I’ve been thinking off and on about many of the splendid things I was reminded of in General Conference last week and decided to blog about a few of them. For those of you who are not LDS, we have the opportunity twice a year to hear from Church leaders in a semi-annual conference broadcast around the world from Salt Lake City. I used to get dressed in my Sunday-best and meet with other like-minded folks at the chapel to hear the broadcasts, but now I’m able to watch them on BYU TV in the privacy of my own home. No, I don’t necessarily dress in my Sunday-best, but I do manage to look presentable because I believe appearance affects demeanor and mindset.
My children say they don’t have a favorite “talk,” but I do. President Thomas Monson spoke Sunday morning, and I’ve taken his words to heart. They resonated with my own beliefs and prodded me to savor life, not just live it. Every minute, every day, every year, we’re changing in sometimes imperceptible ways, and before we know it, children become teens, teens become young adults, and young adults find themselves with presbyopia and gray hair. Before people “turn around,” they find themselves at Shady Oaks Retirement Village wondering where time went…or worse, fretting over regrets and what might have been.
Is that what you want to happen to you? President Monson advised his listeners to set goals, get an education, hug a child, hug a parent, express gratitude, speak well of each other, and show love…to name a few. Being kind, sharing love, performing services for others, and making the most of our precious time are perennial themes of his. In fact, one speaker shared that when President Monson was asked what he wanted for his most recent birthday, he said he’d like for every member of the church to find someone who needed something and give it to them. Love, live, laugh. When people put off what they can and should do today and say, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” before you know it, their lives are full of empty yesterdays. Just do it.
In no particular order, I was reminded of
The importance of unity in diversity. While we might look different on the outside, speak different languages, and have different checking account balances, we are ALL children of a loving Heavenly Father.
The importance of love, patience, forgiveness, meekness, tolerance. Even if people attack our religion or belittle our beliefs, arguing is discouraged. It’s pointless. A person could argue about the truths from Genesis to Revelation, but if his listener wasn’t interested or prepared to listen, the discourse would fall on deaf ears.
The necessity of being prepared for whatever may lie ahead economically, socially, and every other way. I love it when I hear news commentators interview people who are now stressing the importance of staying out of debt, something we’ve been warned about for decades. Same with food storage.
The importance of the family unit and ways to improve relationships with spouse and children…and other extended family members.
The benefits of personal and family prayer, scripture study, self-reliance, being Christ-like, paying tithing, obeying commandments.
The fact that both abundance and lack co-exist in our lives; it’s up to us to decide what we focus on. In fact, sometimes trials can be good for our personal development. Every cloud doesn’t bring rain.
There’s much, much more. Time prevents me from posting more, but you can check out all addresses at www.lds.org. As for me, I’m going to follow President Monson’s admonition to relish life by strolling around the neighborhood and checking out autumn’s splendors.