We had our Stake/Regional Conference this past weekend and it was a wonderful, spiritual, inpirational experience for me. Here are a few of the notes I took:
Saturday Night Adult Session of Stake Conference
President Swindlehurst spoke about forgiveness. He asked a very profound question that really got me thinking: Will we give away ALL of our sins to know our Heavenly Father? Are there sins that we love that we are "almost" ready to give up? Now is the time to do it. They divide us from our celestial possibilities. The atonement can only be in effect when we leave our sins behind.
Sister Brimhall of the Los Angeles Temple taught us that we can do hard things. One of the comments she made really stuck with me: Heavenly Father delegated many things to the Savior, but He has never and will never delegate our personal prayers to anyone. He wants to hear from us.
President Brimhall, the LA Temple President taught us that there isn't anything the Lord can't do with us if we are willing and LET Him do it. He suggested that every time we put on the temple garment that we let it remind us of our Savior's love. As a boy, Jesus was found teaching in the temple...He still does!!!
President Porter spoke to us about how we can get our children ready to attend the temple. We need to do the following:
Be regular church attenders
Hold Family Home Evenings
Have family prayer daily
Bear our testimonies often to our children
Show consistency in living the principles of the gospel
Participate in all the saving ordinances of the gospel: baptism, confirmation, Melchizedek priesthood, the endowment, and the new and everlasting covenant of marriage
Look to the Savior always
He taught that having a testimony equals knowing and feeling; being converted means doing and becoming. I LOVED THAT!
Teach chastity and moral cleanliness
Teach about the Savior and the atonement
Continue to stay worthy (endure to the end)
One of his final comments: God cannot break the covenants of the temple or he would cease to be God, only we can.
Sunday Morning Session of Regional Conference. This was a conference attended by 88 Southern California Stakes via satellite.
Bishop Richard Edgely spoke about adversity. We should never blame God when trials come, never ask why. We should thank Him for making it okay, for helping us get through the trials. How do we meet the challenges of life? This life was meant to be a schoolmaster, we should be learning. Adversity can bring us closer to God, and because of our own adversity we can become more compassionate to others when they are going thru their own adversities.
Sister Vicki Matsumori talked about this life being the time to set ETERNAL resolutions. We are here temporarily. This is not our permanent home. We need to:
Live what we believe
Always be willing to attend the temple
Leave a lasting legacy of faith
As Elder Holland has challenged us...we need to live the gospel conspicuously.
Elder Jeffrey Holland spoke about resolving. We should resolve some of the issues in our life and that will help in ALL aspects of our lives. We need to:
Forgive ourselves for something that needs forgiving.
Not be so hard on ourselves while we are trying to become better.
God is happy if we are trying to do what is right and move in the right direction.
Unload some of that excess baggage that we have been carrying around.
Move on, move up!
Forgive someone else. We need to bear one another's burdens and thus fulfill the plan of happiness. A true Latter-day Saint needs to be pleasant and forgiving EVERY DAY. You cannot expect to receive what you are not willing to give. It is spiritual murder to hate and to brood. Get some things resolved that need resolving.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf started out by telling us that this conference was being translated into 14 languages other than English. "You are truly the United Nations" of the church." In the church we are never alone.
He gave a quote and I did not catch who it was by: "Conquer the angry man by love, the miser by generosity, the liar with truth." I loved that!
We need to help and encourage young people to serve the Lord. Now is the time for them to make the commitment to serve the Lord. Don't underestimate your potential as a missionary.
Satan keeps us from using our time wisely...from reaching our goals. HAVE INTENTIONS. Have financial and temporal goals but don't forgot the spiritual goals. Evaluate where you are in the journey back to Heavenly Father. Make course corrections where necessary. Remember: "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I comand."
Make use of the help that is always available to you. Increase your faith by living the gospel. Follow three plain but proven principles:
1. Have and keep a current temple recommend. Guard it as a precious asset.
2. Study the word of God daily. Ponder the things that need to be resolved in your life.
3. Speak with your Father in Heaven daily. President Ezra Taft Benson said, "Nothign can take the place of prayer."