Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thoughts from Saturday and Sunday

Yesterday, I mentioned that we had Stake Conference this last Sunday. For those of you who may not know, Stake Conference in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is where the "stake" (which is a group of local congregations who are grouped together) meets and hears from the Stake President and usually a visiting general authority. 

There is usually a Saturday night meeting for the adults, and a Sunday morning meeting for everyone. Both meetings are about two hours long. 

Sometimes the Sunday morning meeting is hard to pay attention to, especially when you have small children. This is one of the reasons that I was especially grateful for the Saturday night meeting this year. I really heard a lot of things that I needed, and I received some really good counsel that really struck me to my core. I wanted to share a few things that really helped me.

The first thing that really stuck out to me was when one of the speakers said something along the lines of, "Unwavering faith means faith in God's perfect love, not faith that our family will be healed or saved." 

That was something I had never really thought about in that way. Sometimes when bad things happen, it is really easy to doubt and wonder why our Heavenly Father won't take the trials away from us. It's sometimes hard to understand why the Lord let's bad things happen and why our prayers for relief aren't answered immediately. 

One of my sister-in-laws had struggled with a lot of health problems for the last while. We've been trying to pray and fast for her, and sometimes we wonder why this trial never seems to end. However, as I thought about what the speaker had said, the thought came to me that I didn't have enough faith. Faith isn't just telling the Lord what we want and expecting Him to do it, it's also trusting that He loves us and will do the best thing for us. Sometimes trials are what we need and if we trust in our Heavenly Father, we will become more like him as we learn to endure and have more faith and trust. Sometimes immediate healing isn't going to be the best thing for us. Sometimes we have to pass through the trials in order to become the person that we're meant to be.

One of my greatest trials lately has been my inability to have more children. We've been trying for the last 3+ years. The greatest desire of my heart is to have siblings for my son and to have a large family. However, for some reason, it isn't time yet. I am slowly learning to have patience and trust in my Heavenly Father's plan and His promises. I am learning to trust that the Lord loves me, and His plan will ultimately lead to the greatest happiness for me. 

This is Kevin as a baby. It's hard to believe that it's almost been four years!

The other thing that I really liked that was shared was when another speaker said, "If you ever think that someone you love is entangled in sin so far that Christ cannot save them, you know nothing of the Savior."

The Lord knows His children and loves each and everyone of us. He lets us make our own choices, but we should never lose hope in our brothers and sisters. Sometimes people make bad decisions, but as long as people are alive, there is always the chance that they might change. If we give up on them, we are essentially saying that we don't believe in Christ's ability to heal and change hearts. We need to keep loving, hoping, and praying for those who are lost. 

The third thing that really stood out to me was a talk given on Sunday. The speaker shared a story where we was told by a general authority to give her father a kiss and tell him that she loved him every day for a year. That seemed like a really weird thing to do, and she was frightened to do it because her father was not a physical person and had never told her that he loved her. She didn't know why she'd been asked to do it, but she did it. 

As she obeyed, her father gradually softened, and finally told her that he loved her too. Only a few weeks after the year had passed, her father passed away. She bore testimony that we needed to heed the council of our leaders, even if we don't know why they ask us to do something. I thought that was a really powerful story. 

I'm so grateful that we took the time to go to Stake Conference. Sometimes, it's hard to want to go to church on Saturday night, but a lot of the goals and inspiration that I've received this week have come from the things that I was taught over the last few days. 

I'm super stoked for General Conference this year! I can't wait to learn what the Lord wants to tell me through his servants. 

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