Monday, October 8, 2012

My General Conference report

I want to respond to a few things from General Conference while it's still fresh in my mind. Here is a general summary of how I connected some of the different concepts that were mentioned.

Elder Bednar (Sun. PM) taught that testimony is the beginning of conversion -- not the end destination. And testimony alone is not enough. We need to have "a knowledge of the truth" (a testimony) as well as to be "converted unto the Lord" in order to have the steadfastness necessary to "never fall away." Conversion comes when we begin to "set aside" our "weapons of rebellion" i.e. all the things that keep us from being changed.

I think this is part of what Elder Uctdorf (Sat. AM) was getting at when he said that declaring testimony is good but being a living testimony is better. It's who we are, who we have been changed into through our conversion to Christ that makes the difference. He went on to explain that we must learn to be less focused on the finish line so that we do not miss the journey. I think the the journey is our conversion... we cannot become so caught up in the end goal, of perfection, that we aren't away of the daily journey of the process of our conversion. Elder Uctdorf also said "there is something in each day to be embraced and cherished." Every day we can find a lesson, a tender mercy, an experience, to be embraced and cherished for what it can do/will do to be changed. Each day offers an opportunity.

Of course this means being willing to submit to whatever circumstances come our way, from day to day, in our journey. Cherishing the journey means trusting God.  Elder Eyring (Sun. AM) brought up that sometimes our insistence on following our own timetable obscures the will of God and that we have to learn to say, not just "thy will be done" but "thy will be done and in thy own time" because times of waiting are always calculated to bless. The stories President Monson told (Sun AM) seemed to illustrate this well -- that sometimes things go "wrong" for us so that they can go "right" for others -- so that our paths cross and we can be there to lift and bless.

We may be left in undesirable circumstances or abruptly pushed into an unexpected trial, but it is meant to serve as part of our journey and part of how we are left in keeping of the "lower light," as Elder Packer (Sun. AM) explained, that is necessary for others to find their way through their journey as well.

Anyways, I'm excited to read the talks and make more solid connections with real quotes. It was a marvelous conference!

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