you!”
When I was a teenager, I was reading through the Book of Mormon and was suddenly filled with the spirit. Not wanting to forget the experience, I quickly wrote on a 3×5 card, “Never forget this experience.” Through the years as I read my scriptures, I stumbled on that card over and over again. It brought back the memory of that sacred experience and helped me reposition myself through those challenging teen and young adult years. It served as an anchor to my testimony and prepared me for more spiritual experiences.
I have often wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t taken those couple of seconds to jot down a reminder. I could have easily lost sight of the “luminous stone” that the Lord had placed in my path. Keeping that memory alive allowed me to draw from its light over and over again. As I have gotten older and responsible for more and more people, I am so grateful for that light. It has given me a peaceful surety of my place and my Heavenly Father’s love.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
Wonderfully written and perfect for this time. I will read it again and again. Have read it a couple of times now, and pick out something new each time.
Great reminder that simple, humble people can be spiritual giants if they are prepared and willing to act.