Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference!

The General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held this past week.  It happens every six months, on the first weekend of April and October, and oh, how we love it!  There is something about the gathering of the Saints and the privilege of hearing from apostles and prophets and other inspired leaders that warms the soul and gives one motivation and impetus to move forward with peace and hope.  Every time I wonder what they can say that can be better than the last time, and yet I always come away with the feeling that "This was the best Conference ever."  Ha ha  It's because every time we hear exactly what we needed to hear, and it hits the mark.

Jesse got to go! 

She didn't actually get into the Conference Center but she and her friends, Peter, Steven, and another boy I don't know, watched it from the Joseph Smith Building. Isn't this a great picture!  I love it.

For me, there was a definite theme to the conference, and that was personal spiritual preparation, and part of that was the reiteration of the role of the prophet and the Church.  Elder Ballard used Brigham Young's analogy of "staying on the Old Ship Zion."  One speaker talked about Joseph Smith and his role in the restoration.  In that same session, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang "Praise to the Man", and it was so beautiful!  I am happy that we named one of our sons Joseph. 

I love the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I know he was and is a true prophet, called of God to restore the gospel and Jesus' true Church to the Earth.  When I think of why and how I know this, I have two main reasons: 1) Every single time I have ever been a witness or participated in a telling of the Joseph Smith story, including the First Vision, I have felt the Spirit pour over me and witness to my soul that it truly did happen how Joseph said it happened, and that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ did indeed visit Joseph Smith in what has since come to be known as the Sacred Grove; and 2) I have seen for myself the fruits of Joseph's Smith's work, and it is good!  The Book of Mormon, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, both fruits of Joseph's work, are good, and I am so grateful to have them in my life.  They have shaped who I am and how I live, and it has been a great blessing to me and my family.

One of my favorite talks was given by Elder Jorg Klebingat.  He asked, if we were to have an interview with the Savior in one minute, how would we feel?  I would feel so happy I would probably melt in a puddle on the floor.  I would certainly fall to my knees.  Elder Klebingat then went on to address those who do not feel they are ready.  What a great list of "to-do's"!  I have in my own experience faced many of the things he listed and have made good progress on them, and that is why, I suppose, that I felt joy at the thought, and not unworthiness.  I am not unaware of how much I need to change, but I am aware of the love that Jesus has for me, and I have great hope in His Atonement and His ability to change and heal me, in every way.  I loved how Elder Klebingat spoke of repenting with joy.  Yes!

There were so many other talks that were amazing.  I urge you, if you did not have a chance to hear this Conference to click on the link above and read or listen to the wonderful talks given.  You will be inspired!

On Friday the kids were out of school.  Everyone slept in, except for Dad, who kindly went to work to provide for our family.  (Thank you Bruce!)  In the afternoon, Libby and Mary went to the Temple to do baptisms for the dead.  We also had our friends Regina and Austin come over with their three little girls.  Libby showed them the animals, including Buttercup, the calf, the goats - Buck and Lilly, and then we went next door to the pasture of our neighbors and saw Mackee and Stormy.  It was fun!

Saturday night, Peter, Mary and Libby went to a Ballroom Dance Performance.  They had a good time and performed well!

Sunday evening we had Chet's family over for dinner.  It was great to finally meet them after hearing so much about them from Mary.  Before they came, Mary and Libby cleaned and cleaned and cleaned the downstairs part of the house.  It was awesome!  Mary impressed me with her top to bottom cleaning skills.  The Norwex cloths helped.  I signed up to be a Norwex consultant recently, and we've been having fun getting experience using their cleaning products.

We ate dinner with Chet's family and then talked for awhile and played Great Dalmudi.  They are fun game players!  Apparently Chet is a gamer and wins at almost everything.  He loves to play Risk!  So that might be interesting in the future to meet up with my brothers.   Ha ha!

This week is our Cider Festival!  We are gearing up for that.  Friday night Bruce, Libby and I went out to the orchard and gleaned tons of apples off the ground.  They were big beautiful apples just sitting there.  The trees had been recently picked, so these apples were perfectly fine.  We will add some Thieves essential oil blend to the cider in case there is anything harmful in the cider, but I don't expect there will be.  Bruce and I also went out Saturday morning and got some more.  Whew - I finally feel like we have enough apples, which is the biggest worry of the Cider Festival!

Jesse said she is coming up with Peter and Steven - I'm so excited about that!  Josh can't come because it's in the middle of the week.  (So sad about that).  We are having it in the middle of the week because I had a very strong impression that this is when it should be.  It will be interesting to see if  we know why later on, but for now, I have made it a habit of following impressions of the Spirit, and have been blessed by it so far.  :)

Have a great week!

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