Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Every now and then I like to indulge in junk food, including junk food TV. I know it can be mindless and mind numbing, but sometimes a lesson can be learned, if you stay awake.
So, I was watching an episode of “Rachael Zoe”. You know she is a Hollywood stylist fronting her life on “Reality TV.” She is one busy woman, who has it all. She’s got the great job, the great house, and the supportive handsome husband, etc. She has the “Golden Ticket”. But wait, there’s more, she is 6 months pregnant with her first child. It’s all that and a bag of chips too. But she doesn’t seem to grasp the life changing implications of this, because, oh yeah, she’s a work a holic too. Her husband has obviously prayed for this baby, and in one scene he tells her that she must begin to change her priorities; she must delegate her work schedule to her partners. This is what he said to her, “You need to keep your eyes on the prize!!” She said yes I know my new business, he said no, Keep your eyes on the prize and he pointed to her belly, and said, this is the prize, nothing else matters”. For once, Rachael Zoe was literally speechless. What else could she say?

Wow, I thought, where do husbands get this wisdom? Where does it come from? Who told Rachael’s husband the secrets of fatherhood? The secrets of family. So I called my husband and thanked him, because sometimes when I am listening to him, he spouts out profound wisdom and good advice that I know I should pay better attention to.

I have been reading the transcript of Sister Julie B Becks talk at the 2011 BYU Women’s Conference. It is awesome, a continuing dialogue of her talk from 2010. If you have not had an opportunity to read this talk, and literally pour over it, please hop over to http://womensconference.byu.edu Look under transcripts.

She gives a clear and uncompromising answer to what a woman’s responsibility is in this society, whether she is married, single, divorced, etc. I am going to put in this big fat quote, it is long and detailed, but when you read it, it is a power punch that will knock you off your feet.
The first thing I had learned from the history of Relief Society is that it strengthens and supports the unique identity of daughters of God. Our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love, value and rely on their daughters. God’s daughters, we know, have equal importance in His sight with His sons. They have unique responsibilities and duties in the plan of salvation, and they share some responsibilities in the plan with Heavenly Father’s sons. They also have a unified purpose in our Heavenly Father’s plan with His sons.
There is an interesting, exciting, and unique female identity of greatness, richness that is choice beyond comparison. And this identity that the Lord has given us and that we understand through the gospel of Jesus Christ is in direct contrast to the debased and devalued identity of women that we find in the world today. We find an elevated, strong identity that comes from our Heavenly Father. This identity and purpose can only be fully understood through a spiritual confirmation. There is an intellectual study that can be made, but a spiritual confirmation is what teaches us who we are and what we are to do. There is much out in the world that is false by way of identity. There are identities of sensuality, women seeking power, prestige, money, leisure—all of these things are different identities. But the identity of a daughter of God is precious beyond compare, and rich, and full.
We know that women are the guardians of the hearth and the home. And they have the responsibility for the hearts and souls of men and women and the children of our Heavenly Father. They are given this powerful and influential leadership role. Female responsibilities include being a wife; include being a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend. This is all about nurturing, teaching, and influencing. These are non-negotiable responsibilities. We can’t delegate them. We can accept them and live them, but these are things we understood before we were born, and we can’t negotiate with the Lord about whether or not these are our responsibilities. They have been part of the plan from the beginning; they are not going to change because of any clamor to the contrary. These are our responsibilities. Julie B Beck
Sister Beck says: “There is an interesting, exciting, and unique female identity of greatness, richness that is choice beyond comparison. And this identity that the Lord has given us and that we understand through the gospel of Jesus Christ……”

Proverbs 31; Verse 10 poses either a question or a challenge. Who can find a virtuous woman or wife? Because her worth is far above rubies. Have you watched some of the shows on TV where people can purchase buckets of rocks that may or may not have gemstones in them? You can literally purchase a big bucket of “rocks” from a specific mine that will quarry either rubies or sapphires or whatever. A person only needs a chisel and hammer to start. You could spend all day looking for that perfect stone, but I found out some criteria for the perfect ruby;

First, supply and demand determine the price as do size and color. Like diamonds, color is one important determining factor for the price and rarity of the ruby. The cut of the ruby is another determining factor of its price and value. The advice for beginning prospectors is to examine at least ten different rubies and choose the few which satisfy you. Your final group of rubies should have slight variations in size, color, cut, and clarity so the worth of a ruby is subjective, and the choice determines the worth, compared to others in the same category.

So suffice it to say, that the worth of a ruby is based in part by supply and demand, and then the color, size and cut of the stone. But most of all it is subjective to the one who searches for this stone and the stone itself must possess all of these qualities. The worth of the stone is determined by the virtue of that stone.

Proverbs 10:31:10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.

"We didn't come to earth to gain our worth, we brought it with us," Sherry Dew
I would encourage you to go back and read Proverbs 31:10-31 in its entirety. I am sure Sister Beck was inspired by the listing of the attributes of a daughter of God. I remember reading this after my husband and I were sealed. I thought to myself, I want to be this woman, but she seems to be such an over-achiever. Now I can revisit this Daughter and I see that I can be her, I have even accomplished some of her many tasks. I taught a lesson in the Relief Society that focused on 7 key virtues of Women of God. The inspiration for this teaching came from Doctrine & Covenants 25:1-2 (Just say your name instead of Emma Smith, it makes a big difference.)

1 Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter; for verily I say unto you, all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom.

2 A revelation I give unto you concerning my will; and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, I will preserve thy life, and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion.
Here are at least 7 key virtues of women of God: Faith, Knowledge, Obedience, Purity and Integrity and Identity

  1. FAITH: Incorporates patience
  2. KNOWLEDGE: We attain knowledge by study. Study the scriptures daily, ponder over them; think about them. Pray daily
  3. OBEDIENCE: Keep the Commandments; our reward is a crown of righteousness
  4. PURITY: Lay aside the things of the world, keep your covenants
  5. INTEGRITY: Walk in the ways of the Lord
  6. IDENTITY: Remember who you are and believe it; don’t be a victim to Identity theft
  7. COURAGE: Incorporates trust, patience and faith
And finally my sisters, remember this;

Proverbs 31:29-31
29 “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.
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