On to our talk for the week. When I was going through the index of the Conference Ensign to pick which talks to focus on, I saw the title of this talk and it really struck me. It is the talk by Elder Scott entitled "For Peace at Home." As you know, we have six kids and some days our home does not feel very peaceful. I don't mean to say that we have a lot of arguing going on, although we do have those days. I mean that there simply is a lot of activity and noise happening at any given moment. As I read the title I also thought about how the world needs peace. We need the inside assurance that all will be well, even if it is not well at the moment. So I decided to put this talk on my list and I've been able to learn from it. And now, I'd like to share what I have learned and what portions of it struck me. He starts out by saying:
Many voices from the world in which we live tell us we should live at a frantic pace. There is always more to do and more to accomplish.
Yet deep inside each of us is a need to have a place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can reset, regroup, and reenergize to prepare for future pressures. The ideal place for that peace is within the walls of our own homes, where we have done all we can to make the Lord Jesus Christ the centerpiece.
From Elder Scott's talk, I was able to pull out 5 ways to center our home on Jesus Christ.
- Base every decision on what Christ would have you do. WWJD?
- Use technology wisely.
- Invite the Holy Ghost into our lives.
- Serve others around you.
- Obey the commandments.
Talking about the first point, I liked this quote from Elder Scott's talk:
It is important for parents to teach children to recognize how their actions affect each individual who lives in the home. Children who are made to feel accountable for their actions, whether righteous or otherwise, grow to become trustworthy citizens in the kingdom of God.
Elder Scott says the essentials of centering a home on the Savior include "daily personal and family prayer, daily personal and family scripture study, and weekly family home evening." I have to confess, I was not excited to do family home evening and it was my husband that pushed me to make a commitment to it. The kids really look forward to it now and we have been very consistent with it. They especially love treat. We do choose to do it on Sundays rather than Mondays because we're not as tired and stressed with running from place to place on Sunday. We also don't feel crunched for time on Sunday. Sometimes on Monday, by the time DH comes home and we have dinner, we only have 20 minutes before we start having children that need to get ready for bed. We do okay with family prayer. It happens, although I don't know how spiritual of an experience it is. We do some scripture reading as a family each night. We should probably start focusing on how to make it more spiritual and relevant to the kids, but at least it does happen. So, we are trying to cover the basics and for the most part we are hitting them. We just need to ramp up our level of involvement in them. Go from praying to talking with our Father in Heaven. Go from reading the scriptures to inviting family members to ponder them and use them in our daily lives. Elder Scott also makes an oblique reference to Alma 37:6 when he says, "Remember: little things lead to big things. . . Simple, consistent, good habits lead to a life full of bountiful blessings."
On to point number two. Use technology wisely. I know I spend too much time on the computer. I told someone the other day that I was afraid my kids would only remember me in front of a computer. Now a lot of the time I spend on the computer is for good things. I plan our homeschool days and weeks on the computer. I do a chore chart to make sure we keep our house sanitary. I talk about General Conference addresses and verbalize what I have learned from them. These are good things. But there can be too much of a good thing. Like brownies. So, I need to evaluate when I am doing something productive and ask myself, "Am I just wasting time or am I actually using the Internet? Can I do this later so that I can spend face to face time with my children and give them my whole attention? Am I serving Facebook or is it serving me?"
Number three - Do all we can to invite the Holy Ghost into our lives. "Acting obediently on those promptings strengthens us even more." I have a hard time with this one because I'm never sure if the Holy Ghost is prompting me or if I'm just making stuff up. My DH is so much better at this principle than I am. I tend to lean on his feelings maybe more than I should. One of the principles of the Church is self-reliance and in this, I am not self-reliant. I'm not exactly sure how to improve on this; I just know I should.
Going on to number four, the principle of service, Elder Scott says:
Greater peace will come as you couple your efforts to be obedient with serving those around you.
Selfishness is the root of great evil. The antidote for that evil is exemplified in the life of the Savior. He shows us how to focus our lives outward in unselfish service to others.
When we obey the commandments of the Lord and serve His children unselfishly, the natural consequence is power from God—power to do more than we can do by ourselves. Our insights, our talents, our abilities are expanded because we receive strength and power from the Lord. His power is a fundamental component to establishing a home filled with peace.
We need not worry if we can’t simultaneously do all of the things that the Lord has counseled us to do. He has spoken of a time and a season for all things.
In response to our sincere prayers for guidance, He will direct us in what should be emphasized at each phase of our life. We can learn, grow, and become like Him one consistent step at a time.
One of the other quotes I like was:
One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds.
So now I have 5 ways to make sure my home is a Christ-centered home and I've identified a few ways that I can improve my home. I just need to make sure I implement them.