Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Windows of Heaven, Articles of Faith, No Other Gods

Making the schedule this time was a bit tricky. This week we needed to have three talks- one or more of your own choosing to read on your own.
Elder Bednar's talk was one I was assigned to speak on in Sacrament Meeting last week. It was a nice reminder of the small and simple blessings of tithing and how to budget in our family. It was a nice feeling to know we are living the way the Lord has shown us. Tithing has always been an easy law to follow and to want to follow.

I really liked Elder L. Tom Perry's talk about the Articles of Faith. He always has such beautiful stories to tell from his life.
When I was given the assignment to speak in the priesthood session of general conference, I immediately thought of a wonderful Primary teacher. Her great desire was to prepare us to be worthy of receiving the priesthood. She grilled us on the requirements then in place for graduation from Primary—memorize the names of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the Articles of Faith. She also made us a promise—if all of us could recite the thirteen Articles of Faith by memory, we could choose the place and go on an outing for our last class...
She said memorizing the Articles of Faith would mean nothing more than a lot of words unless we understood the doctrines and principles contained in them. She encouraged us to study the gospel doctrine taught in each of the Articles of Faith. She explained that the doctrine found in the Articles of Faith was divided into sections...
The truths taught in the Articles of Faith build upon one another like the components of a cell phone mutually supporting one another. Like the elaborate supply chain that adds components to a cell phone, the Articles of Faith supply us with key doctrines of the Restoration. Each article of faith adds unique value to our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder Oak's is always an exceptional speaker. Perhaps it's the judge in him. (He was on the Utah Supreme Court.) This was another good talk to remind me of where my priorities should be. The statistics he quoted where eye-opening!
What other priorities are being “served” ahead of God by persons—even religious persons—in our day?...
The principle is not whether we have other priorities. The question posed by the second commandment is “What is our ultimate priority?” Are we serving priorities or gods ahead of the God we profess to worship? Have we forgotten to follow the Savior who taught that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments? (see John 14:15). If so, our priorities have been turned upside down by the spiritual apathy and undisciplined appetites so common in our day.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Look Ahead and Look Up

I loved hearing from Elder Dube.  It is the first that I can remember, hearing from an African in General Conference.  My husband and I were reminded of the time we spent living and serving in the Inner City.  We had a few families immigrate from Nigeria.  The stories they told of their conversion and of being at the Agra Temple dedication were miraculous to say the least.  The people of Africa are truly inspiring and deeply spiritual.

Elder Dube's talk was great!

My dear brothers and sisters, the covenant we made with the Lord when we were baptized, “to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in”, is a lifelong commitment. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf counseled, “Those who have entered the waters of baptism and received the gift of the Holy Ghost have set their feet on the path of discipleship and are charged to follow steadily and fully in the footsteps of our Savior” .
“For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.
“Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation” (D&C 58:2–3).
We too can look ahead and believe.

Elder Ochoa has always had great stories to tell! Do you remember in 2012 the story of the Young Men in South Africa- Thabiso and Tebello?
The story he relates from his childhood is timeless- showing the natural tendencies of boyhood (I was able to recognize those boyish traits in my own sons), and also the hand of a loving Father in Heaven for each of His children.
"As children we were just thinking about ourselves. We never thought about the loved ones who were desperately searching for us back home—if we had, we would have never delayed our journey in such a useless pursuit. And if we had been wiser, we would have looked at the sky, spotted the clouds forming, and accelerated our pace to stay ahead of the storm. Now that I have a little more experience, I always remind myself,
Don’t forget to look up.
"My dear brothers and sisters, if you ever come across anything that causes you to question your testimony of the gospel, I plead with you to look up. Look to the Source of all wisdom and truth. Nourish your faith and testimony with the word of God. There are those in the world who seek to undermine your faith by mixing lies with half-truths. This is why it is absolutely critical that you remain constantly worthy of the Spirit. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is not just a pleasant convenience—it is essential to your spiritual survival."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mormon Tab Choir Veteran's Day Special

Do We Know What We Have? and Claim the Blessings

I especially liked Sis Reeves talk from the Relief Society Broadcast. I thought of the investigator taking the missionary lessons in our home twice a week. He is such a good man and has been going through so very much- life threatening cancer, excommunication from Catholic Church to which he's devoted most of his life, and family and friends rejecting him.
Sis Reeves said,
"My dear sisters, the Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones—and maybe our own—figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen. But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him. He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His Spirit can dwell eternally."

I know this to be true in my life and the lives of family members. The Lord promised Joseph Smith "all these things shall be for thy good". And Alma teaches us as he teaches his son Helaman "I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and in their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day".

In Sis Stephens talk we learn how priesthood ordinances and covenants can bring great blessings. She quoted Elder Ballard
“Our Father in Heaven is generous with His power. All men and all women have access to this power for help in our own lives. All who have made sacred covenants with the Lord and who honor those covenants are eligible to receive personal revelation, to be blessed by the ministering of angels, [and] to commune with God.”

Monday, November 4, 2013

Learning from General Conference

It wasn't until the last several years as our family began to use the talks from General Conference for FHE, that we truly came to love and learn from Conference.  We have gained such a powerful testimony of the blessings that come from studying the words ofliving  prophets and general authorities. Our children's understanding of gospel doctrine and principles has increased as well as their love for the Prophet. 

We have been helping the sister missionaries teach a gentleman in our home for the past few weeks. He has truly been searching for God's will in his life and it has been exciting to watch and hear his testimony grow.  Tomorrow night he will watch Pres Monson from conference- not sure which one the sisters will choose- and I think this opening talk by Pres Monson would be a good one. 

How has your family been blessed by conference?  

How have you been able to incorporate what you've heard and learned at conference in your family or personal life?