Invigorating?

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Nick Galieti, who interviewed me about my book a while back (you can listen to that here), wrote me this morning to let me know that he had written an article about it in the Deseret News.

That was a fun surprise.

There were also a couple other surprises.

The title of the article was “LDS author Stephanie Dibb Sorensen invigorates motherhood with practical doctrine”. I love that he used the words motherhood and doctrine together because that’s really what I hope makes the book different. I tried hard to steer away from fluff and to just show through scripture and personal experiences how our daily mothering is really the doctrine of Jesus Christ in action. The word “invigorates” made me laugh a little because, although it’s a great word and it felt like a compliment, the idea that I “invigorate motherhood” just humors me. I spent several hours this week doing yard work. This made me feel old and sore. Ever since I got home from church today, I’ve been fantasizing about taking a nap. I fantasize about naps on most days. So I don’t consider myself a very invigorating specimen of motherhood, but I’m so glad Nick thinks I am. :)

The other surprise from the article was the discovery that I apparently speak out loud in very long run-on sentences. I should really learn to punctuate a little bit when I speak. I am a fast talker, especially when I’m nervous, but now I know that I also craft paragraph-sized sentences effortlessly.

Warning: subject change….

I’ve been blogging for a long time, and one thing I’ve learned is how thoughtful and smart my readers are. There are many times that your comments have encouraged me or helped to me to gain insight into circumstances and principles. Some of you may have read a recent post I wrote called “An open letter to two real moms.” Among lots of other run-on sentences, I whined a little about book signings and I shared a few lessons I learned from general conference, including this one:

President Packer testified of the power of mothers’ prayers. Sure that means prayers for our children, but I also think it means prayers when we need help being a parent. God will honor those prayers.

Well, this morning I got a comment on that post that is still in my moderation queue, and I’ve been thinking about it most of the day. I have a variety of ideas, but I’m not sure I know how to answer her. I decided that I’m going to open it up to you to help answer her question.

Where is the help, I need it now! I have been poring out prayers to heaven. They say we have this power as a mother to get help from heaven. Well, where is it. I need it, and have been asking for it for years.

I will allow her to remain anonymous and I will email her and let her know that many wise mothers will be sharing some thoughts with her. Be kind to her and answer as if she were your own daughter, because I think she could use a little “invigorating.” Just share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks, friends.

GCBC Week 10: “Come unto Me, O Ye House of Israel” By Elder Larry Echo Hawk

Okay, we’re in the holiday season, so admittedly, we’re all dragging a little bit. I mean, I’m in charge of GCBC, and even *I* haven’t made any comments. So just stick with me for the next couple of weeks, and at least read the talks, and then come January 1st, we’ll all make a New Year’s Resolution to do some good studying, pondering, and discussing.  Deal?

This week’s talk by Elder Larry Echo Hawk was one of my favorites. His simple powerful testimony was inspiring to me.

“Come unto Me, O Ye House of Israel”

By Elder Larry Echo Hawk

As a 17-year-old boy reading the Book of Mormon for the first time, I focused on Moroni’s promise: “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4).

As I knelt in prayer, I received a powerful spiritual witness that the Book of Mormon is true. That witness has helped me chart my course through life.

I exhort all people to read the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

What stood out to you from this talk? How about any goals or applications? Please share in the comments below some of your insights.

(A reminder to those of you who are new to General Conference Book Club: You’re welcome to return to this post any time this week and leave your comment and thoughts in the comment section below. You may also want to see what others are saying about the talk and engage in a conversation for mutual understanding and encouragement. A new talk will be posted each Sunday and will be studied and discussed throughout the week.)

GCBC Week 25: “The Privilege of Prayer” by Elder J. Devn Cornish

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Next to LAST talk.  Conference is coming.

You will remember this talk if I give you two hints:  fried chicken and a quarter.  See?  It was a great story that helped us learn that Heavenly Father cares about everything that we care about– even things that might seem insignificant.  I love Elder Cornish’s testimony and stories about prayer.

The Privilege of Prayer by Elder J. Devn Cornish

” When we truly believe that God rules His kingdom and that He has all power and all glory, we are recognizing that He really is in charge, that He loves us with a perfect love, and that He wants us to be happy. I have found that one of the secrets to a joyful life is to recognize that doing things the Lord’s way will make me happier than doing things my way.”

What are some of your favorite insights from this talk?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.” If you want to learn more, go here, and then join the discussion right here each week.

GCBC Week 19: “Stand in Holy Places” by President Thomas S. Monson

Traditionally, the prophet is the final speaker during the Sunday morning session of general conference.  It’s always exciting to hear what is the message that the living prophet will teach us.  It’s funny how we sometimes expect to hear something new and exciting, but the Lord uses his mouthpiece most often to remind us to lay hold upon doctrines that have been taught many times before.  There is power in this kind of repetition, though.  I always feel like the prophet is helping us to focus on what really matters most.  He points us to the doctrines that most have the power to save us, to protect us from the current ills of society, and to prepare us for the challenges to come.  I’m so thankful for a living prophet, and I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God.

President Monson’s message explores some of the shifting values of our world, and then testifies:

“Although the world has changed, the laws of God remain constant. They have not changed; they will not change.”

Stand in Holy Places by President Thomas S. Monson

” I declare to you, however, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the Spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments. That Spirit cannot be present at the kinds of activities in which so much of the world participates. . . .

As a means of being in the world but not being of the world, it is necessary that we communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer. He wants us to do so; He’ll answer our prayers.”

How have these principles, and others he taught, blessed your life?  What changes do you feel like you can make to better heed the prophet’s counsel?  Share your thoughts or insights in the comments below.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.” If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion here each week.

Preparing Yourself for General Conference

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Here’s the thing about General Conference that’s key:  The talks can answer your prayers and give you specific, personal direction for whatever you’re dealing with in your life.  When you open your mind and heart to the possibility of finding those answers, they are there.  Totally there.  This is where my deep love of General Conference comes from– some of my most specific, immediate answers to prayers and heart-musings have come through living prophets speaking straight to me right through my TV screen.  Those answers have come in the form of reassurances, gentle chastenings, practical ideas, reminders, and simple expressions of love.  The Holy Ghost helps me feel what the message is for me.

Here are a few disjointed thoughts and suggestions that might help you get more out of your conference experience.

  1. Pray.  A lot.  Just ramp it up a little this week.  Any time you find yourself worrying or wondering or stressing about anything in your life– no matter how small– make it a matter of prayer.  Even a quick turn-your-thoughts-upward prayer will do.  Lay that concern out for Heavenly Father and ask Him to help you find some kind of answer or direction as you listen to conference.
  2. Write those questions down.  This can help you keep them in your prayers and thoughts.  It can be a list or a collection of scrap paper.  One year I wrote individual questions on post-it notes and stuck them in my scriptures.  You might even want to keep those written questions right on your lap as you listen to the conference talks.  Keep looking at them and keep listening for related content.  Continue reading