Friday, January 4, 2013

Gospel Study - Can Ye Feel So Now?

Today I read  Elder Quentin L. Cook’s talk, Can Ye Feel So Now?  So much food for thought!
I teach seminary.  I find that there is truth in Elder Cook’s statement, “… the rising generation are better prepared than any previous generation.”  At the same time this preparation isn't enough.  This war is over taking so many fronts.

Maybe we are not preparing them enough.  I know that with my son’s insistence that he be allowed to use his agency and to “not believe” that I struggle with, “Am I doing enough?” Especially when I look at Elder Cook’s guidelines.

But it is at moments like this that guidelines he give of how to find strength in these low moments and therefore reinforce my testimony are what I need most.

I guess it is time to check my own apathy… my own lack of personal commitment.  Everything from financial stress, strained relationships, wayward children or the overwhelming influence of the world around me has taken its toll.  I am afraid that I may be giving up in some areas of my life.

Honoring agency is such a fine line to walk.

“If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?”

See.  Here is the deal.  I wouldn't say I am necessarily being unrighteous.  I question if I am truly committed 100%. 

“Other’s spend most of their time giving first-class devotion to lesser causes.”  This gives me reason to pause.  In my daily life what is receiving my “first-class devotion”?  TV?  Internet? My children’s activities?  My personal testimony building experiences?

It is my hope that it is the final answer, but I fear that I often let the others creep in.  I needed this reminder that my relationship with the Savior must come first… then everything else will fall where it needs to in my life.

Where I believe I could be falling short is teaching and enforcing moral and righteous behavior to my kids and in baring testimony often enough.

I was reassured with his comment that kindness and love in the home are important teaching tools.  I think this has been my focus in recent years.  Contention… fighting over our beliefs was not getting us anywhere.  The Spirit could not deal in our home.  However, focusing on a loving atmosphere allows the Spirit into our home more often and I can only hope that this will make a difference in the hardening hearts around me.  I can share my testimony in little ways.  I may not be preparing a missionary, but I am planting seeds that can awaken someday when my son needs to feel the love of God most… at least I hope so… and without that hope so much seems lost.  And I sure hope I am doing enough to help the others that are left at home.
“… it is essential that this be faithfully accomplished in homes which are places of refuge where kindness, forgiveness, truth, and righteousness prevail.”

I must have the “courage to [continue my attempts] to filter and monitor Internet access, television, movies, and music… to say no, defend truth, and bear powerful testimony… [that my children know] that [I] have faith in the Savior, love [my] Heavenly Father, and sustain the leaders of Church.”

I look at my two kids that have moved on to building their own families now and I mourn that we weren’t better at having consistent FHE, scripture study and family prayer.  But I rejoice that they know I love the Lord and love the scriptures.  At least I did good “showing” them where I stand.  But I must do better with the others… before it’s too late.

I can’t help panic, just a little at the thought that we “are responsible for every tear [we] cause [our family member] to shed.”

I love how Elder Cook commented on our wounded spiritual immune systems.  That analogy is easy to picture in our world of supplements and band-aids.  What supplements do I use to combat wounds in my spiritual immune system?  What symptoms so I recognize when my spiritual immune system is suffering?  Can I fight off the poising of our day without a firm commitment to why and how I live the gospel of Jesus Christ?
I loved the gentle reminder that I don’t have to commit a grievous sin before I can use the gift of the Atonement.  “We must never forsake the Master.”

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