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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'll learn from history

I really enjoyed listening to the Relief Society general broadcast. I loved President Monson talking about how important it is for us to not judge people by their appearance. That's always a good reminder. One thing that really struck me, though, was the "announcement" from Sister Julie Beck, the general Relief Society president. She was talking about how they had been pondering and praying about what could help the sisters of the church today -- how we can strengthen our testimonies, how we can overcome trials, how we can weather the storms of life, how we can raise strong children of faith. (She didn't mention those specific things, but I'm sure they were all a part of it. :) Anyway, she said after talking to the Brethren they had come to a conclusion.

At this point I was nearly sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what this profound thing was that we needed to do to be strong. Prayer? Scripture study? Service? Nope. She said the thing that will teach us is knowing and learning from the history of the Relief Society. Really?

Okay, this was not what I expected to hear at all. They're currently compiling booklets we can study from next year as we study the history of Relief Society.

However, I decided I'd go with this and learn all I can from the sisters of Relief Society history. You see, when I was in college it was the sesquicentennial of the pioneers arriving in Utah. There were huge (and pretty cool) celebrations. There were all kinds of special programs and events. And there were Devotionals at BYU every week (as usual) all focusing on the pioneers and their stories (not as usual). I had a bad attitude. I mean a very bad attitude! When they started into a new pioneer story I would almost roll my eyes and take a nap until it was over. I felt like it was painful to hear so many pioneer stories. I mean, weren't a few at the beginning of the year enough?

Of course, 10 years has given me a little more wisdom. I now am so touched by pioneer stories -- their faith, their endurance, their hardships, their love of the Savior and each other, etc. -- that I have no idea how every one of the stories I heard that year didn't touch my heart! So, now that I think of the Relief Society and its 150+ year history, I realize there are going to be other opportunities for stories of faith, courage and service that can touch my heart. It still wouldn't be in the top 10 things I would think would strengthen me to weather this life, but obviously I'm not the one in charge. He who is in charge has inspired His workers, and this is what they feel we need at this time.

So, as we go forward learning about our Relief Society "progenitors" I hope others also have a good attitude and I don't hear complaints of, "Another Relief Society story?!? Why? Please no!" If so, I might have to chuckle to myself and hope that she gets it 10 years from now ...


Rebecca said...

Amen and amen!! Serving my mission in Nauvoo, I've definitely heard my fair share of pioneer stories. It's amazing how your attitude affects the situation; they can get irritating if you let them, or each and every one can be touching if you open your heart to them!

Linda said...

You are awesome Denise! I thought it was interesting also about learning from the history of Relief Society...yet it all makes since. Our scriptures are history also! :) I definitely loved all of the talks. Very inspiring!

Bruce & Sylvia said...

I love pioneer stories and always have. Having ancestors that came to Utah always interested me.
I will miss the lessons, but will have to keep up on reading.