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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Notes - Saturday Conference

I grabbed a spiral notebook today as I sat down for General Conference.  Usually, I write down catch phrases or things that they say that grab my attention.  Today, I decided that instead of writing these kinds of things, I would jot down impressions in my heart as I heard people speak.

One of the most wonderful thing about this morning for our family is that we now have a table in our formal dining room that is attached to our front room where we watch Conference, so we were able to eat our breakfast while we watched the morning session.  Pretty darned delightful!

We ate scones with cinnamon and sugar or jam (Sweetie has unsweetened, fruit only jam.  Nice to not have Sweetie left out on this tradition).  We also had a smoothie and sausages.  We now have a new Conference lunch food.  It cooks in the crockpot for two hours--perfect!  It's found on the Madhouse cookbook on page 22.  It's the third recipe down on the page.

It was interesting, as I watched and as my family did various things during the sessions, how I felt impressed about individuals in my family and how we are doing things as a family and how I'm doing things as an individual.

The following review is backward--from the last speaker to the first.  This includes both of today's sessions.  A few of the things that touched my heart were the following:

Elder Richard G. Scott said something along the lines of those who have been faithful and live beyond the veil live among us.  They can see us better than we can see them, and they live among us.

Elder Scott's talk was one that I think I'm going to have to really go back and reread.  There was so much too it that was deep and meaningful, but I just couldn't focus well at that point in the game.  The men in the family were running out the door to go set up chairs at the church for the priesthood session, so there was a lot going on.  I'm glad there's the chance to read and watch later on.

Elder Quentin L. Cook said that praying with our children may be more important than anything else we can do as parents.

He also quoted President Spencer W. Kimball and said that when "I am casual in my relationship with diety," if I will immerse myself in the study of the scriptures, the gap closes.

Elder Ulisses Soares quoted President Monson (I believe) when he said, "You can't be right by doing wrong; you can't be wrong by doing right."

He also shared that there is a line well-defined between the devil's territory and the Lord's.  This made me wonder why, if it's so well defined, a good part of the world doesn't see it.

As Elder David S. Baxter spoke, he said something that triggered the reality that life is MEANT to be a place of proving and testing.

He also shared that "there is no such thing as a second-class citizen in the kingdom of God."  When he said this, I felt that that's the way it should be NOW.  We, as members of the Church, should NEVER treat anyone as if they were less than us. 

Elder Robert D. Hales said the words "Come to ourselves."  Basically meaning that we should be true to ourselves and return to the correct path meant for us by our Heavenly Father.

While Elder Hales was speaking, three of the kids jumped up and found that the hard-boiled eggs were done and ready to eat.  One jumped up announcing that he was going to make an egg salad sandwich.  I told him that was fine.  Then another jumped up and then another asked the second child if that child would make a sandwich for him.  The child declined the opportunity.

I was frustrated that I had three children in the kitchen each making the same thing.  It wasn't that so many dishes were being dirtied.  It wasn't that there were so many bodies in the kitchen.  It was the fact that one of those children could have made sandwiches for the other two and served his/her siblings, but each of those children were denying themselves the blessings of serving.  Ugh!  Why are we so casual in this?  Why do we let these great opportunities pass?

I mentioned my disappointment, but as I did so, I realized that we, as a family, frequently let great opportunities to have blessings pass.  Why don't we make the sacrifices necessary to have God bless our lives?

One child, after the mini-lecture, sent the other two children back to the front room to watch Conference while the sandwiches were made.  I guess a delayed or half blessing is better than none at all.

While this child was making the sandwiches, Elder Hales said that we should teach our children to be self-reliant and that we should teach them to work.  Well, there you go.  Timing is everything.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke about our need to not compare ourselves to others and to not be jealous when someone else receives a blessing.  We should be happy for everyone and trust that our blessings will come in the end.  We just need to "work on" trusting that we will receive our pay.

As President Henry B. Eyring spoke about trials, I realized that whether my afflictions are a result of something I've done or not done or because they're an opportunity to prove myself, it doesn't matter.  In either case, I need to lean on the Atonement and the Savior to see them through.

I've been facing some things from my childhood lately.  President Eyring's words were very appropriate and fit well into what's being reintroduced into my life.  He shared the story of someone who needed to forgive some very difficult things that had happened years before.  When asked why that person had been able to forgive, the person replied, "I just knew I had to forgive, so I did."


I have been given an opportunity to reopen some old wounds and revisit something that I believe I have completely forgiven.  I believe President Eyring has given me my answer on this topic.  There is no need to rehash the past.  It isn't hurting me now.  It can be let go.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke about Christ being the last great sacrifice--infinite and eternal and how we, each, should be sacrificing in serving others.  That our sacrifices should be small, imitations of Christ's sacrifice.  Serving shouldn't always be easy and comfortable.  It should be a sacrifice.

Elder Paul E. Koelliker talked about awakening and nurturing the desire in our hearts to understand the mysteries of God.  If we yield ourselves to Christ's will and pattern, He is bound to bless us.

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom raised a lot of thoughts in my mind.  He started out sharing that eternal life is the greatest of all the gifts of God.  As I listened, I realized that that's not just reserved for me.  It's His gift to everyone who has ever walked the earth.  If this is the case, and I'm privy to that gift, why am I not sharing it with others who don't have it yet?  This is the most important thing I can do, right?

Elder Hallstrom spoke about spiritual desires and the outward signs of those desires.  Does what I do show others that I have spiritual desires.  I got to wondering...what are those spiritual desires exactly?  I'm thinking I need to write those down somewhere.  I need to keep track of how I'm doing and what I'm going to do to come closer to God in my daily life as a result of my desires toward Him.

The other thing I appreciated that Elder Hallstrom spoke about was being selfless.  I wondered what I can do to become more selfless.  That's what I really feel I need to work on.  It's been a theme that's been growing since hearing our Stake President speak at the stake Relief Society fireside a few weeks ago.  President Dalton shared that you cannot work to save yourself.  It's only in working to help others be saved that we ourselves are saved.  I'm still pondering on this trying to figure out how to let myself go after so many years of selfishness.

Sister Cheryl A Esplin spoke right to me as a mother.  She reminded me that Heavenly Father knows Sweetie and all of my other children individually and He is interested in what we do here.  She said that a parent's job is to "partner with Him" to do our work.  I have known from the beginning of dealing with Sweetie's problems that this was the case, and there is no doubt that Heavenly Father has helped me through, but my job is to keep working with Him even if I think I've come to a viable solution, we're not done.

When President Boyd K. Packer spoke, I had to get up and get something from the kitchen just to hide the fact that tears were running down my face.  He spoke of serving children.  Especially children in need.  He spoke of his own parents and how they had never served in any prominent callings in the church, but they were faithful in their most important calling--that of parents.  I felt the importance of this message.

There are many, many in need in this world of ours.  I'm trying to figure out where I can be of the most good.  Of course, right here in my own home is the place I must start, but from there, I can reach out to others.  I just feel that there's something that the future holds in this area.  It's just a matter of figuring it out.

What a wonderful day!  The kids were well-behaved during the morning session, and the little ones slept during the afternoon session, so I was really able to focus.  I think this was the first time I've been able to do this.  YAY!  Hoping tomorrow will go as smoothly.

1 comment:

Patrick and Paige said...

Thanks for the recap jules! I can't wait to read all of the talks in the ensign;) We don't have tv so it was fun to read your reviews and get your perspective;) I love the sandwich part, "well there you go" haha. Great!

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