So, right after I presented at BYU-Idaho's Education Week I rushed off on a two week vacation with the family. And so I finally snagged a moment to update my blog, adding my slides (see bar above).
Speaking at Education Week was a dream come true, literally! I still remember the day I decided I wanted to speak. It was at least 15 years ago while attending Provo's Education Week with my dear friend. As I was visiting with her in between classes, the idea struck me and I have dreamed of it every since. Though there was so much pressure leading up to it, I truly found joy in sharing a piece of myself with others and hopefully blessing them in the process.
My classes in a nutshell:
The Art of Relationships: Becoming One with Our Father
Prayer is such a universal topic! We all want to understand prayer more. Why? Because we know that is the most sacred way we can communicate with our Father in Heaven. Asking, "Who am I?" is the first step in building a relationship with Him. He is our Father and we must come to know we are His children. When we ask this important question, we will receive personal revelation that we are His.
Seeking requires a little more energy and effort on our part. The footnote for "seek" in Matthew 7:12 tells us that seeking means two things: objective and meditation. When we seek for the Lord's guidance, we must first know what it is we really want. Our objectives must be clear. Likewise, we must meditate before praying to be sure we are praying for what the Lord would have us pray for. In seeking we shall find answers to our deepest questions and desires.
Knocking takes us deeper still. This is when we "stop praying from the neck up," as Truman G. Madsen has once said. We must dig deep inside and lay all of our affections at His feet. This type of prayer will result in Him opening the heavens and pouring down blessings upon us. This opening is directly related to the covenants we make and how we honor them.
By asking, seeking and knocking, we are assured that we will receive, we will find and the doors of heaven will be opened unto us!
The Art of Relationships: Experiencing Joy in the Messiness of Motherhood
Motherhood is messy! I don't know any mom out there who doesn't wonder about the complexities of this relationship. In 2 Nephi 2 we learn all about opposition, the purpose for it, and the joy that can be found in the plan of salvation.
2 Nephi 2:12 - Without opposition, there would be no purpose in the creation. And it is through becoming cocreators with Christ that we truly find joy. This creation is more than bearing children. We have the opportunity to use agency in creating our best selves, in creating a loving environment for our families, and creating memories (the good and the bad).
2 Nephi 2:5 - "...men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil." Adam and Eve taught all these things unto their children. Learning together is a part of the gospel plan for families. We can create a house of learning by reading aloud with our children and making mealtime meaningful.
2 Nephi 2:21 - "And the days...were prolonged...that they might repent while in the flesh." When we think of being a light to our children, it is important that we are pointing them to the true Light, even Jesus Christ. We teach our children the principle of repentance by example, by leading them to Him when changing is needed.
2 Nephi 2:26 - Ultimately, to find joy as mothers we must place our faith above our fears. Mothering is scary and hard. We have days that are filled with uncertainty and pain. And yet, we can follow the example of Mother Eve and face our fears with great faith, knowing that it is in his power we rely.
The Art of Relationships: What is Perfect Love?
When God gives us the commandment, "Be ye therefore perfect," I believe He is simply instructing us to love more perfectly. We can work ourselves out by striving to reach the world's definition of perfection: flawless, thinking in shoulds, doing it alone, and striving for a destination. But that is not the kind of perfection Christ meant. Instead He wants us to live in the moment, utilize repentance, lean on others, and acknowledge our weaknesses with humility. This is Christ's perfection. And when we learn to love God, we can ignore the world's definition and strive to love our fellowmen as Christ would do.
**Again, you can access the full slide presentations by clicking on the bar at the top of the page.**
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"The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of love and He and His Father are the personification of love. If we are to become like them, pure love must possess us….President Ezra Taft Benson instructed us: 'If we would truly seek to be more like our Savior and Master, then learning to love as He loves should be our highest goal' (Ensign Nov. 1986)."
Richard. C. Eddy, BYUI Devotional, July 2005