Saturday, June 15, 2013

April General Conference - Saturday Morning

Last November I wrote about some new goals I'd set for myself to help me get more out of General Conference.  One of my biggest goals was to read through the Ensign containing the General Conference addresses.  Not just read, but study them looking for specific To Do's throughout.  I didn't make it quite as far through the magazine as I would have liked and so I've re-set myself the same goal this time around.  One thing I've learned as I've gotten older and a little more experienced, for a lot of life you only truly fail if you stop trying. 

I've also been reading a book that teaches how to more effectively read and understand what you're reading.  One step is to discuss what you've read because it forces you to make your thoughts concise and understandable.  And that brings me to the purpose of this post (and subsequent ones like it), I'm going to discuss with you my very favorite quotes, To Do's and promised blessings from Conference one session at a time (well, I'm going to tell you mine, but I'd really love to hear some of yours also!).

"I'll kneel before His wounded feet;
I'll feel His Spirit glow.
My whispering, quivering voice will say,
"My Lord, my God, I know."
Elder Packer

I want to be able to say that I will not know the Savior any better after meeting Him than I do now.  I can't, not yet.  But it's a goal I'm working towards.

I also love this To Do from Elder Packer, "Each of us must stay in condition to respond to inspiration and the promptings of the Holy Ghost."  Staying in condition reminds me of just after I ran my very first triathlon (and only, so far), I was so sick of training that I took a break.  I was amazed at how very quickly I lost the muscle and stamina I had worked so hard to gain.  I don't want to lose my spiritual stamina!

Bishop Davies talks about how we can keep in condition by striking a balance in our lives.  Balance is something I struggle with, partly because it seems to change from day to day.  I love a scripture he quotes, "In whom all the building are fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord" (Ephesians 2:21).  As we execute our faith by praying, studying our scriptures, taking the sacrament and receiving ordinances, we will achieve that balance and be "fitly framed together."

A few years ago I had the amazing opportunity to complete the Young Women new Personal Progress program.  I learned how very important it is that we each KNOW with every fiber that's in us that "We are daughters [or sons] of our Heavenly Father, who loves us."  Sister Dalton tells us that "it will make all the difference."  To accomplish this, our To Do is to teach our children (AND ourselves) to "stand as witnesses of God at all time and in all things, and in all places" while we act well our part and return to virtue.

"If we exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, [then] the enabling power of His Atonement strengthens us in our moment of need, and His redeeming power sanctifies us as we "put off the natural man." Elder Cardon

I love If/Then statements because of their simplicity.  With Heavenly Father there's no question, we simply know IF we complete His requirement, THEN we will reap the blessings.  And the blessings are always worth being sought.

Another great If/Then was quoted by Elder Ballard from the book of John, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink" (John 7:37).  Our Savior is waiting for us to choose to drink from His living water! 

Elder Ballard also instructed parents to, ", share, and discuss what you learn and feel with your children, and let them watch and do the same with you, that your families might be strengthened..."  What amazing counsel!  This To Do teaches us to be open and to learn with our children, it's okay that they know we don't know everything (even though my husband tried to keep telling them he truly does :) ), they will learn how to learn and grow from us!

Elder Eyring finished out the session teaching about the importance and impact of coming closer to the Savior.  It's the basics.  Always the basics.  Those small things strengthen the roots of our tree of faith and allow for further growth.  And when you do those things, we are promised, "...there will I be also, for I will go before your face.  I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up" (D&C 84:88).  What a phenomenal blessing.

Many of my very favorite quotes from the first session have been scriptures and I'm thinking I should make a list and start memorizing them, I keep hearing Elder Scott when he said, "Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high."  I could use some of that.

I would love to hear about your favorite parts of Conference and/or how you help bring these teachings into your life and the lives of your family (if you'd like to share).

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