Monday, February 22, 2010

Love and Law

I remember as a little girl saying to myself, "When I'm grown and have kids I'll never do (insert something my mother did to make me mad)." A lot of the time I was mad about punnishment or a restriction of freedoms.

  • You can't eat all your Halloween candy before midnight October 31.
  • Ice cream is not a breakfast food.
  • You have to do your chores before you can play.
  • You may not watch Johnny Carson--go to bed.

When I was less mature (even less than I am now!) I believed that love was more important than law. If love was strong enough, there should be less law, not more. Punnishment seemed a personal rejection, not a loving correction. Elder Oaks talks about the relationship between love and law in his talk, (apprpriately titled) "Love and Law." He teaches us how our Father in Heaven shows his love for us by giving us law, and then encourages us to parent in the law following the greatest Parent's example.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts this week, sisters!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Perfect Example

Sorry I'm a day late, sisters. My Internet wouldn't work yesterday! But, better late than never!

It sometimes seems that Christ's injunction to "be perfect" (3 Ne 12:48) is a little to much to ask. Even Nephi lamented that he to often succumbed to "the sins which do so easily beset me." (2 Ne 4:18) As Latter-Day Saints, we expect a lot of ourselves, because we know the Savior expects a lot of us. The good news is, it is possible to attain perfection. There is a commandment to seek perfection, and as Nephi also knew, the Lord provides a way. Through the Atonement, and by following His example, the Savior gives us the tools we need to become as He is. President Eyring's talk, "Our Perfect Example," teaches us that by following the Savior's example, we can find greater happiness and hope in our lives. I love the reminder that hope and optimism ought to fill the lives of Latter-Day Saints, because we know that no matter what our failings may be today, we can be better tomorrow. I hope that I can follow President Eyring's counsel, and look for opportunities to be more Christlike.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit.

Learning to recognize the Spirit is HARD! That's why I appreciate Sister Matsumori's talk, "Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit." You see, I am in a life-long process of learning the hear the Spirit, to recognize what is His influence and what is just me coming up with stuff. One blessing of my calling as a teacher is my opportunity to learn--I can't teach the doctrines of the Abrahamic covenant unless I study the scriptures, study the lesson, study other correlated materials, and pray really hard about how to best teach and reach my class. I am confident that the same blessings will come into my life as I teach others how to recognize the Spirit. I want my children to follow the Spirit--I want them to seek out his influence. In order to do so, I must spend time on my knees and with my scriptures, inviting the Spirit into my life and home. As I earnestly seek to teach my children and give them opportunities to feel the Spirit, I will refine my own abilities as well! See how that works? Teacher and student, and both are edified.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Every Woman Needs Relief Society

We are beginning to inch up on April, so before we run out of weeks, I thought we'd better go back to the Relief Society Session. Sister Silvia H. Allred has such an interesting perspective. She is from El Salvador, and was very young when her parents joined the Church. She has seen the Church grow in her native land, and has had much experience where the Church is strong. She served a full time mission in the Central American Mission (back when it was only one mission :] ), stake and ward Relief Society and Young Women President, and on the Young Women General Board. She and her husband have been public relations missionaries in Madrid, Spain, Mission Presidents in Paraguay Asuncion mission, and were most recently serving with her husband as her presided over the MTC in the Dominican Republic. She has had a lot of training, a lot of experience, and many opportunities through her service to see the Relief Society work all over the world! She was called to the General Relief Society Presidency in 2007.

Her talk, Every Woman Needs Relief Society, reminded me of some important truths about Relief Society:
  1. My involvement in Relief Society helps me show the women of the world and the women of my acquaintance a different way to find power in womanhood. So much of what the world teaches says that a woman can't have influence on the world unless she gets out there in it! She has to push, and prod, and leave her femininity at the door. Relief Society allows us to develop our divine nature and CHANGE THE WORLD!
  2. Service in Relief Society, even (and maybe even especially) little things make a difference in the lives of others. The women who make a difference in my life haven't just done amazing, life altering things for me--they set examples and love me for who I am. That changes my heart and gives me room to grow. I need them. I need their service. I need to return the favor.
  3. My favorite quote from this talk is, "Every righteous woman has a significant role to play in God's plan and in the building up of His kingdom. Relief Society needs you, and you need Relief Society." A significant role to play. Everything we do has consequences. Some little part of your duty, your talents, your love will make a difference to someone. That one person matters! Remember, if you labor all your days and only bring one soul to God, how great will be your joy! Even one matters. You matter. The one only you can touch matters. Each of us is needed.