Header

“The great plan of happiness revealed to prophets is the plan for a happy family.
It is the love story between husband and wife, parents and children, that renews itself through the ages” (Boyd K. Packer).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Receiving Personal Revelation

Way back in October I had the privilege of going to Vacaville to hear Sister Julie Beck, Relief Society General President, speak to the women in our region.  She started her talk by inviting women to come up and share questions that they had for her.  It was interesting to note that every single person talked about a person challenge that they were dealing with and then wondered what to do about it.  Then Sister Beck spoke.  What she said was basically to do what you need to do to receive personal revelation.  THAT's where the answers will be found - from the Lord himself.

Yesterday as I was preparing my lesson on listening to the Holy Ghost, I found a talk by Sister Beck given in conference last April that was all about receiving inspiration from the Lord.  I wondered if when she was speaking to us in October she was thinking, "didn't anyone listen to what I was saying six months ago??"  Because she could have just given that talk all over again and sat down.  Or even just said - go read your May Ensign.

In the Conference talk she shares some wonderful thoughts.

**The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.
**A revelation in the book of Joel states that in the last days, sons and daughters of God will prophesy and the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon His servants and His handmaids. 10 President Spencer W. Kimball echoed this prophecy when he said:
“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world. …
“Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.” 11 

**The Lord depends on His daughters to do their part to strengthen the homes of Zion and build His kingdom on the earth. As they seek and qualify for personal revelation, the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon His handmaids in these latter days.


It was good for me to read this because I have been needing to remember to seek this personal revelation and inspiration for myself. 

I've been reading a book by Sir Ken Robinson entitled "The Element".  It's all about finding your passion.  It made me feel like a complete loser as a home-school mom.  I feel like I'm failing so miserably in helping my children find and develop their talents.  Lately I've felt like school is boring, they're not learning anything.  They're just doing busy work to make me feel like we've accomplished something that day that somewhat resembles education.

One of the key problems I've been having is that I feel totally out of my comfort zone with my second and third children.  They learn so completely different from how I learn and teach.  They are physical, tactile kinesthetic people.  I am a bookworm.  I abhor mess.  Physical, tactile learning is usually messy.  We are different.  Knowing this didn't do much to make me feel better.

But after reading Sister Beck's talk I was reminded that the Lord sent these Spirits to our family - he's going to help me raise them. 

Talking to Josh also helped.  He reminded me that public school is no more suited to their learning styles than I feel I am.  With the added negative in that they won't even try to be suited to their learning styles - school would expect the children to conform to their teaching style.

These thoughts are giving me renewed hope and motivation to seek out, through the Lord's inspiration, ideas for how to best help my children learn.  I need to humble myself and learn to rely more on the Lord, and less on the internet.  This is something that will take more thinking about and working on, but acknowledging it is the first step.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Distractions

Sister Beck:  "The powerful feeling that has been coming over me is, “Sisters, fight—fight, sisters.” You have the responsibility in your homes...We cannot sit and act like victims. This is the work of a determined adversary, and we have to take responsibility for defending our homes. We must teach our families everywhere—in family home evenings, in prayer and scripture study, and at mealtimes. We must create opportunities to teach. This will require limiting activities that take us to and fro...We need to be the ones seeking every day to qualify for the Spirit, to recognize the voice of the Spirit, and to follow the voice of the Spirit because other voices will lead us in the wrong ways...This is a faith-based work. The family and the work of women—Latter-day Saint women—is a faith-based work, and we have to call upon our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His restored gospel and the principles He taught on the earth. We have to follow Him with all our hearts" (2009 BYU Women's Conference).

Sister Beck gave a wonderful talk at this conference.  I have posted multiple quotes from that talk on this blog.  Sister Beck is my hero.  She is indeed a champion of a family.  She helps me feel proud to be a wife and a mother, and just as importantly she helps me feel CAPABLE as a wife and a mother.

We are engaged in a fight against a powerful opposer who makes it his supreme goal to destroy the family.  Why pick on the family?  Because that is where the war is won or lost.  Thus, the Deceiver is busy setting up distractions and stumbling blocks in our quest for happy families.  What are they?

1.  Today's women believe that mothering is hard and that it is deserving of sympathy.  It's not.  It's no harder than being a father, or being single, or having a physical handicap.  The challenges of each situation are different, but how can you say one is harder than the other?

2.  Raising expectations of mothers in order to keep us busy.  Today's mothers must chauffeur their children to multiple events, create healthy meals, sew elaborate Halloween costumes, be dressed impeccably in trendy clothing, dream up darling handouts for every lesson they teach, volunteer in each of their children's classes at school, and maintain a spotless, designer-decorated house.

3.  Making new versions of modesty acceptable.  Sayings like "modest is hottest" and "sexy modesty" which really are oxymorons.

4.  Today's mothers must deal with an influx in pornography, that has access to their very homes via the internet and television, that is geared towards all ages and genders.

5.  Today's mothers are supposed to balance a full-filling career and family life on 24-hours a day.  Even if you don't work outside the home, you are expected to be contributing to the family's income somehow.

Those are just a few of the things I've noticed.  These distractions take us away from what is really important.  Family time.  Gospel study as individuals and families.  Temple attendance.  Those are the things that rejuvenate us and remind us what really matters.


Husbands need to be loved

Sister Beck:   "Husbands need to be loved.  That creates a feeling and climate of faith, hope, and charity in a home, which the world does not teach. It is okay for a wife to cook for her husband. I have a niece who was married recently, and her mother said, “It’s okay for you to cook for your husband. You should do it. It’s a sign of your love for him and of how you want to take care of him and nurture him.” The world would not teach you that, but the gospel does. Love at home creates a climate of faith, hope, and charity. We have to work for it and strive for it" (2009 BYU Women's Conference).

Marriage is Essential

Elder Bednar gave two reasons why marriage is essential:  “Reason 1: The natures
of male and female spirits complete and perfect each other, and therefore men and women are
intended to progress together toward exaltation. . . . Reason 2: By divine design, both a man and
a woman are needed to bring children into mortality and to provide the best setting for the
rearing and nurturing of children" (Ensign, June 2006).

3 Purposes of Women

"In our presidency, we have talked about three lifelong responsibilities that Latter-day Saint
women have to help them prepare for the blessings of eternal life. First, we are to increase faith
and personal righteousness. We have heard much about that at this women’s conference. Second,
we have a responsibility to strengthen families and homes, and third, we have a responsibility to
seek out and help those who have needs—any kind of needs. We are a relief society and that is
what we do. We provide relief from all that hinders the joy and progress of women and all of
Heavenly Father’s children" (Julie B. Beck, 5/1/09, "Nourishing and Protecting the Family" BYU Women's Conference).
“That’s the job of a mother.
Every mother should produce a superior daughter.”
 - Sister Julie B. Beck,  in an address titled: "Nourishing and Protecting the Family" given on May 1, 2009, at the BYU Women’s Conference.