I was talking to our ward's newly called Relief Society president one day. She was called around the same time as our new bishopric. Her husband was in the old bishopric. She told me about knowing her husband would soon be released. She had all kinds of plans, things their family would be able to do now that they would have extra time together that they have not had for the last five years. It would be impossible for me to fully relate to you how important family is to this woman and how much she was looking forward to that extra time to work on strengthening their family.
Then she was asked to be Relief Society president.
Obviously this was a hard moment for her. She felt her desires for her family were righteous desires. She told me that she decided go forward with faith and put things in the Lord's hands. Basically she said, "Lord, I will trust that if I accept this calling, you will bless my family in ways that will make up for the time we will not have together."
I have taken her perspective and applied it to the sacrifices our family makes in the pursuit of trying to build God's kingdom. We have become so busy with Scouting this year that it has meant sacrificing a lot of things, but this sister's story reminded me that we sacrifice the good for better and best. In fact, I can already see in our boys many blessings we have received for our involvement in Scouting and the other service we try to do as a family.
Anyone who has been through the temple has covenanted to make sacrifices to help build God's kingdom. One of the tricky things about that, though, is knowing which sacrifices to make. There has to be a balance. President Uchtdorf has taught us, for example, that there are good sacrifices and foolish sacrifices.
How do you know which is which? How do you know when it is appropriate to say no? I know of no better way than the Spirit. If we are truly open, if we truly have the attitude of, "I'll go where you want me to go and be what you want me to be," the Spirit will show the way. It seems to me that was one of the big themes in the most recent General Conference. I know as I watched the conference, in the beginning my attitude was that I do more than my fair share. However, as I listened to the words of the prophets, the Spirit whispered, "You can do more." Since then, things have come up, and the same Spirit has whispered, "This is it. This is what else you can be doing."
I want to remind you as well of one thing Joseph Smith taught us. You cannot hear the Holy Ghost when you have the spirit of contention about you. If you are angry, the Spirit cannot speak to you.
Unfortunately, I have noticed that often in ward Scouting programs, the spirit of contention is prevalent. When someone is stuck on preconceived ideas or prejudices regarding Scouting, it can add contention to meetings and interfere with the program moving forward. It can also interfere with an individual's attitude toward the sacrifices required by a calling.
I believe that if we are reading the Church Handbook on Scouting and trying to follow it, if we keep in mind that this is the Lord's program, and if we try to focus on what is best for the boys, then our programs will move forward, and we will find the proper perspective.