Sunday, April 10, 2011

Because I have been given much...

Ever since the first time I heard Sister Beck, the Relief Society General President, speak, I've been struck by her no-nonsense yet spiritual messages. She is not afraid to tell it like it is in an inspired and knowledgeable manner.

Sister Beck recently spoke to a crowd of women at BYU-Idaho and I've been studying what she says about women, our role, and achieving balance.  The words that are in blue are from this article about that meeting.  I've highlighted and italicized the phrases that jumped out to me.

Finding Balance

Citing the Lord’s commandment in 2 Nephi 9:51 to labor not for things that cannot satisfy, Sister Beck counseled to find balance by going to the Lord, then setting boundaries and prioritizing.

  • I love how she says to go to the Lord FIRST.  Shouldn't I do that in all things? Then I'll also go to the Lord once I've thought or planned it through.
“Some days you are going to feel guilty. . . . No woman ever has enough time, enough energy, and enough strength to do all the good things that are in her mind to do,” she said.

  • I have so much that I want to do, and that I need to do, but unfortunately, the lists do not overlap.

Sister Beck encouraged the women to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost in prioritizing their lives and promised that the Lord accepts their personal best and will bless them for their efforts.
  • The words "personal best" obviously stood out to me.  Heavenly Father knows what I am capable of.  He knows exactly what I can accomplish in all aspects of my life.  He knows and will accept MY best and does not compare me to my sister, my neighbor, or my friend like I sometimes do.
“The Lord knows who you are because it is His work,” she said. “He will strengthen and magnify you.”

  • It is His work.  Of course He will help me to go about His work.
She testified that “the Lord has blessings for His daughters. . . . We don’t have to be worried; we just have to be faithful.”

  • I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
    Philippians 4:13
As we turn outward and serve others, we ourselves will be blessed. “The poor will always be with us,” she said, “the poor in spirit, the poor in heart, the poor in the things of the world. They’re placed there to sanctify [us]. It is as we work on the Lord’s work that we become sanctified, because the problems are bigger than we are and the solutions can come only from heaven.”

  • This was quoted a couple of times this conference weekend:  God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.
    President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, December 1974, p.5
  • We did some service as a family recently, and the kids did not even grumble about doing it.  Manual labor, even.  They were excited!  When we serve our fellow beings we are also in the service of our God.
  • "[The Lord] has created ways to bless both those who need help and those who will give it.” —President Henry B. Eyring
Preparing to Minister
In addition to suggesting prayer, fasting, scripture study, and other ways to prepare before making a visit or teaching a lesson, Sister Beck encouraged the sisters to engage in lifelong preparation, which will make them more useful in the Lord’s hands

“The longer I am at this business, the more I feel the privilege of helping our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, in Their divine work,” she said. “This isn’t about a job . . . in the Church. This is about a calling to serve as the Lord’s hands.”

Sister Beck asked the women to become articulate in sharing their testimonies by studying the scriptures.
  • I've started a Scripture Journal, and I'm really having a good time with it.  I've jotted down scriptures and notes about them before, but this time I've got a three-ring-binder that I'm using, and I've divided it into topics. I'll share more on that later.
She encouraged them to develop their talents to be used to build up the Lord’s kingdom.
  •  God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.  
    ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • What are talents?  God's gifts.  So much greater than any of my dreams.  Reading my Patriarchal Blessing regularly gives me a glimpse of my potential.

She urged them to seek revelation by asking questions and to share what they know.

  • Seek answers to my questions, share them, and my testimony will grow and be strengthened.
She challenged them to get over the excuses they have allowed to keep them from doing the Lord’s work.
  • There is always something that seems to be more important to do.  Always.  I can come up with a million excuses to NOT be about my Father's work.  It needs to become a habit instead of making excuses.

Because I have been given much I to must give.

4 comments:

Michelle said...

Sister Beck spoke at our regional conference a few months back and the thing I remember most was this, "You are doing better than you think you are, but you can be doing better than you are doing." So compassionate and encouraging at the same time. Thanks for your thoughts on this talk.

Mandy said...

I love the scripture journal. I would like to give it a try. I look forward seeing how you did yours and how it helped you. Great talk...thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

Ahh, yes I think my biggest challenge is to get over all the excuses that stand in between me and the Lord's work. It's that the way with most people though. There are a few truly benevolent souls who are wonderful at being about the Lord's work and I admire them for it...they make me try to be better.

Laura@livingabigstory said...

Thanks for this link -- I look forward to reading it. I love what you wrote: "I have so much that I want to do, and that I need to do, but unfortunately, the lists do not overlap." I'm just not sure how to figure out this conflict ....

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