You know how sometimes you just don't want to do something (exercise, for example), but after you do you are oh so glad you did? That was me last night. We had just had my son Isaac's birthday party (he's 2, cue stereotypical mother-freaking-out moment) and my feet were tired, the house was a mess, and I just didn't want to do anything but eat all the chocolate cake that was left.
But last night was the General Relief Society Meeting for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It's part of General Conference, which is a semi-annual meeting where the prophets and leaders of the church speak to a world wide audience. The R.S. meeting is only held every other year (with alternating years focusing on the Young Women of the church). It is an uplifting, wonderful meeting, and I'm ashamed to say I haven't bothered going since my mission. Shame. So this year I promised myself I would go. Cue excuses. But luckily I have a husband who
nagged encouraged me to go, and a neighbor who offered to go with me, so I went.
And, oh am I so glad that I did. All of the talks were wonderful, and I learned and felt inspired. But the cream on my cocoa was President Uchtdorf's talk. He spoke about the little forget-me-not flower and related it to 5 things we should never forget. And don't you just love the internet, cuz someone has actually already come up with a beautiful little graphic representing it all:
Each of these little reminders I felt was so essential. A few of my favorite quotes from each point in his talk:
on being patient with yourself: "God wants to help us eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal." (emphasis added)
on the difference between good and foolish sacrifices: "How can we tell the difference for our own situation? We can ask ourselves 'Am I committing my time and energies to the things that matter most?"
on being happy now: “Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don't close your eyes and heart to the simple and elegant beauties of each day's ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life.”
on the why of the gospel: "The gospel is a light that penetrates mortality and illuminates the way before us. While understanding the what and how of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the why. When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational pattern of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and instead becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet. ...Seek out the majesty, the beauty, and the exhilarating joy of the why of the gospel of Jesus Christ. ...The why of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into the majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration."
on the love of the Lord for you: "No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, he loves you with an infinite love. Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time."
Isn't it wonderful? Honestly, I had a hard time picking out good quotes - I just wanted to transcribe the entire talk!
When he spoke of the why of the gospel, and how understanding the underlying purposes of the gospel "transforms the mundane into the majestic" and "magnifying small acts" into "holy acts of consecration," I just felt so empowered and validated. Yes, a lot of the things I do every day are pretty "insignificant" in the scheme of the world, but they are so meaningful to me, to my family, and I know they are meaningful to my God. I'm so grateful for these words.
You can watch it here, and I highly recommend you do. The words themselves are poetic, but hearing them spoken by a man who is so filled with love, compassion, conviction, and faith is just infinitely better.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you today.