Sunday, December 11, 2011

Talk on maintaining balance

I spoke in church today. I used the following notes:

The Princess and the Frog
            Tiana Naveen
spiritual guidance to “dig a little deeper”

Pendulum – warning
            “do all we can and then have faith that the Lord will make up the difference”
            Apology to Elders Quorum members
            Natural man – slothful
Apocryphal statement - prominent church leader, vision of missionary work
Elder Maxwell’s statements about losing our will
Elder Eyring’s Oct 2011 conference talk on priesthood preparation

Front page of ward newsletter: “Is there such a thing as giving too much? I don’t know a good answer to this, but can think of some scenarios where giving could cause a problem. A) Blood donation: there’s a reason the Red Cross only wants your blood every 8 weeks. B) Missing work without leave to serve others (jeopardizing employment). C) When obligations as a parent or spouse go unmet due to something “lesser,” even if it is “greater” greater than many others. D) Neglecting self-care in exchange for working for and stressing over others. There IS a rejuvenation promised to those who give which will help fill the void, and provide a means for continued giving.” – Brother Jackson

Elder Bruce D Porter, Stake conference broadcast on May 17, 2009:

       Now let me speak of another kind of guilt that troubles many members, particularly our good sisters.  This is what I call false guilt, the feeling of guilt that sometimes comes when we think that we are not doing enough, are never good enough.  Young mothers often feel this false guilt when they are so busy raising children that they do not have time for a Relief Society service project or for frequent temple attendance or for family history. Yet why would the Lord hold anyone guilty for caring for his precious children?  Mothers do that which the Savior did: they serve the least among us, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty, and taking in those little innocent ones who are strangers to mortality.

       Sometimes we feel guilty when we face the choice between doing two good things.  Brother Smith learns that it is ward temple night on Tuesday evening, but one of his teenage children also has a concert.  I have found that Latter-day Saints are so constituted that many would feel guilty no matter which course they chose. Yet there is no reason for such contrived guilt.  Brother Smith can only do one of the two things, and the answer as to which to do is taught by Nephi in 2 Nephi 32:

“. . . if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5.)

The Holy Ghost never errs, therefore if the Spirit tells Brother Smith to attend his child’s concert, he may go with joy and peace.  If it tells him to go to the temple, it will also help him find a way another evening to spend quality time with his teenager and communicate his love and care.

       Such sacred decisions of choosing between two goods are between each person and the Lord alone, and no one should feel guilty or be made to feel guilty when they decide between two good choices after striving to follow what the Spirit tells them to do.

Acceleration – Conference talks and Ensign articles. December 2011 Q&A

King Benjamin to his Christ-committed people –
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and aorder; for it is not requisite that a man should run bfaster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.


Elder Maxwell, mentioned earlier:

“We can distinguish more clearly between divine discontent and the devil’s dissonance, between dissatisfaction with self and disdain for self. We need the first and must shun the second, remembering that when conscience calls to us from the next ridge, it is not solely to scold but also to beckon.
“… We can contemplate how far we have already come in the climb along the pathway to perfection; it is usually much farther than we acknowledge.…
“… We can make quiet but more honest inventories of our strengths. …Most of us are dishonest bookkeepers and need confirming ‘outside auditors.’ He who was thrust down in the first estate delights to have us put ourselves down. Self-contempt is of Satan; there is none of it in heaven. We should, of course, learn from our mistakes, but without forever studying the instant replays as if these were the game of life itself.” 

Savior took personal time (at least three clear examples in the New Testament)

President Kimball: “quiet, sane living.”
Elder Scott: “Remember, don’t magnify the work to be done—simplify it.” 

Brent L. Top in April 2005 Ensign article
One of the barriers to spiritual balance is “pseudo-self-reliance.” Robert L. Millet identified the danger of relying too much on our own limited abilities. He said that some Church members who are blocked in their progress and weighed down with guilt “seek to double their effort—to work harder. If the present pace does not eradicate the problem, they decide to run faster. Too often what follows is a type of spiritual diminishing returns—exhaustion and additional frustration. The answer to all problems is not necessarily more and harder work, particularly in regard to spiritual matters. The answer is often to learn our limits and do what we can, then turn to the Lord for assistance.”

President Hinckley
“I want to plead with you to keep balance in your lives. Do not become obsessed with what may be called ‘a gospel hobby.’ A good meal always includes more than one course. You ought to have great strength in your chosen  field of expertise. But I warn you against making that your only interest. …
“… Beware of obsession. Beware of narrowness. Let your interests range over many good fields while working with growing strength in the field of your own profession.”

2 Nephi 9:51
Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your alabor for that which cannot bsatisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and cfeast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.


President Hinckley:
“Each of us has a fourfold responsibility. First, we have a responsibility to our families. Second, we have a responsibility to our employers. Third, we have a responsibility to the Lord’s work. Fourth, we have a responsibility to ourselves.”

Seminary answers: pray, read scriptures, attend church meetings

Humor – Elder Faust – March 2000 Ensign –
“a defense against adversity: humor”
            Learning to laugh at ourselves helps us not be afraid to make a mistake