Another stake conference has become history. I believe I keep saying that each such conference is the best yet. I realize that my making such a statement may be explained by my shortness-of-memory, but this is less important than just knowing that the Spirit has fed us just what we needed. I heard the thought expressed that not all attendees would glean the same message(s) from the sessions. If we are tuned to the Spirit, we will each hear what the Lord wants us to profit from. Interesting!
Our stake president emphasized some ideas that we hear over and over, but do you know what? We still haven't achieved perfection on any of them. Take a moment and ask yourself if you have done ALL you can to (1) express love to all those who touch your lives--Heavenly Father and the Savior, (spouse for a few of you,) parents, siblings, other relatives with whom you have occasional contact, friends, neighbors, converts, etc.; (2) consider the desires of your parents for you (I especially think of this even both parents are deceased)--reflect upon the ways your parents tried to teach you by example, hoping you would learn; (3) listen--I think of a phrase from the scriptures, "listen and obey."
We were admonished to reflect upon our relationship with our mother. My father was so busy trying to make a living off our 30-acre farm that Mother did most of the instructing--which I continue to appreciate so much. I was the last of four siblings to live at home with our parents, so I heard the words, and I received special "love notes" on my birthday anniversaries from my mother. Those are sacred enough to me that I have them among my keepsakes. However, I do have a couple of notes from my father that are precious enough that they occupy a place in my "book of memories."
In this morning's session of conference I was SO impressed to see our young people of the stake--my 16-year-old grandson included--preparing to participate in a stake choir. Most of the young men left their cots off, so we saw an impressive array of white shirts. Gerilynn Jensen got the group to sing with great gusto, and the piano accompanist did a gorgeous job, so the music was very inspirational. Two young people (including young Taylor Williams from our ward) sounded as good as returned missionaries as they gave short talks, told us how they were feeding their spirits, and expressed their wonderful testimonies.
One male convert--a mature gentleman--brought forth a chuckle when he said that it had taken him "a long time to get here." It is interesting that he had lived amongLDS for fifty years, but his hour had come, and he was so grateful to enjoy the blessings of membership at last. Converts always carry such a humble, special spirit!
President Gertsch presented an idea I had heard before, but it continues to spark my inner feelings--if I were on trial as a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict me? My morning studies should persuade me to demonstrate my convictions during the day, especially showing love to all who pass my way.
Today we were admonished to think of the value of the scriptures we study every day. Lehi recognized their importance sufficiently that he sent his son back to Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates. Then Nephi felt moved upon by the spirit that he took a man's life in order that he could take the scriptures back to his father. How often we read in the Book of Mormon about leaders' feeling the importance of searching those scriptures.
I pray that my ramblings today will stir some special feelings in your heart --particularly the feelings of appreciation. I appreciate what YOU are doing in this marvelous process of spreading the message of truth and happiness.
Love you, Brian
P.S. I decided to check with President Gertsch to be sure how many wards we now have in Farr West--it is 11--8 in our stake and 3 in an adjoining stake.