Sunday, November 22, 2009

Testimony of a prophet

How does one receive a testimony of a prophet. Jesus gave us
the key in John 7:17 "If any man do his will, he shall know of
the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of

President Gordon B. Hinckley admonished us to read the
Book of Mormon together as a family.

In our family we followed this advice and got a testimony that
President Hinckley was a prophet when he spoke those words.

Before we followed this advice we had for fifteen years gathered
our family to family prayers and all sorts of family activities.
Having many kids that everyone are intelligent, active and opinated
made those family gatherings sometimes an interesting challenge.

Now when we gather the family we still have as opinated and probably
even more intelligent kids (they got older and thus hopefully more
intelligent :)) but the family gatherings are friendlier, more
spiritual and a lot more fun and inspiring. This change in our family
came about as we started reading the Book of Mormon in our family on
a daily basis. Everyone in the family reads a few verses and then we
move on to the next family member and go around 2-4 rounds in the
family dependent on how many are at home.

So for us following this advice have been a great miracle and a
testimony of a prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley. I am sure that following
this prophetic admonition will bring blessings to any family willing
to abide by it.

You might find some challenges to get started with this in your family.
However as a child of heavenly parents you are entitled to have
personal inspiration about this, so ask your heavenly Father sincerely
and he will give you some simple ideas that will make it work in your
family. In our family my wife asked the Lord about this and got a very
simple message that would make the kids interested in it. After a while
no member in our family would need this extra stimulus. So now we
simply gather the family to family prayer and reading
the Book of Mormon and the spiritual feelings from this and being
together as a family is sufficient.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Optimizing your personal life

A few weeks ago I visited a temple in our church. This gave me
the opportunity to ponder on how to balance the various
responsibilities I have in my life and how to be as effective as
possible in using my time. It's nice to sit for hours and have the
ability to simply ponder, consider and organize your thoughts. So it
took me almost four hours to realise what I thought was the most
important changes I could do in my life to improve it.

Since I work a lot with optimisations of computer programs in my
work, I thought it was fun to name this blog optimizing your
personal life. When practicing this new scheme in my life I've
been able to optimize my life by about 15-20% :)

In those four hours I organised all parts of my life which is of no
general interest. However the most important aspect on how to
improve my efficiency that I concluded was around the simple concept
of getting to bed earlier and getting up earlier. My natural
behaviour is similar to most programmers, that is I prefer late
nights and sleeping in the mornings. In my younger years I have at
numerous occasions tried to change this, however what I usually have
failed in is that I have been overzealous in trying to go to far. It's
also very tempting to cut in both ends, go up early, but still being
awake late.

In Doctrine & Coventants the Lord (88:124) instructs "retire to thy bed
early, that ye may be not weary; arise early, that your bodies and your
minds be invigorated". I have had many occasions to find this
admonishment to be true. However it requires a great deal of discipline
to implement in one's life.

In my pondering I felt what I thought was the right time to go to bed
and arise. For me this new routine has worked very well, I have been
able to get up early in the morning and have a few hours of work
already early in the morning when the mind is fresh and foremost
the stress level haven't started rising yet. I have also been able to
schedule some times for relaxing and for some parts in my life which
previously there wasn't any time for.

I have seen the Lord's hand in assisting me implementing this in my
life. I am sure I will meet many more challenges in this area in my
life, but I think the general concept of not trying to run faster than
your mind and body sustain is very wise and seems to be at least one
area where age has given me some more wisdom.