Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Education Week - Tuesday

Normal college students, when they have a mere ten days between the end of the summer semester and the start of fall classes, they go on vacation.  A trip to Disneyland, or camping with their friends maybe.  Not me.  In my ten day break, I'm spending four of them...at college.

It's a different college, if that makes it better at all.  I'm attending Education Week at BYU, something I've done a couple of times before.  Every day (well, Tuesday through Friday anyhow) there are hundreds of classes to choose from, and I try to cram as many in as my brain can possibly allow.  I usually hit mental meltdown after the 5 pm session, and I always regret not making it through the last three or four sessions in the day.  Crazy, yes, absolutely.

This year I vowed to take more religious and doctrinal classes instead of the psychology and self-help I usually take.  You know, the "how to be a better mother/wife/teacher/friend/religious person/etc in just four easy lessons!" type of class.  I figure if it's a topic a therapist would normally charge $90 an hour to coach me on, I ought to take advantage of the lesson for free.  This year, I told myself, I was going to focus on the spiritual side of my life.  I was feeling disconnected spiritually, and I wanted to aim for a more spiritually-intensive week.

Which is how I ended up in "Resolving Marital Issues in Practical Ways."  Sigh.  This old dog isn't learning any new tricks, apparently.

Even though my classes might have the same tenor as all the other years, something has changed - technology.  The last time I was here was 2008, I typed my notes on a Palm with a separate keyboard.  It was pretty cool, and enabled me to take some killer notes.  This year, though, I have abandoned the Palm in favor of my new iPad.  It has a built-in keyboard on the screen but typing with it is a challenge.  It's slick and you can't feel the edge of one button versus the next.  I took notes in the first two classes this way, and I got used to it, mostly.   But you know my dad, if there's a cool gadget available, it's got his name on it, especially if it means he gets better-quality notes from Ed Week classes.  So at lunch I apprehended his new iPad keyboard, and the last four classes, the notes were substantially better.  So everyone say, Thanks Dad!  :)

Here's a list of the classes I attended, plus my opinions of them:

Resolving Marital Issues in Practical Ways - okay, lots of lists of problems and not many solutions.

Effective Communication - really interesting, I liked it a lot

Burying Our Personal Weapons of Rebellion - meh.  Won't go back tomorrow.

How To Be A Better Wife In Four Easy Lessons (I told you that's the kind of class I go to, right?) - *Favorite Class of the Day*

Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet - lots of history, easy to understand.

The Anatomy of High-Trust Relationships - pretty good.

Without further ado, here are my notes for Tuesday's classes.

Brinley - resolving marital issues in practical ways  (this one is lots of lists)
15-17 percent divorce rate in temple marriage, 25 in non-temple lds marriage

Problems in marriage:
Unwilling to apologize or repent
Hard hearted
Lack of self discipline-pornography is killing us. If not for that problem, I wouldn't
have a job (he's a therapist, I think.)
1/3 use porn, 10percent addicted in utah valley
Lack of positive communication, validation
Role expectations
Tempermental, angry, easily offended
Meanspirited, ornery
Don't handle stress well
Differences in beliefs
Money management
Use of leisure time
Physical limitations, depression, illness
Differences in child rearing
Domination, smothering, overpowering major factor in divorce
Sexual incompatiblity/frequency
Slobs, sloppy housekeeping
Gender, personality differences
Decision making, power issues

To enrich marriage, solve those problems.

Why do lds couples get divorced?  Is it...
Ignorance of communication, social skills?
Easy soft life, not tough enough, willing to quit?
Marry too young, need more maturity?
attitude about marriage in culture, we glorify marriage, yet people are unprepared
Unwilling to forgive faults, harping on mistakes?

A small measure of repentance and forgiveness would heal many wounds
Know how to lift and bless each other
Selfishness is the root cause of problems in marriage.
Should have Anxious concern for the comfort and well being of spouse
Selfishness causes adultery, money problems, is the antithesis of love

Too many that come to marriage have been coddled, spoiled, expect everything to be right all the time, that life is a series of entertainments, Appetites to be sated.

Divorce is not a cure, merely an escape.  Every divorce is the result of selfishness on the part of one or both parties.
The acceptance of divorce as a cure is a serious sin of this generation.  Marriage never was easy, it never will be, it demands great selflessness.
The lord does not condone abuse, adultery, etc - there are justifications for divorce.

True doctrine will change behavior faster than psychology, pres. Packer

You can always see pride in someone else, but it's hard to see in yourself.
Every time people get riches, leisure time, easy life, it leads to pride.

Maxwell: selfishness activates all the cardinal sins, it's the detonator in breaking the ten commandments.

D&C 116:11. Be ashamed of littleness of soul.

Examples of selfish/unconscious behavior
Flaky people do not make good marriage partners

(this is a sampling of some selfish behavior, not all apply to everyone, obviously.)
will not home teach, visit teach monthly
Unviersity faculty-teach what they want, phd egos
Husband complains meals are not ready when he gets home
Cut across lawn instead of sidewalk
Watch too much tv
Overweight not due to genetics 1/2 of Utah are overweight.  There are no heavy old people, don't leave your spouse a widow
Boys won't serve missions - 1/3 of ym are serving missions.  If more men served missions, it would solve a lot of the marriage problems - maturity, activity in church, learn to be selfless in service.
Brings books to sacrament meeting
Don't want more children when age, health ok, or anxious to delay family
Leaves clothes on dressing room floor
Monopolize remote control
Children won't go to mutual, scouts, or only go when treats, fun
Sleeping in church meetings, temple
Opinionated beyond good sense
Keep walking during national anthem ( byu students)
Driving habits
Talks during movie
Sucks joy out of life on a daily basis
Hold grudges
Defensive behavior when confronted
Not "into" family history, but really into tv
Humble only during crisis
Won't share gospel with nonmembers
Wont accept/fulfill church callings, doesn't show up for primary/ss, no call to leaders
Wants sex on demand, but not kind in non-sexual ways
Anger, temper displays
Wife won't participate in intimacy after menopause.  intimacy is to strengthen marital bond, not just for procreation
Public image inconsistent with private behavior
Moody, irritable, hostile
Watches R rated movies, despite leaders' counsel
Won't  vote
Go into debt for items to impress others

Selfishness and pride are killing marriages.  These small indicators of selfishness can be warning signs of larger pride problems.

Love is one of chief characteristics of deity, ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be sons of god
HC 4:227

If you want to improve marriage:

Sensitive to neighbors, new converts, inactive
Sensitive to singles, single parents in ward
Compliments sacrament speakers genuinely youth speakers
Shovel sidewalk
Make tentative comments in class - leave room for new ideas, thoughts.
Attend evening sessions of stake conference
Pick up litter
Never criticize
Turn off tv, spend time with family
Spend time one on one with children, correct them in private
Speak highly of spouse and children in public
Thank people for service
Listen to what others say, write things down
Anonymous gifts, generous with money
Help children with reverence
Be on time for meetings

Selfishness in husband
Critical of wife's appearance
Critical of wife's driving
Critical of wife leaving lights on, on phone too long
Fussy about everything
Is sloppy
Seldom expresses appreciation, gratitude but demands intimacy
Tirades against kids when they spill something, but wouldn't treat neighbor that way
Hoards money
Wife has to exchange sex when wants money
Criticizes children to wife, she is expected go fix it
Teaching kids though ger
Irritable when doesn't get his own way
Not a companion to wife.
Critical of church leaders
Wife has to arrange spiritual activities-does not ask wife or children to pray with him
Critical of wife's weigh etc. after pregnancies
Publicly interrupts wife, criticizes etc
Treats other women better than own wife.

Can you imagine our heavenly parents not speaking to each other for three days?
Prosperity is as much a test as poverty is.

Effective communication - what is your style

To live with saints in heaven is glory, to live with them on earth is another story - brigham young

We're all striving to understand or to be understood

What was Christ saying when he said let all your speech be yea yea, nay nay - be clear, simple.  Silent treatment doesn't work.  Say what is bothering you instead of guilt trips, grouchiness, resentment.

Men are driven by objectives, they tune out metamessges.
Speech should be:
1 Peter 3:10
Moses 7:18
Colossians 4:6

Nothing you do or know takes away your worth
Our communication should always support the worth of a human soul
Believe that people are making the best choices they can make in that moment.  Don't tie people's behaviors to their worth.  We can talk about their behavior and leave their worth intact.  No one has more or less worth than anyone else.

All communication should build unity and trust.  Even correcting behavior should be done by building unity and trust.  Communication gets us from understanding to unity and trust.

Seek first to understand and then to be understood.

Three parts of the brain:

The "lizard brain" only asks three questions.  Can I eat it? Can it eat me? Can I mate with it?
The "monkey brain" feels emotion.  Read When Elephants Weep about how animals feel emotion.  Monkey brain communicates through emotion.
The "angel brain" - the neocortex - invites us to think with our values. Rational decsion-making.

When the mind goes blank, remember to turn off the sound.

Crucical conversations
You just don't understand
Men are from mars
I don't have to make everything all better.
When Elephants Weep
The Art of Giving and Receiving Criticism

We must become the change we seek in others - ghandi.  If you want more love in the family, be more loving.  Be a better listener.  If you want your spouse to listen to you, spend a month being a great listener, then your spouse will be more able to listen.

All men listen to fix things, even when the person doesn't want to be fixed.

Five Basic Needs of Every Person
1. I am of worth.  Intrinsic and unconditional, unconnected to their behavior.  If you can communicate with that in mind, they will accept what you have to say.  Otherwise, they will feel rejected or of less worth, it will not help them change their behavior.  If you want your child to do better, why would you make them feel worse?  Don't make them feel chastised or diminished.

2. My ideas, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions matter and have been considered.
3. Someone really cares about me.

4. What I do is making a difference in the world. A negative difference if not a postive one.  I would rather be wanted for murder than not be wanted at all.  (um, that's not me, it's just something the teacher said.)

5.My agency has been honored.  I am not being forced, I am free to choose.

Communication is any connection between human beings.
Nonverbal speech is half of what we say.  People will believe a nonverbal over a verbal any time.

Parkinsons third law
The void created by the failure to communicate is soon filled with poison, drivel and misrepresentation.

If I don't talk it out, I'll act it out.  Talking behind someones back is acting it out, they should be talking it out.  The other person can feel when you're acting it out.

Step out of your autobiography when you're listening to someone else.  Listen to the other person instead of preparing your autobiographical response.

Have the spirit with you.  Wear the lenses of charity.  It never faileth.

A sender sends a message, encoded through the nders experiences, emotions, culture, attitudes, language.  The receiver has to decode message thought the receivers own experiences, etc.

Covey. You don't see things as they are.  You see things as you are.

Dc 50:21-23

If our communication does not edifying, it is not of god.

The spirit is the common communicator.  It takes the message from the sender to the receiver.  Pray before an important conversation.

Hebrew 13:16

Four types of communication
Aggressive - aims to invade, control, take advantage of another
Passive - aims to allow others to invade, take advantage, and control withnspeakers consent
Passive-aggressive- aims to manipulate others with indirect, dishonest messages.  Silent treatment, guilt trips, sarcasm.  Utah is capital of passive aggressive communication, smiling on the outside with other feelings on the inside.
Assertive - aims to express thoughts, feelings, beliefs, open, honestly, directly and appropriately.

Burying Our Personal Weapons of Rebellion
Tuesday:  Recognizing our weapons of rebellion and raising shields of faith - lessons from Alma 24

d&c 84:45 the word is truth, what is truth is light, what is light is the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Pres. Monson - is there a goliath in your life?  does he stand between you and your desired happiness? he might not be ten feet tall, but it will be just as formidable.  laziness, fear, lust, selfishness, discouragement.

- why liken the scriptures unto us?
1 Nephi 19:23  For our profit and learning.
Mormon 9:31 that we may learn to be more wise
Moroni 10:3 - To remember how merciful the Lord has been.
Read, ponder, pray - to receive the spirit of the lord

Anti-Nephi-Lehies valued their bright, clean swords more than their lives.  Instead of staining their swords with the blood of their wicked brothers, they buried their swords in the ground, then made a covenant (Alma 24) that instead of killing to defend themselves, they would rather die.

In the attack, 1,005 faithful are killed, but the hearts of their attackers are touched.  That day, more repent and join the gospel than those who are killed.

What swords/weapons are used in our personal battles today?  Not the physical kinds of swords, but the weapons that come from being a carnal, natural man.

A weapon is any tool, device, attitude, or characteristic designed to do harm, injury, destruction
Wielded with malice, anger, violence, with selfish intent
These are negative in our lives
not necessarily physical - words can also sting  (Proverbs 18:21)

Jeffery R. Holland, April 07 -  A woman's words can be more piercing than any dagger ever forged.  (Read whole talk about bridling the tongue. If you can handle it.  I can't.)

Identifying the weapons we use
*by recognizing them, we can bury them and raise shields of protection
What is in your sword closet?

1.  Weapons of social warfare - those we use against our neighbors, children, friends, in social situations, relationships.
Impatience - the inability to wait
Anger, unkindness - let go of our emotions and lash out
Judgment, prejudice, gossip - jumping to hasty conclusions, based on inadequate information
Dishonesty & deceit - withholding information, distort and twist, white lies to deceive

I the lord would forgive whom I would forgive, but you must forgive all men.
Ephesians 4:26
D&C 101 - in patience possess your souls

The weapon of anger
road rage - anger unraveled
No one makes you angry - it is you who are in control of your emotions.  We don't need to focus on the wrongs around us.  Instead, focus on the positives.

Shields against social interaction weapons:
Lifting and building others
thinking of someone else
follow the Savior's example - What would Jesus do?

2.  Weapons of internal conflict - when we beat up ourselves.  They are not always easily seen, but very deadly, and come in all shapes and sizes.
Apathy - I just don't care.  Loss of ambition, that which prevents us from doing something.  leaves us stuck in a rut.
Procrastination - So often the things we procrastinate are the most important to be done now.
Habits/Traditions - the ingrained actions that pull us down, pull us further away from Heavenly Father.
Fears - what we dread or try to avoid
Addictions - traps we can't escape, the worst forms of habits.

Many of our conflicts have to do with relationships and how we perceive ourselves.

Self-Defeating Behaviors - (for example) requiring the house to be perfectly clean for visitors is self-defeating behavior, causes more stress than necessary, a little dirt is okay

Shielding from internal damage:
personal values and congruency - do what we say, be the same on the inside as on the outside
focus and face them - seek for outside help
seek peace which passeth all understanding - Phil. 4:7

3.  Weapons of enmity - "hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition" - Benson
the weapons of - comparing, contrasting, and competing

Pride - the universal sin
Selfishness - excessive concern with self
Unrighteous dominion - dictatorship
"Me" versus the world - how can I get ahead of you?  How can I knock you down, or get in your way?  I know more than you, I am better than you, I can direct you better than anyone else.

Pride - when everyone else is wrong and I am right.
(*side note - how often do I hear lessons like this and evaluate everyone I know, instead of looking at myself?)

Benson's talk on pride:
Pride is the spirit of "my will and not thine be done"
the proud aren't interest in changing their opinions to agree with god's
From CS Lewis - pride gets no pleasure of out having something, only out of having more of it than the next man.
Pride from the bottom looking up: hating the fact that someone is above you.

Shields for the weapons of enmity:
Apply gospel patterns in every day living.  Set aside the natural man, become a person of Christ
Humility is the antidote
serve others with love and charity

Raise shield of faith
Be submissive to God
Be thankful for the truth
Allow a higher power to protect us (the essence of faith)
See things in an eternal perspective - the big picture.
Actively raise our shields.

Shields are protective measures.  They are the positives that bring the Spirit into our lives
The single most important thing you can do on a dily basis, is feel the influence of the holy Ghost.

As in overcoming addictions, remember
1. you cannot do it alone
2. you must have a higher power's help
3.  The Savior completely understands you (Alma 7:11-12)
4. Daily you must build patterns of heavier to become more like the Savior - obedience and devotion are linked to this
- daily devotions - prayer, scriptures, humility
- listen for His voice (D&C 18:34-36, 68:4)
- Serve others (Mosiah 2:17)

Raising our shields centers around understanding Jesus.  As we become more like him, we raise more shields and choose not to use our weapons.

Put on the whole armor of God to stand against the devil, the adversary.  Ephesians 6:11-18

Loins girt with truth
Breastplate of righteousness - guarding the heart, the heartfelt feelings
Feet shod with gospel of peace - walk down the straight and narrow path (*walk gently in the world)
Shield of faith - a belief, knowledge, trust that there is someone who knows more than I know, who can guide me because I don't know all things, but He does.
Helmet of salvation -covers the head where we have intellect and understanding.  Care about what goes inside our brains, bring in only knowledge and wisdom that comes from God and not from the adversary.
Pray always

We all have weapons that must be laid down.  Replace them with shields of faith.

Merrilee Boyack - How To Be a Better Wife in Four Easy Lessons!
Tuesday:  Ten Do's and Don't of Wifehood

I saw my dad in the hallway as I waited in line for this class to start.  We joked that this class couldn't be held in a room on the second floor, because the combined weight of wifely guilt would crush the people below.

Okay, disclaimer before the class starts.  It takes a lot of guts to come to a class like this and then to publicly announce the Do's and Don'ts where my husband might read it.  After all, I certainly don't want HIM to know exactly what standard I should be held to, right?  I want him thinking that he's got it good - the last thing I should do is let the cat out of the bag that I am merely a sub-par wife, and hand him the list of things he needs to start grading me on.  To that end, if I find that this class is too unrealistic (read: that I am unlikely to ever do all of the things on the list) I intend to write my own list of Wifely Do's and Don'ts.  And I don't intend to tell anyone if this is the real list or my made up list.  (Of course, it'd be a dead giveaway if #3 is "Keep up-to-date on technology, specifically hand-held gadgets made by Apple."  In that case, I'm just going to hope that Ryan doesn't bother reading this far into the post.)

"I know you're just here to take notes for your daughters-in-law."  Also, she made the men in the room take a no-poke pledge - they can't poke their wives and say, "Pay attention to this part!"

Ask yourself, If you were dead and gone, would your husband pick you again?

1.  Thou shalt have no other gods before your spouse.  Don't have any intimate partner other than your spouse.  Not sex (although, that too) but emotional and mental intimacies should not be confided to other people.  Not your parents, not your best friends, not your children.
Pres. Kimball - "Oneness in Marriage" 9/76 - People continue to cleave unto their mothers and fathers and friends.  To cleave does not mean merely to occupy the same home; it means to adhere closely, to stick together.

Security comes when a child knows that her father loves her mother.
D&C 25 - how to be a glorious wife.  Let thy soul delight in they husband.
Sometimes we don't make husbands our top priorities.
www.johnroseman.com - marriage preceeds children and is meant to succeed them.  When a child is the center of his paretns attention, their relationship is in jeopardy.

Quiz: Are you married to your husband or your children?
1.  Do your children stay up past 9 or 9:30 in the main family area?
The importance of putting a child to bed is so daddies and mommies can become husbands and wives again.  Bedtime is an exercise in separating the child from the marriage.  When the children are around, you are a mom.

2.  Do you go out with your husband and without your children at least three times per month?
This is the most critical thing you can do.

3.  Have you gone on an overnight without your children in the last year?

4.  Compare the last time you bought the kids a treat, versus when you bought your spouse a treat?

5.  Analyze the conversation when you are with your spouse.  Is your conversation about the children greater than 50% of the time?

Sometimes we let our wifeness get consumed in motherness. How much time in a week are you just a wife?  The Lord asks us for 3 hours a week - your husband should get at least that much.  This all is so important because once the kids leave, you will be staring at this man and realize you have no marriage.

2.  No graven images.  Do not put money, house, job, stuff before spouse or replace spouse.  D&C 25:10 - lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better.
Thank your husband.  Don't fixate on bigger, better things (house) that tells your husband he isn't doing good enough.  You don't need a fancy house, clothes, car - a great gift we can give our spouse is contentment.  We already live in opulence.

3.  Don't take his name in vain.
Respect spouse and privacy.  Don't gossip about spouse, don't participate in husband-bashing.  Allow them the privacy that they deserve, and the time to change.  How would you feel if your husband talked to his friends about you the way women talk about their husbands?
Have the integrity to be able to say to your spouse, "Your name is safe in our marriage."

"I have to talk to my friends, because my husband doesn't talk to me."
"Does your husband know what you're saying about him?"
"Then he'll never talk to you."

You don't build feminine causes by tearing down masculine roles.  Let every mother understand that if she does anything to diminish their father, it will do irreparable damage to her children and their sense of security.  Women are so superior that you demean yourselves when you tear down your husbands. (Pres. Kimball?)

4.  Don't burn out - rest from labor
Schedule cave time - for each of you!  It is critical for each of you to have time to yourself
Respect his rhythms and don't fight your own.  Give them 15 minutes after work to transition. If you're a morning person and he's a night owl, respect the differences instead of fighting against them.
Have healthy friendships - so we can talk about things that we don't neccessarily have to talk to our spouses about.
Take fieldtrips.  Take trips on your own, individually.  Support your spouse in taking a trip, he'll come home happy and loving.

5.  Don't kill what worked at beginning of marriage.
You looked good - a lot!  No one wants to come home to sweats and ponytail.  Take care of yourself, be attractive. He is surrounded by attractive women all day, make sure he comes home to one.
You talked to each other.  Now we talk AT each other.  When you were dating, you talked to and listened to each other.  Talk with him and listen.
You did things together.
You complimented him.  Call your husband and tell him "You're a stud!"  How would he walk around after you say that?  Great outfit, nice hair, have you been working out?  Men are like a parched desert - one tiny compliment will work wonders.
Flirt - shamelessly.
Spent time together.
Continually fall in love.
"There must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing."  Pres. Kimball

Date Night - #1 Marriage Saver

I know of no couples who had weekly date nights who ended up divorced - not one.
How can you expect a marriage to run on no gas?
Rules - less than 50% of conversation about children.

Five Do's

1.  Honor Parents
Keep them out of your marriage intimacy
You love them more thanever, you cherish their counsel, but live your own lives.
Emulate what worked well
honor him as father of your kids/honor her as mother of your kids - tell your kids they have the best dad on the planet.

2.  Do value your spouse - don't covet another
Are you still pining for what you didn't get?
If we are wishing for something else, our husbands feel it.
When we wish we had something/somebody else, they feel like they never measure up.  He knows it.
Treat your spouse at the level of divine nature.  See him as a beloved son of God.  It will change your interactions with him.
Pres. Hinckley said, "When you are married, be fiercely loyal to one another."
What do you want to end up with?  Focus on who he is at the end, focus on your end goal, see the progress instead of the distance to where you want to be.

3.  Do value yourself.
Equal partners working together, you get oneness.  1x1= 1 1x0=0 You must be an individual - husbands do not want weak wives.  If your spouse is controlling, be strong with him.  If we respect ourselves, he will respect us.  I am a wife, I deserve respect.  The children do not always come first, and that's important for our children to know.

Choose to be a partner.

You will have repsect when you take care of yourself and respect yourself.

Develop your self.
Best spouse is a true person
one of the great mistakes spouses make is to stop growing.

Being a wife - Ann Reese, Ensign 9/84 - it is the duty of each woman ot come to know and accept and enjoy being herself.  she must respect her own inner strengths.

4.  Do Gain an understanding of what a man/woman is
Our perspectives are different.  You can't see clearly through someone else's prescription glasses.
Our brains are different.
One of the biggest insights gained in my marriage is that he is a guy.

5.  Do Value your commitment - gain a testimony of your marriage.
This may take time.
Pray for your spouse specifically and daily.  Show me the things I can do to bless him.  Pray for his calling, work, fatherhood.
Ask your Father in Heaven for this testimony.
Go do sealings and listen to your promises and blessings.

Victor Ludlow - Isaiah: Prophet, Seer, and Poet

Words of Wisdom D&C 88:118
Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job - the wisdom literature books of the Old Testament
They talk about "wisdom and understanding"
Job asked, What is wisdom and where can it be found?  Sometimes we'll need to put in the same kind of effort as when searching for precious gems.

Job 28:28 - The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom. (not college degree, or test score, or mastery of a subject.)
"Fear" in Bible Dictionary - has to do with reverence, worship, awe, respect, veneration - to respect the Lord, to worship the Lord, that is wisdom

What is "wisdom" to Latter-Day Saints?
D&C 76:5 - I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me.

"Understanding" is to depart from evil, to choose to do good.  Wisdom and understanding is a belief and a practice.

Ten rings to unlocking Isaiah
1.  Appreciate the historical setting and context.
Isaiah was born about 775 BC, 100 years after Elijah and Elisha.  He was born in upper-middle class or upper class Judean Jerusalem society.  Extremely well educated, brilliant in his mastery of the hebrew tongue.  As a teenager or young adult, a prophet was called to go to Ninevah to call Assyrians to repentance.  Babylon and Assyria were striving for domination of Mesopotamia.  Assyrians had stronger imperialistic desires; they used propaganda, fear, and intimidation.  If Assyrians wanted to conquer Utah Valley, they would give communities ultimatum - we're the big power, we're going to take over - if you submit peacefully to our rule and keep paying taxes (to Ninevah instead of IRS) then everything would be just fine.  If you don't, there will be terrible consequences - slavery, destruction, etc.  If lands banded together against Assyrians, Assyrians would pick one city and destroy it.  Women would become prostate slaves, children sold as slaves, men would be kept alive as a lesson - torture, seriously gross torture.  Decapitated heads would be piled in a major public area as a warning to those who might rebel.  That's what Jonah faced when he was called to bring Assyria to repentance.

There was usually more than one prophet at a time.  Perhaps Job, definitely Hosea, Micah, Amos, Jonah.  Usually one of them tends to be the "head prophet" - Amos and Isaiah held that role.

Isaiah was raised in the time of Uzziah, a teen who became king and ruled for 50 years.  Wealth power and influence put on a teenager usually does not turn out well.  Uzziah wanted to be more than a king, wanted to burn incense in the temple.  He was told no, then when he did it anyhow, he was struck with leprosy.  Great political power, but was considered the least of the least of the people.  Everyone kept their distance - a mere touch of a leper would make you unclean.  Uzziah ushered in Silver Age of Israelite history.  (David and Solomon 300 years before was Golden Age.)  Uzziah ruled in Southern Kingdom of Judah. Egypt, other countries were dealing with internal conflict and basically left Israel alone.  Avergae people were doing badly morally, economically and the prophets addressed that.

2.  Isaiah was a prophet, seer, and poet.
95% of Isaiah's writing is in poetry, mostly parallelism.  Looking at two things side by side, natural tendency is to see things that are similar or things that are different.

Most of the words of ancient prophets were transmitted orally, much more frequently than in writing.  Writing materials were too expensive, each sheet of paper was handmade.  It helps if a speaker in an oral society packages the information easier.  If you're not trained to listen you might miss the nuances.  We need to be disciplined to learn how to listen.

929 chapters in O.T., 66 in Isaiah.  To memorize a chapter, it needs to be repeated, over and over.  A mathematical formula takes between 100-200 repetitions before it is memorized.  Most of what we hear in the church is familiar to most of us, but repetition is the key to learning.  A lot of things are repeated in Isaiah.  If we hear it once, it might be interesting, if we hear it 2 or 22 times, we know it must be really important.

Often messages are short and structured.  Our conference talks are much longer than a typical "talk" by Isaiah.

3.  Philosophy.
Pay attention to Isaiah 6 and 1 Nephi 16.  Isaiah has a vision in the year king Uzziah dies.  He saw the lord, hears seraphim, is struck with fact that he's in the presence of the divine.  He feels impure, unworthy, imperfect - no unclean thing can enter the presence of God.  Seraphim touches a coal to his lips (why his lips?  I don't know) and cleanses him.  Then he hears the voice of the Lord asking for someone to volunteer for something.  Isaiah immediately says Here am I, send me.  The Lord gives him the charge to go out and teach these people what I'm telling you, they're not going to listen to you so make it difficult for them.  That way they can listen but not hear, see but not see.  Similar to Jesus starting to teach in parables.  The Savior used simple parables, Isaiah used symbolic poetry.  In both, you can hear but not understand the message.  Isaiah is to hebrew like Shakespeare is to English, like Goethe is to German, a genius of his time.  What if both Apostles and anti-mormons were listening to this talk?  What if it was also being broadcast to 18 million?  It would be terrifying.  Isaiah taught prophets and haters, the enemies to God were in the audience.  Highly diverse people (for 3000 years) have been reading this.

4.  Witness.
Isaiah is writing what he was told to write.  98.6% of the gold plates was written by 4 people - Nephi, Jacob, Mormon, Moroni.  Mormon was the editor, but Jesus was editor-in-chief - all four men saw Jesus Christ personally, and they wrote that which they were commanded to write.  This wasn't their personal agenda, it was given to them by the Lord and they wrote it as a witness.  Isaiah was also a witness - even though it was originally oral, it was commanded to be written to be a witness to the House of Israel.

Read Chapter 1 of Isaiah, it 's the preface to Isaiah, verses 2-20.  Read it as homework, see if you can find the first four principles and ordinances of the gospel.  Won't be in the same vocabulary.  How did Isaiah in a Semitic hebrew environment teach teh exact same principles and ordinances of the gospel?

The Anatomy of High-Trust Relationships - Healing With Humility

To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.  David O. McKay
Sin attacks trust, one of the most damaging effects of sin.  pornography, adultery, dishonesty destroys trust.

If a car is a relationship, trust is the oil.  Without it, nothing works.  The relationship will go nowhere.  Trust is the lubricant in relationships.

People naturally seek to reduce vulnerability and uncertainty.  Uncertaintly and vulnerability increases stress.  Trust reduces vulnerability and uncertainty.  Women are not allowed to attend this class and then judge their past, how much better you should have been.  It's not right to judge yesterday's mistakes with today's knowledge.  Elder Holland - It's not right to go back and open up an ancient wound that the Son of God died trying to heal.

Teenagers need predictability - they need the certainty of what mom and dad are going to say every time.

5 facets of trust:
Benevolence - the person who wants me to trust them cares about me, not just about themselves
Competence - you can trust someone who is skilled (i.e. surgeon)
Openness - how much I am going to share with you
Reliability - predictability, I can count on you every single time

Building trust in a low trust relationship:
1 on 1 & Group Interaction
Low-risk - no one is vulnerable in the interaction

Family Home Evening is the best place for these interactions.  The hardest part is keeping interactions low-risk - people tend to make it high-risk too quickly.  Teens have more interaction with their friends (and therefore more trust) than with their family.  Rules and consequences should be set unemotionally, before the problem occurs, when everybody's calm.  Don't get mad about an unknown rule.

false assumption - 30 year marriage doesn't make high trust, or they're my child, we have high trust

Why do we want high trust relationships?
High-risk activities:
Critical feedback
Lasting change/reform - in a low-trust relationship most time is spent protecting themselves, looking for failures as proof of low-trust.  in high trust relationship, you don't feel vulnerable and you can improve.  low trust is a cycle - I feel vulnerable, I find things that make you untrustworthy, I trust you less.
Eternal love

You can never stop doing the low-risk strategies.  Date night for married couples is an example.
You always need to be having frequent, personal, positive, and low-risk interactions.

How to go from low to high trust?
Be Humble
Be Positive
Be Consistent
Be a Listener

We assume we can't be the problem because we care, we have good intentions.
Matthew 7:3
Luke 6:41
Why beholdest the mote in thy brother's eye but considers/perceives not the beam that is in thine own eye?
What is scarier, to not consider or to not perceive?

Matthew 26:20-22 - One of you shall betray me, they were sorrowful and said, Lord, is it I?  If I find a problem in a relationship, the best thing is to ask first, is it I?  You aren't always the problem.

Blame can't be the concern here - you can't say "Honey, your half of the boat is sinking."  We're not about blame, we're about solutions.  Teenagers aren't ever going to take the blame, so trying to put the blame on them (or to show them their problem) isn't going to work.  be a good example, look at yourself first - is it I?

J. Smith had heard a scandalous story told about him.  he let his mind run back and thought if he had laid the building blocks for the false story and if he had, he forgave his enemy and thanked him for showing him a weakness that he hadn't already known.

Homework: Helaman chapter 1 - who is humble, and what does the proud one cause?  what does being right
and having to be right cause?

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Hey - I forgot you post your notes - awesome! That helps make up for the fact that I am not going this year. Thanks so much for sharing. Again.