I will not leave you comfortless

One of my favorite stories is when President Monson felt impressed one General Conference to deviate from his prepared remarks and speak directly to a little girl seated in the north balcony of the Tabernacle.

During a particularly difficult and painful personal trial, I sought my Heavenly Father in prayer, asking Him for a special message during an upcoming Stake Conference session. I spent a great deal of time on my knees, pleading for a personal message and comfort from the heavy burdens of this trial.

As I drove to the Stake Center, I had a prayer in my heart, asking once again to receive the blessing this little girl had received.

I had volunteered to serve as an usher during the morning session of the conference, so I was seated close to the doors in the back of the chapel. It must have been one of the first speakers–a member of the Stake Presidency, I think–who started his talk with the message I had prayed for.

I do not recall the exact words he spoke, but I remember him saying that he felt impressed that several had come seeking answers to prayers. He said that he felt impressed to let us know that our Heavenly Father was aware of our struggles and that he would bless us with peace and comfort.

As the counselor spoke these words, I had to leave the chapel as I was overcome with emotion. I entered one of the open offices, fell to my knees, and wept. I felt a tremendous sense of gratitude that my prayer had been answered. As I was on my knees, I offered a prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father for the reassurance that He loved me and that I was not left without comfort.

In a few short days, I will leave my family to start a new job in Connecticut. My wife has felt a great deal of anxiety about the impending move and has prayed  seeking for comfort and answers to her prayers. During both of Saturday’s sessions, she heard talks that were direct answers to her prayers.

I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers prayers. He will not leave us comfortless (John 14:8).

The voice of God

When I first saw the video of the now homeless and former radio announcer, Ted Williams, I was struck by his self-described “God Given Gift of Voice.”

Some have described his rich baritone voice as “the voice of God.” Having never personally heard God speak aloud, I cannot say for certain if this is indeed true.

What rings true for me, however, is how his story has given God a voice in a world that often shuts him out in the name of political correctness. Helping other people…isn’t that part of His message?

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

Mosiah 2: 17

On my way home from work, I often pass people like Ted Williams…standing on the street corner…begging for work or food. These people do not possess Williams’ rich baritone voice. But they do possess the same basic need for food and shelter.

The scriptures–the word of God–speak plainly to us on how we should treat the poor among us. You have perhaps heard the angelic voice of Ted Williams…but will you listen to the voice of God?

Popsicle sticks and breaking the comandments

My home teacher came over yesterday, bringing an object lesson for my children on obedience.

The lesson involved several popsicle sticks with different commandments written on each stick. My home teacher handed my son and daughter individual popsicle sticks and asked them if they could break the sticks. Naturally, my son and daughter easily broke the popsicle sticks. Our home teacher explained that it was easy for Satan to get us to break individual commandments, but that it would be difficult for him to get us to break several commandments at one time.

Our home teacher handed my son several popsicle sticks and asked him to try and break them all at once. He could not.

Next, he challenged me to break all of the popsicle sticks at one time. After a little time and effort—crack! I broke all of the commandments, er, popsicle sticks at one time.

I’m afraid this was not the most effective object lesson for my kids, especially when they see how easy it is for their dad to break several commandments at one time.

What are some of your favorite home teaching object lessons for kids? Do you prepare a lesson specifically for the children of the families you home teach? Or, as a parent, do you like it when your home teacher brings a lesson for your children?

Get General Conference Links on Facebook

Just wanted to let everybody know that you can get links to mp3 audio and mp4 video of general conference right in your Facebook News Feed by becoming a fan of Nothing Wavering on Facebook.

As the files become available from the official church, links will be posted automatically.  You will also get links to other content from official LDS websites as well as unofficial LDS blogs, including M*.  Having the links right in your News Feed makes it really easy to share and discuss them with Facebook friends and family.

For more links to General Conference resources see my post a Sixteen Small Stones.