Sunday, August 23, 2009

Let Him Do It With Simplicity

I have been toying with some ideas for this blog for a while, and I am going to go ahead and start this one.

If I have not mentioned it before, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I want to be better about living my religion, so in an effort to make The Sabbath Day more meaningful to me, I am going to do a review of a General Conference talk each week. I believe that in this crazy world pulling us in many directions it is a good idea to be stronger in living what we believe to be examples to our families and to others around us, whether it be silent or not.

The first talk I am going to look at is from the November 2008 General Conference given by Elder L. Tom Perry titled "Let Him Do It With Simplicity".

This talk really jumped out at me. A lot of us talk about how busy our lives are and how much we wish that things could be a bit simpler. We also have a lot of ups and downs in our lives. Elder Perry addresses this. I especially liked that he said the following:

"We can't predict all the struggles and storms in life, not even the ones just around the next corner, but as persons of faith and hope, we know beyond a shadow of any doubt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and the best is yet to come."

The best is yet to come! I find myself forgetting that a lot lately. He went on to talk about a time when he had problems with his job and his wife was diagnosed with a severe illness. They would go to a special place just to strengthen themselves and talk. What a great idea! How many of us have that kind of a place? And how many of us have that kind of down time with our spouses?

It turns out that the place they went for their time of relief was called Walden Pond, the same place that Henry David Thoreau spent 2 years just to live simply. Through his experiences, Thoreau decided that there are four essential things a person needs to survive: food, clothing, shelter, and fuel. Elder Perry goes on to expand on these four things.


In the church we have what we call the Word of Wisdom. It is basically a code of living that we all strive to live by in order to keep our bodies and our spirits healthy. This is located in The Doctrine and Covenants section 89. It is a good reminder to go back and read it again. I have not read it for a long time, but I know that it is more than just telling us not to drink coffee or take drugs. We all could do better in this part of our lives.


There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to clothing. Elder Perry stated that "When we are modestly dressed, we also invite the Spirit of the Lord to be a shield and a protection to us." He later went on to say, "I believe very casual dress is almost always followed by very casual manners." Have you ever noticed that when you dress up for a special occasion, your posture becomes better, and you become a little more formal in how you act? I sure have. My husband has as well. He has said before that when he is wearing a full suit that it is hard for him to be more casual. I find it fascinating that what we wear can have such a bearing on how we act.

One thing that we do, for the Sabbath Day at least, is that my husband and I wear our church clothes all day. In Stake conference today one of the speakers talk briefly about that. He said that "we don't necessarily need to wear our church clothes all day, but are we really showing respect by wearing the same clothes we did for Saturday?" Granted, we don't let our kids do that, because they are young, and we are realistic about the probability of their clothes getting ruined if they did that.

Another quote I liked from Elder Perry's talk was by President N. Eldon Tanner:

"Modest in dress is a quality of mind and heart, born of respect for oneself, one's fellowmen, and the Creator of us all. Modesty reflects an attitude of humility, decency, and propriety. Consistent with these principles and guided by the Holy Spirit, let parents, teachers, and youth discuss the particulars of dress, grooming, and personal appearance and with free agency accept responsibility and choose the right: ("Friend to Friend,"Friend, June 1971, 3.)


The third requirement hits home especially now during the housing crisis, which was referenced in this talk. Elder Perry reminds us again how we are urged to stay out of debt, and how "Our income should determine the kind of housing we can afford, not the neighbor's big home across the street." He also said, "One of the better ways to simplify our lives is to follow the council we have so often received to live within our income, stay out of debt, and save for a rainy day. We should practice and increase our habits of thrift, industry, economy, and frugality. Members of a well-managed family do not pay interest; they earn it."


The last requirement he speaks to is fuel. But he takes it to another level and talks about spiritual fuel. He mentions the parable of the 10 virgins, 5 wise, and 5 foolish at the beginning of Matthew 25. Elder Perry says that "We mush acquire knowledge of God's eternal plan and our role in it, and then by living righteously, surrendering our will to the will of the Lord, we receive the promised blessings."

I don't know about you, but I KNOW I need to do better in this area. I don't read the scriptures. I don't pray enough. I need to do better.

The last thing that really called to me in this talk was the last paragraph.

"In our search to obtain relief from the stresses of life, may we earnestly seek ways to simplify our lives. May we comply with the inspired counsel and direction the lord has given us in the great plan of happiness. May we be worthy to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost and follow the guidance of the Spirit as we navigate this mortal journey. May we prepare ourselves to accomplish the ultimate purpose of this mortal test - to return and live with our Heavenly Father.."

I know that I was meant to read this talk today. I am grateful that I have the resources to learn from these wonderful men who live their lives close to the Lord. I am also grateful that I can have the opportunity to make my life better, and simpler.

I hope you have found some truth you needed as well. Have a wonderful week!:)

No comments: