FHE: Simplicity

by | Jan. 08, 2009


*Conference Talk:* For more information on this topic read "Let Him Do It with Simplicity," by L. Tom Perry, _Ensign_, Nov 2008, 7-10. *Thought:* In our search to obtain relief from the stresses of life, may we earnestly seek ways to simplify our lives. (L. Tom Perry, "Let Him Do It with Simplicity," _Ensign_, Nov 2008, 7-10) *Song:* "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam," _Children's Songbook_, p. 60 *Scripture:* And for this cause, that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fulness of his gospel, his everlasting covenant, reasoning in plainness and simplicity. (Doctrine and Covenants 133:57) *Object Lesson:* _Materials needed:_ A wire hanger, yarn, scissors, stiff paper cut into shapes (such as ovals, squares, and rectangles), and a marker. _Procedure:_ Ask family members to name some activities they enjoy participating in. Write their answers on the cardboard shapes. Use thread to attach the cardboard shapes to the wire hanger to create a mobile. Distribute the shapes across the hanger so they balance. Discuss how we can balance our lives by doing the more important activities and getting rid of (or reducing) the activities that are less important. _Story:_ So often we think that changes in our lives must be elaborate or that celebratory events cannot occur without having sweep and scope, without time and money, without complicated step-by-step patterns. As we learn the uses of simplification we find that focused simplicity can give even more happiness than elaborate and tradition-encrusted events. I use simplicity to add joy and celebration to our daily experience of eating. Mealtimes should be one of the great centers of celebration in family life--convivial, lovely, nourishing to both body and heart--a time of savoring. Now I know that some meals are rushed and full of stress and just a lot of work. But I also know that with wise and creative care and simplification, most meals can be more filled with celebration and wonder. For their afternoon meal, farm workers in France will pick a head of cauliflower, steam it whole, marinate the tender florets in oil and vinegar with herbs and Parmesan cheese, and, with a loaf of fresh, crusty bread, make that their entire meal. My family has tried it--and it is not only delicious but such a delightful break from traditional meals. That simple meal is an experience that helps us savor one flavor to the fullest, to think of the bounties and variety of the harvest of this earth, and to feel a shared delight with unknown workers in a distant land. At the height of strawberry season, or asparagus season, or corn season, or artichoke season, we have often made our entire meal of the single delicious variety of fruit or vegetable. I remember my father saying once, as my mother rationed out the strawberry shortcake, "Strawberry season is so short--don't you think that just once during the season everyone should have absolutely as many strawberries as he could possibly want?" A few weeks later we drove across the border from Canada to Kalispell, Montana, and on the way home we bought a flat of strawberries at a roadside stand. We had only a couple of hours' drive back to the border, and we could not take any produce back into Canada, so we ate strawberries until we could scarcely swallow. Most of the family fell asleep, but I was sitting in the front seat talking to my father. He was still eating strawberries, and the border was getting closer and closer. Any berries that were left would be confiscated. I watched his hand as it reached up to the dashboard to choose a berry from the box that was balanced there. He would eat the strawberry, savor it, and then in a minute, his hand would reach out again. Finally his hand hovered for a good thirty seconds and then returned to the steering wheel--empty. "Well," my father muttered to himself, "I have finally, for once in my life, had all the strawberries I can eat." If we are to simplify our homes, our lives, and the work we do, it is very important to know ourselves. No two people will ever simplify in the same way because things that are unnecessary complications to one person may be a joy to another. (Jaroldeen Edwards, _Celebration! Ten Principles of More Joyous Living_, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1995].) *Activity:* Play a simple game such as marbles, chinese checkers, jacks, or pick-up-sticks. *Refreshment* _Cox Honey Cookies_ * 1 1/2 cups shortening * 2 cups sugar * 2 eggs * 1/2 cup honey * 4 cups flour * 1/2 teaspoon salt * 3 teaspoons baking soda * 1 teaspoon baking powder * 1/2 cup sugar * 3 teaspoons cinnamon In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening, 2 cups sugar, eggs, and honey. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir into creamed mixture. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon. Form heaping teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and roll each ball in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place balls on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Do not over bake. Makes 3 dozen cookies. (Paula Julander and Joanne Milner, _Utah State Fare_, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 1995] p. 21.)
Comments and feedback can be sent to feedback@ldsliving.com