Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Price to Pay

Recently, I was pondering about the price you have to pay in order to gain anything.  When shopping at a store, the price is (hopefully) listed obviously on the shelf.  When going out to eat, the price of the food is listed on the menu.  But I'm not just talking about a physical price and spending money.  If you want to become a skilled seamstress then you have to sew.  If you want to become a master pianist then you have to practice.  If you want a rock solid testimony then you have to study.

When the May 2010 Ensign arrived at our apartment in the mail, I made a goal to read through every talk.  In the past, I would skim the talks and pick out my favorites to read and then kind of set it aside and use it as a great reference.  I have always listened to all of conference and I may have ended up reading the majority of past Conference issues.  This time though, I decided to do something different--I was going to read it "cover to cover."  (And by "cover to cover" I simply mean read every talk... I read them out of order and would jump all around the magazine.)

Some days I would read a couple of talks, others only a small section of one talk.  But, I did it! :D  I read through the entire magazine and just finished the last talk this morning.  The cover fell off--I repaired it with masking tape.  The pages are water stained--I smoothed it out the best I could.  The green highlighter is now dull--I learned to press hard so the color would show.

The stories and precious words became a part of my life.  It has changed me for the better and strengthened my marriage.  I feel so blessed and uplifted.  Listed below are some examples of how the words from the living apostles and prophets has touched my life.  (Warning: My favorite quote list is long but I will try to pick only the very best!)

I have reflected on the blessing given from President Thomas S. Monson, "Thank you, [Lisa,] for your faith and devotion to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Thank you for all that you do in your ward... and in your stake....  You serve willingly and well and accomplish great good.  May the Lord bless you as you strive to follow Him and to obey His commandments" (paragraph 3).  Wow!!!  I feel like he talked to me directly and am now ready to conquer the world.

I love the gentle reminder from Sis. Julie B. Beck, "A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do....  But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently" (paragraph 4).  Um, talk about needing to hear that!!!  I always feel like I should be doing more.  This was great reassurance to just do my best!

I am grateful for the advice from Elder M. Russell Ballard, "Look to your mother.  Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness.  Listen to her.  She may not be a whiz at texting; she may not even have a Facebook page (side note: my mom has figured out both!!).  But when it comes to matters of the heart and the things of the Lord, she has a wealth of knowledge.  As you approach the time the time for marriage and young motherhood, she will be your greatest source of wisdom" (paragraph 8).  Wow!  My mom is more valuable than books or even the internet!!!  I am so grateful she is one of my best friends!

I learned an important key from Elder David A. Bednar, "Regular reading of and talking about the Book of Mormon invite the power to resist temptation and to produce feelings of love within our families" (paragraph 12).  We could always use more love and protection in our lives.

I made a goal to become more like Elder Jefferey R. Holland.  He said, "True love must include the idea of permanence.  True love endures....  True love we are absolutely giddy about--as I am about Sister Holland; we shout it from the housetops" (paragraph 6).  This is 100% my dream!  I want to live to be a ripe old age and still feel giddy about my darling husband! :D

I think I might have a better understanding on patience now from Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  "...Patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen--patience requires actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn't appear instantly or without effort" (paragraph 13).  Still easier said than done but at least I know that patience does not mean I am merely waiting!

I have a better vision of what I want my home to be like thanks to Elder Richard G. Scott.  "...Resolved to make the Lord Jesus Christ the living center of your home.  Be sure that every decision you make, whether it be of a spiritual or physical nature, be guided by the thought, 'What would the Lord Jesus Christ have me do?' (side note: I totally like this question better than WWJD?!!!!)  When the Savior is the center of your home, it is filled with peace and serenity.  There is a spirit of calm assurance that pervades the home that is felt by the children and adults alike" (paragraph 22).  This is my top goal!  And something I work at everyday and could still greatly improve.  I really do want to make Christ the center of our home!!

I was reminded how to face opposition from Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf in the Young Women General Broadcast.  "My dear young [Lisa,] you need to know that you will experience your own adversity.  None is exempt.  You will suffer, be tempted, and make mistakes.  You will learn for yourself what every heroine has learned: through overcoming challenges come growth and strength.  It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life's story will develop" (paragraph 26-27).  Such a great reminder!  There are so many different and trying situations that we face.  It really isn't the trial but how I react to it.

The price to pay to have a testimony of the Living Prophet and Apostles is PRICELESS!!!

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