Tuesday, May 3, 2016

More Spiritual, Less Material

After every General Conference, I go back and slowly re-read all of the talks before the next General Conference six months later. Well, actually I blast them on my blue-tooth speaker in the kitchen while I'm doing dishes. My family knows that when mom is scrubbing pots and pans and listening to prophetic council, they don't bother me. It is my special time to listen, reflect, ponder, absorb the spirit, plus get my kitchen shiny and clean. I am a multitasker by nature, so this works for me!
This past week I listened to the April 2016 talk by Elder Hallstrom called "I am a Child of God," and I haven't stopped thinking about it. I wanted to share a few things that have touched my soul from this talk.https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/i-am-a-child-of-god?lang=eng
In his talk, Elder Hallstrom tells about a recent trip he took with Elder Bednar to Liberia to visit with the African Latter-Day-Saints. Liberia was the sixth country they visited and one that has been plagued with poverty, political instability, and civil wars. They got to meet with 4100 members on a hot a humid Sunday afternoon in the city of Monrovia. Their intent was to teach and testify of Jesus Christ and to sing and worship with the people that met there. During the meeting Elder Hallstrom and Elder Bednar were blown away by the dedication and spiritual nature of the Saints they met with! These Saints would recite scriptures word for word! That is amazing to me!! These Saints also knew the hymns by heart, verse for verse. In fact, he said, "When a speaker quoted a scripture, the members would say the verse aloud. It did not matter-short scripture or long; the entire congregation responded in unison." When Elder Bednar asked the Saints if they knew the seventh verse of "How Firm a Foundation" they roared in unison, "YES!" I mean, who knows the seventh verse of How Firm a Foundation by heart?? I certainly don't and I've been singing that hymn for years! He said that there was a level of conviction he had never heard before as all 4100 voices sang in unison on that day!
I wish I could've been there! I wish I could've seen those people's faces and heard those beautiful voices. I can feel their love for Christ and dedication to Christ all the way over here, and I am grateful for all of them for this example to me.
Elder Hallstrom then says,
"In one of the most remarkable spiritual events of my life, I was taught a profound lesson that day. We live in a world that can cause us to forget who we really are. The more distractions that surround us, the easier it is to treat casually, then ignore, and then forget our connection with God. The Saints in Liberia have little materially, and yet they seem to have everything spiritually. What we witnessed that day in Monrovia was a group of sons and daughters of God who knew it!"
This made me think about how distracted I get in my own life, and how these distractions can so easily disconnect me with my Heavenly Father. There are so many times I sit down to relax on the couch, or nurse my baby, or even sit down with intentions to read scriptures, but end up scrolling through facebook, or watching the next episode of the latest TV show I'm addicted to. I miss out on so many moments where I could be spiritually edified and uplifted. I know this weakness about myself very well, yet I refuse to do anything about it! Day after day I let myself get distracted. I know that I can do so much better. Not for anyone else, but for myself. I could do so much better for the welfare of my own sanity, happiness, and blessings.
The Saints in Liberia don't have a lot of material things, yet they are rich in spiritual things because they are less distracted. They spend their time pondering and memorizing the words of the Lord, singing hymns and learning the songs by heart. This is a powerful lesson I have taken away from this talk. I need to be more mindful of my daily distractions so I can keep my connection with God as strong as it needs to be..
My goal this week is to fill my spiritual cup FIRST, before I become distracted by other things.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Beautiful!! We tend to think we have it all here in America when in reality, we've created a lifestyle that sends us backward while many other cultures keep moving forward. Love,yer mama