The voices behind the Mormon Women Stand blog share their personal thoughts and insights in relation to the 2014 October General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Mormon) Coverage includes summary reports for each of the four general sessions, individual blog posts inspired by talks from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve of Apostles and Elder Quentin L. Cooks priesthood session address.
We hope you enjoy this roundup of MWS articles and take the time to review each of the corresponding addresses.
Mormon Women Stand: Highlights: October 2014 General Conference: Saturday Morning Session
On a near perfect autumn day in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints opened its October sessions Saturday morning hearing first from President Thomas S. Monson.
President Monson welcomed a globalaudience and noted that many were watching from locations around the world. He invited members to “listen and learn from the Brethren and sisters whom we have sustained as General Authorities and general officers of the Church. He emphasized, “they have sought heaven’s help concerning the messages which they will present, and they have felt inspiration regarding what will be said.”
I am only one person. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying. Yet through trying to be like Jesus every day, this “one person” hopes that her life will reflect the “strength of conviction that is found in the heart of every loyal disciple of Jesus Christ.” He is the reason for my hope.
How many of us struggle with feeling like we are getting the most out of Church? A 96-year-old man was asked by his son why he attended Church every week even though he couldn’t hear or see. He replied, “It’s the sacrament. I go to partake of the sacrament.”
I try to be compassionate to others because of the trials I have endured in my own life, but I have encountered those who want me to accept the weight of their choices, theirsituations. I have even dealt with those who want to take on more of my life than I am willing to give to them, no matter how well-meaning they may be.
I wish I could remember how little I was, but I can’t. I just know that I was very young, before my parents’ divorce and because of the house in which we were living. I don’t recall what prompted such deep thinking either; I wish I could.
Mormon Women Stand: Highlights October 2014 General Conference: Saturday Afternoon Session
This was a truly inspiring session of LDS General Conference, and we would do ourselves a great service by studying these talks in earnest over the next six months.
Reminding us to live in the world but not to be of it, Elder Oaks stated clearly that Jesus Christ admonished that there be no disputations amongst us. Jesus warned us that “contention is of the devil”; it is he who stirs up our hearts.
There is much that has been written to discredit Joseph Smith. Many people seeking answers will go to these false sources. Elder Andersen told us why God allows for this opposition to do such harm. He said, “Opposition against the things of God send seekers of truth to their knees for answers.” When you really want to know something, fall on your knees. Let the spirit tell you.
As for those we can best serve, Elder Holland reminded us—as with everything—Heavenly Father can be our guide. “He can help you and guide you in compassionate discipleship if you’re conscientiously wanting and praying and looking for ways to keep a commandment He has given us again and again.”
We must build our foundation on Jesus Christ. Elder Perry said, “The Savior is a master teacher—we follow Him.” The only way to follow the Savior is to know the Savior and allow Him to be the greatest influence in our lives. We must choose to allow the teachings of the Savior, found in the scriptures and in the words of modern day prophets, to have a more important role in our lives than our media, and all of our day-to-day activities. The Savior should be central and He should be our role model.
Mormon Women Stand: Priesthood Session:
In recent months, I’ve come to let distractions overwhelm me. And the funny thing is, virtually all of these distractions are “good” things. Sure, I Instagram pictures of my daughter, and I spend a few minutes here and there looking for the perfect pair of black boots online, but far more than that, I spend time texting and messaging friends, reading, writing, researching worthy or interesting topics, and even seeking to share the gospel online. All good things.
Mormon Women Stand: Highlights 2014 General Conference: Sunday Morning Session
As a child, my parents drove nearly an hour from our home to hear the prophets. On this sunny fall morning in October, I sat in my bed with my infant sleeping nearby, listening to words of the prophets of God at the October 2014 General Conference. How blessed we are to have the words of the prophets resonating through our homes even as they are being spoken in the Conference Center.
Personal revelation is our direct connection to our Heavenly Father and it’s what sets The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints apart as the true church. President Eyring said, “Human judgment and logical thinking are not enough to get answers to the questions that matter most.” Yes! A million times yes to that statement!
All leaders of the Church are called by proper authority. Church leaders do not call themselves, and no prophet has ever been elected. We also don’t vote on Church leaders, but we do have the privilege of sustaining them. This gives us confidence and faith to heed the Lord’s voice.
God provides for us, often in the form of opposition to our will, the opportunity to exercise faith in His Son Jesus Christ. When we choose to follow His prophets and be obedient to their counsel and direction, God in return blesses us with His power unto salvation. Eternal life is the greatest of all the Gifts of God.
The world we live in is changing; has been changing. As the war between good and evil fights on, we must know that Satan is desperate to win, but know that he cannot. At this point he is trying to do as much damage as he possibly can to take away as many souls from our loving Heavenly Father. Without a firm testimony in place, we are likely to fall away. Because Satan is so much smarter than any of us, he will trick us in our very weaknesses.
Listening to President Monson’s words encouraging us to choose to follow Christ and study His instructions in the scriptures reminded me that my efforts are not going unnoticed, nor are they unfruitful. As he spoke about Jesus’ parables that teach us to serve and love one another, to improve ourselves, to go to the rescue, I realized that is my work as a mother.
Mormon Women Stand: Highlights October 2014 General Conference: Sunday Afternoon Session
In positive and encouraging council, President Monson asked that we return home after general conference and be a little better, kinder, and more thoughtful to family and friends. He asked that as we extend a helping hand to others that we take time to visit the elderly and the homebound. He shared his desire that we may be followers of Christ, invoked blessings of heaven on each of us and asked that we become even more valiant disciples of Jesus Christ
Elder Ballard said that instead of jumping ship, we should be singing Halleluiah, for the Lord is at the helm. He warned us to avoid distractions. In the end, he said, “If any one of you have fallen out of the boat, we will seek you, find you, administer to you, and pull you safely back onto the Old Ship Zion.
We all face opposition because of the Fall. We are all given circumstances that we feel we cannot control. We also cannot guarantee the outcome of certain situations, sometimes including specific commandments. Thankfully, Heavenly Father has given us faith and the Atonement to help us resolve the conflict that we will experience in mortality.
Elder Bednar’s words, “Devoted disciples of Jesus Christ always have been and always will be faithful missionaries,” burned deep into my consciousness. I began to examine myself and my actions. Where could I improve? And yes, I did find areas where I can reach out more.
As we leave this conference, I invoke the blessings of heaven upon each of you. May you who are away from your homes return to them safely and find all in order. May we all ponder the truths we have heard, and may they help us to become even more valiant disciples than we were when this conference began.
Until we meet again in six months’ time, I ask the Lord’s blessings to be upon you and, indeed, upon all of us, and I do so in His holy name—even Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior—amen.
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