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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

Lesson taught by Jeanine M.

We had a great discussion with a panel of sisters that shared with us thoughts and testimony of the different topics addressed in President Boyd K. Packer’s talk, These Things I Know.

The Invasion of the Adversary:  
Boyd K. Packer says “We will not always be safe from the adversary’s influence, even within our own homes.  We need to protect our nestlings.”
What are the adversary’s greatest threats?
How do we keep these influences away from ourselves and our ‘nestlings’?
How do we strive to live so the adversary cannot steal into our homes?

Our panel agreed that one of the biggest threats from the adversary today is aimed at the family.  President Packer says, “We find safety and security for ourselves and our children in honoring the covenants we have made and living up to the ordinary acts of obedience required of followers of Christ.”  Nicole shared an experience where her teenage son was questioning the practice of Family Home Evening.  She responded that she was trying to be obedient to what the prophets have asked us to do. These ordinary acts of obedience are the protection our families need. 

Mothers and Fathers:
President Packer bears testimony of the power of the priesthood and the faithful prayers of righteous mothers.  “I have come to know that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief.  

There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother.”  

Women can have a great influence for good as they pray for those around them.  They can also give encouragement to draw upon the power of the priesthood. We are so blessed to have access to this power.  Parents together have the responsibility to teach their children about the Holy Ghost and the Atonement.   One of the best ways to do this is by example. Hannah shared how important it is for parents to testify of truths often and especially during teaching moments.

Alma 56:47, 48 tells us of the stripling warriors that had courage because they had ‘mothers that knew’.  Sister Julie B. Beck says, “When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with him, they will have great power and influence for good…”

Click and watch the Mormon Message by Jeffrey R. Holland entitled: 
Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

Boyd K. Packer states, “Agency is defined in the scriptures as ‘moral agency’, which means that we can choose between good and evil.  The adversary seeks to tempt us to misuse our moral agency.”
What are lessons you have learned about agency?
Syd gave us her advice to not ‘react’ strongly to some of the negative choices or statements our children might make, rather talk calmly about their actions and the consequences.  If we listen and love we build our relationships, then we can become a greater influence on them than the world or their friends.  This allows us to communicate and share our beliefs more easily.  We must make our short time with them a comfortable loving place,  allowing us to be more influential than the outside influences of the long hours they are away.  Many of us agreed that children need the opportunity to make choices and let them have natural consequences to go with those choices.  We also believe that each child is different and we need to listen to the Spirit as we give them experiences with agency.

“Tolerance is a virtue, but like all virtues, when exaggerated, it transforms itself into a vice.  We need to be careful of the ‘tolerance trap’ so that we are not swallowed up in it.”  President Packer
What are things we need to be careful of ‘tolerating’?  How do we deal with family members who have fallen into these traps?
To tolerate is so politically correct now that we need to be careful to not tolerate sin.  As we stand up for truths that are correct, we also need to remember to love the sinner. 

Holy Ghost:
Boyd K. Packer says, “Teach yourself and teach your families about the gift of the Holy Ghost and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  You will do no greater eternal work than within the walls of your own home.”
What have you done to learn about the Holy Ghost?
What can we do to teach our families about the Holy Ghost?
Elder Packer uses the term “stay in condition” to respond to promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Do you have any ideas about how to do that?

Some thoughts on these questions:
Do the important ‘dailys’ such as scripture reading and prayer.  Come to church. Notice changes in your life and be willing to change with those changes.  For example, when you were in college, nightly scripture study worked, with little ones at home, maybe the first few minutes of naptime is devoted to studying; with teenagers at home, you might want to try studying in the morning.

Click the title and watch the Mormon Message: 

We can rely on the atonement to make up for our weaknesses as we journey through life’s experiences.  Remember to not dwell on past mistakes and know that Christ will be there if our intents and attempts to live the gospel are pure.

“At the end of my life’s story,
I’ll kneel before His wounded feet;
I’ll feel His spirit glow.
My whispering, quivering voice will say,
My Lord, my God, I know.”   
Boyd K. Packer

Neil L. Andersen reminds us to be patient in our quest, 
“Our spiritual journey is the process of a lifetime.  You don’t know everything, but you know enough.”

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