Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time Out for Women - Choose to Become [review part 3]

A recap of the messages I heard and felt.

Hilary Weeks encouraged me to name my washing machine.

Brenda comes to mind.

I do have a washing machine, but I haven't used her yet.  It is sitting all on its lonesome in the garage while I use someone elses (also unloved unnamed).  If I name mine now, does that make her more a part of our lives?  And therefore more neglected and left out of our lives?

Poor Brenda.

Hilary had other good titbits (her exact word) of advice to share, although her primary role during the conference was to introduce the main speakers and to provide the sometimes light and sometimes meaningful music in between.

She spoke on something President Boyd K. Packer has spoken about many times:  our thoughts.  She told us about her clicker - a hand held clicker - to count every negative thought she had per day.  At first, I thought that sounded like a good and really interesting exercise.  Just how negative are we?  I'd say very, considering most women cracked up with guilt at her explanation of why you don't take the clicker to church (giggle), especially if someone brings Cheerios to church and they end up on the floor (click) and then you step on them (click click click).

The point Hilary made was counting her negative thoughts, while it sounds like it could be a good thing, ended up being a negative experience.  She felt more negative.  Alright then, how about we count our positive thoughts?  Whoa, Hilary counted heaps more of those per day (phew)!  And suddenly, you are thankful for everything, just to get those clicks up.  You are thankful for someones smile, you are happy the bus waited for you.  Now you are concentrating on the positive, looking out for the positive, and even creating reasons for the positive.

The conclusion is:  you are what you think.

As Elder Richard G. Scott said, "we become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day."

Let's look at his General Conference address entitled 'The Transforming Power of Faith and Character' more closely.  Elder Scott tells us that "[f]aith and character are intimately related."  How so?  Does my ability to believe in things not seen really have a huge impact on my character?  Absolutely.  "Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need.  Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation.  That is when it is intended to be used." [Underline added.]

A righteous character "is more valuable than any material object you own, any knowledge you have gained through study, or any goals you have attained no matter how well lauded by mankind."  And you know what else?  "Neither Satan nor any other power can destroy or undermine your growing character" ...except for ourselves, through our own disobedience.

So to obtain righteous character, it really does depend on the efforts we make.  To become, we need to think about becoming.  Our thoughts will truly determine what we will be.

Hence Laurels' first action item:  to think with faith.  "When faith is properly understood and used, it has dramatically far-reaching effects."  Faith centred on the Lord Jesus Christ, that is.

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