My friend Amanda invited me to attend a meeting in her mom's stake where Elaine Dalton, the former general young women's president, would be speaking. She has been one of my favorite general conference speakers, partly because I love her life's stories about running and marathons but also because she radiates this love and light that you can feel even through a TV screen. We arrived about 15 minutes early and were able to talk with her before it started. I asked her the same thing I asked Elder Oaks a few months back when he visited our stake(You can find that blog post by clicking HERE), curious to know if she has a morning schedule and if so, what that is...I love learning about others morning schedules. And of course, she does. She wakes up at 530, says a prayer, goes for a run for about an hour, which ends up being around 5-6 miles, while listening to general conference talks and some James Taylor on her ipod, comes home and has a protein shake, and then changes clothes and reads from her scriptures and visits with her husband, who has also recently returned from exercise. In turn, she wanted to know what Elder Oaks response was and I told her it's similar to hers, that he's up at 5am, reads scriptures, goes for a walk, usually 2 miles, and then comes home and showers and shaves and has breakfast. Even before I asked, I was 99% sure they both would be early risers because I know from experience that those quiet, early morning hours are a perfect for filling your own personal tank, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It's a great time for study and to receive personal revelation because it's usually a time that is interruption free, and your body and mind are alert and active from having just rested (as long as you also go to be early enough, which is also very important). In Mark chapter 1 verse 35 we learn that Christ did this. It says, "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." A friend of mine recently sent me this article called, 'Filled with Life and Energy', which was printed in the July 2015 Ensign magazine. I love the story that was told at the beginning, which had advice given to Marion G Romney from Harold B. Lee, a member of the quorum of the 12 apostles. Harold B. Lee said, "If you are to be successful as a General Authority, you will need to be inspired. You will need to receive inspiration. I will give you one piece of advice: Go to bed early and get up early. If you do, your body and mind will become rested and then in the quiet of those early morning hours, you will receive more flashes of inspiration and insight than at any other time of the day."
And switching gears, Saturday our kids attended a ward primary activity where they went to different stations and learned about the stories from the Old Testament. I had never seen anything like this before; the primary presidency did a beautiful job and it was neat to see the kids participating and better learning the stories of the Old Testament.