Anyway, this week I wasn't stellar with my scripture reading. I read Alma 5 (lots of great nuggets in there) but the main thing I focused on was the Relief Society General Meeting broadcast from last weekend that I watched on the internet, one talk a day. I loved it. I loved the focus on searching our hearts and changing our hearts and truly loving and serving each other in ways that really matter. I also love the focus on the Atonement.
Here are my notes from each talk:
- "Sisters, it is for us to be wide awake in our duties." - Zina Young
- We're supposed to stand as witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places.
- We've made covenants to come out of the world and into the kingdom of God. We are supposed to be different.
- None of us will ever make a serious mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
- Is our heart soft, teachable, humble?
- Don't allow too much of the noise of the world to disrupt our ability to hear the Holy Spirit.
- Take our changes of heart seriously - make them work for us, don't forget the changes of heart the Lord has wrought in us.
- * continually striving will keep us progressing.
- use our agency to choose what we'll learn from the adversity we'll go through
- let us begin with ourselves and begin where we are. let us begin TODAY.
- awake to who we are. awake to our duty.
The pioneers didn't cross the country for a program, they did it because of faith and covenants the truths they knew in their hearts. to make room for what matters most, maybe a lot of other things need to fall out of our handcarts.
*** we have to decide what will go in our handcarts and what we need to leave out. We have RS handcarts, family handcarts, work handcarts. Everything can't fit into any of these handcarts. What is written in our hearts should determine what we should be including.
Key thoughts to remember about the Atonement
1. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the atonement of Christ. suffering is part of the plan for our progress. Oaks: Our needed conversions are more often achieved through adversity than through comfort.
2. There is power in the atonement to help us get out of every bad situation we may be in. Jesus lowers the ladder to get out of the pits we may be in - and He comes down to comfort us and give us courage to climb out. But WE have to use that ladder and that comfort in order to actually climb out on our own power. the enabling power of the atonement is REAL and gets us on the path leading back to our heavenly father.
3. The Atonement is a supreme act of love by Heavenly Father. It shows how much we are worth to Him when we realize that He gave his beloved son for us. We may feel crumpled and dirty and old but we're still a $20 bill.
When we each have the doctrine of the Atonement deep in our hearts, we'll be recognizable as Christ's true disciples. The Atonement is the true "glad tidings of great joy." It leads us to want to do God's will and find happiness. Ask the Lord to write these principles of the Atonement in our Hearts.
We need to make, keep and REJOICE in our covenants.
Story of Jesus' compassion for Mary and Martha after the death of their brother Lazrus. He had deep compassion for them. He wept with them. Jesus weeps with all of us as we go through hard, hard stuff.
Shared a story of when she thought she would be losing her husband when he was very sick. She quit praying and planning. Then she realized there was no way she could do it alone and prayed for forgiveness and said she would accept His will. Peace and love fell all around her and she felt God say, "that's all I needed to know." Her husband recovered. Her 17 year old daughter was very sick and they pleaded for her life but the answer was no. They still felt great peace and love. They've come to know what it really means to cast our burdens on the Lord and to feel His compassion and love and lifting. Alma was able to get rid of all his sins and feel the pain of them no more - he was able to feel longing towards God rather than fear of God as he fully repented. Whatever sin or weakness or pain we're going through, he knows those moments. He will carry you through. He has paid the price so that he can know how to succor us. Tell Him about your pain and afflictions and give them to Him.We are graven upon the palms of Christ's hands. None of us should go away - we should come unto Christ. We must feel and see for ourselves and then help all of Heavenly Father's children to feel and see and know that Jesus has taken upon us all our sins, our pains, our afflictions.
Lucy Mack Smith "we must cherish one another, comfort one another and gain instruction that we may all sit down in Heaven together."
We should feel the appreciation and commendation of God.
God answers prayers through the vital work of the Relief Society. We are each other's caregivers.
Then I spent the past couple days watching General Conference and this week I'll be studying some of those talks in greater detail and will report some of my thoughts on them next Sunday.