Sunday, October 28, 2007

God Is Trying to Tell me Something......

Now, I know why people stop going to church. It's because they feel guilty and that God is picking on them and they don't want the pressure.

Today was stake conference. I'd been not feeling particularly interested in Stake conference. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to go. I've been so disappointed in myself this week in somethings and absolutely thrilled in other things. I was just very mentally and emotionally tired.

When I went to bed I just planned on sleeping in and lounging for the day. I had been in the habit of considering stake conference a "free" Sunday. You know, where you don't really break the sabbath but you road trip or go to the mountains/canyons and just sort chill, or stay home and be lazy. I kept waking up...5:30, 7:43, 9:09. Church started at 10:am. I laid in bed til about 20 after and decided I should get up and go. I have come to recognize that when I don't want to be there the most, is when I need to stay home the least. I had this experience a few years back and the same eerie feeling was upon me again.

We arrived at the stake center 15 minutes early and the chapel was already filled so we sat back in the chairs. I waved and smiled at the different ward members and recognized some of the stake members as well.

The service began. The first talk was an OK talk and usually I would assume it would set the mood for the whole service. It didn't. Although it was a good talk it was hard for me to focus. I feared the whole meeting would be painfully boring. I was wrong. I spent a lot of time the last week in prayer and even fasted 3 of the 7 days last week.

I really wanted to be totally done away with some things that had been plaguing me for some time, and it had gotten to the point where I couldn't stand myself about it. I remember in a Sunday School class quite a while ago one of my favorite people, Brother Richard Craycroft.

We were talking about procrastinating on repenting and reactivating ourselves and blah blah blah. He said something to the fact that..

" Us stubborn people sometimes we have to allow ourselves to get to the lowest point. We have to be so disgusted with who we are that we just cannot live with ourselves one more minute in our present condition." I knew that point very well and had reached that point on a couple of issues.

I gone over my goals for the last 6 months and rated myself pretty harshly on my progress. I turned again to the April General Conference issue of the Ensign, the church magazine and turned to the talked that was ingrained in my mind and studied it once, again.
In my fasting and praying I had asked Heavenly Father to put before me those things he wanted me to learn most and to help me find a way to really learn those things I were struggling with and to teach me in a way that I could finally get it through my thick scull. It's funny to me that I would ask for Heavenly Father's help and then stay away from the most likely place(s) (stake conference) where I may receive that help.

I sat disappointed after the first talk and then a young return missionary got up and spoke. He talked about By knowing who we are and who we can become gives Satan less power over us.

"if Satan can convince us to forget who we are and what we can become then he has scored a victory."

" Look for and serve to the divine potential in everyone. Treat them not how they are, but who they can become."

I had used those exact words so many times myself while working with the youth and with their parents. My step mother had asked me at one time how come I'm the only one who could get along with my stepbrothers. I told her

"i treat them how they can become, now who they are. You have to look for that child of God within everyone and communicate to it"

WOW! I had forgotten these things. My own words. My own teachings smacking me back in the face. I had not done this lately at least not in my own life.

He also said "Our relationships and lives would be better if we look for the divine potential in ourselves and others. We ought to focus more on recognizing and finding help others to achieve their potential. "

In doing so we would not do anything to disrespect ourselves and others.

It was a great talk from the young return missionary. I was sad I had forgotten the implement the very things that I had counseled so many others to do. All the firesides I'd given and counseling sessions I'd had with many of the youth and their parents and been lost to me. (often times we are our own patients)

My forgetting had cost me. It had cost me dearly and was still costing me. I'm sick of it costing me.

The next speaker was a youth speaker. The first things out of her mouth was

"How you speak says much about who you are. You don't need to use language that would hurt someone Else's feelings, insult others, putting them down. We should always use positive language and try to stop negative language, even if it means holding our tongues because it will have a damaging effect on your relationship and could cause you sorrow."

Elder Jeffery R Holland's talk from April General Conference came quickly to mind. I knew that talk backwards and forwards. The quotes, the scriptures... everything. It is ingrained in my head.

And then she quoted the scripture that was also ingrained in my head... the same scripture Elder Holland used in his talk:

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

She challenged us to make the effort to be better. Invite the spirit to be with you to guide your words. I silently accepted the challenge. I had been working on it only to realize I still have a long way to go.

The next talk spoke about "who's drowning in life?' Who do you know who is drowning in life and could use as surfboard? I few people came to mind. I sort of felt as if I was in the riptides of life. Fighting to get out of the undertow so you can surface and catch that small breath to sustain life, only to get sucked back under again. He spoke of what we are doing to extend a surfboard to those we know of who are drowning in life.

"When we let go of anger, hurt, from whatever, whoever, whenever, we can have marvelous experiences of forgiveness. If we truly love our Heavenly Father we would love those around us in all we do and say. We should speak and show kindness, be slow to anger and willing to forgive and forget."

he quoted from Elder Bednar's talk about being offended:

" To be offended is a choice we make, it is not a condition."

A member of the stake presidency then spoke. He said something very profound:

"you may be right, I may be wrong, but if it separates us... we're both wrong."

He urged us to pray for forgiveness. And then pray to Heavenly Father to then teach you so you could know them for who they are. *ouch*

Yeah, that phrase stung: "pray for forgiveness and then pray to asked Heavenly Father to teach you so you can learn them for who they really are."


It hurts every time I hear it, read it, or say it.

He turned us to Alma chapter 61 and read to us parts of a letter from King Pahoran to Moroni. Moroni had written a venomous letter to Pahoran accusing him of abandoning him and his armies and finding joy in their afflictions and purposely with holding what was needed. Pahoran has been under the stress of his own people abandoning and rebelling against him. And when Pahoran wrote back to Moroni, he explained what was going on about the rebellion and other issues.

He then read to us the first part of vs 9:

"And now, in your epistle you have censured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart."

He spoke of the kindness and forgiving capacity Judge Pahoran had for Moroni whom he loved.

Had Pahoran been quick to anger he undoubtably would have made the situation worse.

It was what he did next that caused the tears to flow:

He referenced the April conference and began to read the talk in which Elder Jeffery R. Holland gave. A warmth ran through me as I remembered those days last week I fasted

(I had asked Heavenly Father to put before me those things he wanted me to learn most and to help me find a way to really learn those things I were struggling with and to teach me in a way that I could finally get it through my thick scull.)

I closed my eyes and layed my head back as if praying to the ceiling and recited the words in whisper with the speaker:

"Paul put it candidly, but very hopefully. He said to all of us: "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but [only] that which is good . . . [and] edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God. . . .
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you. . . .
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

I couldn't believe it. Well, actually I could believe it. This stake conference was tailor made for my last week. I get it. I Get It. LORD I GET IT! I wanted to scream. I did feel differently this time. Because this time, my heart felt it. Although my head had heard the talk many times and knew the words, the right words to say and how to apply it, I was simply going through the motions. We can know something and it can have a surface effect. But until you feel it... really feel it in your heart, it will have temporary and surface results.
I know the if you really want something, you have to get hungry for it. You've got to want it, and you have to be intentional about it. Only then are you ready to receive.

Grandma always said... "Make sure you want what you ask for... because you just might get it."

Amen, Grandma.
I know that was her way of saying... "if you ask the Lord for help and intend on really, really accepting that help, then you have be in the correct placed to receive that help and to go through whatever it takes, to shake off that thing which is holding you back from that which you desire. If you are halted in the process and turned away.... then you really desire a different thing. Make sure your desires are true."

I accept the challenge, once again, to
Speak with the Tongue of Angels
Seek out the Child of God in each of us
Remember who I am and what I can become
Look for the Divine Potential in myself and others
Treat others not how they are but with the diving potential of who they can be.
Let go of anger, hurt, passed burdons.
Ask for forgiveness
Always forgive
Be slow to anger
Be quick to resolve
Speak more edifying.

Game on, wish me luck!

1 comment:

Avonlea said...

Hey there!

I stumbled across your blog and I'm so glad that I did - I never thought that I would be the one to rebell when I know how much happier things are following the Gospel. Unfortunately, often times I find the "bad" to be exciting. I have not done anything serious, but still, feel the impact of the small sins greatly.

I'm comforted that you fight with your thoughts, too, but that you push back even harder and overcome many of your tribulations.

Thanks for being such a strength!

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