Monday, September 25, 2017

women's conference & a sunday lesson

Saturday night was the first session of the 187th semi annual general conference.  Conference always starts with the women's session the weekend before.  Some day I would love to go to it in the conference center.  Ideally it would be me and my daughters, and their daughters, and my sisters and their daughters, and my mom.  Then we'd go out to eat.  We'd be dressed in nice clothes, and ideally it would be the fall session so it would be chilly outside and cozy in.

But what usually happens is we are busy on Saturday so I record it and then I watch it in my pajamas in my bed...and sometimes I fall asleep and have to watch it again the next day.  That's okay though because I usually re-watch all the sessions multiple times between conferences anyway.

This one was really wonderful, as they all are.  But really wonderful.  I loved all the talks.

Sister Sharon Eubank spoke first and she was really a powerful speaker.  I loved her story about the 80 person chain.   We all need each other to make it thru life and sometimes being there for someone means being in the water chest deep (or treading water even) in order to reach them and save them.  And we need the 40 people between us and the beach to be there for us while we are being there for someone else.  It's never ending.  I am so grateful for my chain.  I know there are many good things that I do that I can do only because someone else is doing something for me.  For example taking the girls to girls camp this past summer.  A really good thing.  I couldn't have done it without the other leaders, the the men, and Kim who kept Ethan, and whoever kept Ziva (I now can't remember who).

I love Sister Neill Marriott. She is just so cute! I loved her talk about forgiving and "borrowing love" from the Savior when we are hurt and don't feel like we have it in us.  His atonement covers everything about our weakness, including our hurts and sorrows and shortcomings. Not simply our sins.  I am ever grateful for Him.  Sometimes I am surprised that as old as I am my feelings still get hurt.  This summer was kind of a hard one for that.  My feelings were hurt, and I hurt feelings, and in both cases the love of the Saviour was necessary to heal.  I am so glad we can pray and ask Him for help.

Sister Joy Jones, what a rock. She lives up to her name.  She gave a beautiful talk about knowing our worth as daughters of God and how that knowledge guides our daily lives.  She told wonderful stories of faithful sisters around the world.  She bore a powerful testimony never mentioning that the day before she attended the funeral of her son.  A father and husband who had been fighting colon cancer for 3 years and just passed away.  Her sure knowledge that there is life after mortality and that families can be forever must have sustained her and lifted her even in her grief.

And then there was our beloved Dieter Uchtdorf.  Everyone loves him.  He talked about choosing joy and being glad.  It was a good shot in the arm of enthusiasm and a renewal of faith. What a tender and kind parent our Father in Heaven is to know that we need that and to provide it for us as often as we will turn to Him and listen to His servants.

And then on Sunday I was teaching the Laurels and our lesson happened to be on the power of words.  How important our words are, and how we can hurt others with mean words.  Also how our words shape our perceptions of life.  If we are of good cheer and optimistic and hopeful and express those feelings we lift ourselves and others in our times of trial, and in the good times.  It was just Paige, Emily and I and Sister Jarvis.  Paige was so upbeat and courageous during her cancer treatment, I really admired her for that.  Emily is good at looking out for and befriending the underdog.  She uses her words to life those around her. We had a really good discussion.  Then I gave them each a fancy chapstick with a quote by Elder Holland about watching our words.

It was an instructive weekend.

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