On Saturday, September 27, 2014, we came together as sisters for the LDS General Women’s Meeting to embark on a greater understanding of our Earthly and Eternal existence. The spirit was so strong that I felt it through my iPad. Elder Uchtdorf says, “We are here to prepare for a future that is greater than anything you can imagine.“ What a tremendous blessing to have this opportunity, especially when we know that so many chose to follow another path and never receive the opportunity to have a body, a gift we have all been given. We are indeed a blessed people. We have an origin, we know where we came from, and we know where we want to go. “We speak of living the gospel’s commandments and living the gospel joyfully,” Elder Uchtdorf said. We sometimes, like he said, “grit our teeth and force ourselves to comply so we can move on to more desirable activities.”
This earth life is not easy; it was never intended to be so. We, because we wanted to prove our love for our Savior and our Eternal Father in Heaven, chose to have the opportunity to choose. Through our mortal state of mind with imperfect thoughts, imperfect choices, and imperfect wishes, every aspect of the gospel isn’t easy to abide by. We slip up, we make mistakes, but we know, through the atonement, that we can repent. However, with that bad comes the ability to have the most blissful experiences. The ability to know good from evil is the best blessing we have ever been given. As Elder Uchtdorf said, “[our] Heavenly Father knows what is good for us, but anxiously awaits for you to chose it.”
Truth shines in the darkness. We have over 140 temples around the world and each one is always illuminated. Why is that? Sister Neill F. Marriott said, “Temples push back the darkness… and increase our faith in Christ.” Temples are our places to go when the darkness becomes overbearing and bitter. Our worthiness depends on our ability to receive the blessings of the temple.
We have to be ready to enter into the temple by worthily receiving a temple recommend. We engage our youth from the smallest Sunbeam student all the way up to adulthood to understand the difference. And we then take steps to reach the temple. We tell our youth about fulfilling the promises of their baptism and following the commandments so that they can enter into the temple to perform baptisms for the dead. Then ultimately, as adults, we receive precious temple covenants. Each step brings us closer to those personal covenants. In Alma 37 we see, “By small and simple things are great things bought to pass…”
Jean A. Stevens quotes Elder David A. Bednar saying, “As we stand in the waters of baptism, we look to the temple.” We should be preparing our children, youth, and fellow adults to be prepared for entering into the temple to make sacred covenants with the Lord. Sister Stevens stated how we should prepare ourselves now for the blessings of the temple. Not only just before we enter into the gates, but on the way, during, and afterward so that we are spiritually minded for the next time we attend the temple.
If we are spiritually in tune with the Holy Ghost, we will receive inspiration, testimony, and understanding of things that we need to have in our daily lives. In order to give more and serve more, we have to be in tune with whom we need to serve. “[We, as women,] are daughters of all righteousness,” Elder Uchtdorf told us that in our Women’s Conference. We have the rare ability to receive inspiration, because we have the Holy Ghost upon us. We have the ability to change, bless, inspire, and assist those who are around us.
“By doing the small and simple things we add oil to our lamps,” as Sister Linda K. Burton said. The five wise virgins had oil set aside so that they would have enough light to last the dark night. By not adding oil to our lamps we are surely setting ourselves up for darkness. We cannot be in the dark when the Savior arrives. We have to have our internal light shining bright to be able to reach out to the light of the Savior.
Sisters, let’s “Live the Gospel Joyful” as Elder Uchtdorf asked us to. We can be the ones to make the gospel bright through our spirit, love, and compassion that we so willingly can give. It literally only takes one second to immeasurably change the lives of the sisters and brethren around us; one second of oil added to our lamps through Christ-like love. Let’s be ready, lamps filled, light of the Spirit burning within us so that when Christ comes to the Earth he will quickly say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. (Matthew 25: 21)”
My name is Dereana Murcia. I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints my whole life. I am from a little town in Clarksville, Arkansas, but after graduating college I moved to Costa Rica to marry my husband and to get to know the Costa Rican culture. Through prayer, church attendance, and daily strife, I have learned to speak Spanish and to communicate with those around me. My life has changed; I have developed a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the help of my spiritually, steadfast family. I am currently teaching the Adult Sunday School class for the Temple Missionaries in English in the Belen Ward. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I feel the spirit’s daily presence, leading and guiding me.