Sunday, April 3, 2016

Conference Sunday

I loved Conference today.  I loved it yesterday, too, but all of the actual answers I needed came in the last hour of the last session of Conference today.  Isn't that the way answers always come?  I don't know why I always expect to get them immediately.  

I kept thinking about Naaman from the Bible and how he was instructed by the prophet Elisha to bathe in the River Jordan seven times to cure his leprosy, and it wasn't until the seventh time, after going again and again and again, after wondering what the heck he was doing and how long this was going to take, after the trial of his faith, that he received the cure he was seeking.

And isn't it funny that the answers I got today weren't from the people I would ordinarily have gotten them from?  That's actually not really funny either.  That's pretty typical lately.  This afternoon, I had just about mentally checked out of Conference when Elder Oaks stood up to speak.  I started editing pictures just so I would be sure to stay awake because sometimes he's a little lofty for me.  And then all of a sudden I heard him talking about how opposition is a necessary thing in our lives, and I started listening more attentively.  And then someone else right after him talked about that "cloud of witnesses" thing again from Hebrews 12:1.  Holy cats!  How many times have I heard that scripture quoted in the last week??  THREE...that's how many!  I'm thinking there's something significant about that scripture that needs some attention in the coming days.

And then...Elder Holland.  (...already crying again just thinking about that dear, sweet man and his lovely, powerful, unbelievably merciful, compassionate talk...)  

Do you know what I always worry about after Conference or church or an exceptionally good Gospel Doctrine lesson?  I worry about the day of opposition that inevitably follows.  Because it always does.  So, while you may not have known that that is one of my biggest concerns these days, I was assured today that Heavenly Father absolutely does.  

"Realizing that we all have to come down from peak experiences to deal with the vicissitudes of of life, may I offer this encouragement as General Conference concludes.  If in the days ahead you see not only limitations in those around you, but also find elements in your own life that don't measure up to the messages you've heard this weekend, please don't be cast down in spirit and please don't give up.  The gospel, the church, these wonderful semi-annual gatherings are intended to give HOPE and inspiration. They are not intended to discourage you."

"With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of the heavens to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying even if we don't always succeed."

"Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them." 

"Keep trying  Keep trusting.  Keep believing.  Keep growing.  Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever." 

Did you already know all of that stuff Elder Holland talked about today?  Did you hear answers to prayers this weekend?  Did you have confirmations of things you needed to know for sure?  Did you "let the words from Conference seep through you and let Elder Holland pound your heart with his meat tenderizer of a voice, and let it be softened and available for change?" 

Because you should, you know?  You should let your heart be softened for change and all of that, but I'm sure you already do that...  What you should be after this weekend, and especially after today, that I'm not sure you always are, is more confident.  You should walk around every day feeling so completely and totally confident that someone loves the heck out of you.  There is not a single day that you should be grumpy or downcast or discouraged or miserable knowing the things you know.  I felt that in a hundred different ways through all of Conference all weekend but it was like someone picked up a megaphone and shouted it into my soul during Elder Holland's talk.  

I hope you know all of those things.  I hope you're sure of them.  I hope you feel loved and cheered for and remembered every single day.  

Oh,'s already a is amazing, isn't it?

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