Aug 262014

Aloha once again, Sisters.

YES! I know what you’re thinking — Finally! Another one of those uplifting, help-you-feel-like-you-were-there-if-you-missed-it blog posts! And, yes, actually, that is indeed what we have here! Ironically, I wasn’t there either. This post is actually brought to you by the the incomparable… Well, I was going to say her name, but I like to keep things a little anonymous here since it’s public. Sis. L. She rocks. And she took great notes for me, typed them up, included links and everything… And here they are!

Til next week,
Sis. Smith

I wish I could capture for you how awesome Relief Society was today. How tender and uplifting the Spirit was as our Sisters shared their impressions and experiences, but honestly…I lack the skill for such writing…so instead here are my notes. I hope they are enough!

Sister Spring started by having us watch the following #HowToDad video:

She posed the question – Why are people connecting with this commercial? (See almost 1.2 million views on youtube and 5.5K likes)

Responses included:
1. It teaches a lesson without being to preachy
2. It does not make parents look dumb, which is nice in a world where media often portrays parents as not present, incompetent, silly, dumb, etc.
3. Represents an ideal that speaks to us, that we connect with and want to reach.
4. It represents truth – even though our own father’s may not have done all of the things shown in the commercial, or even done them well, it still speaks to the truth that we have love and admiration for our own fathers and what they did do for us, and how we feel about them.
5. Speaks to young men that it is good to grow up and be a dad/father, and this is some of what it looks like.
6. One sister ask, what this commercial might mean to those who were raised by a single mom, or in a home without a father figure – Sis. Hall responded that one of the wonderful things about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that even if you do not have a Dad in your home/life, in the Gospel we have the Priesthood.

We then watched this video:
(*side note – fun to see some of our community and local families in this video:-D)

One quotation I appreciated from the video was from a single mother who said, “ being a member of the Church is being a member of a family as well.

Sister Spring also utilized material from an October 2009 General Conference talk delivered by Elder David A. Bednar – More Diligent and Concerned at Home

Elder Bednar gave 3 suggestions as to how we can be more diligent and concerned at home:
1. Suggestion One: Express love – and show it.
a. “President Thomas S. Monson recently counseled: “Often we assume that [the people around us] must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. … We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us” (“Finding Joy in the Journey,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 86).”

b. Elder Bednar – “Sometimes in a sacrament meeting talk or testimony, we hear a statement like this: ‘I know I do not tell my spouse often enough how much I love her. Today I want her, my children, and all of you to know that I love her.’

Such an expression of love may be appropriate. But when I hear a statement like this, I squirm and silently exclaim that the spouse and children should not be hearing this apparently rare and private communication in public at church! Hopefully the children hear love expressed and see love demonstrated between their parents in the regular routine of daily living. If, however, the public statement of love at church is a bit surprising to the spouse or the children, then indeed there is a need to be more diligent and concerned at home.”

c. Thought from sisters on expressing love –
i. Sis. Berardy grew up in a home and culture where expressions of love were not common. They did not say, “I love you.” When she and Bro. Berardy were married she explained this to him. When her children came along her husband encouraged her to express love to her children, to tell them she loved them. This has taught her children to express love and share their love with her. She also shared that on one trip back to the Philippines her husband encouraged her to express her love to her father. This was really difficult for her, however, at the airport, she took her father’s hand and told him “I love you.” She said tears came to her eyes and she felt both happy, that she had expressed her love, and also a bit guilty ( I think because she had not said that to him before/more often.)

ii. Sis. Amanda Wallace shared that she personally does not have a hard time expressing her love to her family members, however she has a daughter-in-law who has difficulty expressing love. Even though her daughter-in-law struggled, Sis. Wallace continued to express her love to this daughter. One day, as a result of saying I love you to her daughter-in-law, her daughter-in-law was able to open herself up to Sis. Wallace and share some of the things of her own heart with Sis. Wallace. This was unexpected and has strengthened their relationship.

iii. Sometimes we use culture as a crutch to not express our affection.

iv. Also be aware that different cultures express love differently

1. Sis. Spring shared the example of her Peruvian Sister-in-law who was raised in a culture where you kiss on the cheek as a sign of affection. Because Sister Spring’s mom did not kiss on the cheek, it caused some tension in their family relationship.

v. When you express love – mean it, make sure it’s not white noise.

2. Suggestion Two: Bear Testimony – and Live It
a. Elder Bednar – “The bearing of testimony need not be lengthy or eloquent. And we do not need to wait until the first Sunday of the month to declare our witness of things that are true. Within the walls of our own homes, we can and should bear pure testimony of the divinity and reality of the Father and the Son, of the great plan of happiness, and of the Restoration.

Brethren and sisters, when was the last time you bore testimony to your eternal companion? Parents, when was the last time you declared your witness to your children about the things you know to be true? And children, when was the last time you shared your testimony with your parents and family?”

b. Elder Bednar – “We should remember that bearing a heartfelt testimony is only a beginning. We need to bear testimony, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to live it. We need to both declare and live our testimonies.”

c. Insights from Sisters on bearing testimony to family.

i. Sister Spring shared a very powerful example of her own mother who, as she got older, would often bear her testimony to everyone! She shared two specific experiences – the first was with her bro. in law who is a wonderful man but is not a member. This brother would often spend time at his mother-in-law’s house doing work on her home and giving service. One day she heard her mother testify to this Brother-in-law, (something to the effect of) Steven, when Christ comes again you will fall to your knees and proclaim (that he is your king – you may want to follow up with Sis. Spring on the language here – it was really beautiful but for some reason I only wrote down part of it.)
ii. Another example Sis. Spring shared was of a long-time friend of hers who was recently rebaptized and able to again receive and renew his Temple covenants after 30 years away from the Church. He shared with Sis. Spring that every time he visited her mother’s home, Sis. Spring’s mother would share her testimony with this friend. He said that sometimes it was awkward, but he was always touched by those moments.

iii. I shared the example of a friend of mine whose family, in addition to their family gospel study and prayer, would have time for family testimony every Sunday evening. These were never very long (depending on who wanted to share) and sometimes individuals were called upon, and other times they volunteered to share. I remember one specific time I was there and the mother of this family (who was generally on the quieter side) shared her testimony and expressed that she often did not bear her testimony in public, but that she was grateful to take the opportunity during family testimony time so that her children would be able to hear her personal testimony. These were powerful family moments.

iv. Sis. Berard shared that during the lesson she realized that every morning at seminary she bears testimony to other people’s children but does not feel as if she says it enough to her own children and needs to bear her testimony to her own children.

3. Suggestion Three – Be Consistent
a. “In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However, as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individual brushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting.

Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. “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” (D&C 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes.”

Final Video – Video Presentation – “I Am a Child of God”

*Just some of my thoughts during the video:
1. We are children of God
2. We are a part of HIS eternal family
3. Tell/teach EVERYONE that they are children of a loving Heavenly Father, who is God.
4. PLEASE teach me all that I must DO, to live WITH HIM someday!

Source: L7 Relief Society

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