I'd just like to add that this is a talk I'm giving tomorrow in church, so if there's any chance that you'll be there... STOP reading so you can still laugh at the approriate places. :) Again, it's a talk and is written thusly... and NO mom, I won't be reading it, but I kind of wanted to see how long it was...
Obedience and Following the Prophet
1. When my mother calls me… quickly I’ll obey, I want to do just what is best, each and everyday. I love this song (especially the mom part), and perhaps it’s even what I think heaven’s like. Me asking for things to get done… and them getting done. Simple pleas, get in your carseat – done. Get your shoes on – Done Clean-up your room – Done. Don’t hit your brother – Done. I think all moms would agree with me there.
2. I’d like to introduce our family which will perhaps give you an idea of why I hold a primary song in such high standing. My husband, is Drew – he’s the one suffering with our 2 kids with the sainted Yuens. He is the music teacher at Santa Clara High School. He is from Preston, ID, went on a mission to Seoul Korea and graduated in Music Education from BYU, which is where we met. I, am Hilary, I grew-up in Provo, UT. I am a labor and delivery nurse at Regional Medical Center and O’Connor Hospital. I graduated in nursing from BYU. Drew and I met in a singles ward at byu . We have two boys. Our oldest is Conner, he just started Kindergarten at Ponderosa Elementary School. And then we have Spencer – he just entered nursery and I couldn’t be happier.
3. Of course, with a family of 2 boys it’s not surprising I’m begging for a simple song to be followed sometimes the song is sang through clenched teeth as someone’s having a tantrum as fighting and looting is breaking out all over our house. As I was thinking about this song, recently I wondered if Heavenly Father ever feels this way. He calls us, do we obey? For many of us, I fear that our obedience is possibly in line with my 2 boys.
4. As I said, I work as a labor and delivery nurse. It is imperative that we follow our policy and procedure manual. Many nurses call it our “bible” which is amusing since I’m fairly sure most of them regard the bible, itself, as a waste of paper. The policy and procedure manual helps us to have healthy moms and healthy babes. Which is what all of us want. When the policy and procedure manual is not followed, we leave ourselves open to poor outcomes and possible litigation.
5. I find that in order to follow my policy and procedure manual I have to know what it says. Of course, I don’t know what it says on every topic, but the main ones are emblazoned on my mind. I find that’s the same with anything, especially following our prophets. There are several ways to hear the words of our prophet, to make sure we can obey. We can listen to General Conference, and surprisingly enough I was given this particular topic just days before the October General Conference. Our family prefers to watch General Conference in our jammies with an orange roll in hand. However, young children are at times shockingly distracting and sometimes I’m not as able to listen to the talks as I might hope. That’s when the Ensign comes in handy. Each of the GC talks are printed in the next month’s Ensign. I have used this lately as the topics for our family home evening. Of course, they’re watered down to the primary level but I try and use inspiration from each of the apostle’s and first presidency’s talks to base the lesson on. I feel like they’re extremely relevant to our day and stress what’s really important. Thankfully I feel like those topics which are really important to us are stressed several times each year. Things like not going into debt, having a little savings and staying away from pornography seem to be stressed often. Repition is just a symbol that we truly haven’t “got” it… and we need reminders, much like “sharing, or not hitting” is often stressed around my house. We can also read the prophets each month in the Ensign. I am sure we are all aware of the recent plea from President Hinckley for each of us to be striving to thread the book of Mormon before the end of the year. I believe Drew will talk more on this later., but I will add my testimony that this has truly brought a better spirit into our home as he said it would. We can’t say that our prophets are unaccessible, it’s easy to find the guidance they give.
6. Of course, once you find-out all the rules, sometimes you can be overwhelmed. I recently wrote a blog entry about you to balance a generous fast offering, providing yourself with savings, etc. A friend of mine wrote me back saying that was a problem in her life too. I remember when we were both hanging-in there with our husbands as they finished their undergraduate degrees and we were both pregnant. We wondered how we could stay out of debt, pay an honest tithing and a generous fast offering, how we could both stay at home with our children, how our husbands and ourselves could receive and education and how we could also set-aside some for savings or emergencies. That task can be truly daunting, and sometimes you feel like you need to, but can’t follow everything.
7. I lived in the Regency Apartments while I lived at BYU they are a girls-only apartment complex and BYU has a great rule called the “Chastity line.” Aka, members of the opposite sex should not be crossing that line, it usually has to do with where the bedrooms are. However, the bathrooms in the apartment were behind the chastity line. There were “public” restrooms in the laundry room but that closed at 10 pm. Which, if you had a friend over past 10 pm and they had the wrong chromosomal make-up they needed to find a close bush. However, my roommates and I found that this didn’t make us feel like the best hostesses. I remember my roommate, who was then the relief society president, asked our bishop what we should do. He told us the great Joseph Smith line, “Teach them correct priciples and let them govern themselves.” Of course, we found that it depended on the situation. Hopefully we could not have boys in our apartment so late, but sometimes parties happen, and we would hope that there would be a boy there from a nearby complex that would allow them to use their facilities. And, at times we had to let them cross the line and use our facilities. Of course, prior to that we shut all the doors to bedrooms. We got through it, and felt fine about our decisions. I’d also like to add that if I could not have boys in my bathroom now, I think the world might be a brighter place for all of us. Life is full of balancing priciples – being honest while not hurting feelings. I find it is one of the toughest things about life.
8. My dad was a bishop at a BYU ward when President Benson gave a talk at, I believe, General Conference that Women should not be working outside the home. Boy, oh boy was there an uproar. These women felt like they’d spent their time at BYU getting their degree and they needed to use it. I think some of them chose not to follow this and some of them prayed for a testimony of their own. I am grateful for the principle that we need to pray on the guidance the prophets give us to know how that priciple fits best into our lives. I don’t think it’s smart to live blindly by everything they say and not have a true testimony of this in our own lives. This particular issue has been an issue in my own life, being that I do work outside the home 1-2 nights/week. However, I do have a testimony that this principle is true. When I don’t work our family is happier… and when I work a lot, well, it isn’t. It’s just that simple. However, in order to follow the counsel not to go into debt, as well as keep-up my lisencure and skills should a band teacher not be needed, we have had to have a little income from my side, also we are able to use sitters fairly rarely because my husband can watch the children after school. Our lives are a never-ending flex where I feel like there will be a day when it is imperitive that I not work, and at that point I will have to make that decision. That is where staying close to the spirit can come in handy.
9. One of my favorite stories in the doctrine & convenants is the story abut Joseph Smith and Martin Harris and the plates. Joesph asked several times if he could PUHLLEEEZE let Martin take the gold plates to show his wife. And God, much like myself after being worn-down after repeated whining. Fine, take ‘em but I told you not to. Then, Martin loses them and he and Joesph are both in the doghouse. I am grateful to know that a religious giant like Joseph Smith makes mistakes and also that sometimes things didn’t go like he had planned. He wasn’t obedient and he paid a price for it. I also truly appreciate the scripture D&C 3:3 “It is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men.” Meaning that god’s work will always go forward, regardless of how many mistakes I stupidly make.
10. Conner and I have been reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle together. I have loved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle since I was a young girl and I am hoping that perhaps the stories in there will teach Conner a lesson. That lesson of course being that we are happier when we do right things. For those of you less-cultured than I. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is a woman who takes children into her home to teach them the lessons that good little chidren need to learn. On our most recent adventure with Mrs. PW we found Fetlock, who was a horrible liar. She took him up on his lies, asked him to ride her horse after he said that he was a world champion cowboy, asked him to milk her cow after he said he’d lived on a dairy ranch. Fetlock soon learned that it was much easier to tell the truth than to lie, and also that people had much more respect for those that were honest. I think this is the greatest lesson of obedience. It’s not like God and the prophets are going to ask us to do something that wouldn’t bless us. We are truly happier when we follow the advice of the brethren.
11. In closing I’d like to remind everyone that Conference is just next week, and while it is rare that a giant new doctrine will come-about in the new conference it is awfully important that we be reminded of the “policies and procedures” that will help our lives to be happier, more peaceful and more in like with those God would want us to live.