Sunday, April 4, 2010

Revelation at General Conference

I'm not sure what to say. When I attend General Conference, I feel like the Lord is speaking directly to me – as if the speakers wrote their talks as direct answers to my questions. I don't want to write about anything other than Conference, but copying all 20 pages of notes would be long-winded even for me, so I'll just include a few of my thoughts. It's a bit haphazard, but you'll probably benefit from reading your own notes more than reading mine. My invitation to you (if you haven't already done so) is to review and write your own feelings and the promptings that the Lord gave you this General Conference.

Some of my thoughts:

The father always, always, always should administer to the ordinances of salvation for his family. He can choose others to give blessings and make decisions... but he should always, always, always administer to his children in the most important ordinances.

We can be certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us.

For those who eschew evil and live good lives, things can get better and better, even in difficult times.

How do we know our path of duty in a time of crisis? We pray.
Humble, sincere, inspired prayer makes available all the guidance we need.
I wonder if this means that I need to find the answer to my questions outside of General Conference... if the Lord is teaching me that He wants to have a more personal conversation. I can definitely understand that – I haven't been as faithful in everything as I should be... as I want to be.

I don't know if I will know what I need to do... other than stay close to the Lord, pray for His guidance, have faith, have hope, and move forward in the work. I don't know what that will mean. Perhaps it means making plans... trying new things, knocking on doors to see if they will open. I don't know what will happen at all. And I wonder.

Mothers have an impact and effect on their daughters... and everything that a mother does becomes a part of her daughters forever. Maybe that means that I need to find a mother that knows – a mother who is so completely engaged in the Gospel... and then look for her daughters.

How can I bless the lives of others? I'm not sure how to make an impact in the world.

I need to rescue others... I need to reach out to people... and I don't know exactly how.

The people who paid their life's savings for a Bible... and ran the risk of being executed. What did they know that we lack?

Take the time to obey the Lord – to do the things that the Lord has asked me to do and to be obedient to the commandments He has already given me.

You can't give the knowledge you have to your children. You can't. You can't. They have to learn it for themselves – the same way that we learned it.

Blessing: If you will do this [follow this pattern to teach your children], your children will be able to see afar off and hear the trump... and be a blessing to your family and your posterity.

I will give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
If we want it deeply and truly enough, that enemy can and will be rebuked... forever more.
The light of the Gospel can and will shine where we feel it has gone hopelessly and helplessly dark...

If we are sick and ask the Lord to bless us,... I need to do all the things necessary... it appears consistent to me to apply every remedy that comes within the range of my knowledge and then to sanctify that application to the healing of my body.

Healing blessings involving the power of the Priesthood. We will need this power (the Melchizedek Priesthood to bless the sick) more in the future than we have needed in the past.

“Our faith is in Jesus Christ and is not dependent on outcomes.”

The Missionary Department just posted a job on the Church website. Should I apply for the job? I think I want to be there. That means I'll have to apply for the job. Would I be happy? Yes – it's a learning experience and another type of teaching experience. Life goes on. And it will get better. I'll talk with my boss about it on Monday, and I'll work on my resume and application this week to make sure that I make a perfect fit.

Wow. I think I just heard the answer to my question. “A mission call is the most important work that you can do.” It is definitely clear, and while he meant it in a different way, it feels like the answer.

So that's my decision. I'll talk with my boss and apply for the job in the Missionary Department; I'll ask some people for references... and we'll see what happens. Will it affect my work in Development? Yes, but I've felt that I needed to look for a new job for a while. I've felt that I needed to move in a different direction for a few months now... and I can help train others to take my place in the department. Yes, it will be sad – and I'll miss the people in the department. But it feels like the right thing to do... and we'll see how it works... if it is the right direction... if I end up getting the job. The likelihood of getting the job is minuscule in the first place; I don't know what will happen. But I'll try it. Who knows? Maybe it will work out. And maybe I won't get the job and life will go on. Who knows?

What will my bosses think? And what do I think? I hope they don't feel like I'm abandoning them... like I'm pulling up roots in the middle of a project where they need me. But do they really need me? They have teams and others... and I know that, while I am a part of development, the department has created amazing things in the past and will continue to create great things in the future – with or without me as a part of them. It would be preposterous to think that development really needed me... or would it? I don't know. I don't feel like I'm really needed right now... and I think that the project will go on and be implemented without me.

Lord, I want to do this. I want to apply for this job. And I want to get it. Please help me to get this job, if it be Thy will. And if it be not Thy will, please help me to understand Thy will and how I can accomplish it.

Patience is not passive resignation... nor is it failure to act out of fear.
It is active waiting and enduring... staying with something and doing all that we can, bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not enduring... it is enduring well

So what does that mean for me? It means that I'll apply for the job, and if I don't get it, and while I'm applying, I'll do everything in my power to bless the Development department. And if I don't get it, I'll keep moving forward.

Wow. Patience is an important thing. And I know that the Lord will eventually help me to know His will in my life. Patience is a good thing to learn at this point in my life; patience in finding an eternal companion: actively dating. Patience in choosing someplace to live: finding a home and working to make it a better place. Patience in attending graduate school: working and learning and applying. I haven't really waited very long – a year for graduate school, three years of waiting for a family.

I wonder. I can see that the Lord wants me to learn important lessons. I can see that He wants me to bless the lives of the people around me – doing things that I probably wouldn't have been willing to do had I a family to support. Be patient. Act now. I guess that's the same answer He has always given me – the same answer I've received for the last 3 years. Is it enough? Be patient. I can be patient. Act now? I can act; I am an agent unto myself and I can make a difference in the world. And I can and will act... and the Lord will direct me.

Learn what the Lord expects of you.
Plan how to do it.
Act on your plan.
Share with others how your experience changed you and blessed others.

At least that last part sounds like my weekly letter.

I'm planning to talk with my boss on Monday; I'll tell her what my plans are and all of the information that I have about the potential job. I'll ask for her help, and let her know what I'll ask for if I have the opportunity to choose when to start (I can ask her & my other supervisors for input on that if it comes to it). And then I'll move on. Or I'll keep working there with diligence.

Looking at what has happened in my life in the past, it's completely possible that this may not be the right choice. I mean, every job I've ever gotten was not posted online, wasn't available to the public, wasn't even offered before it was given to me.

True love requires action. What actions do I accomplish to show others that I care about them? I can show my love to others in so many ways...

Get up early tomorrow morning and make healthy food to take to work.
Celery sticks (probably not – people want 'calories')
Carrot sticks
Fruit? What kind of fruit can I take that would last all day?
Apples. I can take full-size apples

Teaching is actually helping others to have spiritual experiences. We can't be perfect examples. But we can do a lot. So how does this apply to the MTC? How does this apply to everything that I do in my work?

Wow. I feel so thankful for everything that has happened in my life – the people that I've known, the God that loves me, the Savior that sacrificed His life for me... and Who is risen from the grave to heal and save me. O Lord, please bless me. Help me to share the light of the Gospel with the people of the world... to shout it out with joyful voice and to make a difference... to bring Thy children back unto Thee. That's all I want. I just want to be a missionary... to change lives and to teach the Gospel all the days of my life. Help me to do Thy will.

The tragedy of spiritual death is much, much worse than the tragedy of physical death... and we can look around the world and see massive disasters that kill thousands, spiritually. What are we doing to help them? We are willing to send teams of doctors, money, supplies, and everything else to help those who are physically suffering. But what do we do when there are people who are suffering in the Spirit? People who are dying from infidelity, selfishness, pride, dishonesty...? Why don't we send massive relief teams there – to change their lives? I would join a team that was dedicated to preach the gospel in Naples, or in France, or in California, or in Provo. I think we need to have something like that – spiritual disaster relief programs. I don't know how you could do it. People are often so hurt that they cannot tell the difference... and they don't want the help of others. But spiritual help is so important... and much more important that the physical relief that comes with relief efforts. Maybe it would simply be a team of teachers – people who travel the world to teach principles of optimism, agency, wisdom, honesty, and other universal principles. You start with the basics, and move forward.

Suddenly that sounds like something that would be amazing. Groups of teachers that teach moral principles – that serve as moral guides in places where spiritual problems have occurred. Teachers who help children and parents to come to a knowledge of the truth for themselves. And teachers who accomplish a portion of missionary work by helping others to come unto Christ.

“You have come to this earth at a glorious time... the opportunities of this earth are nearly limitless... but we have been placed on this earth in a perilous times... the adversary is trying to ensnare us in a web of deceit.”

We are the rising generation... who are we? Who am I? And where do I fit in, in my generation?

The Lord loves us and will bless us as we call upon Him.

I invoke the blessings of Heaven upon each of you... that Heavenly Father will bless you and your families... may the messages and Spirit of Conference find expression in all that you do – in your homes, work, meetings, comings and goings.

I know that God loves us and that He hears and answers our prayers. We are guided today by living prophets and apostles who receive revelation for our sakes. Every time I attend General Conference my faith in revelation is reaffirmed. Reflect on what you have learned this Conference and share it with the world. Go out and be missionaries!

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