Sunday, April 7, 2013

Conference Highlights

Conference Weekend was wonderful. It helped that I was off the week before so I had time to clean my house, relax, catch up on sleep and so on. But I was also spiritually prepared for this conference and we came with questions. We wrote down several questions that we each wanted answers to and then listened for the answers as conference progressed. Here are a couple of our papers hanging on the wall before conference started:

Here they are once conference ended. Every question had been answered and most had been answered several times by several speakers. After conference was over, all three of my kids could tell me what their favorite talk was and why. We were all spiritually fed.

A few highlights of the weekend. Alfredo, Michelle and I were able to go to the conference center Saturday morning. It was wonderful. As President Monson walked in, the Spirit overwhelmed me and testified to me (again) that he is truly a prophet of God. It was wonderful to be in the room with these amazing men and women and to listen to them speak. From that morning session, the thing that stood out to me the most was that we need to "stand as witnesses" at all times. We all three loved Sister Dalton's talk. I also loved President Eyring's talk.

In between sessions on Saturday, I sent the kids outside to play with the dogs (still dog our dog plus the extra two) and to ride bikes. Then two of their friends ended up joining us to watch the afternoon session. They enjoyed listening for the words "prayer" and "scripture study" and getting a snack when they heard the words. They also colored and listened for answers to their questions and played quietly.

In between sessions on Sunday, they needed a way to release some energy. Michelle suggested a pillow fight. If Alfredo gets involved, it becomes a full on war. He isn't very gentle, but he had the girls laughing, teasing ("can't get me... nananana..."), and running away. Mostly Ella and Gabby stayed down the hall where they were fairly protected, but Michelle was right there swinging and throwing pillows right back at him.

The questions are wonderful because they focussed our attention on conference, helped us pay attention and helped us see that conference is applicable to us. But they will also be a wonderful source of FHE lessons. I got some great insights into areas that I need to teach my children...both from their questions as well as from inspiration/direction given during conference. I also got some wonderful insights into ways to better serve in my calling. In fact, I looked over my notes after conference and made a sticky note full of "action items" ...things to DO. I also put stars throughout my notes to remind me of things that will help me as RS President or things I want to share in our upcoming Visiting Teaching Seminar.

For me, these are the things that are sticking out right now:
*Missionary work...the work is hastening. We all have a responsibility and opportunity to be involved in the work of redemption.
*Faith...I loved Elder Holland's talk about believing and faith. "Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief." "Don't let your questions stand in the way of faith working its great miracle." He said to fan the flame of your faith because all things are possible to them that believe. He also said that aside from the Savior, The Lord has only ever had imperfect people to do His work..."That must be terribly frustrating to Him but He deals with it and so should we.""Be kind regarding human frailty--your own and those you serve with."
*We need to love and forgive and help those who have wandered or who are struggling or who don't feel accepted or who don't know whose they are. We each need to reach out, to rescue, to love, to serve.
*Obedience is so important. Obedience brings power and safety. Obedience to the law of chastity. Obedience to the other laws of God helps us avoid the cunning traps of the adversary.
*We each need a place of refuge. The church...our wards and stakes are one place of refuge. The temple is another. Our homes should be another.
*Elder Nelson: "Our living God is a loving God."

I am so grateful for the spirit that I felt and for the answers to my prayers. I love this gospel!