Saturday, January 10, 2009

Let Him Do It with Simplicity

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Let Him Do It with Simplicity, by Elder L. Tom Perry
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

"Walden Pond was our special place to pause, reflect, and heal."

As Elder Perry walked us around his—and Thoreau's—special place: Walden Pond, I felt the call to live a simpler life, "to experience the spiritual benefits of a simplified lifestyle."

One of the challenges of this mortal experience is to not allow the stresses and strains of life to get the better of us—to endure the varied seasons of life while remaining positive, even optimistic.

This quote reminds me of the life-changing (hopefully) observation that Elder Robbins made in 1998: "Becoming angry is a conscious choice, a decision; therefore, we can make the choice not to become angry. We choose!" (link to talk)

The problem with Elder Robbins' quote is that after reading it, we can no longer honestly say "He made me mad!"; instead we have to admit, "I chose to become angry." Hopefully Elder Perry's call to a simpler life will help us to remain positive, optimistic, and anger-free.

After expounding on the simplified lifestyle aspects found in Thoreau's four necessities of food, clothing, shelter, and fuel, I had the powerful realization that I already have an incredible help in having a simplified life. It struck me as a poetic (and true) couplet:

Simplified life — Wonderful wife

I'm grateful for my wonderful wife who helps our little family "experience the spiritual benefits of a simplified lifestyle." Regarding the four necessities, she:

-encourages us to "eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep," particularly the last item. (Food)
-teaches our children the blessings of modesty (in word and deed), including that through modesty, we "invite the Spirit of the Lord to be a shield and a protection to us." (Clothing)
-helps us "not to live beyond our means." She lovingly helps us to "practice and increase our habits of thrift, industry, economy, and frugality." (Shelter)
-follows the principle that "if we choose the right way, we are sustained in our actions by the principles of righteousness, in the which there is power from the heavens." (Fuel)

In other words, because of who she is, and all she does, my sweet wife helps our little family live the gospel and find lasting happiness through simplicity.

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