September 6, 2015

My talk in church last week, Capitol Hill 1st Ward: Sacrament observance in the home.

I learned so much from being asked to speak on this topic and wanted to document it here. I was so intimidated to speak in our ward full of scholars, senators, general authorities...but I know Heavenly Father gives us power to do the things he asks us to do. 

Good morning my name is Nikki Smith and my family moved into the ward two weeks ago. My husband is Collin; we've been married for almost 7 years. He's from Florida and I'm from Phoenix. We met at an institute Halloween dance in fl while I was there visiting cousins. We feel in love. I was living in PHX and he decided to go back to BYU to finish school. We dated lost distance for a while then got married in the Mesa Temple. We lived in Provo, and then Washington DC, and then back to PHX, where we have spent the last 4 years. That's where our two children were born, Fredrick will be 4 next month and Harriet is 20 months. We are a family who loves our home but we also love being outside and around other people and having adventures. We moved here for my husbands job. He works for the church doing social media strategy for seminary and institute. It's a little scary starting over and not knowing anyone or the area but we love it here. I love being so close to the temple and church history. We know this is exactly where we are supposed to be. 

My talk today is about---
Sabbath day observance in the home 

In a recent article in the church news, Elder Ballard of the 12 Apostles said that with the input from women leaders of the Church, “we felt that it was urgent that we strengthen the faith of our people. The world seems to be getting a little …more difficult…

A committee was formed to focus on the issue and one of the results is that leaders of the church are telling us that we can strengthen our faith by observing the Sabbath day with greater purpose. 

-we are to rethink, refocus how we spend our time on Sunday. 

Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, general president of the Primary, shared one of her ideas...she said she sees the importance of holding sacrament meeting first. “From a mother’s perspective, it is so important. Children are fresh. And as we prepare our families, husbands and wives or single parents—any parent who is preparing their family to come to sacrament meeting on Sunday—that preparation happens … before we leave, before we walk through the door at the chapel, and it happens in the car sometimes on the way.”

I will agree with that statement. I believe a big part of being able to keep the sabbath day holy is preparing in the home before hand. 

While preparing this talk, I have felt the spirit so strongly testify to me that my own habits on the Sabbath day need to be rethought and refocused. 

We try and we have good days sometimes but we can do so much better. 
Too often the scene is that we we wake up late because we are tired from doing too much the day before. we have to rush to get the kids ready, bathed. we have to get ourselves ready and feed everyone and as we are rushing out the door grab some books and stuff for the kids and maybe some snacks. 
If we are really late or stressed sometimes we snap at each other a little bit.  We get to church and try to get a seat before it starts.  The kids are kind of wound up now and they want to run around. This is no way to start a day of worship. 

I don't know if better preparation will change my kids having lots of energy and wanting to run around in church but I think we will show a better example and there will be more calmness. I want to commit personally and I want to challenge you all to commit to prepare at home for better Sabbath day worship of our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. I really believe that it will strengthen our relationships w them and that we will be more open to personal revelation and to what we can do to be happier.  

I need all the help I can get. I have my own struggles right now, one of them is also one of my greatest blessings. I am a mother. I'm in charge of two of heavenly fathers children.  With every awesome new milestone comes a new hurdle to overcome and as they grow up they become more aware of my faults.  I just want them to grow up and become normal human beings who are loved and able to love others.  and who know that the Gospel Jesus Christ is true and is the way to eternal salvation. I love being a mom and we have so much fun.  I have times when it scares me and I worry so much. I need that extra boost of deepened spirituality and closeness with my savior that the sabbath brings.  I need to think of him and what he did for me and how what he did makes everything ok. I need to be obedient so that I can be blessed. And I need a rest from the rest of the week. 

 preparation in the home is key, whatever that means for you. 

For me it means getting everything ready the night before, probably including breakfast. 
It also means making sure that our evening doesn't end too late on Saturday so that we can get to bed on time and we can be cheerful and energetic on Sunday morning.  

So let's talk about the rest of the day...

Elder Ballard said:
We’re hoping that home activities will be more centered on learning and knowing more about the life and ministry of the Savior and the great plan of happiness that our Heavenly Father has given us to live by.”

We have a small amount of specific council on what to do and not to on Sundays but other than that we have to decide for ourselves how to best worship on this day. 

For the Strength of Youth suggests spending quiet time with your family, studying the gospel, fulfilling your Church callings and responsibilities, serving others, writing letters, writing in your journal, and doing family history work. 
Sister Wixom adds- "what we do should be in connection to Him and for Him. But that doesn’t mean we can’t load our children in our cars and go visit grandparents or family or relatives. It doesn’t mean that we can’t take time to laugh together.” 

I think that's so important. The sabbath should be a happy day where we really rest from our cares and we focus on the Lord and our families! Pondering the atonement will help us forget our worries. 

Sabbath day observance is probably going look differently for us at different stages in our lives.
At this time my husband and I are away from both of our families so we spend a short time on Sundays Skyping w them so that our kids can keep the connection with their grandparents and cousins as much as possible. We also have a great desire to develop relationships in our ward family and want to get to know all of you. 

We have young kids so we need to usually do something that's creative or that can get energy out ...
We talk about what we learned in church lessons, and read the friend and ensign together.  
We love music in our family and we know it can bring us closer to God. It is a form of worship. and it's a great way to keep kids interested

In the first presidency preface to the hymn book it says,
"Music has boundless powers for moving families toward greater spirituality and devotion to the gospel. Latter-day Saints should fill their homes with the sound of worthy music.
Ours is a hymnbook for the home as well as for the meetinghouse. We hope the hymnbook will take a prominent place among the scriptures and other religious books in our homes. The hymns can bring families a spirit of beauty and peace and can inspire love and unity among family members.
Teach your children to love the hymns. Sing them on the Sabbath, in home evening, during scripture study, at prayer time. Sing as you work, as you play, and as you travel together. Sing hymns as lullabies to build faith and testimony in your young ones.

This morning I was up before the rest of my family.
Instead of going to the usual social media sites  I went to  Los .org. I learned so much! I read about the Indianapolis temple dedication, and the manuals for next year and there were a ton of resources for sabbath day worship. 

They have printable family plans and cards where you can write down ideas and share them together with the family. 
There's an article about One woman who heard president Nelsons talk on making the Sabbath day a delight and desired to be obedient. She shared her experience w counseling w her family about their plan for the sabbath day. Some of the things they came up with together were a special scripture study where Instead of reading a chapter like they usually did, Sunday mornings they would come together with questions they had or topics they wanted to learn more about. She and her husband would focus on teaching their children how to find real answers to their questions through the spirit. 
They also decided to choose a family member or friend they didn't usually talk to and give them a call on Sunday.
And they wanted to make and deliver treats to a neighbor each week to spread love in their neighborhood. 
The last and most important thing they discussed was how to make this all stick. They decided they would each be in charge of one of the activities. One would pick the family member to call, one would gather the family for the Sunday morning scripture discussion, one would choose a neighbor and take the lead on making a treat to deliver. The children all became excited and were invested in the plan because they helped make it. Through family discussion they discovered that Sunday was more than church and naps and it can all be delightful. 

-Things on Sundays won't always go smoothly, but I think the important thing is that we are trying to show heavenly father that Sunday is a special day. 

As I become more intentional and committed in my Sabbath Day worship, I am more aware of the blessings that come from keeping this day Holy and more aware of the hand of God in my life.
I know that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ and that our leaders are inspired by God. I know that God  gives us everything. Everything we are and do and have is because of him and he asks us to be obedient. It shows God that we have faith in him and that he is most important in our lives. 

Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, oolo my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.

I say this In the name of Jesus Christ Amen. 

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your BLOG Nikki. Please send me your link to remind me to check it out.
    love and miss you.