The Church moves on and we should expect advances. I am pleased with the changes as I too remember the early meetings we had before the 3 hour block.
I'm in Mexico and I'm so happy with all the news!! I remember the days when we attended Sunday School in the morning, Sacrament meeting in the afternoon, Relief Society, Primary, MIA meetings during the week, and now all this!! We have an excellent opportunity to teach our children and grandchildren about the Lord, His Gospel, everything that will help them grow in life within everything we have learned. I love the Gospel, I love my leaders, I love Jesus Christ and I love our leaders!!
I am an adult convert to the church and somehow from the beginning I realized that the church is the scaffolding or the infrastructure that God set in place to support the family - His eternal governing unit by providing instruction and the saving ordinances. But the most important work is done in the family. We are being encouraged to grow spiritually and mature and become more independent for the day will come when we will have to stand alone. Ministering is a higher Holier way of Home and Visiting teaching. Now the home curriculum is a higher Holier way of family education. I created a gospel centered sanctuary in my home and garden because I know everyone has woundedness and needs healing or at least a balm of Gilead at some level. I also created a center of gospel learning in my home. I have been alone for 20 years and this gave me the spiritual comfort I needed and the others who come to my home. We are being given the opportunity to prepare and live a more independent higher and Holier Christ-centered life.
Thank you so much for reminding us that these changes are not to make things "easier" or more "convenient." If attending 3 hours of church was such a great burden to families, the Lord would have never instituted it in the first place. We now have a wonderful opportunity to recommit ourselves to planning a spiritually meaningful Sabbath day. I have full trust in President Nelson and the Quorum of the Twelve. We will be blessed as we use our agency to turn our hearts and minds to the Lord in prayer and study on his holy day. I believe as we use this time to draw our families closer and teach them the gospel, family love and unity will increase, and we will also grow in our devotion and love for the Savior.
A brother in our ward shared an experience he had as a missionary. They knocked on a door & introduced themselves as representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The man answering the door agreed to the have them teach him, specifically because he had been searching for a church with the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. He was later baptized. In these latter days we need to let our light shine.
Thank you, Maurine, for such an insightful and thought provoking article. I love the way you sustain the prophet and encourage your readers to do the same. Our family is looking forward to this higher and holier way of worshiping on the Sabbath day.
TKD, Carol Sillars, and Elaine Williams all saidexactly what I was going to say. Like Sharee, I too and single and alone, but not alone. I'm already making plans to study with others as well as all I do on my own. It was a privilege to have the missionaries in my downstairs apt. for a year, and we had a few relevant conversations. My home was used to teach in and the spirit was truly here. Thanks for your insights and declarations!
This is an amazingly insightful article! Thank you, Maurine. Nothing we do will ever be enough to show our love and gratitude to Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. But we can try with all our might. I have mixed feelings about the Two-Hour Block. We need to strengthen ourselves spiritually for the challenges ahead, including the strong possibility that at some point, we will not have access to our precious sanctuaries. But I worry about those who are alone. As a childless widow (and I guess I'm called elderly, too), much of my socializing is done at church because I no longer fit in with the marrieds and their activities. Hope our ward will add more "after-church" social activities to compensate for the loss.
I applaud the new 2 hour block. BUT it comes with responsibility for our families and for the members in your wards and branches.
I converted to the Church at 13 years old. My Dad got baptised but only came a few times before becoming inactive. My Mother was anti the church.
The only instruction I received was at church AND in the homes of other members of my little Branch in outback Australia.
I could only pray by hiding under the bedsheets at night or while walking to school in the morning as if seen by my parents the prayers were interrupted and ridiculed. Reading church material at home was also difficult.
I have now enjoyed full activity for 50 years because those members looked out for me.
I hope that active members will look out for those alone, and in less active families and invite them often to their homes and become a 'church' family for them.
I hope members understand that parents can only teach in the home what they themselves have already learnt.
Freeing up our time to have the gospel more integrated in our homes can be a blessing only if we follow the prophet, freeing up church resources will allow others in the emerging areas of the world to receive the blessings of the gospel.
I remember being told that the time will come when we will have to worship in our own homes out of necessity. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to prepare ourselves for that time when meetings in the chapel will not be available to us. I am elderly and single, and my two children who live a few apartments away are uninterested in anything meaningful I might have to say (like Justin's family in one of the comments) so I am on my own unless I can find some others in my situation to study with at least part of the time. We are responsible for our own salvation, ultimately, so it will be a good opportunity to grow closer to the Savior!
When I was a new widow and moved to a new country and new home of my own, I set it up specifically to mirror the temple and to be convenient for every aspect of gospel living. I refer to it as gospel terrain and dedicated it for that purpose. Now there are two of us of like mind supporting each other in that overall purpose. It is so much easier to live a Christ-centered life when you are old and there are no dissenting opinions! We love being home.
Thank you so much. It has added to my own spiritual thoughts as I listened to our prophet. We have the opportunity to step up and move forward with giant steps. I always felt that I was close to Heaven when I spent time in Scot's childhood home. His Mother is still an inspiration to me.
A powerful, prophetic message, beautifully summarized and presented. Thank you Sister Maureen Proctor. Perhaps you could link a few of the key Conference messages so readers could go directly to the source? Thanks again.
"It is as if we are being invited to move quickly, surely and potently to a new level of spiritual maturity."
"It will never be enough just to be active in the Church, Instead, God has to be active in your soul."
I've felt lately that I needed to "step up my game" when it comes to scripture study. Conference just confirmed this feeling.
My days of reading a brief devotional, a single scripture and running out of the house need to stop. Study, ponder & pray needs to be my new focus & goal.
Thank you, Maureen, for your thoughts and insights. After yesterday's announcement, I find myself mourning because my children are grown and I so want to have them home again to teach. It will take some creativity, but I hope my husband and I can in some way be an active part in teaching the new curriculum with/to our adult children and grandchildren. Maybe they will invite us to join their families via Skype or FT:) One of my children has a disability and I homeschooled him for a time. I loved searching through curriculum to find the most inspired of available materials. When this son was preparing to serve a mission (and hoping to be granted a call given his disability) I put together a set of Missionary Training Cards (aligned with a Preach My Gospel) to increase his understanding of Gospel principles so he could teach with confidence. The cards helped prepare my other missionary children and their friends and young companions in the field, as well. When children know the doctrine, the Spirit will then guide them in their teaching. Interested families can see the cards here: https://teachmygospel.com/index.html
I loved this article. But for those of us who are older and single, living alone, it will be different. I am going to try to get together with friends in like circumstances to "homeschool" our scriptures together.
Maybe I am too old, but we go back to when we were encouraged to make our home into a “family temple” and my wife worked to make and keep it as just that. Friends of our children liked to come and be there, for play, meals, or studying.
Why was that forgotten or discarded?
Great insite Maureen! Thank you for sharing! I hope more read it and ponder.
I agree, we're being asked to up our game. Not only because the Lord thinks we're ready, but because too many are succumbing to the siren call of Satan, and we're not doing our part to prepare our posterity for the spiritual challenges ahead.
Sadly, I'm in the bucket being addressed. Many of my children have no interest in the Gospel, and of the two who still attend, I can thank church leaders and instructors for their guidance - a very painful fact that I am reminded of daily.
I have considerably stepped up my game in trying to reach out to them with gospel messages, but I fear that I have been relegated to spam filter status. I still try to reach out, and I put their names in the temple often. My prayers could be increased, but this is going to be a process that I fear will extend beyond the grave and be a test of my faith, as is every rejection of me by them when trying to reach out to them.
There is so much more that I wish I could go back and change. And I realize that agency is a difficult concept at times, but I am fully on board with it, having slipped over to Satan's plan too often in trying to instill in my children a desire for the gospel.
Pres. David O. McKay's message regarding success and failure in the home has been a painful one, and through my years, have realized it's not a solitary message.
Many families (generationally) have not had good examples from which to draw from. And this is a clarion call to step it up, and we are all entitled to the loving guidance and blessings that our Heavenly Father has for us, providing we are prepared with spiritual power and have the humility and gratitude to identify and accept it.
This emphasis "shift" helps us to reorient ourselves and arms us with the tools to lovingly teach our children in a more holier way.
Thank you. I loved your thoughts and past experiences. The Lord is moving us forward. We are blessed as members of His Church.
Maurine. This is awesome. I love your insight. Reminds me of some of the amazing visits we had at your house in Midvale years and years ago. We are in the middle of having weekly Book of Mormon study group with our new convert friends and other retired members. The new home study curriculum will fit in with that perfectly. I’m so excited.
Now the onus is on us to make our home a 'holy place'. If we succeed I am wondering how much more attractive it will be to non-member friends who come and visit? I see a great missionary opportunity to teach the gospel in our homes, and open up our homes to the missionaries to have a place to teach. One might say that now we have an opportunity to have our homes be a 'safe place' and a 'blessed place'. What a great opportunity to 'let your light so shine' and have it known that you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While the world is heading to chaos, we can exemplify the peace of the Gospel.
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