GCBC Week 22: Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

General Conference Book Club Week 22:

Today was kind of a rough day at our house– one of those days where you wonder whether or not your children are going to turn out alright after all.  There were tears and time-outs and lots and lots of reminders of rules and expectations.  It was not easy to do scripture time tonight, and bedtime was a welcome relief.  As I read “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus” by Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, I felt so reassured of the lasting impact our instruction can and will have on our children.

“If a child is not listening, don’t despair. Time and truth are on your side. At the right moment, your words will return as if from heaven itself. Your testimony will never leave your children.

As you reverently speak about the Savior—in the car, on the bus, at the dinner table, as you kneel in prayer, during scripture study, or in late-night conversations—the Spirit of the Lord will accompany your words.

As you do your best, the testimony of Jesus will gently distill upon your children’s hearts.”

Share in the comments what you love and learn as you study this talk.

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.


GCBC Week 19: Mother Told Me, Things Pertaining to Righteousness

I’m back-dating this to Sunday.  (I’m a little slow lately.  Moving bites. Thanks for being patient.)  We’re going to study two talks this week:

“Mother Told Me” by Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy

“Things Pertaining to Righteousness” by Elder Francisco J. Vinas of the Seventy

Only 4 more weeks and 4 more talks (after this) until a new General Conference and new messages from heaven.  Both of these talks give great insights into motherhood and parenthood.  The first honors the role of motherhood and the second reminds us of our great responsibility to teach our children the things that matter most.

As you study these talks, please share in the comments any insights you have about the role of mothers.

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

GCBC Week 7: Mothers Teaching Children in the Home

General Conference Book Club Week 7:

Elder Perry testifies of the mother’s crucial role in raising up children to the Lord, and he gives several different examples of things his mother did that helped him to learn throughout his life.
I believe it is by divine design that the role of motherhood emphasizes the nurturing and teaching of the next generation . . .
Teaching in the home is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread and he is attacking, attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society, even the family. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility.
What inspires you in this talk?  What are you motivated to do by studying it?

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.

GCBC Week 6: Help Them on Their Way Home

General Conference Book Club Week 6:

This talk gives some fantastic tips and reminders about our responsibility to train up our children in righteousness and to instill in them a “staying power” that they will need.

“I speak today of young people already within His true Church and so are started on the strait and narrow way to return to their heavenly home. He wants them to gain early the spiritual strength to stay on the path. And He needs our help to get them back to the path quickly should they begin to wander.”

What stands out to you as you study this talk?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

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 10: Sister Matsumori

Okay, back online.  (Insert MoTab singing Hallelujiah Chorus here.)

This week’s talk, Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spiritwas given by Sister Vicki F. Matsumori during the Saturday morning session of General Conference.  I really liked this talk when I heard it because, as a mother, I feel like this is one of my greatest responsibilities– to teach my kids what to listen to when I’m not around to teach them or influence them.  Anyway, there’s some great stuff in here that reminds me how to teach, but also how to keep myself in line.

“We can help others become more familiar with the promptings of the Spirit when we share our testimony of the influence of the Holy Ghost in our lives.”

“One reason we are encouraged to pray and read the scriptures every single day is that both of these activities invite the Spirit into our homes and into the lives of our family members.”

“When we come to understand the whisperings of the Spirit, we will be able to hear Him teach us …”

You can read the talk here, listen to it here, or watch it here.  It’s also on page 70 of the November Ensign.  (Go here for GCBC information.)

Thanks to those of you who already commented about this talk on the previous post.  Rest assured your insights have been read, but feel free to cut and paste them into this post if you want them to be part of the comment thread.

General Conference Book Club Week 6: Brother Osguthorpe

Brother Russell T. Osguthorpe is the General Sunday School President.  (He was our Stake President when Matt and I were newlyweds, so that makes us famous by association, right?)  He gave a fantastic talk during the Saturday morning session of General Conference called Teaching Helps Save Lives.” Many of us have opportunities to teach in our church or civic responsibilities, and the tips here are obviously valuable in those settings, but as I listened to this talk I felt a powerful impression that these were important tools for parenting.  Perhaps my greatest responsibility as a mother is to teach my children.  The really important stuff.  So I’m excited to go back and read it again and be reminded of the power of that role and what I should focus on.


“We teach key doctrine, invite learners to do the work God has for them, and then promise that blessings will surely come.”

“All parents and gospel teachers are messengers from God.”

“Learning and teaching are not optional activities in the kingdom of God. They are the very means by which the gospel has been restored to the earth and by which we will gain eternal life. They provide the pathway to personal testimony.”

So what did you learn about being a better teacher?  You can read the talk here, or listen to it here, or watch it here.  Or, if you got your Ensign in the mail this week like I did (yippee!), you can find this talk on page 15.  If you’re visiting us here at the GCBC for the first time, check out the club here and jump right in and join us.

Women’s Conference chapter 4: Building a child’s testimony

0407jesus_childrenOne of the greatest lessons I took away from Women’s Conference was the idea that I need to be more intentional in my parenting.  This came from Sister Julie Beck’s talk and was reinforced by many of the classes that I attended.  By the way, her talk was the highlight of the conference for me.  It was so good.  It will be rebroadcast on BYUTV either the 14th or 15th of May.  I’ll post more details tomorrow, because I would love for every woman in the world to see it.

Anyway, the next class I wanted to summarize was called “Children of the Promised Day,” taught by Marsha Beck and Linda Christensen.  I have to confess that I was feeling under-the-weather and a tad restless, and I left this class a little early.  But there were some great principles taught, and some good reminders for me.  Again, in random list form:

  • Children need to feel God’s love now, when they are young.
  • What do you teach them to hope for?  Lehi’s dream can be our dream– for our families to partake of eternal life.  We can model and provide an environment of zealous living faith.  She pointed out Nephi’s pattern for developing a testimony after learning about his father’s dream:
  1. listen to father (parents)
  2. desire to know, understand
  3. prayerful searching
  • Moms need to become scholars of the scriptures.  Pray, plead for the Lord’s help to set aside time and create habits.
  • Envision and establish a home of faith, where we live the principles of the gospel
  • Teach children about temples.  Teach principles that make our lives holy.  Attend temple often and testify to children.
  • Power dwells in humility, unity, sacrifice, obedience.
  • Study “For the Strength of Youth” and strive to live it (individually, and as a family).
  • When children have questions, help them seek for an answer and for the Spirit.  Point them to the scriptures and words of the living prophets.  Answer their questions with your testimony of gospel principles.  When they stand with the Lord, He increases their faith. When they come with questions, say what Nephi said to his brothers, “Have ye enquired of the Lord?”
  • Study Preach my Gospel as a family. (I felt prompted to replace some TV time with MTC time and help my boys learn things they’ll need to know to be powerful missionaries.)
  • It’s very important to teach children about the repentance and the atonement.
  • Many children are defined by their academic or athletic talents.  Encourage them to define themselves by their growing testimony.  State to them what they do righteously.  Point out spiritual gifts.
  • Bear testimony frequently.  This reminds me of one of my favorite Elder Holland talks/quotes:

I think some parents may not understand that even when they feel secure in their own minds regarding matters of personal testimony, they can nevertheless make that faith too difficult for their children to detect. We can be reasonably active, meeting-going Latter-day Saints, but if we do not live lives of gospel integrity and convey to our children powerful heartfelt convictions regarding the truthfulness of the Restoration and the divine guidance of the Church from the First Vision to this very hour, then those children may, to our regret but not surprise, turn out not to be visibly active, meeting-going Latter-day Saints or sometimes anything close to it. . . .

Live the gospel as conspicuously as you can. Keep the covenants your children know you have made. Give priesthood blessings. And bear your testimony! Don’t just assume your children will somehow get the drift of your beliefs on their own. The prophet Nephi said near the end of his life that they had written their record of Christ and preserved their convictions regarding His gospel in order “to persuade our children … that our children may know … [and believe] the right way.”

Man, I love Elder Holland.  And I love my kids, so these are some great ideas of helping them to build on a sure foundation.

Summary:  As in the other WC posts, these notes are just suggestions, and are not meant to be overwhelming.  Ideas, not a checklist.  Personally, I think the most important things I got from class were 1) read scriptures and study the gospel with your children, 2) Bear testimony often, and 3) Help/encourage children learn to find answers using prayer and gospel study.