Monday, October 8, 2012

Be the Lower Light

When President Boyd K. Packer started his talk on Sunday morning during General Conference, I was listening to his story and wondering how/when he was going to connect it to a spiritual truth. When he made the connection about the Atonement and our Savior, I was very touched by his insights. I love the hymn he quoted, "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy."

1. Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From his lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning;
Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

2. Dark the night of sin has settled;
Loud the angry billows roar.
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.

3. Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost.

I've thought a lot over the past day or so about being a "lower light." I looked up a bunch of references to lower lights and lighthouses, and realized that there are typically two lights on a lighthouse, referred to as the upper and lower lights. Both are needed for ships to safely reach the harbor. Christ is the Upper Light. He is always there, and His path is always clear. We are the lower lights--we must have our lights shining so that others can find their way back to our Savior. Without our lower lights being on, souls around us can be lost.

I am setting new goals for myself to be a strong "lower light" and to be one that weary travelers can look to for help reaching the harbors during the storms of life.

What can you do to strengthen your lower light?

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

General Conference Insights

Like many of you, I was thrilled for the opportunity to sit through General Conference this weekend and hear the words of our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, the Twelve Apostles, and other church leaders. My husband and I dressed in our Sunday best to listen and absorb the teachings and the Spirit.

Usually, I have a favorite talk at the end of conference, but I couldn't think of one that struck me the most! I loved them all so much and learned a ton. My perspective of gospel truths changes and I develop a strong desire to become more Christlike and more obedient to the things that I know and have learned.

Here are a few quotes that I loved, and why I loved them:

• "Conversion is an offering of self, of love and of loyalty we give to God in gratitude for the gift of testimony." - David A. Bednar (The actual talks aren't posted yet, but I'll link you to the summaries on the Church News for now!)

I have been reflecting a lot on my own conversion and on the conversion of my friends and family. My husband and I have been studying Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah, and when they became converted, they gave everything they had to God. They spent over 14 years in full time service to Him, teaching His gospel and sharing their testimonies with the Lamanites. Alma continued on to teach the Nephites and many others. I hope to be one who is truly converted. I want to offer my whole self, all of my love, and all of my loyalty to God. I hope to give up all things that prevent me from doing this most important thing.

Download above image here.

• "I'm a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it." - Ann M. Dibb

It is pretty obvious to my readers that I am a Mormon. After all, this whole blog is devoted to quotes and sayings that bring people closer to Christ, most of them from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have felt this way my whole life, however. I have always been proud to be a "Mormon" and to study, live, and love the gospel. I spent 18 months serving a mission, teaching people about Christ and proudly wearing a badge stating the truth that I am, in fact, a Mormon. Also in Sister Dibb's talk, she said, "With so many distractions, do we have the strength, discipline and commitment to remain focused on what matters most? Are we as well versed in gospel truths as we are in our studies, careers, hobbies, sports, or our texts and tweets?" This made me realize that I am not as well versed as I should be in the things that matter most. I am setting a goal today to make sure that my gospel study comes before all of the other distractions in life.

Download above image here.

• "The crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty." - Jeffrey R. Holland

I love everything about this quote. It explains that if we love something, we are loyal to it. I am loyal when I am converted. I am loyal to my faith because I love it. I am loyal to my husband, and he is loyal to me, because we love each other. If we love Christ, we are loyal to Him, and we will follow His path and feed His sheep. Elder Holland is so insightful, and I love how he described the encounters that the Savior had with His apostles, and how He helped them realize how to be loyal and how to love Him.

Download above image here.

What did YOU learn from General Conference this weekend?

And don't you worry--I have PLENTY of other printables from General Conference coming your way in the next week or so! Any requests? Please let me know!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice

I was blessed to be able to attend the General Relief Society meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday night in the Conference Center. It was an amazing experience. (If you missed it, click here to watch/read/download the messages and music.) The building, with over 21,000 female attendees, fell silent in reverence and respect the moment our beloved prophet walked into the room. My heart filled with testimony from the Spirit that Thomas S. Monson truly is the Lord's mouthpiece here on the earth. What a blessing it was to hear talks and wisdom from those whom he has called through the Lord's inspiration. I was edified and uplifted and certainly learned a lot about ways I can improve.

In our Sacrament services on Sunday, the focus was preparing our hearts to hear the prophet, apostles, general authorities, and other chosen leaders speak during the upcoming General Conference. During Conference, you can learn about the basics of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as receive many answers to questions that you may be pondering deep within your heart. I know that as I have prepared my heart and spirit to listen and apply the messages of conference, my life has been richly blessed and I have found wisdom and answers and guidance that I desperately needed.

My invitation to each of you is simple: Come, listen to a prophet's voice. Find out for yourself the words that the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, would have you hear. Invite your friends, neighbors, family members, strangers, and other loved ones to listen and pray. Spread the good news that there is a living prophet on Earth who desires to share the message of salvation to everyone in the world, and all are invited to hear and feel of his love for the Savior. Come, listen to a prophet's voice.

Click here for all of the information about the session times and dates, as well as links to watch online or visit the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

This week, my husband and I are trying to incorporate more spiritual things into our daily routines as we try and prepare for this weekend. We will have gospel music and hymns playing in our home softly all day. We will pray for people to invite to watch Conference with us. We will share our testimonies with one another and read previous Conference talks. We plan to limit all activities this weekend to only spiritual and uplifting things, and not recreation or entertainment.

What are some ways that you are preparing yourself for General Conference?

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