Tuesday, October 9, 2012

i love it

Last weekend was the 182nd General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. General Conference is one of my favorite weekends of the year, and I've said it before, but it always seems to fall during the perfect time of year when my life seems so busy/hectic/chaotic. It's like a giant sigh of relief and the reassurance that everything will be ok.

I was able to attend the Saturday morning session of conference and watched the afternoon session in the tabernacle and Sunday morning and afternoon at home. I think I attended the most historical session, because it was Saturday morning that President Monson announced the lowering of missionary age from 19 to 18 for young men and 21 to 19 for young women. 19 FOR YOUNG WOMEN! That's monumental. It gave me chills when he made the announcement and you could hear the gasps and excited whispers throughout the conference center. I have a firm testimony of the power of missionary work and its ability to bring eternal happiness. My own parents are converts to the church and heard about the gospel when sister missionaries knocked on our door. I know that the lowering of missionary age for men and women will only increase the number who choose to serve and further the work that needs to be done.

These were my favorite quotes/talks from the weekend:
-"The spiritual immune system of an entire civilization has been wounded-" Quentin L. Cook quoting a Baptist minister. Elder Cook focused on the moral decay of society and the ever-increasing importance of standing up for what we know to be true. 

-The title of my post comes from Sister Ann M. Dibbs' talk about the girl who wore the shirt that read: I'm a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it. 

-President Uchtdorf's entire talk. He closed the Saturday morning session on such an uplifting, encouraging note. President Uchtdorf emphasized the importance of enjoying life and taking account of the things that truly matter. He explained that we have turned into a society that esteems business (are business (biz-ness) and business (biz-ee-ness) spelled the same?) but is business really something to be proud of? In the end, we're going to look most fondly on the times we spent with the people we love, not the amount of time we put in the office. "Life is not meant to only be enjoyed in retrospect." 

-I enjoyed the analogy that Elder Scott D. Whiting made about the temples and our bodies. He told a story about how a temple was being built and there were a few minor changes that had to be made, but without them the temple would not be complete. It was a very precise process and most people would look at the corrections and think they really didn't matter, but because the temple is the Lord's house it needs to be perfect and only the best materials and craftsmanship can be used to build it. In comparison, we are each made of the finest materials and craftsmanship, but sometimes there are parts of us that need improvement. We are not required to be perfect, but it is our ultimate goal and thus we should always constantly work towards perfection.

-President Eyring's talk about our timetable vs. the Lord's timetable. He focused on God's awareness for all of his children and how sometimes things don't happen when we want them to or how we want them to, but we need to remember the Lord works in his own time and knows what's best for us more than anyone else in the world. He talked about how sometimes we create pavilions that hide us from the Lord, but he never creates pavilions hiding Himself from us. 

-Elder Holland. Duh. This man knows how to get every single person in an audience to hang onto his every word. This talk was interesting because he retold the story of Jesus asking Peter to be his one of his disciples but in a way that it would sound in 2012. The Lord is looking for disciples that will devote their lives to him. He can get fish- he needs us to feed his sheep! "The crucifixion and resurrection of Christ was the beginning of Christianity, not the end of it" and "We will not be finished with the work until love of God and neighbor rule the world." Absolutely. My favorite quote of the weekend.

-Elder Bednar. He is probably one of my favorite apostles. His analogies are always so memorable. Remember the pickle talk?? This talk was no exception. He talked about the difference between conversion and testimony and how the two are directly connected. He compared the parable of the ten virgins and the types of oil they had to testimony and conversion. The 5 who fell asleep and didn't have enough oil had filled their lamps with oil of testimony. When they asked to borrow from the 5 who were prepared, they were denied, because they had filled their lamps with oil of conversion. One can have a testimony of the gospel, and this can be shared and even borrowed for a bit, but ultimately, we must be converted and conversion cannot be shared.
Hey, did you know that Preston and I met a year ago after the Sunday morning session? I just love Conference :) (Also please put us in the Ensign. We are young hip Mormons!)

Thanks for reading this. My Conference entry is one of the few that I put up for everyone to see, and I think it is the most important. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and hearing from the inspired men that have been chosen to lead our Church is one of the greatest blessings we have in this day and age. I want to share the happiness and peace I get from hearing and reading these messages. Here you can enjoy the talks that I wrote about and the entirety of this October's General Conference. I know the Church is true and I love it with all my heart.