I am filled and overflowing!
President Packer – really clarified about our formal name and what we call ourselves, which I found helpful as a new convert as from all the outreach pieces (“I’m a mormon”, mormon.org, etc.) – it helped to understand that it is one thing how the world relates to us (“mormons”) and how we call ourselves (Latter-day Saints).
Also, the word of wisdom talk was interesting – the last few conferences have specifically added “drugs and addictive substances” and the last two conferences have added “especially those affecting young people”. In my professional work, I know that caffeine is classified as a drug as much as any other drugs we think of, and research in just the last two years has discussed its addictive properties – as well as new substances (i.e., taurine, etc.) found in youth energy drinks. It gave me a lot to think of and consider as I work with youth, as well as continuing my own conversion.
I loved what he taught about repentance being not just for the purpose of cleansing from sin, but also for the cleansing of the effects of sin. That is something I have experienced in the process of my conversion. I especially see it in the healing of my family, and the improvement in my everyday life – which is just happier than before.
The “Leave it alone” command was really, really good. Nothing can fix it or bring it back, and anything you do will make it worse. This is important to remember in girl world, I think. Forget it, let it alone. Also, the same as what I learned about “burdens” – let it go. Good stuff for me!
Elder Nelson’s talk was great stuff I have already been studying, so it felt very personal to me. Make this world a better place. Do not let fears displace faith. Strengthen faith and teach it with conviction. Sacred purpose and potential. Keep the commandments, even when some pick and choose which to obey. Keeping commandments prevents bondage and brings blessings. Angels are on call to help you, on your left and right. When we are faithful, He and His angels will help us. Fear not, be of good cheer, your future is as bright as your faith. WHEW.
Also, the part about our prayers being before Him, even entering His ears, that made me cry, too. Also, that the Lord responded by changing perspective – that is what has been happening to me the last few weeks, and I am so glad of it as understanding unfolds.
“It will no longer be easy or popular to be LDS… persecution can crush you or motivate you to be courageous.”
And then – something I have been studying for a year now, the “bounds” of time and place – he said “you are chosen and reserved for this time and place”.
Me, Emily, for now and for here.
Maynes of the 70 – I was so glad I have studied and memorized the family proclamation! This was an expounding of that! I was glad it was in my mind and heart, so that layers and layers came to me as he spoke. I especially loved the “celestial traditions” phrase he coined. So many implications, such a connection of before and soon-to-be. I loved it, and it did feel like an “anchor” to me.
Samuelson of the 70 – his talk on testimonies was so good for me. This did strengthen me for how to hold my own testimony, regardless of circumstances or surroundings. I needed this very much. I will be excited to examine his list of 10 more closely when it comes out in the Ensign! It sounded like 10 things I really need to know!
Elder Oaks – how funny that he spoke about basic needs, when that is the very simple thing I have been studying these months?! The balance of life, but for me what I have been learning is meeting basic needs in order to sustain my physical and spiritual self. That this counts as righteousness… and how powerful to consider the idea the our most righteous desire is to be RECEIVED by the Lord. It makes me think of the Temple. This was powerful to me, and helped me understand whole new layers.
To have a vision of what (who!) we can become!
And the power that comes if our righteous desires are intense enough – wow.
And then SLAM – the single talk. It should be my desire to seek a Temple marriage, and to set priorities to obtain it – and keep that priority higher than my career on the list. This is so hard! I mean, it isn’t hard, but the experience of it is hard. It took me so long – more than a year of that kind of intense-desire praying just to get the DESIRE to want to be married… and then, of course, once that finally came (thank you, Father, seriously), then layers and layers of understanding have come… which is good, except now I grieve it, when before it didn’t bother me. I was never lonely before. I never cried in prayer because of being alone. Now I do. So he is right, that it is hard in a new way when you are in-process. But also, I understand that I am still being prepared in that way – like rebalancing of my schedule for rest and play. I am glad I have worked hard on that repentance and reconciling of my schedule to the Lord’s priorities, even if it is just in PREPARATION for it. But it is hard in a new way, because now I am alone instead of busy. That is not very fun. But maybe that helps me to keep wanting it, instead of forgetting to want it. And, truly, I understand it is good and right and for a purpose, and that I am healing and growing and preparing. So I do continue praying as I continue learning!
Elder Ballard’s talk was so great with the little flecks of gold – when people ask me how I learned so much in less than two years as a convert, that’s what I tell them. I mean, I didn’t know that story to tell them, but I tell them that all I did was study my scriptures every morning. I did seek out more, of course, but really it is that simple, the little pieces at a time. That was so good to encourage and strengthen me, to help me keep doing the little things.
And then came my answer for how to be nurturing and benevolent! love HIM, and I will love others. The more we love others, the more we think, feel, and act more like our Saviour – so it is like an upward spiral, that builds on itself… just like repentance, but the positive side of it! I love it!
He closed with the verse about praying with all energy of heart – which was the second time we were specifically given that verse, so I will be studying that.
WOW! I feel like I have been at the Temple all week!
I am grateful for General Conference. I am grateful for Heavenly Father, who lives and who knows me specifically and who planned for me to be here this day in this place. I am grateful for the atonement of my REDEEMER and ADVOCATE. I am grateful for the Spirit, and for the correction, instruction, and guidance I receive.
I am also grateful for this beautiful, beautiful day!