Monday, April 19, 2010

Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

Lately I've been working on teaching Jake his address and phone number, so that he ever gets lost, he'll know how to find us. We're also learning about dialing 911 and looking for responsible adults who can help him find his way back home. It terrifies me to think of him lost and alone and totally unprepared to cope with the situation. He has to know where to find me. He has to know where to find help.

It is likely, even probable, that at some point in his life my little boy is going to feel lost. He's going to have to go out in the world on his own, and he is going to be lonely. Sometimes he may even be in trouble. He must know how to find his way back home. He must know where to find help. He has to know that Jesus Christ is the only one who can save him.

It seems this conference a lot of our leaders were concerned about our children finding their way home as well. Elder Neil Andersen gave the last talk of conference (you know, before President Monson closed the conference), and he talked about what I like to call "Spiritual 911." When you are in trouble and have a spiritual emergency, "spiritual 911" is your hotline to the only real source of help and comfort--Jesus Christ. Elder Andersen counsels us to more frequently teach about the Savior, Jesus Christ. Our children must know Him, or they will surely get lost out there!

I thought about how to best apply this in my own life, and committed to praying for opportunities to teach my children about the Savior, finding lessons everywhere. I also want to focus more on Him in our FHE. So, I've made a list of links that I'm using to have stories of Jesus on hand to teach with, and some rubrics that I'm making into a Sunday book. I thought with all that effort, it was worth sharing.
The link is HERE, hope it works!

I love you, ladies. I really do. It helps so much to know that we are all in this together! Thank you to all of you who teach my children about the Savior!

The Little Book

Here's something I did with all the rubrics I linked you to from The Friend.

I just sewed the binding myself.
Contact paper worked really well for me. I figured protective sheets would be easier, but I just know my kids would pull the pictures out and ruin them.

Not too shabby, huh?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Developing Good Judgment and Not Judging Others

Matt 7:1 was a real head-scratcher in my seminary class. The injunction to "judge not" was applied all over the place: hate the sin, love the sinner; making friends; sharing the seemed like it was difficult to make judgments required to keep us safe from sin and danger without violating the Savior's command. However, the Lord doesn't give us difficult commandments without elaborating on the point. Webster's defines "judging" as, "to discern, to distinguish, to form an opinion, to compare facts and ideas, and perceive their agreement or disagreement, and thus distinguish truth from falsehood." This doesn't say anything about comparing ourselves to others in order to boost our ego. It doesn't say anything about value. Judgment, in its purest form, is about trying to discern the truth--a noble endeavor we ought to all be engaged in! In our first talk from the new conference, Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer teacher us about Developing Good Judgment, and Not Judging Others. He gives us four valuable tools in discerning truth and judging righteously in a confusing world. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mind the Gap

I hope that next week, we will be able to start in on a whole new set of conference talks! Before I share the last talk we'll use from the October 2009 conference, I want to share how much reading these talks has helped me. I so appreciate the opportunity you have given me, and I have given myself to really feast on the words of latter-day prophets and apostles. So many parts of my testimony have been strengthened:
  • Our prophets and apostles are watchmen on the tower, and can see the danger coming a long way off!
  • Each of us has a work to do in the kingdom that on one else can do for us.
  • We need each other, sometimes desperately and profoundly, if we are ever to get through this life in one piece!
  • The love and Atonement of Jesus Christ are real! They can reach deep into our souls and teach us how to improve.
  • Each of us is a beloved child of God.

I love Sister Thompson, for a lot of the same reasons I love Sister Dew. I appreciate the perspective on womanhood and Relief Society they give me. Much of the time, we let our value as women be governed by our perception of our efforts to be good wives and mothers. While these works are certainly important, we are each so much more. We are also daughters, sisters, friends, and warriors in the cause of Christ! These wonderful, powerful women who have not yet been blessed to be wives and mothers give me a broader vision of my purpose and power as a righteous daughter of God. They show me how much we have to gain from each other in our associations in Relief Society. They expand my view of what it means to be a mother. I love their teachings and their lessons! Sister Thompson's talk at last fall's Relief Society General Meeting was, "Mind the Gap." She speaks about 3 gaps in our lives we need to be mindful of: the gap between believing and knowing we are daughters of God, the gap between YW and Relief Society, and the gap between believing in Christ and being a valiant testifier of Jesus Christ.

I was especially touched by her plea to me to allow the Spirit to testify that Heavenly Father is pleased with the work I'm doing. We all have days (or weeks, or months, or years) when it feels like our lives are just a futile effort to do work that never gets done. We compare ourselves to others, we see mostly shortcomings not strengths, we feel like we aren't much good in the kingdom. But sisters, I have a renewed and refreshed testimony that we are all vital to the success of our homes, our wards, our community and the Kingdom of God. I know that the work we do is valuable, no matter how menial it may feel. I know that if you're doing the best you can, it is enough. We all fall short, we all wish we were more, but what we are doing right now to the best of our limited abilities is accounted unto us for righteousness. I know He believes in me, even when I don't. I know He sees what I will be, and He gives me what I need to reach my potential. I know that because Christ suffered and died that I may be blessed with grace, even when I fall short, I am enough. I know that you are too!