Last night, it was the General Women's Session.
I think every talk was just for me. Here are some of my notes:
Jean B. Bingham
- One of the greatest forms of charity is withholding judgement.
- I will bring the light of the gospel into my home.
- Commit to do whatever is kind and human, to cheer and to bless in humanity's name.
- Look for and share positive things about others.
Carole M. Stephens
- We need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ.
- With an increased understanding of the doctrine of Christ, the Plan of Salvation, and the Savior, then we have to apply it and our love for the Savior will grow. Despite perceived differences, we all have need for his infinite atonement.
- He meets us where we are.
- He can give us living water where we need it.
- He will comfort and strengthen us when we experience pain.
- Hope and help are not found in darkness and secrecy.
- He is the master healer.
- We should not be surprised by our day.
- Moroni asked, "What are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?"
- We have many reasons to rejoice and be optimistic!
- It will take concerted commitment.
- We need foundational testimonies: 1) acknowledge centrality of God, our Heavenly FAther and Jesus Christ, 2) understand the need of restoration of doctrine, organization and keys of the priesthood, and 3) understand temple ordinances and covenants.
- Through temple ordinances and covenants, the power of God is manifest in our lives. Are we drawing upon this power?
- See yourself as an essential participant in the priesthood
- Understand the plan of happiness.
- Let us also use our common sense and sensitivity in teaching essential gospel truths and do so clearly.
- We must be willing to speak up.
- It is our responsibility to teach correct doctrine.
President Dieter F. Uctdorf
- There are more ways to see than with our eyes. More ways to feel than with our hands. More ways to hear than with our ears.
- Distill the voice of the Spirit
- Challenge: to develop faith in a literal world
- Faith is powerful and often it does result in miracles
- 2 things faith cannot do-- 1) cannot violate another person's agency, 2) force our will upon God.
- The purpose of faith is not to change God's will but to empower us to accept/trust God's will.
- Follow someone who can see what I cannot. Trust and act accordingly.
- Trust in his love. Know that everything in the end will make sense.
- Walk by whatever faith we have.
- Faith comes to those who pay the price of faithfulness.
I think my major take aways were these...
1) There are a lot of things that have become awkward subjects. Same sex attraction and marriage, gender identity, the family unit, and the roles of men and women, just to name a few. How have they become awkward? Well, honestly in my growing up experience, there wasn't the need to really discuss them like there is today. Not because we were ignorant, but because it wasn't as prevalent and everything in life wasn't so public. We live in a time where black and white just don't cut it for most. All shades of gray are expected to be accepted. In an effort to not offend, to be "up on the times," to be "kind" to all, to be open and non-judgemental, we may come across as being accepting of things. For me, the challenge is to teach that there is a balance between loving the person always; and yet, being aware that their beliefs and choices, may not coincide with mine.
As a parent, I don't know how to walk that fine line or how you teach that to your children. But I do know that I was raised by parents who taught me how to love others who were different than me. How to love them in spite of their weakness and how to be a friend to those who were struggling, no matter what the struggle. I believe that we must become these things, live these things. The only way we can teach those around us is by becoming it ourselves.
2) The role of faith is crucial. We live in a literal world where proof is expected. Where immediate results, immediate gratification and immediate validation are expected on so many levels. I post something on social media and I can get all of the above right? But what are we really seeking? And how will it get us where we need to go? Well social media won't get us anywhere that we want to go. But God can help us get everywhere we need to go. I love when President Uctdorf said, "the purpose of faith is not to change God's will but to empower us to accept/trust God's will." I love that! God is great! He sees all the things that we can't see. He is our eyes from on high, our ears that can always hear and it is his hands which constantly reach toward us.
3) "Faith comes to those who pay the price of faithfulness." This reminds me of patience. Patience is a virtue and it's one that I'm trying to develop but man it is hard. I don't rock at patience. In fact, just this morning, I woke up feeling very impatient that my life was not yet what I wanted it to be. But then, I thought of this line and of what it means. I think faithfulness is acting in a manner that is consistent with what we want, not just with what we presently have. I think faithfulness is a choice that you have to make over and over again in the million tiny little decisions you make, down to every thought you think in a day.
I'm looking forward to general conference this week. I hope I can be ready to receive the impressions that are in store for me.