Monday, October 24, 2011

Preparing the World for the Second Coming and Priesthood Power

Elder Andersen shares the story of the greatest rugby player of all time, Sid Going. My boys especially got in to this talk because they've watch several rugby matches and love the New Zealand team for their "Haka" ceremonies before the match begins. (Chris and Josh even made up one of their own one afternoon.) He told of Sid Going and his sacrifice to go on a mission instead of playing rugby for a great team.
A mission instead of a place on the New Zealand All Blacks team? Sid responded, “The blessing of [bringing others] into the gospel far outweighs anything [you] will ever sacrifice.”

A lot of people questioned the quick engagement Gabriel and I had 17 years ago. We hardly knew each other. But what we were absolutely certain of as we spoke and as we shared activities in our Single Adult group, was that we were supposed to be married. There was witness born to both of us. His parents were confused, mine were wary, but it has been the best decision I have ever made. Gabriel is my best friend, the one true love. Pres Monson said this:

Choose a companion carefully and prayerfully; and when you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Priceless advice comes from a small framed plaque I once saw in the home of an uncle and aunt. It read, “Choose your love; love your choice.” There is great wisdom in those few words. Commitment in marriage is absolutely essential.

I think I made a great choice!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Desires and Guardians of Virtue

Elder Oaks always gives great talks. This one is no different. I especially loved the story he told of the Utah National Guard group in the Vietnam Ward. He spoke of their commander, Capt Cox.
During one critical night, when enemy infantry had poured through the front lines and into the rear areas occupied by the artillery, the captain had the field telephone lines wired into his tent and ordered his numerous perimeter guards to phone him personally each hour on the hour all night long. This kept the guards awake, but it also meant that Captain Cox had scores of interruptions to his sleep. “How could you do that?” I asked him. His answer shows the power of an overriding desire.

“I knew that if we ever got home, I would be meeting the parents of those boys on the streets in our small town, and I didn’t want to face any of them if their son didn’t make it home because of anything I failed to do as his commander.”

What an example of the power of an overriding desire on priorities and on actions! What a powerful example for all of us who are responsible for the welfare of others—parents, Church leaders, and teachers!

This was a great talk from Sis Dalton. Before I was called to be in the YW Presidency in our ward, I was asked to give a talk based on this address- that should have been a clue, huh? I researched her previous talks and found that this wasn't the first one written on Virtue. She's had several talks from General Conference on this topic. She shared the story of the Young Women in Utah who took a challenge to walk from Draper to the Salt Lake Temple.

The temple walk is a metaphor for your life. Parents and priesthood leaders stood guard along the route. They provided support and aid. Young women guarded and encouraged each other. Young men admired the strength, commitment, and stamina of the young women. Brothers carried sisters who had been injured. Families rejoiced with their daughters as they ended their walk at the temple and took them safely home.

In order to stay on the path to the temple, you must guard your personal virtue and the virtue of others with whom you associate. Why? Mormon taught in the Book of Mormon that virtue and chastity are “most dear and precious above all things.”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Testimony and A Living Testimony

This week's talks area great! We loved using these in FHE about testimonies and how we gain and strengthen them.

While a testimony is simple and clear in this defining declaration, arising from this declaration are several potential questions, such as: Who is entitled to have a testimony? How does one obtain the necessary revelation? What are the steps in obtaining a testimony? Is gaining a testimony an event or an ongoing process? Each of these queries and others have their own subsets, but the fundamentals of gaining and retaining a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ are straightforward, clear, and within the capacity of every person.

I didn't get the chance to watch the YW General Conference addresses when they were broadcast, but I have read them carefully now that I'm in the YW organization in our ward. I was very much struck by these words,:

It is at the heart of my message tonight. He [Brigham Young] said in a room in his home less than a mile from where this message now goes out to daughters of God in nations across the world: “There is need for the young daughters of Israel to get a living testimony of the truth.”

He then created an association of young women that has become what we now call in the Lord’s Church “Young Women.” You have felt tonight some of the wonderful effect of his choice made in that Sunday evening meeting in the parlor of his home.

More than 100 years later, daughters of Israel across the world have that desire for a living testimony of the truth for themselves. Now, for the rest of your lives, you will need that living and growing testimony to fortify you and lead your path to eternal life. And with it you will become the transmitters of the Light of Christ to your brothers and sisters across the world and across generations."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Establishing a Christ Centered Home and Kindness Begins with Me

This week we're reading Establishing a Christ-Centered Home and Kindness Begins with Me.

We've been very mindful of the constant array of "fiery darts" the Adversary tried to throw at our family, at our home. And because of that acknowledgment, we've been pretty hard on the kind of things we bring into our home. And that's been hard for outside people to really understand. We don't have TV- no cable, no nothing. We don't let the kids bring outisde music into the home, we don't listen to the latest and greatest of the world's music, and we make sure out kids are monitored in their internet use.
"Understanding the eternal nature of the family is a critical element in understanding Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. The adversary, on the other hand, wants to do everything in his power to destroy Heavenly Father’s plan. In his attempt to defeat God’s plan, he is leading an unprecedented attack on the institution of the family. Some of the more powerful weapons he uses in his attack are selfishness, greed, and pornography."
 Some might thing we're fanatical, that's ok.  It shows how much we love our children, how much we are for their welfare. Do I love them enough to make sure TV shows aren't an influence, that music isn't a hinderance to the spirit in our home?

I loved his talk by Sis. Cook. She quotes from a song that I used to sing to each of our kids when they were babies. It's not sung as often as I think it should be in Primary. But we used this talk in FHE and I hope the kids were able to glean something from it. (I can't tell sometimes if they are actually "getting it".)

Sometimes being benevolent is most difficult in our own families. Strong families require effort. “Be cheerful, helpful, and considerate of others. Many problems in the home are created because family members speak and act selfishly or unkindly. Concern yourself with the needs of other family members. Seek to be a peacemaker rather than to tease, fight, and quarrel.”9 “Remember this: kindness begins with me.”