Every October and April, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a world-wide broadcast conference. We tuned in to all four sessions over this past Saturday and Sunday. If you missed any of it, look it up at http://www.lds.org/. You can listen to the most recent conference using MP3, and later will be able to access video and text archives. Every speaker brings a feast of wisdom, hope, and spiritual strength. Here are a few points from one "Tam Fam Favorite:"
Elder L. Tom Perry, pictured above, shared some intimate stories from his earlier years. During a period when he faced struggles in employment and his wife was deathly ill, he identified with Henry David Thoreau in seeking spiritual strength through a simplified lifestyle. During this trial, the Perrys would either walk around Walden Pond together, or if Sister Perry's energy waned too much on a given day, the two sat on their car amid the calming pond scene and reflected together.
We have goals to have a simplified lifestyle through following Elder Perry's counsel. He said Thoreau's basic "four needs" could be examined in a spiritual sense:
1. Food: Get regular exercise, quality sleep, and eat a healthy diet; remain free from harmful addictions. Elder Perry cited Doctrine & Covenants 88-89 and the For Strength of Youth pamphlet. The Tams have renewed the goal to get to bed early! Of course we are already impeccable with regards to diet and exercise...
2. Shelter: Let provident living touch your housing plans. Courtney put this plan into effect right away, by picking up a free wall hanging at Deseret Book Store's ladies' night event. Our living room furniture and decor now totals a $20 expenditure overall, and feels rather complete.
3. Clothing: Very casual dress almost always leads to casual manners. Profound to consider how modesty is more than just covering up. We will strive to have gracious actions and speech.
4. Fuel: Spiritual fuel comes through acquiring knowledge of God's plan and surrendering to His will. We build our spiritual reserves daily through prayer as a family, studying the scriptures together, and working to follow the promptings of our inner moral compass.