A Gift and a Blessing

Uncategorized Mar 31, 2017



As March comes to a close, the gifts of Spring are everywhere. The thing I love the very most about this time of year, is the return of life. The green buds returning to the bare branches, the sound of songbirds returning to my backyard trees, the deep color of green to my front yard grass, and the return of warmth and sun and color to my small corner of the world. 

The end of March brings another much anticipated gift, conference weekend. A time when my world slows all the way down, and for 2 full days I am immersed in the words of living prophets and apostles. Surrounded by my precious family, my soul is lifted, fortified, strengthened and renewed. 

When the Lord is about to speak to us through His servants, it only makes sense that we would take the time to prepare ourselves to hear His voice. 

Preparation is a personal endeavor, and can look different for all of us. But we have been counseled, encouraged, and invited often to PONDER QUESTIONS. 

I have done this in many different ways. I've recorded two pages of questions and than prayed to recognize answers as they came. Other times I've asked only one pressing question and looked for answers to that question throughout all of conference. I believe the most important aspect of asking questions for conference is to invite the Spirit into your pondering. Ask Heavenly Father what HE wants to teach YOU. 

If we invite the Spirit into our question making and answer seeking, we will be given the very personal direction we need for our own unique families and circumstances. 

And He will answer that sincere prayer whenever we ask it. 

A few years ago, I was struggling to pay full attention to all of general conference with all of my (then 5) boys around me. I felt distracted and unable to focus. I remember feeling like I hadn't received anything that was particularly personal during the sessions. At the end of one of the talks, before conference was almost over I said a silent prayer, apologizing for not paying better attention and then I pleaded that Heavenly Father would speak to me and help me to know what He wanted me to hear for this exact time in my life. 

The speaker that followed that prayer was Elder D. Todd Christofferson from the quorom of the twelve apostles, and in the middle of his beautiful talk about redemption he told a little story about a mother and this exact quote...

"The most important thing is [the] boys; spend time with them, read to them—they are more important than the house."

At that time in my life I had 5 little boys under the age of 8, and I was serving as primary president in our ward. I was constantly struggling to figure out how to juggle all the responibilities that I had been given. I was blessed and stressed in lots of ways. And this sentence pierced through to my tired heart. It was a clear, very personal answer to my sincere prayer. And I was reminded in a gentle way from a kind Father in Heaven what was most important in my life. At every season, but especially the precious and fleeting season of being surrounded by little children at home. 

The answers don't always come right away, or in such clear wording. But I testify that when we approach conference with sincere questions, seeking personal direction and guidance for our lives, the answers WILL come. Heavenly Father has promised. It may be in the moment you hear it, it may be in the days or weeks or months after as you study the conference talks. But if we are sincere, our Father WILL answer us.

He will bless us.

He will lift us, and encourage us, and speak to us through His holy prophets.

His general conference has gifts and blessings for all of us and each of us. Just waiting to be received.  

All we have to do is ponder, pray, believe, and then pay attention. 

But first we have to ask. 

"As you prepare for general conference, I invite you to ponder questions you need to have answered. … There are messages in each general conference given as a gift and a blessing from heaven specifically for our personal life situations." - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

For more ideas about how to prepare for general conference, along with information on times and ways to listen or watch this weekend just click on the following link. Preparing for General Conference 

*Picture from lds.org 

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