Hey y'all! Hope you've had a good week, because I have! On Friday afternoon, my companion and I met with E.Y. and his girlfriend and he told us that he wished to be baptized the very next day! We, excited as ever, were disappointed that we had to inform them it need to wait a week after calling our branch president :p... He understands everything that he needs to do and has the courage to ask questions for things he doesn't! I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to teach him the Gospel from start to finish :) And a little sad that Elder Hainsworth was transferred before he made his decision
(Hear that happy note?) I for the first time ever sat through all sessions of General Conference fully and completely aware and taking notes! And I'd like to share with y'all what I appreciated most of the talks. Over all, the talk that related to me the most was Wilford W. Anderson's in the Saturday afternoon session. He talked of an old Native American man who visited a hospital and was confronted by a doctor working there. This Indian was a tribal healer and asked the doctor "do you dance?" After the doctor figured out what that meant he asked the man to teach him how to dance. The Indian man responded, "I can teach you to dance, but you have to hear the music." Elder Anderson (the apostle... not my companion haha) then went on to use this as a wonderful parable. We can learn the dance by going through the motions. Showing up to church, glancing over our scriptures, saying repetitive prayers, and putting on a face we know isn't truly ours. But one day when we are really doing the dance, really listening with our hearts, our dance will then be accompanied by music, the Spirit of God, and what a wonderful sound it is to hear. However difficult it is for me and for any of you, I know that to hear it, all effort should be put forth, it is worth finding and listening to even when its hard.
I'll share a few of the other sentences I heard that really meant something to me.
Linda K. Burton (Sat morn) said, "guilt is to our soul what pain is to our body, a warning to prevent further damage." I have never given a single thought towards what guilt could really be for. When we get a little prick on our finger we know not to keep pressing on the thumb tack because it will get worse and that is the perfect analogy for guilt and what it is to our souls.
Elder Dale G. Renlund (Sat aft) said, "A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying." Defining sainthood like this is something that really gives me hope. I will never be perfect down here on earth and continually trying is all I am able to do.
He also quoted Shakespeare, "Twas I, but, Tis not I." This was a phrase to describe a man who had gone through a mighty change of heart. I do not think it is bad to own up and recognize what sins we have committed in the past but instead to use those experiences to learn to grow and to change.
Nothing anybody said in particular but really a message I found as a whole during the Priesthood session was the importance of Fatherhood. Saturday night I understood that really anything and everything I will learn should make me a better father. And when I've spent enough time thinking about it I really don't care about much else that one day finding a righteous daughter of God, marrying her and starting a family. Obviously I'm going to make education and work important because otherwise how could I care for my family?
I cannot even begin to explain what Elder Jeffery R. Holland eloquently explains about the importance of the Atonement of Christ and I recommend for us all to watch or read that again or for the first time.
I didn't and don't mean to preach to y'all, but as it is the day after Easter I'd like to again bear my own testimony of the Savior's Atonement. I know that more than 2000 years ago he came and lived on this earth and he performed his ministry and afterwards suffered more deeply than we can imagine for our sins... for my sins. He died and rose so that we can rise again, so that I can. The Atonement is not some great giant obscure thing that just generally applies to all of us. It is something very personal to each and everyone of us. That we can truly be fully healed and perfected in him I know. I know that Christ is alive now, waiting for us to realize the truths of his Gospel, quietly playing the music of his Spirit in our lives as we learn to do the dance. I will not let the suffering of Christ be in vain. I want to be the best I will ever be and continue to become better. And I will rely upon him every step of the way. I love you all and hope for the best week of your lives. Adieu