Yesterday, April 5, was my baby sister Becca's birthday and she turned 23. She's going to hate me for posting her picture on here, but oh well, what can she do? :) Happy Birthday Becca we love you and wish that we could've been together; the great distance from family is one of the downsides of living here. But one of the bonuses of living in Utah is that we are able to watch General Conference(a worldwide meeting where we listen to the apostles and Prophet speak) from our antenna TV in the comfort of our family room! I just think that is so cool! I remember growing up having to get all dressed up and drive 20 minutes out to the stake center to watch conference...well we still get dressed up on Sunday but it's a lot more relaxed when you can watch from home, and I am especially grateful for that now that we have three little children whom we're responsible for.
So conference was this weekend and it was neat watching the first session and participating in the sustaining of the new Prophet of the world, Thomas S. Monson. I was 11 or 12 when President Hinckley was named the 15th Prophet and I'm guessing I missed the session when they sustained him because I don't remember anything about it.
A few of my favorite talks had to do with parenting. Russell M. Nelson(one of the 12 apostles) said, "When giving necessary correction do it quietly, privately, lovingly and not publicly. If a rebuke is required, show an increase in love promptly so that seeds of resentment may not remain.... Do not try and control your children, instead listen to them. Help them to learn the gospel. Inspire them and lead them toward eternal life. You are God's agents in the care of children he has entrusted to you. Let his divine influence remain in your hearts as you teach and persuade. " This reminded me of an experience from over a year ago. We (me, Scott and the kids) were at a children's museum and there was a little boy, probably 3 years old, who wasn't listening to his father. His dad grabbed him by the arm and shoved him down in the corner. The little boy was crying and this made him cry harder. His dad angrily hit him and told him to be quiet. Of course this made the boy cry out even more. So the dad hit him again and again told him to be quiet. I had some very intense emotions well up inside of me, I felt like I should step in or say something, but what? The father kept at it so I just stared and moved closer, very close and just watched and then the father looked up and stopped. I wish that I could have had the courage to say something. I remember reading a story of a woman who had approached an offending parent and told them to stop their behavior. The parent responded, "Lady, it's none of your business." to which she replied, "It is my business, it is everyone's business." Like Elder Nelson said, children are a gift from God, on loan to us as parents, we are their agents and how we treat them is certainly His business and ours also.
I also loved M. Russell Ballard's(one of the 12 apostles) talk that he gave specifically to the young mothers. I especially liked his ideas on what husbands and children can do to help reduce the pressure for us so that we can enjoy the family. I told Scott afterwards that I would love if he took Elder Ballard's advice and scheduled evenings together for just the two of us! Wouldn't that be nice to one day have your hubby walk in the door and say, "honey, a babysitter will be here in 5 minutes so get ready and let's go out on a date!" When Elder Ballard addressed the children Elisabeth looked up from her art project and listened intently. He told them to help their moms by picking up their toys, making their beds, helping with dishes and to put their arms around her neck and say I love you...after listening to that last part she climbed up on my lap and did just as he said, and she even added a sweet kiss on my check. I love and look forward to conference. I know that Christ lives and that He loves us; He loves us so much that He gives us modern day Prophets and apostles to lead and guide us. I hope that I will remember and apply the principles that they've taught into my life so that I can be a better person.