October 6th and 7th was General Conference. For those of you who don’t know what General Conference is….it is one weekend twice a year, the first weekends in April and October, when our prophet and other general authorities speak to the members of the church.
I always take notes and thought that I would share my thoughts on my five favorite talks. If I were to include everything that I would like to into one post it would be super long so I am going to do it in parts. The talks are in order by session and my comments are in a different color. I did not comment on every quote I included because I didn't feel the need to. This is a way for me to share my favorite talks and words spoken by our general authorities. Well, here is part #1!
Saturday Morning - Russell M. Nelson "Ask the Missionaries"
This talk given by Elder Nelson was my favorite talk from this past General Conference! I absolutely LOVE this talk!
Elder Nelson said, “every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood duty—an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much”. He mentions how we are given so much, so much that we cannot do enough to repay our Father in heaven. I believe that is why it is so important for young men to serve missions. We should be doing everything possible to repay our Father.
"A mission is a voluntary act of service to God and humankind." By serving a mission or serving the church in any way we are serving "humankind" and our Heavenly Father. Yet another way to repay our Father, serving him and his children.
"The decision to serve a mission will shape the spiritual destiny of the missionary, his or her spouse, and their posterity for generations to come. A desire to serve is a natural outcome of one’s conversion, worthiness, and preparation." This statement is SO true! Choosing to serve a mission or not will shape the rest of one's life. Just think of all of the good possibilities that could come because of serving a mission!
"Some of you may wonder about the name Mormon. It is a nickname for us. It is not our real name, though we are widely known as Mormons. The term is derived from a book of sacred scripture known as the Book of Mormon." I love how he states that "Mormon" is not our name. We are Latter-Day Saints and that is what we should tell people!
"The original Church and the priesthood were lost. After the Dark Ages, and under the direction of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ brought back His Church. Now it lives again, restored and functioning under His divine direction." What I love about this statement is that Elder Nelson says that we receive divine direction from our Father in heaven, not just direct from him.
One thing I love about Elder Nelson's talk is how it is not directed just to members of the church. We always think of General Conference as for us members but there are in actives and nonmembers who also watch. "You may have previously encountered, or even ignored, our missionaries. My hope is that you will not fear them but learn from them. They can be a heaven-sent resource to you."
President Eyring's talk goes hand in hand with prayer. Prayer is my favorite gospel principle. Prayer is so meaningful to me. I think that this can help everyone. If we have a pavilion up we cannot receive divine revelation. What a great reminder this is to us about not just speaking with our Father in heaven but being able to listen to Him as well.
"In the depths of his anguish in Liberty Jail, the Prophet Joseph Smith cried out: 'O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?' Many of us, in moments of personal anguish, feel that God is far from us. The pavilion that seems to intercept divine aid does not cover God but occasionally covers us. God is never hidden, yet sometimes we are, covered by a pavilion of motivations that draw us away from God and make Him seem distant and inaccessible. Our own desires, rather than a feeling of 'Thy will be done,' create the feeling of a pavilion blocking God. God is not unable to see us or communicate with us, but we may be unwilling to listen or submit to His will and His time." This is a great reminder that our Heavenly Father is ALWAYS there for us. If we feel that He is not than we may have put up a pavilion. President Eyring said, "Our own desires create the feeling of a pavilion blocking God". Our Father would never put up a pavilion between Himself and one of His children.
"God is close to us and aware of us and never hides from His faithful children." I love everything about this sentence! He is close to us, aware of us, and never hides from us. This simple sentence comes with such a spiritual feeling!
"Jesus Christ lives, knows us, watches over us, and cares for us. In moments of pain, loneliness, or confusion, we do not need to see Jesus Christ to know that He is aware of our circumstances and that His mission is to bless."
I LOVE how President Eyring described what he did when he needed help from our Father in Heaven.
"And so, like a child, I knelt in prayer to ask what I should do."
"There was no pavilion shielding me from God. In faith and humility, I submitted my will to His and felt His care and closeness."
"We can’t insist on our timetable when the Lord has His own. I thought I had spent enough time in my service in Rexburg and was in a hurry to move on. Sometimes our insistence on acting according to our own timetable can obscure His will for us." We have to remember that everything is on the Lord's time. Although we may pray and plead, it will not be done at our will. It is not always easy to be patient but I'm sure by doing things on the Lord's time will be better for us than doing them on our time. He knows us, better than we know ourselves so it would make since to trust in Him and His timing.
"Submitting fully to heaven’s will, as this young mother did, is essential to removing the spiritual pavilions we sometimes put over our heads. But it does not guarantee immediate answers to our prayers."
"Although His time is not always our time, we can be sure that the Lord keeps His promises. For any of you who now feel that He is hard to reach, I testify that the day will come that we all will see Him face to face. Just as there is nothing now to obscure His view of us, there will be nothing to obscure our view of Him. We will all stand before Him, in person. Like my granddaughter, we want to see Jesus Christ now, but our certain reunion with Him at the judgment bar will be more pleasing if we first do the things that make Him as familiar to us as we are to Him. As we serve Him, we become like Him, and we feel closer to Him as we approach that day when nothing will hide our view."
"But if you go for the Lord to bless others, He will see and reward it. If you do this often enough and long enough, you will feel a change in your very nature through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Not only will you feel closer to Him, but you will also feel more and more that you are becoming like Him. Then, when you do see Him, as we all will, it will be for you as it was for Moroni when he said: 'And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.'”
For those of you who missed General Conference or would like to learn more about it you can go to lds.org! There are notes and comments from three more talks to come soon!