Notes from Stake Conference

We had a visiting General Authority to our Stake Conf. this past weekend. It was wonderful, powerful, incredible and truly edifying!

Our Stake Public Affairs person asked me to take copious notes for a newspaper article she was going to put together afterwards, as she was going to be out of town. So, these are some highlights from my notes. 

Hope you are blessed, if just in a small way, with some of these messages from a variety of speakers:

Focus on: Strengthening Personal Conversion, Ministering to one another, Seeking Personal Revelation, Staying on the Covenant Path, and Reaching out to Others’.

Ministering is ‘a new holier approach’ to helping one another as the Savior lived and taught and ‘to help one another along the ‘Covenant Path’, each step is lead by revelation all along the path. 

“Yea, Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him”.

The saving ordinances associated with the gospel of Jesus Christ; Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghose, Priesthood, Endowment, Sealing, Enduring to the end.

Purpose: to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to ‘every creature’.

“I know this is the Church of Jesus Christ. His plan will allow all of us to return to His presence”.

“Far and wide we tell the Father’s story….”

Why did we come to earth? To learn to make choices.

People’s time is ‘too full’. It boils down to choices. What matters most?

Focus is on deepening our Conversion in Heavenly Father’s plan and in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. “Home-centered, Church-supported ‘curriculum’, to strengthen families and individuals and foster greater personal worship and to hallow the Sabbath.”

We are each responsible for our individual growth”. -Pres Nelson

Make your home into a ‘sanctuary of faith’. Remodel your home into Center of Gospel Learning.  As you do so, the influence of the adversary will decrease.

In the coming days it won’t be possible to withstand what’s coming unless you have the Holy Ghost in you life. YOU are 100% responsible for your choices.

A Leader: is not to boss people around but rather, to help them become their best selves. To help them see what they can become and help them become that.

Real growth in the church is a by-product of real growth in the people of the church.
Councils: are a fundamental, eternal principle.
Agency produces growth.
“Vision determines direction”
The greater the ‘vision’ the greater the motivation.

Saturday Evening Session:
Story of when in Elem School there was event to see how much weight toothpicks could hold. He didn’t think it would work but then, glued some together and they could hold a lot of weight.
Sharing one anothers’ burdens.
We deepen our understanding of the Lord and conversion.

A couple spoke on using the new "Come Follow Me" program in their family. 
New “Come, Follow Me” program is blessing their family greatly. 
We all have much to do, texts, work, emails, reminders, phone calls of what to do. We have to prioritize. The 2 most important things don’t have text reminders. Prayer and Scripture Study.

How this has strengthened our family. That strength and power allows us to meet those other challenges throughout the day. “When I put the Lord first, everything else works out.”

When I set aside time in the morning my mind is invigorated.
I receive revelation on how to help my family.
Our children are now wanting to read and study (because of this new program)
It is SO simple if we will but follow it.
Overcoming the tugs and pulls of the world.
Understand what is most important and do that first.

Temple Matron
We are a covenant keeping people. We make covenants with Him and He blesses us.
Told story of woman who saved for many years to go to Temple, rode on Amazon river 7 days, took bus 18 hours to get to Temple. It meant everything to her and she'd never fall away.

Temple President:
What is the Purpose of the Temple?
1.     To develop greater faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
2.     To More fully Follow His teachings
3.     To provide us with that knowledge we need to pass by the angels.
Our Father in Heaven loves each of His children and wants them to all return to His presence but there are some basic requirements to get there.
The Prophets simply testify of Jesus Christ and tell us the things that we should do.

Visiting Authority:
Pres. Nelson loves you and always prays for you.
Heavenly Father’s plan is personal and very difficult.
It’s meant to be that way. But, we don’t want to wear you out.
I hope you will Seek His help and guidance in all that you do.

Tonight, be Learners.
“There must needs be opposition in all things”.
“It’s all for you.”

“If we’re never challenged, we’re never changed.”
We all have challenges.
1.     The ones you see everyday (financial, health, aging, divorces, relationship challenges) it’s okay!
2.     The ones you don’t see everyday. (betrayal, loneliness, depression, doubts of faith, temptations)
3.     The ones we can’t understand.

Life was not designed to be fair. Sad and Bad things happen to all of us.
In the end – we will win.
Just do the best you can. That’s enough. He knows.
He’ll compensate for all you can’t do.

Played a beautiful video/song from Pres. Monson’s funeral; one of Pres. Monson’s favorite songs “Weary Not”.

Family History; Discover Who you are, Gather, Connect in the Temple
Looking back at your family prepares you to go forward

Parents – help your children learn about their ancestors.
“Who is raising the rising generation”?  It’s got to be US!
There is no one else.

The more children know about their family history…the more they understand they are part of something bigger than themselves.
When we know who we are in relationship to God and each other it - we can endure all things.
Discovery begins with stories and photos. They can speak to you.

Basic Human Needs: food, shelter (safety), BELONGING
We crave connection
We need to matter to thrive
Everybody matters

There are 18 promised blessings from Prophets  (which blessing would you like?)
Here are some:
We are linked to them forever
More closeness and joy in your family
Divine protection
Personal power: to change, to repent, sanctified, heal that which needs healing
Knowledge of Savior will increase
Blessed in every other aspect of your lives
Protected against adversary

Sunday Session:
Stake Clerk released. Served 19 years.
New Stake 2nd Counselor called

The Importance of Revelation:
“God’s will being made known to us” individually
Missionaries invite people to receive revelation for themselves.
Each of us can feel.
We lived with our Father in Heaven before we came here. He developed a great plan.

Priesthood Keys:
I’m grateful for Priesthood Keys. They are real.
Thank you for what you do day-in and day-out, for your many acts of service – seen and unseen.
They’re known to Father.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
“When you do good, you feel good.”

Topic: HOPE – and deepening our spiritual conversion. Eternal Principles
Moroni: Hope for a better world – makes you sure and steadfast, abounding in good works…
Alma: firm hope, knowledge, surety.
Hope THROUGH Atonement of Jesus Christ – His promise.
One day we can rest from all our afflictions
We live in perilous times
Youth; decisions now determine what happiness you will have later.

Hold fast. Keep going.
No one can be converted for you.  No one can force you to be converted.
“Our true conversion comes as we act upon principles we know to be true.”
Role of Savior in Plan = Redeemer
If you have a grudge, let it go.
“Nothing in this world is worth holding onto, robbing ourselves of eternal bliss and happiness”.
True conversion will come as we honor our eternal covenants.
The Lord does love us. He wants us to come to Him.

Scripture Study:
45 min. scripture study time in morning before I go to work = treasured time
Made a list of words that describe Christ. My feelings.
He knows us by name.

“What makes you laugh”? My wife makes me laugh.
“What makes you cry”? Knowing my children are growing up so fast.
Most of all I am grateful for my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
The Lord accomplishes His purposes through small and simple means.
I know that whom He calls, He qualifies.
I know that the Spirit of God can soften hearts.
Christ lives and is at the Head of this Church.

A quote I remembered as a youthThose who are living on borrowed light will not be able to stand when (hard?) times come.  – Heber C. Kimball.
Youth Pioneer Trek: they wanted to do hard things. They wanted to be challenged. They asked us not to make it ‘easy’ on them. They pushed handcarts up and down 9 ft embankment.  What they experienced/sacrificed in order to be true and faithful to Lord; cold, wet, hungry, exhausted, bravely facing uncertainty. Our youth were ‘amazing’.
1st night rained a LOT.  We talked about how ‘rain comes in each of our lives’. We need to be prepared.
“The fundamental teachings of the gospel are clear and direct.”
Justice and Mercy.
Phil 14:  I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.

We have a ‘newer holier approach’ and that includes teaching our families.
A friend asks a question each night at dinner – and it gets them all thinking and talking, critical thinking.
“What is the Vision” (for us, our families. Without vision we/they don’t have purpose, goals)
It’s never too early and it’s never too late to begin the process. Take heart.
Alma 32: This life is the time to prepare to meet God. Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance.
Our children need our love and approval.
Family History can help our children be protected from the evils of the world. They are connected to something greater than themselves.
Counsel with your families as to how you can make them stronger.

Missionary work is a ‘team sport’. (talked about video from previous evening on soccer – all need to work together to make a goal. Not just one person.)
22 sets of missionaries in this 'Stake', 4 Senior Couples
Ask you 3 things:
1.     to feel them more vegetables J They don’t get enough.
2.     Invite your friends to do things in a natural way.
3.     Please pray for the missionaries. They pray for you, your families and friends.
This is His church. He is the Savior of the World.

Visiting Authority:
I bring you the love of the First Presidency who pray for you. (Please pray for them.)
Today I’ve come to ‘reason with you’.
We need to Strengthen Families! Multi-generational.
Our message is to ALL the families of the earth.
Family is not the creation of society.
If you don’t have one, I want you to start today to build a multi-generational family.
“How many of you have a given first or middle name that connects you back to an ancestor?”
(many hands raised)

In Hebrew: word Father = the strength of the house, Mother = (draw?) water or food, (nourisher) (they hold it all together)

D&C tells us the world is ripening in iniquity.
Some family problems. Falling apart. Not surprising.
“It’s not good out there”.
“and stir them up to anger against that which is good”
Parents, you need to make sure your ‘trump’ is sound. (clear, precise, united)

How do we help our children to see what they can’t see?
But, they WISH they could.

Helpmeet – help one another
Faith crisis is what we expect to happen (with some children). It’s okay. We have to help them through it.  Share with them the ‘vision’ about how THEY fit into the plan. It’s bigger than them.

Wife and puzzle experience; = as young marrieds he couldn’t figure out how to do a puzzle at a neighborhood ‘puzzle’ night. She helped him. The friends told her not to. Her reply “I want him to have a good experience”. We help each other to ‘see’ when they can’t see. That’s the purpose.

Savior – lead people out of the town so as to not make a spectacle.
Sometimes miracles take time.
Don’t be too impatient.

What happens when there is not love at home?
What does that look like? Feel like?
Do everything you can to make your marriage work.
Your kids are counting on it.
(even more important than 'finding the right person is 'making it work')

Be honest with each other. Communicate regularly on how to solve problems.
Counsel and Reason with one another.
More than just ‘hearing’, you have to help them ‘understand’.
The power of stories – to help us understand.

Never love anything that can’t love you back.  (temporal things)
Find time for things that matter most.
Told a story about a chinese man and a horse that one day appeared on his land, then broke it's leg, then fell on his son. ‘good or bad’? He told the results of each of those events.
Somethings we don’t see things as they really are. Our challenges that appear ‘bad’ may actually be for our ‘good.’

Don’t just ENDURE to the end, ENJOY to the END.
Don’t miss these wonderful times. Your children are ‘an heritage’ of the Lord. They were His before they were yours.
Live has a way of filtering out things.  I’m in the last 20% of my life at least.

He (God) promised us that if we pray to Him (sincerely), He will ALWAYS listen and answer our prayers. He promised He would send His Son to Redeem us. And Prophets and Apostles to guide us.
Someday we will go to live with Him or He will come to live with us.
We are here to help our children get there.
He will see us as we are. May we always retain His name in our hearts.
I offer my blessing to you, your children and grandchildren.

Savior, may I love my brother….Lord, I would follow Thee.


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