General Conference Book Club Week 5: President Monson

04_06_monsoHappy Mother’s Day!  This week we will study President Thomas S. Monson’s talk from the Sunday morning session of General Conference.  Did you get your Conference edition of the Ensign in the mail this week?!  Now we can carry it around with us and catch up on reading in the car, at the gym, etc.  Anyway, I’ve been accused by someone I love who shall remain nameless (cough, cough, Matt, cough), of being a little bit grumpy lately, so I figured maybe I should revisit President Monson’s message:  “Be of Good Cheer.”  I remember listening to it and feeling like I should be more grateful for the abundant blessings and relative ease of my life.  I’m looking forward to reading it again.  “Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”

If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club, click here to learn more about it. You’re welcome to join us at any point along the way.  Just like a New Year’s Resolution, I’ve noticed our comments have been waning on the GCBC posts from week to week, so let’s rally this week and share our insights as we read the words of our living prophet, seer, and revelator.

>>Click here to read “Be of Good Cheer” by President Thomas S. Monson<<

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I also wanted to share part of a talk called “Choose the Good Part,” which was given exactly 25 years ago in the Spring General Conference by Elder Marvin J. Ashton.

“My personal definition of a good woman is any woman who is moving in the right direction. I humbly thank God constantly for their courage, strength, and commitment. Through you noble sisters, each in different circumstances in life, by your example, encouragement, conduct, and personal integrity, God’s work goes forward with greater purpose and accomplishment.  . . . Oh, how powerful are good women who choose the good part.”

“Sisters, do not allow yourselves to be made to feel inadequate or frustrated because you cannot do everything others seem to be accomplishing. Rather, each should assess her own situation, her own energy, and her own talents, and then choose the best way to mold her family into a team, a unit that works together and supports each other. Only you and your Father in Heaven know your needs, strengths, and desires. Around this knowledge your personal course must be charted and your choices made.” . . .

“Commune daily with your Heavenly Father who knows you best of all. He knows your talents, your strengths, and your weaknesses. You are here on the earth at this time to develop and refine these characteristics. I promise you He will help you. He is aware of your needs. He is aware of your unanswered prayers.” . . .

“God bless our valiant women . . . . You are choice in His […] eyes. We pray that with His help and our personal efforts happiness will be achieved. Certainly when we choose the good part, regardless of our current circumstances or situations, life will be lived to the fullest.”

Have a great Mother’s Day!  Don’t you dare get “mother guilt” when you listen to all those Mother’s Day talks and stuff.  🙂  You’re doing good work.

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10 thoughts on “General Conference Book Club Week 5: President Monson

  1. I love the second paragraph of this quote! It speaks right to me. So many times I do not feel quite inadequate, but I definitely feel frustrated when I have a constant headache and frequent migraine attacks and cannot do everything others accomplish. I need to always be reminded that I need to remember my energy level and talents when “mold[ing] [my] family into a team.” Sometimes, my situation creates opportunities other families don’t have to draw us together and strengthen our family. I need to remember that Heavenly Father knows me and knows what my family needs. Thanks for the quote! Also, I’m excited for the talk this week. Every once in a while (okay, fine!…nearly every day!) I need that reminder to be of good cheer through my trials.

  2. Okey-dokey.

    Can we just say that the title of this talk could just as easily have been “THOU SHALT NOT WHINE”????

    I remember hearing this talk when he first gave it, and thinking that I was never going to look at a tablespoon the same way again.

    So, I re-read it tonight, and then I listened to it, and then read through it again. This is what I took away this time:

    From the Three Examples of Perseverance that President Monson brought up, this is what I think he wanted us to learn from them:

    From his ancestors who left their home to cross the sea and lost their little boy, I think he wanted us to learn that our testimonies can give us faith, courage, and determination to make the sacrifices we need to make to be exalted.

    From the Polynesian man that was blind, I think he wanted us to learn that our testimonies have the ability to bring us light, faith, and joy. (Whether our trials are removed from us or not.)

    And from the starving Prussian woman who lost her WHOLE family (wow. just…wow) I think he wants us to learn that “Our love of our Heavenly Father and our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments.”

    I’m going to keep thinking and see if any other thoughts rise to the surface. In the meantime, I’m going to tape a tablespoon to my cupboard with a note above it that says “BE OF GOOD CHEER.”

    • Becca, I’m so glad you drew a “moral” from each of the stories. Pres. Monson is a great story teller, and I’m afraid that sometimes I shrug them off as nice, warm-fuzzy stories but don’t pay enough attention to the principle behind the parable. I’m going to try harder to do that as I re-read the talk today. I’ll make my own comments later tonight.

  3. It’s hard to avoid the mommy guilt when you’re the one GIVING the talk. Oi. The disadvantages of having a husband in the branch presidency, I tell you . . .

    Thanks for sharing that though. It helps. A lot.

  4. For me, this talk could have been entitled, “You Can Do It!”

    I’m so grateful to be reminded that though adversity comes to everyone, we can have joy and peace though our faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I’ve been getting nervous about preparing my children to face the world, scared that I won’t give them the spiritual armor they need to prevail. I’m grateful to be reminded that I can do all things through Christ, and that He will consecrate my efforts.

    What a great message!

  5. I’m excited to read this talk! Last week was a CRAZY week around here (lots and lots of outside drama), so I didn’t get to that talk, but hopefully this week will be more calm!

    I love those quotes from Elder Ashton’s talk. I think there are so many moms that just don’t give themselves credit! I love that first line: “My personal definition of a good woman is any woman who is moving in the right direction.” So true!

  6. Someone in our congregation said, “That as Latter-day Saints we have every reason to be happy.” The woman with the tablespoon personifies that statement. She understood the Plan of Salvation, and that her loss of her children were but a small moment. I hope that I can do the same–personify the statement of a happy Latter-day Saint.

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