You know, each year it gets harder and harder for me to be okay with General Conference passing. On some occasions it's because I slept through one too many talks (you know you've done it, too) and I feel guilty about missing those inspired words, but more often than not it's because conference weekend is full of so much good. This year was no different.
Since I no longer live in Mesa, I attended conference at the institute building right next to my apartment. I could have stayed in my apartment, but I knew I would eventually get distracted and eat the whole kitchen or fall asleep or something. Plus, I figured I would be able to see some friends, and that's always a good thing. So off I went to the institute building, and there I was able to watch all four sessions of conference.
I don't know if it's because I wasn't on a super comfortable couch the whole time, I didn't have ready access to a kitchen full of food, or because I couldn't easily fall asleep without everybody noticing, but I got SO much out of this conference. I was inspired to try harder to be better, and I was reminded of how good I have it. I feel one of the themes of this session was building up our testimonies for times of trial, and I realized I need to work on that. Specifically in regards to prayer.
In Richard G. Scott's talk, he highlighted the importance of prayer, and it really hit me. Heavenly Father is interested in ME. He is interested in YOU. Whatever you have to say to Him is important to Him. God is our biggest fan, and the more I learn of Him the more I know that to be true. He is rooting for us even beyond the veil. His love for us is unfailing and everlasting, and all He wants us to do is come back to Him. Isn't that awesome? We aren't merely a passing acquaintance to God. We are His children, and His love for us encompasses all that we have. You and I are alive today because He wants us to be here. He wants us to have the experience of having a body, because He knows how wonderful bodies are, and He loves us enough to share that with us. I need to remember to pray to Him more often and let Him be a constant part of my life. There can be nothing but good that comes from keeping the way of communication open between us and God. How grateful I am that I was reminded of that.
You know, in today's world, religion is often openly mocked and scorned. It's easier to not say anything at all, or perhaps even abandon your beliefs rather than stand up to such an oppressive wave of hate. But it is imperative that we do so! We can only truly be happy if we stick to our guns and stay strong, no matter how hard they push against it.
Before moving here, I was worried I would leave the church, but now I know I won't. I was scared that, because of my newfound independence, I would get lazy and stop attending church slowly but surely. It's not because I was lacking in faith, but Satan is patient and will stop at nothing to drag us down. I was worried that because of the work of the adversary, I would stumble and fall. But having been raised in a family as wonderful as my own, church attendance has been hard-wired into my brain. I have never once questioned whether or not I should go, because it is a natural desire to do so. And I love my ward! I love who I am surrounded with. Being a part of this church is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I know I will not leave it, because, simply put, it makes me HAPPY. I am comforted knowing I can return to my Father in Heaven, and I can be sealed to my family forever.
Another reason I want so badly to stay a part of this church is because my children deserve it. They deserve to be raised in a home full of Christlike love, and I feel my husband and I can only give that to them if we are united in belief in the church. I want my children to come into a home that is as close to heaven as they can get, because I don't want any less for them. I was raised in such a home, and I know it works. Because of two parents who have a rock-solid foundation in the church, I am where I am today, and I know how I want to raise my sweet babies.
Conference has a way of bringing those feelings to the surface for me. I'm scared about the world we live in today, but I am so excited to be able to bring children into a world where I can help teach them wrong from right. I look forward to the day when I kneel across the altar from a worthy young man and we become a forever family. I am so excited to know that we can be sealed together forever.
I am not perfect. You are not perfect. But by listening to these messages and applying them, we can eventually become like Christ, who is perfect. I love that! I hope to remember these things the next 6 months.