- Take any trial or stress in your life right now and write out the answers to the questions from Richard G. Scott......What am I do do? What am I to learn? What am I to change? Who am I to help?
Class #10 Stress & Adversity
Teaching Children to Feel the Spirit
When this doctrine catches you will notice that your children will become governed by what they know is right. The do it from the inside out. The Spirit talks to us in what we need.
We need to make doctrine more than knowledge. Most of us ‘know’ the gospel, but do we believe it. Do we take it in to our heart? Do we know the Savior or do we believe the Savior? It goes to a different level. He cares…not to condemn me, but to help me. The feeling governs you.
Do you feel joy regardless of your situation because you ‘know’ Him? Do we know that He cares?
Class member: There was one talking about missing the mark, but if you are seeking that knowledge more than taking the Savior into my heart.
There were a lot of talks on the Book of Mormon. Reading the Book of Mormon every day is the avenue. You have to read it ‘with real intent’. You don’t just read it. When we study it we have to do it with the intent to come unto Christ so as you read the stories of the wars what does it teach you about coming closer to Christ. It’s the intent to find the Savior.
How do we get our children on that track? We have to teach them testimony. We have to teach them that it’s more than knowledge. It’s that belief that governs. When they stand in a hard place they will know where they need to stand.
We underestimate the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the medium that sanctifies us. It is the partnership we have that takes us back to our Heavenly Father. It is through the Atonement, but through the Holy Ghost that becomes the conduit from the Atonement to us that creates sanctification. We have to learn to live by the power of the Holy Ghost.
One of the problems with teaching our children to live by the Holy Ghost is that we don’t do it ourselves. We can’t teach them something they can’t see. They need to be able to feel it.
How much do you live with the Holy Ghost?
How you answer those questions is a good indicator of how you are living by the influence of the Holy Ghost….particularly #4. This means to serve your spouse, your children, your visiting teaching, and your calling. This is when you are anxiously engaged in something you want to be engaged in. Do you respond to that interruption joyfully or with irritation?
***She changed the topic from here on down. She said that she would come back and teach this topic next week though***
This requires you to examine the condition of your heart and we try to avoid that. As we honestly look at the condition of our heart and seek to change/repent and invite the Holy Ghost in that is the beginning of sanctification. The Holy Ghost takes us closer to becoming Christ-like. Do you see how important it is that we learn to live by the Spirit and then teach our children to live by the Spirit?
Class member: When I serve my husband he serves me back. I don’t get that same response if I don’t do it first. I know that’s the Holy Ghost working on both of us.
That is a perfect example, but the key is…she did it because she was prompted by the Holy Ghost, but she didn’t do it for feedback. You have to give the gift through the prompting as a free gift. If nothing comes back you do some more. You don’t live by payback. That is Satan. It’s not about payback. It’s about you living a Celestial life regardless of the people around you. It’s not about him. Your exaltation is about you. Are we keeping score? That’s not what it’s about.
Class member: Does anyone feel like it’s the woman in the home feel like it’s my responsibility and that my attitude affects my family? If I’m critical the whole mood in my family changes. Can everyone else just move on without being impacted by my mood/attitude?
Class member: The woman is responsible for the weather in the home. When I wake up and I’m grumpy everyone else takes from me. When I have focused on it before I can make it sunny or I can make it gloomy. Just to try and put out a little bit of sunshine.
President Howard W. Hunter (Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, pg 139)
" I suppose you would say it is a man's viewpoint to throw a burden upon a woman to maintain the stability and the sweetness of marriage, but this seems to be her divine nature. She has a superior spirituality in the marriage relationship, and the opportunity to encourage, uplift, teach, and be the one who sets the example in the family for righteous living. When women come to the point of realizing that it is more important to be superior than to be equal, they will find the real joy in living those principles that the Lord set out in His divine plan."
Most of your gifts have to do with feelings. Women are insightful and intuitive. They see the big picture. If Satan can get your feelings on a negative downward spiral that blocks your access to the Spirit.
But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.
Positive ThoughtsàPositive FeelingsàPositive ActionsàPositive HabitsàPositive Character
Depression & Discouragement (Parenting Class Links for more detailed info)
We think it starts in your actions, but what gets you into the Celestial Kingdom is the condition of your heart. My thoughts are about my duty. It creates the feelings behind the action. If my thoughts are about the Savior and all he gave them my feelings are about how he served. We try to change behavior without changing thoughts.
Example: I’m going to do kind things for my husband, but I’m going to do something nice because I’m supposed to be nice to him so I do it. He doesn’t say thank you. I say…I’m not doing that again. In the whole process my thoughts didn’t change so my heart couldn’t change.
The place to change your heart has to be in your thoughts.
Sometimes our thoughts are positive, but out thoughts are willing. I’m inviting the Savior in to make the difference.
Class member: I’ve learned the power of thought through another book I read. It starts with thinking. When we think negative thoughts you create a well worn path. It’s the easiest way to take. We have to take a machete and wack our way through. Eventually the ‘positive’ becomes our well worn path. You have to go through the process of actually changing the thought from negative to positive.
If we change at the ‘thoughts’ we invite through the Atonement the power of the Spirit to help us change.
When we entertain those thoughts it invites Satan in.
Gene R Cook said you have 8 seconds to change your thoughts before your thoughts become feelings.
That’s your window of agency.
How many of you live in discouragement?
Watch yourself---to pay attention to the thoughts you are thinking. We are choosing our thoughts. Look at what you are thinking about. You look at where you are and take inventory.
Watch your thoughts---that’s the first thing you look to. What are you thinking? Change those thoughts.
Watch your feelings---Your thoughts create feelings. Your actions flow from how you are feeling. You feelings flow from what you are thinking.
Watch your deeds---You talk according to how you feel.
Observe the commandments of God---we were observing those in our thoughts and wanting to just serve Him ourselves
What does it mean to perish? It means to lose the reward. You are losing the reward…peace, joy, contentment in your family.
Lord’s side of the line:
Love, joy, peace, hope, gratitude, clarity, energy, compassion, comfort, light
Satan’s side of the line:
Despair, confusion, burdened, heavy, darkness, fear, depression, heartache, hatred, lack of energy, hatred, blame, victim
Satan cannot cross over to the Lord’s side. He cannot give you light. The Lord will not cross over the line because of agency. If you are feeling despair who is moving across the line. If you feel hope and joy who is moving? You are. The entity that moves is you. Will Satan entice you to cross the line? Will the Spirit entice you to stay on the right side of the line? Yes. Who makes the choice? You make the choice.
If you are feeling the things on Satan’s side of the line who are you choosing to hearken to? Satan. How do you cross back over the line? You have to change your thoughts. Changing sides of the line doesn’t happen in an instance.
Right now all I can do is desire to be happy. I need to desire to be happy and sometimes that’s all you can do. If you go to the Lord and tell him that you desire to be happy and will he empower you. Then you invite the Spirit. At that invitation the Holy Ghost will come and will help you rise above your own weakness.
Class member: “Your crazy is showing you might want to tuck that in.” Tucking it in is that invitation.
The way to repent…
Using the Atonement (Parenting Class links for more detailed info)
Regardless of what you are experiencing….Stop what you are doing, thinking, or what you are doing that is wrong. Turn to the Savior. Pray for forgiveness and direction and the enabling power. If you do that with real intent you will be told something to do in that moment. You take that and act upon it immediately. By doing this you will have repented. That is why we use repentance 100x a day.
If you act on the prompting you are given in that moment (you have to act first) then you will receive the strength and the power and the Holy Ghost. Your willingness to act is the initiation for the Holy Ghost to empower you.
When we partake of the Sacrament, one of the things we want is to remember Him always. This process (Stop, Turn, Act) is the process of remembering Him always.
It is simple to understand and so hard to do!
Class member: What happens when you feel stuck on the “Satan side”?
How do we allow ourselves to be hurt more? I feel more vulnerable. All of the Jews hated the Savior, but he served them. What makes us vulnerable? I found as I worked through it that I had an unreal expectation. If I treat you nice you will learn to like me. That was an unreal expectation. When she said unkind things it couldn’t hurt me anymore. When the Spirit says serve I would pray for a greater understanding of her heart it’s because inside of her there may be a lot of pain. Allow her to have that problem without making it yours.
When you do something you do it as a gift. It’s for you to change your heart. It’s not for them. You have to do it with no strings attached and praying you will come to understand them. You don’t dismiss the prompting you act on it with no ‘unreal expectation’.
If the unseen agenda in the prayer is “Heavenly Father what do I need to do to change her?” that’s wrong. We don’t get to do that. Heavenly Father will work with you about you.
Class member: There is a book called the “Anatomy of Peace”. He talks about when our heart is at war when we aren’t living up to our own expectations.
Can He See Me? Theresa Star
If you look to Him and invite him you will feel His divine smile in your soul. That divine smile will come to you as you read the Book of Mormon with real intent and invite Him into your heart.
Stress & Adversity
Sheri Dew…ideas from Conference talks….
The women in Africa have nothing. All of the African women are happy. They have nothing, but they are all happy.
Anne C Pingree “Seeing the Promises Afar Off”
In African they went to visit, when they came to the meeting they saw 2 beautiful African women they were walking. Coming back they saw these women coming back from the other way. They had walked about 20 miles to go to the church to get their temple recommends. They had them in white hankies. They would probably never ever be able to use them but it was that important to them to walk that distance to have a current recommend.
Research was done about medication (Zoloft, Prozac) depression medication. They did a study about where in the United States and Utah has the highest rate of anti-depression medication in the United States.
There is something wrong with this picture. We who have the gospel and the truth are depressed. It should make us totally happy and free and at peace.
I was talking to a couple of bishops and Relief Society Presidents about the needs of the women in their stake. The number one concern in their stakes is depression. I don’t think they are talking about chemical imbalances. You need to know when you need counseling. Those things are good. I don’t think the average of us will go get help. We don’t think we are that bad, but we aren’t happy.
Spencer W. Kimball “The Role of Righteous Women”
“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.”
Class member: I just feel overwhelmed as a Mom. We try to put all of these things on our plate.
This is the thing I’m talking about. Call it overwhelmed, depression, discouragement. It’s not necessarily a medicated problem.
Class member: I think we go to Relief Society and see the Molly Mormon who has it under control. I sit there and think I barely got my kids dressed and out the door on time. We compare ourselves to the surface.
Class member: My husband and I have been reading is “As a Man Thinketh” We have been working on trying to have a positive attitude. We have so much to do as Latter-Day Saints. It can be overwhelming if you write everything you have to do…read scriptures, say prayers, whatever we have to get done that day. If you change the mind set to “I get to read the scriptures and I get to say my prayers.” It really starts with your brain and the words that come out. I tried really hard that day to find the positive. Once I said those negative words it made the positive go away. I didn’t think I had a heavy burden until I said the negative words.
Class member: I didn’t have children for 8 years. I learned a lot and listened a lot. The one thing that I saw that kept reoccurring and the one thing I heard was the busyness. The busyness was a lot of what they created. It got to be like why are you doing all of that. Each kid had 7 things and our rule in our house is one thing at a time. There have been times when I sat back and looked at my planner and only have 2 things for the day. We sit around and try to decide what to do this weekend. I took it to heart and it’s one of my commandments. The busy-ness eats away at people. My kids are just not going to get to do that talent.
The thing I have also been reading lately is Isaiah in the Book of Mormon and been studying them almost word by word. I have a study guide. As we watch the signs of the times many of us may become fearful and really nervous. There is a lot of fear as we come into these times and see prophecies be fulfilled. As you watch our youth doing so much temple. That didn’t use to happen. The hastening of the work is going on.
We have unreal expectations. Think about what upsets you. Usually we are upset because things aren’t running smooth. We feel like if I’m really good and do all the things I should do then the consequence is life should be good. That is Satan’s tool. You look at Joseph Smith who lived a life committed. He never had a peaceful moment. “I am wont to swim in deep waters.” I don’t think he had any moments of peace because he was doing righteous things.
Life should not be easy. We came to be tried and tested and that means it’s not easy. The fact that we have challenges is part of being in this life. We voted for these opportunities to grow….a hard thing we get through. We should have hard things. We have to stop looking at hard things as being something bad. It’s part of life.
We need to focus on how to become strong. One of my concerns is how many of our missionaries are coming home? It was a huge influx in the beginning. Now it’s dropped back down to a normal amount of people going out, but we have far to many coming home.
My son works at the MTC and he deals with this all the time. One of the reasons they come home is because of anxiety and depression. There are legitimate reasons for coming home. I think there is a lot we can do in parenting that help our children be prepared for that. When they grow up on electronics they have to come home because they can’t live without their phone. They can’t live without Mom because they have had a helicopter Mom. We have to raise them to independence We don’t preach and talk that it is hard work. Marriage is hard work. The divorce rate in the church is just about equal with those not in the church. We have to prepare our children to do hard things.
When things get hard they want to quit…they come home from their mission or get divorced.
As a Mom you live in a ‘heavy’ box. You are radiating to your children that life is hard. You can see that this is a generic problem in the church and out of the church because Satan is so good about teaching the lie that life is easy because you deserve it. When it gets hard we want to quit. We don’t want to have to face hard things. When we become fixers as Mom’s we are intensifying those problems further down the road.
It is more important to teach them that they have power over feelings…every day hard life. I think life is hard and there are hard moments. I do think we can learn to live happy. That doesn’t mean we don’t have sad experiences.
Tracy leaves tomorrow to go pick up Malary from her mission. Malary was off the charts fabulous young woman….straight A’s, distinguished young women winner. She went to BYU-Idaho and wanted to major in piano pedagogy. She got over there and was playing the piano and her hands would shake so bad she couldn’t play. She found out she had anxiety and that’s what was causing it. She put in her papers for her mission and received a call to Paris France. She got on some medication and counseling for it. She went to the MTC and pressure and anxiety increase.
Most missionaries that come home rarely go back out. She has had a fabulous mission out it the mission field, not without trials.
While she was home she went to counseling. I would grill her about the tools she was learning. We are going to talk about that process.
If you do this process it will not make you Polyanna. Life is still hard! If you learn to use this you will find peace IN stress. I think you can have peace in the midst of turmoil.
Challenge: I want you to write the word “Peace” on the top of a ponder pad sheet, starting with the Women’s session and then all the conference sessions I want you on that page to write down all the instructions where peace is the blessing.
I think you will be amazed at what the Lord has already told us.
But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.
We perish day by day by becoming insensitive to the spirit day after day which ends at the eternal perishing.
Continue in the faith….this is enduring to the end hour by hour by hour. That’s not easy. There is plenty to do, but we push back and make excuses.
My feeling is that the Lord will come save his covenant people. These are everyone who enters the covenant and keeps the covenant. We have those who have the covenant who aren’t ‘breaking’ their covenant, but are they ‘keeping’ their covenant. This is where the Lord is inviting us to become a covenant people and accept the invitation freely.
Positive ThoughtsàPositive FeelingsàPositive ActionsàPositive Character
“Watch your thoughts. They become your words. Watch your words they become your actions. Watch your actions they become your habits. Watch your habits they become your character. Watch your character. Watch your character it becomes your eternal destiny.”
As we have our lessons and talk about what we are going to do, you go home and say “I believe that’s true.” You go home having read it and so we start at the “Actions”. We are going to act different. We are going to change the behavior in this home. You have been trying so hard to change the behavior in the home, but it’s so hard. You get discouraged and depressed. Are we trying to do good things.
If you have a chemical equation and you change it in the middle of the equation it won’t work. If you change one side, but not the other it won’t work.
If you want to change what’s in the middle (action) you go back to the beginning and change the thoughts.
Whenever you want to change something you have to go back to the start.
C.S. Lewis Screwtape letters
How do you know that God is just if he judges you the same way he judges a little old lady in Africa? If you are raised in different places or times does the expectation change? No. He has one expectation and this is what it takes for everyone. He judges on the thoughts. This is where agency takes place. (PT-positive thoughts). We are the only one that controls our thoughts!
Man’s Search for Meaning (Viktor Frankl)
Our kids say, “You make me mad.” No one can make you anything. You choose to be mad!
Class member: I love how you were saying “faithful” thoughts. Sad things happen. Things happen. My dog died. There are unrighteous thoughts. I get depressed because I think I’m a bad mom. I think if we can control our thoughts it will influence our children to have positive thoughts.
When we got married my husband told me I was the most negative person he knew. Blues are very realist. Blues are very practical. He saw that as me being a downer/negative person.
Realizing this it’s important to understand this is where you have power. This is the heart of eternal destiny.
You have been given the power through the initiatory to do this…PTàPFàPAàPC
Class member: I believe that. Maybe the negative side or maybe why we get down on ourselves is because we know those scriptures that say, “Faith without works is dead.” We also know after all we can do the grace will cover it. I think that’s why we get down.
You have personal power! Heavenly Father has endowed you with so much power. It’s Satan who wants you to think you are hopeless and powerless. Can you change someone else? No. Can you take away someone else’s agency? No. We have power for us.
This comes back to choices that are not dependent on their choices. This is not dependent on what situation you are in.
They were in the wilderness for 8 years. They married. There was death (Ishmael). They had babies.
Laman and Lemuel are talking in these scriptures. According to Laman & Lemuel possessions, luxury, not toiling bring happiness. It would be better to have died.
Do you mean during Sacrament I have to make my kids sit still and not do anything for 15 minutes? That’s ridiculous and crazy. You don’t know what it’s like.
These 3 “C’s” will destroy you faster than anything else you can do….Complain, Compare, Criticize.
How to Discourage Discouragement
You have 8 seconds---you have 8 seconds to change your thoughts. If you don’t change your thoughts it will turn into a feeling.
In your head say to yourself….
It’s the first of the month. She is crazy. I just don’t know how I’m going to get over there. I wish they would give me someone else.
You feel it coming down. Now think about the times you’ve had a discussion with your children and your spouse. Think about how long you think about it in the negative. As you feed the ‘thoughtsàfeelings’.
If you have a discussion with your spouse how long do we ‘mull’ in the thoughts about what we should have said or done. It changes our feelings and we get ourselves in a funk and we can’t get out of it. You have created such deep feelings that your actions are changing.
Close your eyes again….
Sister Lewis just got out of Safe Haven. She has been really, really depressed. I think I need to see her more than once this month. I’m very concerned about her and what I can do.
Where are your feelings? The situation hasn’t changed.
The 2nd one opens the door on the Holy Ghost and empowers you.
Elder Richard G. Scott “Trust in the Lord”
“Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this, now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God.“
These are dead end questions. We shut the door to the Holy Ghost…..
Why does this have to happen to me?
Why do I have to suffer this now?
What have I done to cause this?
Why is this trial lasting so long?
The Lord won’t answer these questions. These feelings continue to go downhill and the problem intensifies. The feelings become heavier. The actions are crying, snapping, withdrawn. What are we thinking…poor me. It’s totally self focused. We are taking our own temperature.
“I realized I knew what to do and what was right. Now I have changed my prayers to help me ‘have the power’ to do what was right.”
His job is to walk with us and enable us.
Nephi is having the same experience! 1 Nephi 17:2-3
They focused on the positive things.
You might have ‘emotional’ strength to bear your journey without complaining.
The people of Alma were in bondage. Instead of being delivered Heavenly Father strengthens them to bear up their burdens. “We did bear our burdens with patience and cheerfully”.
We choose what side of the line we are on.
Questions to ask….
Elder Richard G. Scott “Trust in the Lord”
“Rather ask, What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do. Yet, when you pray with real conviction, “Please let me know Thy will” and “May Thy will be done,” you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father.”
The Spirit will tell you what to do.
It may be you are told to find some help. Be wise enough to understand you need some help. Pray about it and be open to what the answer is.
That service might be to a child that has an empty bank account or a spouse. You have to do it. We get these feelings, but we are so weary and discouraged we choose not to do it. The answer comes, but you have to do the answer.
Sometimes that means you have to say, “I don’t have the strength to do the answer can you lift me a little.”
Class member: In Elder Lawrence’s talk he says the Holy Ghost is the only one that will tell us what we need and individualizes what we need.
We tend to not want to do anything to lift ourselves. We want to sit in our pity party and grovel. If you don’t go to the Lord.
If I am still feeling the “Complain, compare, criticize” and doing more prayers and scriptures it will still not work. This is the law of the harvest. You have to change what you are going.
You pray for the empowering part of the Atonement that you can do the ‘positive thoughts’ with greater intent. You choose this at the first thoughts of discouragement! If you wait until your feelings are really black and you feel helpless and hopeless and want to do something different. In this situation it is hard to black out the negative and get you back in the positive because it’s become a habit. The Holy Ghost brings in light and sunshine and gives you a sense of peace in the midst of trial.
As you watch the world come down around you we need to be on the Lord’s side of the line.
When you listen to Conference the prophet and the Twelve will give you invitations to become a more covenant holy people. It is critically important we do it now. We need to make it through what is coming we have to do this with real intent. When you hear the words of the prophets that’s a personal invitation to become more holy, the better you listen, the better you will be prepared.
Children on Israel were walking for 40 years in the wilderness. The Lord provided manna each day.
Exodus 16:4 Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
I’m going to give them food every day to see if they will keep the commandments. They took it every day. If they took more it went bad.
They had to do something..everyday. They had to get up with their baskets go out and get the manna for all day for their family. They were told how much they could have. They had to gather with exactness. It was to test them to see if they will keep the commandment. Daily they had to do it.
Scriptures are the bread of life and we need it daily.
Do you put enough toothpaste on the toothbrush to last for the whole week?
If you do walk in my way you will be fed. They were fed spiritually and physically.
The other test was the fiery serpents. They had to look at the serpent on the staff and they wouldn’t die. He put the staff at the front of the camp. You can’t avoid these fiery serpents. Look at the staff and you will be healed.
The Lord did straighten them (test and try them) he sent (gave them trials, allowed them to have trials) fiery flying serpents among them. He prepared away for them to be healed. The labor which they had to perform was to look. And because of the simpleness of the way or the easiness of it there were many that perished. (Book of Mormon)
Look and do and come to Him and He will heal us! We don’t have to live there. We can live in joy and peace. We will still have trial. Look and do not perish!
Follow up/Sharing from last week...
I want to know how Conference went. Did your kids listen? Were you frustrated? What messages rang to you? What was the theme? What hit you?
Class member: I had a good experience. I have 4 children 11, 10, 5, 2. We had a FHE on Monday and recap some things they learned. My 10 & 11 yr old both talked about Elder Holland’s talk and how powerful it was, about “I believe…” We had a great discussion.
Class member: I have a 5 & 3 yr old. I had prepared with packets & treats. I had a high expectation. It didn’t go so well. I think feeling like I had prepared for it and was just really frustrated. Instead of feeling like I had answers I felt like I had more questions. Reflecting on the way I was raised.
My suggestion is you did better than you think. What you taught them wasn’t necessarily what they got from the prophets. They learned this time that Conference is important to you. Next time, they will be more inclined to listen to what’s said. When you do something different they don’t always jump on board. Give yourself at least 3 Conferences before you make any value judgments about it.
Class member: We had the same experience. This was the second Conference that I made a big deal out of it. This time did the same thing with lower expectations. My 3 year old I thought she was somewhere else. She stopped and asked “What is crucifixion?”
It’s like reading scriptures with 2 year olds. They run around and jump up and down. They don’t get anything out of it except that it’s important. That is ok.
Class member: It’s torture most of the time. It’s overload. We feel like screaming.
Conference is like taking a drink from a fire hose. Focus on something for the 6 months.
Class member: If I simplify it and come up with a one liner from each talk it makes it easier.
Class member: This is probably the best Conference ever. I have 1 in college & older kids, then 7 ½ year gap. Everything is about adaptation. This is the 3rd Conference I’ve done this. Everyone has a lunch sack. There is a different treat. They had healthy snacks. We had pictures of the the apostles on the lunch sacks with treats in them. I took the challenge. I had 3 questions. I came away with answers and didn’t feel overloaded. I wasn’t trying to take notes. The highlight was at the end of Conference. My 3 year old said I have to listen to him it’s President Monson. She sat through his entire talk. It’s always been a rule before they were baptized they have to listen to President Monson.
Class member: The last several years I was taught to ask those questions before I went to Conference. Every time I get answers. I didn’t take many notes. I had the questions in my mind and just sat back and listened. I turn Conference on my computer while I’m cleaning. I can listen to one each day. I learned so much more by going back. I put a speaker in the bathroom and plug my phone in and listen to a Conference message while I’m getting ready. I have one in college this year. I have an 8 yr old. We’ve always done Conference bingo the first session, but not the 2nd session. We had missionaries. One of the missionaries brought out his own Conference Bingo card and his own candy. It was what he had done at home.
Class member: I have a 3 year old and one on the way. This year compared to last year. The week before Conference we had a media fast for a week before. He was glued to the TV because it was back on. That was Saturday. Sunday he was squirmy. He saw us with the actual Book of Mormon instead of Ipads. Through Sister Tanner’s class I have learned the importance of having the spirit present when teaching our children. So, after having similar experiences as what the previous women shared- I decided this time around to focus on providing the spirit over what the expectations of my outcome. So, this time around I instead of focusing on the activities my child would be doing during conference- I focused more on the experience of preparing for conference a week ahead of time and that is what made the biggest difference this time around. I wanted to feel the spirit and trust that the spirit will touch their hearts if I invited it in our home.
On the website in the store if you are interested are the pictures of the 15 Apostles. They are business card size. It has the picture and the name. I have them on the fridge. I have the teenagers put them in order. To identify who they are. You have to give a fact about their lives.
Class member: I did everything you said and even went to the temple, as soon as I got back from them temple all heck broke loose at my house. My kids were sitting there with their stuffed animals and food. Saturday I just didn’t get my questions. When Elder Uchtdorf stood up and read from my the book of my life. I got a better answer than I actually asked. The point is you just keep going and eventually you get the answers you need in a time that is good for them.
What’s really interesting in the way the Lord works. He gives us answers when he knows we are ready for them. As we continue to be obedient, it prepares us to receive answers that we don’t always know we had the question for. You have to be open for him to hear.
Class member: I went with 2 questions. One was about marriage. I was amazed that my questions was specifically answered more in the other talks than the marriage talks.
Question: Why would it be important to go with a question? Is it the question?
Answer: So that you are preparing yourself to be ready to receive what the Spirit is going to give you. The exercise of formulating that question helps your spirit prepare to receive. That act of them saying it is what opens the door. Your act of writing down a question is that act of faith that invites the Spirit. You may or may not receive the answers to the questions you asked. Every section of the D&C was given in answer to a question.
I have often asked myself if I had the opportunity to go sit at the feet of the Savior for 45 minutes what questions would I ask? I think I would just sit there and be speechless, but we have to have the confidence to formulate the questions.
The first vision is the answer to a questions. We have to seek answers so we can be talk.
Class member: We subbed my 7 yr olds class, If you could sit at the feet of the Savior. They had millions of questions. My husband and I didn’t even know what we would ask. It was a reminder to be like children. I think we over think it and think we have to ask a profound question instead of simple.
I think little people would have a dozen questions.
Stress & Adversity
In this day we are stressed, but if we look at other places of the world they are calm.
Two months ago I was in Africa, and the images of our beautiful African sisters are still vivid in my heart and mind. Their countenances reflect the image of Christ. When they pray, they pray. It's as though they reach right through the veil and talk to a trusted Friend. And despite severe temporal challenges, they are happy. By the world's measure, they have nothing-except happiness. By contrast, many of us have everything-except happiness. Their optimism springs from a bedrock faith in Jesus Christ, to whom they have given their hearts. I've found myself wondering who the Lord is most concerned about-those whose temporal challenges are extreme but whose hearts are fixed on Him, or those who have more things of this world but who haven't offered their whole souls unto Him (Omni 1:26). Hunger may be a problem in Africa, but our sisters there aren't starving spiritually. Sheri Dew
Things that cause stress....
Think for a moment about what things in your life right now are causing you the greatest stress. Write down the things that are causing you the most stress.
I want you to look at them for a minute. Some of those things I am sure you have absolutely no control over. You can’t take away someone else’s agency. Other thing (weight) I have control over. There are things you have influence on.
Example: If your husband is out of work you can’t go get him a job, but you can motivate, cheer for him, sustain him. Even though it is stressful you have a lot of ability to help in that situation.
I want you to look at your situations. The one you have absolutely do not have control over. Those you have absolute control over come up with a plan. The things that you have influence over look at what you can do and let go of the rest.
Some of our stress is caused by unreal expectations. If I pray, fast, be good enough I can have power to change my child. That is not true! That takes away agency. You can’t take that away. If you do those things you have the right to revelation to help that child, but you cannot be good enough to change the child or your spouse. Some of you have spouses that aren’t following with enough faith that you have. In that situation, you have power to influence, but too often we feel like if we can’t change the situation we feel guilty. You have to give up the guilt. You stay to influence for good, but your success is not whether or not they change. They have the right to make their own choices to change or not change.
The other thing that is high stress in women, particularly if you are blue, if I know something is right then why am I not doing it. I am guilty and must be a bad person. The truth is you will always know more than you have the ability to do. ALWAYS!!!
James B Cox “How to Qualify for the Celestial Kingdom”
It’s like a train going down a track at night. That light illuminates way in front of the train. As the train moves the light moves out further. That is exactly the way it is with you. Your life and spirituality are moving. As you move down the train track of spiritual life and development the Lord gives you more light and knowledge. You qualify for it. If you evaluate yourself on whether you do as much as you know you will always fall short. This is always moving in a forward direction. That causes you a great deal of guilt, let it go. Live accordingly to what you know is right. You can’t do it all, but you can do something and seek to move forward, know that your light will always be ahead of you and that is ok. That is what makes you seek to keep moving.
John Turpin "The New Stress Reduction for Mormons!"
With that being said there are a couple of things I want to bring out. Do you remember the counsel in heaven? We don’t know much about that counsel. As we came to that vote we had a clear understanding of what would happen. We also knew that when we came to earth we would have trials. We would have temptations. We would have pain. We would have suffering. As we stepped up to learn about this the Savior made it clear that he would also be available to help us through the pain, give us hope, wipe away our sins, always be there to answer our prayers and teach us where to go. As we stood there knowing the sacrifice the Savior was willing to make we said I can do that if you will really be there. I can do it with you. I think we were emphatic in our desire to do that. We knew with him we could do it.
What happened? Sometimes we don’t think we can do it. You don’t ask for the trials. They come by themselves. However, I’m equally sure that if we could see the plan as clearly now as we saw it then we would make the same vote even knowing what trials we had. Even knowing I might lose a child, be abused, spouse falls away from church, not have a good job, lose health…even knowing that we would vote the same.
Robert D. Hales "Becoming Provident Providers" May 2009 Ensign
Neil Maxwell "Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds" May 1991
There are thing we can do to help us in this process. There are several ways to handle stress and adversity. How do you deal with stress and/or adversity?
He wanted to run away and let someone else deal with it for him. Do you do this?
Mosiah 21: 7-12
They wanted to attack with anger. Do you do this?
He sought the Lord in humble prayer and asked for protection.
I did everything right, how can this happen?!? We did everything we were commanded. Look at the situation and translate it into our experiences. This is a righteous people who are having horrible adversity. The way they handled it is mind boggling.
They submitted with cheer and humility
1 Nephi 2:12
Laman & Lemuel murmured. Do we murmur? Nephi did not. It’s not that he knew the answer. He just went and did and had faith that the Lord would open the door. He didn’t go back anticipating to kill Laban. If you are moving in faith the Lord can open a door. You have to be moving in faith.
1 Nephi 17:2-3
Nephi acknowledges and gives credit to the Lord. In stress and adversity we need to recognize and give credit to the Lord. We need to find his hand as we go along.
Joseph Smith in jail. It couldn’t have been worse. “Lord what am I supposed to learn.” He accepted what the Lord had for him.
As we are in adversity help comes in increments. We want to have a video. Could you just show me the video so I can see the end then I can go through it. I’ve never had the video. Let me just show you what to do in this next hour. Let me just hold you in this minute so you can go on for the next hour and carry those that you need to carry. With faith in the Lord you can go the next hour. He will lift you. Don’t expect him to show you the end of the video. I did 10 years down the road. It took a long time to come to the end of it. There are things in it that we can do.
This formula is the key to get through so much.....
You are absolutely in control of this! In crisis, struggles, problems, where do we focus our mind? We focus on what I can’t do and what I don’t have. We go there and are miserable because of the pain. As you think about all that you can’t do and it’s not fair how do you feel? Can’t you just feel it? You feel helpless and hopeless and it gets deeper and deeper until you feel like there is no way out. You believe it’s true, you believe the Savior can help you. We get so far in the whole that it’s hard for the Savior to reach down and life you out. He is standing there saying Come!. We are saying I just want to stay here a little longer.
You change your thoughts from what you can’t do to what you can do.
The 4 chains Satan uses during adversity….
"One of the challenges of this mortal experience is to not allow the stresses and strains of life to get the better of us—to endure the varied seasons of life while remaining positive, even optimistic."
As you pray in your trials this is the answer the Lord gives….
If you are heavy hearted go to your knees. You don’t ask that the trial will be over. You ask that your souls may be joyful. In the midst you will find joy. That joy is what brings peace and happiness. It is centered in the Lord and faith. It is centered in knowing the gospel is true.
Henry Erying "Mountains To Climb" May 2012 Ensign
The BOM teaches that he will prepare away for us to get out of the trial. It is usually through it. In the process the Lord will change our hearts.
Jesus had just fed the 5000 and he told his disciples to get into a ship and he would meet him. They obeyed. They rowed out into the lake. He was praying in the mountain. The disciples were in a ship and a storm comes up. There is a canyon and those winds are incredible. They stir up the Sea of Galilee.
They are experienced fishermen. This storm scared them. The 4th hour is between 3-6am. Every moment as they are watching these waves, its raining and blowing and dark. They are frightened for their life. The Savior has been in the mountain praying. He knows the storm is there. He is feeling it too. He allows them to stay in the trial. Then as the morning hour comes they see him walking on the water.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
He said come. This storm is horrendous. Peter is willing to step out of the ship into the storm. Do you know how scary that is. The ships bad, but it’s a little bit of safety. They haven’t gone down yet. He has enough courage to get out of the ship. As he gets out his focus in only on the Savior. He starts walking on the water to the Savior. His thoughts go to the storm and how high the waves are around him and how frightening the wind is. As soon as he takes his eyes off the Savior he begins to sink.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
Where are we in our trials? We lose sight of the Savior and he would say, “Why did you doubt? I was there. I was with you. You were coming.” That for a period after the Savior helped him out of the water, they continued to walk together to the ship in the storm. The Lord walks with us in our storm. When they got to the ship then the storm ceased. In crisis the Savior will walk with us if we have faith. Then we can have peace.
Things to do when we are in stress or adversity....
1. Look at your life. What the crisis is. Then in all aspects of your life SIMPLIFY
Example: Ashley just had twins. It is great stress. She needs to simplify her life. This is not the time to be making Christmas PJs, spending 3 days in the temple, canning bushels of peaches. You can’t do all that.
This is the time to simplify. You may have to put away things you like…your hobbies, 2 ½ hours a day on Pinterest, reading novels, watching TV shows regularly. There may be things you have to do away with that are pleasureable to you, but they are not essential. It’s more important that you simplify your life. Make sure that you don’t cut out the big rocks. Family/personal prayer, Family/personal scripture study, FHE, Temple attendance.
2. Problem ownership
Don’t waste time worrying about things you can’t change. Those things you have power over you need to do. Those things you don’t lay at the feet of the Lord.
3. Increase your spiritual strength daily
Every day you arise ask the Lord for guidance and then do what he tells us.
2 Nephi 32:3
4. Develop an attitude of gratitude
Remember Remember Elder Eyring
Pray that you will see it. The Lord is mindful of you. Just because he doesn’t take you out of the problem doesn’t mean he isn’t mindful. Rarely does he remove us from the trial quickly.
5. Develop faith, hope, and charity.
It goes back to the formula…. PT-->Pf-->PA-->PC
We function on clinging to “I know that my redeemer lives”
6. In your darkest hours keep the Sabbath day holy.
The whole day
7. Live with integrity.
8. Seek constant education
Get a book to learn. Take a class. Learn something new. Don’t stay mired in your hole.
9. Take time to sharpen the saw.
Fill your emotional bucket. Talk to someone who is positive and happy. Do something that is joyful. Don’t lose yourself, but do activities that lift you and give you strength.
10. Stay in contact where someone loves you unconditionally.
11. Give service
12. Spend time in nature.
13. Listen to good music.
We ask the question “Why me?”
It is not ours to ask that question. It is an though we are reflecting opposition to the Lord. Rather than expressing humility and living in humility. They create an opposition to God.
Richard G. Scott “Trust in the Lord”
Example: My husband is inactive, won’t attend church, won’t do FHE.
Question #1: What am I to do? Stop focusing on what he won’t do and focus on what you will do. You pray about that and the answer will probably come back love him. Your response to that is How can I love him when we won’t do what a priesthood leader is supposed to do? You pray again. The answer is love him. I want to change him so he will be good. The Lord is saying that’s not your option. Within your power you can love him and as you love him he has courage to change himself. Your job is to love him. You might pray and say “Show me how to love him when I don’t love him.”
Question #2: What am I to learn? The minute I start saying the problem is him. Who has the problem. Me. I’m prideful, self righteous. What am I to learn? Humilty, compassion, love. Do I need to repent? You bet! I am no better than he is if that is my mentality. I lose the privilege of revelation unless I repent.
Question #3: What am I to change? My heart. I need to be humble, submissive. I need to not demand that he be like me. I need to change a lot.
Question #4: Who am I to help? Him and my children. He is discouraged. He’s carrying a load. He is in a lot of pain. Ask the Lord, “How can I bless him? Help me understand his burden so I can help him carry the load.”
It focuses all your energy on how can I improve. Instead of saying I’m helpless and hopeless. You need to not choose to stay in the hole for putting him there. Sin causes stress. Is his sin causing me adversity and stress? YES, but it’s his sin. It’s causing my choice to be that I’m sinning. I’m blaming him, but I’m choosing to sin because I am being self-righteous and condemning him. My responsibility is to forgive 70x7.
1 Peter 3:1
There is a bunch that is for us to learn from. The other part I want to testify to you is that you will have adversity/stress. Some of you may be at his moment walking in a lovely valley of peace. Things are really good right now…your children, your marriage, your life. I say to you enjoy it because it won’t last. Part of mortality…the purpose of mortality is to see in hard things if we will stay focused on the Lord.
1. God uses problems to guide us.
Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make a change.
Class member: When I was younger I used to think that God was doing it to me. I used to blame him. It was natural consequences of my actions, or unfortunate circumstances.
The thing is not to blame him, but to rely on him and the power of the Atonement.
2. God uses problems to inspect you. “People are like tea bags. If you want to know what’s inside them drop them in water.” What do those problems reveal about you?
3. God uses problems to correct you.
Some lessons are learned only through pain or failure.
4. God uses problems to protect you. A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it protects you from something that could be worse.
We are all going to have a “Rocky Ridge” like Martin’s Cove. How are we going to stand next to Joseph Smith if we haven’t passed those tests. Those tests are to help us individually become sanctified. As we use the tests to come closer to him and say, “thy will be done.” Someday we can stand clean and pure before him. I testify that you will have trials, but it’s not because God doesn’t love you. It’s because he wants to show you his presence. He will help you walk on water.
Notes from classes and other information will be posted here. Also you can order syllabus and CDs from the store or check out the "Traditions" that class members have shared. You can also ask a Parenting and/or Marriage Question.
I will be posting my class notes from Thursday Parenting Class within a few days after class.