31 August 2014

Chapter 3 - Jesus Christ Succors

In addition to giving the children of God an avenue to repent, the Atonement also offers comfort from the pains we all suffer. In the book of Alma, there's a great verse that talks about this further:
"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. - Alma 7:11-12"
Expanding on this scripture, Elder Henry B. Eyring said, "He could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience."

This doctrine has brought me great comfort in my life, and I love that the author starts out this third chapter with these verses from Alma, saying "From His suffering was born an infinite ability to succor." Then she points out that a mother's days and weeks are filled with opportunities to succor her children. Ms. Sorensen comments, "While both we and our children must depend on the Savior for the ultimate healing of physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual suffering, a mother's efforts to heal and comfort her children area  reflection of the Savior's ministry. 

As a mom, I know I can comfort my son; that often just a simple touch or hug can "fix" whatever's ailing; it amazes me sometimes, how much so. And I love that Ms. Sorensen pointed out the parallels between moms and Christ, in this way. This one's a fairly short chapter, and much of it is examples, with her own kids, when her being there could "make it better". 

"Much of this business of succoring is done quietly and privately. When children wake up vomiting in the middle of the night and you rub their back and provide them every comfort within your reach, it is a sacred secret between them and you. It often goes unnoticed even by your husband or other children. That is often how Christ succored. In the book of Matthew, we read the story of a leper who approached Jesus and worshiped him. He asked Jesus to heal him, "and immediately his leprosy was cleansed.' As the leper walked away, Jesus requested, "See thou tell no man; but go thy way."

A mother's role is to treat our children with kindness and love, as Christ treated all those around him. But it doesn't have to be limited just to our individual families. Elder Jeffery R. Holland urged us to be more caring of all people when he said:
"I ask you to be a healer, be a helper, be someone who joins in the work of Christ in lifting burdens, in making the load lighter, in making things better. As children, when we had a bump or a bruise, didn't we say to Mom or Dad, "Make it better"? Well, lots of people on your right hand and on your left are carrying bumps and bruises that they hope will be healed and made whole. Someone you know is carrying a spiritual or physical or emotional burden of some sort, or some other affliction drawn from life's catalog of a thousand kinds of sorrow. In the spirit of Christ's first invitation to his twelve Apostles, jump into this work. Help people... and try to make things better."

16 August 2014

Chapter 2 - Jesus Christ Teaches

Ok! Now that the move is over and gone and we're starting to fall back into a sort of normal routine, I'm back to continue my progress through Covenant Motherhood.

This chapter - Jesus Christ Teaches, seemed pretty straight forward; of course our jobs as parents is to teach. And that's pretty much what Ms. Sorensen was saying: teach all things; church is to just supplement what is taught at home.

Yep, I'm in total agreement with that. But she did find some really great quotes supporting that approach to parenting. Like this one from Elder Neil L. Andersen:
Our challenge as parents and teachers is not to create a spiritual core in their souls but rather to fan the flame of their spiritual core already aglow with the fires of their premortal faith ... The stories of Jesus shared over and over bring faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strength to the foundation of testimony.
Also, I liked this quote from Ms. Sorensen: " Our feeble efforts to teach may seem to go largely unnoticed and unheeded, but many scriptures and prophets and apostles bear witness of the potential for lasting influence." (like Enos, Alma the Younger and the stripling warriors)

And, along the same lines of worthwhile things seemingly having no effect, part of this chapter talks about how even Jesus Christ was weary at times:
After He learned about the death of John the Baptist, Jesus sought solitude. "When Jesus heard of it, He departed thence by ship into a desert place apart." (what mother hasn't felt like she needs a quiet moment but the clamor just follows?) The people still "followed him on foot out of the cities." Jesus "saw the great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, " and He taught them and healed them. After a while, the disciples tried to turn the crowd away, but Jesus said, "They need not depart."  When we make the same concessions with our own children, despite our weariness, the Savior will sustain us and send the Holy Ghost to consecrate our teachings for their good and for our strength.
Then the chapter moves into talking about important things that need to be taught and ways parents can teach them. She quotes some general authorities, and sums it all up by saying:
The Savior is a perfect example of teaching the right things at the right time. The study of His teachings arms us with the most important lessons our children will need to know. I once did a search throughout the New Testament using the phrase "Jesus said." It was fascinating to see what specific teachings came directly from His mouth, and it helped me focus more on communicating those same principles to my children. I also search the phrases "Jesus taught," "Jesus answered," "Jesus spoke," and "Jesus testified." I was really interested to discover that out of those four verbs, the action of answering was mentioned in the New Testament at least five times more frequently than the other three verbs. Than, in itself, teaches an important lesson: the Savior listened to and perceived people's questions and then taught them truth and doctrine through His answers. 

The chapter closes with a quote from Elder Jeffery R. Holland:
"No child in this Church should be left with uncertainty about his or her parents' devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ ... Live the gospel as conspicuously as you can. Keep the covenants your children know you have made. Give priesthood blessings. And bear your testimony! Don't just assume your children will somehow get the drift of your beliefs on their own."