Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Following The Prophet

Lately, I've been studying much of the life of Lorenzo Snow. Mostly since we are studying his teachings in Relief Society this year, but also because it seems that things just keep popping up about him. From my missionary brother's email to random ensign articles, I gathered many bits about this man and have a lot to say on what I've learned.

First I read all about him in our new manuals they handed out in Relief Society. I was trying to be good and read the lesson ahead of time (...I only lasted one week...) and I was surprised at how much I already knew about President Snow and also how much I didn't know. I thoroughly enjoyed that first chapter...if you haven't been able to read it, I highly recommend it; he leads such a fascinating, inspiring life.

Then we had two different lessons in Relief Society on his life where I learned even more about him. Usually, I would be bored with overkill, but I just couldn't get enough. I take that to mean that I really have some great things to learn from this prophet.

Due to a New Year's resolution to read more than fiction novels, I have been pursing more Church educational literature and decided to read Daughters in My Kingdom. I know we were asked to read it ages ago, but I never have. I find that I love it! I love learning about the history of the Relief Society, it's insipring! Also, I have learned a lot about Lorenzo Snow's sister, Eliza, who was the second President of the Relief Society. Learning about her is fascinating (she's amazing too!) and adds an extra window into the life to President Snow and his family. I highly recommend reading this book as well.

Basically, this has been on my mind a lot lately. During one of the Relief Society lessons about President Snow, the teacher said that he was known to always be "poised and calm in the face of trouble and respected for it." That phrase struck me so strongly that I can't get it out of my head. She went on to explain that he was known for his discipline of character, and that didn't lose his cool.  After reading about his sister, Eliza, I found that she was that way as well: always poised and dignified.

That is something I have always wanted to be...and exactly what I am not. I am the type that just loses it. I yell, I throw fits, I cry, I have break downs. The stress gets to me and I flip out. I have tried so hard, for so long, to work on this and to face my issues with a calm clarity, but it's definitely a work in progress. Lately, however, I find that I remember this fact about President Snow in the heat of the moment and it helps me calm down. I think about this everyday and this aspect of President Snow is what I treasure and try to emulate most about him.

Of course, President Snow was very scholarly. He was continuously learning, studying things out, and growing in knowledge. I knew this about him, but when I was reading my daily Ensign article at breakfast I came across one prepping us for learning from President Snow for the year, and I was struck by a part of it that emphasized his love for learning. In it, a line from President Snow was quoted, “Each last day or each last week should be the best that we have ever experienced, that is, we should advance ourselves a little every day, in knowledge and wisdom, and in the ability to accomplish good.” 

Lately, I have felt so much in a rut. I feel stagnant and like I'm not progressing. I've sort of felt like I'm going to waste. Part of it is the winter blues, and being stuck home with sick kids for so long, and part of it is based on the fact that I haven't been. I love school, I love learning, I love growing in knowledge, and the lack of that lately had put me on edge. I've been watching so many of my family members and friends around me going to school and working hard and I feel like my life is passing me by. After I read that article, I was struck so strongly with the desire to learn and the prompting that it's up to me. Lorenzo Snow had a drive to learn and made it happen. Just because I'm a stay-at-home mom doesn't mean I can't either. I want to be like him and constantly find new things to learn and new ways to do it - especially the ability to accomplish good. It's my choice if I'm accomplishing good, or learning how to, and I'm resolved to doing more. If you want to read the entire article check it out here. It's good, I promise.

I've just recently read a book about getting the most from your kids (back to the resolution of reading more than just fiction) and after I was prompted to learn more, I took a trip to the library to find more books about parenting better. Ironically, Ammon turned into the devil and I couldn't keep him under control long enough to find something before we had to leave, but I'm going to go back (hopefully devil free) and go down those rows and learn and learn and learn. I also pulled out my old accounting notes and problems. I want to be able to help people with accounting again. I haven't cracked them open yet, but they're out.

The last thing that has impressed me is the dedication to the Lord that Lorenzo Snow gave. Once he decided he was in, he was all in. He gave up his life to the Lord's work. He served mission after mission, taught, preached, followed the prophet's council, had enough faith to see the Savior in the temple and then become prophet soon after. It's amazing how many missions he served. I find that I tend to dedicate myself to the Lord when I have time, when it's easy, or when I feel guilty enough to do more. I want to be more like President Snow and dedicate my life to the Lord, rather than include Him every once in awhile.

These three things, calm in the face of trouble, continued growth and learning, and dedication to the Lord are the three things I have come to love about President Snow and want to be better at. In just a short time they have been reintroduced to me over, and over, and over. I know I'm supposed to listen and make changes.

I want my posterity to know someday how special it has been for me to read about such a great man and what things I want to change to emulate the prophet Lorenzo Snow. I'm excited to learn from his teachings all year and to grow even more. I love this Gospel and the inspiration it brings and the men the Lord have prepared as His servants to lead us back to Him.


  1. I love this post. I also only find time for the Lord when it is convienent for me. And lately, it is rare. You just made me want to work harder again. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for your example! I'm been struggling lately with having faith in what Heavenly Father has planned for us. Sometimes I feel like he's completely forgotten about our family and how much Tim wants to be a doctor. I need to catch up on my reading again and be a better member of the church. This was a great reminder Kari! Thanks for posting it!