Monday, December 28, 2009

Being Temperate in all Things

I found myself laughingly rueful as I read this week's talk. You see, its been Christmas, and I don't know anyone who makes temperance an important part of their feasting! However, as we'll learn from Elder Watson, "Being temperate in all things" is more than just a quality that keeps us from eating too much.
I was very interested to learn that temperance is a gift of the Spirit, implying that our perfect exercise of this divine attribute is contingent upon our worthiness to have the Spirit, our desire to have this gift, and the grace of the Savior.
It's a new year, and many of us have had to make changes to adjust to a changing economy, a changing world. I hope we can find the inspiration and grace to make these temperate changes joyfully, gratefully, gracefully.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What Have I Done for Someone Today?

Sometimes my life seems a little futile. The work I do each day is undone almost as soon as I do it, needing to be done again tomorrow in the never-ending circle that is housework. I know this work has value, and I know I'm blessed when I do it. It just seems that this particular kind of work doesn't last very long. I was impressed early in my marriage by the example of one particular sister in my ward. She was always about doing good. She served all the time. She didn't have to be asked to do a good deed, she didn't wait for the sign-up sheet in Relief Society, and she didn't wait to be called by the Compassionate Service Leader. She looked for needs and took care of them. She seemed to me to be Emma Smith incarnate. I wanted to be just like her. The work I do at home will show its value in the lives of my children, who will hopefully grow to be productive people who have learned to be responsible. The service I do will have eternal effects. I want to live a life that matters. Serving others is the only way I know how to do that.
President Monson's life is characterized by love and unselfish service. Who better, then, to talk on doing good for others in conference? "What Have I Done for Someone Today?" tells of the life of one extraordinary man and dozens of primary children and the service they all give. I hope we can be inspired this Christmas week to identify a need and serve!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Safety for the Soul

If Conference had a greatist hits album, this talk would be on it.

If you saw the Sunday afternoon session this last October, you surely remember Elder Holland's talk, "Safety for the Soul," and his powerful witness to the truth of the Book of Mormon. The good sister who taught our Relief Society lesson yesterday quoted it at length, and its been on my mind ever since. It seemed especially apporpriate to ponder on the Book of Mormon in the lead-up to Christmas for a few reasons:
--It's the Prophet's birthday next week (Dec 23)! No better way to say, "Thank you for your life'" than really appreciating what he sacrificed so much for.
--I hope it will remind us to read the Christmas story in the Book of Mormon to our children this year.
--Christmas is about Christ. The Prophet said, "I told the bretheren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding its precepts, than by any other book." To get nearer to Christ, read this powerful witness of Him!
The Book of Mormon saved my life! The Spirit I have felt as I read it, the knowledge of God's love for me, the powerful witness of the reality and infinity of the Atonement and the practical knowledge that allows me to put gospel principles to work in my life has given me a life of purpose and joy. I could not be who I am without this book! I know it is true. The people in this record are so real to me--indeed, I count Nephi as one of my best friends. He's been there for me many times, and he gets where I'm coming from. We understand one another. :) I love to read, and many books have affected my life, but no other book feels like the Book of Mormon. No other book actually gives me power to overcome myself. It is incomparable.
I invite you to share your own testimony of the Book of Mormon this week. I also challenge you to get a copy ( a lovely blue one, in the language of your choice!) and write your testimony in it. Then, make a goal and pray for Heavenly Father to guide you to someone who needs it. Don't be afraid. Just give the greatest gift you have to offer--the truth!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Attempting the Impossible

Though this would also be a great title of a blog chronicling my attempts to diet over the holidays, it is in fact the title of the talk we'll be studying this week. "Attempting the Impossible" is Elder Jorge F. Zeballos' thoughts on how the imposible, personal perfection and exaltation, is made posseble by the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ. As you contemplate your comments, keep in mind that part of the beauty of this little blog is gleaning from your sisters' thoughts. Its not the same without your testimony!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Relief Society: A Sacred Work

Alright girls; lets see a show of hands indicating who was scared or aprehensive or just plain mad to enter Relief Society. [counting hands...] I thought so.

I turned 18 early in my senior year, and having moved into a new ward on that birthday, I chose to attend Relief Society, rather than try to navigate the waters of a new Young Womens group. I am grateful for that decision to this day. I learned, for the first time, about sisterhood. I was overwhelmingly blessed to have the guidance, friendship, and above all, the love of more mature sisters in my ward. I am not a "Becky-Home-Ecky" and I am actually intimidated by large groups of women (Its actually why I talk so much, girls. I'm nervous ;) ). As I have gotten older, I have struggled a little bit with Relief Society--not particularly liking "Enrichment" (note the quotes), feeling like we focus too much on trivial things and don't expect gospel scholarship and critical thinking in our groups. I was humbled and chastened to read this week's talk by Sister Beck, "Relief Society: A Sacred Work." Sister Beck is the Relief Society General President, so one assumes she understands the purposes of Relief Society. I was inspired by her message and hope you will be too.
Now, I know we are all busy right now with the holidays and all our responsibilities. So, following the excellent advice of Nancy, I have a challenge! (A challenge, you say? I love a challenge! It fuels my competitive instinct! You don't have a competitive instinct? Fine. Then be sport and do it anyway.) Here's the deal:
1-Read the talk
2-Think about the talk
3-In ONE sentence, sum up your feeling about the talk.

Who doesn't have time to write a sentence? I have time to write a sentence. I like sentences. Its part of why I do this. So, lets get summarizing and add to each others' little bottles of oil. We can all use it during hectic, and often troubling times. Love you girls!