Today was a fantastic Southeastern Area Conference broadcast from Salt Lake City, Utah. What made it especially great for me was 1) even though we were not in our Montgomery Alabama Stake Center and were here in the Cocoa Florida Stake Center, we got to see the very same broadcast live!, and 2) I got to enjoy it with my sister and her son, one of my nephews, who came to visit for the day.
It was truly heartwarming to see my many wonderful friends and their families at that same conference. It is always such a joy to see so many, firm in the faith, dedicated to serving the Lord in His Church.
After the worship service my extended family came home where we enjoyed a family meal together, like so many conferences over the last ten years. During our lunch we rehearsed the things we learned and felt, taking to heart the spirit we felt during the mighty and powerful sermons.
The call to action was plain and simple, yet cutting like a two edged sword. The chaining of scriptures, the pattern of teaching and learning was clearly articulated and demonstrated and testified to so there was no misunderstanding about that which we must do to know Jesus Christ, to apply His Atoning Sacrifice in our lives, and to remain faithful and true to His Gospel as wickedness abounds, or will increase.
The messages of faith and hope in Jesus Christ were uplifting and edifying. There was much to rejoice in and about.
God Lives. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us all.
Primary is for Children. Serving in Primary is one of my favorite callings. It takes a lot of time to keep on top of all of the many things to be prepared for a new year in teaching and working with the children. Especially it is time consuming when trying to finish up the end of the current year and start fresh on January 2018.
The Outline for the 2018 Sharing Time is really wonderful. The music the children are learning and preparing to present for 2018 Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation is soul stirring.
So far I have the class lists updated, the tracking sheets for talks, prayers, scriptures and articile of faith recitations dated and printed off, and the first five months of assignment slips dated and printed out for the children.
The finishing touches will go on to the Lesson/Sharing Time schedule this Thursday and last minute corrections to the class lists will too. The monthly sub-themes and the weekly topic headings will all be printed out and there it is.
Final item to print will be the Birthday List and I am saving that for Saturday night.
Right before we, the Honey-do and I, left to go visit some elderly single sisters from Church, we got a most wonderful telephone call from our friend Jim, who lives in another state. It has been ages since last speaking with him. He was returning my voicemail message from a couple of weeks ago.
We got to talk about his late wife, Helen, and all of the changes he has been through in this past year. Amazing things are still happening in his life even though he has lived ten years, to this day, as a widower. And yet, what a joyful conversation we had filled with incredible memories.
It was in Ohio that we got to know Jim and Helen. We got to know them through our Church many years ago. They, being older and wiser, became great mentors and friends. We were so thankful when we had the opportunity give service back to them when they both had chemotherapy on the same week, Jim in Columbus and Helen closer to home.
The incredible joy that comes from thinking back as to how things were and to see how things have gone forward in life for Jim is overwhelming and wonderful. The Lord’s tender mercies are truly immeasurable.
Jim and Helen became family to us. Even though she has passed on we still feel connected to Jim, knowing that this life is the testing ground, that we will see our Helen again.
Although we do not connect often, we connect often enough to stay in each other’s lives in order to celebrate change, to grieve over losses, and to accept the things that never change.
When an event, like a hurricane or tropical storm, takes place that creates the need to cancel worship services for the safety of our congregation we are then encouraged
“to spend time together as a family in Scripture study and prayer as it is still the Lord’s holy day. Consider ways where you can come together as a family to be strengthened in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In our home we are thankful to have electricity and to have weathered the storm without incident so we offer prayers of gratitude and read the scriptures.
We turn on the Roku and dial into YouTube where we find the Mormon Channel. We proceed to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir live feed to see their morning broadcast of MUSIC & THE SPOKEN WORD and we enjoy several more videos.
From General Conference last weekend, we replay the Saturday morning session and then we each take some time to work on our respective callings, his as Bishop and mine as a Primary worker with the MoTab music feed streaming throughout the house.
“Tropical Depression Nate (recently downgraded) is rolling through central Alabama. There is an area of gusty wind and heavy rain falling just east of the center; this will continue to affect Chilton, Coosa, Tallapoosa and Chambers counties over the next few hours…montgomery.raycomweather.com
This was one of those best General Conferences weekends ever. Even with the passing of beloved Elder Robert D. Hales between today’s sessions, it was a weekend filled with great rejoicing. Truly he is no longer suffering the limitations of his earthly body and he will, no doubt, be moving freely on the other side of the veil.
Elder Neil L. Andersen was the concluding speaker. As soon as his remarks are posted I will post a link to them. They were beyond touching. His was an incredibly powerful sermon as he refreshed our memories through the words of the living prophet and the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What a marvelous day. Truly a day of joy and gladness. Today was a day of hope, of peace, and prayerful thanksgiving as so many witnesses shared testimony of a loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, His Beloved Son.
Elder Hales was called to the holy apostleship in 1994
1 OCTOBER 2017 – Salt Lake City
Elder Robert D. Hales died at 12:15 p.m. Sunday in the hospital at age 85 from causes incident to age. He was surrounded by his wife and family at the time of his passing.
Robert Dean Hales was born in New York City on August 24, 1932. He was a graduate of the University of Utah and held a master of business administration degree from Harvard. He also served in the U.S. Air Force as a jet fighter pilot. He married Mary Crandall, and they have two sons.
Every conference is the best conference and all of the talks are inspiring and yet there is always something that speaks to my heart the most. What I really love is how quickly things can be posted so quickly following a conference session.
I have mentioned in social media before, and through the years as things so rapidly have changed, my amazement because 30 years ago, while living in Germany, I had to ask family or friends in Utah to VHS conference (VHS had taken over Beta by then) and snail mail it to me because it would be months and months before getting the talks compiled in magazine form let alone being able to order one on VHS.
Then a few years later DVDs became available but we still had to wait months to get a copy, even once we were stateside but by then cable access became an option as more carriers began to add BYUtv to viewer packages.
Moving forward, the timespan started to narrow until internet viewing became an option but the replay was not available for several weeks. (Funny how impatience in waiting to retrieve information also shortened through the years.)
But now. Now we have almost instant access post conference. It is truly amazing to me.
Okay, enough retro yammering and onto reveal my first watch favorites. Once conference concludes tomorrow and I go back over all of the talks online and then read them, something else will probably speak to me. But for today here is what has touched my soul:
Inspired by a wonderful sermon today on the importance of reverencing the Lord’s Day, a sacred and holy day, here is a sermon on how and why, as a Christian, it is important to keep the Sabbath Day Holy.
So it is that real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed! Such is the “sacrifice unto the Lord … of a broken heart and a contrite spirit,” (D&C 59:8), a prerequisite to taking up the cross, while giving “away all [our] sins” in order to “know God” (Alma 22:18) for the denial of self precedes the full acceptance of Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”