Thursday, October 16, 2008

Divinely Inspired

Three weeks ago Elora and I left the boys at home one Saturday evening for a girl's night out. We went to my church building for a variety of salads and desserts with a bunch of women from my stake. After dinner we went into the chapel for a live broadcast of the worldwide annual General Relief Society Meeting. The General Relief Society Presidency spoke and one member of The Church's Presidency. Surprisingly it was the lone man's talk that inspired me the most. Elder Uchtdorf gave the best church talk I've heard in a long while. I related to it on such a personal level. He began with this little antecdote:

"I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but the differences between men and women can often be quite striking—physically and mentally, as well as emotionally. One of the best ways I can think of to illustrate this is in the way my wife and I cook a meal.

When Harriet prepares a meal, it’s a masterpiece. Her cuisine is as wide-ranging as the world, and she frequently prepares dishes from countries we have visited. The presentation of the food is awe inspiring. In fact, it often looks so beautiful that it seems a crime to eat it. It’s as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the sense of taste.

But sure enough, no matter how perfect everything is, looks, and tastes, Harriet will apologize for something she thinks is imperfect. “I’m afraid I used a touch too much ginger,” she will say, or, “Next time, I think it would be better if I used a little more curry and one additional bay leaf.”

Let me contrast that with the way I cook. For the purpose of this talk, I asked Harriet to tell me what I cook best.

Her answer: fried eggs.

Sunny-side up.

But that isn’t all. I have a specialty dish called Knusperchen. The name may sound like a delicacy you might find at an exclusive restaurant. Let me share with you how to make it. You cut French bread into small slices and toast them twice.

That is the recipe!

So, between fried eggs, even when they are greasy, and Knusperchen, even when they are burned, when I cook, I feel pretty heroic."

If that is not exactly the way my husband and his cousin Jamon view cooking than nothing is. I can prepare the most difficult and delicious meal in the world and it gets a, "honey, this is great" once, but Jamon and Brandon grill up a package of bratwurst and there are exclamations of their greatness throughout the entire meal!

Elder Uchtdorf continued:

"Perhaps this contrast between my wife and me is a slight exaggeration, but it illustrates something that may extend beyond preparing meals.

To me it appears that our splendid sisters sometimes undervalue their abilities—they focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than what has been accomplished and who they really are... The good news is that this also points to an admirable quality: the innate desire to please the Lord to the best of your ability."

What I would call the thesis of his talk was this:

"Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Heavenly Father’s perfect happiness. Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate."

My favorite part of his whole talk was when he said:

"You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter."

I feel so blessed to be a member of a church where our leaders seek and receive guidance from above in leading us along life's paths.


Skye said...

I really love that. Sometimes I feel like I don't have any real hobbies or interests, because my family is what really interests me. I would choose hanging out with my son over painting or hiking-most days at least.

Macey Kay said...

I really enjoyed conference and this talk too. Thanks for posting about it.

Annie said...

I just saw that broadcast last weekend here in Korea. Wasn't E. Uchdorf great?!! He sure knew his audience. For some reason it resonates in a more impactful way hearing a man state the things we women already know. It was validating you know. It also was inspiring which is what we all need.

P.S. My word verification for this comment is "droper". That's funny to me for some reason.

Nancy Face said...

I loved his talk so much! It really was wonderful. :)

mamamel said...

I really loved his talk, too! Thanks so much for posting the text of part of it, as well as your analysis of it. It was so great to read!
I laughed so hard at the bratwurst vs. fancy meal story! I could have inserted Devin's name right in there! Definitely a man thing.
As a side note, I'm sad I didn't know about the dinner beforehand--that would have been fantastic. Sniff!