Thoughts on General Conference, October 2012

What an amazing weekend we have had! I have loved it. The talks given by our church leaders at General Conference were so inspiring. To have the knowledge that God loves each of us and is mindful of the details and decisions we make in our lives, is so beautiful and so reassuring. We are not alone. As we come closer to understanding our Savior, Jesus Christ and what he taught during his short mission on earth, we desire to serve our brothers and sisters throughout this world in our own simple ways.

We were all surprised and excited to learn that the age for missionaries was changed from age 19 to 18 for young men who have graduated from high school, and from age 21 to 19 for young women if they so choose and are prepared and ready. The Lord’s work is hastening. Over the past few days I have heard of many young people who have decided to go on a mission as soon as possible. There are many whose hearts who have been touched. The rising generation is stepping up. (To learn more, watch the press conference.)

The location of two new temples was also announced; one in Tucson, Arizona and the other in Arequipa, Peru. The total number of temples around the world or in planning stages is 168. 

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“Declaring our testimony of the Gospel is good. But being a living example of the restored Gospel is better. Wishing to be more faithful to our covenants is good. Actually being faithful to sacred covenants including living a virtuous life, paying our tithes and offerings, keeping the Word of Wisdom, and serving those in need is much better. Announcing that we will dedicate more time for family prayer, scripture study and wholesome family activities is good. But actually doing all these things steadily will bring heavenly blessings to our lives.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“In our day, it easy to merely pretend to spend time with others. With the click of a mouse we can connect with thousands of friends without ever having to face a single one of them. Technology can be a wonderful thing. And it is very useful when we cannot be near our loved ones. However, I believe that we are not headed in the right direction individually and as a society when we connect with family and friends mostly by posting humorous pictures, forwarding trivial things, linking our loved ones to sites on the internet. I suppose there’s a place for this kind of activity. And it’s fun at times. But how much time are we willing to spend on it? If we fail to give our best personal self and undivided time to those who are truly important to us. One day, we will regret it. Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them. Doing things together and cultivating treasured memories.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

On a personal note:
Needing exercise, I decided to take a walk tonight and invited my youngest daughter to come with me. She pedaled her bike faithfully while I walked. Coming closer to home, we needed to go up a steep hill. She decided to walk her bike and we each took hold of a bike handle. Becoming tired, she started to complain. Hoping to make it easier I suggested we were like pioneers pulling our handcart. I then told her to count the cracks in the sidewalk. We counted together, and this soon became a game for her. She happily hiked the rest of the way home.

Thank you, President Uchtdorf, for reminding me to spend time with my youngest. It is easy to focus on our own needs, but as we focus on what is truly important, spending meaningful time with family and loved ones, happiness is the result. May you each find those opportunities.

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