Highlights from Stake Conference

I didn't make it to the Saturday session of our stake conference this last weekend. Elder Jeffery R. Holland was speaking that night.

When I missed that session, I made a commitment to myself to be there for the Sunday session.

I made it, and on time.

I was thrilled and was immediately warmed by the spirit of the meeting. Elder Holland conducted the whole meeting. He was also the last speaker and made quite the impression. He was so candid and full of righteous energy! His voice would raise and he taught very boldly. It was not what I expected... it was so different from the prepared and scripted conference talks.

He blessed the children and teenagers to listen to their parents. That their parents are smart and wise. Everything they teach them, they do it for the sake of their children's salvation. He related that same principle to the general authorities. That everything they do, they do it for our benefit and learning. To bring us unto Christ.

He spoke of President Hinckley and how much he works at the age of 98 to build up the the Lord's kingdom. He candidly relayed that our prophet needs to put his feet up more often, but he never fails on his duties. He is committed and will never falter.

Elder Holland blessed the mothers in the congregation, with continued strength and valor. I was so grateful for his energy and words of wisdom. It was in that moment before he thanked all the mothers for their calling, that I was ready to walk out early. Liam was all over the place and past his limit of control. It was then I realized I was trapped in a pew between two families for a reason. I couldn't possibly leave early. The Lord blessed Liam with added control and reverence so we could last a few more minutes. He even stayed in my arms as a rocked him through an extremely long closing prayer.

I was told tonight while visiting teaching that Elder Holland had the same conviction Saturday night. His main message was related to "broken things" and how they make us whole. I found a passage that was similar to what his thoughts relayed:

Broken Things, by Karl Jackman

The Lord works miracles
By using broken things.

The earth is broken by a plow,
And seeds are placed therein.

Rain is sent from broken clouds,
And crops begin to grow.

Grain is broken by a miller’s stone;
The flour is used in baking bread.

The covenants we have made,
We make again
When we partake of blessed
and broken bread.

Reminded, thus,
Of how our Lord was broken,
With broken hearts,
We show him we are His.

The Lord works miracles
By using broken things.

The sister that we visit teach had many notes from the session. Another thing he taught is that the Lord never forsakes us. We should never ask that horrible question, "Has the Lord forgotten me?" No matter how broken we feel, the Lord wants us to save ourselves for happier times. To stay close to Him and heal. That during the most wretched storms, we should stay in the boat! We cannot be fool enough to move away from the Gospel of Christ in our times of trial. We must be smart enough to stay close and learn from our adversities. There will be happier times. The Lord knows what balances we need. He knows us better than we know ourselves. I have renewed testimony of that fact every time I get past a road block in my life.

I know that Elder Holland's messages are true and I also am aware that they were for someone specific on that Saturday night session. I know that all of us can benefit from lessons like it, even when we are in happier times (where I am now). It's just another thing to prepare us spiritually for harder times ahead. We must prepare ourselves emotionally, physically and spiritually for what the Lord holds for us in the future. I fear the world is only going to get uglier. We have much to prepare for. I hope I am ready for the best of times and the worst of times, with the Lord's help.


A Little Revolution said...

I'm jealous. Someday we'll live out west again...

Are We There Yet? said...

I am so glad that you wrote this post. We have conference in two weeks and I was debating whether I wanted to fight Ky with it or not.
I'm having a hard time with life right now and could have really benefitted from that conference.

Do you know if they give the same message at each Stake Conference?

D said...

You are so brave to go to Conference with Liam. We missed ours - Matt had to work and Kaden took his nap right in the middle of it. I am a slacker and didn't feel like messing with it. I am glad that it turned out so worth it. I wonder if we would have seen your conference on broadcast- since that's what we get here. One session is local and one is a broadcast from Utah. That would have been cool.

Anissa said...

Thank you for your beautiful and uplifting testimony. It gave me added strength for the day!

Terry said...

I really enjoyed this post. Thank you. It makes me miss Utah.

K- said...

I loved it, too. I took some notes to put in the ward newsletter. Mind if I use your little poem?

That prayer was 7 minutes long! Sound like Liam made it longer than Allen:P

Tori :) said...

What a great post and recap. Thanks Gina!!
Thank you for your email too. I finally have internet. I'm back!

Amanda said...

I miss Utah too! How neat to have Elder Holland at your Stake Conference, I just love that man!

What a great message he shared. Thanks for sharing it with us. :) That 'broken' poem reminds me of a song by Kenneth cope. It is based off of a GA's talk, but I don't recall who. I heard it at a TOFW that I attended last fall and I loved it!

Yvonne said...

What a great Stake Conference! I'm so glad you shared the message. (I so enjoy hearing Elder Holland--we had him at a Stake Conference in Charlotte, NC, years ago)

Thank you so much.

Blackeyedsue said...

I needed to hear that. I really did. Today was one of those "is it really worth it all" days.

And now I remember that it is.

Kate the Great said...

Thanks for posting those notes. Can't tell you how much I needed them!

Tadge said...

Those happier times are here. Just today when I met with Jim Sanderson, he told me "just before your life becomes great, you will face the most adversity." I would say we are on the down side of that adversity and happier and blessed days are ahead for us and our young family.