Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just in case you missed it...

As some of you know, I get a little bit nerdy about a few things...and Sister Beck is one of them. I just adore her. I think she's a fabulously strong, bright, and inspired woman. I wanted to record her talk here in Colorado Springs, and had my digital voice recorder all ready to go - but before she got up, they made a special announcement that no recording of any type was allowed. Soooo, I got out my paper, and started writing furiously.
I am positive that there is still a lot that I missed, but the following are my notes of her talk, for any of you who may have missed it. It was, of course, fabulous.
Sis. Julie Beck Talk
Colorado Springs
notes taken by Cumorah McOmber

She began by telling us how pleased she was to see us there, and know that we had prepared to be there.
It’s an emotional experience to be here, and to see all of you, to hear the choir. The Spirit blesses preparation. I can feel that.

She told us that at some point in the meeting, she would be opening it to question and answer. She instructed that the questions
not be things that would only help you personally, but that might help others in attendance as well. Also needs to be something the Spirit is directing you to ask.

She asked about the station of life we’re in. Asked for a raise of hands of single sisters, divorced sisters, widowed sisters, young women, sisters with teenagers, sisters with kids under ten.
She noted how many of us had young children, then asked:

How did you get away? I hope they’re ok! We always had a joke that Brother Beck was only at home with the kids in case of fire. She didn’t expect much else, except that the kids be alive. He commented that he never disappointed her in that!

Relief Society. We are just what we say: A society to provide relief.
Three Purposes of Relief Society:
Increase faith and personal righteousness
Strengthen families and homes
To seek out and help those in need

Relief Society is not just another women’s club. Relief Society is to women what the Priesthood is to men.
Relief Society outlines our work. There is evidence of Relief Society in the scriptures – it was part of the restoration of the gospel.

D&C 25 includes the setting apart blessing for 1st RS president, Emma Smith.
Patterned after original organization for women that existed anciently.
In the story of the good Samaritan, the man’s short term needs were met, and then his long term needs.
Luke 10 story of Mary & Martha
10:41 “ you can be careful and troubled over many things.”
10:41 “Mary hath chosen good part which will never be taken.” Evidence of sisters being invited to do the Lord’s work.

She then opened the floor to questions:

Q. How can I be a better visiting teacher, especially to less actives?
A. She referenced Elder Bednar’s April ’09 conference talk on preparing for the temple.
Being a visiting teacher means being responsible for the salvation of a sister.
You must pray to love them. She shared an experience of when she was assigned to a sister because no one else wanted her. Before she met with her the first time, she poured her heart out to the Lord to bless her to find something to love about this “unlovable” sister. She met with her, and never had a problem loving her. They become great friends, and when this sister’s husband died years later, the sister called 911, her children, and then Sis. Beck and her partner.
How do you know that you’re doing a good job as a visiting teacher? When they call you if they need help. That’s visiting teaching.
It’s a faith based work. You need to help her strengthen her family. Help her focus on the temple. Serve her. Teach her the gospel.

Q. How do you help a sister whose husband is involved in pornography?
A. She referenced President Packer’s Priesthood Session April ‘09
She quoted President Kimball who in 1980 had said that porn would ruin the world.
The average age for boys being exposed to pornography is 10 years of age.
Be vigilant, be purposeful, be conscious in teaching and protecting.
It’s your duty.

It is a breach of trust when a husband is involved. It breaks up relationships. But, we are a gospel of repentance and forgiveness.
When a husband is unfaithful in this way, a woman need not blame herself.
Plead for the help of the angels, just like in Moroni chapter 7. She encouraged us to study this chapter in the scriptures, where it speaks of a bitter fountain not bringing forth good water. It also discusses that all things which are good come of God. And that by ministering of Angels – we can lay hold on every good thing.

Be careful about the way you dress and the things you watch and listen to. You must make your home a haven of Godliness.
If someone you love is involved in pornography, you’ll need the gospel so much more because it’s rescue work!

We can all say “I could have done something better” But we need to be the strong ones. Don’t blame, just work.
It’s a tough problem, but it’s not impossible to solve.

Q. We are told that if we are prepared, we shall not fear. So if we’re afraid for our children or our future, is that a faith problem or a preparedness problem?
A. We have to be preparing in spiritual ways. Preparing our homes, and our house, is a faith based work.
You should have some time, every day in the scriptures. I know that’s not always easy. But you need it.

She asked the sister who had posed the question how many children she had: 3 boys, 7 and younger.
What are you preparing your boys for? Fatherhood. Priesthood. How well do you know the priesthood and each quorum’s duties?
Ask your 7 year old “When did you get your mission call?” He’ll most likely say “I’m only seven, I haven’t been called on a mission.” You tell him, “When you’re nineteen, you’ll get an assignment where to go and serve – but you were already called, because you were born into a covenant family.”

Times are harder now. Just because harder times have arrived – it doesn’t mean that we stop preparing. This is the time we strengthen our faith.

She told a story how she was concerned about the trying times around her as she tried to raise her young children. She described how she asked her 90 something grandmother, who was generally hunched over, with glazed eyes,
“Can I raise a righteous family in these wicked times?”
Grandma sat up straight, with determination in her eyes, and pointed her wrinkled and crooked finger at me and said. “Yes! You must!”
We can. And we must.

Q. How can we offer comfort to a mom who’s children have strayed from the gospel?
A. Moses 5:11 Eve heard Adam being grateful for mortality. She was grateful for her children – although not all were 100% righteous. She knew good and evil firsthand. Eve was GLAD to be having this mortal experience, because she was learning things.
It’s a painful test – but we can still be grateful for the mortal experience.

Q. What’s our role in relieving suffering throughout the world?
A. The first part of relieving suffering is sharing the gospel.
Women of the church will be seen in distinct, different and happy ways compared to those around them – and through their example help the church to grow.
Secondly, work through ward and stakes to provide service.
Third, work in your families to provide relief.

She shared some stories from Peru and Bolivia where she and her husband had recently been with the members there.
Pesca, Peru suffered from a tragic earthquake a year and a half ago. Most homes there were destroyed. Almost everything was lost. The Stake RS President organized service not only to the members of her stake, but also to everyone in their community. They fed everyone who’s homes were lost, as well as other service projects, like making baby blankets for many. They did this themselves. They didn’t need Americans to come in and do it for them.
In Bolivia, the ward leadership asked her what they should do about a crippled sister who was living in a shack with her six children. Her husband had abandoned her and the children. She instructed them to meet her immediate needs, and then work on the long term needs. They committed that they could do that. They would be a Relief Society.

Q. What are the most important things for Young Single Adult sisters to be doing in their lives?
A. Remember the Plan.

The plan is made up of two halves. The female half, and the male half.
She reference Pres. Packer’s talk again, where he said:
You are a son of God. You lived with Heavenly parents…You were born a male. You must treasure and protect the masculine part of your nature.
The same applies to girls and women – we must treasure and protect the female part of our nature.
We each have jobs that can’t be delegated to the other. We are made to have babies. This also means that we are made to rear them, to nurture them, to guide them.
Look to the leadership of Rebekah, Mary, etc. The lord valued the female half of the plan.
Be careful to not make choices that would take you away from your half of the plan, or that might minimize your time there.
Think about what will bring out your “femaleness” to be a mother eternally.

Three barriers for youth:
Insufficient faith.
They don’t think the Lord can lead them to an eternal companion.
We buy into marriage because it’s the Lord’s plan.
Moral Strength
Insufficient social skills.
You can talk to someone 50 miles away, but stand at a dance, and talk to nobody!

The Lord needs young people to do his work.
Lord needs people to First: teach and gather. Will it be the mom with three young boys who are constantly pulling at her saying “Mom, mom?” or the tired old ladies? We’ll do what we can, but we need the youth!!!
Young adults can be the Lord’s force.
The Lord needs people to Secondly: seal everyone up in eternal families.
Genealogy should be like a computer game to the young! They grew up with computers in the classroom since kindergarten!

She said one of the questions she gets the most frequently is:
Q. What’s the most important skill I can have as an LDS woman?
A. To hear the voice of the Lord, and act upon it.

It’s a skill! You have to be still to hear it. You can’t force the spirit. You must wait for it.
She shared a story of a sister who was abandoned with six young kids, who turned out to be productive, good, active LDS adults.
Her son, who was a returned missionary, when asked how his mom did it, answered: “My mom knows how to get answers.” Pray a lot, and then listen.

Families are our job.
We have to know about families. We have to protect families. We have to stand up for families.

You can’t work 24 hours a day. What’s the most important shift for a mother?
You need to get the day started off right, but the afternoon shift is the most important.
It’s the time when people are most teachable, vulnerable, and grouchy. They are tired and worn out, and you need to be at the top of your game.
You need to plan all day to have a good afternoon.
Plan your dinner when you have breakfast.
John 20 – Savior fed hungry people fish, and taught them. We need to do the same.

Ours is NOT a leftover job. Live up to your heritage. Teach, Exemplify, Nurture: to the best of your ability.
The world is not going to get easier.
What are we going to do about it?
Have more faith. Create stronger families. Look to provide relief.
Seek, receive, and act upon the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

The formula is simple. FOLLOW HIM.
Holy Ghost can guide and direct us in all things. We can have miracles and angels surround us.


Our prophet isn’t retreating in these hard times, he just keeps announcing more temples.
We learned through Joseph and his first vision: our identity, about the priesthood power, and keys of the gospel.
In a few short years, what he discovered through the Spirit has changed the world.

You are better than you think you are!
You may think your scope of influence isn’t large, but your name will be praised in the eternities!

You are good, and you can do good.

She thanked us again for being in attendance, even in this storm, and closed in the name of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Answer

Well, thanks all for sharing your thoughts about us - and all good things - thank you! Of course - your self image is always a little bit different than what other people think about you! Now that you've responded, I'll let you in on what our debate is really about.
For YEARS, Dan has let me know that I am NOT funny. I have never agreed with this. I realize that we have different senses of humor - as he grew up in a home where joking about bodily functions was seen as hilarous, and those things weren't even discussed in my family.
I do think Dan is funny - it's one of the things I love about him {especially that he laughs at his jokes harder than anyone else does}. It's endearing. But at the same time, I don't think you have to tell jokes with a drumrolled punchline to be a funny person.
Sunday night - it all came to a head, after having our YSA's over. He can't believe that anyone would think I'm funny, and I can't believe that he would think that! I figured I'd put it to a test, and see what people really think of us. OF COURSE, almost everyone said Dan is funny - that's just his thing. Even my top 3 words for him would be Athletic, Funny, and Charming.
I guess I was hoping that I would be vindicated, and that funny might also be one of the things that people think about me. I am going to count "witty" - I think that probably describes my sense of humor a little bit better than "funny". But, nonetheless, I'm grateful for all the nice things you said about me! I guess I should just be glad nobody wrote: Cumorah: 1.monstrously tall, 2.obnoxious, and 3.always late! So thanks to all!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009


So Dan and I have an ongoing "discussion" that needs to be resolved...and this is the only way I can think of settling it.
Without giving you any more details, I'm going to ask for an odd favor.
PLEASE comment, and tell me the top 3 words you'd use to describe me, and also the the top 3 words you'd use to describe Dan. Don't think too hard, and be totally honest...I'm not fishing for compliments here - just trying to settle this once and for all!
Even if you don't know us really well - I'd still love to have your input to help solve this.
Thanks in advance!!!