I read Sister Cheryl a. Esplin's talk, Teaching Our Children to Understand. This was a hard talk for me to read. I know I've taught my children principles of the gospel, But I fear I have failed miserably in getting them to understand. I taught them about work, but I can't say I taught them to work. I taught them about honoring parents and family, but failed to help them understand family first. I taught them about the Spirit, but I can't say that I created an atmosphere where the Spirit could really teach. Half of my kids are grown and it is much harder to teach them understand. At least I have two left to help them understand. I guess I have to keep trying.
"Learning to fully understand the doctrine of the gospel is a process of a life time and comes 'line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little.'"
I also read Elder Donald L Hallstorm's talk, Converted to His Gospel through His Church. This was a great reminder that the gospel is The Plan, earth life is to exercise faith, and the Church is to help us work that Plan.
"It is possible to be active in the Church and be less active in the gospel."
So true! and easy to fall into that trap.
I loved his list:
Deepen understanding of Deity.
Focus on ordinances and covenants.
Unite the gospel with the Church.
Seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
Next I read Elder Paul E. Koelliker's talk, He Truly Loves Us. It was a good one to read since the previous ones were hard to read. I did have to laugh at his description patterns as template, guides, repeating steps and paths. I thought of all the times I read the recipe and then do my own thing. Or when I do my own thing while sewing because the pattern seems dumb. I often find myself winging it.
He taught that "the blessing of humble prayer... allows the Holy Spirit to touch our hearts and helps us to remember what we knew before we were born."
"The expression of kindness" often "soften" the hard heart.
I need to do better at following God's pattern.
It starts in the family. I need to back up and stop cutting corners.
I read Elder Dallin H. Oaks talk Sacrifice. I loved this talk. The greatest and ONLY sacrifice I really am asked to make is "a broken heart and a contrite spirit." We are ask to "love and serve one another." We are ask to "sacrifice our own time and selfish priorities."
What we do is the most visible sign of our belief in Christ. I have got to remember that when I choose to sacrifice or not to sacrifice.
Temple service needs to increase in my life.
Finally, I read Mountains to Climb by President Henry B. Eyring. Talk about humbling. God knows my sadness. It is up to me to strengthen my foundation - my faith in Christ. I have to be patient. Pres. Eyring's analogy with concrete made sense to me since my dad finished concrete when I was a kid.
I glad I still have time to build the foundation and get a little more polish.