November 2021 Come Follow Me Ministering – Building Zion Through Covenant Relationships

November 2021 Come Follow Me Ministering - Building Zion Through Covenant RelationshipsThe November 2021 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable ties together Sister Bonnie H. Cordon’s October 2021 General Conference talk “Come unto Christ and Don’t Come Alone” and this November’s Come, Follow Me lesson on Doctrine and Covenants 136 and “The Lord gives me counsel for my ‘journeyings’ in life.”

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, Sunday School, or Family Home Evening. I hope that these ministering printables will be a simple way to reach out to those we minister to.

Download November 2021 Come Follow Me Ministering Printable (4×6)

You can print these printables as 4×6 photo prints. My local drug store prints them for just pennies. 

November 2021 Come Follow Me Ministering Message and Printable

Doctrine and Covenants 136: Building Zion Through Covenant Relationships

Me with my parents at Zion National Park back in the 70’s.

Growing up, we would often visit Zion National Park while staying with my grandparents. It wasn’t busy back then, and we could drive wherever we wanted.

For my brother and me, the highlight was driving through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. The tunnel cuts through the mountain and is 1.1 miles long. Throughout the tunnel, there are large open windows that allow you to see out to the canyon below. We’d roll down the windows as my dad honked the horn. You could hear the pitch of the echoes change as we passed by the openings.

My mom would tell us exciting stories from when she worked at the Zion National Park lodge as a young adult. They would play in the tunnel and take daring, midnight donkey rides up to Angel’s Landing. The donkeys knew the way so well that they could do it in the dark.

My grandma grew up in Springdale right outside the park. Her former house is now a gift shop.

My grandma and grandpa

In the park, Gifford Canyon was named after my great, great grandpa Oliver Gifford. There is a great story about how he planted a cornfield at the base of Gifford Mountain (also named after him). In 1882, he went up to check on his crops and found that a massive rockslide had buried his field. The rockslide created a new arch on what is now called Red Arch Mountain.

Later, I came back to Zion as a newlywed. My husband and I didn’t have much camping gear, so we pulled the cushions off our couch and used them as sleeping pads in the tent. That night a rainstorm flooded us out. We had to pack up quickly to save our upholstery!

It was years before we made it back again, this time with our two little kids. I wore my daughter in a baby carrier on my chest and my son rode on top of his dad’s shoulders. We hiked with them through the water partway up the Narrows. When the water got high enough to touch my daughter’s legs, she would kick and squeal with excitement, splashing water all over the place.

Do you see her reaching for the water? She was obsessed! Being up there with my family was one of the best days of my life.

Over the years, we took many trips back to Zion. It became a family favorite. When my daughter was little, she even announced that she was going to serve her mission in the Narrows!

Years later, my husband broke his wrist canyoneering down the Narrows with his brother. They saw miracles as they struggled to make their way out of the canyon before dark.

Developing a Love for Zion

When I return to Zion, I always get emotional. So many memories from so many generations. It all feels so present under the ancient canyon walls.

But Zion didn’t always feel that way to me. When I was a child, I liked to visit Zion, but it wasn’t mine yet. The tie I feel to Zion National Park took years of experience and maturity. It took sacrifice as I dragged my kids along hard hikes.

It took the heartache of losing my grandparents to cancer and closing a chapter of my life. And it took showing the park to my kids and understanding what it meant to my mom to show it to us.

Three generations of women at Zion!

My tie to Zion is all about family and what we mean to each other. Looking at photos of Zion National Park is breathtaking for anybody. Visiting Zion is even better. But to really love Zion, it is about the connections we make with family and God while there.

Zion is to be One in Heart

In Doctrine and Covenants 136, the saints were looking for their own Zion and seeking revelation for the journey. If I was praying for revelation about such an important journey, I would be hoping for directions, GPS, or a Liahona. But the Lord doesn’t talk about directions at all. Instead, He focuses on covenant relationships – with Himself and with others.

They had plenty of literal walking to do, but the Lord talks about “walk[ing] in all the ordinances of the Lord.” The journey was about building a relationship with Him and His children.

And the command to build a stake of Zion in the West was for the entire people, not just individuals.

“Let every man use all his influence and property to remove this people to the place where the Lord shall locate a stake of Zion.” (Doctrine and Covenants 136:10)

They are told to pitch in and help the poor, widows, and fatherless make it to Zion as well. Men should be sent ahead to plant crops for those coming after. They pledged to one another not to covet nor contend. Zion was not something the Lord could just give them, it was something that would be developed together on the trek there.

Shared Spiritual Experiences

In Come, Follow Me, it points out that this revelation reminded the Saints “that their conduct on the journey was as important as their destination” and it “helped transform the westward migration from an unfortunate necessity into an important shared spiritual experience” (“This Shall Be Our Covenant,” Revelations in Context, 308).

The trek across the West helped build Zion more than any location could. The relationships they built and the sacrifices they made changed them into a people ready to experience Zion.

The gospel is all about relationships. God seeks to tie us together in love. And it is that connection and those relationships that make Zion. “The Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them” (Moses 7:18).

Remembering Our True Purpose

As we struggle through trials in life, we can also make our journey “an important shared spiritual experience” by keeping our true purpose in mind.

During the October 2021 General Conference, Sister Bonnie H. Cordon talked about not being distracted from our purpose. She says, “We all occasionally get distracted from why we are here and divert our energies somewhere else. One of Satan’s most powerful weapons is to distract us with good and better causes which, in times of need, may blind and bind us away from the best cause—the very work that called us into this world.”

In those moments, you can remember that “you are a cherished, beloved child of Heavenly Father. He loves you so perfectly that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for you and for me. The Savior’s love for us is unfailing—even when we fail! Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Remembering this love can help you push back the confusion of the world that tries to weaken your confidence in your divine identity and blind you of your potential.”

Remembering His love can also help us see others as Christ does. When the resurrected Christ visited the Americas, He called everyone to Him. He asked the people to bring the sick and afflicted to Him. And He asks the same of us today.

Sister Cordon’s message was about coming unto Christ, but not coming alone. Like the trek across the West, Zion is about helping others make the journey as well.

Zion is a wonderful and beautiful idea, but it will mean infinitely more because of the experiences we have shared, the sacrifices we have made, and the relationships we have forged. As we travel on our own journey to Zion, we too can turn difficult trials into powerful, shared spiritual experiences.

Like Sister Corden said, “Come unto Christ. Come now, but don’t come alone!”

August 2022 Come Follow Me Ministering Handout

I did the printable with Zion in the background as a reminder of our own journey to Zion. And I have been wanting to make caramel apples forever! So this was the perfect excuse. Two quick tips for yummy caramel apples 1) Dip the apples in boiling water for about 8 seconds. It rinses off the wax and the caramel sticks better 2) You don’t have to make the caramel homemade. I just got some helpers with unwrapping the caramels from Kraft. Then you stick them all in a big bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Then stir and keep repeating until they are runny enough to dip the apples into. I decided to get fancy and dipped these in chopped up candied walnuts and chocolate chips.

I haven’t tried these caramel bits yet, but these look so much easier because they are smaller and you don’t have to unwrap them!

Caramel Apple November Ministering Printable

Did you like this November 2021 Come Follow Me Ministering message? Find more Relief Society Ministering Printables for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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