Monday, October 8, 2007

October General Conference

I love General Conference.

So far this year my favorite meetings have been the Saturday Sessions. I have to thank my parents for being instilling in us the importance of General Conference and all the Sessions. I can remember them making us get up and get dressed as if we were going to church. They would even invite the missionaries over and get some of the hard chairs from the church for us to sit on. It seemed a little extreme to me at the time... and still does but I've come to appreciate the reasoning behind their methods, and I love and appreciate them.

For my non-lds friends and family, general conference is where our church leaders gather twice a year and preach to us for 2 days. Much like some of the churches you see on tv where they hold a conference in different cities all over the country. What I like about our General Conferences is that they're free. Anyone can go. Doesn't cost anything to get in except a free ticket and tickets can be obtained by a local bishop, stake president or in some circumstances a call to the church office buildings. It's aired on TV so that members all over the world can be part of and hear it.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ should freely be available to all. I stress "Free!" Noboy paid Jesus to preach the word, it was done out of love for the father and for his brothers and sisters.

The April General Conference put a fire in me and got me in gear to take care of some things I'd been procrastinating on. It was a difficult time, last spring but I am so grateful for messages given in that conference which gave me the strength to take the needed steps to begin to "get right with God."

Elder Uchdorfs talk on "Point of no Return" and Elder Holland's talk on "Speaking with the Tonuge of Angels" are the 2 talks that landed most in my heart in April. I wanted to focus on those 2 things most and have been the last 6 months

Each conference I pick 2 or 3 things to really put effort and work on and those talks are what I based my last 6 months efforts on. Today I am comfortable with the efforts of the last 6 months. It's a process and am sure I can incorporate them into daily life and into my being.
A couple of talks fell straight into my heart this time as well. The one I want to focus on most I felt was given directly to me. When I heard it, it was as if I was the only person in the room, just myself and Elder Condie. It was his talk that still leaves the greatest impression in my heart.

He spoke of the Blessings we are promised by the Lord. He gave us the scripture mastery quote:
I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say ;but when ye do not what I say, you have no promise. (Doctrine and Covenants 82:10).

He then went through several different commandments and laws and the promised blessings for keeping those commandments. He stressed needing to have Faith in Christ and how we express that faith is evident when we believe and follow his teaching and claim the blessings & promises. When we obtain any blessing from heaven it is in direct obedience to the laws and principles that govern it:

"Keeping the sabbath Holy and become unspotted from the world.

forgiveness when we confess and forsake our sins.

Opening windows in heaven, faithful tithe payers.

finding great treasures of knowledge when we keep the Word of Wisdom.

divine guidance and inspiration for those who feast upon the words of Christ and liken the scriptures unto themselves.

whatever righteous thing ye shall ask in the Lord's name believing ye shall receive.

The Holy Ghost as a constant companion when we let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly.

Fasting will loose the bands of wickedness ,undo our heavy burdens and break every yoke.

Those sealed in holy temples and faithfully keep covenants receive God's glory which will be a fullness and continuation of your seeds forever and ever"

But he also stated "sometimes in our earthy impatience we lose sight of the Lord promises and disconnect our obedience for the fulfillment of these promises....

And he referenced
Doctrine & Covenance 58:32:
I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing.

How true this is. We often lose faith and become lax in our obedience and then wonder why the blessings don't come. We feel forgotten, ignored and pushed aside in our obedience and efforts to do the right thing.

Elder Condie Stated that faith is enduring, patient and long suffering and how we too must master these things and be believing in the faith of Jesus Christ.

He then recalled the story of the craziest sibling rivalry story I've read in the Scriptures, the story of Leah and Rachel:
Jacob worked 7 years for Laban, Rachels father in exchange for the priveledge to marry Rachel. Rachel was his love, his heart. He said... 7 years felt only like days to him, such was his love for Rachel! And when the wedding day came and he married, he unveiled his new wife only to find out he had been tricked. Laban gave him his eldest daughter, Leah, to marry. Jacob worked another few years to marry Rachel. And when he did marry Rachel, she could not conceive. And because the Lord saw Leah was hated, he opened her womb. Leah concieved child after child while Rachel remained barren, heart broken and desperate.

And we do that sometimes don't we? We become broken down, desperate, carless, unbelieving and lose our faith and allow our testimony to weaken. We believe ourselves to be forgotten and pushed aside.

2 Peter3:9

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

I think what stuck me most and broke me down was when he mentioned:

"In this day and age of 1 hour dry cleaning and 1 minute food franchises it may at times seem to some of us that a loving Heavenly Father has misplaced our promises or that he's put them on hold or filed them under the wrong name. Such were the feelings of Rachel.

But with the passage of times we encounter 4 of the most beautiful words in holy writ: And God Remembered Rachel."

When Heaven's promises sometimes seem afar off, I pray that each of us will embrace these exceedingly great and precious promises and never let go. And just as God has remember Rachel God will remember you."

When asked what my greatest fear is, I talk of being necrophobic and arachnophobia and claustrophobic and maybe some various other fears. But truly my greatest fear is to be forgotten. I can deal fears such as tight spaces, spiders and so on. However for me to be forgotten is a great hurt on my heart and soul. I'm not sure why it is. At times I do feel like Rachel, who doesn't?

Nothing hurts me more than being forgotten about. I get a physical ill.
When I think of all the things in the last year where I have been forgotten or forgotten about, it seriously makes me ill.

Yeah, I KNOW it's a crazy thing to be upset about. Especially that upset.

You would think knowing that people do and will forget and it's not intentional would make a difference. Sometimes it does. But it doesn't hurt any less. Just because a car hit you unintentionally doesn't mean it will hurt less.
When these things happen is when I lash out at my worst. I don't take it well at all and I know this is a great weakness for me but I'm willing to put it next on the chopping block.
In true theory when ever we want to get over something the very thing shows up to test how serious we are about it. In true fashioned it happened again soon after Elder Condie's talk was given. I was actually anticipating in, which was my first mistake, because what you focus on grows. I should have been more optamistic. I should exercise more faith in others... another thing that has more to do with me and less to do with those around me.
I cried, my stomach ached and sleep was fragmented all from feeling hurt.

It wont be easy. I know it will continue to happen because we all have so much going on around us in our everyday lives that the human mind is bound to forget, even me ;) But I pray that I can have a softened heart free of grudge and negative retorte and find ways to grow from these experiences. Never underestimate the human mind to forget or change. It's going to happen and it should be ok in most cases. It should not be so traumatic.

Now I think of the Savior Jesus christ and his word and teaching. How often do I forget him?
I have no cause to be so ill when I'm forgotten because I too, forget people, places and things.

Elder Condie had no ideah he was hitting right to my very core with this talk.

This hinderance I am casting out. It certainly doesn't serve me and it definetly isn't right how it makes me feel and treat others.

So when we get to feeling like this and I know we all do, whether we feel as if our friends, family or even our loving Father in Heaven has forgotten us, I hope you can remember this talk and know that we are engraved into the palms of the master our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.... we truly CANNOT be forgotten :)

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