Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October 2015 Conference Highlights -- Women's Session

I came to conference with very specific needs this time around. I wanted a place where I could simply cut and paste the things that I felt I needed to hear; it's too much to try to write in my journal by hand. Now that the text is out (AMAZING that they have a less-than-two-day turnaround), I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to process the messages that my spirit so desperately needs. I'm capturing the things that stand out to me, that flow to me...even as other messages may be important, too. I need to practice filtering so that I don't get overwhelmed, and so that I engage thte 

"Discovering the Divinity Within"
"the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." [and still does]
"[I] c[a]me into this world “trailing clouds of glory.”2  [I still do]
I am "a beloved spirit ... daughter of heavenly parents”
I have "a divine nature and destiny."
I am here on earth "to nurture and discover the seeds of divine nature that are within" me.
To know why I am here is key to my life. 
"The divine nature within each one of us is refined and magnified by the effort we make to draw nearer to our Father and His Son."
"Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the number of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God."
"We are able to take our validation vertically from Him, not horizontally from the world around us."

“One of the sweetest messages the Spirit will relay is how the Lord feels about you.”6
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “God sent you here to prepare for a future greater than anything you can imagine.”9 That future, a day at a time, comes alive when you do more than just exist; it comes alive when you live your life to fill the measure of your creation."

“Don’t give up. … Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. … It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”10 

"Because you are His child, He knows who you can become. He knows your fears and your dreams. He relishes your potential. He waits for you to come to Him in prayer."

"Partaking of the sacrament each week breathes hope into the divinity within us, and we remember our Savior, Jesus Christ." + Cheryl Esplin [thanks to a SL Tribune Article -- I didn't remember this part of the talk at all. How did I not?] 
"One Sunday after her self-evaluation, she began to feel gloomy and pessimistic. She could see that she was making the same errors over and over again, week to week. But then she had a distinct impression that she was neglecting a big part of the Atonement—Christ’s enabling power. She was forgetting all the times the Savior helped her be who she needed to be and serve beyond her own capacity.With this in mind, she reflected again on the previous week. She said: “A feeling of joy broke through my melancholy as I noted that He had given me many opportunities and abilities. I noted with gratitude the ability I had to recognize my child’s need when it wasn’t obvious. I noted that on a day when I felt I could not pack in one more thing to do, I was able to offer strengthening words to a friend. I had shown patience in a circumstance that usually elicited the opposite from me.”
She concluded: “As I thanked God for the Savior’s enabling power in my life, I felt so much more optimistic toward the repentance process I was working through and I looked to the next week with renewed hope.” 
Worthy of Our Promised Blessings
"Our bodies are sacred gifts from our Heavenly Father." [This year I've been trying to appreciate my body more. I have a long way to go there.]
"we will be exceedingly blessed if we exercise faith and patience and go to our Heavenly Father, the source of all truth, with our concerns." 
 “For the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be.”4
Understandably, many have expressed that our Father’s promised blessings are just “way too far away,” particularly when our lives are overflowing with challenges. But Amulek taught that “this life is the time … to prepare to meet God.”8 It is not the time to receive all of our blessings. [but this needs to also be combined with Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about how we can find joy now--by choosing to live a meaningful life...these two thing combined made a complete message for me...I needed both to be reminded that this life won't necessarily give us all that we hope and dream for, and yet, I can use my agency to focus on what I CAN do (borrowing from Elder Stevenson's talk, which also reflected an almost word-for-word impression that came to me over the weekend].

"President Packer explained, “‘And they all lived happily ever after’ is never written into the second act. That line belongs in the third act, when the mysteries are solved and everything is put right.”9 However, a vision of our Father’s incredible promised blessings must be the central focus before our eyes every day—as well as an awareness “of the multitude of his tender mercies”10 that we experience on a daily basis."

"I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally." [But I DO believe our suffering here matters to God as well. How else can the Atonement help us in our suffering if we don't acknowledge it honestly before Him? To me it's not a binary. What we suffer here cannot compare to the glory hereafter (Paul says as much) but what we suffer here does matter to God, and He wants to succor us...see also Elder Oaks' talk.]

How to Serve a Righteous Cause

"The Savior taught, “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”1"
"each of us is “precious in [His] sight.”2 He loves us. We are daughters of God. We are sisters in Zion. We have a divine nature, and we each have a glorious work to do."

"we may discover our individual and eternal worth by acting in accordance with our divine purpose in mortality. Tonight, this beautiful and remarkable choir sang words that teach our purpose. Through test and trial, even through fear and in the midst of despair, we have valiant hearts. We are resolved to do our part. We are here to serve a righteous cause.3 Sisters, in this cause we are all valued. We are all needed."

"The prophet Mormon boldly declared, “For we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness,..." [the adversary  has been at work on me as of late, so I cut off that scripture just there for a reason]

Before we were born, we accepted our Heavenly Father’s plan “by which [we] could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience ..." [sometimes I fight this plan. Mortality can be so hard.]

In the work of salvation, there is no room for comparison, criticism, or condemnation.

“Sometimes I wonder if the sisters in the early history of the Church didn’t, like us, put their heads on their pillows at night and pray, ‘Whatever tomorrow brings, will Thou help me through it?’” [one day at a time!]

[Lots on virtue in both of these talks. That's a topic for another day...have some thoughts on that.]

A Summer with Great Aunt Rose (I want  a copy of that painting he shared!!)

(Most talks I can do either listening or reading. But this talk is a MUST-listen, imo.)

" I invite you to listen with the Spirit. The Holy Ghost will help you to find the message for you in this parable." [I cannot express how much I loved this simple line from Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. To invite the process of personal revelation is so helpful for me, because my brain wants to latch onto the words in fear and a spirit of duty, rather than to be still and listen to what God wants to say to me. It sounds so silly to need permission to trust personal revelation in this process of conference, but I need it.]

“Dear Eva, do you really think that my life is perfect?” Aunt Rose sat with Eva on the overstuffed sofa. “There was a time when I was so discouraged I didn’t want to go on.”
“You?” Eva asked.
Aunt Rose nodded. “There were so many things I wished for in my life.” As she spoke, a sadness entered her voice that Eva had never heard before. “Most of them never happened. It was one heartbreak after another. One day I realized that it would never be the way I had hoped for. That was a depressing day. I was ready to give up and be miserable.”
“So what did you do?”
“Nothing for a time. I was just angry. I was an absolute monster to be around.” Then she laughed a little, but it was not her usual big, room-filling laugh. “‘It’s not fair’ was the song I sang over and over in my head. But eventually I discovered something that turned my whole life around.”
“What was it?”
“Faith,” Aunt Rose smiled. “I discovered faith. And faith led to hope. And faith and hope gave me confidence that one day everything would make sense, that because of the Savior, all the wrongs would be made right.
“‘God … will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. [That eternal day does sound like something to aim for, doesn't it?]
“‘And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’”4
Great-Aunt Rose looked at Eva. Her smile was wide as she whispered, with a slight quiver in her voice, “Isn’t that the most beautiful thing you’ve ever heard?”
....
Eva furrowed her brow. “But wait a minute,” she said. “Are you saying that being happy means just looking forward to happiness in the future? Is all our happiness in eternity? Can’t some of it happen now?”
“Oh, of course it can!” Aunt Rose exclaimed. “Dear child, now is part of eternity. It doesn’t only begin after we die! Faith and hope will open your eyes to the happiness that is placed before you.
“I know a poem that says, ‘Forever—is composed of Nows.’6 I didn’t want my forever to be composed of dark and fearful ‘Nows.’ And I didn’t want to live in the gloom of a bunker, gritting my teeth, closing my eyes, and resentfully enduring to the bitter end. Faith gave me the hope I needed to live joyfully now!”
“So what did you do then?” Eva asked.
“I exercised faith in God’s promises by filling my life with meaningful things. 

...
 I pray that faith will fortify every footstep along your way; that hope will open your eyes to the glories Heavenly Father has in store for you; and that love for God and all His children will fill your hearts. As an Apostle of the Lord, I leave this as my testimony and blessing in the name of Jesus Christ, 



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