26 April 2022

"Peaceable Things"

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This week covers the Sunday afternoon session of the October 1996 conference.

This past Sunday I spoke in Sacrament Meeting about prophets and the importance of listening to and following their instructions. In this session of conference Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said:

A general conference of this church is a remarkable occasion indeed--it is an institutional declaration that the heavens are open, that divine guidance is as real today as it was for the ancient house of Israel, that God our Heavenly Father loves us and speaks His will through a living prophet.

He talked about how "peace and good tidings . . . are among the ultimate blessings that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings a troubled world."

Has there ever been a time when the world wasn't troubled? Perhaps brief moments in small isolated places, such as Enoch's city, and the Nephite/Lamanite nation after the visitation of the Savior. But otherwise, mortal life has been troubled.

In relating the blessings of the gospel Elder Holland talked about repentance and said:

Closely related to our own obligation to repent is the generosity of letting others do the same--we are to forgive even as we are forgiven. . . We don't want God to remember our sins, so there is something fundamentally wrong in our relentlessly trying to remember those of others.

He finished with this beautiful thought:

The better angels of our nature. That is what much of what the Church and general conference and the gospel of Jesus Christ are about. The appeal today and tomorrow and forever to be better, to be cleaner, to be kinder, to be holier; to seek peace and always be believing. 

We need the messages of general conference everyday! They help us face the realities of mortal life with greater courage and strength. I know I couldn't make it without the guidance, light and truth of the words of prophets, apostles and other inspired leaders.

Marilyn at Light in Leaves has more General Conference Odyssey.


19 April 2022

Timeless Counsel and Encouragement

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This week covers the Sunday morning session of the October 1996 conference.

Elder Faust's talk, "Woman, Why Weepest Thou?" was perfect for the Easter season. His faith and kindness comes through when he says, "I believe the kind and merciful God, whose children we are, will judge us as lightly as He can for the wrongs that we have done and give us the maximum blessing for the good that we do."  Then Elder Faust goes on to say, "To remain true and faithful through this mortal vale of tears, we must love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves." And adds, "As we go though travail and difficulty, we may feel sorry for ourselves and despair, but with the love of Hod and the Saints, unitedly bearing each other's burdens, we can be happy and overcome evil." What more could we ask for as encouragement to keep pressing forward along the covenant path!

Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke on the Holy Ghost, explaining the differences between "(1) the Light of Christ, (2) a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, and (3) the gift of the Holy Ghost."  When he explained what a manifestation of the Holy Ghost is he said they are given "to lead sincere seekers to gospel truths that will persuade them to repentance and baptism." 

This was echoed in the next address by Bishop Richard C. Edgley (2nd C) when speaking of missionaries he said, "They testify of a restoration that is so marvelous that only the hand of God could be its author--so miraculous that is can only be believed if one understands the powers of God and His love for all mankind--a story so divine that the truth of it can only be truly accepted through the personal manifestation of the Holy Ghost, which the Savior promised as His way of testifying of the truth to those who prayerfully seek it."

I love seeing patterns and second witnesses in both the scriptures and conference talks. That these occurred in successive talks in one session is a testimony that they are inspired!

Elder Hales spoke of the eternal family. His address could have been given at the last conference. He said, "The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings great comfort in stressful times in mortality. It brings light where there is darkness and a calming influence where there is turmoil. It gives eternal hope where there is mortal despair. It is more than just beautiful doctrine. It is a reality in our lives that if we can be obedient and obtain the eternal rewards that God grants us, if we will draw nigh unto Him and embrace the eternal doctrine, we will be blessed." Oh how we need these reassurances today!

President Hinckley spoke to the women of the church reminding us that "The greatest job that an mother will ever do will be nurturing, teaching, lifting, encouraging, and rearing her children in righteousness and truth." I needed to hear that at the time as I had just had our fourth child and was in the throes of family life, with a fifth to come not quite two years later. I remember a particularly harrowing day when I said to my children, "You're interrupting my work!" The Spirit spoke immediately to my mind saying, "These children are your work!" Oh, right, I forgot. 

It never ceases to amaze and delight me to read past conferences and remember anew how timeless the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are, and how prophetic and pertinent the counsel is from the past.

Marilyn over at Light in Leaves has more General Conference Odyssey.

17 April 2022

Happy Easter!

 And Happy International Haiku Poetry Day!

Darkness gives way to
a kept promise of return
for He is risen!

May your day be joyous as you remember the gifts to each of us from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.