Oct 6, 2013


Tonight I made Chicken Pillows for dinner.  They were tasty. Mmm...definitely a treat for this house. Garry also made an amazing cake for dessert.  Delish.

Our meal was symbolic of our weekend: a feast.  For ten hours of the last 48, we tuned in to LDS General Conference. I look forward to Conference every spring and every fall.  It always seems to come at a time when my stamina is waning and I need relief.  The messages this weekend didn't disappoint.  I feel uplifted and strengthened and encouraged.

For those who know me, it's no surprise that my favorite talk came from Jeffrey R. Holland.  I probably shouldn't have a favorite apostle, but he always seems to give the best messages.  This time, his shout-out to the mentally ill struck a chord in my heart.  I cried through the entire thing. I appreciated his honesty and his candor and his unwavering testimony that God loves people like me.  I remembered that I'm doing my best to read the scriptures and pray when it doesn't seem to make a difference in my day-to-day life, and that counts for something.

During my (only two) morning workouts this week, I listened (three times) to a talk that Elder Holland gave in the April 2011 General Conference: "An Ensign to the Nations."  I was struck by this passage:

"Perhaps you already know (but if you don't you should) that with rare exception, no man or woman who speaks here [at General Conference] is assigned a topic.  Each is to fast and pray, study and seek, start and stop and start again until he or she is confident that for this conference, at this time, his or hers is the topic the Lord wishes that speaker to present regardless of personal wishes or private preferences. ... Consider the variety of the messages that you hear--all the more miraculous with no coordination except the direction of heaven. ... In the wide variety of sermons given is the assumption that there will be something for everyone. ... If you listen to the spirit...some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal, little, prophetic epistle, just for you."  

It turns out that Elder Holland's talk from two years ago was just as helpful to me this week as it was back then, but it was made all the more poignant when his address yesterday was sent so personally to me.  I know I'm not the only person who wept during his remarks.  I know I'm not the only one whose tortured mind dictates so much of their existence.  Still, my soul lifted when Elder Holland said: "We are infinitely more than our limitations or our afflictions."  I am more than my illness.

There were many other Conference speakers who touched me.  Uchtdorf.  Ballard.  Dube. Oscarson.  So many.  But for me, Elder Holland was the icing on the cake...the best part.  

I've already listened to his talk a second time, and I look forward to listening to the entire conference again as I begin another week of early-morning exercise (I promise, I'm going to get up when my alarm rings).

After all, a feast wouldn't be a feast without second helpings.
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