Sunday, April 22, 2012

What if the Temple had sticky floors and crayon marks all over the walls?

A friend of mine told me of a sign that she saw and wants to have in her home.  It reads:

Great mothers have stick floors, dirty ovens and happy kids.

I've heard of similar sentiments like this before, and I get it.  If it comes down to cleaning house or spending time with children and family building loving eternal relationships, then the pick-up game of kickball or the taking a moment to teach or comfort a child in need always wins. Sticky floors need to take a back seat to the nurturing of one's family.  There are moments where we just have to jump in and use the opportunities to spend time with our children and our families as they come.
But what happens after the kickball game is done, the mud pies have been baked, or the teaching moment has been educated?  What happens next?

What happens when the sticky floor comes up against Church callings?

vs. when a friend or sibling calls up and wants to stop by to visit?

vs. when you see a person in great need, or get an emergency call from a Sister on your Visiting Teaching list?

vs. when someone invites you to sing in the Stake Choir and needs you to go to choir practice several times a week?

vs. when you notice someone is having a really bad day and needs some cheering up?

vs. when your friends want to go out for a "Girl's Night Out", or when someone has a baby shower coming up and you saw this super-cute DIY craft on Pinterest or a craft blog that you think if you hurry up you'll have just enough time to finish?

vs. when your friend wants you to see their art exhibit or wants your support in some other endeavor they are attempting?

vs. the latest teenage fiction novel series that everyone is talking about, or when your favorite TV show is on or when you haven't checked Cake Wrecks or seen captioned pictures of cute kittens in a while?

Where does the sticky floor fall within all the other aspects of a modern Mormon life?

There are many different demands of our time, and it is easy to get lost within so many competing priorities, but I believe the Lord has given us sufficient direction on this matter.

(Warning - this is a work in progress with frequent updates and an extremely long and quote heavy post with a few lateral jumps and some gender flip-flops, so you may want to pace yourself on this one and realize it is subject to change without prior notice...)

Is it Really a Big Deal?

First off, I guess we need to establish if the condition of the home is even something that needs to be worried about given all that is going on in the world today.

President Spencer W. Kimball
Whatever your circumstance, let your premises reflect orderliness, beauty, and happiness. [1]
Now we ask you to clean up your homes. … We urge each of you to dress and keep in a beautiful state the property that is in your hands. [2]
"The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part B" (Lesson 27: "Caring For Our Homes"):
The Lord gave man instructions in the Garden of Eden ‘to dress it, and to keep it’ (Moses 3:15). The Lord requires this of us today as He did then. We are expected and required to care for and beautify whatever space we occupy on this earth. Whether we are homeowners or tenants, we should feel responsible for keeping property clean, neat, and attractive.
In the Doctrine and Covenants we are told that if anything that is unclean is allowed in the Lord’s house, the glory of the Lord will not be there; His presence will not abide in unholy temples (see D&C 94:9; 97:15–17). Because we want to have the Spirit of the Lord in His holy temples, we keep them clean and beautiful and admonish all who enter to be worthy of worshiping there. We also need the Spirit of the Lord in our homes. We should, therefore, follow Church leaders’ admonitions to clean up and tidy our surroundings, making the inside and outside of our dwellings as attractive as possible. 
Elder Douglas L. Callister
Need you dust, clean, and rearrange before you invite the Spirit of the Lord into your home? President Lorenzo Snow (1814–1901) said: ‘The Lord does not intend that the Saints shall live always in dens and caves of the earth, but that they shall build fine houses. When the Lord comes he will not expect to meet a dirty people, but a people of refinement.' [3]
Bro. Matthew O. Richardson (Second Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency)
While we are all teachers, we must fully realize that it is the Holy Ghost who is the real teacher and witness of all truth. Those who do not fully understand this either try to take over for the Holy Ghost and do everything themselves, politely invite the Spirit to be with them but only in a supporting role, or believe they are turning all their teaching over to the Spirit when, in truth, they are actually just ‘winging it.’ All parents, leaders, and teachers have the responsibility to teach ‘by the Spirit.’ They should not teach ‘in front of the Spirit’ or ‘behind the Spirit’ but ‘by the Spirit’ so the Spirit can teach the truth unrestrained. [4]
Elder Richard G. Scott
The Holy Ghost communicates important information that we need to guide us in our mortal journey. ... One must be ever mentally and physically clean and have purity of intent so that the Lord can inspire. [74]
So it seems to boil down to if we think we can make teach our children the lessons that they can only learn in the home by "winging it" without having the constant companionship of the Lord in our homes, or if we want to create a physical environment where the Spirit can take up residence and "teach the truth unrestrained". And, if we are to be physically clean to receive revelation and inspiration, then wouldn't that extend to the physical environment in which we live?

(And when a prophet uses phrases like "never", "always", "the Lord requires", and "whatever your circumstances", I think he pretty much throws any excuses or exceptions out the window...)

"Two Three roads diverged in a yellow wood"...

If we listen at all to the words of the General Authorities we are reminded and warned that the adversary is determined to break up the family.  More recently in a Worldwide Leadership Training, Elder Russell M. Nelson said "[W]e, as leaders of the Church, know that the adversary incessantly aims attacks at the family" [5] and Elder Richard J. Mayes of the Seventy told us in the April 2011 Gen. Conf. that "The adversary... wants to do everything in his power to destroy Heavenly Father’s plan. In his attempt to defeat God’s plan, he is leading an unprecedented attack on the institution of the family." [6]
There are many ploys and tactics that are being used to break the family apart.  I think C. S. Lewis has shed some light on one of the more insidious methods:
He (the devil) always sends errors into the world in pairs--pairs of opposites...He relies on your extra dislike of one to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both errors. We have no other concern than that with either of them. [7]
Elder Neal A. Maxwell also taught that one can fall off either side of the path if not careful:

"How proud we ought to be to belong to a church that makes specific demands of us and gives us specific things to do and marks the strait and narrow way, lest we fall off one side of the precipice or the other. I am so grateful that God loves us enough to teach us specifically. Had secularists written the Ten Commandments, they might have said, 'Thou shalt not be a bad person.' Note what the Ten Commandments say: 'Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet, thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, thou shalt not commit adultery,' and so on. The gospel of Jesus Christ is specific because God cares specifically for each of us and, caring for us, will mark the way carefully lest we fall out of happiness." [81]
There are many different factors that make this and other tactics the adversary uses very effective.

Something's Missing

Elder Neal A. Maxwell also has some counsel that I think applies here:
Once the telestial sins are left behind and henceforth avoided, the focus falls ever more on the sins of omission. These omissions signify a lack of qualifying fully for the celestial kingdom. Only greater consecration can correct these omissions, which have consequences just as real as do the sins of commission. Many of us thus have sufficient faith to avoid the major sins of commission, but not enough faith to sacrifice our distracting obsessions or to focus on our omissions. [8]
Doctrine & Covenants 58:26:
26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
Elder Richard G. Scott
The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit. 
... I share a warning. Satan is extremely good at blocking spiritual communication by inducing individuals, through temptation, to violate the laws upon which spiritual communication is founded[46]
Elder Hartman Rector, Jr.
Ignorance is expensive; in fact, it is the most expensive commodity we know anything about. Certainly we make many mistakes through ignorance. If it is a violation of a commandment of God which we have never received and thus do not know, then the Lord does not hold us guilty of the sin. “… to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17.) And in Paul’s words, “… where no law is, there is no transgression.” (Rom. 4:15.) But even though we may not be guilty of the sin because of our ignorance, neither can we receive the blessing, which is predicated on obedience, without rendering obedience to that law. Therefore, we are denied the blessing through our ignorance. If it is a traffic law we have violated through ignorance, the penalty assessed us is exactly the same as if we had known. Also, if we stick a finger in an electric light socket, we will receive the same shock, irrespective of our knowledge of electricity. I repeat, ignorance is expensive. Particularly is this true since the Lord has decreed, “It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.” (D&C 131:6.) For surely no man is truly enlightened unless he knows the Lord. 
Why is it we are so slow to learn, to receive the light? Is it because the Lord is slow to speak or doesn’t want to be bothered? Not according to his word to James wherein he says he “giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not. …” (James 1:5.) Then the real problem is in that we receive not the light! “… and here is the condemnation of man,” saith the Lord; “because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. 
...But why do we receive not the light? The Lord tells us why over and over again in the scriptures. Simply stated, the reason we do not learn is because we are not in condition to learn. We are not in condition to receive the light because we are not willing to receive it. We just plain don’t want it. Now most of us would violently disagree with this statement, I am sure. Of course we want light and learning from God, our Heavenly Father. ... Sometimes members appear to feel that fasting and prayer is all that is necessary to receive the answers to their problems. ... It takes more than fasting and prayer. We must begin again; we must repent—confess and forsake our sins. We must study the scriptures, yea, search the scriptures; we must keep the commandments of God, and keep them precisely.[82]
Elder Robert D. Hales
Most of the time it is not total disobedience that gets us into trouble. It is, rather, that we are selectively obedient. Selective obedience is when we push the limits of what we know to be right. We may recognize what we must do to be obedient, yet we selectively do only part of what we are commanded to do.[83]
I think the more past the "telestial sins" and the more we progress and head towards Celestial territory, the less we will be "compelled" in these things.  And, even if we have the opportunity to receive spiritual guidance, all it takes is strong emotion or an "extra dislike" about a particular subject to block the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit. (I think this happens more then people realize.) Without this spiritual "compelling" force, we have a hard time putting aside our "distracting obsessions" or focusing on our omissions - that is I believe one of the ways the Lord uses to sift the "wheat from the tares", since it is these omissions that "signify a lack of qualifying fully for the celestial kingdom", (and there isn't a gray area here - either you fully qualify or not at all...).  These are the things that, as a whole, Heavenly Father's children don't have a great track record of following - we are much more susceptible to influences from both internal (pride) and external (our culture) sources.  I think it is also why the "errors in pairs" works so well - if we don't have someone shouting the way we need to be heading, we can easily be blown off one side or the other.

There is another side to this not being "compelled in all things".  The Lord is no game show host.  Remember those old game shows from the Golden Age of game shows where the final contestant made it to the big "Bonus Round" and was given a choice between door number 1, door number 2, or door number 3?  The audience chimes in, the contestant frantically tries to decide which door will hold the ultimate life changing prize and try to avoid the doors that contain a mop, a dead fish, or some other "boobie prize".  When the door is picked, and the "final answer" is confirmed, the contestant is shown not only the door they selected, but the other doors they didn't pick as well - and either they saw the dud they almost picked, or the miracle of modern consumerism that they could have taken home if they had just "gone with their gut" (or some other excuse they use to comfort their disappointment). 

The Lord doesn't do that.  He tells us up front what His ultimate goal is, what kinds of blessings are possible, and that He is willing to "open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Mal. 3:10).  Then, He gives us a chance to pick a door - but not just among 3 doors.  He loves us enough and knows how important and powerful the gift of agency is, and He lets us pick any door that our heart desires.  And then He opens it ... and keeps His mouth shut.  He doesn't say how many other doors were available.  He doesn't open them up one-by-one to show you what you could have had.  He does not compel your knowledge of the possibilities past what you yourself are willing to accept.  He doesn't show you which door contains the thing that you've been praying for and your heart has been aching for for as long as you can remember.  And most importantly, He doesn't show you which door He is behind.  And yet, we somehow convince ourselves that the Lord has bestowed the ultimate blessing upon us, or look for "silver linings" in what we ourselves have subjected ourselves to or deprived ourselves of.  He lets us think whatever we want to about what we received, and not knowing the ultimate possibilities, our prideful, self-justifying natures tell us that what we received was an incredible blessing and a pat-on-the-back as a reward for a job well done and that we made an excellent choice.

If only we knew the secret to this game.  If only we realized that we could ask the Lord himself what door we should open!  (It's possible, but not as easy as it sounds.  Elder Bruce R. McConkie gave a great address on this topic at BYU in 1973.  I highly recommend it.)

The Amazing Disappearing Conscience

I recently read a wonderful book called "Bonds that Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves" by a BYU Philosophy Professor named C. Terry Warner.  He has done some pretty ground breaking work on the subject of self-deception, and studying the effects that our own self-betrayal has on our very consciences, and by extension, our ability to feel the very Light of Christ.  His work isn't merely academic or secular, but has a very solid doctrinal basis.

Elder Henry B. Eyring:
I have heard the boast of a man who walked away from the Church slowly. At first he just stopped teaching his Sunday School class, then he stayed away from Church, and then he forgot to pay tithing now and then. Along the way he would say to me: "I feel just as spiritual as I did before I stopped those things and just as much at peace. Besides, I enjoy Sundays more than I did. It's more a day of rest." Or, "I think I've been blessed temporally as much or more as I was when I was paying tithing." He could not sense the difference, but I could. The light in his eyes and even the shine in his countenance was dimming. He could not tell, since one of the effects of disobeying God seems to be the creation of just enough spiritual anesthetic to block any sensation as the ties to God are being cut. Not only did the testimony of the truth slowly erode, but even the memories of what it was like to be in the light began to seem to him like a delusion. [58]
President Harold B. Lee:
This [the Spirit], when withdrawn, will make it difficult for you to pray, difficult for you to have direction and guidance, difficult for you to withstand evil ... .I hope you haven’t come to that state, but if you are not careful and this experience is repeated again, with each repetition there comes a diminishing of that spirit until you, like they, will have lost, not only the power of the Holy Ghost, but also the light of the Christ. [59]
C. S. Lewis:
The more often [a man] feels without acting, the less he will ever be able to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel. [60]
President Ezra Taft Benson:
As John Wesley's mother counseled him: "Avoid whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, . . . increases the authority of the body over the mind." [19]
So, if we are able to lose not only the presence of the Holy Ghost, but also lose the very Light of Christ that we all come down here with, how difficult would it be to not be blinded by the "philosophies of men, mingled with scripture" if we were only listening to our own conscience or our "own understanding" (Prov. 3:5)?

We can too easily be tricked into thinking that as long as we feel something is ok and not a problem, then it is not against the will of the Lord.  However, if we understand how easily we can numb our conscience, either through sensationalism or neglecting the impressions of the Spirit of the Lord, then we need to remember the scripture that states that by the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word come to pass.  We really can't depend on our consciences to be our only warning signal, and need to make sure there is a consensus with our conscience and the word of the Lord through his prophets and apostles.
And, as Elder Maxwell and C.S. Lewis have stated above, sins of omission can have conscience numbing consequences "just as real as do the sins of commission".

(However, there is a caveat here - there is a difference between "not acting" / omitting because one turns away from an opportunity to serve above-and-beyond that is presented and possible, and seeing an opportunity outside one's normal stewardships and wishing to do something but honestly not being able to make use of it because of a lack of time or resources that are devoted to things that are more pressing or of a higher priority, so all those anxiety-ridden perfectionists out there can take a deep breath and relax - the Lord is still at the helm, and doesn't you going off and doing things out of order or trying to run "faster than you have strength" to take care of every opportunity for service you find/make).

You're OK, I'm OK

Elder David R. Stone in the April 2006 General Conference illustrates the effect our culture has on our lives and our attitudes towards ourselves and the doctrines of the Jesus Christ:
What an insidious thing is this culture amidst which we live. It permeates our environment, and we think we are being reasonable and logical when, all too often, we have been molded by the ethos, what the Germans call the zeitgeist, or the culture of our place and time. ... People in every culture move within a cocoon of self-satisfied self-deception, fully convinced that the way they see things is the way things really are.
Our culture tends to determine what foods we like, how we dress, what constitutes polite behavior, what sports we should follow, what our taste in music should be, the importance of education, and our attitudes toward honesty. It also influences men as to the importance of recreation or religion, influences women about the priority of career or childbearing, and has a powerful effect on how we approach procreation and moral issues. All too often, we are like puppets on a string, as our culture determines what is ‘cool.’ [9]
Neal A. Maxwell:
Without the Church, revelation, and its absolute doctrinal anchors, Church members would also probably follow the fads of the day—as some churches have done—but as Samuel Callan warned, the church that weds itself to the culture of the day will “be a widow within each succeeding age.” [51]
Notice how Elder Maxwell uses an "and" not an "or" or "2 out of 3".  We need all 3 to keep moored - the Church, revelation, and absolute doctrinal anchors.

Many in the Church believe because they have the opportunity to have the Holy Ghost be their constant companion that they're above being influenced by any "worldly" culture.  Elder Maxwell extends a warning about always pointing our defenses outward:
Several years ago, an astute friend of mine, Dr. Jack Adamson, concluded a commencement address by recalling John Milton's phrase concerning England's legendary image about how St. Michael, the warrior, would appear off Cornwall to save England from her external menaces, chiefly Spain. Milton's counsel was that the angel, and England, had for too long been looking seaward, for England was soon to be engulfed in a civil war. Milton's poetic plea was: "Look homeward, angel, now and with pity and compassion." [48]
I think sometimes we become a little too trusting about our own Wards or Stakes, and fool ourselves into thinking that all is well is Zion.  We get into the mindset of "if they're ok and they think I'm ok, then I must be doing everything right".  I think we try to escape the evils of looking for acceptance from the world by seeking acceptance of the members of our Church and think that we have "built our house upon the rock" and feel that we've reached "good enough".  We fool ourselves into thinking that we've reached the "be" in "what manner of men ought ye to be ... Even as I am" (3 Ne. 27:27) , and start committing sins of omission and focus on our "distracting obsessions".

This would account for those who grow up at the apex of the culture in their small Ward, but go to school at BYU and feel those "Utah Mormons" are crazy because they don't follow the traditions and values of their home Ward, and therefore they can't climb to their position in Church culture that they enjoyed before. On the other hand, those converted to the Church could also get too sucked into the culture at the "Y" and trust those around them so much that they actually loosen their grip on the Doctrinal anchors that kept them alive while they were living in the "Mission Field", and are in danger of being slowly led away, neglecting their "whole armor of God", or getting stuck in a "Peter Pan" ( / "Patricia Pan") lifestyle.

Elder Donald L Hallstrom said in the April 2012 General Conference:
Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed. 
By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance. For example, how much faith do we really have? How repentant are we? How meaningful are the ordinances in our lives? How focused are we on our covenants? 
I repeat: we need the gospel and the Church. In fact, the purpose of the Church is to help us live the gospel. We often wonder: How can someone be fully active in the Church as a youth and then not be when they are older? How can an adult who has regularly attended and served stop coming? How can a person who was disappointed by a leader or another member allow that to end their Church participation? Perhaps the reason is they were not sufficiently converted to the gospel—the things of eternity.
I believe this is what the Lord was referring to in D&C 1:30 when he says that He is "well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually", or the warning of President Ezra Taft Benson in 1986 that "all is not well in Zion[10], and that it "takes a Zion people to make a Zion society, and we must prepare for that".  Elder Bruce R. McConkie has said, "too often the best-kept secret in the Church is the gospel of Jesus Christ.[11] I believe what they are talking about is not the government, organization, or the doctrines of the church, but the culture and society of the church.  Look back in the scriptures - when did the righteous people start to get into trouble? When they left out the gospel from their lives and allowed themselves to be pulled down by the popular culture and fads of the place and time.
The culture in the Church units and areas that I have lived and served in have all been very service oriented. They talk of great feats of service and caring, mention and give thanks for acts done during a great time of need, and preach of the great love that our Savior have for us as evidenced through all the miracles he performed.  Periodically there is mention of family duties or a review of the logistics needed to maintain a family and the living conditions needed to foster spiritual growth, but it just doesn't get the airtime that conspicuous services does.  If one wasn't aware of the importance of the family and the priority it must take in the other items in our lives, one could easily be led to think that the family duties were an afterthought to saving the world.  I think it has been well established that people, as a whole, are much more likely to follow the proportions of their culture then what is taught in any textbook.  They have a tendency to either try to find a "comfortable" position in the upper echelons of the mainstream culture, fabricate/flee to a splinter counter-culture where they can "fit in" as they are, or detach from all cultures and try the "lone gunman" approach. It is only the "peculiar people" who are truly converted to the gospel and are willing to put aside and break from their earthly culture that are willing to dig further than the world around them and honestly rely on the enabling power of the Atonement more than they rely on the power of any earthly culture to sustain them. Elder Maxwell:
[T]he sincere seeker after celestial culture must be more concerned with the preparation for that culture than with the preservation of present culture. Such things as how we hold a knife and fork when we eat or how we dance are differences that seldom matter much. There are other current cultural differences that do matter much: a morbid sense of despondency about life itself, a feeling of futility about man’s purpose could depress a people to a point where they do not extract from this second estate those things which really matter and which are intended to happen here. Enough prophets have inveighed against unwise or wicked “traditions of the fathers” for us to know that certain mortal traditions can be devastating and disabling. Cultural differences, however, which are matters of preference and not principle can continue to provide color and variety. God seems to love variety, except in doctrine—because the latter is so crucial. [56]

Poisoned By Degrees

It may not be so much that the content of each error is incorrect, but errors in concentration are just as perilous.  When I was in Boy Scouts working on my Environmental Science merit badge, the counselor taught me an axiom that goes, "The solution to pollution is delusion".  The problem with pollution isn't so much the existence of certain substances in an ecosystem as it is the excessive amount of one substance in relation to other substances that causes an unhealthy environmental condition; it all comes down to proportion.  I think it is the same way with many of the misconceptions that exist in the culture of the church - if we are not being as compelled in these things as we are about the "major" sins, then we are more susceptible to being tossed to-and-fro by our culture, popular fads, or ignorance to any of the gospel principles.

However, what I think is most dangerous is not the extremities of these errors, but rather the almost imperceptibly subtle ways they weave themselves "by degrees" into our cultures, our media, our schools, our places of business, our streets, and yes - even our own Wards and families. "Yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever." (2 Nephi 26:22).

Elder Maxwell has said "The gospel gives proportion as to both substance and style[12], and has warned us about what happens when we let certain gospel doctrines break from the pack of orthodoxy and "go rogue", or even break rank and get out of order, (See my previous post). I believe that many of the doctrines of the gospel have a moderating effect on other doctrines and insulate us from being too effected by the cultures around us.  Omitting or being ignorant of any doctrine runs the same risk on our spiritual ecology as taking a species out of a balanced eco-system, or even taking a branch of federal government out of the divinely architected "checks-and-balances" system - something could get seriously out of proportion in our lives and be a serious risk to the eternal outcomes of ourselves, our families, or others around us.  It is only through reintroducing those missing eternal principles in their proper proportion that we can rebalance our own doctrinal eco-system.

All Rise for the Honorable Judge . . . You???

Say the word "Judge" in Church circles, and you'll probably hear someone recite the scripture from Matt. 7:1 - "Judge not, that ye be not judged" as well as warnings from the pulpit about being "judgmental", and advised that we should avoid judging like the plague.

However, this is one of those things where one of the lesser known and discussed doctrines helps to fill in where the culture of the Church leaves off.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks expounded on this topic in a BYU Devotional given in March of 1998:
I have been puzzled that some scriptures command us not to judge and others instruct us that we should judge and even tell us how to do it. But as I have studied these passages I have become convinced that these seemingly contradictory directions are consistent when we view them with the perspective of eternity. The key is to understand that there are two kinds of judging: final judgments, which we are forbidden to make, and intermediate judgments, which we are directed to make, but upon righteous principles. I will speak about gospel judging.
Elder Oaks talks about the distinction between "final judgements" (judging the righteousness of a person and assigning a person to a final kingdom of glory, which no one but the Lord can make), and "intermediate judgements" (judging the righteousness of a particular act, or under the correct stewardship determining the righteousness of a person at the current time but not assigning to a final kingdom of glory).

Speaking of intermediate judgements, Elder Oaks explains:
The Savior also commanded individuals to be judges, both of circumstances and of other people. Through the prophet Moses, the Lord commanded Israel, “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour” (Lev. 19:15).

On one occasion the Savior chided the people, “Why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?” (Luke 12:57). On another occasion he said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

We must, of course, make judgments every day in the exercise of our moral agency, but we must be careful that our judgments of people are intermediate and not final. Thus, our Savior’s teachings contain many commandments we cannot keep without making intermediate judgments of people: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine” (Matt. 7:6); “Beware of false prophets. … Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:15–16); and “Go ye out from among the wicked” (D&C 38:42). [52]

Remember Edmund Burke’s statement: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." [53].  How can we not "do nothing" if we are not making good intermediate judgements about circumstances, standards, and the things that are culturally acceptable within our stakes, wards, and families?

If you think about it, it's kind of a perfect storm - we have a culture in the Church were the vast majority of the people are trying to do what is right, and yet still have enough people who are just acting like they are doing what is right to cause small imperceptible shifts in the standards of a culture that compound over time to cause great rifts between what the Lord says and what is deemed acceptable.  Add on top of that a culture that is taught not to judge or appear to judge, and you basically have a self-sustaining cycle that will not end until it either derails us or we get it back on the one true path.

Sometimes we avoid making intermediate judgements against the things that the people that we like do, thinking somehow that we are showing love and compassion for them by "letting things slide", or maybe justifying their unrighteous decisions.  We fall into the trap of thinking that judging a situation is the same as passing a final judgement on a person.  Elder Oaks illustrates this point with a story of a family who had to deal with an unpleasant situation:
I know of an LDS family with an older teenage son who has become addicted to smoking. The parents have insisted that he not smoke in their home or in front of his younger siblings. That is a wise judgment of a situation, not a person. Then, even as the parents take protective measures pertaining to a regrettable situation, they need to maintain loving relations and encourage improved conduct by the precious person. [52]
The General Authorities are testifying the best they can and receiving revelation from the Lord on the best way to fight against these misconceptions and "foolish traditions" than can go on within the Church culture, but it takes people from the inside to make real change.  It takes those brave souls who are willing to lovingly bring the standards and the doctrines of the Lord back into their own lives, and effectively declare that the "Emperor has no clothes!"

Are we strong enough to take that chance?  Do we have faith and testimonies strong enough to not only struggle against the enemy without the gates, but also fight against the sometimes seemingly benign misconceptions and variances that govern the thoughts, philosophies, and actions around us?  Are we strong enough to judge with righteous judgements against those things which would slowly lead us down, or are we too afraid to "rock the boat" and would rather go with the flow?

Hot Topic

The issue of the role of woman in homemaking duties, and the importance of these duties among the other roles they play on this earth, is probably one of the most polarizing topics among women in the church.  As time goes on, the chasm seems to widen between the more traditionalists and those who think that it is an old model that is no longer applicable to our day and age.  I think this is to be expected, based on the full-court press the adversary is putting on the family.  The adversary is using every trick in the book to break up the family, and I think his use of "twin errors" can be clearly seen in the area of "sticky floors".

I think specifically in this case there is an error on one side that is showing re-runs of the "Martha Stewart Show" and handing out free copies of home and garden magazines with full page glossy photos of picture-perfect homes and yards with almost every inch of space covered in color and theme coordinated accessories, (think Pharisees / "Beyond the Mark"), and an error on the other side shouting radical Feminist propaganda and rallying for the liberation of women from their kitchens, vacuums, and nurseries so they can further their own careers / talents and go out into the world to eradicate all suffering, (think Sadducees / "Lukewarm").

Luckily, I believe the Lord has once again given us fixed principles that we can anchor ourselves to to weather the storm.

Paychecks and Pine-Sol over U-Hauls, Convert Baptisms, Casseroles, and Knitting?

In the worldwide leadership training meeting held on June 21, 2003, President Gordon B. Hinckley taught the Priesthood holders that they have a fourfold responsibility. He said:
Each of us has a fourfold responsibility. First, we have a responsibility to our families. Second, we have a responsibility to our employers. Third, we have a responsibility to the Lord’s work. Fourth, we have a responsibility to ourselves. [13]
Notice how Pres. Hinckley made this a numbered list.  Not a random bulleted list, but a list showing the order of priority that these responsibilities must ultimately take.

Regarding their responsibility to their employers, President Hinckley told the Brethren:
You have an obligation. Be honest with your employer. Do not do Church work on his time. [13]
Notice how the responsibility to employers comes before "the Lord's work," and how fathers are told not to put Church work at a higher priority or even done during the time that is spent providing for the material and financial needs of the family to sustain and protect life.

Could this really be correct doctrine?  If you had to choose only one, is bringing home a paycheck a higher priority than our callings or Christian service? What about all those opportunities for service that are all around that would have to be missed if we had to first make sure our "attendant functions" were adequately attended to?  Let's see if we can find some words of the Lord's servants to support this theory:

President Harold B. Lee:
... Remember that the most important of the Lord's work that you will ever do will be the work you do in the walls of your own home. Home teaching, bishopric’s work, and other Church duties are all important, but the most important work is within the walls of your home. [21]
President David O. McKay:
The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home. [22]
President Joseph F. Smith:
There is no happiness without service, and there is no service greater than that which converts the home into a divine institution, and which promotes and preserves family life. [49]
1 Timothy 5:8:
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Elder M. Russell Ballard:
Father and mother are callings from which we will never be released, and there is no more important stewardship than the responsibility we have for God’s spirit children who come into our families. [24]
Put everything you do outside the home in subjection to and in support of what happens inside your home. [69]
Occasionally we find some who become so energetic in their Church service that their lives become unbalanced. ... As a result of their focusing too much time and energy on their Church service, eternal family relationships can deteriorate. ... This is not healthy, spiritually or otherwise. While there may be times when our Church callings require more intense effort and unusual focus, we need to strive to keep things in proper balance. We should never allow our service to replace the attention needed by other important priorities in our lives. [25] 
"Handbook 2: Administering the Church"
(Section 19.1.1: Callings in the Church, General Guidelines)
A person must be called of God to serve in the Church (see Articles of Faith 1:5). Leaders seek the guidance of the Spirit in determining whom to call. They consider the worthiness that may be required for the calling. They also consider the member’s personal or family circumstances. Each calling should benefit the people who are served, the member, and the member’s family. 
Although service in Church callings requires sacrifice, it should not compromise a member’s ability to fulfill family and employment responsibilities (see 17.2.1). Before calling a married person to an assignment that requires a significant time commitment, Church leaders consider the effect of the calling on the marriage and family.
(Section 17.2.1: Uniformity And Adaptation, Family Circumstances) 
Church service and participation always entail a measure of sacrifice. However, strong families are vital to the Church, and members should not be asked to make excessive family sacrifices to serve or to support programs or activities.
One family circumstance to consider is the Church calling(s) held by a member’s husband or wife. Individual families should not be overburdened with Church responsibilities. Another circumstance to consider is the overall time demands that members face in supporting their families and taking care of other personal matters. In some areas of the world, members of necessity work two or three jobs. These are legitimate considerations for leaders to weigh in extending callings, scheduling leadership meetings, and planning activities. 
I think another great confirmation of this principle is the calling of full-time missionaries and Apostles.  It is pretty well established that in order for a young man to be called to be a full-time missionary they must be in good standing in the Church, have a testimony of the Lord, be between the age of 19 and early twenties, be physically, emotionally, and mentally capable of serving, and be unmarried.  Have you ever stopped to think about why the unmarried part is there?  Would having a wife at home really interfere with the work of bringing souls to Christ, or would it be more that the work of providing for one's family is of such great importance that Missionary work would have to take a back-seat to bringing in a paycheck, and logistically there really would not be any time left for knocking on doors and teaching the discussions.  Look at senior missionaries as well - it isn't the marriage that keeps people from serving in this calling, but rather waiting for the duties of providing the financial and logistical support of one's children to wind down so that there is enough time in their day to preach the word of the Lord, and be financially stable enough that they don't have to hold down a full-time job so they can eat or pay the monthly expenses and other costs to be on a mission.

This goes for Apostles as well.  The calling of Apostle is a full-time position, so there leaves little time for a 9-to-5 position at the local Wal-Mart, thus the understanding that one needs to be called of God and have the existing where-with-all to be able to provide for one's family and still serve the Lord full-time.  Look at the story in Luke 5:1-11 as described by S. Kent Brown where Christ calls Peter, James, John, and Andrew as Apostles.  Read on as Bro. Brown explains the sequence of events and what happens before the calling is extended:
In the first of Jesus’s words recorded in this chapter, we read His instruction to Peter: “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught” (verse 4). Peter’s response to Jesus’s directive betrays surprise: “we have toiled all the night and have taken nothing.” In a word, the fishing has been awful. But Peter seems to have learned that this man from Nazareth is one to be obeyed. So he continues, “nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net” (verse 5). 
Now comes the astonishing moment for Peter and Andrew—a series of plurals appear in the account, indicating the presence of a third man in the boat in addition to Jesus and Peter, probably Andrew (5:5–7). For “when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes” (verse 6). How big is the catch? The large net—likely a deep sea (trammel) or seine (drag) net—begins to break. In desperation, Peter yells to James and John, to come and assist. Although the record does not specify, I can imagine the Savior, who was used to working with His hands, reaching out to help Peter with the bursting net of fish. In the end, after a lot of work, the fishermen heave the catch of fish into the two boats, almost sinking them. Peter’s response leaves little doubt that he recognizes the power of the teacher from Nazareth. He falls “down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” But Peter does not yet grasp all that the Savior is offering to him and his partners. That comes in the next few hours. 
We might be tempted to think of this haul of fish as modest. However, we do have a model to compare the craft against. In 1986 an ancient boat dating to around the first century was discovered along the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. That boat measures 26.5 feet (8.8 meters) x 7.5 feet (2.5 meters), is 4.5 feet (1.25 meters) deep, and consists of a number of different woods in its construction.1 This craft can carry a very large load of fish. Two boats filled in this manner will supply the needs of the fishermen’s families for months if not a couple of years. Even if Peter’s boat is smaller than this contemporary example, the catch of fish will have been substantial if it nearly sinks his craft and his partners’ as well. 
The question naturally arises, is the miracle simply an amazing demonstration of Jesus’s enormous powers over the world of nature, or does the catch of fish carry an additional purpose? This question, in my view, brings us face to face with Jesus’s deep compassion and concern for the families of the fishermen. And it is answered by deducing the answer to another question: what do they do with all that fish?
Even though Luke writes that the partners “brought their ships to land” and then “they forsook all” (Luke 5:11), we need not think that they promptly beach their craft on the shore, while the miracle is still buzzing in their heads, and walk away from the huge catch of fish. Such an act is senseless waste. And they of all people know the value of a big haul of fish. No, I believe that there is more going on here than meets the eye. Here is where a geographical detail plays a role. 
Strabo, an ancient geographer who is roughly contemporary with Jesus (64 B.C.–21 A.D.), when writing about the Sea of Galilee, observes almost off-handedly, “At the place called Taricheae the lake supplies excellent fish for pickling.” On the map of the lake, Taricheae lies about four-and-one-half miles (7.24 km) southwest of Capernaum, within easy rowing or sailing distance.3 More importantly, the name of the town links directly to the Greek word tarichos which means “dried or smoked fish.” The later rabbinic name for the town, Fish Tower, may also refer to the town’s fish salting industry. 
The town Taricheae, the fish-salting center on the lake’s western shore, was known to all the fishermen of the day. The effort to row or sail the two loaded boats four-and-one-half miles (7.24 km) along the shore from Capernaum would have cost a little time and effort, and the expense of the salting service, but not much else. With this huge catch of fish preserved by salting, the families of the fishermen would have enough food to eat for months on end, as well as enough to bring to the marketplace in Capernaum–either to trade for other foods or to sell for income. 
As He calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John, Jesus is calling the breadwinners away from their families, who will struggle for food and income without these men. For the Master “who notes the sparrow’s fall” and causes the rain to descend, and who is always aware of our needs, it is not hard to imagine Him compassionately doing more for these men and their families than meets the eye, as He so often does in our lives. In one stunning, momentous miracle witnessed by men whom Jesus will soon call into the apostleship, the needs of these families are met ... The newest Apostles likely rowed their fish-laden boats to nearby Taricheae, a fish-salting center. With their huge catch of fish preserved with salt, the fishermen could follow Christ, confident that their families would have enough fish to eat and sell. [62]
The Lord made sure that the needs of their families would be met, thus freeing up their time to follow Him as special witnesses of the Lord, and not doing things out of His order.
I think the message is pretty clear - no callings or christian service, no matter how important, should interfere with a father's ability to provide the support his family needs.  Balance in parenting vs everthing else is concentric and seasonal, not proportionate or parallel.

Makin' Mormon Moonshine

Elder David A. Bednar taught a wonderful CES Devotional in 2007 where he outlines ways that we can more fully study and understand the scriptures, and tap into the reservoir of "living water".  He lists the three basic methods of obtaining more light and knowledge from the scriptures as: "(1) reading the scriptures from beginning to end, (2) studying the scriptures by topic, and (3) searching the scriptures for connections, patterns, and themes. ... Searching in the revelations for connections, patterns, and themes builds upon and adds to our spiritual knowledge by bringing together and expanding these first two methods; it broadens our perspective and understanding of the plan of salvation." [54] These connections, patterns and themes have no context in and of themselves, and are the threads that are used to link and weave the other doctrines of the Gospel together into the "fabric of immutable law" known as "Orthodoxy" [63].
Since President Hinckley's words are modern scripture, we should analyze his "fourfold" passage to see if we can determine any connections, patterns, or themes that we can liken and apply to other areas of our lives.

In the October 1993 General Conference, Elder M. Russell Ballard said:
Our Heavenly Father assigned different responsibilities in mortality to men and women when we lived with Him as His spirit sons and daughters. To His sons He would give the priesthood and the responsibilities of fatherhood, and to His daughters He gave the responsibilities of motherhood, each with its attendant functions. [15]
The Family Proclamation also states:
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. [16]
Looking at priority #2 in Pres. Hinckley's list to the husbands/fathers, it appears he is detailing aspects of the gender specific primary responsibility of being a "provider". It would seem to me that if we want to distill Pres. Hinckley's words about the fourfold responsibility into a pattern and make it "Gender Neutral" then it would look like this:
  1. Family
  2. (Gender specific "Attendant Functions" to support the family)
  3. The Lord's Work
  4. Ourselves
Notice also item #3 in the pattern - "Lord's Work".  Notice how it didn't say "church callings" or "missionary work" or "community work" or "compassionate service".  It is all rolled up into one item, so it seems he is speaking of any service done outside the home, in the church or not.  I believe any context of service outside the home falls into this bucket and context.

Gender Bender

So, how do we liken this to the Sisters and sticky floors?  Let's look to see what the Lord has said about the "attendant functions" for the wives.
In the Family Proclamation, it states, "Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." [16]

Sis Julie B. Beck adds to the job description with these words:
Mothers who know are nurturers. This is their special assignment and role under the plan of happiness... Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. [17]
As we improve our homemaking skills such as cleaning, organizing, cooking, sewing, and gardening, we learn to create a climate of nurturing and spiritual growth in our homes. [47]
There are many other Church Leaders who have linked homemaking and housekeeping chores to be included in the list of "attendant functions" for the calling of Mother:

President Spencer W. Kimball:
No career approaches in importance that of wife, homemaker, mother— cooking meals, washing dishes, making beds for one’s precious husband and children. … [Wives], you are to become a career woman in the greatest career on earth—that of homemaker, wife, and mother. [18]
President Ezra Taft Benson:
It is divinely ordained what a woman should do. ... The divine work of women involves companionship, homemaking, and motherhood. [19]
President Brigham Young:
It is the calling of the wife and mother to know what to do with everything that is brought into the house, laboring to make her home desirable to her husband and children, making herself an Eve in the midst of a little paradise of her own creating, securing her husband’s love and confidence, and tying her offspring to herself, with a love that is stronger than death, for an everlasting inheritance. [88]
President Gordon B. Hinckley:
It is well-nigh impossible to be a full-time homemaker and a full-time employee. ... To you women who find it necessary to work when you would rather be at home, may I speak briefly. I know that there are many of you who find yourselves in this situation. ... I honor you and respect you for your integrity and spirit of self-reliance. I pray that the Lord will bless you with strength and great capacity, for you need both. You have the responsibilities of both breadwinner and homemaker. [20]
Sis. Barbara B. Smith:
Women, who through marriage share in the responsibility of building the household of faith, must recognize that the help and partnership of heaven is only available on heaven’s terms. If we would have marriage for eternities, we must abide by the laws of heaven. And the laws of heaven are supremely just.
He who told Adam to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow and Eve to bring forth children has instructed us that the husband shall be responsible to give sustenance to his wife and children during the tender years: “Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken; … All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age.” (D&C 83:2–4.)
Clearly, this shows the importance God puts on the work he has given to women to bear and rear children. He has not ranked the role of provider ahead of the role of bearing and nurturing, but has wisely divided these highest, most essential duties equally between men and women. There may be exceptions but the pattern is clear: an ideal home has both a mother-homemaker and a father-provider.
... Another element of homemaking is an atmosphere of order and beauty. Order and cleanliness are the first steps toward beauty. [70]
An orderly home is conducive to happiness. But the achievement and maintenance of order, while it is the primary responsibility of the mother, should be the concern of the whole family. [79]
"The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part A"  (Lesson 20: “Managing Our Homes Well”):
Part of a homemaker’s job is to be an efficient housekeeper.
Now that we have established that the Lord is pretty clear that the roles of "homemaker" and "housekeeper" are essential functions of the calling of wife and mother and are crucial to the Lord's plan for raising children in Zion, let's move on to how we can relate the "fourfold" to them.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie once said: "God is no respecter of persons. Anything he has or will say to one person, he will say to another who is similarly situated." [14]  I think we can agree that both husband and wife are "similarly situated" to each other in relation to their calling as parents.  From this, I believe it states that whatever general pattern the Lord gives to the husbands to live by, he also expects the wives to live by too.
So, it would seem that we can take item #2 in "fourfold" list, and replace the duty of providing with the duties of  nurturing and homemaking/housekeeping.

If we do a little word substitution and apply the pattern to motherhood, I think it looks something like this:
Each {wife/mother} has a fourfold responsibility. First, {they} have a responsibility to {nurture and love their} families. Second, {they} have a responsibility to {their homemaking/housekeeping duties}. Third, {they} have a responsibility to the Lord’s work. Fourth, {they} have a responsibility to {them}selves. 
…Two, to your {homemaking/housekeeping duties}. You have an obligation. Be honest with your {family and their dependence on you to provide a physical environment where the Spirit may dwell and foster spiritual growth}. Do not do Church work on {their} time.
Is there any other corroborating counsel to support if Pres. Hinckley's words apply to the women of the Church and their homemaking/housekeeping responsibilities as equally as it does to the Brethren and "bringing home the bacon"?    Are dishes, laundry, and floors a higher priority than Christian service? I think the words listed above from Pres. Lee / McKay / Smith, Elder Ballard, and the Handbook equally apply here as well, (and I have reiterated a few), but here are more relating to the role the Sisters play:

President Harold B. Lee:
... Remember that the most important of the Lord's work that you will ever do will be the work you do in the walls of your own home. Home teaching, bishopric’s work, and other Church duties are all important, but the most important work is within the walls of your home. [21]
President David O. McKay:
The home is the first and most effective place for children to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home. [22]
President Joseph F. Smith:
There is no happiness without service, and there is no service greater than that which converts the home into a divine institution, and which promotes and preserves family life. [49]
Sis. Barbara B. Smith:
Women’s first responsibility for service is to their families, for this is the fundamental priority established by the Lord. It must he their first consideration, and that of all those who call them to positions or seek their assistance in any endeavor; for the building of strong families is fundamental to a strong society.
Service in the Church most often should be a woman’s next priority, with service in the community being a third consideration.

... Another area of service within the general context of Church service is that of individual compassionate service on a spontaneous, personal basis. It is the kind of watchful care that each woman is expected to give to a neighbor in need.

... Only when a woman understands the importance and the enrichment of service and evaluates her opportunities—neither making excuses to avoid service nor overextending herself unwisely—can she enjoy the promised blessings of service. [75]

Elder Marvin J. Ashton:
A woman should feel free to go into the marketplace and into community service on a paid or volunteer basis if she so desires when her home and family circumstances allow her to do so without impairment to them. [23]
Elder Quentin L. Cook
[N]o woman should ever feel the need to apologize or feel that her contribution [to the Lord's work] is less significant because she is devoting her primary efforts to raising and nurturing children. Nothing could be more significant in our Father in Heaven’s plan. [26]
President Gordon B. Hinckley:
The greatest job that any mother will ever do will be in nurturing, teaching, lifting, encouraging, and rearing her children in righteousness and truth. None other can adequately take her place. [20] 
The same stipulations exist for Sister Missionaries as do the ones for the men as far as marriage go.  There is a slight shift in age and duration of the mission, but this is probably due to the fact that they want to provide ample time for the Sisters to find suitable spouses and start a family. Sister Missionaries can make inroads that the Elders can't, and their gender has a much greater gift of showing love and compassion, so one would think that they would be more valuable to the Lord spreading the Gospel, but why then do they serve for shorter terms and are not given the opportunity until later in life compared to the Elders?  I believe this is another illustration that their work in the home is of greater importance than even taking the word of the Lord throughout the world.

If the Lord's work ultimately has to take a back-seat to sticky floors, where do you think the activities that Sis. Beck calls the "Nice To Do" things such as "crafts and hobbies and recreational reading and movies and travel and lunches with friends" [27] fall, or what place should we give the "pixels, texting, ear buds, twittering, online social networking, and potentially addictive uses of media and the Internet" that Elder David A. Bednar warned us about letting ourselves become too immersed and engrossed in? [28] (I'll bet, however, that it is either the angst of not having enough of, the jealously of others having more of, or the fear of losing these types of things that causes the lion's share of anxiety disorders and anti-depressant prescriptions in Happy Valley and it's many satellites...)

If You Had to Pick Just One...

Am I suggesting that the whole home has to be sparkling clean all the time?  Do we need to turn away the needy because we haven't scrubbed the toilet yet?  Not at all. I think what President Hinckley's words of counsel are giving us is an order that we must make sure the "critical mass" of our obligations are met in.  In most cases, things will wax and wane, and sometimes a little more time will need to be spent on the Lord's work and sometimes family obligations will need a little more attention.  However, I think the counsel is most applicable in times of famine or shortage, where a decision has to be made between one or the other.

Think of it like hypothermia or starvation.  Being out in the freezing cold isn't immediately going to make your fingers and toes become frostbitten or skipping a meal isn't instantly going to make your body become emaciated.  So, we can be a little flexible and do things a little out of order to be able to deal with unplanned needs or service that pops up now and again.  However, if you stay out in the cold long enough without the proper warmth or go without enough food long enough, the body is going to start pulling back precious resources from extremities and less critical systems in order to protect those things that are most important.  How long do you think the body would last in sub-zero temperatures if it kept diverting heat and resources away from the essential systems and pumping it to the digits and limbs? Probably not very long.  Same with the family.  It can have things temporarily diverted away from those things that are most important for a short time, but if one is stuck in a situation of a scarcity of resources you will be forced to choose to either put the "heart" of the family at risk, or pick which parts of our lives must have resources diverted away from them.  The list of priorities that Pres. Hinckley outlined is more of a guide to use of which critical systems must be protected first in the event of a persistent lack of resources.  When there is a reoccurring pattern of the higher priority not being met while the lesser ones are then it's time to re-evaluate and decide what appendages we need to pull back from in order to protect the family.

President Ezra Taft Benson said something similar to the Sisters in a BYU Fireside in 1979:
Do not sacrifice your preparation for an eternally ordained mission for the temporary expediency of money-making skills that you may or may not use. I do not think it needs to be an "either/or" choice; but if it does, then choose the divine mission preparation. [19]
If a choice is forced because of the limitations experienced in this mortal probation, that is the time when we show with our actions if we really believe that the family comes first.  Elder Lynn G. Robbins gave us a little more info about these "forced choices" in the April 2005 General Conference:
Faith isn't tested so much when the cupboard is full as when it is bare. In these defining moments, the crisis doesn't create one's character—it reveals it. The crisis is the test. ... [T]he truer measure of sacrifice isn't so much what one gives to sacrifice as what one sacrifices to give. [29]
Are we really showing that the family is the most important thing if we aren't asked to make a choice between it and the other aspects of our lives?  If we have plenty of time and resources to do everything and not have to cut anything out, is that really showing that the family trumps everything else?  We may be showing that we believe all the good things we do in our lives are important, but how can we show which one is the most important unless we sacrifice all other things to preserve it?

In the April 2005 General Conference, Bro. Brent L. Top gave us some wise words on adjusting our lives when there isn't enough time or resources:
To preserve the temporal balance of our lives, we may need to say no to those activities for which we do not have time, resources, or energy. We need not feel guilty or selfish in periodically pulling back to regroup. [30]
And what about the other demands on time or things that we feel very strongly about that we really wish we could get to but must sacrifice for the good of the family?

Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
Some years ago Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught how we can be guided by this standard of ‘wisdom and order’ and be comforted by the assurance that we are not required to run faster than we have strength (see ‘Wisdom and Order,’ Ensign, June 1994, p. 41). In describing how we can ‘manage ourselves wisely’ he quoted Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who said, 'My life cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds.' Elder Maxwell taught that 'some choices are matters of preference, not principle,' adding that ‘wisdom and order [will] help us to separate preferences from principles’ (p. 43).
We are wise to conclude that we can’t do it all and that we are not required to. When we feel overwhelmed with all that presses upon us, we should pray for inspiration to guide us in identifying what is required by eternal principles. These things command priority. We do them first. Then, in the time that remains, we pray for wisdom to exercise our preferences among those things that are merely good but not essential. Finally, when inspired wisdom has guided our choices, we proceed, as President Hinckley has taught us, to just ‘do the very best [we] can.' [31]
Once again, Elder Oaks is saying that we don't have to do it all, but without a guide to help us understand what things to cut and in what order, we are at the whim of our moods, culture, peer pressure, and our own desires and view of the world.  So often, the things that we cut out when things get tight aren't necessarily according to Gospel principles, but are usually based on our own personal preferences and likes / dislikes.

President Hinckley's "fourfold" gives us the broad categories we can use "in identifying what is required by eternal principles", and instructs us on what things we must cut first.

Right Down the Middle

The Lord has given counsel to help us to keep from falling off either the left or the right side of the path, and keep going right down the middle.

Mary & Martha (Stewart)

The "Latter-Day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Woman, Part A" states:
We need to organize not only our homes but also our time. Some women spend too much time keeping their homes clean and organized. They need to learn how to spend less time on housework in order to spend more time being with their families, developing talents, and serving others. Housework is important, but it should not take away from more important things. Having a clean home should not be our main goal; it should be part of our goal to be happy and have happy families. We need time to develop our talents and learn to live the principles of the gospel. We should have time to serve in church positions, help our neighbors and those in need, and be good missionaries. When we keep our homes clean without spending too much time on housework, we are free to spend more time in family activities and to do other important things.
Bro. Daniel K. Judd:
[M]ost of us who have some challenges with perfectionism are not committed to selflessly serving others, but in serving ourselves by showing the world how competent we are. We are constantly on the run, doing a lot of things for a lot of people and often becoming physically ill in the process. Like Martha of New Testament times, perfectionists are ‘careful and troubled about many things.’ (Luke 10:41.) Martha's being ‘cumbered about much serving’ (Luke 10:40) was a personal form of idolatry familiar to many of us.
We cannot save ourselves no matter how many casseroles we bake or home teaching visits we make. That is what Paul was teaching when he wrote, ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ (Eph. 2:8-9.) Any theology that stresses the importance of ‘good works’ has humanism as a likely counterfeit.” [32]

Help! Help! I'm Being Oppressed!

Sis. Kathleed Bahr:
When I went to Michigan State University to do graduate work, I learned that not everyone considered this pattern of family life ideal. At the university, almost everything I read, and much of what I heard, belittled family work. In class lectures, in professional journals, and in the talk of liberated graduate students, I was told that family work, including nursing babies, cooking, cleaning -- all the ordinary, everyday work of caring for a family-was a waste of an intelligent woman's time. A woman might choose to be a mother and care for her family as a sideline, but the message was clear: the work that really mattered was paid work done away from home. Historians reminded us students that men had long been liberated from farm and family work; now women were also to be liberated. One professor taught that assigning the tasks of nurturing children primarily to women was the root of women's oppression. Articles in the professional journals argued that women who nurtured their own children and received no pay were really no different from servants or slaves. They were slaves to their husbands and to their children. I was told that women must be liberated from these onerous family tasks so that they might be free to work for money.
This negative assessment of the everyday work of nurturing life in families -- of devoted mothering and fathering -- still prevails in much of American academia. Yet it does not square with my own experience, nor is it supported by the research I have done since that time. Also, in my judgment, this negative view, while politically correct in today's society -- who has not heard the woman's complaint that she will go crazy or become stupid if she has to stay at home with her children -- does not fit with the findings of many other scholars and practitioners who have honestly researched the impact of family work on family life.[84]

Frozen Assets

Elder Russell M. Nelson:
A wise woman renews herself. In proper season, she develops her talents and continues her education. She musters the discipline to reach her goals. She dispels darkness and opens windows of truth to light her way. [73]
Sis. Leslie P. Rees:
Because time together is short, we’ve learned to use it wisely. ... My cupboard houses a set of oil paints which do not see the use they once did; but as our nest begins to empty, they will be called into service again ... Someone once suggested that I should be discontented because I’m having to postpone some of my goals for Jerry’s. I responded that I’m not postponing any of the most important ones—those mutual and eternal goals that Jerry and I have set together. And although I must postpone some of my secondary goals for now, I don’t think that’s always negative. I’ve come to realize that we are to live life ‘line upon line, precept upon precept’ (D&C 98:12), and that we can’t do or be everything all at once. ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven’ (Eccl. 3:1). When our children are older I will return to the university and to the other projects. But for now, I’m very comfortable with what personal prayer and revelation have indicated is right for me at the present—being a worthy helpmate to my husband and a good mother to my children. [33]
Elder Neal A. Maxwell:
We may ... have a specific set of skills which we mistakenly come to think we somehow own. If we continue to cling to those more than to God, we are flinching in the face of the consecrating first commandment. Since God lends us “breath … from one moment to another,” hyperventilating over these distractions is not recommended! [35]
Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
A woman’s righteous and appropriate desires to grow, to develop, and to magnify her talents … have their extreme manifestations, which can lead to attempts to preempt priesthood leadership, to the advocacy of ideas out of harmony with Church doctrine, or even to the abandonment of family responsibilities. [36]
Bro. Larry Hiller:
When the Lord gives us a call … the call is to the whole person including the hidden talents that only become apparent when we are doing all we can.
... With the aid of the Holy Spirit you can discover and develop the hidden talents the Lord would have you use. He can help you see beyond routine duties to gain a greater understanding of your role in building the kingdom. He can comfort you when you are discouraged, inspire you when you are weary, and fill your heart with joy when your actions are pleasing to the Lord.
Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that our work in the Church will continuously bring us satisfaction and happiness. I think the principle of opposition applies here as elsewhere in life. We grow by struggling with and overcoming feelings of discouragement, inadequacy, and weariness. But most of us could find much more deep satisfaction and enjoyment in our callings than we do, simply by applying the right principles, by committing ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord’s work—whatever our calling. If ‘men are that they might have joy’ (2 Ne. 2:25) then certainly they should be able to find it in the service of the Lord. [34]

The Drudge Report

Elder James E. Faust:
Every day brings satisfaction along with some work which may be frustrating, routine, drudgery, and unchallenging. But it is the same in the law office, the dispensary, the library, or the store. There is, however, no more important job than homemaking. As C. S. Lewis said, it ‘is the one for which all others exist.’
But, my dear granddaughters, you cannot do everything well at the same time. You cannot be a 100 percent wife, a 100 percent mother, a 100 percent church worker, a 100 percent career person, and a 100 percent public-service person at the same time. How can all of these roles be coordinated? Says Sarah Davidson: ‘The only answer I come up with is that you can have it sequentially. At one stage you may emphasize career, and at another marriage and nurturing young children, and at any point you will be aware of what is missing. If you are lucky, you will be able to fit everything in’. (Ibid.)
Doing things sequentially—filling roles one at a time at different times—is not always possible, as we know, but it gives a woman the opportunity to do each thing well in its time and to fill a variety of roles in her life. A woman does not necessarily have to track a career like a man does. She may fit more than one career into the various seasons of life. She need not try to sing all of the verses of her song at the same time.
The Book of Ecclesiastes says: ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.’ (Eccl. 3:1.).
The various roles of women have not decreased a woman’s responsibility. While these roles are challenging, the central roles of wife and mother remain in the soul and cry out to be satisfied. It is in the soul to want to love and be loved by a good man and to be able to respond to the God-given, deepest feelings of womanhood—those of being a mother and nurturer. 
... Granddaughters, do not be deceived in your quest to find happiness and an identity of your own. Entreating voices may tell you that what you have experienced in your own homes—that which you have seen your mothers and grandmothers do—is old-fashioned, unchallenging, boring, and drudgery. It may be old-fashioned and perhaps routine; at times it is drudgery. But your mothers and grandmothers have sung a song that expresses the highest love and the noblest of womanly feelings. They have been nurturers and teachers. [37]
Elder David E. Sorenson:
Some of you may know that Sister Sorensen and I spent a few years in Asia. While living there we heard an old adage: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” For the most part I believe that is wishful thinking. I do not want to sound dismal. But the reality is that work is not always naturally appealing. I think a more appropriate maxim might be President Thomas S. Monson’s counsel. He said, “Choose your love; love your choice” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1988, 82; or Ensign, Nov. 1988, 71). He was actually speaking about marriage, but I would submit that this advice applies to your chosen vocation as well. Choose the job you love, then love your choice. 
What I’m getting at here is many people get stuck in the rut of thinking their work ought to be more rewarding or more glamorous or at least less monotonous! When the going gets tough—as it inevitably will—they start thinking that perhaps their chosen work isn’t really all they thought it would be. They begin believing the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. You’ll find these folks saying, “If I only had decided to study medicine instead of the law, I could have been a great doctor.” Or perhaps, "I wish I had his high-power job. If I were the boss like him, I’d work at it really hard and treat people well and be successful.” 
People who can’t get out of this rut often have difficulty achieving excellence in any profession. They fall in love with a career but then become disenchanted with the small and simple things and end up quitting to pursue their fantasy over the next horizon. They drift from job to job, never settling long enough to truly achieve excellence. (If my remarks are bothering some of you, I invite you to repent.) 
Once you have chosen your work, love it! No job is perfect. Every job has its challenges and its days of drudgery. Just like marriage, success and excellence at your work will likely require years and years of dedicated and persistent effort. 
Let me give you an example. Michelangelo, the virtuoso painter and sculptor, shared this profound insight about his work. He said, “If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.” Some of you may have seen firsthand Michelangelo’s brilliant work. But how many of us have stopped to think of the literally back-breaking, tedious job of chiseling the statue of David out of a single slab of solid marble! And to create a 14-foot statue of David! And certainly David was not Michelangelo’s first sculpture. Undoubtedly he struggled and labored with hundreds and thousands of sculptures before achieving that masterpiece. Wouldn’t it be tragic if Michelangelo had decided after his first few grueling years of sculpting marble that it was just too hard, too tedious, and too boring—that he’d much rather be a writer? The irony is, had he made that change, he would have likely discovered that writing can be tedious and boring too! [50]
(I think Elder Sorenson's words apply equally to what President Kimball referred to as the "greatest career on earth—that of homemaker, wife, and mother." [18])

Weltschmerz (Weight of the World)

Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
We are commanded to give to the poor. Could the fulfillment of that fundamental Christian obligation be carried to excess? I believe it can. I have seen cases in which persons fulfilled that duty to such an extent that they impoverished their own families by expending resources of property or time that were needed for family members.
... Some persons have a finely developed social conscience. They respond to social injustice and suffering with great concern, commitment, and generosity. This is surely a spiritual strength, something many of us need in greater measure. Yet persons who have this great quality need to be cautious that it not impel them to overstep other ultimate values. My social conscience should not cause me to coerce others to use their time or means to fulfill my objectives. We are not blessed for magnifying our calling with someone else’s time or resources. [36]
Elder Richard G. Scott:
By divine design a woman is fundamentally different from a man in many ways. She is compassionate and seeks the interests of others around her. However, that compassionate nature can become overwhelming for women who identify far more to accomplish than they can possibly do, even with the help of the Lord. Some become discouraged because they do not feel they are doing all they should do. I believe this is a feeling that many worthy, effective, devoted women of the Church experience. [80]
Elder Neal A. Maxwell:
We unwisely often write checks against our time accounts as we never would dare do, comparably, against our bank accounts. Sometimes we make so many commitments, they become like the vines in the allegory of Jacob, threatening to “overcome the roots,” including the roots of family relationships, friendships, and relationships with God. [38]
Some mothers in today's world feel ‘cumbered’ by home duties and are thus attracted by other more ‘romantic’ challenges. Such women could make the same error of perspective and priorities that Martha made. The woman, for instance, who deserts the cradle in order to help defend civilization against the barbarians may well later meet, among the barbarians, her own neglected child. The modern Marthas may include those who are careful and troubled by many things, some deservedly. But they needlessly leave kitchen and cradle not for instruction by the selfless Savior of mankind, but for self-serving enterprises that will be distance-producing as far as their primary relationships are concerned. [39]
Our failures in the home clearly call for compensatory institutions, but the home lies at the headwaters of the stream of civilization and we must keep it happy and pure. When the home fails, polluted, we as Church members must support wise efforts at downstream “treatment” to filter out the pollution and sorrow without becoming so fascinated with the filters and with rehabilitation that we ignore prevention and desert our post at the headwaters. Time spent in the hangar doing needed preparation and maintenance is never as glamorous as putting foam on the runway, and building a happy home may not seem to have the immediacy of impact as does counseling in a juvenile detention center. Both are necessary, but one is clearly where the emphasis should fall in the economy of heaven. [40]
President Spencer W. Kimball
I'm grateful that my priesthood power is limited and used as the Lord sees fit to use it. I don't want to heal all the sick--for sickness sometimes is a great blessing. People become angels through sickness. Have you ever seen someone who has been helpless for so long that he has divested himself of every envy and jealousy and ugliness in his whole life, and who has perfected his life? I have. Have you seen mothers who have struggled with, perhaps, unfortunate children for years and years, and have become saints through it? Have you seen people who have calamity like the woman in my childhood who came home after a party and found seven children in ashes, her children, whom she had locked in her home. I am glad that we don't have to make those decisions. No pain suffered by man or woman upon the earth will be without its compensating effects if it be suffered in resignation and if it be met with patience.[41]
Elder Oaks' words bring up an interesting point you don't hear much in Church circles.  If we are serving in our callings, (or even serving according to our social conscience outside our callings), before we have met the bulk of our family obligations first, aren't we really giving time or resources that still belong to our family?  I believe this is what they call "Robbing Peter to pay Paul", or "embezzling".

I think in the Church with such a service oriented culture, it can be very easy to see so many service opportunities, and so many in need that one could find themselves adrift in a sea of needs and suffering.  There is so much more media coverage of the troubles in the world, and so much more awareness of those in great need.  If everything is coming at you at once, it can be very easy to lose sight of what is most important, and those things the Lord has charged us to protect and nurture above all else.

Dr. Spock from Star Trek wasn't entirely accurate when he said "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". He missed the part that David O. McKay appended to the end: "but the needs of one's family outweigh the needs of the many." I think it would be very easy for those who have big hearts and a great compassion for loving to lose sight of the fact that the stewardship given to us for those who belong to our own families must take precedence over those who are not, even if the need is great.

Steven R. Covey (& Anthony de Mello & The Talmud) says that "We see the world, not as it is, but as we are." [67]  I think sometimes it can be easy to see much need and become overwhelmed by the "weight of the world".  This being overwhelmed can come from a lack of seeing the hand of the Lord in our lives, and by extension, see that in all the world's suffering.

Do we really believe that He is "plugged in" to what is going on with our lives?  Do we believe that He really knows how much we ache and sorrow ourselves?  If we lack the knowledge and a testimony of just how aware He is of us and all the things He is doing in our lives, how easy it would be to extend that to the whole world and be overwhelmed by what in essence is a lack of faith projected across the globe.

Do we miss the point that suffering gives us an opportunity to come closer to the Lord? 

Do we still hear of Nephi in Helaman 10 who asked for famine to ball upon the Nephites, and wonder why he would be so cruel?  Do we think that Pres. Kimball is heartless for being grateful that the Lord doesn't grant immediate healing to all those he administers to? 

Do we lose sight of the bigger picture, that we all must be refined and sanctified, even if it is through suffering the evil acts of others who oppress and reign with blood and horror?
Elder LeGrand Richards once said of this excessive worry: “It’s the Lord’s Church [so I] let Him worry about it[68], and I believe this can be extended to the whole earth and universe.  We do the best we can in our families, and help out with other families and individuals the best we can without letting down the defenses of our home, and realize it is really the Lord who is running the whole show - "let Him worry about it".

Running On Empty

Sis. Patricia T. Holland (Wife of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)
I believe that as women we are becoming so concerned about having perfect figures, or straight A's, or professional status, or even absolute motherly success, that we are being torn from our true selves. We often worry so much about pleasing and performing for others that we lose our own uniqueness, that full and relaxed acceptance of ourselves as a person of worth and individuality. Too many women watch helplessly as their lives unravel from the core that centers and sustains them. Too many are like a ship at sea without sail or rudder, tossed to and fro (as the Apostle Paul said) until more and more of us are genuinely, rail-grabbingly seasick.
Where is the sureness that allows us to sail our ship--whatever winds may blow--with the master seaman's triumphant cry, ‘Steady as she goes’? Where is the inner stillness we so cherish and for which our sex traditionally has been known? In the shadow of the twenty-first century can we find what Charles Morgan once described as ‘the stilling of the soul within the activities of the mind and body [as] still as [the center] of a revolving wheel is still’? (cited by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea [New York: Pantheon, 1955], pp. 50­51).
I believe we can find it--the steady footing and the stilling of the soul--by turning away from the fragmentation of physical preoccupations (whether it be thin or fat) of superwoman careers or endless popularity contests and returning instead to the wholeness of our soul.
One woman not of our faith but whose writings I love is Anne Morrow Lindbergh. In commenting on the female despair and general torment of our times she writes: ‘The Feminists did not look... far [enough] ahead; they laid down no rules of conduct. For them it was enough to demand the privileges... . And [so] woman today is still searching. We are aware of our hunger and needs, but still ignorant of what will satisfy them. With our garnered free time, we are more apt to drain our creative springs than to refill them. With our pitchers [in hand], we attempt... to water a field, [instead of] a garden. We throw ourselves indiscriminately into committees and causes. Not knowing how to feed the spirit, we try to muffle its demands in distractions. Instead of stilling the center, the axis of the wheel, we add more centrifugal activities to our lives--which tend to throw us [yet more] off balance.’
‘Mechanically we have gained, in the last generation, but spiritually we have... lost.’ [Gift from the Sea, p. 52]. [42]
Elder Neal A. Maxwell:
Occasionally I see individuals who are meeting life's challenges reasonably well but who unfortunately fail to appreciate the general adequacy of their response. They let the seeming ordinariness of life dampen their spirits. Though actually coping and growing, some lack the quiet inner-soul satisfaction which can steady them. Instead they seem to experience a lingering sense that there is something more important they should be doing or that their chores are somehow not quite what was expected, as if what is quietly achieved in righteous individual living or in parenthood is not sufficiently spectacular.

This is a pithy but sweeping declaration of divine intent. The second estate has been carefully structured so as to carry out that intent. To misunderstand this straightforward and tutorial purpose of life as a proving process is to make a fundamental error which ensure that thousands of additional errors will naturally follow. If our focus on the fundamental purpose of life is blurred, we will not see ‘things as they really are’ (Jacob 4:13).
Feeling unrequited as to role and feeling underwhelmed do not occur, however, because of a structural failure in this divinely designed second estate. Rather they occur because of a lack of love, for love helps us to see and to respond to those opportunities which have been allotted to us and which lie unused all about us. Before we complain about the curriculum in mortality, or more particularly our current class schedules, we would do well to remember who designed the curriculum and to allow for however many other places it has been successfully used. 
True, there are more things to be done than we do, more opportunities for service than are used. True we make mistakes. Even some of our achievements are flawed by a lack of finesse. True there are seeming flat periods in life when we may feel underwhelmed. In such situations, however, we had best get back to the basics of why we are here. In the terse communiqué from the Gods about our being placed on this planet, the basic objective of life on this planet was stated:
'And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.' [Abraham 3:25] [43]

Salt doesn't lose it's savor because there is something wrong with the salt, it loses it when impurities are added.  I think it is the same thing is our lives - they don't lose savor because there is a "a structural failure in this divinely designed second estate", but rather that we haven't taken the time to cultivate the "taste buds of our souls" (or burned them out by sin) [66] to gain a greater appreciation for what we have been given. 

Our misery is only of our own making [71], and our despair comes from our own iniquity and ignorance [72] - neither comes from what has (or hasn't) happened in our lives, or who/what did it (or didn't).  How often do we try again and again to mask these self-inflicted burdens with a myriad of distractions or compensations.  Funny thing about distractions and compensations - they never work.  They will never reach a natural homeostasis or balance and will always have a sense of being unfulfilled. 

Our physical bodies contain systems and processes that moderate, or limit, other systems, and work together in concert to reach a state of homeostasis and balance.  They wax and wane.  They turn on and off.  They increase in intensity or action until they have served a purpose and then enter a period of rest.  They obey the admonition that there must be "moderation in all things".  However, when there is a problem with one of these systems or actions, the body enters a state of compensation where one system will attempt to go above and beyond to try to make up the difference of the failing system.  When the body craves to resolve a deficiency in a particular needed substance or action, it cannot be satiated with a substitution - it will never work.  The body's compensation mechanisms are so strong that the systems that go into high gear can either exhaust themselves causing secondary deficiencies, or they can over-compensate and flood the body with excessive substances or actions that have their own harmful effects. 

The same with the soul.  There is only one thing that can answer that soul-deep hole felt when we descended to this world.  We can't fulfill a spiritual need with physical things - it will never work and the cravings will continue until spiritual balance is restored no matter how many other things you throw at it.  We cannot feed the need we have for the presence of our Heavenly Father with any number or type of other people or activities.  If one is not careful, one may end up wasting every other available resource trying to fill a need that cannot be responded to with the wrong thing.  And yet, we have been promised that we can always have His spirit to be with us.  We have been promised that if we are obedient we can find the "inner-soul satisfaction" that comes only from obedience to his laws and commandments.  We have been promised to the old and young, the bond and free, male and female, that He will always available to us if we will seek after Him.

Yet, so often we are not willing to follow Him or wait on him.  Unwilling to lean not to our own understanding or wait for the Lord's timetable, and instead attempt to immediately fill the need with the easiest and most immediate way we can think of or find at the time.  And sadly, we have another force that is willing to provide us with endless distractions and diversions, (as long as it suits the Adversary's goals), and many times will even subsidize them so we think we are not really having to "pay" for these things, but we waste that which is most precious to us in the end - our time, our agency, and our opportunity to follow Him.  But, it never works for long.  It lasts just long enough to get burned, have a taste of that which is strong but will not last, and get hooked on it and tricked into thinking it is what happiness really is.  And so we continue to compensate by adding a little "BAM!!!" Emeril Lagasse style, and yet never learning to savor the manna that is available to all of us.

This Isn't Exactly What I Had In Mind...

President Spencer W. Kimball:
Two people coming from different backgrounds soon learn after the ceremony is performed that stark reality must be faced. There is no longer a life of fantasy or of make-believe; we must come out of the clouds and put our feet firmly on the earth. Responsibility must be assumed and new duties must be accepted. Some personal freedoms must be relinquished and many adjustments, unselfish adjustments, must be made.
Often there is an unwillingness to settle down and to assume the heavy responsibilities that immediately are there. Economy is reluctant to replace lavish living, and the young people seem often too eager "to keep up with the Joneses." There is often an unwillingness to make the financial adjustments necessary. Young wives are often demanding that all the luxuries formerly enjoyed in the prosperous homes of their successful fathers be continued in their own homes.
Before marriage, each individual is quite free to go and come as he pleases, to organize and plan his life as it seems best, to make all decisions with self as the central point. Sweethearts should realize before they take the vows that each must accept literally and fully that the good of the little new family must always be superior to the good of either spouse. Each party must eliminate the "I" and the "my" and substitute therefore "we" and "our." Every decision must take into consideration that there are two or more affected by it. As she approaches major decisions now, the wife will be concerned as to the effect they will have upon the parents, the children, the home, and their spiritual lives. His choice of occupation, his social life, his friends, his every interest must now be considered in the light that he is only a part of a family, that the totalness of the group must be considered. [57]
President Gordon B. Hinckley:
Marriage requires a high degree of tolerance, and some of us need to cultivate that attribute. I have enjoyed these words of Jenkins Lloyd Jones, which I clipped from the newspaper some years ago. Said he:
“There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young [men and women] who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and [beautiful] wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear the divorce courts are jammed. … 
“Anyone who imagines that bliss [in marriage] is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. 
“[The fact is] most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. … 
“Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. 
“The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride”. [64]
Elder Kent D. Watson:
Being temperate means to carefully examine our expectations and desires, to be diligent and patient in seeking righteous goals. [65]
"Cleaving" often times means "leaving" excessive lifestyle, luxury, leisure, and expectations of such behind if there isn't enough room for them and the family.

"Higher" Ground (??)

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
Like two sides of a coin, the temporal and spiritual are inseparable.
The Giver of all life has proclaimed, “All things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal.” This means to me that “spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived.”
Unfortunately, there are those who overlook the temporal because they consider it less important. They treasure the spiritual while minimizing the temporal. While it is important to have our thoughts inclined toward heaven, we miss the essence of our religion if our hands are not also inclined toward our fellowman.
For example, Enoch built a Zion society through the spiritual process of creating a people of one heart and one mind and the temporal work of ensuring that there were “no poor among them.”
As always, we can look to our perfect example, Jesus Christ, for a pattern. As President J. Reuben Clark Jr. taught, “When the Savior came upon the earth he had two great missions; one was to work out the Messiahship, the atonement for the fall, and the fulfilment of the law; the other was the work which he did among his brethren and sisters in the flesh by way of relieving their sufferings.”
In a similar way, our spiritual progress is inseparably bound together with the temporal service we give to others.
The one complements the other. The one without the other is a counterfeit of God’s plan of happiness. [61]
Brother Jeffery A. Thompson:
Allow me to share a simple experience from my mission. As I was nearing my release date, I anticipated a sense of loss when I could no longer give all my time to serving God. At a zone conference, my mission president opened the floor for Q&A on any topic. I raised my hand and asked, “After our missions are over and we are no longer full-time servants of God, how can we keep a sense of purpose?” Before the mission president could answer, his wife leapt to her feet and, literally elbowing him aside, said, “I’ll take this one.”
I will never forget her response. As near as I can recall, she said, “When I do the laundry, I am building the kingdom of God. When I scrub the floors, I am serving the Lord. When I tidy the clutter, I’m an instrument in His hands. I do a lot of mundane jobs, but if my eye is single to God and I’m trying to serve my family, then I feel as much purpose in my work as a missionary can.” Those words remind me of what King Benjamin said about laboring in the fields to support himself—a decidedly unkingly occupation. He said, “I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God” (Mosiah 2:16).[85]
Sister Petrea Kelly:
As mothers, our work is not washing diapers and mending holes in jeans—that is what we spend much of our time doing, but it is not our work. Our work is rearing children; but it is much more than that, for we rear our children to fulfill their potential. We might have dreams of their success on earth, but we are being shortsighted. For them to be successful, they must inherit the celestial kingdom. The little people with whom we share our homes are more than gifts from God. They are gods in embryo themselves. Our work is to help them realize that awe-inspiring fact and then to live so that they will not fall short of their divine potential.
Clothes may have to be mended and dishes washed, gardens tended, floors swept, and beds made, but all these things are gifts of God to us. They are tools that we may use to develop our own divinity and help our children develop theirs. We don’t become righteous in spite of dishes, diapers, and dirty floors, but through them. We sweep floors, weed gardens, tend babies, and learn and grow—our spirits along with our bodies. No one grows in a vacuum. One does not just sit in a white room and think great thoughts and thus become divine. The earth and everything on it are designed to function as a great schoolroom; the things we need to develop our celestiality are here. Divinity is developed in us as we use the tools of the earth to create our own celestial environments—houses of God. Thus clean floors, made beds, and neat cupboards are part of this celestial environment ... [87]
It appears we can't just focus on the things of a "Higher" spiritual nature and let the temporal duties of building the kingdom fall by the wayside, especially within the walls of our own homes.  Such a myopic preoccupation would be a "counterfeit of God's plan of happiness."

"Workin 9 to 5. What a Way To Make a Livin ..."

Sis. Julie B. Beck:
Each of you has the agency to prayerfully and humbly choose how to approach your career opportunities. Every choice has a consequence. You cannot have everything and do everything. You must choose with eternal priorities in mind. I would hope that you will understand that there are no glamorous careers. Every form of employment has its own innate challenges. Many choices available in the world today compete with eternal goals and responsibilities. Many choices could persuade you to delay or limit the number of children you invite into your family. Many choices could rob you of critical time and energy necessary to adequately care for your spouse, your children, and your responsibilities in the Lord’s kingdom. [44]
Pres. Ezra Taft Benson:
The first priority for a woman is to prepare herself for her divine and eternal mission, whether she is married soon or late. It is folly to neglect that preparation for education in unrelated fields just to prepare temporarily to earn money. Women, when you are married it is the husband's role to provide, not yours. Do not sacrifice your preparation for an eternally ordained mission for the temporary expediency of money-making skills that you may or may not use. I do not think it needs to be an "either/or" choice; but if it does, then choose the divine mission preparation. Some women are well prepared for their mission and want to acquire additional skills in other areas; and that is fine, if they so desire. It is simply a case of putting first things first. To paraphrase the Lord, when He was speaking of those who obeyed the lesser law and neglected the weightier matters: these ye might do, but do not leave the other undone (see Matthew 23:23). Some women acquire money-making skills in areas closely related to their divine missions, and the advantages of that approach are plain. [19]
Elder James E. Faust:
Every day brings satisfaction along with some work which may be frustrating, routine, drudgery, and unchallenging. But it is the same in the law office, the dispensary, the library, or the store. There is, however, no more important job than homemaking. As C. S. Lewis said, it ‘is the one for which all others exist.’
But, my dear granddaughters, you cannot do everything well at the same time. You cannot be a 100 percent wife, a 100 percent mother, a 100 percent church worker, a 100 percent career person, and a 100 percent public-service person at the same time. How can all of these roles be coordinated? Says Sarah Davidson: ‘The only answer I come up with is that you can have it sequentially. At one stage you may emphasize career, and at another marriage and nurturing young children, and at any point you will be aware of what is missing. If you are lucky, you will be able to fit everything in’. (Ibid.)
Doing things sequentially—filling roles one at a time at different times—is not always possible, as we know, but it gives a woman the opportunity to do each thing well in its time and to fill a variety of roles in her life. A woman does not necessarily have to track a career like a man does. She may fit more than one career into the various seasons of life. She need not try to sing all of the verses of her song at the same time. [37]
Elder Russell M. Nelson:
Recently I watched a television program in which a female lawyer was being interviewed. She was at home with her child on a full-time basis. When asked of her decision, she replied, “Oh, I may go back to the law sometime, but not now. For me, the issue is simple. Any lawyer could take care of my clients, but only I should be the mother of this child.”
Such a decision is made not in terms of rights but in terms of obligations and responsibilities. She knows that as she rises to meet responsibilities, rights will take care of themselves. [73]
Elder Neal A. Maxwell:
Isn't it interesting that at a time when we ought to know better about the limitations of what legislation can do to change human behavior, that some women prefer legal power to righteous influence? Some may choose to ignore or to rechannel the maternal instinct, but they cannot rise above it. [48]

No Substitutions, Exchanges or Refunds.

Elder M. Russell Ballard
Father and mother are callings from which we will never be released. [24]
"Gospel Principles" Manual (Chapter 37: “Family Responsibilities”)
It is also the father’s duty to provide for the physical needs of his family, making sure they have the necessary food, housing, clothing, and education. Even if he is unable to provide all the support himself, he does not give up the responsibility of the care of his family.
Sis. Julie B. Beck
We know that women are the guardians of the hearth and the home. And they have the responsibility for the hearts and souls of men and women and the children of our Heavenly Father. ... This is all about nurturing, teaching, and influencing. These are non-negotiable responsibilities. We can’t delegate them. We can accept them and live them, but these are things we understood before we were born, and we can’t negotiate with the Lord about whether or not these are our responsibilities. They have been part of the plan from the beginning; they are not going to change because of any clamor to the contrary. These are our responsibilities. [86]
Latter-day Saint women should understand that no matter how many other people they enlist to help them with their home and children, they cannot delegate their role as the primary nurturer and teacher of their families. Righteous motherhood will always stretch every reserve they have to meet the needs of their families. As a daughter of God who has made covenants with Him, each of you carries the vital and indispensable female half of the responsibility for fulfilling the Lord’s plan. [44]
Elder Neal A. Maxwell
In the exchange between Jesus and a righteous young man, we see how one missing quality cannot be fully compensated for, even by other qualities, however praiseworthy. … [Matthew 19:20­-22] [45]
President David O. McKay
 No other success can compensate for failure in the home. [22]
When we remember that the callings of mother and father are callings that we can never be released from, (along with their respective "attendant functions"), and if we gender flip-flop the instruction from the Gospel Principles manual and combine it with Sis Beck's counsel, then we must conclude that the wife is primarily responsible for seeing that the homemaking and housekeeping duties are attended to, even is she herself is not physically able to do it, and no matter who she may outsource it to she is still ultimately responsible for making sure it is done along with the other components of nurturing the family. Elder Maxwell and President McKay also remind us that nothing can make up for it if these callings and duties are not magnified.

And what about those who are not physically able to maintain the housekeeping duties themselves?  There is a clause in the Family Proclamation that is often stated, and a little misunderstood.
Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed. [16]
By itself, the word "adaptation" might be taken to mean a "carte blanche" exception from the duties of parenthood if taken on its own.  However, it is balanced out by a few other statements in the Family Proclamation and an example from the Bible.
Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. [16]
Notice how failing to fulfill family responsibilities is right next to violating the law of chastity and abuse in the list of things we will be accountable to the Lord for at the final judgement.  It doesn't sound like those are things that the Lord takes lightly.
So does that mean those who are not physically able to are doomed to be accountable for something they are not able to do?  This is where the story of Moses and Aaron comes in.
Elder Richard C. Edgley gives us a little story from the Bible to refresh our memories:
[T]he Lord appeared to Moses "in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush" (Ex. 3:2; see also footnote a) ... The Lord then issued a call to Moses with these words: "I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt" (Ex. 3:10).
Moses responded, "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh?" (Ex. 3:11).
... Moses made another attempt to express his feelings of inadequacy. He explained that he was "slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." In response, the Lord said, "Who hath made man’s mouth?" He explained that He would "be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." When Moses still expressed his uncertainty, the Lord assigned Aaron, Moses’s brother, to be Moses’s mouthpiece (see Ex. 4:10–16).
The Lord called Aaron and allowed Moses to delegate some of his duties to Aaron.  Moses was still the Prophet, and still was accountable to deliver a message to Pharaoh, but he was able to extend that responsibility to Aaron to actually stand before Pharaoh.
Now, if Aaron, for some reason, wasn't able to demand the release of the children of Israel, who do you think was ultimately accountable to the Lord?  Let's look at a few rules related to delegation.
  1. Responsibility can be delegated
  2. Authority can be delegated
  3. If responsibility is delegated, then authority must also be delegated
  4. Accountability can not be delegated
Heaven forbid, if something happened to Aaron, or if he decided that he didn't want to go toe-to-toe with the ruler of Egypt and call in sick, then Moses was still accountable for not obeying the word of the Lord.

Also look at the story of the battle in Exodus 17 where as long as Moses' hands were held up the Israelites prevailed.  After the battle waged on for a while Moses was no longer able to hold his hands up by his own strength and was assisted by Aaron and Hur.  Could Moses just drop his arms and let his helpers do all the work, or was he required to continue to exercise faith by giving 100% of what he could and let his helpers make up the difference between what he was fully capable of and what was needed?  Did Moses hold back because he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to shoot hoops or play golf afterwards, or was afraid that if he had to stand there for one more minute he swore his arms were going to fall off?  If Aaron and Hur decide that they'd had enough, could Moses just tell the Lord that Israel was defeated because Aaron and Hur left, or was Moses still accountable to find others to help him lift up his arms if he couldn't do it himself?
So how does this apply to parents?  Look back at the words from the Gospel Principles manual and Sister Beck.  I think what they are saying is pretty clear - we may be able to delegate some of the execution of the duties of provider and nurturer to assist us if we are unable to handle them ourselves, but it doesn't mean that we are free and clear of the accountability.  If anything happens to the person(s) who is supposed to help with some of the duties delegated, or if no one has been found yet, then the responsibility and accountability still rest squarely on the shoulders of the parent(s).  There are some of the duties and roles that we cannot delegate at all and remain with us at all times.  Period.  No Substitutions, exchanges, or refunds.

Mr. Mom and Mrs. Dad?

Also, please don't think that I am suggesting that the housework belongs only to the wife - the Family Proc. states that we are "obligated to help one another as equal partners".  Given, that doesn't mean that in every season of our lives we have equal shares of dishes, mowing the lawn, changing diapers, running errands, taking out the trash, driving kids to soccer, or providing income. 

Elder Bruce C. Hafen and his wife, Marie, said in the Auguest 2007 Ensign of becoming "equal partners":
President Kimball saw marriage "as a full partnership," stating, "We do not want our LDS women to be silent partners or limited partners" but rather "a contributing and full partner."

Spouses need not perform the same functions to be equal.[76]
Elder Nelson also goes into detail about how there can be "equality" through "diversity":
Both men and women are to serve their families and others, but the specific ways in which they do so are sometimes different. For example, God has revealed through his prophets that men are to receive the priesthood, become fathers, and with gentleness and pure, unfeigned love they are to lead and nurture their families in righteousness as the Savior leads the Church (see Eph. 5:23). They have been given the primary responsibility for the temporal and physical needs of the family (see D&C 83:2). Women have the power to bring children into the world and have been given the primary duty and opportunity as mothers to lead, nurture, and teach them in a loving, spiritual environment. In this divine partnership, husbands and wives support one another in their God-given capacities. By appointing different accountabilities to men and women, Heavenly Father provides the greatest opportunity for growth, service, and progress. He did not give different tasks to men and women simply to perpetuate the idea of a family; rather, He did so to ensure that the family can continue forever, the ultimate goal of our Heavenly Father’s eternal plan. [15] 
Elder Russell M. Nelson also helped put things into perspective when he listed ways fathers could assist the mother in the home:

You fathers can help with the dishes, care for a crying baby, and change a diaper. [77]
Notice the word "help" in there.  Are you helping someone if you are doing something that they are not responsible for?  If the Sisters were not accountable for the state of the dishes, wouldn't this be worded differently, or maybe not even mentioned at all in a General Conference talk about assisting our wives and mothers?

And once again, if the mother is physically incapable of attending to the duties themselves, does that mean it falls 100% on the father?  Listen to the pattern of motherhood that President Spencer W. Kimbal states:
We have often said, "This divine serice of motherhood can be rendered only by mothers.  It may not be passed to others.  Nurses cannot do it; public nurseries cannot do it.  Hired help cannot do it; kind relatives cannot do it.  Only by mother, aided as much as may be by a loving father, brothers and sisters, and other relatives, can the full needed measure of watchful care be given." [78]
Again - notice how he didn't list just fathers as those to assist, but listed the fathers, [the parents'] brothers and sisters, and other relatives.  He also used the verbiage "aided as much as may be", meaning aided by as much (but not more) time and effort as can be provided by them after they have attended to their own duties to fill their roles, and in the case of extended family, diligently fulfilled their own duties in their own homes.  The mother is the only one in the world who is primarily responsible for the state of the nurturing environment in her home. Fathers have their own roles to play, brothers and sisters have their own duties in their own homes, and members of the Church and other have their own families that they must attend to first.  The mother cannot pass this on to anyone else, and if unable to meet the needs herself is to use every resource and contiune to ask for assistance as long as it takes to find someone with the capacity to provide the grace needed to make up the difference.

There is a big difference between "primarily responsible" and "solely responsible".  Second only to the Lord, we have a solemn duty to love and serve our spouses, but at the same time making sure not to overburden them with our own personal preferences, hobbies, interests, and lifestyles.

It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is

Just like so many are trying to redefine the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, so too are many trying to redefine the roles of marriage.  It isn't politically correct or socially acceptable these days to say that mothers are primarily responsible for the physicaly nurturing enviornment of their families, and many in the Church even try to "soften" the doctrine to try to avoid pushing young women away from marriage or to keep investigators from turning away.  However, we have no authority to change either the definition of marriage, nor the roles and responsibilities within a marriage.

Ward Temple Night

So, do we really believe that the home is comparable in sacredness to the Temple? How would your Temple experience be different if you entered, presented your recommend, and then as you were walking in your shoe started to stick to the floor. How would it affect your ability to ponder the eternities if you felt a slimy substance on the handle to the dressing room, noticed the crayon drawings on the walls of the Celestial room, saw stacks of unfolded towels heaped all around the baptismal font, or wondered what the odoriferous stain on the carpet in the Sealing Room was from?
Just think about it next time you go in for Ward Temple Night, or the next time little Timmy gets a tad overzealous with the jar of Smucker's strawberry jam on the kitchen floor.  And if the Relief Society President calls you up and ask you to go help a Sister in need when your whole house has looked like a hurricane ripped through it for the last month, it's time to hit her up for a little "compassionate service" pointed in your direction as well.

Works Cited:
[1] - Ensign, May 1976, 125.
[2] - Ensign, Nov. 1974, 4.

[3] - “Our Refined Heavenly Home”, Ensign, June 2009

[4] - “Teaching after the Manner of the Spirit”, Ensign, Nov. 2011
[5] - "Doctrinal Importance of Marriage and Children", Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 2012
[6] - "Establishing a Christ-Centered Home", Ensign, May 2011
[7] - Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity. London: Collins, 1956.
[8] - “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father”, Ensign, Nov. 1995
[9] - "Zion in the Midst of Babylon", Ensign, May 2006
[10] - "Cleansing the Inner Vessel", Ensign, April 1986
[11] - "This is a Test. It is Only a Test", Sheri L. Dew, BYU Women's Conference, 1998
[12] - "In Him All Things Hold Together", Neal A. Maxwell, BYU Devotional, Mar. 1991
[13] - “Rejoicing in the Privilege to Serve,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, June 2003
[14] - "THE BIBLE, A SEALED BOOK”, BYU - A Symposium on the New Testament; Supplement, 1984, 1–7
[15] - "Equality Through Diversity", Ensign, Nov. 1993
[16] - "The Family: A Proclamation to the World"
[17] - “Mothers Who Know”, Ensign, Nov. 2007
[18] - fireside address, San Antonio, Texas
[19] - “In His Steps,” BYU Fireside, Mar. 1979
[20] - “Live Up to Your Inheritance,” Ensign, Nov. 1983
[21] - Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee [2000], 134
[22] - Family Home Evening Manual [1968], iii
[23] - “Woman’s Role in the Community”, In Woman. Salt Lake City, 1979
[24] - "Let Our Voices Be Heard", Ensign, Nov. 2003
[25] - "O Be Wise", Ensign, Nov. 2006
[26] - "LDS Women Are Incredible!", Ensign, May 2011
[27] - BYU Woman’s Conference, BYU, Apr. 2010
[28] - "Things As They Really Are", CES Fireside, BYU-Idaho, May 2009
[29] - “Tithing - A Commandment Even for the Destitute”, Ensign, May 2005
[30] - "A Balanced Life", Ensign, Apr. 2005
[31] - “Be Wise”, BYU–Idaho Devotional, Nov. 2006
[32] - LDS Church News, 1995, 01/07/95
[33] - “Climbing Our Own Mountains: A Husband’s Role in His Wife’s Personal Development”, Ensign, Apr. 1981
[34] - “Your Calling: Joy or Drudgery?”, Ensign, Oct. 1979
[35] - "Consecrate Thy Performance", Ensign, May 2002
[36] - “Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall“, Ensign, Oct. 1994
[37] - “A Message To Our Granddaughters”, Ensign, Sept. 1986
[38] - "Wisdom and Order", Ensign, June 1994
[39] - Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 102
[40] - "Talk of the Month", New Era, May 1971
[41] - Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball [1982], 167–68
[42] - “The Soul’s Center”, BYU Devotional, Jan. 1987
[43] - "Grounded, Rooted, Established, and Settled", BYU Devotional, Sept. 1981
[44] - “Unlocking the Door to the Blessings of Abraham”, BYU CES Fireside, Mar. 2008
[45] - “Meek and Lowly”, BYU Devotional, Oct. 1986

[46] - "To Aquire Spiritual Guidance", Ensign, Nov. 2009
[47] - "Focusing on the Lord’s Work of Salvation", Ensign, Mar. 2009
[48] - "Family Perspectives", BYU Devotional, Jan. 1974
[49] - Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 382, 384
[50] - "The Blessing of Work", CES Fireside, BYU, Mar. 2005
[51] - "Eternalism vs. Secularism", Ensign, Oct. 1974
[52] - "'Judge Not' and Judging", Ensign, Aug. 1999
[53] - Attributed in John Bartlett, comp., Familiar Quotations, 15th ed. (1980), ix.
[54] - "A Reservoir of Living Water", CES Fireside,  BYU, Feb. 2007
[55] - "Lessons from the Old Testament: Called of God", Ensign, Jan. 2006
[56] - "Some Thoughts on the Gospel and the Behavioral Sciences", Ensign, July 1976
[57] - "Marriage And Divorce", BYU Devotional, Sept. 1976
[58] - "A Life Founded in Light and Truth", BYU Devotional, Aug. 2000
[59] - "Eye Hath Not Seen", BYU Devotional, Oct. 1956
[60] - Lewis, C.S. Screwtape Letters, London: Collins, 1920.
[61] - "Providing in the Lord’s Way", Ensign, Nov. 2011
[62] - "The Savior’s Compassion", Ensign, Mar. 2011
[63] - "Spiritual Ecology", Ensign, Feb. 1975
[64] - "A Conversation with Single Adults", Ensign, Nov. 1997
[65] - "Being Temperate In All Things", Ensign, Nov. 2009
[66] - "The Pathway of Discipleship", BYU Devotional, Jan. 1998
[67] - Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Free Press, 2004.
[68] - Tate, Lucile C. LeGrand Richards, Beloved Apostle, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 287
[69] - "That the Lost May Be Found", Ensign, May 1012
[70] - "Makers of Homes", Ensign, Mar. 1979
[71] - "The Love of God: Suffering Tribulation in the Redeemer’s Name", Elder Gene R. Cook, BYU Devotional, Feb. 2005
[72] - "The Refreshing Of Mankind", Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ricks College Devotional, Oct. 1997
[73] - "Woman - Of Infinite Worth", Ensign, Nov. 1989
[74] - "How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life", Ensign, May 2012
[75] - "She Stretcheth Out Her Hand to the Poor", Ensign, Oct. 1977
[76] - "Crossing Thresholds and Becoming Equal Partners", Ensign, Aug. 2007
[77] - “Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women”, Ensign, May 1999
[78] - "The Blessings and Responsibilities of Womanhood", Ensign, March 1976
[79] - "A Safe Place for Marriage and Families," Ensign, Nov. 1981
[80] - "Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well", Ensign, Oct. 2008
[81] - "But for a Small Moment", BYU Devotional, Sept. 1974
[82] - "Ignorance Is Expensive", Ensign, June 1971
[83] - "Return with Honor", Ensign, June 1999
[84] - "Work In The Home: Building Enduring Relationships", Speech prepared for presentation at World Family Policy Forum, BYU, Jan. 1999
[85] - "What Is Your Calling in Life?", BYU Devotional, June 2010
[86] - BYU Women's Conference 2011
[87] - "The Joys of Motherhood", Ensign, March 1992
[88] - Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 167–68

1 comment:

Whitney said...

I've decided to read this in pieces because I'd like to focus on everything here. (: Right now I'm focusing on the distractions you've mentioned. I feel like many saints are in a place where they're not dealing with mortal sins or transgressions, but they are still imperfections that will keep them out of the Celestial Kingdom. It's definitely a focusing process that forces us to regroup and continue improving.