Sunday, February 22, 2015

Without Sin

The visiting teaching message this month was on Christ's attribute: without sin.

I loved Elder Christofferson's quote that Christ not only knows and feels everything that we're going through - but that He overcame them.
"We can turn to Him...because He understands. He understands the struggle, and He also understands how to win the struggle."
 I also loved the question at the end - What is the difference between perfect and pure?

When I thought of that question I immediately pictured a glass of water.

That water may look perfect and clean, but most likely there are some impurities in it.

But I can add things to that water to purify it.

By using the Atonement in my life each day I can purify my life until I become perfect like the Savior sees me.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Good Part

My life is crazy.

It has been for a long time.

Recently, it got more crazy when I started working outside of my home.

I am a focused person and I do great when I have one thing that I can focus on completely.

For the last 18 years or so, my main focus has been on my family.

But, throw a new job in there and all of a sudden I have to focus on that, too.

So, I did what I always do when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

I made a list.

I listed all of the things that I need, or want, or have to do.

Things like: make dinner, family prayer, visit neighbors, read scriptures, church calling, work, volunteer, read books, clean the house, work in the yard, etc.

I filled an entire page with tasks.

Then, I numbered them according to importance in my life.

I came up with about 7 different levels of priorities.

It has been life changing in helping me focus on what is important.

I found that my natural instinct, when I'm overwhelmed, is to start focusing on things that are lower on my priority list - like decorating my house, or landscaping my yard.

And that even though my job is a high time commitment, it's not in my top levels of priorities.

Then there are those times when I'm having a good day and feel like I have a handle on things. I can go to my list to know what I need to focus on next.

My number one priority category has only  3 tasks in it:

Listen to the Spirit
Read/Study my scriptures
Personal prayers

That's it.

When I start to feel overwhelmed with all that I need to be doing, I stop and focus on that top priority. 

Have I prayed today? Have I studied my scriptures? Am I trying to feel the Spirit?

If I can answer yes to those three questions, then I'm good.

This scripture (Luke 10:42) has always stood out to me:
 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Those three things are the good part that I choose. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Scripture Study

Since the first of the year, I have been following along a reading program for the Book of Mormon.

It gives reading assignments each day, a question to ponder, and a talk to go with the reading.

I have really enjoyed studying my scriptures this way.

I even bought a special notebook to write down my thoughts and keep notes in.

If a particular thought stands out to me then I've been hanging it on the wall next to my bed.

It's fun to watch my kids notice when I've put up something new.

And sometimes they'll even ask me what it means and we can have a good discussion about it.

A quote I've read recently from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Our motives and thoughts ultimately influence our actions." Oct 2006

I have noticed that as I focus on my daily study, I am beginning to spend a lot less time on my phone scrolling through various social media sites.

It really is true that if you fill your life with the important stuff first then the unimportant stuff begins to fall away.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Teaching Sunday School

Teaching Sunday School has been one of my favorite callings in church.

Here is the approach that I take:

I start by reading over the lesson entirely and somewhat quickly.

Then I read the scriptures covered in the lesson throughout the week.

Saturday night is when I usually sit down and make an outline of the lesson and scriptures I want to share.

I pray a lot that the Lord will guide me in what I need to focus on.

In my prayers, I share with the Lord all that I have learned during my study that week and ask Him to help me be able to know what is needed for the class members.

And I pray for those who I will be teaching; that the Spirit will recognize their needs and use me to help them.

A few months ago I got a new calling in church.

And I've really missed the whole process that went with teaching.

Then I had an idea.

What if I lived my life the way I taught Sunday School?

I can study my scriptures each week with a focus in mind.

I can ask the Lord to use me to help those around me.

I can spend at least one day a week in earnest prayer pleading for those that I might be able to influence and hoping they feel the Lord's love for them through my words.

I don't have a regular class at church anymore, but I have a family that I am with even more.

They could use the same help and teachings from the Lord.

And I can have the feelings that I had while teaching Sunday School: knowing that I am being an instrument in the Lord's hands.


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