Friday, March 4, 2011

He Teaches Us to Put Off the Natural Man

(find the talk here)

The thing that touched me the most about Elder Juan Uceda’s conference talk was the story he told of a father who lost his temper with his daughter. She had been defiant about having family scripture study, and he had lost his temper with her. As he was praying for Heavenly Father to help the Holy Spirit return to their home, he was prompted to go apologize to his daughter. At first he just kept praying, but then, he went. As he apologized to his daughter, she opened her scriptures and read the following verse:

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

Her father thought that she was reading the scripture to him – about him. But then she said “I am sorry. I am sorry, Daddy.” This sweet little girl wasn’t trying to teach her father a lesson. She was showing him that she had learned a lesson from this scripture.

I lose my temper with my children more often than I care to admit. But they are sweet and innocent, and often they understand that they have done something wrong before I even mention a word to them. If only I could have more patience.

But I can!

This talk is a beautiful testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost and of prayer. I know that as I pray for the testimony to be in my heart, I will be able to have patience and “become as a child.”

Why is it so important for me to have patience and be humble? Because “our homes have to be places where the Holy Spirit may dwell. ‘Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.’” Which means that it is most important that we learn to keep the Holy Spirit in our homes – and that means being “submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, [and] willing to submit to all things” without murmuring or fretfulness.

“Contention departs our homes and our lives as we strive to live … Christlike attributes.” I can testify of this. I have experience this so many times. When I am practicing patience and humility (especially with my children) the spirit of the Lord abounds in our home, and there is no contention. And it is my job as their mother to teach them about living these principles. I want them to look back and think “Mother was such a Christlike example and was always patient and humble.”

I read a blog post recently where the author wrote about building character and how in order to decide what we want to be in life, we should go to the end of our life and decide what we would like to have people remember us for. Then we take that information and shape our lives so that we will be remembered that way.

What qualities do you want to be remembered for? What do you want you children to look back on their childhood and remember about you? How do you keep the Holy Spirit in your home? How do you remind yourself to be patient and meek with your children?

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