I didn't really want to go today. I think Satan was really working on me. We skipped last night's adult session - I told Melon Man I was only going to go to one, not both. Why? I don't know, I just wanted to stay home, in my quiet place, I guess. So, since he hadn't slept yet by Saturday afternoon, we agreed we would just go to the Sunday session. I am so glad we went.
We got up about 7 and were out the door by 8 and at the church by 8:15. It didn't start until 10, but our chapel has a tendency to fill up early with all the elderly folk and then all the families end up having to sit in the overflow and it's loud and the chairs are hard. We didn't want to sit back there, so we made sure to get there early. In fact, we were the first ones there except the A/V guy. The chapel was still dark. I went and sat on "our" bench and Melon Man went to do some clerk work. I read an excellent talk from the Conference issue of the Ensign and then journaled about it for my Personal Progress project.
Around 8:45/9:00, folks started filtering in. At 10, the conference started. Our former bishop and current home teacher, now the second counselor in the Stake Presidency, gave a great talk about Love. Then, a new convert who is only 16 or 17 years old gave a talk, followed by the daughter of the lady that I worked with on Prom. Both youth talks were excellent. Such strong testimonies in such young people! There were a few more excellent talks - one by a young adult in a wheelchair, one from Brother Mabey in our ward who is soon leaving with his wife to go on a mission to the Marshall Islands, and then another lady who struggled with trials in her life. Essentially, the last three all talks about the different trials they had had in their lives, and how they left it up to God and he came through for them because of their faith and devotion to Him. Then, we sang a rest hymn and then the Phoenix mission president and his wife both spoke.
Then, President Thalman spoke. I really loved his talk. He started with a story about living in Utah growing up and each year, they would brand their calves and the calves would be marked for life. He then proceeded on to talk about how we "brand" ourselves. He talked about how the Cub Scouts have their motto and they repeat it each week. Then, how the Boy Scouts do the same. Then, he mentioned that the Young Women have a motto too that "brands" them and he asked all of the 12-18 year old young women and their leaders to stand. Then, he asked all of us to repeat the Young Women theme, which we did:
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.
We will stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places
as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
FAITH - DIVINE NATURE - INDIVIDUAL WORTH - KNOWLEDGE - CHOICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY - GOOD WORKS - INTEGRITY AND VIRTUE
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,
we will be prepared to strengthen home and family,
make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple,
and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
I stood proudly with these young women and repeated these words, happy that I had finally committed the theme to memory and was able to stand less than 15 feet away from our local leaders and share my commitment of these things with them with full conviction and testimony of them. Even Melon Man made a "good job, Honey" comment.
I'm proud to be "branded" with these values. I look at what society offers today and while those things may be what the rest of society deems "good", I know differently and am happy to follow these values instead.
After President Thalman's talk, President Rolfe, the Stake President, spoke. He talked a lot of looking to Christ and living. It was such an uplifting talk! I wish I had taken notes, but I was so focused on what he was saying, that I think I would missed a lot of what he said. He reminded us that there are certain things we must do to be able to return to our Heavenly Father - baptism, confirmation, follow the Holy Ghost, receive the ordinances of the temple, and there was one more...
Either way, it was an excellent talk. I don't think I've ever heard such a quiet large crowd before in my life. The children there were in excellent form and were ever so quiet. The only noise you might hear was an occasional baby crying and often that stopped quite quickly. It was just so solemn and peaceful. President Rolfe is an excellent speaker!
I hope that Melon Man and I will take into our lives the things which we learned and felt today. I know as we do, we will draw closer to Christ and someday return to be with him.