At long last, we made it down to Saint George this past weekend (well, several weekends ago now). Due to an over-abundance of family events other scheduling issues, we hadn't yet met the great new renters/buyers (they're doing a lease option) who moved in months ago. It was so good to see the house looking so beautiful and to go over some things about the house in person with its new occupants.
While we were there, we were able to enjoy one of our all-time favorite family hikes (Castle Rock), swim in the pool in our development that was a huge part of the kids' growing-up experiences, and see some dear friends.
Plus we watched and listened to Conference and were richly fed. I thought Conference offered an extra-lot of concrete and direct messages addressing issues that have been on the forefront of a whole lot of church-member's minds combined with beautiful reminders of the truths we know but need to remember and understand more fully.
We drove north during the morning session on Sunday so we could spend a few precious hours with my sister Charity who was in town from California. We watched the afternoon session with her and she and I enjoyed some great walks and talks afterwards. Nothing like talking with a sister about what we're learning and about the "happy's" and "sad's" in our lives.
We found the most perfect autumn tree on our walk and loved watching its leaves shimmer and make that special sound that reminded us so strongly of the breeze we fell asleep to and woke up to in the home we grew up in (there were lovely quaken asp trees all over in the front yard of that house).
My Conference Notes
(I'm including this here so I can easily find this stuff and refer back to it. These notes are things that stood out specifically to me - things I need to remember and/or do. What I've written here is not meant to be a summary and likely doesn't involve messages that will resonate with everyone. I love how every one of us who listens to these talks can find something that is specifically for us, if we listen with purpose, using the Spirit.)
Saturday Morning Session
- Hales. Leaders work very hard to find what God wants them to share in conference. Some things said will be hard for you but if you listen with faith like they are words straight from God, you will be greatly blessed. To do: Learn the whole armor of God scripture (Ephesians 6: 11, 14-18)
- Soares. Come into Christ. Be meek like Christ. Do something a little better each day. Control tempers. Be humble. Just take it when people are giving us a hard time - take it with love.
- Sister Stephens. Use the Holy Ghost - a gift we all have, a gift of real power. Endowment is power fully available to both men and women. Priesthood power in its highest form is only available to a man and woman together. Great stories (review them). Women are blessed and strengthened through the covenants they keep. Men and women need each other.
- Dube. Covenants say we will accept callings. Be not weary in well doing. Teamwork is vital
- Bendnar. Tithing. There will always be enough and to spare. Be sure kids see when I'm paying tithing, share more personal stories of how tithing has helped us with them.
- Uckdorf. Members are asked to do a lot not by leaders but by God. Ask questions and worship in accordance to the dictates of our own conscience. God is working with imperfect people so mistakes are made. Some suffer because of mistakes but no significant decision in the church is ever made w/o serious direction from God. Come and add your talents and its ok to have questions. You probably have more in common with others than you think. The church is designed to help those who are struggling. There is room for everyone in this church. Many of the finest souls are in the church but we're not perfect people. If you seek truth and want to make truth into action, come.
Saturday Afternoon Session (need to finish watching this - we were hiking and fixing up our house Sat afternoon so I've got a little catch-up to do)
Sunday Morning Session
- Eyring. Greatest commandment. Love God and love one another. Fulfill callings to obey these commandments. The miracle of becoming one in marriage takes time and takes lots of love and use of the holy ghost. Life in families is meant to test us.
- Oaks. Don't serve other gods. Traditional families are increasingly less common. Let us have the courage to not compromise about things that are essential parts of goods plan.
- Sister Oscarson. Choose you this day who you will serve. Story of Isabel. Great chance to have a great life with another family. Mother said no. Gospel was more important. Story of avoiding immobility and substance abuse in the 60's. Don't expect the reward w/o working for it. You have the primary responsibility for your own conversion. seek the things of a better world.
- Mayes. We make mistakes. Christ has made it possible to be whole again. Must have ordinances and endure to the end. Testimonies like our bodies need to be whipped onto shape. We have to develop spiritual stamina..we have to pay the price of stamina and work to finish the race. To do: Memorize 2 Timothy 4:7 - "I have tonight a God fight, I have kept the faith."
- Scott. Story of Ammon. buried weapons. Were counseled not to defend their families physically. More important to defend themselves spirituality.Monson. Gratitude for wife. Suffering and sadness are universal.we need to become more spiritually refined through our hard times. Commitment to God should not eb and flow. Must listen and pray every hour whether they be hours of sunshine or not.
- Monson. Gratitude for wife. Suffering and sadness are universal.we need to become more spiritually refined through our hard times. Commitment to God should not eb and flow. Must listen and pray every hour whether they be hours of sunshine or not.
Sunday Afternoon Session
(I was taking notes on my phone which sadly died and lost my notes on the 2nd to last talk. Darn! Will re-create and re-listen soon)