This journal entry was written by Randall and Nicola at the beginning of their first week studying Act in Doctrine, a new book written by Elder David Bednar.
When we were first asked to participate in the project to read and live Act In Doctrine, we thought it would be a great experience but maybe we didn’t fully realise the impact that this experience was about to have in our lives. At the time, we didn’t fully appreciate how it would affect us personally. We are a not normally an “out-there” kind of couple who share our lives with everyone. Hopefully as we share who we are with those who may read this, a portion of our thoughts and feelings may be understood and assist others in their own life and study.
After scanning the first section of Act in Doctrine, we immediately found some thought provoking comments around the charACTer of Christ. This gave us reason to pause and talk together about our actions individually and as a couple, and assess how well our actions reflected those of the Saviour. We were both touched by the story of the woman who, even in her own time of need, was able to give service and compassion to others. We reflected on the challenges that we face, evaluated our actions, and recognised how easy it is to turn inward rather than face outward in difficult times. That realisation was quite challenging inasmuch as we would like to wrap ourselves in the comfort and security of family and home, we shouldn’t ignore those in need.
We felt inspired to spend some time in our Family Home Evening discussing the analogy of the “drip irrigation” and how the principle referenced in Alma 37:6, “by small and simple things are great things brought to pass,” can and does apply to so many aspects of our lives. We discussed the need to remain close to the source of nourishment (the Gospel), and how constant “drip feeding” can be of more value than flashy sprinklers. We recognised how simple things such as daily prayer and scripture study provide this much needed feeding. We discussed how weekly attendance at Church meetings provides the same regular feeding principle. An example was raised that we could fast for 2 weeks, and then not again for the rest of the year. The kids were not fond of that idea!
We have already realised that in order for us to get the most out of experiencing Act in Doctrine, it’s going to require us to do something more than just read. It will mean making time to talk about the principles, writing down our thoughts, discussing those thoughts with each other and family members, and then acting on what we learn.