Study the Book of Mormon Daily
I seem to go through phases where I am very dilligent about reading the Book of Mormon, and at other times I become complacent and make excuses. Typical excuses like not having enough time, being too tired, etc. I've read it enough to know that my day is so much better when I read. I've seen how I'm a more patient and tempered mother and wife. Why I discontinue reading is a mystery, even to me. I also find that it's more meaningful if I have personal study time. Study time with my husband is good, but I seem to get so much more out of it if I can at my own pace and make my own interruptions, instead of listening to my husband's tangents and stories. Don't get me wrong, I love the man and his stories. But sometimes that just isn't what I need. So, this goal is pretty self explanatory:
- Read the Book of Mormon every day in the morning before my son and husband wake up. I am specificially not giving myself a set amount of chapters or an amount of time that I HAVE to read. I want to be able to move at my own pace and study the things I want to study. I don't want to get caught up in a time limit or tring to get through it as fast as I can because I have to read 3 chapters a day.
- I would like to complete the Book of Mormon (cover to cover) by the end of the year. That gives me 343ish days to read 531 pages. I'm pretty sure, with the rate at which I read, that I can complete this with flying colors. For number's sake, that's roughly 1.5 pages a day. But I'm not setting myself to that. As a mother and wife, I'm bound to be interrupted some days. I'll take each day as it comes.
Pray More Regularly
For some reason, this is another one of those things that I can always find an excuse for not doing. I'm too tired, not enough time, blah, blah, blah. I really have no good excuse for not praying and studying the Book of Mormon regularly. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I don't ever pray. I just need to make it more regular habit.
- Begin Book of Mormon study time with a prayer
- End each day with a personal prayer
Bear my testimony at least once this year during Fast & Testimony Meeting at church
I'll be honest, it's hard for me to, on the spur of the moment, get up in front of a congregation of people and tell my my inner most thoughts and feelings. I have a hard time putting my feelings into words while speaking. I'm afraid that I'd just stumble over myself and end up standing stuttering and sputtering and not knowing what to say. I do, indeed, have a testimony, but I find it hard to put into words. Honestly, I don't ever remember getting up to bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting. How sad is that? My new calling requires occassional lessons which also calls for bearing of my testimony. I'm helping that voicing small amounts of my testimony at different times will help me get up the courage to bear my testimony in front of my whole ward. So plain and simple: Bear my testimony at least once this year duing Fast & Testimony meeting at Church.
(Side Note: For those that don't know what the heck I'm talking about, this is for you. Once a month, usually the first Sunday of the month is Fast Sunday. Everyone over the age of 8 who doesn't have medical reasons for not eating, goes without 2 meals. Some people go for 24 hours, I've heard people that say that they do 12 hours. Really, there's no hard and fast rule about this, at least not that I know of. The point is to show a willingness to sacrifice. For the meals from which we obstain, we are asked to give that amount as a fast offering. On Sunday that is Fast Sunday, during our normal Sacrament Meeting, ward members are given the opportunity to bear their testimony in front of the whole congregation.)
Attend the Temple at least once a month
There is no reason I can't easily attend the temple. Living in Utah, I'm insanely close to the temple. It's not even funny how close I am. Unfortunately my attendance has been lacking. But, that's about to change! Our ward, as other wards from what I've heard, is focusing on temple attendance and geneology this year. Each ward has a day of the month set aside as their Ward Temple Day. Our ward's day is the first Friday of the month. I'd like to say that I'll be able to attend that, butmy husband's schedule changes so often that unfortunately I can't commit to it right now. In reality, because of my husband's ever-changing schedule, I can't commit to any particular day every month.
- At the beginning of the month, I will review our schedule and set aside one morning, afternoon, or evening to attend the temple.
- I will write it on the calendar as if I had made an important appointment with a friend, family member, etc and KEEP the appointment - no excuses (except illness, dismemberment, or death)!
Attend church every week, unless we're sick
I have to admit, 9:00am church is tough. Even thougher with a Monkey Man and Hubby to get ready. What's sad is it was even hard to make it on time when we had the 1:00pm block. Only because it interefered with Monkey Man's naptime. Now, us being on time depends on when Monkey Man wakes up in the morning. I do enjoy the fact that we can come home from church and put Monkey Man down for a nap almost immediately! So, even though we may be late for church some weeks, we will be there. Now that I have a calling that requires me to be to church every Sunday, I don't think this one will be an issue. But it has been an issue for us in the past, so that's why it got put on the list.
Have consistent, weekly Family Home Evenings
This is something we've NEVER been successful doing. As a newly married couple, our work and school schedules were so varied that it was hard to find time to be together, let alone plan and carry out a meaningful Family Home Evening (FHE). After Monkey Man came along, our life was thrown for an even bigger loop. He was not the kind of child to sit still or be calm. Any deams of us gathering around and learning about Jesus were kind of shot out the window. But now that Monkey Man is getting bigger, I think it will be easier. He LOVES to learn about Jesus and has a longer attention span. So, we're going to give this one a go.
- Have weekly FHE with the three of us. Our church sets aside Monday nights, but our schedules may prevent us from doing this on Mondays. We may end up picking another day/time.
- Short lessons will be rotated between myself and my husband.
- Each FHE will begin and end with a short prayer.
Have daily family prayer
We were very good about setting aside time for family (couples) prayer in the beginning of our marriage. Once Monkey Man came along, we were so exhausted and started to let it slide more and more. It was easy then because we would do it before we went to bed. No matter how late either of us worked, we didn't go to bed until we were both home. However, Monkey Man goes to bed sometime between 7 and 8pm. Usually, I'm the one home putting him to bed. We also don't always have somewhere we need to be in the morning, so doing it in the morning doesn't always make sense, either. So we need to come up with a better schedule for family prayer.
- On the days when Hubby works nights and won't be home before Monkey Man goes to bed, we'll say prayers before Hubby goes to work. On the nights when he is home when Monkey Man goes to bed, we'll say prayers together before we put Monkey Man to bed.
I have to say, the fault is mine for some of these things. My father wasn't a member of the church, so growing up, my family didn't participate in family prayer, scripture study, FHE, regular church attendance (though my mom tried very hard in this respect), etc. I think that making these things a prioriting for our family will help keep us protected from all the spiritual dangers out there in the world. I'm excited to begin implementing these things with our family.