Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday thoughts

Today was our stake conference, which was actually a regional conference that we watched by broadcast in our ward building. We went 20 minutes early, but we still ended up sitting in the cultural hall. (I don't know if I could have convinced my family to go earlier, but I was ready, I should have just gone by myself to stake out a comfy spot!)

Between our adult's session last night and the general session this morning, this weekend has been a spiritual feast.

Today we heard from Elder Snow, Sister Beck, Elder Holland, and President Packer.

Elder Snow

- O remember, remember.
- We keep journals, build monuments, and go to the temple to help us remember. We renew our covenant weekly to remember the Savior.
- Remembering past spiritual experiences can give us the strength to carry on, but witnesses in the past dim over time. Even some of those who have received a visitation by angels have forgotten those burning feelings .
- Our testimonies must be continually fed with new spiritual experiences.
- Why are we reluctant to use the gift of the Holy Ghost? He helps us to become pure, sanctified. He will reinforce and strengthen our testimonies.

Sister Beck

- You're doing better than you think you are.
- Heavenly Father loves you so much.
- We could still be doing better.
- With all of the struggles in our world, the only thing that will save us is our faith.
- It takes faith to move into the future.
- We actually fought for the opportunity to come to this world and have a difficult life!
- If we weren't experiencing adversity, we wouldn't have to rely on the Spirit and the atonement of our Savior.
- There is no escaping the work and responsibility of being a mother. (it is as I feared)
- There are too many distractions creeping in. We are spending hours on the computer that could be used nurturing children. A computer is no more than a tool to us, just as a dishwasher or a washing machine.
- We don't need to be discouraged or fearful. We only need to have faith.
- We cannot be perfect, but we can prioritize, and if we will concentrate on what is essential, our Heavenly Father will help us to accomplish all that is necessary.

Elder Holland

- He spoke of pioneer efforts to tame the wild expanse that was to become Utah County. They cut a precarious road into the canyon precipice. One young family that was temporarily left behind left their small children at the cliff's edge and plunged their wagon and horses down. When help arrived, the father called out, "Forget it, fellows! Belle here is all that a man needs to make this journey!"
- During a meeting in which several men were called to take their families and settle a forsaken area called the Muddy, one girl sobbed inconsolably. Her friend asked:
"Why are you crying? I know my father won't go!"
"There's the difference," the first girl replied, "Nothing could prevent my father from doing his duty, and I wouldn't own him as my father if he did not go when he was called."
- These people had grit, spunk, and determination, both young and old. Where does that kind of spunk come from? From faith in God and in Jesus Christ.
- We all will need that kind of rock-ribbed, furnace-refined, spiritually-girded kind of faith.
- There are still waste places that need to be built up. Some of them are in our own hearts and in our homes.
- Build up your physical and spiritual strength; build up a reservoir of faith that you can call upon.
- Our testimonies should be simple and deep, not complex and superficial.
- Faith is better nourished and protected and longer-lasting when it is built up and strengthened in the family.
- The times ahead will try the courage of the best of us, but the forces of righteousness will always prevail.
- He will pour out blessings upon you for your faithfulness; he will make us equal to our tasks.
- Trust God and believe in good things to come.

President Packer

- The pioneers had the easy part – from now on it's going to be rougher.
- As a young seminary teacher, he was struggling with one of his students. He asked a mentor when he would be justified on giving up on the boy. His mentor replied, "What if he was your boy?" It was a sermon that changed his life.
- The Lord is voting for you and Satan is voting against you, so it's your vote that counts!
- The adversary has his limits, and he can only do what we let him do. We are in charge of him as regards our own lives.
- Agency is probably the most important principle of the gospel.
- Are you so touchy that you cannot be corrected? We must be willing to receive correction, even if it comes from our children or our spouse.
- Ask your Father. Never forget that you have a father and you can call on Him at anytime. He will not leave you comfortless.

I can't remember who said this, but it stuck with me:

- We need miracles and w e should be praying for miracles.

I'll have to save my notes from last night's session for another day. All I can say is that, for the first time in quite some time, I am not feeling overwhelmed. I feel filled, and encouraged, and determined. Hallelujah.


Susan said...

Thank you for the recap of such wonderful words and thoughts. I always look to your Sunday Thoughts for the perfect end of the day and courage for the week to come. You're the best. I'm blessed to have you, sweetest Michelle.

And I know my prayers have been answered to hear you say that you are not feeling overwhelmed. That is wonderful to hear.

Jill said...

How wonderful that you're not feeling overwhelmed! I think that's a sign of maturity and growth, I really do. Woohoo!

I didn't think I could fit all my notes into one post, but after seeing yours I'm wondering if I should have tried.

Our technical difficulties were particularly bad during Elder Holland's story about the cliff's edge, so I'm glad you recounted it here.

I loved his description of how our faith should be, "We all will need that kind of rock-ribbed, furnace-refined, spiritually-girded kind of faith." I want to be made of tough stuff like this.

Claudissima said...

oh, my Michelle...your mum is such an inspiration and you are too! I can see where you get it. I am thankful for your notes, in that I get uplifted and edified by reading them, so thank you. I really really needed to read some of these thoughts.

Charlotte said...

I love these thoughts! The reminder that the adversary has his limits especially resonated with me. I love knowing that ultimately my fate is my choice and that the Lord is always on my side.

jenn said...

You and Jill put my notes to shame but I did take some this time and will enjoy being able to refer to them in the weeks to come.

I wish I could say I feel encouraged and determined, but I still feel tired and unfocused. sigh.

Denise said...

I have been feeling particularly overwhelmed lately. Thanks for sharing your insightful notes--I'm going to print them off so that I can re-read them and hopefully come away, as you did, feeling not overwhelmed but empowered.

Rebekah said...

When I first read the quote about being on the computer too much I snapped my laptop shut and went and did something else. I find myself going to the computer too much as a way to fill emotional needs, but, you know, it never works.

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