As you can imagine, my heart was yearning for words of peace and comfort all during General Conference....and boy did those words come! But, I have to admit, it was also very difficult for me to hear some of the things that were spoken. My heartstrings were pulled in various directions as I listened to true principles of necessary opposition and inevitable heartache in this life. But overall, I was uplifted and reassured that truly all will be well and our Father in Heaven does know me -- as He does all of His children. So, here are some highlights I gleaned from the 8 hours of instruction:
Elder Dalin H. Oaks
Opposition plays a central role in the Plan of Salvation. Elder Oaks said, "We grow and become refined through challenges and making difficult decisions." My question: Why does refining need to hurt so much sometimes?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
He used one of my very favorite scriptures, "But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions (Heb. 10:32)." I love that verse! We are not going to be on a "spiritual high" all of the time, but we can remember those moments when we did feel the Spirit and rely on those moments through our difficult times. Love it!
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom
He quoted Elder Holland as saying, "You can have what you want or you can have something better." This was one of the many quotes that caused me to squirm in my seat. Though I love this sentiment, I don't really like it. The unknown is scary to me, maybe to most of us. We want what we think will make us happy. But, the Lord knows the end from the beginning. I would like to see what He has that is better for me, but I'm not sure I want to wait for it (especially when I don't know what that might be).
Elder Gene R. Cook
Elder Cook encouraged us, "See yourself in the temple." There was much said in Conference concerning temples and our temple attendance. I have been greatly blessed to live near a temple most of my married life. This past month the temple has been a sure place of peace and serenity for me. I am truly grateful for this tender mercy from the Lord.
Elder Patrick Kearon
And there is much already being done and going around via social media on reaching out to the refugees thanks to Elder Kearon's talk (as well as Sister Burton's talk from the week before). There is so much hurt in the world. One of the surest ways to overcome our own grief and pain is in the service of others. I have been inspired to "seek out the strangers" in my own sphere of influence. We'll see where that leads.
Overall, General Conference was as encouraging and uplifting as usual. As one friend put it so nicely, "It makes me feel good about myself while also causing me to want to be better." There is an upward lift when we spend two days focusing on the words of our Father in Heaven through His living prophets. I am so grateful to live in such a time as this!