More Diligent & Concerned At Home -[Sunday, November 22nd Lesson]   Leave a comment

More Diligent and Concerned at Home

Elder David A. Bednar

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Wecan become more diligent and concerned at home as we are more faithfulin learning, living, and loving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder David A. BednarIn1833 the Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation that contained astrong rebuke to several leading brethren of the Church to set theirfamilies in order (see D&C 93:40–50).A specific phrase from this revelation provides the theme for mymessage—“more diligent and concerned at home” (verse 50). I want tosuggest three ways each of us can become more diligent and concerned inour homes. I invite you to listen both with ears that hear and withhearts that feel, and I pray for the Spirit of the Lord to be with allof us.

Suggestion Number One: Express Love—and Show It
We can begin to become more diligent and concerned at home bytelling the people we love that we love them. Such expressions do notneed to be flowery or lengthy. We simply should sincerely andfrequently express love.

Brethren and sisters, when was the last time you took your eternalcompanion in your arms and said, “I love you”?  Parents, when was thelast time you sincerely expressed love to your children? Children, whenwas the last time you told your parents that you love them?

Each of us already knows we should tell the people we love that welove them. But what we know is not always reflected in what we do. Wemay feel unsure, awkward, or even perhaps a bit embarrassed.
As disciples of the Savior, we are not merely striving to knowmore; rather, we need to consistently do more of what we know is rightand become better.

We should remember that saying “I love you” is only a beginning. Weneed to say it, we need to mean it, and most importantly we needconsistently to show it. We need to both express and demonstrate love.
President Thomas S. Monson recently counseled: “Often we assume that [the people around us] mustknow how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should letthem know. . . . We will never regret the kind words spoken or theaffection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things areomitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us” (“Finding Joy in the Journey,Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 86).

Sometimes in a sacrament meeting talk or testimony, we hear astatement like this: “I know I do not tell my spouse often enough howmuch I love her. Today I want her, my children, and all of you to knowthat I love her.”

Such an expression of love may be appropriate. But when I hear astatement like this, I squirm and silently exclaim that the spouse andchildren should not be hearing this apparently rare and privatecommunication in public at church! Hopefully the children hear loveexpressed and see love demonstrated between their parents in theregular routine of daily living. If, however, the public statement oflove at church is a bit surprising to the spouse or the children, thenindeed there is a need to be more diligent and concerned at home.

The relationship between love and appropriate action isdemonstrated repeatedly in the scriptures and is highlighted by theSavior’s instruction to His Apostles: “If ye love me, keep mycommandments” (John 14:15). Just as our love of and for the Lord is evidenced by walking ever in His ways (see Deuteronomy 19:9), so our love for spouse, parents, and children is reflected most powerfully in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds (see Mosiah 4:30).

Feeling the security and constancy of love from a spouse, a parent,or a child is a rich blessing. Such love nurtures and sustains faith inGod. Such love is a source of strength and casts out fear (see 1 John 4:18). Such love is the desire of every human soul.

We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we express love—and consistently show it.

Suggestion Number Two: Bear Testimony—and Live It
We also can become more diligent and concerned at home by bearingtestimony to those whom we love about the things we know to be true bythe witness of the Holy Ghost. The bearing of testimony need not belengthy or eloquent. And we do not need to wait until the first Sundayof the month to declare our witness of things that are true. Within thewalls of our own homes, we can and should bear pure testimony of thedivinity and reality of the Father and the Son, of the great plan ofhappiness, and of the Restoration.

Brethren and sisters, when was the last time you bore testimony toyour eternal companion? Parents, when was the last time you declaredyour witness to your children about the things you know to be true? Andchildren, when was the last time you shared your testimony with yourparents and family?

Each of us already knows we should bear testimony to the people welove the most. But what we know is not always reflected in what we do.We may feel unsure, awkward, or even perhaps a bit embarrassed.
As disciples of the Savior, we are not merely striving to knowmore; rather, we need to consistently do more of what we know is rightand become better.

We should remember that bearing a heartfelt testimony is only abeginning. We need to bear testimony, we need to mean it, and mostimportantly we need consistently to live it. We need to both declareand live our testimonies.

The relationship between testimony and appropriate action isemphasized in the Savior’s instruction to the Saints in Kirtland: “Thatwhich the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do” (D&C 46:7).Our testimony of gospel truth should be reflected both in our words andin our deeds. And our testimonies are proclaimed and lived mostpowerfully in our own homes. Spouses, parents, and children shouldstrive to overcome any hesitancy, reluctance, or embarrassment aboutbearing testimony. We should both create and look for opportunities tobear testimony of gospel truths—and live them.

A testimony is what we know to be true in our minds and in our hearts by the witness of the Holy Ghost (see D&C 8:2).As we profess truth rather than admonish, exhort, or simply shareinteresting experiences, we invite the Holy Ghost to confirm the verityof our words. The power of pure testimony (see Alma 4:19)does not come from sophisticated language or effective presentation;rather, it is the result of revelation conveyed by the third member ofthe Godhead, even the Holy Ghost.

Feeling the power, the edification, and the constancy of testimonyfrom a spouse, a parent, or a child is a rich blessing. Such testimonyfortifies faith and provides direction. Such testimony generates lightin a world that grows increasingly dark. Such testimony is the sourceof an eternal perspective and of enduring peace.
We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we bear testimony—and consistently live it.

Suggestion Number Three: Be Consistent
As our sons were growing up, our family did what you have done andwhat you now do. We had regular family prayer, scripture study, andfamily home evening. Now, I am sure what I am about to describe hasnever occurred in your home, but it did in ours.

Sometimes Sister Bednar and I wondered if our efforts to do thesespiritually essential things were worthwhile. Now and then verses ofscripture were read amid outbursts such as “He’s touching me!” “Makehim stop looking at me!” “Mom, he’s breathing my air!” Sincere prayersoccasionally were interrupted with giggling and poking. And withactive, rambunctious boys, family home evening lessons did not alwaysproduce high levels of edification. At times Sister Bednar and I wereexasperated because the righteous habits we worked so hard to fosterdid not seem to yield immediately the spiritual results we wanted andexpected.
Today if you could ask our adult sons what they remember aboutfamily prayer, scripture study, and family home evening, I believe Iknow how they would answer. They likely would not identify a particularprayer or a specific instance of scripture study or an especiallymeaningful family home evening lesson as the defining moment in theirspiritual development. What they would say they remember is that as afamily we were consistent.

Sister Bednar and I thought helping our sons understand the contentof a particular lesson or a specific scripture was the ultimateoutcome. But such a result does not occur each time we study or pray orlearn together. The consistency of our intent and work was perhaps thegreatest lesson—a lesson we did not fully appreciate at the time.

In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The paintingis a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which inisolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you standclose to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelatedand unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However,as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individualbrushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of awheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together tocreate a captivating and beautiful painting.

Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, andeach family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls.No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just asthe yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each otherand produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doingseemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results.“Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying thefoundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth thatwhich is great” (D&C 64:33).Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great workin our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned inour own homes.

Being consistent in our homes is important for another reason. Manyof the Savior’s harshest rebukes were directed to hypocrites. Jesuswarned His disciples concerning the scribes and Pharisees: “Do not yeafter their works: for they say, and do not” (Matthew 23:3).This strong admonition is sobering given the counsel to “expresslove—and show it,” to “bear testimony—and live it,” and to “beconsistent.”

The hypocrisy in our lives is most readily discerned and causes thegreatest destruction within our own homes. And children often are themost alert and sensitive when it comes to recognizing hypocrisy.

A public statement of love when the private actions of love areabsent at home is hypocrisy—and weakens the foundation of a great work.Publicly declaring testimony when faithfulness and obedience aremissing within our own homes is hypocrisy—and undermines the foundationof a great work. The commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16)applies most pointedly to the hypocrite in each of us. We need to beand become more consistent. “But be thou an example of the believers,in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

As we seek the Lord’s help and in His strength, we can graduallyreduce the disparity between what we say and what we do, betweenexpressing love and consistently showing it, and between bearingtestimony and steadfastly living it. We can become more diligent andconcerned at home as we are more faithful in learning, living, andloving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and . . . thefamily is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of Hischildren” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). For these and other eternally important reasons, we should be more diligent and concerned at home.

May every spouse, every child, and every parent be blessed tocommunicate and receive love, to bear and be edified by strongtestimony, and to become more consistent in the seemingly small thingsthat matter so much.
In these important pursuits we will never be left alone. OurHeavenly Father and His Beloved Son live. They love us and know ourcircumstances, and They will help us to become more diligent andconcerned at home. Of these truths I testify in the sacred name of theLord Jesus Christ, amen.

Plainview Texas Branch; Lubbock Stake Announcements;

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009: Relief Society Enrichment Meeting 6:30p.m.

Saturday, November 21st, 2009: Branch Temple Day
Saturday, November 21st, 2009: Youth Com. 5:00p.m. @ Stake Center
Saturday, November 21st, 2009: Youth Fireside 6:00p.m. @ Stake Center
Saturday, November 21st, 2009: 7:00p.m. Youth Dance @ Stake Center

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009: Branch Council- Time To Be Announced Later

Thursday, November 26th, 2009: Thanksgiving; **Temple Closed**


Posted November 16, 2009 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: