Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gospel Study - The Why of Priesthood Service


So now that I'm done reading the Book of Mormon I needed something else to study and to blog about.  I've found the blogging has helped me to be better at my personal scripture study and I knew that I needed to keep this new habit alive.  I have therefore, decided to read a Conference talk each day and record my thoughts... at least until I'm ready to read the book of Mormon again.

Today I read The Why of Priesthood Service by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf from the April 2012 General Conference. 
We need to be constantly reminded of the eternal reasons behind the things we are commanded to do. The basic gospel principles need to be part of our life’s fabric, even if it means learning them over and over again. That doesn't mean that this process should be rote or boring. Rather, when we teach the foundational principles in our homes or in church, let the flame of enthusiasm for the gospel and the fire of testimony bring light, warmth, and joy to the hearts of those we teach.
The what is important in our work, and we need to attend to it. But it is in the why of priesthood service that we discover the fire, passion, and power of the priesthood.
I really liked this talk from President Uchtdorf.  The thing is, I believe that any talk that is delivered to the brethren in the priesthood quorums is equally applicable to the sisters in Relief Society, and the same is true the other way around – any talk delivered to the sisters of the Relief Societies is equally applicable to the brethren who hold the priesthood.

Now, obviously there are some exceptions, but as I read this talk my testimony was strengthened that women have priesthood duties and responsibilities.  We are equally accountable for the work of “the priesthood”.  We are equal partners in the work of the Lord just as we are equal partners in our homes. 

I really loved all the principles of understanding purpose in this talk.
Like a fruit tree with an abundance of branches and leaves, our lives need regular pruning to ensure that we use our energy and time to accomplish our real purpose—to “bring forth good fruit”!
This was my absolute favorite quote from President Uchtdorf’s talk. How often have I needed this advice in my own life. His counsel was so appropriate for our day of “do everything” mentalities. I struggle with this attitude myself.  Seriously, there are times I need to "down-size" my schedule.  

Funny.  I know this is true and yet I find many things to fill my life with.  LOL.  I'm about to complicate my schedule by adding Assistant Director to my crazy schedule.  After I help with this show I am designing a set for the high school.  I do get a little break before I dive into my summer schedule of work and shows.  On the up side, nearly every thing I add to my life involves my kids.

As I read the talk I was struck by all the principles I can teach my kids... that the lessons of the Spirit are most often felt... that our home must be filled with feelings of trust and love... that when we are not sure what to do it is time to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do... that it takes self-discipline to remain focused on the matters that have the greatest power to increase our love of God and fellowmen, invigorate marriages, strengthen families, and build the kingdom of God... to diligently study the scriptures, heed the words of the prophets... takes effort, a willingness to sacrifice  and a desire to do what is right... that the value in an idea lies in using it.

Holy cow!  If I could teach these principles to my kids and get them to act on these principles I'd be going somewhere as a parent.

I also can see how I can apply this talk to visiting teaching. In the past, I have been a miserable visiting teacher. Really.  I am.  I don't know why. I had great examples in my mom, growing up, of dedicated visiting teaching  I know that there have been lonely times in my life when I sincerely and truly wished that my visiting teachers would come visit me more often, or ever. But I just couldn't seem to do what I knew I should do. I've been truly working on this, and the thing that made the difference was the truth that Elder Uchtdorf is teaching here: the why is as important as the what. I visit PEOPLE not numbers.  It was as simple as that.  I am working at being their friend first.  It has changed my whole perspective on visiting teaching.  

Going visiting teaching is important, and reporting that I went is important, but as I've tried to really catch the vision of the WHY then it's expanded my view of my calling and made it not only possible but really delightful to fulfill this calling for the past few months. It's like, if I can get the "why" to click, then the "what" ceases to be a question.

What stood out to you in President Uchtdorf’s talk?

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