This is the talk I gave in Elders Quorum today. You’ll notice a part where I challenge the brethren to pick a chore to do around the house in order to be more helpful. I told the Relief Society beforehand that I would do so. The brethren weren’t please with me! 🙂 This principle, though, is more than meeting your wife’s expectations, but meeting Christ’s expectations. Becoming a better person, even like He is.
You’ll also notice the previous posts are missing. Well… I inadvertently deleted them while setting up missionjournal.org. And to make it worse, the posts for Mission Journal aren’t working either.
Anyhow, enjoy the lesson.
EQ Lesson: August 3, 2008
5 Be’s from Cody Stewart’s talk at Stake Priesthood Meeting, July 27, 2008.
1. Be Balanced
Jesus, as always, provides us a standard for us to measure ourselves against. In Luke 2:52 we read about the four major fields of a man’s activity that must be balanced; mental, physical, spiritual and social.
• How do you balance all of the aspects in your life?
• What can we learn from scriptures or words of prophets that counsel us to balance our lives?
• Mosiah 4: 27 – all things done in wisdom and order, but with diligence
• D&C 10: 4 – do not run faster than you have strength, but be diligent to the end
• Jacob 6: 12 – O be wise
• M. Russell Ballard, “O Be Wise,” Ensign, Nov 2006, 17-20.
• Focus on people and principles
• Be innovative
• Divide the work and delegate
• Eliminate guilt
• Thoughtfully allocate our resources of time, income, and energy through increasing their testimony and giving meaningful service.
• Help others become anchored in the Gospel
2. Be Aware
Being aware is all about communication, understanding others differences and working with others towards a common goal.
• In what ways does trying to understand others improve our communication with them?
• What can we learn from scriptures or words of prophets that counsel us to be aware and mindful of others?
3. Be Better Than Yourself
The world teaches us that the natural man is OK. It’s OK and proper to follow our natural desires and urges. It’s OK because that’s what we are and how we are made.
• What does the Gospel of Jesus Christ teach us about ourselves and the natural man?
• Mosiah 3: 19 – natural man is an enemy to God
• The whole purpose of our Earth life is to gain mastery over our carnal, temporal and natural selves.
• Bro. Holland talks about the temptations of Christ, and how they are examples of how he was inconvenienced by choosing the better part. Being asked to turn stones into bread is a similar temptation we face when asked to participate in immoral practices.
“No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for these are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history. A youth boiling with hormones will wonder why he should not give full freedom to his sexual desires; and if he is unchecked by custom, morals, or laws, he may ruin his life before he matures sufficiently to understand that sex is a river of fire that must be banked and cooled by a hundred restraints if it is not to consume in chaos both the individual and the group. [Will and Ariel Durant, The Lessons of History (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1968), pp. 35-36]
“And we have purposes the Durants never dreamed of, “promises to keep, and miles to go before we sleep” (Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”). I plead with you not to yield to what one has called the “glandular stench” of our times. In your hours of temptation and vulnerability I ask you not, in your case, to turn bread into stone with that fire that has gone unbanked and uncooled. Those loaves will be millstones–bogus bread–weighted with heartache and despair and pain. Care more. It is too easy today with movies you can see and the magazines you can read. It is all tragically, painfully, cunningly convenient. In our time the only restraint left is self-restraint. I ask you to say of this highest, most intimate, most sacred physical expression, “Yes, but not this way.” I ask you to be inconvenienced until you’ve earned the right and paid the divine price to know the body and the soul of the one you love.” [The Inconvenient Messiah, Holland, Jeffrey R., BYU Devotional, February 15, 1982]
• “We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.” [Dallin H. Oaks, “Good, Better, Best,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 104-8]
4. Be Helpful
We need to be more helpful to our family, especially those of us who are married.
• What is the benefit of letting your family (especially your children) know that you help around the house?
• Anecdote of grandpa who was totally uninvolved with a baby’s needs such as changing diapers, feeding, etc, and how things have changed in society now where that is accepted and encouraged.
• Pick a chore and own it! Pick a chore that will allow your spouse or someone in the family to have more free time. Decide what to do and do it for at least a month. Let your family know you appreciate and love them by being helpful!
• My Chore: ____________________________________________________________
5. Be a Man of the Spirit
• What is a sure mark that a man is successful?
• President Hinckley spoke about our truest mark of success: “You will know no greater happiness than that found in your home. You will have no more serious obligation than that which you face in your home. The truest mark of your success in life will be the quality of your marriage.” [Gordon B. Hinckley, “Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Someday Marry,” Ensign, May 1998, 49]
• How do we become a “Man of the Spirit?”
• One way, perhaps the best or only way is to follow the counsel given in JST Matthew 16: 27-29. “Break not my commandments for to save your lives; for whosoever will save his life in this world, shall lose it in the world to come. And whosoever will lose his life in this world, for my sake, shall find it in the world to come. Therefore, forsake the world, and save your soul; for what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
• How do we do that? How do we lose our life for Christ’s sake?
• 2 Nephi 9: 45-54
• Acknowledge we are guilty and need repentance
• Desire to prepare our souls
• Cultivate a thirst for righteousness (yes, but how?
• Don’t waste time and effort on frivolous things (which are?)
• Harken to counsel from God
• REMEMBER lessons and words you listen to
• Come and feast on the things of God (we fill our time and thoughts with something, let that be the things of God)