Sunday, October 05, 2008

Station identification

You've been warned in my last post; I'm in an introspective frame of mind. So when I say I'm going to pause for station identification, I mean I'm going to take a post to talk about who I am and what I believe. If you'd rather run for a bathroom break or check what's on another channel, feel free. I'll get back to my regular programming, but not just yet.

I'm Mormon, and although I don't bring it up often in this blog, my faith is a big part of who I am. Twice a year, Mormon leaders broadcast a General Conference via satellite for church members around the globe. Back when we first moved here and Jim was trying to talk me into switching from cable to sattelite dish television, being able to watch the conference on television was his big selling point. It worked. The first weekend of each April and October, I'm glued to our television for all of the sessions; I even recorded it on our DVR while I was at Jimmy's soccer game yesterday morning so I could watch it later. Each conference, I come away with something different, based on the talks given and what I've gotten out of them. This conference it's all about prayer.

I mentioned in my last post that this coming year I'm going to be working on some things I've been putting off and struggling with, and one of those things is prayer. For several months now I've been praying more often, asking for strength in areas I feel weak, but just in the last two weeks, I've been making a concerted effort to pray every day, no mean feat for me. What's amazing is, as I've been working to do better myself, I've had several opportunities to teach my son about the power of prayer, that his prayers are heard and answered. Just in the last two days, I've seen four separate instances where he has prayed, received a specific answer, and I've been able to talk with him to identify the answer and that it came to him from God. Each time we then prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for answering our prayers.

I think if our planet could harness the power of faith in a five-year-old's prayer, we could end hunger, achieve world peace, balance economies, and probably even stop global warming. Lack of faith is really a grown up problem. I'm getting used to being schooled by my kids.

One of my favorite talks from this weekend's conference was by Elder David A. Bednar, who is the junior member of the Mormon church's Quorum of Twelve Apostles. As I listened to his eloquent talk, it pierced my heart and seemed directed at the very core of what I'm trying to do with my life right at this moment. He touched on the topics of both prayer and gratitude, and of the former, he said this:

"...meaningful morning and evening prayers are linked to and are a continuation of each other.

"Please consider this example: there may be things in our character, in our behavior or concerning our spiritual growth about which we need to counsel with Heavenly Father in morning prayer. After expressing appropriate thanks for blessings recieved, we plead for understanding, direction, and for help to do the things we cannot do in our own strength alone.

"For example, as we pray we might reflect on those occasions when we have spoken harshly or inappropriately to those we love the most; recognize that we know better than this but we do not always act in accordance with what we know; express remorse for our weaknesses and for not putting off the natural man more earnestly; determine to pattern our own life after the Savior more completely; and plead for greater strength to do and to become better. Such a prayer is a key part of the spiritual preparation for our day. Then during the course of the day, we keep a prayer in our heart for continued assistance and guidance, even as Alma suggested: 'Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord.'

"We notice during this particular day that there are occasions where normally we would have a tendancy to speak harshly, and we do not. Or we might be inclined to anger, but we are not. We discern heavenly help and strength, and humbly recognize answers to our prayer, even in that moment of recognition we offer a silent prayer of gratitude. At the end of our day, we kneel again and report back to our Father. We review the events of the day and express heartfelt thanks for the blessings and the help we received. We repent, and with the assistance of the Spirit of the Lord, identify ways we can do and become better tomorrow.

"Thus, brothers and sisters, our evening prayer builds upon and is a continuation of our morning prayer, and our evening prayer also is a preparation for meaningful morning prayer. Morning and evening prayers, and all the prayers in between, are not unrelated, discrete events. Rather, they are linked together, each day, and across days, weeks, months and even years. This is, in part, how we fulfill the scriptural admonition to pray always."


John and Chantalle said...

Thank You! I needed to hear that again.

aubrey said...

beautiful. i am embarassed to admit that i slept through his talk and the one before that. terrible, i know. but i didn't sleep any other time. does that count for something? i know, i'm a dork. now i want to go and watch it, i love elder bednar!

chicklegirl said...

Aubrey, you're not a dork. I kept falling asleep during President Eyring's talk. I love him, but I was just so tired!

Meaghan said...
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