Friday, January 1, 2010
Resolutions for Spiritual Growth
Everyone wants to grow spiritually in the upcoming year, but resolving exactly how to accomplish that is somewhat elusive. Here are five ideas to help set goals that will result in spiritual growth.
1. Plan out your reading schedule for personal and/or family scripture study.
Is there a book of scripture you have not read for some time? Is there a companion study guide that has looked interesting to you? Have you been meaning to read the general conference talks? Put together a simple plan to follow for your study, but don't be afraid to switch it up every few months. If you get bored you are less likely to stick with your schedule.
2. Revamp your personal prayer space.
Being comfortable during prayers has a big impact on how focused you are during this important exercise. Do your knees hurt during prayers? Does your nose need a tissue while you pray (like mine :-)? Personally, my bed is too tall to kneel next to, so I have taken to kneeling by a couch or padded bench. And I have learned to grab a Kleenex in the morning before I pray. Try putting together a personal prayer space that allows you to truly focus on communicating with Heavenly Father.
3. Plan for meaningful FHE lessons.
In previous years, as well as in my book Family Home Evening Adventures, I have explained how I plan a year of FHE lessons in advance (read more here). In addition to planning topics and sources to use, make your lessons more meaningful by having a lesson planning sheet to use for the person teaching the lesson. Plan to hand out the lesson planning sheet a week ahead of time so the teacher can look up scriptures, hymns, stories, and other aides to enhance their lesson.
4. Schedule regular temple attendance for the year.
Nothing helps to build personal spirituality like going to the temple, but finding time to go can often be a big challenge. Take time now to schedule a regular time to attend the temple. And if you have kids that need tending while you are gone, make arrangements with a sitter now (a monthly trade with another couple works well, or ask a relative to come the first Thursday of every month). Put you plan on the calendar and work hard not to let life get in the way.
5. Stretch yourself through memorization.
Try a goal to commit a scripture, an unfamiliar hymn, or even The Family Proclamation to memory. Memorizing such things forces us to ponder and think about spiritual matters. Additionally, having these in our minds better enables us to keep our minds on virtuous thoughts.
Good luck for a spiritually uplifting year!