I stumbled across this video while I was looking for some Conference ideas. We are going to take the next 2 weeks to study and prepare for General Conference in our homeschool in lieu of our Church history curriculum.
I will do better this half year at studying the talks that we get. In a few years, I would like to make our Family Home Evenings about these talks and we can share our notes that we have taken at the previous conference.
I loved this General Conference talk when I heard it and I love it again now that I have read it. While I was reading it, I kept hearing Elder Holland's voice in my head. He has so much emotion while speaking. I'm excited to share with you some of the things I thought of while I read it today. Here are my thoughts on "Lord, I Believe."
Elder Holland started out by telling the story of the man whose son had an evil spirit. He had gone to Jesus' disciples in hope of receiving a blessing of healing for his son, but they were not able to do it. The father approached Jesus and asked for a blessing from him. "If thou canst do anything," he pleads. Jesus responds, "If thou canst believe." I never caught that parallel before Elder Holland pointed it out. The father continues, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." I really wish that the scriptures could tell us exactly how this man said that response. Did he respond quickly at first and then at Jesus' glance realize that he had some doubts? Did he challenge Jesus? "I believe, show me now Your power to relieve all my doubts." I can certainly imagine the desperation that this father had. I would do almost anything for my kids.
Elder Holland now tells us three observations he has had about increasing faith.
The first observation is one that I have come to realize through personal experience. I have had many doubts and questions in my life, but these things I know. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I know these things through personal and spiritual experiences that I cannot, and would never want to, forget. Occasionally I take my questions off the shelf and think about them again, trying to resolve them or find some sort of answer. But I have to come back to the things that I *know* absolutely. When I have my doubts or concerns and I can't resolve them, I often say to myself, "I know the things that I know. I will have to wait to find out the answers to the others." I often think of the questions that are on my list to ask Heavenly Father when I get to heaven.
The second observation is close to the first. In fact, Elder Holland calls it a variation on the first. "When problems come and questions arise, do not start you quest for faith by saying how much you do not have." He continues:
I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not! . . Be as candid about your questions as you need to be. . . But if you and your family want to be healed, don't let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.
Everyone has questions, but we don't need to get hung up on them to the extent that we can't see the faith that we have. It's like if you talk about or only think about the bad things that your spouse does. Pretty soon all you will notice are the things that drive you crazy. And not in a good way. I also loved this quote:
Brothers and sisters, this is a divine work in process, with the manifestations and blessings of it abounding in every direction, so please don’t hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will. . . And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.
I love the wry humor in that fact that it must be terribly frustrating for Heavenly Father to have to deal with imperfect people, but he deals with it. And so should we. We expect our bishops to always be patient, to always know the best way to deal with our multitude of problems. Sometimes our bishops and stake presidents get tired and sometimes they are distracted and don't get all the inspiration that we may need. I am sure that I never want to be in their shoes.
Elder Holland's third observation is "When doubt or difficulty come, do not be afraid to ask for help." We will have doubts and difficulties. Life is not one unending rainbow road. So if you have doubts, you are not alone, but you do not have to stay in your doubts. God will answer the sincere in heart and we can find strength in the testimonies of others until we have gained our own. Elder Holland closes his talk with his own powerful testimony. I thought about quoting his whole testimony but instead I encourage you to read this talk and to list the things that you know. Examine the faith that you have and hold on to that.
I was really excited to read and report on this talk. I am always looking for things to help me improve in our marriage. This talk entitled Marriage: Watch and Learn gave five principles for a good marriage.
Today's General Conference talk profile is titled "Come, All Ye Sons of God." As I was picking out talks a few weeks ago I thought I might skip the Priesthood session of General Conference. After all, it didn't really apply to me. I was a mother of boys, but not a priesthood holder. As I was reading the conference titles though, I felt impressed to include this one, especially since it was given by the prophet. I am so glad that I read it and I feel like I learned a lot from it. I started reading it from the perspective of a mother of boys that need to prepare to serve a mission, but I learned about teaching the gospel and teaching my investigators.
I was going to do this post on Thursday so it was a week from my last General Conference post, but I probably won't be able to get to the computer on Thursday so I figured while I was home sick from church, I would post it now. I'm not a lot sick, don't worry. I just have a little cold and Chicklette and Turtle still have some spots from the hand-foot-mouth we picked up so we thought we should keep them home too.
On to our talk for the week. When I was going through the index of the Conference Ensign to pick which talks to focus on, I saw the title of this talk and it really struck me. It is the talk by Elder Scott entitled "For Peace at Home." As you know, we have six kids and some days our home does not feel very peaceful. I don't mean to say that we have a lot of arguing going on, although we do have those days. I mean that there simply is a lot of activity and noise happening at any given moment. As I read the title I also thought about how the world needs peace. We need the inside assurance that all will be well, even if it is not well at the moment. So I decided to put this talk on my list and I've been able to learn from it. And now, I'd like to share what I have learned and what portions of it struck me. He starts out by saying:
Many voices from the world in which we live tell us we should live at a frantic pace. There is always more to do and more to accomplish.