Friday, September 28, 2012

Was It Worth It?

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Was It Worth It?, by David F. Evans
Of the Seventy

I recently wrote about how wonderfully the last lesson I taught my class of nine-yr-olds went prior to my change to a different position (read more here). As we learned about Christ's visit to the Nephites, a great feeling of peace filled the room. I thought it couldn't get any better than this.

A week after this experience, my wife shared two experiences she had that, in my opinion, were even better than the one I shared:

On a Sunday afternoon when our eight-yr-old son was complaining of having nothing to do, my wife suggested he do some reading. Normally he's an enthusiastic reader, but when my wife recommended reading the scriptures instead of his latest novel, he balked.

Unlike me, she's sweet, patient, and kind, so she offered to have him read to her from a great chapter.

He agreed.

They sat together as he read the account of Christ visiting the Nephites, preceded by the voice of the Father announcing His Son. She later told me of our son's excited questions, engagement in the account, and that he identified that he was feeling the Holy Ghost. She, in turn, quietly and simply reassured him that he was right and that the Spirit was touching his heart because what they were reading really happened—that it is true!

Within a few days after this, my wife was going about her normal morning-time routine of helping the children get breakfast, review their vocabulary and spelling, read scriptures, and get ready for school. (All without me because I'm an early-to-work person.) During the usual scripture reading time, my six-yr-old daughter said, with a tear in her eye, that her heart was warm and felt good. Again, my wife took the opportunity to quietly and simply teach our children that the Spirit was touching their hearts because the scriptures are true!

I was reminded of these stories as I read Elder Evans' talk on "natural and normal" missionary work through simply living the gospel and not hiding our true selves. While introducing his talk, he said:

In this and every other important endeavor, our most important work is always within our own home and family. It is within families that the Church is established and real growth occurs.

He later gave a checklist, of sorts, I used to determine if we're doing all that we can and should. I was happy to see that we either are, or we're trying to do all that he mentioned! We have our share of struggles and arguments, but we don't let the hard times keep us from doing the little things we hope will make big differences in our lives and the lives of our children.

I don't think it's easy for my wife to get our four children up and ready all alone. There may be times when she is tempted to skip reading morning scriptures—I know I'm sometimes tempted to skip our evening scripture routine—but she does it faithfully, and I suspect with a smile. Usually, at least.

Is it easy? Probably not. But as time passes, I'm sure we'll look back at how far we've come together, and if someone asks, "Was it worth it?" we'll be able to quietly and simply testify that it made all the difference in the world!

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