I had the opportunity to attend last night's General Relief Society broadcast. My favorite talk was definately President Uchtdorf's. A fact which I was pleasantly surprised by. In the past, I feel like he's had a tendency to tell stories and make really general points. Great object lessons, but nothing that I had really learned a lot from. To be honest, I was a little disappointed when they announced that he would be the final speaker. I am so VERY glad I was wrong.
He started off talking about his wife's cooking. He said that she is a wonderful cook. She cooks many things from around the world. But when they are eating, she will almost always make apologies about some part of the meal. "Oh, this would've been better with just a touch more curry and another bay leaf." Or, "I should've added just a touch more garlic." He then talked about the best thing he makes. Fried eggs. Sunny-side up. There was another dish that has some fancy German name, but really it's just bread toasted twice. Not too complicated.
He told us to stop apologizing. Stop apologizing! Women have too much of a tendency to apologize, I think. While a little humility is good, don't take it to the point of harsh self-criticism. Pres. Uchtdorf said, that women tend to focus on what is lacking, instead of who they really are, and what they are worth.
He said he was speaking to those who were discouraged, inadequate, and wearied. That he was speaking to all. of. us.
Pres. Uchtdorf said he wanted to taste of God's happiness. Well, what IS God's happiness? What's YOUR happiness as a parent? Your kids. God's children are His happiness. To taste of God's happiness, we need to create and be compassionate.
Creating, he said, brings satisfaction and fulfillment. And if you feel like you have nothing to create, remember: "You are a spirit daughter of the greatest Creator in the universe!"
Pres. Uchtdorf said that as mothers, not only do we have the opportunity to be co-creators with God in making physical bodies for our children, but that teaching and nurturing our children is an act of creation. --I realized that I need to be more "creative" in my activities with my kids. Anyone have the recipe for play dough? My apologies to plainbellied. She made these paperdolls with her daughter, then made real dolls from the pattern. Go look at the dolls she made! I thought of this picture when I was looking for an image of creating something with a child. I've used it without her permission. Will you forgive me? =D
He encouraged us to take matter and create something that was not there before. And not just picking up your kids' rooms! (He said that, not me!) I loved this definition of creation. He didn't say, "Take a canvas and some oils and make a painting." Creating is broader than that. Sure, it can be painting, but it could also be photography, making up a bedtime story for your kids, cooking dinner, gardening, even blogging. =D (I know that we all look for "validations" for our habit, and I truly believe that this is not a stretch. We are taking matter from our brains and creating something that wasn't there before. Giving a voice to our thoughts. In Blogger, the button for a new post is titled Create. Coincidence? I think not.)
He told us to take a space and make it beautiful. Isn't that what we do as mothers, as women? We seek beauty, and love to beautify. I think I need to remember this when I don't feel like cleaning my home. I'm not cleaning, I'm beautifying.
When President Uchtdorf spoke of compassion, he said, "Service and compassion open the windows of heaven." I don't know anyone among us who couldn't use a little manna from heaven. And service and compassion aren't high prices to pay for blessing from our Father. Sister Barbara Thompson spoke on bring relief back to Relief Society. She said, "Service magnifies and sanctifies the women of Relief Society." I could use a little magnification and sanctification.
An important point she brought up was that we don't have to look far to find opportunities for service. We don't need to create a need somewhere else in the world to fulfill. There are plenty of opportunites right in our own nieghborhoods and wards. The women who were part of Relief Society when it first starting would go to other sisters' homes-- visiting teaching, essentially-- and provide relief. They would tend children, help with meals, or laundry, or cleaning. I realized that I wanted to provide some relief to women I know.
Back to Pres. Uchtdorf. He spoke of President Hinkley, who after losing his wife, dove right back into the work of the Church. In one place he was visiting, a woman who had just lost her husband asked how he dealt with the grief of losing a spouse. He said, "Work will cure your grief. Serve others." I think I'm paraphrasing that a little, but that was the gist of it. Doesn't that sound just like him? And his Dad?
He quoted David O. McKay, and I'm paraphrasing a bit again, but here's what he said: "When you feel gloomy, find someone else worse off than you. Use the wisdom God gives you to solve the problem." There was more to it, but that's all I was able to write down. He went on to say that after helping others with their problems, you might have some insight into your own. Or at least they don't look so bad.
President Uchtdorf concluded by telling us that while the prayers we say may contribute to our happiness in the end, the prayers we answer will mean so much more. He counseled us to open our eyes, and see the heavy hearts. Feel the silent prayers of those around you. Allow yourself to be an instument in God's hands. He said, "As a daughter of God, happiness is your heritage."
Isn't that a beautiful thought?
I just have to say how VERY MUCH I loved this talk!! I felt called to repentence almost immediately when Pres. Uchtdorf started talking for thinking I never got much out of his addresses. I've never..........heard this preached over a pulpit before - the importance of creating. Not just procreating; we hear that all the time. But I loved the idea that creating in general is God-like, and done in the right way with the right things will bring us closer to Him.
The enitre meeting was great. Sister Beck told us to be still enough-------quiet enough--------to listen to the voice of the Spirit. Sister Allred talked about all the people who've made great sacrifices to go to the temple, and I realized how very much I take for granted the fact that I live just a short drive a way from multiple temples. I've already talked about Sister Thompson's talk, which was wonderful as well. She told us to "Step up and be strong." I love that!!
Were any of you able to attend the meeting? What were your thoughts? Favorite moments? I'm going to be better at creating, beautifying, and providing relief.