Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Simple Life

I've always tried to advocate the simple life. Some might see me as lazy or shy or too laid back, but what my aim has always been is to lead a simple life.

Being the youngest in my family, I got to see my parents in a different light than my brothers and sisters. They live a simple life.

During the cold falls and winters of the Idaho Oregon area, my dad would always concern himself with having enough wood to burn in his fireplace. He loved to start a fire and enjoy the warmth it produced.

I also remember him sitting in the rocking chair by the window either at night or the late afternoon reading his scriptures.

The TV never blared in our home. Nor did the radio. We did not own a Nintendo or any game consoles. It was a reverent home. You could hear the clock ticking if you listened ... and it wasn't hard.

I've read Walden. The biggest impression I got when I read that book was the quietness of life. I think what Thoreau felt living on Walden Pond was very similar to what I felt in my home growing up.

Today, with four little ones, church callings, work, school functions, homework, church functions, limitless entertainment in the form of TV, game systems, cell phones, the Internet and music, the quietness of life can get lost. And with it the simplicity. We lose focus. We get distracted. Our minds grow numb. We don't feel at peace.

And so, using Elder Perry's talk for a guideline, we can (and should) ask ourselves these questions ...

What are we doing to simplify our life? Are we eating as we should? Do we get enough exercise? Do we keep our appearance clean and modest? Are we getting and staying out of debt? Do we manage our finances well? Do we feed our spirits? Do we pray earnestly and search the scriptures and living oracles? Do we take time to sit and reflect in quiet moments?

What are you going to do about it now?

Further reading: Let Him Do It with Simplicity by Elder L. Tom Perry