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Mom of five lovely daughters, wife of one dashing man. Born in Utah, grew up in Oregon, live in Georgia.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Just for me

Have you ever been to a church meeting where it felt like the speakers had written their talks specifically for YOU? I had that experience yesterday at our stake conference. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake, and Elder Larry W. Gibbons gave a talk that had me in tears from the very beginning.

Like many people, I've felt weighed down lately. The world is going through some tough times right now and it's been hard for me to keep everything in perspective, especially when things seem to be going wrong in my own life. (Little things, like our dishwasher breaking, needing new tires, having to repair our HVAC system, and our refrigerator leaking combined with the daily frustrations of trying to raise a family and keep a home.) Several times a day I've felt a paralyzing panic that everything is falling apart and I don't have the power to make things right. I've fought to subdue these feelings, but fear and frustration have made their home just under the surface.

These were the feelings I brought with me to stake conference. So, when Elder Gibbons began speaking about how the Lord has taught us to have FAITH, not fear, my spirit was touched. His entire address was about how to "be not afraid; only believe." While he spoke I frantically tried to take notes so I didn't miss anything. He outlined twelve points that will help us to have faith in uncertain times. I'm sharing them because I know that I'm not the only one struggling.

1. Understand that trials and difficulties are necessary for our progress and development. They are not necessarily a sign that the Lord is displeased. Trials help us to build our faith and to rely on the Lord. "Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown." (Elder Boyd K. Packer)

2. "Lift up thine eyes." When things get hard, rely on the Atonement to receive strength. "...for in his strength I can do all things."

3. Live the commandments diligently. There is power and security in living the commandments. (People think that money brings security, but true security is found in living the commandments.)

4. Remember you are not alone. "I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and my angels round about you to bear you up."
"God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges we face." (Jeffrey R. Holland)

5. Remember you are in good company if opposition or persecution come even when you are striving to do right. Exercise self-control. Remember the Savior and ALL that he endured.

6. "Shoot the rapids." (Like making it through the rapids on a raging river, coming through a trial builds faith and confidence.)

7. Be patient when answers come slowly. Answers usually come when we begin to act, not when we are on our knees. "Fill up. Move on. Pray again."

8. God has already armed you for the trials ahead. "If we are living worthy he will not let us go very far in the wrong direction without warning us."

9. Rely on priesthood. Those who are quickly willing to give priesthood blessings should also recognize their need to receive blessings.

10. Trust the Lord and "prove the Lord" by paying tithing.

11. When you are in the dark, expecting and needing the light-- turn it over to the Lord and be patient. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"

12. Listen to our leaders
"Any believing Latter-day Saint is an optimist about what lies ahead for him or her, however difficult the present may be." (President Henry B. Eyring)

"I have seen enough ups and downs throughout my life to know that winter will surely give way to the warmth and hope of a new spring." (President Dieter F. Uchdorf)

"My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith." (President Thomas S. Monson)


Sally said...

So good. Thanks for sharing. I definitely know that panicky feeling that keeps me up at night. But I also know the peace that comes when I remember the Lord and the promises He has made.

Chris said...

I wish they would print that article in the Ensign. That sounds like such a wonderful talk. One that we all for sure need right now. Thanks for sharing those beautiful words of hope and faith.

rachel said...

Are you sure that talk wasn't for ME?? ;)