Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ordinary Acts of Obedience

From President Packer's Conference talk:

Latter-day Saints recognize the transcendent importance of the family and strive to live in such a way that the adversary cannot steal into our homes. We find safety and security for ourselves and our children in honoring the covenants we have made and living up to the ordinary acts of obedience required of the followers of Christ.

Sometimes I really need these quotes that remind us of the ordinariness of most of what we do. If we expect life to be a stream of overwhelming spiritual experiences punctuated by lofty achievements, we will most likely be disappointed. Extra-ordinariness and importance are not equivalents.

When I was younger I was the type that wanted to have a hand in everything. I was in every club or activity I could manage, took every class, sought after every position. I wanted to have it all, and I thought that I was establishing the pattern for a successful life. (Little did I know, this kind of activity was only sustainable because high school really isn't as hard as real adult life.) 

Then I went to college, and got really involved in my YSA ward. Super-involved, just like I had been in high school. But when I thought about joining clubs or getting into student government, I just didn't feel the drive anymore. I had to choose, and I chose my callings, even though sometimes I worried what the effect would be on my resume.

After my mission, being focused on one single task for a year and a half, I was even less inclined to jump into everything I could. I picked one or two things that interested me in law school and joined in, but for the most part stayed aloof from the social workings of my class, and didn't even try to get on a law journal. I still worried about my resume, but by this time I was getting married and hoping to have children before long, so it just didn't seem worth it.

And now I am a stay-at-home mom. Sometimes I think of getting a part-time job so I can use my degree and bring in some much-needed income (and maybe even hire someone to do the dishes for me!), but always I come back to the fact that I need to be fully present at home right now. I personally need to learn focus on obeying in the simple, mundane things: learning to keep a house of order; learning to be patient, even when the whining is becoming unbearable; learning to value my calling as a visiting teacher as much as a Relief Society President, because they are equally important and their object is the same; learning to work, even when it isn't glamorous, because it is what others need. Those are the things that will bring peace and security to my home.

A great life is the culmination of a lot of ordinary acts of obedience and faith, and when we value our obedience based on our visibility, we are remiss--"thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18)

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciated your comment about visiting teaching and being a Relief Society president. The object of our whole lives is the same - to be like God, and what is God's life like? Moses 1:39. It is the work we should all be engaged in. I'm also grateful for this because I'm teaching a lesson on Sunday and want to talk about the importance of visiting teaching. I'm also getting a new calling on Sunday that will make this point harder to teach, but your comment helps me feel peace about the whole situation.