I am going to post my thoughts before I read Andrea's and Kelly's because I do not want to be biased. :-)
My thoughts went many different directions, actually, when reading this article. In order:
1) Is this for real? (especially regarding the "Awesome" statement . . . I'll get to that later)
2) It reminded me of the "Mothers Who Know" talk
3) This is really sifting the wheat from the chaff!
4) Amazing! Wonderful! What can I take from this?
I had to download and read the original, long version of the talk because there were some things I wanted to clarify and some things I wanted more information about. I'm so glad I did this!
The first part about the language and using words like "Awesome" startled me because I tell my kids they are awesome and their actions are awesome all the time. Not overly much like some, but I do use those words. Therefore, it was comforting to read his original wording, "We would be disappointed if God had to us 'awesome' or other exaggerated phrases in every paragraph." He continues, "We will thrill to hear exalted beings express their sublime thoughts in perfectly chosen words." This must be something I need to work on because I cringed just a little. Some people just aren't as eloquent! Some people are not English majors! I agree, we do need to work on our language. For me, I work on the tone of the home. With what tone do I speak to my children and to my husband. With what tone do I encourage my children to speak in one to another. That to me is more important than perfectly thought out words. Thus he says, "Refinement in speech is more than polished elocution. It results from purity of thought and sincerity of expression." If we have purityof thought, we will have purity of language.
"There are those who always speak of themselves . . . There are those who always speak of others . . . There are thsoe who speak of stirring ideas, compelling books, and inspiring doctrine. These are the few who make their mark in the world. The subjects discussed in heaven are not trifling or mundane." I have to say I agree with this mostly. I believe there are some who discuss stirring ideas only and thus become boring or not "in tune" socially with those around them (I know a couple of such individuals). However, maybe those individuals are those who talk about those ideas in the form of really talking about themselves and their knowledge on such topics. That could be true, didn't think about that! I would agree that in heaven we will not discuss trivial matters, which is a stirring thought for what we discuss in our homes & at the dinner table.
On the subject of literature, I loved it all! Loved this quote: "[Education] has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading." I personally feel that the computer has detracted much from the value of literally holding a book and reading words on pages. The internet is a great and vast source of information, but there are many books that go unread becuase of this.
I remember a quote by Elder Haight in which he said a home needs only three things: a piano, good books, and love. I am always inspired by the prophets and apostles for when they speak you know they are well-read in classical literature and poetry. I have a horrible memory. I don't remember much of what I read. I couldn't believe the story of President David O. McKay skim reading at least two books before 6am! Wow! "Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effecxt on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you." We are to learn out of the best books! So, what books do you have by your bedside? :-)
However, I do have to say one thing here . . . I don't like re-reading books. I think I follow the 10-year plan C.S. Lewis mentioned, though, so I guess I'm okay! :-)
Elder Callister's section on music was also a bit iffy for me, so when I read President Brigham Young's quote, "There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven." I was a bit comforted. I think there is a time and place for all genres of music. Still, I wonder, because the music I listen to while cleaning the house doesn't seem like heaven-appropriate music. Will we really listen to Crazy Frog?!?! :-) I think the key here was to be sure not to omit good music from our homes. I want my kids to know classical & boroque, 60's & 80's, good songs from today. I want them to appreciate the hymns and learn to love them. J's father has said for a long time that the love of music is a spiritual trait. I agree.
I also enjoyed the story of the young boy seeking out an eternal mate and was encouraged to watch the young women in cultural arts settings. Again, do our children have the appreciation for the arts?
I couldn't help but think of Dr. Laura when reading about personal appearance and giving attention to our looks! I like the word "attentiveness" that he uses. I don't think I look bad, I try to look my best, but I can't spend money on myself in this area. Cheap makeup is fine, but anything beyond that I feel guilty. I've been thinking a lot about this with aging and how I would like to prevent those inevitable wrinkles from showing up too soon! :-) I loved this quote, "Every man has the right to be married to a woman who makes herslef as beautiful as she can . . . A husband should hurry home because of the angel who awaits him, and that angel should be watching the clock awaiting his arrival." Wow! So tender! How many times have I been watching the clock for J. in frustration that he's not home yet? Am I really the angel he has the right to come home to? Or am I waiting to pass the buck, so to speak? There is much to be said about appearance, and taking the time for ourselves to be beautiful (although, I am not going to start ironing my money!). :-) This can also go along with making the appearance of our homes, places of refinement. It's okay to make your homes beautiful! I always marvel at how much thought goes into beautifying the temple. No detail is forgotten!
My latest quote for vinyl lettering . . . "Don't Lose Your Vision." I want my kids to see this every day. I want them to know they are truly spirit sons and daughters of God! I want them to feel this and by creating a refined home it is more possible for them to do so.
Overall, excellent talk! More of a kick in the pants for me than anything, but a great reminder for who we need to become!