I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from The Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity - the pure love of Christ - will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.
- President Marion G. Romney

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Latter-Day Saint Voices-Ensign July 2009

Last night was one of those perfect nights. The boys went to bed early, the kitchen was clean and I had time to lay in bed and read church magazines before falling asleep.

I was reading from the friend looking for ideas for family night lessons for the month. My husband passed me the Ensign with the page opened to this article and said I think you need to read this. I did, twice. Maybe even three times. (Repetition is good) I learned something new each and every time I read it.

Was I Living the Gospel Fully?

By Carolynn R. Spencer

Carolynn R. Spencer, “Was I Living the Gospel Fully?,” Ensign, July 2009, 71

My scripture study would have to wait. All three of our sons had awakened—and much earlier than usual. The youngest, Caden, then 18 months old, was screaming in his crib. I went into his room and saw instantly that he was sick.

Thus began a Monday of one challenge after another. At one point, shortly after I had changed Caden’s clothes and tried to feed him, he flung a large jar onto the floor, spilling applesauce everywhere and sending shattered glass across the kitchen. As I was cleaning up the mess, I thought about all the things I wasn’t getting done: family history, service, home storage, missionary work.

“How in the world can I do everything I know I should be doing when I am barely managing the basic tasks of my day?” I wondered. By early evening I was exhausted, but I set aside discouraging thoughts during dinner, family home evening, and the boys’ bath and bedtime routine.

Finally, with the children in bed, I sat down to do what I had not had time for earlier. I picked up the May 2006 Ensign, which was open to a talk by President Henry B. Eyring titled “As a Child.” My eyes fell on a passage I had previously marked: “To keep the blessing of [changed natures] in our hearts will require determination, effort, and faith. King Benjamin taught at least some of what that will require. He said that to retain a remission of our sins from day to day we must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually and temporally” (Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 17).

Immediately, I again felt that I wasn’t living the gospel fully. I wondered, “How can I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually and temporally when I can scarcely take care of my own family?”

That’s when I experienced an overwhelming feeling of divine approval. It was so clear, precise, and tangible that I knew I had to write it down so I wouldn’t forget. I could see my day replay in my mind—full of feeding the hungry, doing laundry to clothe the naked (I changed Caden’s outfit multiple times), gently caring for our sick baby, helping our five-year-old prepare a family home evening lesson on missionary work, and then discussing the power of example with my family—in other words, helping people spiritually and temporally.

The impression flowed with such an overpowering feeling of peace that I knew the Lord was telling me He had accepted my offering. In caring for my family, I was fulfilling the admonitions of King Benjamin and President Eyring.


TaLaisa said...

I'm going to comment here because I don't want my editorial comments to effect how the story is read.

I loved that first of all my husband recognized that I needed to read this article. I love that he is so sensitive to my feelings and intune with the impressions of the Spirit.

About the story related I thought, how many mothers must feel this way? How many of us find ourselves saying "I'll be a better more giving servant when my children are grown?" Without realizing that what we do within the walls of our home is indeed service.

I began to think about the positive happy feelings I have when I serve others. I wondered why they were absent when serving my children. Is it because I'm not serving with a grateful heart, is it a mundane task that must be done and not an opportunity to serve and love my family? I felt a new resolve that I can indeed feel the joy of serving when I change the way I look at the opportunities to serve.

Like the song from Sunday's post said, there are opportunities all around. Right now. I'm going to choose to serve, and serve with a grateful heart. ]

Maybe we can have a follow up post and see how the changing of the attitude toward serving our families effects our outcome.

LA Adams said...

As a first time mother in Austin Texas (many many years ago), I visited Sister Cole who had four young children at the time- I noticed a series of beautiful framed pictures of mothers holding, rocking, and loving babies down her hall. I commented on how nice they were and she said they were there to remind her how important and beautiful her life was 'right now'.

bjackson photography said...

Even though I don't have little children at home to care for, I too cannot get past the attitude that I am not doing something "significant" such as feed the poor, clothing the naked, caring for the sick. I work full time and of course it just doesn't seem like there is enough time to do the things that matter most. (Things I would consider important). Then Heavenly Father reminded me, through a blessing given by my husband that others around me are looking for an example, leadership and comfort. I can give those things, and I just needed that little reminder that some of the most important times of serving, when done with the heart are small simple things we don't realize we are doing because it is done with love. It's when the service doesn't feel like service that we are giving the most of ourselves. Good post.


Scott and Jeanne Anderson said...

What a wonderful thought! Boy did I need to hear this. This is actually the first time that I've come upon your blog as a link from another friends. And I AM SO GRATEFUL! And I must say almost giddy with excitement to talk and read and study with other Mommies and sisters in the Gospel. bjackson-you said it perfectly "It's when the service doesn't feel like service that we are giving the most of ourselves." Love it. Thank you ladies for bringing the spirit and peace to my day. :)

Trina Burgess said...

What a wonderful blog! Thank you for this post about the true value of motherhood. I have a daily struggle to stay present and focused with my family as my mind flies to all the things I want to do to save the world.

I sat down to prepare my Sunday school lesson this evening and in a round about way came across this blog post. I'm thankful for Heavenly Father's gentle "Thank You" and reminder to take care of my family first before I think of saving the world.

Thank you ladies. I see there hasn't been any activity on this blog since 2009. I would love to invite you to the blog I've set up for our study of the New Testament this year. http://fairviewfromhere.blogspot.com/
And I'd love to hear about other scripture study blogs that are current and active.