Thursday, July 18, 2013

MMM Sermons: More Diligent and Concerned at Home



by Saint Mark (bio)

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints call them "talks," but most (non)Christians call them sermons. This is a series of sermons that many Latter-day Saints love and believe. I hope these sermons promote and perfect your faith as they do mine. Read or watch it here.

Coming from two broken homes, I am deeply grateful for Elder David A. Bednar's General Conference sermon in October 2009 regarding family and being "more diligent and concerned at home." The counsel is necessary. The world, through media messages and lifestyle, tries to cajole, seduce, drag, pull, push, and persuade us away from what matters most: our marriages and our families.

When I was learning about the LDS Church, two of the first quotes from a prophet I can remember learning were Presidents Harold B. Lee's and David O. McKay's resonating statements: "The greatest work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home." and "No success can compensate for failure in the home."

Now, choosing to become a lawyer and take on the time demands of such a profession can be counter intuitive to President McKay's counsel. But, I am not interested in working for a "white shoe" gigantic law firm where I will be grounded to associate dust after years of 90-hour work weeks. I'm looking for a job that is more in line with Presidents Lee's and McKay's points, for at the end of my days on this earth I really won't lament the fact that I didn't spend one more hour in a meeting or at my desk at work. What I will lament, if I don't become "more diligent and concerned at home," is not playing with my boys more or going on more dates with my wife. Those are the things of "wailing and gnashing of teeth." Regret.

Here are some thought provoking interrogatories by Elder Bednar:
Brethren and sisters, when was the last time you took your eternal companion in your arms and said, “I love you”? Parents, when was the last time you sincerely expressed love to your children? Children, when was the last time you told your parents that you love them?

Brethren and sisters, when was the last time you bore testimony to your eternal companion? Parents, when was the last time you declared your witness to your children about the things you know to be true? And children, when was the last time you shared your testimony with your parents and family?
Elder Bednar also shares some personal stories that helped me to feel better about the many times I feel as though I am "failing" within the walls of my own home and not succeeding:
As our sons were growing up, our family did what you have done and what you now do. We had regular family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Now, I am sure what I am about to describe has never occurred in your home, but it did in ours.

Sometimes Sister Bednar and I wondered if our efforts to do these spiritually essential things were worthwhile. Now and then verses of scripture were read amid outbursts such as "He’s touching me!" "Make him stop looking at me!" "Mom, he’s breathing my air!" Sincere prayers occasionally were interrupted with giggling and poking. And with active, rambunctious boys, family home evening lessons did not always produce high levels of edification. At times Sister Bednar and I were exasperated because the righteous habits we worked so hard to foster did not seem to yield immediately the spiritual results we wanted and expected.
The title of Elder Bednar's talk makes me think that there may be more than the three ways Elder Bednar suggests for us to be "more diligent and concerned at home." How are you "more diligent" at home? How are you "more ... concerned" at home?

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