Dance classes, music classes, sports, before school activities, after school activities, homework, orthodontist appointments, parent-teach conferences, all day date-dances, gym memberships, book clubs, neighborhood association meetings and on and on. Do you feel like you are running at a constant sprint just to make it through the day?
I have often thought of how ridiculous our schedules are. We spend endless hours away from home and it seems that our life’s purpose is reduced to acting as chauffeurs that stop for a hamburger-dinner in-between Johnny’s soccer practice and Sally’s dance class. Is this what the Lord had in mind when He created us? How does this kind of schedule help ourselves and our families become partakers of the divine nature as opposed to the natural man?
When Elder David A. Bednar gave his recent General Conference address, I hung on every word, and I thought I understood every word. Little did I know that his talk was the beginning of my journey to understand my true purpose as a mother. In Elder Bednar’s words:
“One of the great challenges each of us faces every day is to not allow the concerns of this world to so dominate our time and energy that we neglect the eternal things that matter most. We can be too easily diverted from remembering and focusing upon essential spiritual priorities because of our many responsibilities and busy schedules. Sometimes we try to run so fast that we may forget where we are going and why we are running.”
Why are we running? Where are we going? What are our goals? If your family is like mine, your answer to these questions might be: “to get my children a scholarship”, “to help my children ‘find’ themselves”, “to give my children confidence” …. and the list goes on. Are any of these goals what we truly desire for our children? Elder Bednar sets our sights a little higher as he teaches us that God has given us “exceeding great and precious promises” so that we can be “partakers of the divine nature”.
What does it mean to be Partakers of the Divine Nature?
Divine nature is the opposite of the “natural man”. When we focus on our divine nature, we remember who we are, where we come from, and where we are going. When we submit to the natural man, we forget who we are, why we came here, and where we are going.
President Lorenzo Snow warned, “We are too apt to forget the great object of life, the motive of our Heavenly Father in sending us here to put on mortality, as well as the holy calling with which we have been called; and hence, instead of rising above the little transitory things … , we too often allow ourselves to come down to the level of the world without availing ourselves of the divine help which God has instituted, which alone can enable us to overcome [those transitory things].”
With all of the evil surrounding our children and a busy schedule full of “transitory things”, it doesn’t seem like it is enough to keep our family from submitting to the natural man. Heavenly Father has so much more in store for us. We can learn of our divine nature when we create an environment where our whole family can learn to partake of the divine nature. In so doing, we will learn how to create a home that is similar to our Heavenly Home…. after all, our mission on this earth is to be like our Heavenly Parents
How do we change the culture of our home to meet this goal?
A Sacred Time and a Sacred Space
Elder Bednar taught that the Sabbath is “a sacred time specifically set apart for worshipping Him and for receiving and remembering His great and precious promises. Exceedingly Great and Precious Promises.” and the temple is “a sacred space specifically set apart for worshipping God and for receiving and remembering His great and precious promises.” Then he taught us something truly divine….
“Home should be the ultimate combination of time and space wherein individuals and families remember most effectively God’s great and precious promises. Leaving our homes to spend time in Sunday meetings and to enter the sacred space of a temple is vital but insufficient. Only as we bring the spirit and strength derived from those holy activities back with us into our homes can we sustain our focus upon the great purposes of mortal life and overcome the corruption that is in the world” (emphasis added),
Wow! Had you ever thought of that before? I hadn’t. I had heard about making our homes an extension of the temple, but I never studied how I can bring the “spirit and strength” of the Sabbath and the Temple to my home. And to think that this will help us overcome the “corruption that is in the world.” Why didn’t I understand this before?
When I compare Elder Bednar’s description of what our homes should be, how do I measure up? How much TIME does my family set apart to be at home? And how do we make our home a sacred SPACE?
“The Sabbath and the temple can help us to establish in our homes “a more excellent way” as we “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” What we do in our homes with His sacred time and with what we learn in His sacred space is pivotal to becoming partakers of the divine nature.”
Partaking of Our True, Divine Nature
“We easily can be overcome by the routine and mundane matters of mortality. Sleeping, eating, dressing, working, playing, exercising, and many other customary activities are necessary and important. But ultimately, what we become is the result of our knowledge of and willingness to learn from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; it is not merely the sum total of our daily pursuits over the course of a lifetime.”
It only takes a little pondering to understand the promises that the Lord has in store for us are far greater than any of the promises the world tries to offer. But in order to take hold of these “exceedingly great and precious promises”, we must change the way we run our homes and families. We must see our homes as incubators where Children of God study to become like our Heavenly Parents: the source of our true, divine nature.
We are running to something far greater than what this world has to offer. If you haven’t deeply studied Elder Bednar’s talk, I encourage you to do so. It has helped me focus on what my true goal is and has opened my mind to the great importance of my work as a mother. There’s so much hope in one, little talk! Thank you, Elder Bednar!
“As we are wise and invite the Holy Spirit to be our guide, I promise He will teach us what is true. “He will testify of Christ, [and] light our minds with heaven’s view” as we strive to fulfill our eternal destiny and become partakers of the divine nature.”