I enjoyed Sacrament meeting so much today! Beside the fact that C kept closing his eyes and I had to keep on him to open them, I really enjoyed the talks that the Gonzales family gave. They were awesome. Their son, Christopher, was the youth speaker. The topic the family was given was "Communication with our Heavenly Father."
Christopher talked about how we can build a bridge between us and our Father in Heaven by communicating through prayer. The family used an analogy of a suspension bridge to demonstrate how the cables wrap around the bridget to hold it up and each cable makes it stronger and stronger. As we use the channels of communication between us and our Heavenly Father more and more, it strengthens that bridge between us. It really made me think how, if only I would pray more fervently and diligently, I would have His spirit with me more.
After Christopher was finished, Dennyse spoke about communication through the prophets and how if we listen to them, we will be safe. She used the example of the instructions to get a year's supply of food and how it helped her family when they moved from California to Arizona and the plans they had for jobs fell through and they were without them for a couple of years. This brought my thoughts back to when Rex left me and how because I had been the food storage coordinator for a couple of years, I had built up a nice food storage supply, along with doing my couponing that my dear friend Emily had introduced to me. For such a long time, I was unhappy because the families in the ward weren't participating very much. Then, one day, I felt the Spirit tell me that I couldn't expect the ward families to be committed if my own family wasn't involved. So, I worked diligently in building up a nice year's supply (or more!). Even with Rex taking 1/3 of all of our food storage, etc. when he left, I still had plenty to where I didn't have to buy any body wash or shampoo for over two years and I still have toothpaste, deoderant, lotion, and plenty of canned food in case something were to happen.
After Dennyse, her husband Augie spoke about communication through the scriptures. He talked about tithing and the scripture in Malachi 3:10:
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
I have always struggled with the principle of tithing - until Clint came into my life and told me he couldn't marry me if I wasn't a full tithe payer. His faith and obedience to this principle has helped me so much during the last 3 years. I feel the Savior's power in my life for obeying this commandment and I have faith in Him that He will always take care of us for following it. Augie then shared the quote from President Hinckley from when he issued the call to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year back in 2005. He said,
"If each of you will observe this simple program, regardless of how many times you previously may have read the Book of Mormon, there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God."
I SO wish I had taken part in this challenge back then! I remember hearing members speaking of how they were coming along and I didn't think it would matter to me, but after it was over and I then heard them talking of the rich blessings that came to them for doing so, I was disappointed in myself that I had not done so as well. This year, our Bishop has challenged us to not only read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year, but to STUDY it. I don't know how much studying I can do at this point, but I really do want to at least read it all by the end of the year. I KNOW that if I do, it can do nothing but make my life better and it may help me help Clint in dealing with his struggle to fit in and feel a part of our ward.
The Sunday School and Relief Society lessons were poignant too. I came away feeling uplifted...until I asked Clint how HIS day was. He is struggling so much - not in his testimony, but in feeling a part of the ward. We talk about this A LOT and I am to the point where I am out of ideas to help him. He goes to Elders Quorum but then gets up and leaves because nobody puts any effort into the lessons and all they do is either read the lesson out of the book or they watch a video. How is this type of class helping the Priesthood holders of our ward be the men and family leaders they are supposed to be? There is no discussion in the class and many of the men sleep. He often leaves and goes to the foyer to either read his scriptures or the Ensign. People see him out there, but does anyone talk to him or ask him why he's not in class? There is another man in our ward who feels the same way and is now attending another ward while his family attends our ward. I don't want C to come to doing that, but I'm almost to the point where I feel like that would be better for him. We've talked about what he can do to get himself out there more, but he is very introverted until he gets to know someone and so it is difficult for him to be the one who opens himself up first. I came home yesterday from church and once he was gone, I sobbed my heart out to the Lord for help. Please pray for him.