Daily Archives: 1/13/2008

Better Prepared to Press Forward

There was so much to think about from today that I don’t even know where to start. In fact, I couldn’t even come up with something good to say that stuck out at me at branch prayer this evening. I knew I shouldn’t have gone! I was actually thinking that so much of it seems like the same old thing we keep hearing, but I didn’t really want to say that tonight to everyone. I think it’s true though. At first I had the take that we know all this, why keep telling us, aren’t we doing a good job already? As I pondered, I realized that we keep getting told the same thing because we haven’t quite got it figured out yet and someone is hoping that if they explain it enough times that it will finally sink in. It’s good because each time someone talks about a subject we do generally learn something because either new information is presented or it is presented in such a way that it gives us new inspiration or it suddenly clicks. For example, the statistic that the average melchizedek priesthood holder goes to the temple only three times a year is disturbing. I know that everyone isn’t equal, so some are going frequently and others are not going at all. Some may not even have current recommends or be worthy or hold one, but we clearly need to improve on this.

We were asked to continue to prepare for emergencies this morning. This was good timing after the fires in October and hopefully will call many people to action. President Smith, I believe, said that he had been preparing for earthquakes, but hadn’t thought about the impact of a fire. After our opportunity to evacuate I believe I am better prepared, but know that I still have a long way to go. We had more about living within our means I think (although I could be confusing this from last night – I didn’t get enough sleep). Either way, I thought about it some more today. There are definitely some steps I can take to cut my expenses to save for the future (and emergencies) and provide more in offerings.

The Sister from the Young Women’s Presidency talked about observing the Sabbath and how we need to make decisions about what is appropriate and what is not – we can’t expect someone else to give us those answers. She gave an example of a brother who was hoping she would grant him permission to run a marathon on the Sabbath because it wasn’t offered at any other time. He ended up receiving blessings after running it alone, in traffic, on the Saturday before the actual marathon. He later got to come to Salt Lake for general conference and was able to run a marathon in St. George the weekend after. Of course we can’t see what is in front of us sometimes, but we need to do our best to follow the guidance of our prophets and press forward with the faith that we will be blessed by doing so.

The fireside tonight was on marriage and preparing for it. Elder Tingey said we aren’t going to find perfection because it doesn’t exist (at least not in our reach). He challenged us as a step in preparing to ask someone who would tell us honestly what we could do to improve our physical appearance. I’m not sure I completely understand the weight of this question, but maybe with some more pondering it will be more than a hysterical remark and instead can be a thought provoking question leading the participants to growth and improvement.

Hopefully someone will remind me of the other important things that were mentioned because my brain in turning off…

Consistent

So it’s way late, but I shouldn’t go to sleep without writing down at least some rough thoughts from stake conference this evening. I probably shouldn’t have gone to Claim Jumper with the Dowden clan, but why mess with tradition. I need to be up in like 5 hours to be back at church for the general session tomorrow.

President Smith pressed consistency with which we do things. This would include temple attendance and reading among others. We had a good talk on fasting and also talks on provident living, specifically keeping ourselves debt free (or getting out of debt) and paying a full tithe and offerings. We were encouraged to fast for 24 hours from midday to midday, which makes more sense to me than what I had been under the impression most people were doing – fasting after dinner Saturday till dinner Sunday. If we go from lunch Saturday to dinner Sunday we may really be going without three meals, not just the two required, but we will be pressing forward with more faith and making a bigger sacrifice.