This week I have been taught the lesson of give and receive a few times.
First, On Tuesday I read Joseph Smiths lesson on the second coming. There was a part that really stood out to me. It is dated December 27th 1832. Joseph Smith tells his High priest group that if they wanted to receive revelation they needed to be of one heart and one mind. he then recommended that they each pray individually out loud. Each of them did so, one after another. I was surprised as I read on that they did not pray to be of one heart and one mind. They each prayed and spoke of their determination to keep the commandments. Shortly after, the prophet received the revelation that constitutes section 88.
As a side, the last 2 pages of section 88 are a great way to check yourself and see if you are becoming a Zion in heart as Elder D. Todd Christofferson and President Henry B. Eyering referred to in conference.
OK-second lesson. Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to the temple. I was able to give several members of my deceased family the option of being bound together for the Eternity's as Malachi talks about in the Bible. When I was finished I was able to go into the Celestial room. This is a room for quiet meditation. An opportunity to think and pray always gives way in this most beautiful setting. If you ever have a chance to go to a temple open house, I invite you to, and you will see that this special room has a wonderful spirit of love. I was sitting in the Celestial room contemplating my great-great cousin who had done all of the leg work for this family history. He had definitely been motivated from heaven. I had the special feeling of knowing that at least one of the families being sealed was happy, that they would be together for Eternity. As I was contemplating this, my thoughts were led to my brother. He will be finalizing a divorce this week. I prayed for him and my family as they go through this time of trial. After about 20 minutes going on and on in prayer for things that people were in need of, I remembered that I had not yet been brave enough to tell Heavenly Father of my determination to keep the commandments, like the high priests had. I then offered that prayer, and my heart was lead to pray and ask him what I could do for him. The simple answer was, Help your husband. I thanked Heavenly Father and prepared to go home to the whirlwind of boys.
When I walked in, the dishes were done and the house had been picked up. The boys were quiet and playing with Tom. When he saw me, he told me he was going to lay down and take a nap. When I told him about the prompting I had received in the temple to help him, and asked him what I could do to help him, I was suprised at his answer. I don't know what I expected, I was thinking-clean the garage, rake the leaves, etc. His answer, "If you could just clean the house and keep doing all the things you are doing, I would be so happy."
result-I deep cleaned the kitchen with the happiest heart, full of love. I knew that this was helping him and so it made the work full of joy. I continued on through the house, without one feeling of drudgery.
Third lesson- Today was tithing settlement for our family. The Lord has established a great principle of Tithes and Offerings. Tithe or tithing is 10% of your income and Offerings-or Fast Offerings-The Church designates one Sunday each month, usually the first Sunday, as a day of fasting. Proper observance of fast Sunday includes going without food and drink for two consecutive meals, attending fast and testimony meeting, and giving a fast offering to help care for those in need.A fast offering should be at least the value of the two meals not eaten. When possible, we should be generous and give much more than this amount. So now that we are clear on these definitions, I will move on to Tithing settlement. This happens at the end of each year. You and your family go into the bishop, to say whether or not you pay a full 10% tithe. It also gives you a chance to check your records and make sure your records match that of the church.
Before Tithing settlement we had a little discussion with the boys to refresh in their minds what tithing is and where it goes. We gave the boys each a dollar and let them pay a dime from their dollars for tithing. Each of the boys tried to give more. We explained that this was not necessary. The Lord is so good, he gives us everything and only asks for 10% in return. And if we pay our 10% he promises us blessings that we wont even have room to receive. When I told the boys that, the spirit bore witness to me, that I knew it was true, and flashed in my mind the many times that I personally have been able to witness the truthfulness of it.
The "Purple Park"
So, Fourth Lesson-On the way home from tithing settlement we drove by a park. Gabriel said look there is the purple park! Seth said yeah but we don't play at the park on Sunday, and then for the first time, noticed that there were in fact people playing at the park. Mom, he said, some people are playing at the park. Yes Seth I know, but that is because they don't know that Heavenly Father asked us to keep the Sabbath Day holy. But we know that, right. Then Seth said, but I wish I didn't know that, I want to play at the park on Sunday and not go to church. Then I said, yeah it seems like it would be pretty fun to play at the park on Sunday, huh. He said yeah. I said, but can you imagine if you didn't go to church. You couldn't get baptized or receive the holy ghost. If you didn't go to church, your kids wouldn't go to church. If you didn't go to church you couldn't get married in the temple, and that would mean that you couldn't be with your family forever and ever. I said, Seth, going to church is such a small thing that the Lord ask of us. Its like just paying 1 dime from our dollar for tithing. And yet when we keep the sabbath day holy we receive great blessings, like being with are families forever. I am not sure if he learned the lesson, but for me the weeks teachings had come full circle and again the spirit bore witness to my heart that things I was saying were true. I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven who leads and guides me. How blessed I have been!