In which I become a cat lady and say controversial things.

A while back, I was severely sleep deprived and a neighbor found some stray kittens. In my weakened state, I gave into my children’s impassioned pleas, and we became the reluctant owners of “Lizzie” (inspired by Pride and Prejudice, don’t tell my kids). I have never had a cat. I never wanted a cat, and never planned to want one.  I just want to report that it has been surprisingly much more pleasant than I imagined. Lizzie is way easier than any of my children have ever been, so despite all the new expenses required for the care of my “free” kitten, I guess I don’t regret it.  This is the part where I post a picture of my cat and cross to the dark side:

You may not have noticed, but this week there was an election. Some people are ecstatic with the results; some have dusted off their Apocalypse survival kits. Either way, feelings run high, and I’m weary of the discussion of it. (I remind you I hold the power of the delete button in the comment thread.) I will sum up my non-partisan feelings this way:  I love this country. I hope for this country. I’m worried for this country. And I know better than to place all my faith and/or fear into one political candidate. I will not bore you with the scriptures and quotes you’ve all seen floating around the internet, meant to vilify or glorify our current national condition. I will, however, share a quote that I’ve loved before and love today. Barbara Bush said this in 1990, and it puts the responsibility for this nation back where it belongs–with us:

“Your success as a family … our success as a society depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house.”

And that is what I’m feeling strongly. I’ve read several articles lately that statistically show the trends of our nation (break that down to its ingredients: individuals, homes, families) moving farther away from specific Christian principles. The news claims that our country is increasingly more secular than religious. I believe, in the context of prophesy, that we are in danger of losing God’s promised protection if we, individually, do not try harder to embrace truth and righteousness and make our homes into little greenhouses of goodness. I was reading about Captain Moroni today, and these were some of the characteristics that made him “impervious” to the moral decay around him: he gloried in God, he had faith, he protected his people, he kept the commandments, and he resisted iniquity. It was/is a simple and powerful list. The scripture declared that Satan would have no power over the hearts of men if they were all like Moroni.

Faith and family are both consistently losing value in modern society, so we must strengthen them and value them and testify of them in as many ways as we can. I personally feel a battle cry to make my home a bunker– to arm my children with truth, doctrine, faith, testimony, confidence, strategies, and a knowledge of how to use the Spirit in their lives. I am not a doomsdayer; I do not believe that the horsemen of the apocalypse have been let loose, but I DO recognize how confusing our world has become.  It’s a bewildering place if you don’t have foundational principles to cling to and navigate by. If it’s confusing to me and other adults, it must be overwhelmingly distressing for children. So that’s where I’ll start. With mine.

1green·house, noun \-ˌhau̇s\

Definition of GREENHOUSE

1: a structure enclosed (as by glass) and used for the cultivation or protection of tender plants

GCBC Week 26: “The Sanctifying Work of Welfare” by Bishop H. David Burton

LAST week of General Conference Book Club.  Last.  Can you believe it?  This means two things:

  1. We did it.
  2. Only 6 more days until we get to hear the word of the Lord again from prophets and apostles.

This coming week will be a General Conference Extravaganza here on Diapers and Divinity as we get ready for another session to begin.  Starting tomorrow, watch for preparation ideas, a meme that you can participate in on your own blog, some highlights, packets for children, etc.  So, you know, stay tuned.

Do you want me to keep doing General Conference book club here on the blog?  There’s always a huge turnout for week one, and then it kind of dwindles off little by little.  I don’t mind continuing it for even a few people if they find it meaningful and helpful.

So whether you’re a regular or thinking of joining in, I’d like to know what you’re thinking. 

Okay, for this week, our last talk is “The Sanctifying Work of Welfare” by Bishop H. David Burton.

“The purpose, promises, and principles that reinforce our work of caring for the poor and needy extend far beyond the bounds of mortality. This sacred work is not only to benefit and bless those who suffer or are in need. As sons and daughters of God, we cannot inherit the full measure of eternal life without being fully invested in caring for each other while we are here on earth. It is in the benevolent practice of sacrifice and giving of ourselves to others that we learn the celestial principles of sacrifice and consecration.”

I feel like this message makes a lovely companion to Sister Allred’s talk from the Relief Society Broadcast last night.

What does this talk make you think or feel?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you’re visiting for the first time and you want to know more about what we do here for General Conference Book Club, click here.

GCBC Week 25: “Establishing a Christ-Centered Home” and “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”

Okay, we are doubling up this week since we’re running out of time (ONE more week of GCBC before a new conference!), and I love, LOVE, love both of these talks. It will be worth your time to study them both this week, I promise.

Establishing a Christ-Centered Home

by Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Seventy

“Because Satan understands that true happiness in this life and in the eternities is found in the form of family, he does everything in his power to destroy it.”

and

What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?

by Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy

“A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself.”

I could put hundreds of quotes here that I loved from both talks.  How about you?  What were your favorite principles from these talks?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.  If you’re new to General Conference Book Club, get more info here.

GCBC Week 9: Let There Be Light!

“Let There Be Light!”
Elder Quentin L. Cook
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Elder Cook’s talk is a call to action.  He wants us to be more proactive against the forces of evil.

“If we do not black out evil from our homes and lives, do not be surprised if devastating moral explosions shatter the peace which is the reward for righteous living. Our responsibility is to be in the world but not of the world.”

For me, personally, I took away three action items:

  1. Resurrect my Protecting Innocence Project and do my part to fight the influence of evil media.
  2. Be positive, be bold, and remember civility.
  3. My home needs to be a bunker– a holy refuge.

How about you? What are your favorite principles or quotes from Elder Cook’s talk?  Is there anything you learned here that you had not considered before?  What stood out to you as you studied it?  And, most importantly, what did it make you feel or want to do?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  Participation kind of dropped off a little last week.  I know it was a crazy holiday and all, so jump back on board and be an active participant.  I’ll be sad if you start falling off the GCBC wagon.  I love your contributions.  (If this is your first time to General Conference Book Club, click here to learn more about it.)

p.s.  Thanks for your patience with the delay and your sweet comments about Clark.  He is doing fine, and I’ll post more about him tomorrow.