Monday, April 18, 2011


I had new thought this week on a scripture that I have read many times.

2 Nephi 25:26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

I think it's interesting that Nephi doesn't say that they preach of Christ so that their children will turn out perfectly, or have perfect testimonies.

Instead, he says that they, the prophets, write to make sure their children know where to look when they need to be forgiven of their sins.

It makes me think of Alma the Younger. When he was 'harrowed up' by the memory of his sins, he suddenly remembered that his father had taught about 'one Jesus Christ.' His mind focused on this, and he turned to Jesus Christ and prayed to be forgiven.

This shows me that, once again, making mistakes, big ones and little ones, is a part of the plan. So when people that we love make mistakes, I guess it shouldn't surprise us. All individuals are given their free agency and the ability to learn for themselves right from wrong. This leads to mistakes, which are naturally part of the learning process.

Our job is t0 keep rejoicing in and preaching Christ to help those we love (and ourselves!) remember that we can turn to Him.

And sometimes the way we rejoice in and preach Christ is very quiet--by loving unconditionally.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 5 Elder and Sister Oaks

Finally, a minute to post about Elder and Sister Oaks' talks from last year. A member of the Quorum of the Twelve, and often his wife, always speak in the closing session of Women's Conference. I love it because you really end on a high note.

(Rich's sister says I am an advertisement for Women's Conference. I guess I am! That's because it's the best women's retreat ever!!)

Anyway....Elder Oaks lost his first wife. Kristin, his second wife, was single before she married Elder Oaks. She is very beautiful. One thing I remember from her talk is that she pointed out how important it is to have occasional 'shopping therapy.' The audience laughed when she said this, and she responded, "It really works!" with a big smile. Cute.

Elder Oaks told a story about when he was called as a new Apostle. Elder Oaks was speaking with a senior Apostle, sharing his feelings of inadequacy regarding his new calling. The senior Apostle (Elder Oaks did not give his name) said that those feelings were understandable, but that he needed to work to be in a position where he was not preoccupied with his own inadequacies and instead put all his effort into concern for the people he was called to serve.

Elder Oaks discussed how teenagers believe there is an imaginary audience in life, that everyone is constantly watching them and noticing how they look and what they do. He called this an over-inflated sense of one's own importance. He said it is not evil to think this way, just childish.

Elder Oaks then suggested that we all need to get to the point where we put aside concern for ourselves and instead focus on those around us that we are in a position to serve. He also pointed out that it is amazing how much we can get done when we don't worry about who gets the credit.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 4 Inspiring Thoughts

Erin Holmes said, "As mortal beings, we will probably do this perfect work imperfectly."

JoAnn Child quoted President Monson as saying, "Love does not grow like weeds or fall like rain. Love has it's price."

Marie K. Hafen, wife of Elder Bruce C. Hafen, expressed that Christ's Atonement allows us the time and space to heal from our weaknesses.

She also said that Christ's Atonement allows us the time and space in which to practice how to love.

She also said that sometimes we have to let others slip so that they will learn for themselves.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 3--My God is a God of Miracles

Dr. Elllie Young's talk, part 2

Sister Young talked about the experience she had when she decided to pursue her PhD. She began these studies after she already had children. She felt older than the other students, who were all in their early 20s, and she felt frumpy and old and inadequate. She felt very intimidated by the intense demands placed on her, especially since she had so much else to do other than be a student.

At one point in her studies, they had to take an exam that would determine her ability to continue in the PhD program. She felt that, compared to her peers, she was at a disadvantage in passing the exam. She was placed with a study partner who buoyed her up. When Sister Young shared her concerns with her study partner, her partner said she was not worried. Her partner said, "My God is a god of miracles." She knew that God would bless her and help her to pass the exam. This struck a chord in Sister Young. She knew that her god was a god of miracles, too. She began to look at everything through different eyes, with greater faith in God.

"My God is a god of miracles"

In my notes, I wrote: Ask myself how I would think in a situation if I was showing more faith. What happens when I see things through a lens of faith? In other words, what happens when I see my situation through eyes that are being faithful, that are trusting in the miracles of God, that are seeking His counsel and then trusting that counsel? That are trusting His willingness and ability to answer my prayers? Does God have a miracle out there for me if I just have faith enough to receive it?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Women's Conference Thoughts Day 2

My very favorite speaker last year was Ellie Young. She is an associate professor at BYU. Every year, there is one talk that really speaks to my heart and addresses the specific struggles I am having at that time. This was that talk.

She shared one principle that her grandfather always taught her. "No one's any better than you, and you're no better than anyone else."

She also talked about the idea of bending to one another's inadequacies. She shared that we all have weaknesses. We can learn to bend to the inadequacies of others. We recognize that no one is perfect, and so we learn to love others despite their weaknesses, as well as to be patient with those weaknesses because we love them.

She said that we can count on others who love us to bend to our inadequacies as well. It may be that we are forgetful or too talkative or not careful about details. When we love others, we overlook their faults. She said that when we bend to one another's inadequacies, and when they bend to our inadequacies, it deepens our relationships.

This reminds me about a line from a book I have been reading lately, Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin. It is the best marriage relations book I have ever read, other than the scriptures. At the beginning of the book, the author describes what a 'fascinating woman' is. (In the quote, 'she' refers to the woman, and 'he' refers to her husband.) Andelin says, "She is not consumed in remaking him into the man he ought to be, but accepts him for the man he is, overlooking his human frailties and focusing on his better side."

I think that describes perfectly what it means to 'bend to one another's inadequacies.' We recognize that everyone has human frailties, and so we love and accept one another in patience and with kindness.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Update and thoughts from Women's Conference

First, I wanted to give another quick update on the praising effort. I have still never reached ten pennies in one day. I have, however, noticed that I am getting better at noticing when my children are doing good things and at pointing it out to them. That, I believe, is progress!

Second, I came across my Women's Conference notes from last year, just as I am preparing to go back again this year (hooray!!!) Have I mentioned how much I love Women's Conference? I love it because two days of conference generally translates to about four days away from home. That is do-able for me. It means spending precious time with beloved friends and family (and eating yummy food that I don't have to cook myself), all while sitting at the feet of great men and women, and always one Apostle, to be taught of the Lord. I just love it! I always come home feeling happy to be back with my family and motivated to honor my responsibilities, especially as a wife and mother, with greater enthusiasm.

I remember coming home last year feeling so inspired and wanting to share what I had learned with anyone and everyone who would listen. I never got around to posting anything on this blog, though. So I am going to try to post one thing every day this week from my notes. We'll see how it goes.

Today's thought is from Sister Julie B. Beck's keynote address, which you can read here.

Sister Beck taught us how she learned to prioritize her time as a young mother. She divided her activities into three categories: Essential things, Necessary things, and Nice-To-Do things. Essential things are those important things that must be taken care of every day, eternal things that are essential to our salvation. Necessary things are those things that keep home and family running, like cooking dinner and taking care of the needs of children. She also listed smiling in this category! Nice-To-Do things are activities that are fun and bring variety to life but won't save us or our family members. She took her list to the temple and asked the Lord to guide her to know which category her daily activities fell under.

She said, "To walk with the Lord, we have to know what is essential, what is necessary, and what is nice to do. There is a lot to do, but I find that it is amazing how much I get to do on my nice-to-do list. The Lord blesses us with those mercies, but only if the other priorities are in order."

I wrote in my notes, "The Lord wants me to prioritize so that I am using my limited energy on what really matters."