My main goal was to listen for themes and remember talks to watch on my own. The theme that stuck out to me most was the great need for LOVE. Two talks that I revisited already are Elder Bednar's and President Uctdorff's from Saturday morning. There are a few more that I'll go back to: President Monson on Sunday morning about doing something good today and Elder Christofferson and Elder Cook in the afternoon.
So after rewatching Bednar and Uctdorff's talks here are my notes and thoughts:
Elder Bednar More diligent and concerned at home:
- Tell people we love that we love them. “What we know is not always reflected in what we do…as disciples of the Savior we are not merely striving to know more. Rather, we need to consistently do more of what we know is right and become better.” Say it, mean it, and consistently show it. Express and demonstrate love. We will never regret kind words. “Our love for spouse, parents and children is reflected most powerfully in our thoughts, in our words, and our deeds. Such love nurtures and sustains faith in God.” It is the desire of every human.
- Bear testimony and live it. It need not be lengthy or eloquent. Shouldn’t be restricted to fast Sunday. When was the last time you bore your testimony to your spouse or children or parents? “Bearing a heartfelt testimony is only a beginning. We need to bear it. We need to mean it. But most importantly we need consistently to live it. Create and look for opportunities to share our testimonies. Testimony generates light in a world of darkness.
- Be consistent. Family prayer, scripture study and FHE. The consistency of "the little things" is perhaps the greatest lesson our children will learn. Each family prayer, episode of scripture study and FHE is an individual brush stroke that by itself may seem insignificant, but together creates a great masterpiece. Many of the savior’s harshest rebukes were directed at hypocrites. Express love and SHOW it. Bear testimony and LIVE it. And be consistent. Children are often the most alert and sensitive to your hypocrisy. It weakens the foundation of a great work. Thou shalt not bear false witness can mean to not be hypocritical. Be more faithful in learning, living, and loving the gospel of Christ.
Love really needs to be at the center of everything I do, but most importantly, everything I do as a parent, including discipline. I need to not yell out of anger. Will my kids do things they shouldn't? Yes, but my response always needs to be motivated out of love for them and a desire for them to really understand how their behavior affects themselves and others.
Live my testimony! Very good reminder. It calls for me to scrutinize my day to day actions. How do I spend my time? What do I seek after? What unimportant things do I waste my time on and what important things am I leaving out? This reminds me of Sister Thompson's talk from RS conference last week. Bridge the gap between what we believe and how we live. I need to start building that bridge piece by piece. One step at a time.
We really need to be more consistent in our FHE. We read a scripture and pray as a family at bed time, but those could be improved upon also. Also, I need to find something in the way of discipline that we can agree on and be consistent. Kids are great at finding loopholes and inconsistencies and exploiting them.
President Uchtdorf Becoming Disciples of Christ:
Of all the things we want to be known for, we want to be known as disciples of Christ.
How do we become true Disciples of Christ?
- "If you love me, keep my commandments." This is the essence of being a disciple of Christ.
- "Thou shalt love the Lord." This is the first great commandment. The Second is that we must "love our neighbors as ourselves". Because love is the great commandment it ought to be at the center of every thing we do in our families, church callings, and our work. Love is the healing balm that helps repair rifts in our personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love should be our walk and our talk. When we love God, obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden. His power and glory is not diminished when we do not love him. He doesn’t need us to love Him, but oh how we need to love God. What we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are and who we will become. We are God’s children. We have a vast capacity for love. It is our divine heritage. At the heart of joy you will find the love of good things.
- The greatest of all good things is God. We love Him because He first loved us. Regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our sorrow or mistakes, God desires we draw near to Him so He can draw near to us. How can we draw nearer to God? Search for Him. That’s more than offering a simple prayer or proclaiming that we love or know him. We must keep His commandments. We increase our love and demonstrate our love by aligning our thoughts and actions with Him. Don’t do it out of fear or obligation but out of an earnest desire to become more like Him and because of our love for Him.
- Don’t get discouraged if you stumble at times. The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try. Choose to listen to the Father and DO the things he asks of us. Try and keep on trying till that which seems difficult becomes possible and that which seems only possible becomes a habit and part of you.
- Listen for his voice! As you study, as you attend the temple, in nature, in your daily interaction with others, in the words of a child…listen for his voice. If you listen, he will lead you on a course to become disciples and more holy. It will lead us out of darkness and into light.
God is love. As we approach Him we will understand and feel His love more fully and we will be able to share that love more freely. As a parent I need to first learn God's doctrine, study my scriptures more diligently, pray more fervently, and then listen. (As a friend reminded me this week, Elder Boyd K. Packer said in another talk, "The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.")
He will guide me and help me discern my kids' needs. I just have to have faith that He will help me. I am not on my own. I can study books about behavior and try and implement techniques and tricks, but I will be most successful as a parent if I have the holy ghost as a companion to guide and direct. The other things merely supplement. Changing my behavior (and more importantly my heart) may be hard. I may stumble and make mistakes, but as I try and keep on trying to become a better and calmer parent, the good things I do will eventually become habits that will then become a part of who I fundamentally am.