Sunday musings 10-05-08 (i.e. Cassia’s Conference highlights)

First of all, I just want to point out that today was Kathryn’s due date.  :)  It’s amazing how quickly these past two weeks have gone by–and yet how it seems like she has always been a part of our lives.  It’s funny how that seems to happen with each new child.  :)  And, as Bryan predicted, she has been more awake today than any day previously.  Which means she’s been awake for at least a 1 1/2 to 2 hour stretch.  Thus far she’s mostly been sleeping, which is typical of our children–they always seem very sleepy until they reach their due dates, then they wake up.  :)  In other words, I’d better get ready for things to get progressively harder…  :)

These past two days have been great times of inspiration for me as I’ve participated in General Conference.  I’m so grateful for modern technology that has allowed us to watch it from the comfort of our own home (not only more convenient, but also allowing us to be kind to others and not pass on the nasty cold that is working its way through our family).  Since we don’t live in an area where it is broadcast over the air, and we don’t get BYU-TV (or any TV, for that matter), we have been especially grateful for the ability to watch it streaming on the internet.  :)  And I’m also very glad that I can also go back and re-watch those talks that I mostly missed because of three little distractions…  :)

Honestly, there were so many things that touched me during this conference, but I think for the purpose of this post I’d better stick with just a few that really affected me.

First of all, I very much appreciated the Relief Society broadcast.  I ended up watching that one piece-meal over the past week.

  • Sister Beck’s talk made me want to do more in Relief Society–to reach out to others and serve more.
  • Sister Allred’s talk increased my desire to attend the temple more frequently (though that gets trickier with a newborn).
  • Sister Thompson’s talk again made me want to dedicate more to Relief Society, and to serving others.

Hmm… maybe starting to feel a little like I need to do a lot to get where I should be… so I found myself especially ready for President Uchtdorf’s talk.  For those of you who missed it, I highly recommend you read, watch or listen to it here (very bottom of the page) when you get a chance.  :)

Basically, the biggest message I got from his talk is, “It is easy to focus so much on inadequacies that I miss what has been accomplished.”  This was not the focus of his whole talk, but it was what I most needed at that time.  To me, it was basically a reminder that, as important as it is to strive to be better, I need to also “give myself a break” and remember to recognize the good I already do.  I really appreciated that reminder.  :)

Of the main conference talks, one of my favorites ended up being the very first one–Elder Perry’s talk, in which he encouraged us to simplify our lives.  There are so many things that I want to do, so many things that I feel I should do or need to do… and yet so many days when I get to the end and think, “What did I really accomplish today?”  I appreciated the reminder to take a good look at my efforts and time and make sure they are really going to those things which matter most–which may not actually be those things with the most pressing “deadlines.”  And I also appreciated the reminder to take care of my body–to give it good food, exercise, and sufficient sleep (where possible…) so that I can better live life.  I hope to start putting these into action right away.  :)

Which means that I’d better make the rest of this post short so I can actually get to bed at a reasonable time.  :)

So, in light of this, here are some quick favorites/highlights:

  • “I don’t know everything, but I know enough [to move forward]”–Elder Andersen of the Seventy
  • The theme of creating/striving for Zion–Zion in our hearts, in our families; unity and love, willingness to reach out and make sure there are “no poor among us,” physically as well as spiritually and emotionally.–Elder Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
  • Humility brings peace.  Disagreements without humility lead to contention as the focus moves past the issue at hand on toward protecting the ego of those disagreeing.–President Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency
  • “Are we, too, being poisoned by degrees?”  Are we too busy doing what in the end is nothing, or focusing too much on our selves and vain things that we forget to serve others?–Sister Dalton, Young Women’s General President
  • (And in connection with the above) Is there something from “Babylon” that I am reluctant to let go of?
  • The importance of reaching out to those who have strayed from the gospel–to those who have lost their testimonies or have been forgotten.  While missionary work is extremely important, we need to make sure those new converts are continually strengthened.–Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Gavarret of the Seventy, Sister Allred of the Relief Society General Presidency, Elder Causse of the Seventy
  • Learn to distinguish between what is important and what is not, make the most of today, and fill life with a focus on gratitude (much along the lines of Elder Perry’s talk, to me).–President Monson
  • A “great” conversion story is not necessary to have a strong and unwavering testimony.–Elder Godoy of the Seventy
  • Take advantage of “plentiful times” so we can be ready for “lean times.”–Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
  • Pray with real intent, which is the willingness to act.–Elder Aidukaitis of the Seventy
  • Meaningful prayer precedes a meaningful day, and make time for prayers of gratitude.–Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

And there are so many more, but I’ve already stayed up longer than I should have.  :)  Each of these ideas deserves so much time to ponder.  Maybe I’ll revisit some of them on this blog at another time.  :)

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