General Conference Book Club Week 20: Elder Watson

Elder Kent D. Watson gave a fantastic talk called “Being Temperate in All Things” in the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference.  It is a short talk, but a fresh and powerful message.  I don’t think I’d ever given the word temperance much thought before, but I will now.

“Security for our families comes from learning self-control, avoiding the excesses of this world, and being temperate in all things. Peace of mind comes from strengthened faith in Jesus Christ. Happiness comes from being diligent in keeping covenants made at baptism and in the holy temples of the Lord.”

Study the talk and let me know what temperance means to you— in your life.  You can read it, or watch it, or listen.  Countdown to next General Conference (and springtime) is on . . .

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6 thoughts on “General Conference Book Club Week 20: Elder Watson

  1. I loved how Elder Watson said that being temperate is coupled with having an increase in spiritual strength. Boy is that needed these days (in my life at least)!
    In YW yesterday we read Proverbs 15:1, how a soft word turneth away wrath… In a world when snarkiness and rudeness is so prevalent, it was a wonderful reminder that simply apologizing or holding our tongue in the first place goes so much farther than getting in that last jab or perpetuating any argument. Elder Watson said, “with increased spiritual strength, we are able to develop self-mastery and to live with moderation. We learn to control, or temper, our anger, vanity, and pride.”
    What a blessing to know that pride and our tempers are overcome-able, even when being put to stressful tests.

  2. I really liked the reference to tempured glass. It increases in strength so it does not break into jagged pieces under stress. I can almost see myself “breaking into jagged pieces under stress” when I am not practicing temperance. I really want to master myself when it comes to how I control my anger towards kids or my husband. I don’t “lose it” often but I don’t want to ever regret how I behave. Temperance seems to encompass self control over some hard ones: anger, pride and vanity. I like having a better grasp on what temperance is and why it is important to me.

  3. “Being temperate is to use moderation in all things or to exercise self-control.”

    “Being temperate means to carefully examine our expectations and desires, to be diligent and patient in seeking righteous goals.”

    “A temperate soul—one who is humble and full of love—is also a person of increased spiritual strength.”

    To me, being temperate is always keeping the big picture in mind – not letting the distractions of the world overshadow the really important things – always questioning everything’s value in the grand scheme of things… It’s choosing everyday actions that bring me and my family closer to Christ.

  4. Yes, I am still doing the GCBC, Steph. (Just haven’t been so good at the commenting part lately!) You’re right – it has made it so much easier to accomplish the goal of reading all the talks. I think my biggest hangup the last time (okay, times) I set that goal was the indecision of which talk to read next. Problem solved – thank you!

    As for this talk, I enjoyed the analogy of tempered glass. I kept wishing I could be like my windshield, and not fall to pieces on the difficult days. It seems so much attention is given (in real life and in the media) to people who tend to live the extremes, whereas those on an even keel, quietly going about their business without causing a ton of drama, are barely noticed. I think I need to give more credit to those even-keelers in my life – the steady, strong ones who are so quick to help others – in part because their own lives, while not easy, are under control and in perspective.

    I hope this rambling paragraph makes sense. Temperance is definitely one of those qualities that I need to work on most, and I think the blessings that come from it are worth the seeking.

  5. I think we so often underestimate the STRENGTH of character that is gained by a life of constant, simple, quiet good works and humble efforts. Temperance reminds me a lot of meekness– doing things just right, gently, balanced, and focused. It’s a principle I want to pay more attention to.

  6. Just wanted to let you know that I read this talk and enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the comments here a lot too. Much to think about for me.

    I’m behind in my reading but I’m almost caught up! Thanks for doing this, I’ve never read so many of the talks before.

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