#LDSconf thoughts

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Conference Weekend

It was a whirlwind weekend. Saturday morning DH went out riding motorcycles with a friend. Five minutes before conference started, I tried to move the computer out to the living room so we could all watch. But I didn’t know how to set up the wireless internet connection, and daddy wasn’t home yet, so we listened to primary songs and worked on cleaning the house instead. Once our chores were done, we went over to Grandma’s house to watch the Saturday afternoon session with extended family.

Watching conference as a family is my favorite way to spend conference. Some Sundays get harried and hectic by the time we get ready for church and do all of our assignments. On Conference Sunday, we can just be together. I love it. And whenever there is a family gathering, there is good food. Since it was Saturday, I asked my kids to watch one talk plus watch if President Monson spoke. The rest of the time they spent playing with their cousins.

On Sunday we stayed home and watched conference as a family. By this time our computer was all set up and ready to go. We turned on the Tabernacle Choir broadcast and enjoyed the Easter Sunday concert. Sometimes it can be hard to watch conference with little kids, but mine were pretty good this time. My daughter had the Friend magazine out and played bingo on the board in the magazine. My son sat and read a book, pausing to pay closer attention once in awhile. The little ones played in the room with us.

I love the messages presented at conference. There is always a smorgasboard: messages of personal improvement, testimonies of Jesus Christ, gospel application, missionary work, and the plan of salvation. Usually there is a balance between calls to repentance and consoling our efforts. For example, Elder Oaks helped us evaluate our soil in the process of conversion. He has spoken many times on the theme making eternal goals our highest priority. Elder Bednar spoke about fear: how the fear of God can actually help us feel peace in a troubled world. For those of us who get over-anxious about the challenges we face, his message was soothing.

Video quote: Source of Enduring Peace — David A Bednar

My favorite messages were the back to back talks on Grace. First, Elder Holland’s talk about how Jesus Christ’s mission was the greatest expression of love ever known. Christ gave us “the gift of victory over every fall we have ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced—to say nothing of our resurrection from death and forgiveness for our sins.” Then Elder Uchtdorf gave a beautiful and concise explanation of grace. It is the power that erases sin, raises us to a level beyond our capacity to reach, and pours into our lives the power to accomplish all we strive for. Without understanding grace, Latter-day Saints get depressed when we try to achieve perfection and fail (every time)!

Video quote: The Path of Discipleship — Dieter F Uchtdorf

I also appreciated the talks about Returning to Faith and Waiting for the Prodigal. Because there ARE casualties in the trials of life. Living the gospel is hard. Some of us fall away, become inactive, etc. Yet even for those of us bogged down with difficult doctrines or difficulty living the doctrines can find peace in the gospel. And those of us who are strong can extend love and help to those who need it. Because none of us are strong enough on our own. We need each other and we need Jesus Christ.

I’m grateful for conference. It gives me a chance to take my spiritual temperature and evaluate where I need to improve. I know our leaders are righteous men who are in tune with God’s direction for the church. I also feel the camaraderie of the worldwide Saints. There are people like me who are also trying to live this glorious gospel and feeling its blessings in their lives.Pres-Monson-exiting-conference

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My Christmas gifts to the Savior

This year, I’ve thought of gifts to give to Jesus.

A Heart of Gold

As I continue my life journey and try each day to live according to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, my heart becomes more pure. The trials of life soften me and teach me mercy. The Holy Spirit helps me feel Gods love, which increases my desire to love everyone around me. As I experience how living the commandments of God results in blessing and joy, I lose my desire to sin. Slowly, over more than a lifetime, my heart is becoming golden. You know, like those people you meet who are so sweet and wonderful that you can’t help loving them.

Prayers like Frankincense

God loves me. He loves all of his children. He gives me His word to help guide my life. Sometimes I don’t thank Him often enough. For Christmas, I will pray a little more often. Little prayers sent heavenward throughout the day. Perhaps talking to God as my Father, who wants to know how I feel. Sharing my joys along with my frustrations. Asking for guidance. Asking how I can help do His work. Praying to be more like the person He can help me become.

My life’s Myrrh

If I consider the example of Jesus Christ, he gave his life–all of it–to save us. There is no way to repay His gift. The whole purpose of Jesus’ mission results from the impossibility of our situation. If I follow His example, the most I can do is give my life to Him. It’s not a payback, but “our wills constitute all we really have to give God anyway.” He said, “Come, follow me.” In trying to do so, my life is completely different. Lived differently. That is my gift to God.

 

Wise men gifts
“There came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”