Speaking of order (yesterday's post)...
"Order" came up again today at church. We had stake conference, along with every other stake in Oregon, with the regional broadcast live from church headquarters in Salt Lake City. One of the speakers was Elder Robert D. Hales, who is an Apostle of Jesus Christ on the earth today.
And no, he wasn't talking about sweeping and mopping.
As any seminary student knows, the four practices he reminded us of are:
Family scripture study
Family Home Evening
With both family prayer and family scripture study, he reminded us that these important practices are preceded by individual prayer and scripture study, and couple prayer and scripture study.
And with family councils, he explained that sometimes a family council needs to involve the entire family, but that many times what is needed is for parents to counsel with one of their children, to let the child know how important they are in the family. It is so critical for parents to listen to children and let them know that their concerns and goals matter to the parents!
I am learning that this is true, even when the children are grown and gone from the home.
Finally, Elder Hales taught that living the Law of Tithing is an essential part of putting our houses in order. When we pay tithing, it forces us to examine our priorities. It helps us to not get caught up in the materialism of the world.
All of these practices--regular family prayer, family scripture study, Family Home Evening, family councils, and the payment of tithing, have one thing as their end goal: preparing ourselves and our children to truly and deeply live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I have experienced the power of these practices in my own home over the years. I know that when I have let these things slide, my family suffers, and our home is not truly in tune with the Lord's order. I felt the Spirit confirm the truth of these practices to me as I listened to Elder Hales this morning, and I know that he is an Apostle today of Jesus Christ, just as surely as Paul and Peter and all the other ancient Apostles were called by Christ back in the time of Christ's early ministry.
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I want to live it, because I want to return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ someday, and I know that this is the way, the only way.
PS - THESIS UPDATE
I didn't reach my goal of writing 3 pages / day last week, but I did write a total of 9 pages, counting what I wrote today. I'll keep trying!