Wednesday, April 10, 2013

start where you are

Last weekend was the 183rd General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I had the opportunity to listen to the prophets and leaders of the LDS church, hear their counsel and use their teachings to improve my life. It's one of the best weekends of the year! If you missed any part of it, the entire conference can be watched here.

Before I left for college, my Young Women's leader gave me the journal that is pictured above. I decided to use it as my "church" journal, because although she encouraged us to use it to record our college experiences, I felt silly writing about boys and grades in a notebook with JESUS on the cover. Appropriately, I finished the journal during the last session of conference. It really warms my heart to flip through all the pages and see the notes that I took during General Conference, Relief Society sessions, Christmas devotionals and firesides. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have had to attend BYU and be so close to all of the leaders of the church. It is truly a unique and special experience and has only added to my love for the university.

As usual, I want to share my favorite talks, quotes and insights I gleaned from this April conference. Check it out:
  • One of the biggest themes of the entire conference was missionary work. When I asked Preston about priesthood session, he said it was heavily emphasized as well. Ever since the historical announcement made last October regarding the lowering of the missionary age, there has been an explosion of missionaries. I know I have probably shared this on this blog or to you in person, but I have a tremendous testimony of missionary work. My own parents joined the Church when two sister missionaries knocked on their door in Tennessee. It's real and it works. There are few things more admirable to me than young men and women in the prime of their life taking aside 18-24 months to serve the Lord and teach His children. One of the most important lessons I learned from conference was how important it is to be a missionary, even if you don't have an actual call or name badge. Elder Andersen said it so sweetly- "Paint a missionary badge on your heart."
  • "Who could've imagined that the full standard works and years of General Conference would be able to fit in your pocket?" -Elder Richard G. Scott. I love using social media to promote my faith. Obviously. It made me so happy to see my Twitter feed so active with #ldsconf tweets. We are a technology driven generation and the Lord knows that, which is why it's so easy to share the gospel through all forms of social media. And who doesn't love the Gospel Library app? It really is amazing the years of knowledge and counsel we have at our fingertips.
  • David A. Bednar's talk on chastity and the sanctity of marriage. I knew this would be addressed at conference and it was mentioned several times and emphasized by quite a few General Authorities. Elder Bednar emphasized Satan's desire to make us miserable using our bodies because it is the one thing he will never have. 
  • Dieter F. Uchtdorf's entire talk. This was my favorite talk of the weekend and the title of my post. President Uchtdorf gave us 3 things to do:
    1) Start where you are.
    2) Turn your heart towards the Lord.
    3) Walk in the light. 

    I loved the first step of starting where you are. He explained that we don't have to wait until we are in our final days of judgment to receive the Lord's blessings. The Lord's blessings aren't reserved for perfect people. The Lord is ready to bless us and help us  if we just start now, right where we are, regardless of how far behind we feel. It's the small, righteous little things we try to do each day that make a difference and ultimately exalt us. This talk was so encouraging and reminded me of the beauty and perfection of the Savior's love.
  • L. Whitney Clayton's talk about marriage. Because I'm getting married. But seriously, this was great. He gave us 5 things he has observed and learned are necessary to maintain a successful marriage. My favorite line was, "Marriage is a gift from God to us. The quality of our marriage is our gift to Him."
  • Jeffrey R. Holland's talk. I feel like the entire church holds their breath in anticipation for Elder Holland's talks. This one was another encouraging talk about turning to the Lord and having faith that He will help us. My favorite line from probably the entire conference was from this talk: "Imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with and that must be terribly frustrating for Him, but He deals with it and so should we." Be patient with each other guys. If the Lord can deal with our 239587094375938745 faults, we can learn to deal with each other's.

    If you managed to read this whole post, thank you. I consider my General Conference posts to be the most important ones on this blog. I appreciate your comments and feel free to direct any questions to me and I'll try my best to answer them. I love my church and I love President Monson. I know he has been appointed by the Lord as a living prophet to lead us through this crazy world. This gospel brings me the most joy I've ever known. I know it's true and I love it.

1 comment:

  1. I read it. Now I know which talks to watch that I missed. Also loved the marriage talk.