General Conference Book Club Week 2: Elder Bednar

A warm welcome to many of the new friends that joined in the Book Club conversation last week.  I hope you stick around for the whole ride.

I wanted to start this round with one of my favorite talks from General Conference.  It offered many answers to my own prayers about how to best prioritize my time and efforts, especially in regards to my family.  Elder David A. Bednar gave this talk, “More Diligent and Concerned at Home,” during the Saturday morning session of conference.  He emphasized three important keys to achieving eternal goals in our families:


  1. Express love— and show it.
  2. Bear testimony— and live it.
  3. Be consistent.

Those suggestions in and of themselves were enough to remind me of some important things I needed to hear, but the rest of the talk is excellent.  I look forward to reading your comments and insights.  You can find the talk here:

To read “More Diligent and Concerned at Home”

To watch or listen to “More Diligent and Concerned at Home”

If this is your first visit to GCBC, and you’d like to know how it works, click here.

(and a little p.s.:  Thank you for your sweet comments and suggestions the other day as I was suffering from my temporary post-conference funk.  My parents came to visit, I successfully carried out several long-overdue home organization projects, and I had opportunities through my calling to teach and bear testimony, and all those things helped me get my “groove” back.  That old adage “Forget yourself and get to work” does wonders.)

Oh, and tonight’s the last night to submit a lullaby for the poetry contest, so get composing. 🙂


60 thoughts on “General Conference Book Club Week 2: Elder Bednar

  1. I listened to it tonight as I did the dishes and I noticed how carefully Elder Bednar structured his talk. A lot of it repeats itself, and I thought that was very effective in helping me GET THE MESSAGE! I also liked how he said that we should overcome feeling embarrassed, unsure, or awkward when it comes to showing/expressing love and bearing testimony. Doing these things are too important to let those types of feelings in the way.

  2. I missed the Saturday morning session because I was trying to make up for a rough and sleepless night due to this baby I’m growing. I’ve heard several people mention Elder Bednar’s talk as a high point for them, and now I understand why. I think this is so reassuring to any parents with children still at home. We don’t always have the most spiritual FHEs or long, deep prayers but we DO always have them, and I can see how that adds up over time. Our family scripture study is very simple. We use the gospel art picture kit and whoever is done with dinner first chooses the next story in order (we’re doing Book of Mormon right now) and reads it aloud while the rest of the family finishes eating. This has allowed my husband and I to bear short and simple testimonies several times about the truth of the principles we’re hearing. Family scripture study is a new habit for us and we’re going to build toward simple versions of the scriptures and then the scriptures themselves, but right now, the habit we’re forming and the focus we have on the stories that teach of Christ and gospel principles is right for our kids. Elder Bednar’s talk helps me feel motivated to continue so that those habits will stay with our kids long after they move off on their own.

    • I love the GAK too! And I believe that the way the stories were written on the back was very inspired. There have been so many times that I’ve been reading them to my children, and have been struck with an intense feeling from the spirit testifying how true the message really is. I’ve found the GAK to be helpful even to me especially for the Old Testament that can be a little rough right out of the scriptures.

  3. Yes, I’m back. I know, don’t drop dead, Steph. I’m sticking with it this time.

    This is one of the few talks I got to hear, as my internet was evidently possessed the day of conference. It was a wonderful talk, and so basic, but so refreshing. These things are so easy, and that makes me wonder why I don’t devote more time to doing them!

  4. It is funny how simple things can make such a difference in our lives. The things he listed were not hard and yet even after working on them for only a week we can see a big difference in our home. I thought the talk was very well organized and I especially liked the end when he illustrated how the three things come together to create a more happy life. It was very well done.

  5. I never really thought about how the consistency of our intent and work is the greatest lesson. Knowing this, will give me strength when family study isn’t going smoothly. **breath in, breath out** “This is just another stroke on our beautiful canvas” I will tell myself 🙂
    Looking forward to studying it more this week.
    Thanks for choosing a goody to start with!

  6. This happens to be the one I read yesterday morning. I love it. I love the part where he talks about his kids fighting during Family Home Evening. Phew.

    The line that stood out to me was “But what we know is not always reflected in what we do.” It makes me more determined to do the right thing. The things I know.

    I also loved “Feeling the security and constancy of love from a spouse, a parent, or a child is a rich blessing. Such love nurtures and sustains faith in God. Such love is a source of strength and casts out fear (see 1 John 4:18). Such love is the desire of every human soul.” and “Feeling the power, the edification, and the constancy of testimony from a spouse, a parent, or a child is a rich blessing. Such testimony fortifies faith and provides direction. Such testimony generates light in a world that grows increasingly dark. Such testimony is the source of an eternal perspective and of enduring peace.” So simple, really. There are so many blessings our children can have by our simply loving them and sharing our testimonies with them–faith in God, no fear, faith, direction, light, eternal perspective, and enduring peace. Lots of great blessings from doing some of those simple things we know are right. And, of course, that consistency brings the blessings.

    Great talk. One of my favorites. I’m looking forward to the insights others had.

  7. As mentioned before, Elder Bednar structured his talk well with each section following the same basic pattern. He introduces each concept, tells us “what we know is not always reflected in what we do,” and then reminds us we need to say (bear) it, mean it, and show (live) it. The last section covers doing all three of those things consistently.

    I love how Elder Bednar labeled family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening as “spiritually essential.” That is so true! They build the foundation AND the basic structure for our testimonies. Without a good foundation or solid structure our testimonies will crumble and fall “when the rains descend, the winds blow, and the floods come.” Consistently making sure our foundation and structures are sound is key.

    My favorite section is the second: Bear Testimony – and live it. We discussed this in Relief Society a couple of weeks ago when I was teaching. A sister asked how we can bear testimony to our children. In the discussion it was mentioned, just as Elder Bednar mentioned, that “bearing of testimony need not be lengthy or eloquent.” We don’t have to bear testimony to our children like we do in Fast and Testimony meeting! We can bear witness throughout the day as different events occur, when we have been lead by the Spirit, when a prayer has been answered, etc.

    To give an example of this – one day my MIL and I were discussing the importance of telling our children when we feel the Holy Ghost or are lead by it’s promptings so that they can learn to discern when the Holy Ghost is speaking to them. If they don’t know what the Holy Ghost feels like or how the Holy Ghost communicates to them, our children won’t be able to obtain a testimony. As Elder Bednar said, “A tesimony is what we know to be true in our minds and in our hearts by the witness of the Holy Ghost . . .The power of pure testimony…is the result of revelation conveyed by the third member of the Godhead, even the Holy Ghost.” A couple of weeks after our discussion I was driving down the road with all my children in tow. The radio was going, the kids were talking loudly, etc. but I distinctly heard a voice telling me to slow down as we neared a particular intersection because the car waiting there would pull out in front of us. I slowed down considerably but still had to slam on my brakes to avoid a deadly collision as the car pulled out. My children, of course, wanted to know what had just happened. Remembering the discussion with my MIL, I turned off the radio and explained how I had heard a voice telling me to slow down. I asked them if they knew who was talking to me. My oldest at the time was 7. She answered that it was the Holy Ghost. I then bore a simple testimony that listening to the Holy Ghost had kept us from harm. Later that day my husband took the kids to get ice cream. He came home telling me that the children had told him what happened on our drive and our oldest had said, “Dad, the Holy Ghost saved our lives today!” He then took that opportunity to share his own simple testimony that yes, the Holy Ghost does save our lives, not only physically but especially spiritually if we will heed his promptings.

    We’ve had many opportunities since then to bear testimony to our children. I just view that day as the “first” realization of how important it is to constantly and consistently bear simple testimony to my children.

  8. I’ve poked in here and there the last few months, but I’m here to stay for this one. 🙂 Thanks so much for doing this!

    I listened to the talk yesterday while getting ready for church, and the part I’m thinking about most right now is about bearing your testimony to your family. I’m pretty lousy at that. Or so I thought. And all day yesterday I was trying to think of different ways to bear testimony – I’ve never been a public testimony share-r at church. Sadly, it makes me uncomfortable. I need to get better at that. But I read Melanie J’s comment above and thought “hey, this can be so easy” – we do our family scripture study the same way. At dinner, we tackle one verse of scripture, or one picture out of the GAPK. All I need to do is end with a short and simple testimony at the end of that (which is all I would have time for with 1, 3 and 5 year olds).

    But this! – where he asks how often we bear testimony to our spouses…Um…almost never? We talk about the gospel a lot, but we don’t bear testimony to each other. I don’t know why I feel weird about this. Artificial. Forced. (tell me I’m not alone?) How do you all feel about it?

    Queen – I love the line you brought up. It makes me want to print out a little thing that says “Make sure what I know is reflected in what I do” and stick it near my computer. I probably won’t even notice it after a week or two, but that’s a good reminder.

    Chocolate – thank you for sharing your story!

    • Julie, I feel the same way about sharing my testimony with my husband! You’re not alone. It feels weird, because hopefully he KNOWS I have a testimony, and it’s not like I’m teaching him how to gain a testimony – like with the kids… Definitely something I need to work on!

      Another weird thing for me is that I have a hard time saying REAL prayers in front of my family. My personal prayers are like talking to another person, but I feel like my family prayers are almost scripted – just because I feel uncomfortable doing it in front of other people for some reason – even in front of my family. Another thing to work on for me!

    • I think the key to remember when bearing testimony to your spouse, is that like Chocolate mentioned, it doesn’t have to be in the formal way that we do it in church. A simple “I know this principle to be true and here’s why” will do. I think that most of us do it more often in casual conversation than we think. I also think that Gospel discussions with our spouses are sooo important to make sure we’re on the same page regarding family, (and other spiritual) matters. Our religion is not just something we believe, but who we are and how we live.

  9. Wow. CIMC, that was quite a story. I very nearly cried when I read the part where your oldest told your husband what had happened, that it was the Holy Ghost who saved lives that day. It just struck me how much he believed you.

    Growing up, my dad was not exactly consistent. In anything. Except going to work. Sure he told us all that he loved/s us, but it wasn’t really acted on in ways that us as children could recognize. Sure he went to church, but he rarely gave us blessings with proper attitude or studied scriptures and whatnot. For the most part, us kids are good kids, but my brother suffered the most from the inconsistency and hypocrisy.

    Anyway, I’ve been deciding what makes a good mother so I can write it down and have some guidelines I can refer to and/or revise on occasion. And then I heard this talk and now I know exactly what I’m going to write down. Elder Bednar really put things into a better perspective for me. And now I’ve got some work to do. 🙂

  10. I like the simple, straightforward nature of Elder Bednar’s talk. Good reminders to be doing the simple, “spiritually essential” things every day. I loved his willingness to shared his own family’s struggles at doing the gospel basics. It’s nice to know that even an apostle’s kids get antsy and quarrelsome during FHE and family prayer. I appreciated his discussion on consistency and the brushstrokes imagery. Very helpful and encouraging.

    • Jan, in President Eyring’s talk from the Priesthood session, it talks about how none of us know if we’re teaching someone who will grow up to be special (like a General Authority), but that we should treat them as if they will be. Hearing stories from the Apostles about their earlier years really makes me realize that I DON’T know if my kids will someday be Relief Society presidents or General Authorities! But I better treat them all that way.

  11. I noticed how he called his wife “Sister Bednar” instead of my wife or by her first name. So much love and respect in that.

    I’m also thinking of how I can show love to my kids more. I tell them, but I’m not sure that I show them. I need to get down on the floor and play more. I need to read more books, do more puzzles, play more games and let the housework slide a little so that they have my attention more. I’m pretty good at showing my husband, I think. We tell each other often as well.

    His talk about being hypocrite spoke to me. I suppose that in some sense I am one, because we aren’t at all consistant about FHE. We don’t pray as a family much or read scriptures together much. I must change this. I must be consistant, and faithful. It will build our family stronger (and show love, I think.)

  12. I am totally on board with what “Chocolate on My Cranium” said. My wavelength follows the same path.

    Here are some additional thoughts. When I listened to this talk during conference I felt that I was doing reasonably well in the areas he talked about. I also felt like it never hurts to follow President Hinckley’s advice to try a little harder to do a little better. Now as I read, I was interested to note his emphasis on the fact that doing these things nurtures that faith in God in our children which is what we really want to be doing as parents. That is the way the kids can make the best decisions and live the best lives possible is when they have been taught those correct principles. I also enjoyed looking up the scripture in D&C 46:7. That verse and surrounding verses confirm, yet again, one of the themes I got from conference—following the Spirit. This verse very clearly tells me I must act upon promptings. I am sure that too often I hesitate or rationalize away promptings.

    We (hubby & I) had also been discussing taking the time to share testimony. I think this just means that we need to simply reinforce gospel principles in everyday life as we stop and teach various concepts that have been demonstrated in life around us. This can be sharing promptings and discussing how that feels. This can be acknowledging when someone has done a job well and how that fits into God’s plan. This can be teaching how the process of repenting of hitting a sibling makes us feel so much better inside.

    Hope that all made sense. I now have crying toddler needing attention. TTFN!

  13. I’m so glad you’re doing this talk today! Definitely my favorite. I think I do well enough with the showing love, but I could work on the sharing of testimony and consistency. Ironically, being consistent with FHE and family scripture study/prayer GIVES me opportunities to bear testimony. For the first time in a few weeks we read scriptures over breakfast today. Well, we looked at pictures of Lehi’s family and told part of their story. But that’s about the best I can do with a 3 and 4 year old!

    I love Elder Bednar’s lists. And the structure of his talks. He is an excellent speaker and teacher.

  14. I loved this talk… it resonated with me in ways that I absolutely needed to hear. You know, it feels good to know that someone as remarkable as Elder Bednar still had normal kids… kids that complain about his brother “breathing his air!” I needed to hear that, to look at my own family and realize that they are just normal children… doing things that normal children do.

    But that doesn’t mean you stop painting that canvas… that you stop making the effort of each and every brush stroke. They can all add up to something wonderful, but not if we don’t make an effort. So we try. And sometimes it works wonderfully, and other times it seems we are moving backwards instead of forward, but we never stop trying.

    I loved the message… the simple, straightforward, don’t be too hard on yourself but don’t ever stop trying message. Elder Bednar rocks. 🙂

  15. Since I missed all of the Saturday Conference, I decided this would be the perfect forum for catching up. Thanks for having this!

    So, I read through this once (though, i’ll have to do it again when I’m not at work and distracted).. but what jumped out right away for me was Elder Bednar’s comment:
    “As disciples of the Savior, we are not merely striving to know more; rather, we need to consistently do more of what we know is right and become better.”
    I really like the emphasis on the DOING. I do study the scriptures and read good books, but it was good for me to be reminded that there’s more to it than knowing.

    The first time he made this comment, in the first section on Expressing and Showing Love, I thought to myself.. sure! I do that pretty well! Though, as Marika Lee said, there is nothing wrong with striving to do better.. But then when EB started talking about bearing testimony, I was pricked in my heart.

    Just last night I was talking with a friend about how I never bear my testimony on Fast Sunday. I do ooook when talking with my siblings, but I only rarely bear testimony to my hubbie, and almost never to my parents (there are no kids, so i’m 100% there.. heh). That is definitely something that I can work to improve on.

    Also, the part where he was talking about FHE in his home.. I had to laugh a little because what he described was pretty standard for our family. We did it.. but I don’t remember it being a super wonderful spiritual experience most of the time. However, I do indeed look back and think that if nothing else, we were learning that family time and spiritual things were important. That in an of itself is a good take-away lesson. And that scripture from D&C, in this context, “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work”, was really powerful to me. It helps me feel all the more determined to keep up FHE with my hubbie (and with kids whenever they happen to come into our lives as well).. because it’s worth it.

  16. I am new to your blog and I love reading it. A friend of mine reads and said that I should and so here I am. I love this weekly conference reading idea. Being a mother of two young ones I am sure you understand how much of conference I actually got to listen to. So it is good to have a reminder in my reader to read a talk a week.

    I think that this talk was meant for me. I go to church each week and wonder why is it I get all ready to come and roam the halls with a sleepy and cranky baby. But this talk helped me to remember that I have to be consistent and show my kids that consistency. One day when they are grown I will still be going to church. I loved the part when he talked about his kids and having FHE….when you are not sure if anyone got anything out of the lesson. It can be frustrating sometimes and feel like you should not even bother, but that is when it is most important.

    What a great talk!!! One that needs to be read all the time!! Especially for moms!!

  17. I can definitely understand feeling sort of funny when it comes to bearing testimony to our spouses, children and parents (and especially sacrament meeting). I’m not super comfortable with it either. But I am reminded about what Elder Bednar said about this: “Spouses, parents, and children should strive to overcome any hesitancy, reluctance, or embarrassment about bearing testimony. We should both create and look for opportunities to bear testimony of gospel truths—and live them.” We don’t have to randomly go up to our children, spouse or parents and say, “I’d like to bear you my testimony that I know the church is true….” 😉 Rather, if we let it come up naturally, while we’re already talking about the gospel, it doesn’t feel artificial or forced. I hope I can recognize the opportunities in my daily life to do this better and I know the more I do it, the more comfortable I’ll be with it.

  18. I just took notes as I listened to it again, so some of these are quotes from the talk and some are my personal insights. 🙂

    – I need to make sure my kids are learning Gospel principles. I also need to make sure the house is tidy enough for us to feel the Spirit.
    – Don’t just strive to know more. Try to do more. Don’t read book after book without applying the gospel principles in them.
    – My actions need to reflect what I know (my testimony). SHOW that I truly believe and want to live my testimony.
    – Be consistent. That’s how they feel loved and secure.
    – What are the brushstrokes of our family canvas? (I answered this for myself in my journal.)
    – By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.
    – Don’t be a hypocrite by saying one thing and doing another. Kids recognize it quickly. It confuses them. And they WILL do what you DO.

    I LOVED this talk! Now, I can’t wait to read the rest of the comments. 🙂

  19. Laurie – YES! You made some points I had totally forgotten about. The most important one, to me, was that I/WE need to keep my house uncluttered for the Spirit to get through easier. Also – your 2nd point. I was thinking the week or so before conference that I’d been reading a lot of church books lately, without marinating in the goodness of each one before moving onto the next – and I thought about slowing down a lot when I listened to this talk. Thank you for reminding me!

  20. My favorite quote from this talk is :”Do more of what you know is right.”
    My life would flow so much better, be richer and more full of peace if I just followed this advice.
    I Know I should pray each morning, but do I?
    I know I should read my scriptures every day alone and as a family, but do I?
    I know we should have FHE each Monday night, but do we?
    It’s time to step it up a notch and gain all the blessings that can be mine by being more consistant and by doing more of what I know is right!

  21. Oh, Laurie, I hear you about the prayer thing. I honestly don’t think I found my own best, most comfortable “prayer voice” until I was in my early 30s – really in the past couple years. I still had meaningful prayers, but it just wasn’t the same. And I don’t want my children to have that same experience – I want them to have a better experience with prayer before they hit their 30s! I’ve thought about changing the way I offer family prayers to reflect more the “voice” I use when I say personal prayers, but I feel kind of stuck in this public prayer pattern that I’ve used for so very long. Time to change that.

  22. I had an experience while reading this talk. First of all, I love everyone elses thoughts on this. But for me, as I was reading – I realized this talk is about the Savior. What Elder Bednar is asking us to do in our families, is what the Lord does for us. It is about the character of the Lord. Here are some points that stood out for me:
    The security and consistancy of the Lords Love.
    Such Love nurtues and sustians Faith in him.
    His Love his a source of strength and casts out all fear.
    The Lord creates and looks for opportunities to bear testimony to us. (I love that) His testimony is powerful, edifiying and again -consistant.
    He professes truth rather than admonishes, or exhorts. – It is a pattern of how he teaches us.
    Overall the the Lord is consistant. He loves us. He is intimatley involed in our lives.
    This talk is one the most detailed descriptions of the character of the Lord -put in plain language – that I have ever read. I consider it a miracle, and an extrememly important document.
    It is like we just sat down with Elder Bednar and said “Tell me in your own words what the Lord is like. If we could have a conversation with him – what would it be like.”
    I am so grateful for living prophets and apostles, that we can be this blessed to have this information put out so plainly. Now – I cant wait to pick through it some more.

  23. Thanks for the opportunity to be held accountable for studying the words of the prophets. I did it! 🙂
    I also loved how his talk was repetitive which helped me understand the importance of the phrases he was repeating.
    I have really gained a testimony of consistency in the last year or so. I’ve slowly been letting go of the unrealistic expectation that each time I pray or read my scriptures I should be having a spiritual awakening. I find I have felt so much less guilt now that I’m internalizing this because I am able to keep going, day after day. Some days I feel spiritually fed and some days I feel like I’m slugging along – but I keep going because the guilt of “not putting in enough effort to have some sort of epiphany” is gone.
    I have felt recently (and this is definitely ‘gospel according to Hilary’) that the Savior really is more concerned about our desires and consistent effort than about the ‘outcome’. . . if that makes sense (like Elder Bednar said about FHE). There is no way for us to become more Christ-like without the healing power of the atonement. We must try our best while understanding that it is really the Savior who is changing us. We are merely turning our spirits over to him to mend. It is interesting (and often difficult) to find that balance between diligent effort and handing it over to the Savior.
    Anyway, I’m rambling. Thanks for the insights!

  24. The theme of this talk that stood out to me during Conference and today after re-reading the talk is “Be Consistent.” Having 3 teenagers and one pre-teen I /We am/are seeing the effects of what “NOT” being consistent can bring into a home and the lives our children.

    As I read the scripture D&C 93:40-50, I wept. I felt the Lord was directly chastening me to repentance. As I watch my 18 y/o struggle with his testimony, I tell myself, “I should have done more of the essentials.” I remember many nights gathering the family together only to hear “Mom, [Dad’s] breathing my air!” and asking myself if these things were worthwhile? As the years have passed, Dad has matured, and as we have recommitted time and time again I hope that “the consistency of our intent and work [has] perhaps [been] the greatest lesson. . .” and at the same time hoping that the hypocrisy hasn’t “caused the greatest destruction within our own home.”

    Yet there is a promise which gives me hope “as we seek the Lord’s help and in His strength, we can gradually reduce the disparity between what we say and what we do . . .” Elder Bednar goes on to say, “We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we are more faithful in learning, living and loving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.” There is HOPE! Boy, I still have so much to learn!

  25. What wonderful comments. I am so very glad I am reading the talks with you and then reading your comments. I read it and then looked through each of your eyes to see more than what I read. I am so grateful.

  26. What a wonderful talk. I re-listened to it while feeding my daughter lunch. I know I can do better in all three areas he referenced, but one area that really struck me was consistency.
    Before GC, my husband and I made some goals. We decided it was important for him to come home for dinner, have family scripture study, and FHE (on Mondays). As you well know, Stephanie, having a hubby in school full-time and working can be difficult. Especially when it comes to seeing him regularly. However, this goal has become something that has brought the Spirit into our home like never before. We are consistent. This consistency has helped us keep our home as a sacred place. A temple. Our daughter is only 14-months, so she doesn’t really listen but we know that starting now will help us maintain our habits in the years to come.
    Elder Bednar confirmed our actions and gave us encouragement in continuing.

  27. This talk was so reassuring to me! Our FHE’s, family prayers and scriptures study are most often noisy and interrupted with the exact phrases he expressed (he’s touching me, breathing my air etc! LOL). I also loved hearing that a member of the 12 had those issues too! But I loved hearing that it is the collective habits we create that make up the masterpiece. It also made me more aware of making sure the spirit is present in those things that we do and to identify and bear testimony. I show love often to my children through affection and saying those three words, but I vowed to calm my voice and use a soft tone of voice with them. Love this forum!

  28. I loved his talk so much. I do a good job of telling and hopefully showing my husband and my children/grandchildren that I love them. Now that I go to Church alone (my hubby has responsibilities in other wards) I feel a greater need to be sure and bear testimony to my family when I have a chance. We have a family website and a family newsletter and I try to say things here and there. Unfortunately, not all of our family members are active. My husband also writes a weekly letter to all of our children and grandchildren so he bears his testimony quite often. I love him for that.

    As I listened to this talk again, I kept thinking of the need to check and re-check where I am. (Do as Elder Renlund mentioned–consistently biopsy my heart.)

    Thanks so much for hosting this–I have enjoyed so much reading everyone’s thoughts.

  29. As I focus on one conference talk each week, I’ve been trying to figure out how to use them in my life each day. I’m going to try to center our FHE lessons around them if I can. On Monday, for FHE, we all took turns writing down on pieces of paper what we love about each other. That was a fun experience! (Especially the two-year-old’s answers!) I hope that it will help all of the members of our family feel more open to expressing our love for one another.

  30. Thanks so much for doing this! I am new this time around and am already loving the feeling of the spirit that it brings.

    The thing that stuck out to me the most after rereading this talk was the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 64:33 “Wherefore , be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” Getting back to the basics of living the gospel. That it is the small habits that we are building that will make the greatest difference in my children and my life.

    I especially liked the personal story that Elder Bednar told of his family and there experiences with Family Home Evening and Family Prayer. With a 2 year old and a 4 year old sometimes it doesn’t seem like they are getting much out of FHE, or daily scripture reading. Hopefully as they get older they will sit a little longer and it won’t be as chaotic. For me that was the main theme from this talk. I feel like our small efforts will be blessed.

  31. I haven’t been able to read this week’s talk yet, but this was posted on my blog’s comments and I wanted to pass it along to you, since you are the rightful owner of praise for this wonderful site and club.

    I wanted to say I followed the link to your general conference book club. (I know, weird huh.) I love it! I read the talk and would have commented had every other individual not taken the words out of my poetic mouth. Or something like that. I did enjoy it and her blog and her “what’s on my mind” (or whatever she titled it.) I like it. Thanks for sharing! RW

  32. I just wanted to let you know I read it. And Christian and I have been talking a lot lately about love, and how we are doing showing our kids how much we love them and how much we love each other. And the talk has great ideas to build upon. Thanks for doing this!

  33. All these comments are so wonderful, and I echo all of them. I enjoyed this talk the first time I heard it, but the more I read it, the more I see that it was for me and my husband. We have not been consistent in the “seemingly small things,” and it shows. Sure, we’ve been happy, but not as happy as we could be. The last two weeks we’ve been more consistent with those small things, and I can’t believe the difference! The Spirit is with me nearly all the time and gives me such a feeling of happiness, peace, and love. I can see a difference in my husband too and in our home and in my kids.

    I’ve been pondering the word “consistency” a lot since General Conference. We all know how easy it is to get complacent with the small things, but the scary part is, it’s easy to think that it’s okay to live the gospel that way. At least that’s how I was. I thought, “I’m a good person. I go to church. I take care of my kids. I love my husband. I’m happy.” Um…not so much. Those things were all true, but not to the extent that they can be and should be. Without being consistent in the small things, I cannot be as good as Heavenly Father expects me to be, I won’t get as much out of church, I can’t give as much love to my kids and husband (I find that the closer I am to the Spirit, the easier it is to love and the more powerful that love is), and I am definitely not as happy as I think I am. I hope I was able to convey that thought to you. It sounded really cool in my head. I’m just seeing now more than ever how very important consistency is.

    Some specific things Elder Bednar said that I liked were:
    -“We are not merely striving to know more; rather, we need to consistently do more of what we know is right and become better.” We can learn and learn and learn until our head explodes, but it won’t do us any good if we don’t DO what we learn (it also won’t do us any good without a head).
    – I loved how he structured his talk and how he repeated some things. There’s power in repetition.
    -I loved how he talked about hypocrasy. Wow! I know I’m guilty of that, and I’m fixing it right now. “Children are often the most alert and sensitive when it comes to recognizing hypocrisy.” They see and hear everything! I need to be a much better example to my children. I need to live the gospel and share my testimony through my words and my deeds.
    -I loved what he said about he and his wife’s efforts: “The consistency of our intent and work was perhaps the greatest lesson- a lesson we did not fully appreciate at the time.”

    One last thing- As I read this talk a phrase from the sacrament hymn “Reverently and Meekly Now” kept running through my head:

    Be obedient, I implore,
    Prayerful, watchful evermore,
    And be constant unto me,
    That thy Savior I may be.

    If we want to be close to the Savior, know Him, feel the power of His atonement- it’s up to us. We have to be constant. That’s it. There’s no other way.

    • Marianne~

      Thank you for your insight and thoughts. It is always good to know that there is some else, besides me, who realizes that mistakes have been made and is on the path of correcting that mistake. I am thankful that the Atonement has made that possible.

      I still struggle daily with being consistent, but everyday gets a little easier and everyday I repent and work a little harder the next.

  34. This talk was excellent, and just what I needed. My daughter and I listened to it on our drive home from Jackson, and mid-talk we both turned to each other and told each other how much we love each other. It was a pretty sweet moment. I love how specific and applicable his counsel is here. I’m looking forward to studying it in more depth.

  35. I have loved all of your comments and have been absorbing them all week. Today was the first chance I had to really study the talk the way I wanted to, and WOW, is it chock full of good stuff or what? Here are some of the stand-outs for me:

    1. Even just the phrase “more diligent and concerned at home” made me realize how careful I should be to not feel nor communicate APATHY towards my family or home. How easy it is to roll eyes, shrug off their needs/requests and say, “whatever. I don’t care.” That’s obviously NOT being careful, much less diligent.

    2. As he repeated in all three points the importance of doing what we know we should do, I thought of integrity. I’ve always loved the YW definition that it is “the moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong.” It struck me that his whole talk is about having integrity, especially where it matters most– in your own home. And the Savior, like Shantel pointed out in her comment, is our finest example of integrity. Everything He believed and knew was reflected in the way He lived His life. What a great goal to work towards.

    3. And it occurred to me that the opposite of integrity is HYPOCRISY, which Elder Bednar warns us so well against. Normally (for me) the gap between what I know and what I do is what causes the most guilt/angst, so as I listened again to this talk, I pictured it like a scale or line graph where Hypocrisy is at one end and Integrity is at the other. All I need to do is keep sliding toward the Integrity end– be more aware of my actions and their relationship with my beliefs and work harder to make them match more and more.

    4. The whole concept of “seemingly simple things” is so great. Wouldn’t it be nice to have “reality” magnifying glasses and see all those simple things as magnificent as they really are?

    5. Okay, last one. This phrase was a cool summary of a principle taught a LOT throughout this last general conference: “our love of and for the Lord is evidenced by walking ever in His ways.” And I thought how much I want my family to feel His love and feel my love for Him. These 3 steps Elder Bednar challenges us to do, like EVERYthing the Lord asks of us, require us to love the Lord and show love through obedience.

    Great, great talk. I feel like I could study it a hundred times and still get more out of it.

  36. As I reread and studied it this week, I felt like we are pretty good at doing most of those things he recommends, but then Wham! He got to that part about hypocrisy, and I realized pretty good is so not enough. I had never thought of personal hypocrisy as bearing false witness. But he is so right.

    I really like your image of the sliding scale, and evaluating where we are on the continuum between hypocrisy and integrity. I agree…I need to just keep sliding toward integrity.

    I also really loved his repetition of the phrase “it might feel awkward or even embarrassing sometimes” as he gently nudged us out of our comfort zone, pushing us to try something that’s not easy or might not feel totally natural at first.

  37. Everyone has such wonderful comments, I guess I should get here earlier so I can add more than ditto. I loved the imagery of small brush strokes that mean little by themselves but add up to a large, beautiful picture. Looking at everything that must be done to fully live the gospel is daunting. Taking it one brush stroke at a time gives a great beginning.

    I also loved his point about hypocrisy. I had never really thought about the hypocrite in all of us. This talk continually reminded us that there is a gap between what we know and how we act and we should be working toward closing that gap. Knowing something is pointless without acting on that knowledge. I have tried to see the largest gaps in my life and start to close them. Not all at once, but with little brush strokes.

    On an unrelated note, my husband and his friend were recently talking about how uncomfortable they are when men get up and gush about how they don’t deserve their wives, their wives are the greatest thing ever, the only reason they have any hope of making it to heaven, etc. They claimed that often these men are trying to publicly apologize for private problems without fixing the problem and that if you look at the wives, they are often stony faced when this happens. I thought they were in left field, but Elder Bednar’s talk mentioned something along the same line (plus I watched a gentlemen who testifies in this direction a lot and they were right about his wife’s face during his testimony). Is this some guy thought process I’ve never realized before?

    • Charlotte, I think sometimes it might be easier to say nice things about someone to OTHER people. It’s hard for me to say, “I really love how you do this…” to my husband. It’s much easier to tell someone else about it. But yeah, if their wives aren’t hearing it at home ever, I could see why they wouldn’t really believe a public confession, either. Sad, though!

  38. Okay, I am a week and a bit late, but I HAD to start with this talk. I have been intoning the phrase “he is breathing my air” as my kids fight ever since I heard Elder Bednar say it! This talk gave me hope to keep trying to be a good mother. As I tried to be more consistant this past week I was impressed with how difficult it really is. It made me WANT to try harder, and show more love.

    I am so excited about this book club! Thank you!

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