What a fantastic weekend. To be honest I love conference.
Let me give you a new perspective. In the mission how many times a year do we celebrate Christmas? Answer: ONE TIME. In the mission how times do we have conference? Answer: TWO TIMES. In the mission how many days do we celebrate Christmas a year. Answer: ONE Day. In the mission how many days do we spend watching conference in a year. Answer: FOUR Days. In the mission do we have to work on Christmas day? YES. In the mission do we have to work on conference day? NO! On Christmas day do we listen to the words of the prophets? MAYBE (if we want). On the four conference days do we listen to God´s modern prophets? YES!!!! Do Missionaries have holidays? ……… CONFERENCE IS OUR HOLIDAY!!!!!!!!
Well I have learned a very valuable lesson while I was listening to conference. Almost all of the conference talks I felt were directed right at me.
I loved that the majority of the talks were about making the choice in our lives to follow the Lord. That really in the eyes of God there is no middle ground.
I also found it so interesting that there were a lot of talks about the Power that the Book of Mormon has as an instrument of God.
One of the most powerful topics in my opinion however was the talks about revelation, specifically one of the talks that was given by Barbara Thomas. I found myself so intently listening to her talk that it was not until afterwards I realized that I was sitting up straight on the edge of my seat and my backside was aching. One of the most inspiring things that she said was the rhetorical question… HAVE YE INQUIRED OF THE LORD? I find that for most of us to have that level of trust in our Lord, we need to show our humble similitude confiding in him our daily problems. One of the things that President Uchtdorf said about this was that the Lord always wants to hear about the small things in our lives and that by explaining these small things we grow closer to him. Thomas S. Monson also said that if he was not praying every day that he would be lost. I felt the impression to really focus harder on prayer with real intent and love… speaking to him that has given us this life. The Lord loves his people and is only waiting to help them return to him.
Another most insightful concept that I learned was from the talk that was given from Elder Bednar. What a fantastic talk about the Spirit of Elijah. I felt so inspired to do genealogy work that I felt like leaving the mission for a week and doing all of the baptisms for the dead that I can possible do in the temple here. I would like to share with you one of the most spiritual experiences that I have had on my mission. While I was listening to that talk, I am not saying that I had a vision, but in the simplest words I can use, that really is what happened. A thought came into my mind about my patriarchal blessing. Without telling you a lot about it there are some parts that talk about genealogy work. While I was thinking and listening, I felt like I could see in my mind very clearly, I was at home with the girls… specifically Haleigh and Saydi. I, having had asked permission, left with them in the car to drive to Billings so that we could do baptisms for the dead together as brother and sisters. I could see us driving there and on the way listening reverently to church music and talking about my mission. We arrived and I could see the baptismal font… and the beauty of the temple. We were there for the most part of an hour doing baptisms where I had the opportunity to proxy baptize my own sisters. I was filled with more joy in my heart to JUST IMAGINE this moment, that I was overcome with elation, and a massive smile hit my face. I then in my notes wrote down in big letters- TAKE YOUR SISTERS TO THE TEMPLE!
I know that I still have one more year in the mission. I know that I am a long way from coming back, but I WILL take my sisters to the temple. I will make that vision a reality. I want that experience more than I want to play video games, watch movies, or listen to music. I know it is a long way off but this past year has flown by and I think just as fast, if not faster, I will be back.
Please prepare yourselves to go to the Temple and receive the joy that can only be found there.