Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spiritual Habits Bring Peace

I know that the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are men of God, prophets who will lead us to eternal joy if we heed their counsel.

I've started a new habit that has greatly enhanced my life. Each day, during the baby's second feeding, I choose a general conference talk from the archive at and I watch it. Usually I let it run through a couple of times, paying close attention the first time and then doing some housework while it plays again. This repetition helps the words to really sink in and, while my hands are doing something mindless, I can be pondering the messages that God wants His children today to hear. General conference is the organized decimination of God's words for us at exactly this time. I am so grateful that He speaks to us today and has seen fit to give contemporary guidance for my life. I am grateful that I have easy access to those words, because they have power to guide, heal, and bless me on a daily basis.

I have been doing this for a few weeks, now, and it was only yesterday that I learned how big a difference it makes in my life. A friend recommended a television show to me that is available to watch online. Even though I don't normally watch any TV, I was curious and looked it up. I used all my down time that day watching episode after episode and, as a consequence, never took the time to include my daily conference talk. The show was degrading and false, a poor substitute for the pleasing word of God.

That evening, when Scott came home, I was cranky and glum. I couldn't figure out why I was so upset, but I just wanted to snap. There was a void and I was angry at my husband and my baby for not being able to fill it. The atmosphere in our home was very tense. I was casting about, trying to find something that would make me feel better when I remembered the missed talk. I asked Scott if he would sit and watch one with me after we put the baby to bed.

It was Elder Holland's April 2008 talk about continuing revelation. I don't remember much of what he said but I do remember that as soon as I heard his voice, knowing that he is a mouthpiece of God, I was soothed. The Holy Ghost bore testimony to me of his calling and of the truth of his words. When I invited the Holy Ghost into my heart, it became soft and full of peace.

This habit has invited the Holy Ghost to reside on a more permanent basis in my home. There is quite a contrast between inviting the world into my home and inviting the Spirit of the Lord. I am so grateful for this particular tender mercy of God: that He has a mouthpiece on the earth today, Thomas S. Monson, and that I can receive His words, and through them His Spirit, in my heart, my home, and my life.


mk said...

Was it the Bachelorette? (Because I agree, it really is wretched ...)

Katherine said...

So, obviously I'm not Mormon, but my sister once said from a basically secular humanist perspective that she doesn't like television because it causes us to use our time and powers of empathy for people who don't really exist when there are real people everywhere who need them. I can't claim that I'm so virtuous as not to watch television, but it does make sense.

Carolyn Duede said...

Hmmm, Katie. I like that idea and I definitely think it's important not to substitute television for human interaction but I think I'm going to have to disagree with the premise that it wastes our powers of empathy. You wouldn't say that about a book or music or an uplifting movie? Equally, I don't think we should throw out all television. Some of it can enrich our life. And I think that when we incorporate truthful media into our life, it can actually have the opposite effect. I think that it can teach us empathy. I feel there is a great, moral power in fiction (no matter the medium) that can open our eyes to the real people and situations around us.