Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Our Hearts Knit as One"

I thought Wayne had some great insights in a talk he gave this month, and thought his kids ought to hear them as well. He wrote his talk after reading talks by Elder Christofferson and President Eyring from the October 2008 general conference.

"Picture Zion, if you will, as a large tent. Maybe you picture a circus tent or a large army tent. The tent covers a piece of ground. In like manner, Zion covers portions of the earth. Now to hold the tent in place there are a number of stakes that pull the sides out and secure the tent. Notice that we spell stake, s-t-a-k-e, not s-t-e-a-k. S-t-a-k-e is spelled like tent stake, and I believe it is so for a purpose. Our family was camping one summer in Shenandoah National Park. While we were there a hurricane headed our way. One night it hit us as a tropical storm. The wind was a fierce 45 miles per hour and we had 8 inches of rain. But we were dry and safe inside our tent, in part because we had staked it well and the stakes were firm and secure. Have you ever seen what happens to a tent in a stiff wind when one of the stakes comes out of the ground or is missing? It is not long before the tent is ripped and blown over. In the same way that stakes hold up and protect a tent from the winds of a storm, a stake of Zion, when firm in the ground, holds up and protects Zion. For this reason it is so important to have strong and firm stakes of Zion."

"Leo Tolstoy once wrote in Anna KarĂ©nina, 'All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' Now let me connect this truth by scriptures. In 2 Nephi 31:9 and 21 – 'And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter. And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God.”' In other words, there is only one way to be happy. In Mosiah 4:29 – 'And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin, for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them.' Or, in other words, they who are unhappy, are unhappy in their own way. As we and our families follow the eight simple things* the stake has encouraged us to do, our families will be happy and resemble one another in this pattern of righteousness."

"President Eyring said, 'With unity the Lord will be able to perform what the world will think as miraculous. The saints can accomplish any purpose of the Lord when fully united in righteousness.' I was privileged to taste in a small measure this great promise while I was serving on my mission. I was a member of a small district of 6 missionaries, 3 companionships. We were together for 3 months. There was an incredible sense of unity, love, oneness, righteousness, and selflessness within that little district. There was a great deal of respect for all those in that district. During the 3 months we were together we were privileged to bring into the waters of baptism 179 people. That was a miracle. Because of our love for each other we felt that there was nothing we could not accomplish for the Lord. An interesting sidenote: I couldn’t tell you how many baptisms my companion and I had during those 3 months. I only remember what we accomplished as a district."

"One outward manifestation of unity in a ward is how close together families sit. Are there large gaps in the pews between families? Do people try to sit as far back as possible? While not as easy or evident, family unity can also be gauged or detected in this same way. Are husband and wife sitting next to each other or on opposite ends of the family? Is one child at the end of the row trying to distance themselves from the rest of the family?"

* Brandon Stake 8 Simple Things (to protect our families)
  • family prayer twice a day
  • personal prayer twice a day
  • family meal times
  • family scripture study five times a week
  • daily personal scripture study
  • family home evenings on Mondays & regular family councils
  • family attendance at all Sunday church meetings
  • temple attendance monthly

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