Monday, February 27, 2017

Living up to Your Privilege

I had to teach a little devotional to some of the older girls in our ward. (16-18) As I pondered what to share with them I felt impressed to discuss with them what it means to live up to your privilege. Joseph Smith talked about this when he first organized the Relief Society. As I discussed this with the young women there were three points I wanted to get across to them.

1. When Satan robs us of our identity we have a hard time living up to our privilege. Like our missionaries who go around with name tags informing everyone what church they represent, I wish I could put name tags on each of our Young Women. It would have their name and a reminder that they are daughters of God. When we forget who we are our self-esteem plummets, we feel undervalued, and we have a hard time living up to our privilege. One of the main things we need to do is somehow constantly remind ourselves who we are!!

2. My second point was how to figure out what our privilege is. In our church there is one goal we have in common-returning to our Heavenly Father. But what else is our purpose down here. We talked about building our relationship with our Heavenly Father and learning how we personally speak with the Holy Ghost. It could be through studying, impressions on our heart or in our minds, words of leaders, visions, dreams, and a number of many other ways that allow us to hear the directions of our father. Patriarchal blessings is one of the best ways to recognize our purpose here on earth and what exactly our privilege is as Daughters of God.

3. Finally we discussed, as we are living up to our privilege, what kind of influence we can have. Whether that is on family, friends, or even boys I tried to make the girls aware of how they can influence for good.

Obviously I can't judge how my teaching came across. But I do know I learned a lot about figuring out what I need to do while I am here.  One thing that really impressed me though was how much our purpose (not our main one) changes while we are down here. For example while I was growing up I knew I really needed to be preparing for the temple. Right now in my life my privilege is being a mother and getting better at that everyday. Making sure I spend time with my children and helping them feel prepared as they go out into the world.

I love the flexibility of the gospel. I have different needs at different times in my life and always I can count on getting answers and direction. What a marvelous thing that is!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Balcony or Basement

Who doesn't like to go to a play, a concert, a show and escape from reality for a minute? Do you get front row seats, balcony seats, or stay far away in the basement--so to speak? Well there is a book out called balcony people that discusses a concept I'm fascinated with. It's called Positive Affirmations.

I have a son who was coming home daily very depressed. It was wearing on me, on his siblings, and on our whole family. We just want him to be happy. So I sat him down and had a very direct talk with him. I told him a couple of things. Being happy is a choice. If you want to be happy it's something you have to work at it. I can help you, but only if you are really willing to work. I then left for a little while and let him figure out if he really wanted to put in the work to be happy, or if he wanted to continue to be miserable and make everyone else miserable around him in the process. I pointed out that he had started a really bad habit and that it would be easier to stick with that habit, but in the long run it would not make him happy. He eventually decided he was willing to do the work.

One of the many things he is now doing is something called positive affirmations. Here are some of his:
1. Today is going to be the best day yet!
2. I am a Child of God!
3. People like me!

That's it, 3 simple sentences that you say to yourself several times a day. The objective is if you hear things long enough you will start to believe it and start to be that person we are talking about. Going back to the Balcony People book, the people in the balcony are the people who are watching over you and repeating to you positive affirmations. If you are a basement person then you are tearing others down so they will join you in the basement. Do you want to be a builder or a destroyer? The choice is yours, but I have found that it is much more fun to actually be able to see the show, then to be down in the basement and only able to hear bits and pieces.

I hope we all choose to be Balcony people. So go out and positively affirm all the people you see today. Who knows, you may get some positive affirmation back!!