GCBC Week 21: “Teachings of Jesus” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks

I love Jesus Christ.  What has he done for me?  Everything.  All the goodness of His life, all the pain of His sacrifice– all for me.  And you.  All of us really.  The more sorrow and suffering I see and experience in the world around me, the more I have learned how important He is to me.  I love Elder Oak’s testimony of the Savior’s invaluable roles and contributions to our happiness and salvation.

Teachings of Jesus by Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“There is no middle ground. We are followers of Jesus Christ. Our citizenship is in His Church and His gospel, and we should not use a visa to visit Babylon or act like one of its citizens. We should honor His name, keep His commandments, and ‘seek not the things of this world but seek … first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness.’”

What think you of Christ?  What are some of your thoughts and testimony after reading this talk?  Share your thoughts or insights in the comments below.

I saw this video message today and absolutely LOVED it.  It would be worth 3 minutes to watch this message and hear the testimonies of modern-day prophets and apostles about the divine nature of Jesus Christ and His power to heal us and lift our burdens.

 

As a side note, we only have FIVE talks left.  And then it’s General Conference AGAIN.  ALREADY.  Yay!  Thanks to all of you who have participated in GCBC, especially to those of you who have hung in there since the beginning.  I hope it has strengthened you to study these talks each week.

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.

GCBC Week 4: “The Miracle of the Atonement” by Elder C. Scott Grow

Happy Easter, everyone.

This is one of my favorite Easter messages ever, by the late Elder Wirthlin.

In thinking about the Savior and his victory over death and sin, it seemed appropriate to study “The Miracle of the Atonement” by Elder C. Scott Grow.  He gives a great summary of the depth and breadth of the atonement and invites us to turn to the Savior.

What stands out to you as you study this talk?  Share your thoughts and insights in the comment thread below.  Have a great Easter and a wonderful week.

(Go here for more information about our General Conference Book Club)

GCBC Week 14: “He Lives!”

General Conference Book Club Week 14:

Elder Richard G. Scott gave this beautiful Easter message at the last General Conference:  “He Lives!  All Glory to His Name!”

“Jesus Christ lives. He is our Savior, our Redeemer. He is a glorious, resurrected being. He has the capacity to communicate love that is so powerful, so overwhelming as to surpass the capacity of the human tongue to express adequately. He gave His life to break the bonds of death. His Atonement made fully active the plan of happiness of His Father in Heaven.”

Yesterday in Relief Society, we sang the Primary song “I know my Savior Lives.”  The beauty and simplicity of the words brought tears to me eyes as I reflected on my sure knowledge that Jesus Christ lives.  What an awesome blessing to think about all the victory he gained and shares with us.  As you read Elder Scott’s testimony of the Savior, what feels the most meaningful to you?

Go here to find the media versions of the talk (audio, video, mp3, etc.).  If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club,  click here to learn more about it.

General Conference Book Club Week 5: Elder Andersen

I loved all your great comments about last week’s talk.  When it comes to “schooling my feelings,” I’ve learned that I still have a lot of work to do.  Maybe that’s why I was drawn to our talk selection for this week:  “Repent . . . That I May Heal You” by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, given during the Saturday afternoon session of conference.

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“The invitation to repent is rarely a voice of chastisement but rather a loving appeal to turn around and to “re-turn” toward God.”

“Divine forgiveness is one of the sweetest fruits of the gospel, removing guilt and pain from our hearts and replacing them with joy and peace of conscience.”

“Sometimes in our repentance, in our daily efforts to become more Christlike, we find ourselves repeatedly struggling with the same difficulties. As if we were climbing a tree-covered mountain, at times we don’t see our progress until we get closer to the top and look back from the high ridges.”

As women, we are so prone to guilt, to self-doubt, and to damning ourselves in our own minds.  I wonder how often this simple doctrine of repentance, when used sincerely and regularly, could purge us of that heaviness and literally lighten our souls, our outlook, and our understanding of our standing before the Lord.

You can read the talk here, or listen to it here, or watch it here.  Then share what you’ve learned right here in the comments.  (Click here to learn more about this book club if you’re arriving for the first time.)

Deep theological thoughts on motherhood

superstock_1538r-4019I had a light-bulb moment the other day. You know how in the talk we’re studying this week for General Conference Book Club, there’s a quote from Joseph Smith about how revelation can come into our minds as “pure intelligence flowing into you”? It was one of those kind of moments. Pretend you’re interested.

I had recently finished writing a guest post for Mormon Mommy Blogs. (I believe it’s posting on the 30th– that’s this Thursday, but I’ll be out of town and won’t have internet access to point you all that direction, so GO there and make a comment so I don’t look like the guest blogger who shouldn’t have been.)

Anyway, I wrote a post about “Diapers and Divinity,” which obviously is the title of my blog, but it was mainly an attempt to explain my philosophy on motherhood in general, and the motivating principles for which I try to use this blog as a medium. So the thoughts were still fresh in my mind and I kept thinking and kept thinking about how majestic motherhood really is. I felt convinced that the simple things we do as mothers are really, really important, but I still felt like I was unable to articulate why. Moms are often caught up in (and discouraged by) the dreary details of motherhood, but surely there must be a deeper purpose in it than we see . . . or don’t see. And then the thoughts came.

Everything we do is meant to point us to Christ. All of those mundane things we do— the dishes, the diaper changing, the laundry, the booger-removal from walls and bedding, 🙂 all of it— are symbols of some part of the Savior’s atoning mission. Stick with me here, I’m trying to make sense. I’ve always liked this scripture in Moses 6:62-63:

62 And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.

63 And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me.
Everything. That thought took me a little deeper and I began to recognize that all those ordinary tasks fall into categories of what Jesus Christ did/does for us:
  1. He takes dirty things and makes them clean. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” (Isaiah 1:18) Think about it: laundry, dishes, bathing, cleaning toilets, all fall into this category. Even changing a diaper becomes a poignant symbol when you think of it as taking a soiled child and making him clean, something the Savior does for us.
  2. He turns contention, pain, sorrow, and hunger into peace, healing, comfort and nourishment. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28), “Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh” (Luke 6:21). This could be a job description for mothers. We nurse wounds. We wipe away tears. We restore peace. We feed people.
  3. He turns chaos into order. “I created these things; yea, in the beginning . . . And the earth was without form, and void; . . . And I, God, saw everything that I had made, and, behold, all things which I had made were very good” (Moses 2: 1-2, 31). As mothers, we create the world of our home. Our homemaking and housekeeping efforts take matter unorganized and turn it into home: a place of learning and existing as a family. We are creators.

l30Isn’t that amazing? Maybe some of you are thinking “Duh, I knew that,” but to me it was an entirely new and enlightening concept– a revelation that I participate in the Savior’s work when I do my simple mom stuff. It’s a struggle, but it’s supposed to be hard; the Atonement was not easy for Him either. But seeing those symbols for what they are and what they can point me to has made a big difference for me. So, like my little sidebar introduction says, join me in getting back to mothering with a renewed sense of purpose. That purpose— divine motherhood— is very, very cool.

I’m headed to Women’s Conference at BYU for the rest of the week, so I’ll be pretty quiet on the Internet front. I’m going to post my GCBC comments tonight, so please keep that conversation going all week. The new talk will still go up on Sunday. I’m hoping to learn lots of cool stuff and come back and share it with you. Say a prayer for Matt’s four days as a single parent. (But don’t pray too much– I want it to be hard enough that my shoes seem unfillable. :))

General Conference Book Club Week 1: Elder Holland

04_05_hollaHappy Easter!  And welcome to the General Conference Book Club– Week 1.  It seemed fitting today to start off our study of all of the General Conference talks with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s poignant sermon about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His unique power to help anyone who ever feels alone.  The goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  A new talk will be posted each Sunday.

Click here to find the talk entitled “None Were with Him” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I realized that it’s not necessary for me to write up any post about my thoughts on the talk of the week.  All of us (including me) can just come to the Sunday post (this one) at anytime during the week and share thoughts, findings, favorite quotes, applications, even questions from this talk. Personally, I think it would be a good idea to subscribe to comments from the post so that we can read each other’s insights and have a “real book club” conversation.  (There are two ways to do this:  1. Below this post click on “Comments RSS” below the “Actions” list to subscribe to an RSS feed for comments, or 2. click the little box under the “Submit Comment” button so that comments are emailed to you.)

My own plan for this week, and for every week of book club, is to let the talk guide my personal scripture study throughout the week.  First I’ll read the talk all the way through, then look up and read all the scripture references he quoted, and then break the talk down into segments to study them carefully and try to find other related scriptures that help me understand it better.  Feel free to share any ideas of how you plan to study or apply the talks we read.  (You’re allowed to do this however you want.  You can have a goal to simply read the talk before the week is over, and that’s good, too.)

Here’s a little button you can put on your own blog if you’d like to.  Feel free to invite friends (the real kind and bloggy kind as well) to participate.  The more the merrier.  You can link it directly to the GCBC page (https://diapersanddivinity.com/gcbc/) since it has all the instructions for the Book Club challenge, plus I’ll put a link there each week to keep track of the talks we have covered.

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And try to comment when you’ve read each article, even something as simple as “I did it.”  Then we have a certain motivation/accountability to each other to meet our goal of reading all the talks from the previous General Conference. The objective is to read the words of the living prophets and learn from them.  Our book club community is for sharing and encouraging, but please don’t feel pressure that you have to come around and make profound insights or write eloquent summaries.  Just show up and be counted!

Here’s a recent video that the Church posted on YouTube as a summary of the main points of Elder Holland’s talk.  It’s beautiful and will get you in the mood to read it: