Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday thoughts

Because I have not yet received the November Ensign with the addresses from our October General Conference, I have been studying the May issue. Even though I have read these articles before and listened to them on my iPod, they still seem fresh. (This may or may not have something to do with my abysmal retention.)

Unsurprisingly, Sister Beck's is one of my favorites. How I love that woman.

Here are some of my favorite excerpts from "And Upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit":

A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important. A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence. But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently.

The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life. . . . Insight found in scripture accumulates over time, so it is important to spend some time in the scriptures every day. Daily prayer is also essential to having the Lord’s Spirit with us. Those who earnestly seek help through prayer and scripture study often have a paper and pencil nearby to write questions and record impressions and ideas.

Because personal revelation is a constantly renewable source of strength, it is possible to feel bathed in help even during turbulent times.

We are told to put our trust in that Spirit which leads us “to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously.” We are also told that this Spirit will enlighten our minds, fill our souls with joy, and help us know all things we should do. Promised personal revelation comes when we ask for it, prepare for it, and go forward in faith, trusting that it will be poured out upon us.

Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time. I know we like to be appreciated but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters? We know the Lord has laid high responsibility upon us, and there is not a wish or desire that the Lord has implanted in our hearts in righteousness but will be realized, and the greatest good we can do to ourselves and each other is to refine and cultivate ourselves in everything that is good and ennobling to qualify us for those responsibilities.

In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources. To paraphrase a list found in Preach My Gospel, we are doing well when we develop attributes of Christ and strive to obey His gospel with exactness. We are doing well when we seek to improve ourselves and do our best. We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. We know we are successful if we live so that we qualify for, receive, and know how to follow the Spirit. When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves.

Being a woman and a mother is certainly not easy. At times I get discouraged. I frequently wonder if I am up to the task. But when I listen to or read the words of Sister Beck, I feel understood, I feel empowered, and I feel motivated to improve myself and my life. I feel like I need to have these words before my eyes wherever I go.


Claudissima said...

When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves.

This statement has touched my heart. I am glad I read it again, at first I glanced at it, but something told me to read it again, carefully....oh my. Michelle this is very good and I thank you for putting it up today of all days. It is a good reminder to do and read and try and rely on faith. I hope you get better and feel better. This time is not good to get sick...wishing and sending you a bit of sunshine that way! hope you feel better.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this today. It is what I needed to read. Feeling so much better about something now.

Jill said...

I adore Sister Beck and feel like I standing up and saying, "Amen Sista!" every time she speaks.

I feel like everything she has said this year at Regional Conference and General Conference are closely related to the talk we heard her give at Women's Conference, so the combination of talks has been powerful for me.

I feel like I finally understand the cumulative strength and insights that come from consistently reading the scriptures, saying prayers, and making my spiritual life a priority. I feel buoyed up like never before!

Rebekah said...

I love Sister Beck, I cannot tell you how much. She did a fun interview with two of her daughter's for LDS Radio. I loved hearing more about how she raised her family.

Personally, I fall into the trap of wanting constant reassurance. I want to know that each little thing I'm doing is the right thing to do.

Whenever Sister Beck speaks to us, I feel like my burdens have been lightened. I love these words, 'A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do.' Oddly enough, this makes me realize that I could be doing so much more, but at the same time it's nice knowing that even if I was the best person I could be, I wouldn't be able to do all that I need to do.

Michelle said...

I've been studying the May issue, as well!! (Great minds...)

I love this talk. I feel like I need to read it every day.

I hope you're feeling better. I miss seeing you.

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