Sunday, October 4, 2009

Thoughts from General Conference

There is nothing quite like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing" or "O Divine Redeemer".

This has been a weekend of spiritual enrichment for me filled with inspiring music and motivational talks from men and women of God. Twice a year (every spring and fall) I look forward to General Conference where members of our church all over the world (over 13 million strong) gather to receive counsel and direction from the Lord's living prophet, apostles, and other church leaders.

Our Beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson and his two Counselors

The Twelve Apostles

I was so looking forward to General Conference, and now that it's over, I can't wait to receive it in print so I can read the messages again and again.

Here are a few thoughts I remember from the talks today:

Develop the "ity" virtues: humility, spirituality, integrity, fidelity, civility, generosity, morality, charity, etc.

In reference to holding to the word of God... "Get a Grip" and "Hold Tight; Knuckle White" are great mottos. If I ever have to plan another Youth Conference or Young Women's Camp, I'll remember those lines as possible themes.

I was touched by the story of a father asking his children each night at the dinner table,"And what did YOU do for someone today?"

"Unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose in our lives."

"Man's greatest happiness comes from losing himself in the service of others."

"Have you immersed yourself in the thick of thin things?" This really made me think of what I could eliminate from my life so that I can focus more on service to others.

"Find someone who is having a hard time, or who is ill, or lonesome and do something for them."

GIVE WARM FUZZIES! My friend, Holly, who has young children has decided to adopt this in her home. They will have a "warm fuzzy" jar and each time the kids do kind service for someone else, they'll add a little warm fuzzy to the jar.

As President Monson shared the stories of Primary children throughout the world who had given service to others as their birthday gift to him, it brought tears to my eyes. He talked about the little four year old whose dad was in the military. This little guy said his good deed each day was to give his mom lots of hugs and kisses. The young boy in Mongolia served by bringing water from the well. Another girl worked hard to clean out the toy cabinet. It would make mommy so happy because she didn't even ask!

Thinking of those elderly and lonesome who need to be reached out to..."We have to live a LONG time to know how empty a room can be that is filled with furniture." President Monson is such an ideal example of someone who has lost himself in service to others.

"Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lightened today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?"

As Elder Holland spoke, the power of his message overcame me and I didn't write anything down. But it was a talk that will not be forgotten. Those of you who heard it, know what I'm talking about.

"Having religious observance in the home is as important as food, shelter, and clothing"

"Identify temptations that easily best us and put them out of reach--WAY out of reach."

It's been a WONDERFUL weekend. I'm a little sad that it's over.