Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Latter Days

I couldn't resist taking this quick pic before sacrament meeting started. The last three weeks or so we've really focused on trying to keep the Sabbath Day holy better, particularly during the sacrament. We've come a looooong ways from how bad it used to be but we still struggle. So we started working on a few other things to increase reverence and to emphasize the sacredness of the ordinances to them (no more snacks/treats/food at all, only books/the Friend to look at, and they have to sit on their bums on the bench). We've also focused on preparing for the actual sacrament beforehand at home, the major thing being feeding them a good lunch (so they aren't whining for food) and get ready earlier so we're not rushed and get to church early. All common sense but somehow we weren't doing very well with it. 
This came about from a training from the Apostles that was given in an extended ward council. The number one thing that the Apostles said to focus on for members of the church worldwide to strengthen testimonies and prevent people from leaving is to focus on Sabbath Day worship- I was shocked to hear that since I can think of a ton of other things I would've picked before that one. It really impacted me and TJ and gave us the determination to do and be better and to teach our kids.
I'm actually shocked to say we saw an immediate improvement the Sunday we decided to try harder. Since then each Sunday seriously has been better and a big change in the boys. I'm humbled and realize how big of impact me and TJ's behavior and attitude influence them. We're going to keep working on it, especially if it's direct teachings from the prophet and apostles. 
With all the worldly focus on same-sex attraction equality and supreme court decision, I've realized it's only made me more determined and focused on literally following exactly what the prophet says and teaches. That's our only safeguard in this life with all the chaos around us. And how blessed we are to have a prophet!! I've probably taken that fact for granted my whole life but now that I'm a mom needing to raise kids in a world where values are drastically moving farther and farther from the gospel it's a huge deal to me. 
Today I saw a gay pride shirt on the little boys section of Old Navy- it hit me so hard and for a second it almost made me sick to my stomach about how hard this is to raise children in today's world. But then I remember this quote from Elder Holland that I somehow ran across. It's stuck with me all day: 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's latest Facebook post is reassuring and full of positivity. We love and sustain Elder Holland!
"What a terrific time to be alive!
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most certain, the most secure, the most reliable, and the most rewarding truth on earth and in heaven, in time and in eternity. Nothing—not anything, not anyone, not any influence—will keep this Church from fulfilling its mission and realizing its destiny declared from before the foundation of the world. Ours is that fail-safe, inexorable, indestructible dispensation of the fulness of the gospel. There is no need to be afraid or tentative about the future.
Unlike every other era before us, this dispensation will not experience an institutional apostasy; it will not see a loss of priesthood keys; it will not suffer a cessation of revelation from the voice of Almighty God. Individuals will apostatize or turn a deaf ear to heaven, but never again will the dispensation collectively do so. What a secure thought! What a day in which to live!
If there are some bumps along the way while waiting to see every promise kept and every prophecy fulfilled, so be it. If you haven’t noticed, I am bullish about the latter days. In nothing could I have more faith than I have in God the Eternal Father, in Jesus Christ His Son, in Their redeeming gospel, and in their divinely-guided Church. Believe. Rise up. Be faithful. And make the most of the remarkable day in which we live!"
(For the full transcript of his address, please visit http://tinyurl.com/krstbel)

It's true- there is no need to be afraid!! We are so blessed and he's right- Rise Up! Be faithful! We can do this!! 

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