I don't often share my faith on this blog. Maybe because it's so intensely personal, but perhaps more so I'm afraid of turning people away. Which is silly. After all, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said at this last General Conference, "we have a glad message to share, and we have a message of joy." Why not share my message of joy?
I was very glad when Krista Van Dolzer organized the second annual LDS (aka Mormon) Writer Blogfest. This year everybody participating (see link list below) is sharing their favorite General Conference talk. Twice a year the leaders of our church address us for two days: a beautiful two days when members of the church can gather in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City and listen to counsel and feel the Spirit. An uplifting, happy, renewing two days when all 14 million members of our church worldwide can watch the same conference by live broadcast. (In my case, in my own living room. Thank you BYUTV.)
The conference talk I've chosen was given by Elder Richard J. Maynes regarding Establishing a Christ-Centered Home. Now, if I was to discuss his entire talk, this would be a very long blog post. So I'll narrow my focus just a bit.
One thing, among many, I love about this gospel: a forever family! We believe marriage is forever, not just in this life. When I looked into my husband's eyes in the temple and agreed to marry him (and he to me!) we were agreeing to eternity. We believe that when we die and return to our Father in Heaven, we will still be married and we will still call our children our own. This family relationship is infinite, and our entire lives and beings are focused on returning to our Father in Heaven someday so that we can be together forever.
And that starts at home. It starts with teaching our children about Jesus Christ. Elder Maynes said, "Learning, teaching, and practicing the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our homes helps create a culture where the Spirit can dwell."
A pretty straight forward formula for a Christ-centered home seems to be reading the scriptures and praying together. Also, in our church, families set aside Monday evenings for "Family Home Evening," an evening the family gathers for a lesson, song, prayer, and activity. Right now, our Family Home Evenings are brief because our four year-old is well...four years-old. Last night, for instance, we talked about the Resurrection of the Savior, and how we can return to live with our Heavenly Father, that our bodies will also be re-united with our spirits one day because of what He did.
We try to read scriptures with our son every day. And pray with him every day. And TALK about Jesus every day. However, lest you be confused, I'm not perfect. In fact, I am the perfect example of an imperfect person. Some days it's late and by the time my son is lying in bed in the same room as his slumbering sister, I say, "Hmmm, a bedtime prayer might wake her up." And sometimes I forget who gave me life and who gave me the possibility of forever...and who gave me everything beautiful in this world. And sometimes I forget to tell my son. But I try, and I hope it's enough that he remembers. I want him to grow up with the knowledge that his parents loved their Father in Heaven, loved Jesus Christ (and were infinitely grateful for His Atonement), loved him (our son!) and his baby sister and each other, and that we are looking forward to forever with all of the above.
Annette Lyon: “Desire”
Annie Cechini: “The Spirit of Revelation”
Ben Spendlove: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Chantele Sedgwick: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Charity Bradford: “LDS Women Are Incredible!”
Jackee Alston: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Jenilyn Tolley: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Jennifer McFadden: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home”
Jolene Perry: “It’s Conference Once Again”
Jordan McCollum: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Kasey Tross: “Guided by the Holy Spirit”
Kayeleen Hamblin: “Become as a Little Child”
Kelly Bryson: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Krista Van Dolzer: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Melanie Stanford: “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”
Michelle Merrill: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Myrna Foster: “Opportunities to Do Good”
Nisa Swineford: “Desire”
Sallee Mathews: “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”
Sierra Gardner: “The Atonement Covers All Pain”
Tamara Hart Heiner: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”
The Writing Lair: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus”