Thanks for joining me in studying and applying the inspired counsel of living prophets from this most recent general conference. I look forward to learning and sharing together as we each “resolve to do a little better” in our guided climb to come closer to our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Review and study the entire talk: “Obedience through Our Faithfulness” by Elder L. Tom Perry, April 2014.
Here are some of my favorite points and questions to ponder. Please share your insights and applications in the comment section:
1. “During my boyhood, we interacted with members of our extended family daily and shared moments of working, playing, and visiting together.”
How have your interactions with extended family members strengthened your faith? How have your interactions with extended family members increased your desire to be obedient? How can you build stronger intergenerational connections?
2. “The lesson my grandfather taught me was always to be ready to receive the gentle tug of the Spirit. He taught me that I would always receive such a prompting if I ever veered off course. And I would never be guilty of more serious wrongdoings if I allowed the Spirit to guide me in my decisions….We must be sensitive to our spiritual bits. Even with the slightest tug from the Master, we must be willing to completely alter our course. To succeed in life, we must teach our spirit and body to work together in obedience to God’s commandments. If we heed the gentle promptings of the Holy Ghost, it can unite our spirits and bodies in a purpose that will guide us back to our eternal home to live with our eternal Father in Heaven.”
Think of a time when you felt the gentle tug of the Spirit guiding you in your decision. How has following such a prompting united your spirit and body more with each other and with the Lord?
3. “Too often we think of obedience as the passive and thoughtless following of the orders or dictates of a higher authority. Actually, at its best, obedience is an emblem of our faith in the wisdom and power of the highest authority, even God. When Abraham demonstrated his unwavering faithfulness and obedience to God, even when commanded to sacrifice his son, God rescued him. Similarly, when we demonstrate our faithfulness through obedience, God will ultimately rescue us.
“Those who rely solely on themselves and follow only their own desires and self-inclinations are so limited when compared to those who follow God and tap into His insight, power, and gifts [see Hebrews 11].…Strong, proactive obedience is anything but weak or passive. It is the means by which we declare our faith in God and qualify ourselves to receive the powers of heaven. Obedience is a choice. It is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power and God’s unlimited wisdom and omnipotence. According to the lesson my grandfather gave to me, it is a choice to sense the spiritual bit in our mouths and follow the driver’s lead.”
Think of a time when you chose to be obedient. Did you receive greater knowledge, understanding, power, or peace as a result of your obedience?
4. “Each of us is a son or daughter of God, and we have a unique premortal and mortal story. Accordingly, there are very few one-size-fits-all solutions. And so I fully recognize the trial-and-error nature of life and, most importantly, the constant need of the second principle of the gospel, even repentance.“
Think of a time when you chose disobedience. How did you feel? What did you learn through the process of repentance?
5. “Today’s complexity demands greater simplicity.”
How can you know if you are always doing the right thing? Why do you want to do the right thing? How can you return to Heavenly Father if you’ve moved away from Him? Why do you want to be with Him?
Review and study additional “Guided Climbs.”
Elder Perry also says, “He taught me about breaking in a team of horses so that they would work together. He explained that a team of horses must always know who is in charge.” I think of a broken heart and contrite spirit. When our heart is broken and we submit to the will of the Lord, we know He is in charge, and just like the horses, we can “maximize [our] ability.”
Thanks for your discussion questions! This really helps me with my lesson next week.
I love that we can our efforts are magnified and maximized when we yoke ourselves with Christ. Best wishes on your lesson. I’d love to hear any additional insights you gain as you discuss this talk with the women at your church.
As I listened to this talk this morning I found myself pondering question #2 about the ‘gentle tug’ and how it relates to my life as a mother and the way that I teach my children. I am trying to overcome the tendency to push to hard or force them in any form. Lately I have been noticing how my tone of voice communicates SO much of the beliefs that I have and the beliefs that I have about them.
I know there is a way, though I am still learning how, to speak to them that uses the ‘gentle tug’ while at the same time speaking to their hearts of my belief in them to want to obey. Tone of voice speaks SO much.
I have seen a pattern of three stages that seems to fit here: Stage 1- is the mental creation stage of planning, imagining, or vision. Stage 2 is the physical work and patience it takes to plant and grown the seed. Stage 3 is the fruit that come after all the work we do. I wonder: If the tone of voice is like the fruit that comes when your heart is right (stage 3), then what is the seed of this fruit (stage 1) and what must I do to work on it (stage 2)?
I love your thoughts on following the gentle tugs to plant small and simple seeds. I’ve pondered your comment for several weeks debating whether or not to share the first thought that came to my mind in regards to what seed to plant because I wondered if my response was just a reaction to the weekend concert my husband and girls had just come back from. However, I have found myself continually pondering your comments and coming back to the same response. So even though it totally reflects their TFF concert trip, my answer is that each of us should begin by sowing the seeds of love. If we focus on sowing seeds of love first, then the fruits will be amazing and far-reaching. Not only will we have much nicer tones of voice, but better facial expressions, physical actions, thoughts, deeds, etc. We can nourish our seeds of love by recognizing God’s love/hand/tender mercies in our life each day and by practicing kindness to ourselves and others as we are now each day–being kinder than is necessary in all that we say and do.