Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Didn't Think This Was My Favorite Conference Talk....

Today's "assignment", if you want to call it that, for the 40-day challenge is to pick a favorite Conference talk from October 2013. That in and of itself is a challenge, picking just one, or one that is supposed to be my MOST favorite, when there are so many that are equally fabulous.

I could have easily picked Elder Holland's talk (couldn't we all!), "Like a Broken Vessel". I remember where I was when I heard it as he delivered it that Saturday afternoon. I remember what (else, besides listening) I was doing, and the very physical reaction I had to his words.

But, I went another direction today and landed on Elder Christofferson's talk, "The Moral Force of Women". I remembered it once I began watching it again, just not quite with the detail I remember Elder Holland's talk...

Oh BOY was it a good one. It could very well be my new favorite. If you haven't decided on a talk for today, and are working your way through the challenge, I highly recommend it.

Watch it here:

I love his use of the words "moral force", how morality brings authority and that to have a moral influence as women in particular is vital. 

I love that we as women can cultivate, preserve and protect the moral environment in our homes by what we watch, what we say and what we wear and by what we allow others to do while in our home.  

What stands out to you in Elder Christofferson's talk? I'd love to hear your thoughts.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Genealogy vs. Family History

Do you ever go to your own page on Facebook and just scroll?

Scroll and remember?

Remember as you see and read the pictures you've posted and the comments people've made?

I have been using the "only me" feature for a while, posting things I find in my news feed that I want to keep but don't want to bother everyone else with. Like the lemon brownies recipe or the list of uses for apple cider vinegar. Stuff like that.

I was looking through the last month's or so of posts and came across some comments from around my brother's birthday at the beginning of April.

A friend who knew our parents before we were born commented about her memories of both of our births. This is what she wrote:

 I remember all of the details from yours and [your brother's] births... I looked up to your parents as my "pseudo-brother and sister!" Grandma called me here in Dallas (I was 10 1/2 and in the 5th grade) to tell me that [your mom and dad] a baby boy today ...  I thought she was playing an April Fools joke on me... Lol

On the evening of [your birth], Grandma & Grandpa had taken me and my visiting aunt and uncle to eat dinner at The Summit House on Sandia Crest (which, for the last 30 years, has been High Finance)... Anyhow, while we were eating, we got paged for a phone call. They brought the phone to our table and it was your dad... Maryhelen Elizabeth Evans was born! I was sooooo excited!! 😀 Great memories!! 💕

The year she was talking about was 1975....WAY before cell phones. To have a phone brought to the table is impressive to me. To me it shows how excited my dad was and how important it was to him that he reach these people.

It's these kinds of remembrances that set family history apart from genealogy. Genealogy is the facts: names and dates and places, while family history is just that: the history of your family. Pictures, stories, memories. 

My friend's comment helped me to know better the excitement that not only she felt but also that my dad was feeling the night of my birth. Since I don't remember one single thing about that night myself, it's wonderful to hear a first-hand account from someone other than the principle players.

And maybe, help me love my dad just a little bit more. 

Working to learn as much as we can about our long-ago family will help us know them when we finally meet them. I have lots of questions and lots of hugs to give. I'm sure there are many generations of grandmothers who are watchful over me, and I look forward to spending time with each one of them. 

We can deepen our understanding of who we are by searching out our family history. We will be bettered for all of our efforts. Once again it's evident that the things the Lord asks us to do are really for our benefit. I haven't found one thing he asks that isn't that way. Pretty amazing.

Good luck to you as you start or continue to learn about your family. 


Monday, April 21, 2014

General Conference 40-day Challenge

You may have already started your own 40-day General Conference Challenge, but if not, you can jump in today!

The challenge I'm participating in started last Wednesday (the 16th) with Elder Corbridge's talk on The Prophet Joseph Smith.

You can find the entire 40-day list that I'm following here. But there are others, like this one, that accomplish the same thing, just in a different order.

It has been a wonderful several days, getting to review one talk at a time. Sometimes, I've watched it, then read it, then had it playing in the background, several times throughout the day. It's a wonderful thing to bring the spirit of General Conference back into my home.

Last night I had to play catch up from a busy weekend and turned on Saturday and Sunday's talks. My daughter was nearby cleaning the kitchen and I loved that she came in when each talk was over to ask "which one now?". She was listening, even while doing the dishes.

Today's talk is by Linda S. Reeves and is entitled, "Protection from Pornography -- a Christ-Focused Home". I couldn't help but think that just the exercise of participating in the challenge helps me feel like my home is more Christ-Focused. I'm sure you'll feel that sort of spirit by participating, too.

Find Sister Reeves' talk here. Watch it, read it, do both separately or at the same time. Then come back and tell me what stood out to you.

I loved her quote from President Kimball about spouses (read the talk to find that quote).

I loved how she spoke directly to the youth, including her 13 grandchildren who were in the audience that day.

I loved how she shared her own experience of being a stretched-thin mom, and how she learned where her priorities needed to be, and where ours need to be also. I appreciate her testimony of doing those simple, necessary things in her home and the power that comes from doing them. I can add my testimony to hers of the power of those things ~ daily prayer and scripture study as a family and weekly family home evenings. I feel the same sort of comfort in knowing we're trying to do the things we've been asked to do so that when challenges do come we can call on Heavenly Father with a sense of peace as we've done first what He's asked us to do.

Enjoy this talk, and the others in the challenge. Don't be afraid to jump in today, and don't worry about needing to catch up or that you're behind somehow. You're not. Nothing magical (or terrible) happens on the official end date of the challenge that will take away your ability to see/read any talk. Just go back then and take a few extra days to review the ones that you missed.