Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ward Conference, Part 2

So, after coming home after church, not feeling well (something wasn't sitting right with my tummy) and taking a 5 hour long nap, I finally got up and decided to come blog about church today.

It was a nice conference.  Essentially exactly about what I thought it would be about, but on a higher level.  Sometimes, I wish church leaders would just get right down to the nitty-gritty and just say what they want to say in a way that is just blunt and direct to the point.  Instead, they try to say it nicely and all spiritually so it doesn't offend anyone and I think that sometimes it goes right over people's heads unless the person is REALLY in tune.  Today was probably one of those days. 

Bishop talked about comfort.  There are a lot of people in the ward going through a lot of hard times.  I'm sure many of their situations are difficult and unfortunate.  Some of the situations were probably caused by unwise decisions, greed, and unpure actions.  Some of them were likely unforeseen and heartbreaking.  These people probably all need comfort in their lives right now.  I think he was trying to tell everyone that they will find comfort by following Christ, not by following the ways of the world.  He explained that we find comfort through the Holy Ghost, through each other, and by seeing an eternal perspective in things.  The Holy Ghost comforts us when we are in need.  He can bring a stillness to our hearts and make us meek.  By helping others, we help ourselves find comfort.  I know when I've had a rough time with something, helping someone else in need turns my mind away from my own problems.  He also pointed out that the ordinances we have set in our church us apart from the rest of the world.  Eternal marriage is only available in our church - the fact that we can be with our spouses and our children and families for eternity rather than 'til death do us part is something no other church holds the keys to. 

He shared an analogy of hunger and thirst in the body and how when we lack hunger and thirst, there is something wrong with our body.  He compared that to our spirits and how when we hunger and thirst for righteous things, our bodies and spirits are healthy.

The last thing he was able to share in his short amount of time was the most important.  He said that when we come unto Christ, it lightens our burdens.  I have seen that in my own life.  In times past, when I was inactive and withdrawn from church and Christ, my burdens were many.  I had a husband who was also inactive.  We struggled financially.  We struggled in our marriage.  We struggled spiritually, mentally, and socially.  We just plain struggled.  It wasn't until I decided to really come until Christ and turn my life around completely that things started to change.  Mr. Spock left me.  At the time, I was devastated.  I thought, great, what else?  But, I trusted in the Lord and things began to change for the better.  Melon Man came along.  My life changed so much for the better with him - spiritually, financially, mentally, socially, and maritally.  We have Christ in our lives and the comfort I feel from that is far beyond anything I ever felt with Mr. Spock.

The final speaker was President Hancock.  He started off with the scripture of the month, Mosiah 4:27:  “And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."  He spoke a lot about "the prize," the prize being exaltation.  He talked of how we often say our goal is to just reach the Celestial kingdom.  However, we need to strive for the highest degree of the Celestial kingdom for this is the only place where we can be with our families for eternity.  I had not known that before.  He likened this to the Olympics and how the silver medalist had earned the prize, but he often thinks to himself...if only I had practiced a little harder, if only I had swam more, if only I had run a little faster.  How will we feel if we make it to the Celestial kingdom, but we don't make it to the highest degree of glory because we didn't forgive one another, or because we didn't serve others, or we didn't do this or that, and then we aren't with our families?  I would be heartbroken to not be with my immediate and extended families.  We must do all we can to reach the top.

President Hancock also likened our journey to the Celestial kingdom to a river.  First, we must choose the right river to forge.  It will be difficult.  We have to row hard to get the canoe to go upstream where the prize is.  We need to not get caught up in the current, the ways of the world, that take us down the river, perhaps even over a waterfall.  We must press onward.  He then closed with again, likening us to the silver medalist asking "What more could I have done?"  These are the four things he answered:

1 - Have a firm testimony
2 - Use the companion we have been given - the Holy Ghost - to comfort and guide us
3 - Accept a line from someone when we need it
4 - Throw someone else a line when they are in need

I hope others that were there got as much out of these talks as I did.  It really made me think about the things I need to work on in my own life.  None of us are perfect.  But, I want to strive to get as close as possible.

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