I rarely do this, but I'm trying something new. Oh, I did not listen to Women's Conference so that's not on here. I hope to listen to it soon. Thank you to the LDS Conference Twitter page for the images I've shared as well. Enjoy!
SATURDAY MORNING SESSION
Pres. Henry B. Eyring - "Gathering the Family of God"
-The names 'Brother and Sister' are more than just terms of endearment.
-We accepted Heavenly Father's plan and accepted the sacrifice with a promise to obey the commandments.
-Family history has made a big increase in recent years.
-"God knew that you would be drawn to your ancestors in love."
MY THOUGHTS: As I have since my miscarriage, when I hear a talk on family and the importance of raising children, I tend to zone out. But I do love the quote above. All families are different and imperfect, including my own, but I was so blessed to have parents who love me unconditionally and have shown me throughout my life what true love really is.
Brother M. Joseph Brough - "His Daily Guiding Hand"
-God has created a "care package" to help us return to him.
-Never disregard the counsel of your bishop. They are there to guide us.
-More import than words is our example of living the gospel.
MY THOUGHTS: I love the idea that scriptures, family, friends, and the church are all a "care package" that God has given us to help us survive the trials of life. That's probably my favorite metaphor ever. He knows exactly what we need and he provides us with everything we need to return to him and to find happiness. He is the source of all the tools we need to live a rich and fulfilling life.
Elder Weatherford T. Clayton - "The Plan of Salvation"
-If we repent, we suffer less.
-"Even in our moments of deepest grief, in the moments when time stands still and life seem unfair, we can find comfort in our Savior because he suffered as well."
-"Come and live a happy Christ filled life."
MY THOUGHTS: Honestly, I didn't listen to this one as much. But the last quote that I wrote, "Come and live a happy Christ filled life" speaks to me. I have referred a lot lately to a quote by Al Carraway, "With God, life is oh so good!" It's one of my daily mantras. We can only find real happiness through Christ.
Elder Dale G. Renlund - "Our Good Shepherd"
-"How can he look at us without recoiling in disgust?"
-When the Savior was on earth he went to those who had sinned, with love and compassion.
-"He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone." - John 8:7
-To be saved from our sins we have to repent. The atonement gives us this power.
-Everyone has the right to share their opinion, but no one can use those words to hate on others.
-Be respectful! "For us to ask for respect, we must be respectful."
-Show respect to all and hatred towards none.
MY THOUGHTS: Repentance has been on my mind a lot lately as I work to get my temple recommend again. I am so grateful for the ability I have to repent and be forgiven of my sins. Through Him, I can find forgiveness. I also loved the notes about respect, not just from others, but from Christ as well. How can we expect respect if we don't respect others? If I want my Father in Heaven to respect me and my decisions, for example, getting a tattoo, then I have to show that I love and respect him as well. He loves us all, but we have to respect him too.
Elder Ulisses Soares - "Confide in God Unwaveringly"
-"Lift up your heads and rejoice and place your trust in God."
-He stands ready to help each of us with our every burden.
-"God blesses according to our faith."
-We must desire and willingly do what the Lord asks of us.
-"Place all of your trust in God."
-"By the power of our unwavering faith in Christ you will become free of the captivity of sin."
MY THOUGHTS: I loved this one. I've gone through many struggles the past year and I could not have made it through without Christ. I'm so grateful for the power he has to protect me. I will always rejoice in the fact that He is there for me anytime I need him.
Elder Mark A. Bragg - "Brighter and Brighter Until the Perfect Day"
-"We are surrounded by such an astonishing wealth of light and truth that I wonder if we truly appreciate what we have."
-"Seeking the light is in our spiritual DNA."
-The church is light.
-"Now more than ever, our families must be sources of great light to everyone around us." (Literally, I'm just thinking of the song from "Life Size" - "Shine bright, shine far, don't be shy, be a star!")
-Jesus Chris is the light of the world.
-His light blesses everyone's lives to help us return home.
-"In a darkening world, the light of Christ will shine brighter and brighter until the perfect day."
MY THOUGHTS: This one was probably my favorite this session. Particularly the quote in the picture above. I depend on the gospel so much to help with my depression, which I constantly refer to as my "inner darkness". The gospel is light, Christ is light, and that light will always be there for me if I seek for it. I found, in my "Why I, As A Mormon, Got A Tattoo" post, that I myself can be source of light for others. We can all be a light for someone in someway and that is such an incredible power that we all have access to.
Elder Russell M. Nelson - "Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives"
-"Our Heavenly Father never intended that we would deal with the maze of personal problems... on our own." (:
-Studying the Savior and his life can change us.
-"Jesus Christ is the source"
-"True disciples of Jesus Christ are willing to stand up, speak up, and be different from the people of the world."
-"Faith in Jesus Christ propels us to do things we otherwise would not do."
-Sometimes it's a stretch to access his power. He can be difficult to reach, but if we stretch, he will always be there.
-"When you spiritually stretch beyond anything you have ever done before, then His power will flow into you."
MY THOUGHTS: I had a goal to read the Book of Mormon this year and highlight everytime Christ is mentioned. I'm behind on my reading, but already there are so many highlights. Christ is the center of our religion and I need to study and learn more about Him because I rely on him so much.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSION
Quick Note: Even sitting in my bed, watching conference on my laptop, I happily raise my right arm to sustain the leaders of this church that I love so much.
Elder Robert D. Hales - "Becoming a Disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ"
-"We embody Christ not only in what we say and do, but in who we are."
-Faith in Christ is the foundation. Faith gives us power.
-Without works, faith is dead.
-"We can be still and know that he is God."
-Ask "what will he have me know from this experience"
-Have patience. (Ugh, my downfall.)
-We cannot be 'part-time disciples'.
-There should be no difference between the kindness we show our enemies and the kindness we show our friends.
MY THOUGHTS: We can all become disciples of Christ. We have to put our trust in him, be patient and kind, and remember that He is a part of everything we do. He is in who we are.
Elder Jeffery R. Holland - "Songs Sung and Unsung"
-"Take courage from his ability to hear our silence."
-There are so many different parts to a choir. The church is like a choir and we all are a part of it!
-"When we feel a little out of tune remember that it is by divine design that not all voices in God's choir are the same."
-"Don't abandon your role in the chorus."
-There is room for everyone. No matter who they are, what they believe, God loves us all and wants us in his choir so long as we wish to be there.
-Come as you are but don't plan to stay as you are.
MY THOUGHTS: This is the greatest analogy ever. I don't even know what to say. I always love Elder Holland's talks. He knows how to speak to everyone and send a message to anyone, even those who aren't of the LDS faith. He's amazing.
Elder Gary B. Sabin - "Stand Up Inside and Be All In"
-Best. Soccer. Story. Ever.
-"The Lord requires the heart and a willing mind. Our whole heart."
-Take the time to roll out your sleeping bag!
-Be all-in. Not partially-in. All-in.
-"When we are partially in or not at all there is a 'disturbance in the force.'"
-"Don't fear, just live right."
MY THOUGHTS: Everytime I hear the phrase "All-in" I think of New Girl, when Jess and Nick decide that they want to keep going with a relationship, that they are all-in. Honestly, in the show it's romantic and adorable and being all-in means that you're committed and that you never give up. (Though for Nick and Jess, that didn't last and I'm still insanely bitter about it.) Being all-in is such a good way to look at the gospel. I haven't been all-in in a really long time, but I need to work into that.
Elder Valeri D. Cordón - "The Language of the Gospel"
-"If parents desire to preserve the native language it must be taught."
-It requires diligence and effort.
-"Bring the language alive."
-Tithing can lead to blessings.
-"Don't miss out on these great blessings. Don't wait until it's too late."
-Daily scripture study should be a tradition to teach children the gospel.
-"We are imperfect people trying to learn a perfect language."
MY THOUGHTS: Such a cool talk! Learning the gospel is like learning a language. I love all the notes about parents teaching their children the gospel as they would teach them a language. It's a tradition, it's a part of life and living. If we want to preserve the gospel, it must be taught with kindness and on a daily basis. We use language on a daily basis and we should use the gospel on a daily basis.
Elder Neil L. Andersen - "Overcoming the World"
-"The blessings that the Lord has promised to those that overcome the world are breathtaking."
-"Sins of scarlet become white as snow."
-"Those who overcome the world develop an all-encompassing love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
-"Overcoming the world is not one defining moment in a lifetime, but a lifetime of moments that define eternity."
-Everyone has their own burdens, the Lord guides us to those we can help.
-"Our challenge is to come and know the savior."
MY THOUGHTS: Overcoming the world is never easy and always difficult, but the Lord is here to guide us where we need to go. And when we are able to overcome the pain the world has for us, we are blessed in such a strong and beautiful, spiritual way.
Elder M. Russell Ballard
-"Goal setting is planning with the end in mind."
-Set goals within the framework of our Heavenly Father's eternal plan.
-God has goals for us but we should also have goals for ourselves.
-You know yourself better than anyone else does. Ask yourself "Have you received his image in your countenance?" (Like my theme song of the year! "Do you like the person you've become?")
-Review your goals for your life and make sure they fit into Heavenly Father's plan.
-"Without Him, no eternal goal is possible."
MY THOUGHTS: I had so many goals for this year and I haven't reached many of them. At all. But looking back, even though I had a couple spiritually centered ones, they should all be centered around not my plans for myself, but for God's plan for me. I ask myself continually "Do you like the person you've become?" and if ever I feel the answer is no, I make a change. I need to add to that question so it's not just if I like myself, but rather if God would like who I have become.
SUNDAY MORNING SESSION
President Thomas S. Monson - "The Power of the Book of Mormon"
-"If you're not reading the Book of Mormon each day please do so."
-"It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these times."
MY THOUGHTS: I love Pres. Monson. I've had many promptings lately about reading my scriptures and the moment I heard this short talk it was immediate. The Prophet, the voice of God, directly told me to read my scriptures. I need to do it now.
Sister Joy D. Jones - "A Sin-Resistant Generation"
-We are in a war against Satan.
-"The battle touches us all and unfortunately our children are on the front lines."
-Teach of the first principles of the gospel (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost)
-We don't have to be entirely sinless, that is impossible.
-"Every day of our lives courage is needed." - Pres. Thomas S. Monson
-"Jesus Christ leads this church."
MY THOUGHTS: I really liked this talk. I've talked a lot recently about my personal battles with Satan/depression and how they are basically the same thing. My biggest fear is that my children will also have depression and feel the daily pain that I feel. I am terrified that I can't protect them from this pain. But, eventually, I hope to raise my children with strong faith in Christ, that he will protect them and that if they have courage, and depend on Christ through everything, then they can win the war.
Elder Yoon Hwan Choi - "Don't Look Around, Look Up"
-"Do not lose your faith because of the people around you, but build a strong relationship with Jesus Christ."
-"When you look up you will be strengthened."
MY THOUGHTS: I was a bit preoccupied during this talk so I didn't take many notes. But I love the picture quote above. There were many times after my miscarriage I doubted God's love for me, but we just can't always see it for what it is. He has a plan for us and we have to put our trust in Him. He loves us, through everything, and we always have to remember that.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband - "Let The Holy Spirit Guide"
-"To give us mortal strength and divine guidance, he provided the Holy Spirit."
-"The Holy Ghost binds us to the Lord."
-"The spirit most often communicates as a feeling. You feel it in words that are familiar to you, that make sense to you."
-The spirit is a gentle nudge to act.
-"Do you know that voice?"
-"Don't expect fireworks because you responded to the Holy Ghost."
-God's acts work slowly, even when we do respond there isn't always an immediate change.
-Become a first responder.
MY THOUGHTS: I haven't felt at one with the spirit in a while, despite recently just letting go of what I want and allowing God to control my life. I believe that as I make daily scripture study a thing in my life, I can become more in tune with the spirit.
Elder L. Whitney Clayton - "Whatsoever He Sayeth Unto You, Do It"
-Mary was awesome.
-"Over time, simple habits of belief lead to miraculous results."
-"Small acts of faith, even when they seem entirely disconnected from the specific problems that vex us, bless us in all we do."
-"God asks us to bear with him -to trust him and to follow him."
-"When we follow him, like water to wine our lives are transformed."
MY THOUGHTS: Again, I don't always feel the promptings of the spirit, but I have been making an effort to allow God to take control. Over the past year, I've lost control of my life. I had no control over losing my child, but "God asks us to bear with Him" and to trust in the things that He does. It's so hard to find that trust, it took me over a year to turn back to Him, but I've already been blessed for my efforts.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks - "The Godhead and the Plan of Salvation"
-"The effort to know God and His work began before mortality and will not be concluded here."
-"It all begins with God the Father."
-"We know who we worship and why we worship. We know who we are and what we can become. We know who makes it all possible."
MY THOUGHTS: I had to take a break from note-taking because I was falling asleep. I still listened and stayed awake, but I didn't type up notes. But I love the above quotes. God makes everything in our lives possible. He provides us with everything we need.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf - "Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear"
-"I'm pretty sure that church sleep is among the healthiest of sleep." (Ironic, because I was fighting off sleep during this talk.)
-"People who are fearful may say and do things that are right, but they do not feel the right things."
-"Our Father in Heaven's love for us, His children, surpasses by far our ability to comprehend."
-"He wants to change more than just our behaviors. He wants to change our very natures. He wants to change our hearts."
-God is on our side. He will always be there to lift us up.
MY THOUGHTS: Again, didn't really take notes, just listened and fought off sleep. But God knows who we are and he wants the best for us. I'm grateful that I've learned this recently in my life, and even more grateful to have the prophets confirm it to me during this conference.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON SESSION
Elder D. Todd Christopherson - "The Voice of Warning"
-Righteous deeds can be forgotten if we turn too much to wickedness.
-"Turn ye from your evil ways."
-Love is the warning voice. "To warn is to care."
-"Because of his incomparable love and concern for others and their happiness, Jesus was not hesitant to warn."
-It's not only good to warn of the dangers but to tell of the blessing if we are righteous.
-"Ultimately we are all accountable to God for our choices and the lives that we live."
MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed this talk a lot. I feel we often in the church are quick to tell about all the bad things that can happen if we are not faithful, but we have to show both sides. The law of God is unchanging, and we need to know the truth and live by it forever.
Elder Joaquin E. Costa - "To The Friends and Investigators of the Church"
-"Once you meet the missionaries, please take them seriously."
-"If you are confused, don't worry; remember the feelings you have experienced, they come from God."
-"Oh! The book was speaking to me!"
-"Every decision I have made in my life since then was influenced by that moment when I humbled myself."
MY THOUGHTS: This talk was mostly the story of his own conversion and I absolutely loved it! What a beautiful story! I remember in my younger years taking my favorite scripture (D&C 121:7) and replacing the word "son" with "daughter" and it made all the difference in the world for me. More often should I do this and even make it my own name. I loved his conversion story. Listen to the missionaries and follow their example if you're already a member.
Elder S. Mark Palmer - "Then Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him"
-Become who the Lord wants you to be.
-"How can I be more like the savior?"
-"Love should never be withdrawn."
-We have to forgive those who wrong us. We can't take back the love we once had for them.
-"Because he loves us, God expects much from us."
MY THOUGHTS: New Zealand! "Love should never be withdrawn" stood out to me a lot. There's a lot going on in my life that I haven't talked about on this blog, and probably won't. While I am very open, there are secrets that don't belong to me that I will not share with you. But this quote applies to many of the situations I have currently had to endure. We have to forgive and still love. Everyone deserves our love.
Elder Gary. E. Stevenson - "How Does the Holy Ghost Help You?"
-"How can the Holy Ghost help you?"
-"The Holy Ghost can help you by warning you in advance of physical and spiritual danger."
-Listen to the prompting of the Holy Ghost.
-"As you heed promptings from the Holy Ghost you may be removed, without ever knowing, from spiritual and temporal dangers."
-He told the story of the wife in a car accident who lost her life and the life of her unborn daughter.
MY THOUGHTS: I was unable to cope with my miscarriage and the loss of my child without the love and support of my Savior. It would have been impossible to survive. The Holy Ghost can help protect us from danger and from pain. We must learn to trust and rely on the promptings of the spirit. I love the picture quote above so much.
Elder C. Scott Grow - "And This is Life Eternal"
-"When you pray with faith, you will feel God's love as his spirit speaks to your soul."
-As you read the scriptures daily you will learn to recognize the voice of the spirit.
-"No matter how alone or uncertain you may feel at times, you are not alone in this world."
-"He sought to do the Lord's work, not his own."
-Our lives belong to the Lord. We need to allow him to guide us through every step.
-"Worthiness is essential to becoming like him."
MY THOUGHTS: More confirmation to me that I need to read my scriptures. If I want more promptings from the Holy Ghost, I need to be more in tune with the voice of the Lord, which I can find through scripture study. I mentioned somewhere earlier in this post that I am working on getting a temple recommend. The quote "worthiness is essential to becoming like him" stands out to me, because I need to be worthy to enter into the Lord's temple if I have any goals of living a Christ-filled life.
Benjamín De Hoyos - "That Our Light May be a Standard For the Nations"
-"Let your light so shine among men."
-"If you had lived in the Saviors day, would you have followed Him and been one of his disciples?"
-"Can you imagine how it would have felt hearing the Savior's voice?"
-"We should not be surprised by what may seem like 'small things' because of their simple and repetitive nature."
-"There are many things we can do to become a light and an ensign to others."
MY THOUGHTS: I don't know why his accent was so difficult for me to understand. I got most the quotes from the LDS General Conference Twitter account for this one. As I decide where I want to go with this blog, I am constantly turning to stories of my depression. I want my experiences to help others. But I have the ability to be a light through writing about my faith as well. This is something I need to work on and that I feel I need to do to better myself and the people around me.
Elder Quentin L. Cook - (I was in a rush and couldn't pull the title, I'll add it later.)
-"Personal foundations, like many worthwhile pursuits, are usually built slowly."
-"Physical, mental, and spiritual development have much in common."
-"10,000 hours of practice is general required to be an expert at anything."
-"Faith is a principle of power."
-"The foundations of faith should be the great desires of our hearts."
-"Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of his blessings."
MY THOUGHTS: Am I an expert in the gospel? No, not even close. But I do believe in the truthfulness and power of the gospel. I know that it's true, even if I don't know all. Growing a testimony never ends. Trees never really stop growing, neither does a testimony. With work, practice, time, and effort I can build my testimony to be stronger and stronger throughout my life. (Just a note, I posted this whole thing before this talk ended because I had to get in the car and travel somewhere, but I loved it nonetheless and did listen to the whole thing.)
OVERALL LESSONS AND GOALS:
-Listen to the Holy Ghost and become more in tune with the Holy Ghost.
-Become a disciple of Christ.