Sunday, January 08, 2012

Sunday thoughts

First of all, a confession: last night I went to bed half-hoping I would wake up feeling too ill to go to church today. (Three members of my family are sick and I've had a scratchy throat and stomachache, so it seemed possible.)

I just had no enthusiasm for attending our new ward again and staying home sounded pretty good, even if I had to be sick to swing it.

Well I felt pretty good this morning, so Lucas and I went to church. On the way, I asked him how long he thought it would take until this new ward, this new building, stopped feeling so weird. (I was thinking about a year.) He said he didn't think it would take long at all, that it wasn't so weird. Well, then. He was the one I was most worried about! I guess I'm the one having the hardest time.

Today was ward conference, and it was great.

One speaker talked about Mosiah 2:41:

And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the happy and blessed state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true, for the Lord God hath spoken it.

I already have a desire to keep the commandments of God. I know from experience that I am much, much happier when I am doing so. But this reminder of temporal and spiritual things being linked gave me even more motivation to increase my obedience. The temporal blessings that come from obedience are not necessarily riches, but a greater ability to meet our financial obligations. We really want to reduce our debt and are in need of temporal help, so this was a welcome reminder indeed.

Another speaker related this passage:

Sometimes we feel that the busier we are, the more important we are—as though our busyness defines our worth. Brothers and sisters, we can spend a lifetime whirling about at a feverish pace, checking off list after list of things that in the end really don’t matter.

That we do a lot may not be so important. That we focus the energy of our minds, our hearts, and our souls on those things of eternal significance—that is essential.

As the clatter and clamor of life bustle about us, we hear shouting to “come here” and to “go there.” In the midst of the noise and seductive voices that compete for our time and interest, a solitary figure stands on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, calling quietly to us, “Follow me.”

—Joseph B. Wirthlin, April 2002 General Conference

I love this. Lately I feel like I have been working at a feverish pace, and feeling empty. This was a much-needed reminder to focus my energies on the things that really matter.

In addition, a sweet lady (who introduced herself to me after the meeting in which we found out we would be changing wards) sat next to me in Gospel Doctrine. She remembered my name, and she asked where the rest of my family was. She complimented Lucas, who she had seen passing the sacrament. She pretty much made my day.

And I was reminded, yet again, that I have never regretted having gone to church.


patsy said...

I really love these two messages, thanks for sharing them. I too find myself with an internal struggle most Sundays (seriously???) thinking I don't want to go to church. I am never dissapointed, luckily I rarely succumb to those thoughts.

A new ward is so hard. I feel your pain. I'm so thankful for thoughtful people. Truly angels on earth.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I do love your thoughts. All of them, and I appreciate it when you share them with us.

linda said...

I love that quote by Elder Wirthlin, so much so that I printed it out!

I also pondered your last statement about never regretting going to church. That is so true, yet I have never really thought of it in those terms.

Thank you for sharing this experience and good luck with your new ward! I am sure they are glad to have your talented, yet devoted family.

Jill said...

I'm so glad you went! It is totally understandable that you're having these growing pains with the new ward, change is hard. I'm optimistic about this change for you and think you and your family have so much to offer this new ward that maybe you should see yourselves as the booster shot the ward needs!

The gospel is true wherever we go and it's times like these (or when going to church in Paris) that we really put this belief to the test!

Diane said...

Jill, That is so true! They will be a tremendous boost to the ward which they joined.

Michelle, I know exactly how you feel! At the last change, when only ten families were moved into the 10th ward, I felt completely lost. But I have grown to love the people that wrapped us in their arms and "brought us in".

Natasha said...

So glad you made yourself go! On New Year's Day, both of my brothers were teasing us about being late to an extended family gathering because we went to church first. My policy is unless we are really sick, we go. Doesn't matter if it's New Year's Day, etc. In my opinion there always seems an easier option-- sleeping in, etc but I am always glad we chose to go to church once we get there.

Melinda said...

"Lately I feel like I have been working at a feverish pace, and feeling empty." Seriously, you just summed up my life with this statement.

I am so glad that good sister was so nice to you and was so welcoming to your new ward.

Michelle said...

What a great message - thanks for sharing. I would have a hard time if my ward changed and this is the second time for you! Kudos to the lady that is reaching out to the newbies.

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