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Good Sunday

November 8, 2009

I had a really good Sunday today.  The Primary put on their program in sacrament meeting and it was just so wonderful.  Our ward always does a wonderful job with the Primary program.  I don’t remember feeling that same way in other wards.  I think it’s partly because our Primary is small and everyone gets a chance (or three) to share something.  They stayed within the time limit and the music was just really good this year.  They did two songs with sign language, one even had three verses!  They also used handbells for two different numbers.  They had to diligently watch the chart and only ring their bell when Sister W. pointed to their particular color. 

Of course D decided to wildly ring his red bell at one point when I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a red note, but overall it was pretty amazing how good they are with the bells.  D would also join in for random lines of the songs with sign language, then stand there looking bored for the rest of the song, but he did sing quite a bit more than I remember A ever doing at that same age.  He even gave his two speaking parts, although he kind of mumbled and it was hard to understand.  So many people commented on how cute he was.

C of course was fearless and A got up and read his parts just fine.  In fact, I hadn’t really even looked at his speaking parts as he reads so well and I knew he’d do fine, so I was almost surprised that I was so touched when he shared this quote of President Monson from April’s General Conference:

Parents, express your love to your children.  Pray for them that they may be able to withstand the evils of the world.  Pray that they may grow in faith and testimony.  Pray that they may pursue lives of goodness and of service to others.  Children, let your parents know you love them.  Let them know how much you appreciate all they have done and continue to do for you.”

I love this quote and I think I need to go back and read this entire talk again.  Motherhood and parenting with all their associated responsibilities have been on my mind a lot lately, probably due to the fact that another child will join our family in the very near future.  There’s so much that I need to do for these little ones, beyond just caring for their physical needs.  They need my love, prayer, faith, and teaching.

We had a wonderful lesson in Relief Society today as well and it kind of tied into my thoughts about motherhood at this time in my life.  I will try to share the comment I made in class although I’ll probably butcher the sentiment.  I should have written this down the moment I got home from church. 

There was a quote in the lesson about this marvelous dispensation that we’re living in and what an important work we have the opportunity to take part in, in these latter days. 

The work which has to be accomplished in the last days is one of vast importance, and will call into action the energy, skill, talent, and ability of the Saints, so that it may roll forth with that glory and majesty described by the prophet [Daniel]; and will consequently require the concentration of the Saints, to accomplish works of such magnitude and grandeur.

The teacher asked how we reconcile what an exciting time we’re living in to the fact that our day to day living just isn’t always that…exciting.  Or marvelous, or particularly glorious. 

I like this quote from the lesson manual: “It will be necessary for the Saints to hearken to counsel and turn their attention to the Church, the Establishment of the Kingdom, and lay aside every selfish principle, everything low and groveling; and stand forward in the cause of truth…”

I don’t think that I myself will be one to accomplish anything huge and important to a great number of people, or to the world, or to the kingdom.  But in choosing to “lay aside every selfish principle” on a daily basis, I can do great and marvelous things in my own home, and that is where my power and importance will be primarily felt.  Raising righteous children is where I feel I can do the most important work in building up the kingdom. 

I am practically everything to my children at this point in their lives.  I am MOM!  That has to be one of the most wonderful, and yet one of the hardest callings to hold.  I don’t get a day off.  Once you bring a child into this world, you never stop being the mom.  It always amazes me to look at my babies when they are six months old or so and realize that every ounce they have gained has been because I fed them day in and day out without a break.

As they grow older and their physical dependence on me decreases somewhat, it still takes discipline every single day, to lay aside my selfish desires and put my efforts into raising my children, into teaching them the gospel, into building an eternal family.  That coincidentally was the theme of the Primary this year.  Maybe that’s why their program resonated with me so much today.  I know that’s what I want to do, yet it is still hard sometimes to put aside my desires and do what needs to be done to take care of my family.

So much of family life is repetitious.  Everyone needs to be fed daily, dishes need to washed, laundry needs to be done, the house needs cleaning.  As we also make spiritual things repetitious: prayer, scripture study, family home evenings, serving each other; we are building up our eternal family and accomplishing the work of the Kingdom in our own small way.  And yet, it is still hard some days to get up every morning and do the same things all over again. 

One huge reason that we decided to homeschool, and in fact felt like we needed to homeschool, was that we wanted our children to have a more sure knowledge of who they are, why they are on the earth at this time, and what their role is in Heavenly Father’s plan.  We wanted them to have a strong LDS education now.  Of course there is seminary to look forward to at age 14, but we wanted to be able to begin our days’ work with prayer and scripture study and gospel discussions from the very beginning of their education.  Gospel study is the subject which is the foundation for all other learning, not just an extra to be fit in somewhere somehow, around everything else.  Because we feel so strongly about this, and because teaching my children takes all of the “energy, skill, talent, and ability” I feel that I have somedays, I need to become even better at “laying aside every selfish principle.”  I think this was the lesson for me today.  I just keep coming back to that line.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anne permalink
    November 9, 2009 12:15 am

    Wonderful! Thank you, I needed to be reminded and your testimony was the perfect balm. Part of the reason I am not writing much at San Francisco is that I’m frustrated and honestly depressed about how people here are reacting to the size & composition of my family. Everywhere we go we get comments, some just rude, some downright evil. The family is no longer important in this world, in fact, they are attempting to turn it into something discusting and wrong. Thank you for posting this testimony, I feel ready to head out again tomorrow, thanks to you! I was dreading it, but my children deserve to see the sights! Anne

  2. Mom permalink
    November 9, 2009 11:53 am

    Thank you for your wonderful comments and testimony I really liked the quotes you used. I would have liked to have seen the boys do their parts, especially D’s wild ringing of the bell. You and your DH are doing a great job.

  3. Stephanie permalink
    November 11, 2009 2:08 am

    I enjoyed your testimony. I really needed to hear that. Thank You.
    With two little ones under the age of three I realize how much they depend a lot on both of us, but especially on me, their mom, throughout the day. Some days it’s not easy.

    And it’s easy to forget oneself, despite the routine, sometimes I forget my own routine for the sake of keeping theirs, and then I realize “I forgot to take my vitamins” or as I am heading out the door, I realize I never got the chance to brush my hair.

    And it is good to have a reminder to be less selfish and have more patience; at least, I know I needed a reminder for sure. 🙂

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