Sunday, February 24, 2008

Joyful Sabbath--Is it even possible with three small children?

The recent worldwide leadership training meeting on February 9 on the topic of "Building up a righteous posterity" gave me a lot of food for thought. (You can listen, watch, or read transcripts now from the Church's website.) One part in particular made an impression on both my husband and me:
Elder Holland: Could I make a plea to our group and to the larger Church that we do everything possible to reclaim the joy of the Sabbath. I don’t know that we could do more to enhance family unity in the Church than to enjoy Sunday fully. And we do enjoy it. I enjoy it. As busy as I am, I live for Sunday. But the early scriptural declarations, I’m thinking particularly clear back into the Old Testament, up to and including our own Doctrine and Covenants pronouncements, have been about the joy of the Sabbath, the joy of worship, and the delight of the Sabbath. Surely we can do better at having a Sabbath together.
Too often for me Sunday is not a joyful day. All our schedules are messed up--missed naps (thank goodness for 9am church this year!), cranky children, long meetings, extra responsibilities, etc, etc, etc. I rarely get anything out of sacrament meeting (three children under five), and although I adore my calling, I don't get any gospel instruction time. Usually I can't wait to put the kids in bed (is 6pm too early?), and veg in front of my computer for the rest of the evening. I go to my meetings, I do my visiting teaching, and I try not to let the kids watch TV or play outside with friends. But a joyful Sabbath it is not.

After the leadership training meeting, my husband and I vowed to do better. Naturally the next week he was called as the Elders' Quorum President. But, interestingly enough, even though he has more meetings on Sunday, we have had a series of marvelous Sabbath days. We've had Grandma and Grandpa over for dinner (they're going on a mission soon), we've played games, written letters, told gospel and non-gospel stories, had a "picnic" dinner in the living room, taken naps (a personal favorite). It's been a joy to spend so much fun time with my family.

Don't get me wrong. Sacrament meeting is still a struggle (last week was mortifying--my children were so loud multiple people turned around to give me sympathetic looks; we have an understanding ward!), the kids still don't like to nap, and we're still barred from going on walks by the weather. But I've enjoyed the last three Sundays more than any for the last year, at least. I hope we can keep it up--it certainly does prepare me for the coming week.

Monday, February 04, 2008

New First Presidency

The 16th prophet of the Church has been announced--it is, of course, President Thomas S. Monson. We love you President Monson, and we're praying for you!

President Monson has chosen President Eyring to be his first counselor, and Elder (now President) Uchtdorf to be his second counselor.

I think it's awesome. I love to listen to Elder Uchtdorf talk, and now we will get many opportunities to do so. Yay!

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