Maybe you didn't ask for this, but it's coming your way anyhow: a week of reports from this years Education Week at BYU! Today I attended, with my friend Rachel, from 8:30-4:05, and I ended up with 16 pages of notes from three classes. The first was 2 hours with Marie Ricks, teaching a fantastic class about Home Organization. Next was one hour from S. Michael Wilcox, about raising a generation that never falls away. Rachel's opinion: it was like Sunday School, mostly straight doctrine, not so much personality. (In fact, I think our Sunday School teacher is more interesting than this guy, I know Wilcox is a big name, but he didn't do it for me.) The last three hours were beyond-fantastic, a series of classes by Scott Anderson about the importance of relationships. Rachel isn't joining me for the rest of the week, but this class was sufficiently awesome that she doesn't think she'll miss much.
For you brave ones, here it is in all it's long, typo-ed glory. I expect those of you who finish the whole thing to brag about it in the comments!
Marie Ricks, Home Organization
Why do we arrive everywhere feeling flustered?
We have too much, do too much and spend too much.
If we will learn to be 10% more organized (2 seconds from a 20 second task) we will gain 90 minutes a day.
We need a marathon organization weekend.
Get rid of half of everything we personally own. Half of what we own is too big, too small, to ugly, to in disrepair. Less is always more.
We tend to be involved in an addiction - accumulation, acquire addiction
1. Get rid of half of your stuff.
2. Worm principle - dirt comes in, dirt goes out - nothing stays inside. Stay current. The lord will provide what you need in the future. What I need I will keep, what I don't need, I will share
1. If things are useful and needed I will keep it, up to 50%
2. If it is useful or not needed, give it away or throw away.
The gospel requires us not to bury our talent but to share it. We have homes so full of stuff that we don't use that we literally bury our head in our stuff. We must unvelcro ourselves from our stuff. There is power in getting rid of your things.
Kids - we must teach those we are with. When children have less they attach better. The lord does not desire us to be the trash can of the neighborhood. Wee keep just in case - we must have a limit of the things we keep "just in case" (one drawer of plastic bags, one small stack of empty cool whip containers.)
What about books? Give away half. Keep what's vital what's useful in our lives. We will be liberated. The lord can't bless us enough when we don't keep what we don't need.
We are the stewards, not the treasure house.
2 exceptions - photos, family history. Keep it until you can organize it and pass it on.
We will always be swimming upstream in our quest to be organized. Nature tends to be chaotic.
Personal bedroom, personal room must be cleaned first in order to function.
Office - put all paper in boxes on the floor so your desk is clean.
2. Then spend a month (or 12) going through the boxes. Then go on a paper fast. Only bring bills into your house, no magazines, no newspapers.
3. Only keep one month's ensign. If you haven't read it, say a guilty prayer of repentance then share it.
4. Group papers. Have a place for bills, for receipts. No longer come in the home and put things down, come in and put things away. Group like with like.
5. Discard whatever you don't need. Congregate and group so habits are firmly establish for retrieval. How do we put away things to make retrieving it easier?
Nothing in your closet but what you love, nothing on your desk but what you need.
Pray for skills and courage to share. It's hard to give away things, but the lord will help you.
The law of stewardship - we would do better now to share than to keep it just in case. We will have a renewed empowerment to enjoy life.
We collect or keep possessions because there is something on the other side of the wall of clutter that we don't want to address. The clutter does not help, it hinders. Empower yourself so you can better deal with the pain of your life.
Where can we multiply our tools so wee can function at a higher level. Look at how each routine in your life can be a pattern of progress. Routines should not be frustrating, sometimes they don't function. It's the little things that drive us nuts, those things need to change.
-For me, I need to change my morning routine.
Include in the order of your life to include journaling, scripture study, exercise, prayer. When we do it right, it always works better. What do I need to tweak in the morning routine so that the rest of my day goes smoother? Change 10% to save 90 minutes a day.
Organization in our callings
The lord gives us callings we don't like to prove how humorous he is. When you receive a new calling, accept it - it's the lord's next step in your life for growing, for healing. Never worry there's not enough time, the lord stretches you for it.
1. A binder - 10 dividers, what things are you going to look for regularly. A ward list, calendar, information. Pencil holder in front so you show up to meetings with the instruments to serve. Always date papers that come into your life so you know when the paper is obsolete. Organize so that if someone calls, you can answer the question easily.
Post it notes are convenient but deadly - things get written down then never get put where it needs to be.
Set up paperwork for our calling so we can set-up, record, retrieve, easily. If you have to keep obsolete papers, keep it in another binder.
Don't go to another calling meeting again without being fully prepared. Be orderly inside so you can serve better outside.
1. What questions need to be resolved, decisions to be made from those in the meeting?
2. What information are you lacking that you can get from the people at the meeting.
3. Go with the spirit of meeting assignments.
Always go to meetings early. Business is done in the 5 minutes before the meeting, so you are calm, so you are blessed, and settled in your mind. Being early when you are in a public setting will help you in your capacity to serve.
Don’t answer the phone 20 minutes before leaving the house, because important people always call right before. This way you can get places on time, you are in control, and you are organized and put together.
Order your life so you look the part. Dress one step higher than your mood and your need. Dress up. You have no idea how many people are watching you. You need to be composed and neatly dressed.
After the meeting, take the time to land. Put assignments on the calendar. Decide when you are going to do things. Put information into the places it needs to be.
paper is for remembering, the mind is for solving problems.
With kids, put the landing off until after the kids go to bed or whatever - a shelf just for things that haven't gotten taken care of.
How to delegate - let them know they will get a phone call halfway through, and then right before. Follow up more initially until you learn to trust, let them know you are a follow-upper until they are ready to fly. Schedule the calendar with your phone calls.
In our personal life, all of us want to save the world, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and we don't know how to do it. Choose one thing to do so you are doing something to learn, to save the world.
Marie Ricks, Hour 2
When we're looking at a home, we fool people - clean what most people will see most of the time. Reorganize, clean up and clean out. You have to have less to organize.
Walk through the home and see what furniture you can share. It isn’t worth saving for the next generation, if it's not being used, then share it. Get rid of things so you can make your house your home. Keep it as cluttered as the temple, or a church house. Keep tools, not trinkets, because they will help. It's not the wiping that bugs us; it’s the lifting up and putting back down.
We only need places to sit and some decorations. It's okay to collect but only if it's in a useful state. Don't bring stuff home to repair.
Start with big pieces (furniture) and get rid of things. Your environment needs to reveal your current needs, not your past and not your future. The lord will provide you with things in the future.
Move from acquiring a possession to acquiring an experience. Keep in your life what your season reflects.
Your collections should grow to the size of a reasonable display. Then new things come in, let old ones go.
Keep your paper current in your home, shred it or toss it.
Wastebasket situation - the more organized, the more wastebaskets there are in each room. If a trashcan is available, people tend to throw it away not throw it down. Make wastebaskets a top priority so the trash gets moved out.
Hogs - a person who brings home everything they come across. Collecting things is okay, but they can keep in a personal treasury, but beyond that they have to remove things for each new thing they bring home. Too much is too much.
If you have a collection that is past useful in size, take a year and bring it back to the size of normalcy. Sometimes it is not worth going through it, it is better just to share it and start over again. Assign a size/area, and then when it is full give away things as new ones are bought.
Garages - clean them out so there is room to organize and sort. Do you have the courage to bless someone's life with the things you need to share?
Whittle and weed with your children to bring the proportions down to reasonable size. A preschooler only needs 3 items of clothes. Remove opportunity for messes. Elementary, 5 items, high school 10 items (tops, 10 bottoms, 10 underwear and socks).
Help children share half of their things, day before birthday or Friday before thanksgiving.
If you love it, take lots of pictures and bury it the backyard, but there is great liberation in having less.
Doing small messes more often is better than doing big messes once in a while. Always be teaching the principles. Pick it up, don't pass it by. If it's yours always take it to a place of finish. If it's borrowed, return it.
Teach principle of finishing first in the bathroom - teach to close lid, then wipe down sink, then hang up towels, then put clothes in hamper. One skill at a time. Teach to finish, always be moving to a place of finish.
What tools can we use to deal with this paperwork? What systems can we use to deal with paperwork? Routines - when will paperwork be filed, bills be paid, etc. Employ a routine to deal with the paperwork.
Most women have forgotten the title of mother, instead of maid. We need to work ourselves out of a job, teach them train them, follow up, reward tem compliment them, make it part of living in the home. Train, counsel, support others.
Our house must be a temple. We can control the clutter. When we control that, we make our home a haven, we can better cope with pressures in our life.
Teach them to finish so housework, homework will be reduced by half.
Decide not to keep what you don't need even if you have room for it.
Have in your home things you want the savior to see, to sit down on. Move it to order and beauty will naturally follow.
Order in the family
The law of firsts - as you lay the foundation of your family, first, teach children to pray. Brings order to spiritual life. Personal prayer, then family.
Next, scriptures as part of their vocabulary. There is power in the scriptures in your children’s lives. You ordered your world to include scriptures.
Work with your children to regularly journal. Let them write what is in their heart. Teaches them to be grateful and to channel their prayers.
Monday night is fhe. This will order your life in the lord's way. Have it every single week.
1st Sunday is fast Sunday. Teach that to children who cannot fast, that we do it to be obedient.
Teach them the importance of temple attendance and attend regularly.
Do these things, even if you do it alone. Fast, attend temple, etc even if you don't have support f a spouse.
All family members must contribute to order in the home by having responsibilities. If you live in the house, you contribute to the house. Create an environment that work ethic is important. No one escapes, no one is a guest. Part of living and being happy is to work.
Service needs to be an ever-present part of their resume. Teach them to serve the sick (write a get well card) keeps them aware of others who might miss church.
Serve in family history. Maybe just a picture on the fridge or a story.
Straight service. Short, easy, anonymous. Pick up trash on the street; pick dandelions from the church, small things. You don't have to do everything, but you have to do something.
Food and home storage. Teach skills, learn to eat wheat, practice knots or whatever.
Work with children so that the bedroom that they live in becomes their mini-home and becomes something they are proud to live in. Help them to have a room that can be organized. Do they have tools to be organized? Do they have a system to keep it clean? Do they have a routine to keep their room organized?
Small incremental 10% improvement is all we need.
S. Michael Wilcox
The Rising Generation - Children who never fall away
The essence of celestial kingdom is relationships.
Passing on what we've learned to the next generation - how to raise children who never fall away. (Anti-nephi-lehis - whose children are the stripling warriors.)?
Use scriptures as parental counsel. God did not have success with all his children but he gave us lessons to help us.
Alma the younger as a father, lehi and Jacob and Abraham as fathers also.
Alma 35 - 9 chapters as a father, king Benjamin teaches his children before he teaches his people
Judges v8, 12 - Samson - asking the lord how to raise the child
Lecture on faith - stirred up the faith of multitudes to feel after god, to search after a knowledge of his attributes, until they became extensively acquainted with him, behold his glory, stand in his presence.
That's what we want for our children, to be extensively acquainted with god. That's what god wants from us, to stir up the faith of our children.
How do we do that? How do we stir up the faith of our child? Verse 56 of lecture on faith - it is human testimony that stirs up their minds, and the credence they gave to the testimony, inspired them to inquire after god and led to glorious discoveries and eternal certainty.
Testimony is the most important thing to give our children. They need to know what we know.
Nephi's greatest spiritual experience was his vision, which came because he asked to see what his father saw.
Jacob and enos - enos was hunting and was thinking about the words his father spake, and his soul hungered. He saw the joy of the saints, need to let our kids see the gospel is not a barbed wire fence keeping them from things they want, there's joy available. We give our kids thoughts that we float out on the water, but we want to give it weight so we often speak of these things, and the accumulation of things sinks deep in their heart.
Alma and Alma - he was in hell, and the teachings were there from his father so he knew whom to call on.
Stripling warriors and their parents - they did not doubt their mothers knew it. Not just taught it, but knew it.
Compare Alma the younger to David in o.t. - his problems with Bathsheba cripple him to his children, Alma can tell his children to repent as he did.
Alma 36 V2, 6 - do as I have done, as I have seen, as I do know, 29 - you ought (parent words) - teaching by example.
Child will walk in the footsteps of their father, if you want a child who is kind, be kind, if you want him to be patient, be patient.
If we teach a child to read but don't teach them how to choose good books, we've given Lucifer a weapon. Teach them to read the scriptures, read classics, read good books. Scriptures give them 6000 years of heroes to look towards. Alma 37 is power of the scriptures
1. Enlarge the memory - formerly called the book f remembrance - the things that god wants us to remember
2. Remember the error of their ways
Mosiah ch 1 - Benjamin teaches his son the same things. Verse 2, taught them to read, to become men of understanding, 3, scriptures, otherwise suffers in ignorance
cs lewis suffered in grief from wife's death, had no knowledge of eternal families.
Scriptures described as a liahona, a sword, manna, a lamp
Don’t send your kids out into the wilderness without a compass, they will get lost. Life is a battle; don't send your kids out without a sword. Don't send your kids into the wilderness without manna; don't send them in the darkness without a lamp.
Poor Shiblon, the middle child - Helaman gets 2 chapters, Corianton gets 4, Shiblon gets 15 verses.
Chapter 38 is specific praise for specific things. He also lets his child know the joy that child brings. Validate experiences.
What do you do when you have to correct a child? Chapters 39-42 - great love, corrects doctrine because he knows doctrine
1.tell where they went wrong, what steps led up to the situation v.2 didn't give so much heed to my words
2.tell them the long and the short consequences of the action v.11, 13, 9, long term
3.tell them how to prevent the problem from reoccurring v.9 repent, forsake sins, take upon yourself to avoid sin
4. Always leave them with hope and forgiveness. v.19 preach coming of Christ, forgiveness
Scott Anderson Replenishing Relationships
We will retain our identity forever - wee get so caught up with the view of life from birth until now, instead of viewing ourselves as infinite, as eternal.
D&c 93:38 - every spirit was innocent
We were tempted in pre-mortal life; it was a war in heaven that's a strong word for what happened.
In premortality we
Used the atonement
With all that, how much does your spirit know? It has already gone through all of that, we are more remarkable and experienced than we know. Elder oaks tells us we bring traces of our premortal selves
The adversary whispers in our ears n Nephi 28:20
He tells us how much of a failure you are
If the savior could stand in front of us, he would tell us how much he loves us and wants to bless us.
Alma the younger - what did the angel say to Alma? To this rebellious struggling young man, he said, remember how merciful god is, how much he blesses your family - he said remember.
We need to be able to receive what the lord wants to give us. Remembering is the first step. Moroni 10:3. It's hard to remember how merciful he's been this week, and we are supposed to remember his mercy through all of history. He keeps a tender mercies journal of the things that the lord has blessed him with. It's a way to remember.
Focus on a different blessing every day, so we can open a conduit to receive words of the lord.
Love the lord thy god, love thy neighbor as thyself - this is the entire purpose of earth life, and it is all couched in relationships.
Moses 7 - the lord wanted us to love each other and to choose me, their father
1 Nephi 8:4-12
lehi saw a dark and dreary waste, he saw a glorious being in white, he experiences the dreariness of mortal life - he was sent to the tree, which is Jesus Christ - there are some things we can never get from mortal relationships and if we need to get them from mortals we will always be disappointed.
2 Nephi 4:17-18 & 34 - only spiritually receptive people recognize their weaknesses, Nephi is the only one who calls himself a wretched man, not his wretched brothers.
Nephi went to the lord to make himself feel better, not his wife, it's not her job to make him happy, it's the lord.
Why does god love you? Not because you’re good, because he's good. We have the capacity to love like god, when they aren't meeting your needs anymore.
attitude is the symptom of what's the matter, laman even obeys, prays when things are good, when things are bad he melts into a puddle because he doesn’t know the mysteries of god. That's the real difference. Nephi could see god's hand in his life. He loves his brothers enough to still want to save them when they want to kill him. It isn't reciprocal love, he has the capacity to love as god does. Ch. 16 v 7 - check the footnote. The daughter of Ishmael.
Nephi talks about wading through affliction, verse 2, praises god for the blessings on him. The wife has milk for the baby, she is starting to stop complaining, he recognizes god's hand so he has a greater capacity to truly love.
lamoni kills people when they lose their sheep, after a week of preaching he tells his people he'll never do it again, it changed his capacity to love his people. They would not kill again because Jesus Christ changed them.
The sacrament is meant so that we can create a two-way covenant, we covenant and so does he - he's promising to be there for us, to help us, to give us capacity to love and to be a better parent.
3 Nephi 19:22-23
what does a perfect resurrected person pray for? Us. That he can give us his oneness, we can be one with him.
Adam and eve were commanded to be one with each other.
Truth can make us free, if we live truth, we receive light. That is the point of intelligence, the glory of god is intelligence or in other words light and truth d&c 93:36,37
someday you will be coupled with eternal joy, which you do not now enjoy.
Dc 93:39 - Satan takes away light and truth because of disobedience and traditions of our fathers.
Dc 123:7 - adversary's goal is to destroy your relationships with god, extended family (angels), ourselves, spouses, children - god takes creeds and rivets them on their hearts, Satan wants to separate us from all of these. because of this, the world is filled with confusion, growing stronger and stronger, is the mainspring of all corruption, whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity.
The adversary wants to separate us from each other, is trying to destroy relationships on the earth.
what's harmony? Blending extreme differences, not being the same. It's not being in unison, harmony creates depth, richness.
did not believe
could not understand or feel
would not behave
we try to change the behavior, not the way we believe, understand or feel
we can change behavior faster by studying doctrine than by studying behavior.
If we are blocked from understanding or feeling, we are blocked from revelation. We will see differently, feel differently, and then our behavior is easier to change.
This is Alma the younger. He s unconscious to show that all he changed was his beliefs, not his behavior. The tragedy of Alma was not his behavior, it is the beliefs about himself that led to the behavior.
can you believe you are hopeless if you honestly believe that Jesus Christ will make your weaknesses your strengths? If you believe in the atonement, you can't be hopeless.
Alma’s belief changes by these steps: Alma 36:11-21
recognize the false belief
examine its influence
find a true belief to replace it
seek spiritual help
apply the new belief
we have creeds riveted on our hearts that limits us in our capacity to receive. Jesus Christ is able to unrivet false beliefs and make us whole.
happy couples make differences their strengths. The hardest parts of a relationship might be very close to a point of great growth.
You don't have to believe the same, you just have to understand. It opens you up, broadens you.
Communication and loving behavior, both high. Communication without loving behavior is no good - loving behavior is the most important thing.
favorite marriage scripture 2 Nephi 2:11 - opposition in all things
oneness can't happen without the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost knows our spouse perfectly and knows us perfectly and can bridge the two people.
we judge each other’s behavior by our own beliefs. We aren't ever right when we do that. The pattern is we describe what we think it means, and the misunderstanding continues.
dealing with differences
3 Nephi 14:1-2 judge not that ye be not judged - (3 Nephi 11-13 relationship with god)
one of the most challenging ideas, to not judge someone from our own beliefs - we need the holy ghost to help, we need to ask "what does that mean to you"
seek first to understand, then to be understood
3 Nephi 14:3-5 here's how to do it - before you correct anybody, look at yourself first and make sure you know what you're really seeing
conversation inviting change
1. define the problem without blame, unified front, Satan wants to divide us, make us correct people
2. Each partner shares what he/she is doing to maintain the problem
3. Each partner suggests something he/she could do to improve the problem. When you first work on issues, don't elaborate on the other person's problems.
4. Implement and evaluate
we can't be responsible to remove all the negative from each other’s life. As soon as we get the answers life changes. We can be in charge of the positive. 5 positives for every negative to keep the balance in a relationship. We can put positive in our relationship.
Give the perfect gift for the one receiving it. The lord will help us give each other meaningful relationship gifts that are right for the person who receives it.
What if we kept a tender mercies journal about each child, or their spouse, how that person has blessed them that day.
d&c 25 - what delights his soul
d&c 19 - Christ’s role - I will suffer for you, all you need to do is change and I will do the rest. I will make a covenant with you as long as you know
d&c 18:10 worth of souls, determined by price that was paid for it. How great was his joy when you accept it, plus we get joy when we bring others.
he weaves our lives together so that we can have joy together. The only way we can all benefit from each other's spiritual gift if we share it with each other.
D&c 45 -
1 Nephi 22:26 - through righteousness, bind Satan
1 Nephi 14:12 - church is all over the earth v 14 - power of god descends on church, the power is his capacity to love
children express their most difficult emotion to their safest relationship. Who else absorbed pain and grief and gave love back? Who else took upon himself the role to be giver of peace, transmitter of love? We take upon us the opportunity to show Christ like love. We aren't failures if our children have been angry with us. Alma the elder mosiah 26:15-20 - god comforts Alma while he is struggling with a wayward son.