Follow up/Sharing from last week...
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
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....
- The necessity to take care of things plus the desire to have more things.
- The need to provide things for our children is stressful.
- Things can provide stress.
- Behavior provides stress.
- Behavior of family members, spouse, or ourselves.
- Health issues.
- Loss of jobs.
- The sins of someone else that have a ripple effect back to us and sadness from that.
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”
“One’s knowledge always stays ahead of one’s works. This concept provides increased hope by teaching that you will always have a greater AWARENESS of how to live than ABILITY to live that way, because your light is always ahead of your works.”
John Turpin "The New Stress Reduction for Mormons!"
"Your stress will be reduced if you remember to be kind to yourself and if you give yourself credit for what you do right and for the progress you make. You can also help your children to this by asking at bedtime what they did right during the day. It may take them a while to think of what they did right, so you may need to suggest some possibilities - It will be easier to help your children if you are focusing on what YOU did right, because the way you relate to yourself influences how you relate to others. Being compassionate with yourself helps you avoid judging and condemning others.
The reality of being human means that you may never, in this life, become 100% the kind of person you want to be. This is because as soon as you improve, the Lord give you new light and awareness. Your light will continue to increase until the perfect day. (Proverbs 4:18 and D&C 50:24). Still the Lord wants you to be happy and enjoy the trip along the path towards perfection."
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
We must remember that the adversary knows us extremely well. He knows where, when, and how to tempt us. If we are obedient to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we can learn to recognize the adversary’s enticements. Before we yield to temptation, we must learn to say with unflinching resolve, “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23).
Neil Maxwell "Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds" May 1991
One’s life, therefore, cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free. President Wilford Woodruff counseled us all about the mercy that is inherent in some adversity: “The chastisements we have had from time to time have been for our good, and are essential to learn wisdom, and carry us through a school of experience we never could have passed through without.” (In Journal of Discourses, 2:198.)
Therefore, how can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, “Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!”
Real faith, however, is required to endure this necessary but painful developmental process.”
Now it came to pass that the king commanded them that all the men should leave their wives and their children, and flee before the Lamanites.
Mosiah 21: 7-12
7 And they gathered themselves together again, and put on their armor, and went forth against the Lamanites to drive them out of their land.
8 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did beat them, and drove them back, and slew many of them.
9 And now there was a great mourning and lamentation among the people of Limhi, the widow mourning for her husband, the son and the daughter mourning for their father, and the brothers for their brethren.
10 Now there were a great many widows in the land, and they did cry mightily from day to day, for a great fear of the Lamanites had come upon them.
11 And it came to pass that their continual cries did stir up the remainder of the people of Limhi to anger against the Lamanites; and they went again to battle, but they were driven back again, suffering much loss.
12 Yea, they went again even the third time, and suffered in the like manner; and those that were not slain returned again to the city of Nephi.
14 And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions.
15 And now the Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.
16 And it came to pass that they began to prosper by degrees in the land, and began to raise grain more abundantly, and flocks, and herds, that they did not suffer with hunger.
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
And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.
1 Nephi 17:2-3
2 And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.
3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.
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.....
(PT)Positive Thoughts create (PF)Positive Feelings which create (PA)Positive Actions which create a (PC)Positive Character/Celestial Nature.
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."
L. Tom Perry "Let Him Do It With Simplicity" November 2008 Ensign
If thou art sorrowful, call on the Lord thy God with supplication, that your souls may be joyful.
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.
24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
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.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Things to do when we are in stress or adversity....
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”
"When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, 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. 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."
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
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;.
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.