Wednesday, January 28, 2009

To Learn, to Do, to Be

This entry is part of my general conference application series.
Priesthood Session

To Learn, to Do, to Be, by President Thomas S. Monson

I did something unprecedented on the commute home today—I rode unplugged (no iPod). It was time to have some alone time with myself. About half-way home, I realized that my thoughts had been simply wandering without any conscious or seriously directed effort; I thought it would be interesting to reflect on what I had been thinking. I recalled the question, "What do you do when you don't have to do anything?" and wondered: What do I think about when I'm not thinking about anything? I liked the results of my question, and, surprisingly, they apply to President Monson's talk.

Perhaps it was just because I usually listen to them while riding, but I realized that I had been reflecting on the general conference talks I've written about. I was thinking about what I've learned, what I need to change, and who I want to become, particularly as a father. (Did you catch the title of this talk in my questions?)

Now that I was aware of my thought process, I took it up a notch. It may sound strange, but I started doing mental practices of how I could greet my family when I arrived home. You read it right: I was practicing what I would say, the expression on my face, my body language, everything. I figured that having been away all day, my family deserved to get the best me I could give. And that takes practice.

Let me try to force a relationship to President Monson's words. Along with other things, he counseled us "to be prudent in [our] planning." The next paragraph begins with:

Let us make our homes sanctuaries of righteousness, places of prayer, and abodes of love that we might merit the blessings that can come only from our Heavenly Father. We need His guidance in our daily lives.

With the wonderful blessings promised, I need as much practice as I can get! Nevertheless, I know that I can't do it alone. In addition to my children who actually remind me to be nice when I slip and my dear wife who is both a great example and loving coach, I have my eternal Father who is quite concerned about my future as well as my little family. President Monson counseled:

I would urge all of us to pray concerning our assignments and to seek divine help, that we might be successful in accomplishing that which we are called to do. ... No such sincere, prayerful effort will go unanswered: that is the very constitution of the philosophy of faith. Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek it.

If I can count fatherhood (and husbandhood) as an assignment, and I think I can—the Proclamation to the World on Family states, "husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children" (link)—then this is applicable to my goals of being a loving husband and father.

I continue to learn; I strive to do; I want to be like Christ.

0 thoughts