The following statement has been stuck in my head for the past couple of weeks: "All Church activities, advancements, quorums, and classes are means to the end of an exalted family." (This was from Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk on Celestial Marriage which I read because it was a Teachings for our Time RS lesson.) I think it jumped out because I'm in the middle of preparing for a class on using the oats in our food storage. How does learning different ways to cook oatmeal lead to an exalted family??
As soon as I asked myself that question I was reminded of the decision we made to get up with Weston and make sure he had a hot breakfast before seminary. (The fact that cold cereal was too expensive for daily breakfasts played a part in that decision, but that's beside the point.) At times, particularly when the toddlers were up several times in the middle of the night, that seemed like a sacrifice, but in the end it really wasn't. (President Kimball taught, "And as we give, we find that 'sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven!' And in the end, we learn it was no sacrifice at all.” April 1978 general conf.) When you can see the results from sending children the message that seminary is a crucial part of strengthening their testimonies and preparing for temple marriage, then lack of sleep really doesn't matter.
I realized that it's the little things we do every day that lead to exalted families - whether it's helping a child with homework or eating together as a family, encouraging siblings to be nice to each other or learning how to work, serving a neighbor and just being a good example. And if I can teach skills to make those little things easier for the sisters in our ward, then a cooking class does meet Elder Nelson's guidelines. (In addition, if we can streamline meal preparation and cost, we'll have more time and resources to actually attend the temple and help our ancestors on their path to exaltation.) I'm grateful that the purposes of Relief Society are aligned perfectly with our Heavenly Father's purpose.
So, I'm off to make granola bars and experiment with veggie burgers!
Please join Cocoa at Chocolate on my Cranium for her "Stories of Relief Society" blog hop.