Sunday, April 14, 2013

Conference Review - These Things I Know

I had a great experience reading October Conference and blogging about what I read and what I learned.  I decided to do it again.  I'm hoping that I can get people to read these messages from Conference and to chat about them with me.  It is my hope that I might get some dialogue going.  I'm only asking for one talk a week.  That is do-able.  I promise.

As a seminary teacher I've found great strength in working on 25 scripture mastery (SM) verses each year.  It is amazing how these little verse pop into my mind at needed moments.  I read on a blog site about a person  doing Conference Mastery (CM).  What a great idea!  So I'm going to do that too.  I am going to work on memorizing and applying a quote from conference each week.  I made a poster for this weeks CM.


Today I read President Boyd K. Packer's talk These Tings I Know.

Although I am not 68... yet... I still am frustrated with my aging, fat body.  I don't memorize anything well.  If you think I do a lot now, you should have seen me in collage!  I'm not one to long for the good old high school days.  Hated those.  Collage was more my speed.  Yet I wouldn't go back.  I'd be giving up too many good things... kids, lessons learned, people I've met.  I guess I may have made better choices... now that I know what is on this side of the curve.  yet the thought that the other choices could have been worse keeps me content where I am.

I loved his story about the snake in the ivy.  I fear "snakes in the ivy" threaten too many of the people I love.  I fear the that my own little "Garden of Eden" has been invaded (especially as I watch - sometimes helplessly - my own loved ones fall to the philosophies of men).

I know I'm not alone in this sorrow.  Many faithful parents in scriptures have experienced this tragedy, i.e. Adam, Abraham, Israel, Lehi, Alma, Mormon, Joseph Smith, not to mention our loving Heavenly Father.  This knowledge does not make the pain any easier.

I'm not the same kind of parent as these fine examples.  I've heard the warning of prophets, many of which flood my guilt plagued mind.

I know too well that we are not always safe in our own homes.  I know all too well that I must protect the fledglings.

I don't know how.

Back in college I worked at an outdoor theater on the edge of Provo.  During one show the audience began to pop up and move rapidly down the isle.  I looked down to see a large 7 foot rattle snake slithering down the warm rocks.  A few weeks later I was walking up the hill to the top of the theater and heard the warning rattle of a snake.  I don't know what came over me.  I picked up a stick and began to beat the 6 inch rattle snake senseless   The little thing didn't have a chance.  The snake wrangler said I killed it with a crushing blown to it's head.

I want to do that to the things that threaten my family.

The dangers out there that threaten my family seem too numerous.

President Packer says that the best way to protect the home is to keep covenants.

What can I do?

Seek to be prepared and worthy to partake of the sacrament.

Find a way to attend the temple more often.

Care for and service more often... and with a cheerful heart.

Prepare.

Work harder at finding a way to study the scriptures and spend family time that will be acceptable to every member of the family.

Pray harder... kneeling is hard on my knees... so I should make myself a prayer pillow.

Honor the personality of each family member.  I went for a walk with my friend Erin this past week and she mentioned that she was trying to honor the true person in the son that is difficult for her.  I need to do the same.  It may be hard because their choices won't be like my choices, but I must learn to honor those choices and especially the person making them.  She said it much better.

"We are free to choose what we will and to pick and choose our acts, but we are not free to choose the consequences. They come as they will come."

Even I can't change those consequences.

I "must separate the sin from the sinner."


"All are born with the Light of Christ, a guiding influence which permits each person to recognize right from wrong. What we do with that light and how we respond to those promptings to live righteously is part of the test of mortality.
“For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.”8
What else can I do?
I can allow choice, but I don't need to jump in and rescue every little bobble and mistake.  Some people won't like it, but I may need to force a little dog paddling for a while.
This is a difficult line to walk... that line between keeping the peace to keep the Spirit in the home and to keep the fragile minds of younger siblings feeling safe, and letting someone sink or swim or face the consequence for their actions.
The key is this: "Learn to receive and act on inspiration and revelation."
Sigh.
I guess the best thing I can do is to just keep swimming.

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