Preparing for General Conference

General Conference is a month away. Six months ago, in his closing address of October General Conference, Pres. Nelson invited us to prepare for April Conference by studying the Restoration of the Gospel.

If you have yet to start your preparations (ahem, that’d be me), you still have time. My friend Montserrat Wadsworth has written a 30 day study guide over on her blog, A Gospel Centered Home. She has some great ideas to get you started.

Happy preparations!

Pres. Nelson’s Second Challenge

Pres. Nelson issued four challenges to the sisters in the Saturday night Women’s Session of General Conference. They are:

1. Participate in a 10 day social media fast — removing negative influences from your life, and things that cause you to have impure thoughts.

2. Read the Book of Mormon between now and the end of year (that’s 84 days as of today).

3. Establish a pattern of regular temple attendance. If you’re far from a temple study the standard works and other church materials on temples.

4. Participate fully in Relief Society.

Saturday night and over the course of Sunday, my Facebook feed filled with girlfriends signing off of social media for 10 days. But, let’s not forget the other three parts of the challenge. I wanted to focus first on the Book of Mormon reading challenge — as that is something I can do without having to rearrange life too much. Continue reading

Three Sunday afternoon thoughts

Here are just a few thought’s I’ve had this Sunday afternoon, they are in no particular order.

Thought One: I posted a meme with a quote by Pres. Howard W. Hunter on the Millennial Star Facebook page a few weeks ago which said, “We need to be kinder with one another, more gentle and forgiving.”

Along the lines of forgiveness and kindness, in my Gospel Doctrine class today I included a story of Edward Partridge, the first bishop of the Church. He was one of the leaders of the Church in Missouri and in charge of helping people settle into land and life there. He was a target of mob violence and suffered a tarring and feathering. He said of the incident,

“I told [the mob] that the Saints had suffered persecution in all ages of the world; that I had done nothing which ought to offend anyone; that if they abused me, they would abuse an innocent person; that I was willing to suffer for the sake of Christ; but, to leave the country, I was not then willing to consent to it. I bore my abuse with so much resignation and meekness, that it appeared to astound the multitude, who permitted me to retire in silence, many looking very solemn, their sympathies having been touched as I thought; and as to myself, I was so filled with the Spirit and love of God, that I had no hatred towards my persecutors or anyone else” (Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, chapter 4).

In the age of social media mob violence, we need to be kinder, gentler and more forgiving of each other. We will be more effective as Latter-day Saints by being kinder to people than by being argumentative and rude. Continue reading

Ready and waiting for General Conference

first-presTomorrow we get to sit and listen to General Conference. Including the Women’s Session from last week, there are about 11 hours in which we will be instructed, counseled, and taught as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know many of us look forward to this weekend with anticipation.

This year I have approached Conference differently. In years past, I just sort of showed up and was wiling to hear whatever was said. If I learned something, great! And I always have. This year, however, I decided to do what many people do, and that is, come to General Conference with questions. I’m hoping that with a few particular points to focus on, in addition to learning what is presented, I will come away from Conference a bit more enriched and a bit more focused for the next six months.

In the Book of Second Nephi 2: 26-27, we read, “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” The words of the prophets and other leaders of the Church are the way to eternal life. By choosing to follow their council and guidance, we are choosing to follow the Lord. But we have to choose to follow. Nephi also teaches us in these verses that we are here to “act” and “not to be acted upon.” Continue reading

Are You Ready for Conference?

SLC temple

Snacks? Notepad? Pencil? Remote Control? Selfies of your feet watching General Conference? Or perhaps you get dressed up and watch at your meetinghouse? Do you have friends and family over to watch? Activities for the kids ready? But, are you ready for General Conference?

Over at Middle-aged Mormon Man’s blog, he suggested we use General Conference as the kick-off to the 4th Quarter (of the year) to reset the goals we made back in January. He suggested doing these things:

1) Watch all of Conference this weekend.
2) Figure out what you NEED to accomplish before the year is out.
3) Make sure the Lord is onboard with your plans.
4) Write it down!
5) Tell someone that is important to you what you plan to do.
6) Get it done.

I thought those were great suggestions, and I think I’m going to accept the challenge, to reset myself for the 4th Quarter of 2015. Continue reading