For more information on this topic read "Of Things That Matter Most," by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Ensign, Nov. 2010, 19–22.
If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.
(Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Of Things That Matter Most", Ensign, Nov. 2010, 19–22.)
“I Am a Child of God,” Children’s Songbook, p. 2.
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)
To prepare for this object lesson, get a clear jar that will fit five or six golf balls in it but no more. Put the balls in the jar first and then fill the rest of the jar with rice or wheat. When the jar is full, dump its contents into a large bowl and you’re ready for the lesson.
Read 3 Nephi 13:33–34 together and ask the family to name things we are asked to do each day that have to do with the kingdom of God. (Prayer, family scripture study, fulfilling Church callings, and so on.) Explain that those things are like the golf balls. Then ask the family what other things they need to do that do not relate directly to the kingdom of God. (Eating, homework, sleep, television, and so on.) Explain that the grain represents all the other things we do.
Invite a family member to pour the grain into the jar first and then try to get the golf balls to fit. When that doesn’t work, invite him or her to start over again, put the golf balls in the jar first, and then fill the jar with the grain. Ask:
- What does this object lesson have to do with the verses?
- What does this teach us about our priorities?
- Do you think Heavenly Father wants us to have some of the nice things in life?
- Why do you think the kingdom of God should come first in our lives?
- What are some ways you can put God first?
- What could our family do better to make the kingdom of God our first priority?
Share the following statements:
“If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.” (William Law, cited in James E. Faust, “A Message to My Granddaughters: Becoming ‘Great Women,’” Ensign, September 1986, p. 20.)
“Someday, when we look back on mortality, we will see that so many of the things that seemed to matter so much at the moment will be seen not to have mattered at all. And the eternal things will be seen to have mattered even more than the most faithful of the Saints imagined.” (Neal A. Maxwell, Even As I Am, p. 104.)
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The New Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006], p. 263.)
The best clue to knowing when we should do a simplification assessment of our life is when we begin to feel that something is too much for us.
When we find ourselves worrying almost daily about a certain obligation—a church calling, or a household chore, or a commitment we have made—then that is a clue that we need to look for areas in our life in which we are using our time and energy ineffectively. We have let our lives become encrusted with clutter.
It happens to everyone, and we just need to look for the clues to tell us to stop and evaluate what changes would help.
I had fallen into the habit, without realizing it, of going to the store every day for a few items. We lived close to the store, and it had become easy to run over in the late afternoon to pick up a few little extras for dinner.
When the bishop called me to be Young Women president, I was suddenly faced with staggering new demands on my time. Quickly it became apparent that those minutes I spent each day at the grocery store were adding up to a considerable amount of time in the week.
That habit was the first to go. Now I manage with what I buy in one hour on Saturday morning. Shopping has been simplified and condensed, and the gift of time is amazing.
In simplifying our lives and those of our children it is extremely important to savor and love the simple delights. Simple things are sweet, but savoring simple things takes a great spirit that understands the concept of life as a celebration.
To fully appreciate simplicity we need clear, trained eyes that see magnificence in simple things, and a pure heart that recognizes the hand of the Lord in a blade of grass.
(Jaroldeen Edwards, Celebration! Ten Principles of More Joyous Living, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1995].)
Play a simple family game such as “Mother, May I,” or “Simon Says,” or a board game such as Scrabble, Dominoes, or Chinese Checkers. Enjoy your time spent together.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
- 6 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal
Melt the butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add caramel topping, stirring until well mixed. Add the cereal and stir until it is well coated. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Pour in the cereal mixture and press it into pan with a buttered spatula. Cool, and then cut into 24 squares. Makes 24 bars.
(Clark L. and Kathryn H. Kidd, 52 Weeks of Recipes, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2007], p. 73.)