Sunday, April 3, 2016

Conference Thoughts

A few of my thoughts from this last General Conference.

First, President Monson's talks from both the Priesthood and Sunday Morning sessions reminded me of something Elder Bednar shared last conference in his talk "Chosen to Bear Testimony of My Name." Elder Bednar related that "When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most."

President Monson might no longer have the strength to speak for 20 minutes (although luckily for us, we can still go back and watch all the times when he did), so he condenses his powerful, life-changing messages down to 3 minutes. At least for me, these 3 minute talks were just as powerful and life-changing as ever. On Saturday night I learned that the Priesthood is Power, real, powerful power, and that wherever I go, my priesthood goes with me; today I learned that my choices determine my future. All in just a few minutes.

The second point that I'd consider life-changing came from President Uchtdorf, who shared a German phrase that translated to "There is nothing good unless you do it." Or in other words, our faith must change the way that we live. If our beliefs do not influence our daily decisions, it isn't really faith. This phrase was the highlight of conference for me personally.

The last point that really hit me came in Elder Kearon's talk about refugees. He talked a bit about the situation of the 60 million refugees currently seeking help across the world, and then talked about how the LDS church was, not too long ago, composed of refugees fleeing persecution. He also said that the Savior Himself was a refugee when He fled from Harod's maniacal purge into Egypt. He invited us to "stake a stand against intolerance," and to reach out in service to all of these children of God.

After Elder Kearon left the pulpit, President Uchtdorf stepped up to announce the next speaker. He had tears is his eyes. President Uchtdorf, who never cries even while bearing beautiful spirit-filled testimony, had tears in his eyes. I believe he cried because he, too, knew what it was like to be a refugee.

What a great conference. The best part is, the next one is only six months away.

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