Sunday Sacrament meeting

So as I mentioned in my last post, we’ve been dealing with some kid sickness. Because I have meetings and such that I have to go to church anyways, I went by myself last week. Church is definitely interesting with the no-kid factor in there.

So while I was sitting there in sacrament meeting, actually PAYING ATTENTION AND HEARING THE SPEAKERS, I had some thoughts. The big one was wondering if people that are in this (no-kid) situation appreciate it. And figuring that no, they probably don’t. So whereas I was there, really enjoying the speakers and such, I’m sure there were plenty of people who were just going through the motions or such. When you don’t get to experience certain things, I think it always makes it sweeter when you do. I know that has been my experience in life.

Anyway, one of the talks was from Tracey Blackwelder and she used a metaphor that I really enjoyed (but am just now getting around to posting about). She talked about how they (until recently I guess) had a big 15 passenger van and how she found it interesting that she as a “soccer mom” could just whip this thing around, and talked about the joys of power steering. And comparing that to God and how with His help you can make kind of “course corrections” in life. And (here’s where I’m getting hazy between the lines of what she actually said and what I just thought about as she was talking about the general concept) I found it interesting thinking about that not only in terms of like course corrections as far as sin / repentance / forgiveness goes, but also just general life changes.

Especially in this January time of goal setting, how much easier it is to change your life when you have God around to be the “power steering”. Though I guess you could abstract this out even a little more and talk about the usefulness of any kind of support group (whether it’s family and friends or Weight Watchers)

So yeah I couldn’t decide if the talks were just really good last Sunday or if I just THOUGHT they were really good because I could actually HEAR them. And I also heard how loud everyone else’s kids were and thought “Are my kids that loud” before deciding “Yeah, they probably are”. Though in our ward’s defense, when my mother-in-law (also Mormon) came to visit a few months ago she said that it was the quietest meeting she’d been to in months.

General Conference talk – Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship

So in my continuing series of reading GC talks, I read one from Robert D. Hales (from Idaho!) – Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship

One of the things I liked about this talk was his talking about the perils in leaving “the high ground”. A lot of his talk focused on how to react when people attack you or the Church or your beliefs. One of his suggestions was

As the Savior demonstrated with Herod, sometimes true disciples must show Christian courage by saying nothing at all.

He compared it to Alma 47 and Nehemiah 6:2-3, where both times enemies tempt someone into leaving the high ground and meeting “in the valley”. In Alma, Lehonti is then killed by Amalickiah, whereas the prophet Nehemiah refuses, saying

“I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?”

Anyways, just thought that it was interesting

General Conference talks

So one of the things I’ve been doing since last General Conference is reading the talks, one at a time. Someone in EQ suggested that if you read one per week you get through them in time to start over for the next conference (in 6 months time). Turns out that there are actually 33 talks but I’ll figure it out.

So with my new handy Franklin planner I have been scheduling in one per week.

As I was reading the talk for this week, I thought it might be interesting / worthwhile to blog about some of my thoughts while reading it. So…. here I am.

Pray Always, by David E Bednar (that would be,at least for now, “Took Ricks to the Y“)

So sometimes I find that my prayers are pretty lame. Recently I’ve been praying for some friends of mine that are having a hard time. And even though I really do WANT to help them I have trouble figuring out how to pray for them.

One thing I thought was interesting was the idea that in our prayers we could:

* Reflect on those occasions when we have spoken harshly or inappropriately to those we love the most.
* Recognize that we know better than this, but we do not always act in accordance with what we know.
* Express remorse for our weaknesses and for not putting off the natural man more earnestly.
* Determine to pattern our life after the Savior more completely.
* Plead for greater strength to do and to become better.

Also found it interesting a story Elder Bednar gave about how when they lived up in Idaho having a General Authority come stay at their house shortly after a friend of theirs died. When they got together for a family prayer, the GA asked Sister Bednar to “express only appreciation for blessings received and ask for nothing.”

After sharing that, Elder Bednar said “The most meaningful and spiritual prayers I have experienced contained many expressions of thanks and few, if any, requests. As I am blessed now to pray with apostles and prophets, I find among these modern-day leaders of the Savior’s Church the same characteristic that describes Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon: these are men whose hearts swell with thanksgiving to God for the many privileges and blessings which He bestows upon His people (see Alma 48:12). Also, they do not multiply many words, for it is given unto them what they should pray, and they are filled with desire (see 3 Nephi 19:24). The prayers of prophets are childlike in their simplicity and powerful because of their sincerity.”

I thought that was interesting and I will try to incorporate that as I pray this week.

Till next week!