Sunday, January 17, 2010

An amazing night

I need to record this and I doubt I can do it justice but I'm going to try anyway.

This weekend was stake conference. To start with, I think I live in the best ward which is in the best stake with the best stake president. I've never felt so included and loved and acknowledged as I do here. (I'll be coming back to that acknowledgement thing later).

So last night was the adult session of stake conference. I don't normally go to that. I'd only been to that session once before. I wasn't really planning on going but then I found out my good friend would be speaking so I asked Rachel to come over and watch the kids so we could be there.

I'm so glad I did.

The theme was "one by one." Or how has the hand of the Lord been present in your life in an individual way?

It began with a member of the stake presidency speaking of a recent talk by Elder Eyring where Elder Eyring spoke of being led by the spirit to write down the instances EACH DAY where he felt the hand of the Lord in his life. Small but significant moments that we all have but often don't recognize if we're not paying attention.

The next 4 speakers were members of the stake. All of whom struggled in some way with some major trials. One was a new member who overcame a gambling addiction, one was a young mother whose husband is currently on assignment in Afghanistan, one was a man who lost several people close to him to death and one was a woman who spent a couple years in prison because she caused a fatal car accident. All of them spoke of the way the Lord carried them and taught them and helped them or is helping them through these trials. Not only that, the way they were blessed because of these experiences.

I can't begin to describe the way the spirit filled the room as these people shared their testimonies of the Lord's love for them, personally. Their was no question in my mind that they all understood what Nephi meant when he said that although he doesn't know the meaning of all things, he knows that God loves his children.

So then the stake president stood up and read 3 Ne. 11: 15 "And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come."

He focused on the phrase "one by one." He asked us why it was important for each individual person to feel and see the prints of the nails in the Saviors body. Then he asked us for examples of how we have come to know the Savior individually. How has He manifested Himself unto us? How have we felt his wounds? He then had a couple guys stand up with microphones and opened the meeting to discussion.

The presence of the spirit only magnified from there as my brothers and sisters in the gospel shared the times in their lives that the Savior has carried them. The times they've come to know him and understand the atonement for themselves. The stories they shared were often tragic but laced with hope for the eternal blessings of the temple. Some were outright miracles and some were instances of the still, small, voice at work in our daily life and daily blessings.

I was left pondering my own life and thinking about when it was that I came to know the Savior and appreciate his atonement. It's still at the forefront of my mind as I attempt to put all the feelings and thoughts together cohesively. So far this is what I've come up with.

1. There's so much power in just recognizing the hand of the Lord. I've vowed to recognize and record those instances going forward.

2. I had (and have) an overwhelming love for my friends/brothers/sisters/leaders both in attendance at stake conference and those who weren't. A desire to acknowledge them (told you I'd come back to it) because all anybody needs is to be loved, noticed, acknowledged, understood and validated.

3. I got to thinking about when it was that I felt the Savior's wounds and the atonement became real to me. There was a moment, over 5 years ago now, when I miscarried a baby that I realized the Savior bled for me and all of us and I suddenly knew that He knew what it felt like to bleed for a child and then lose that child. Yet I felt comforted to know that because He did that we are able to have the fullness of the gospel and I wasn't losing my baby forever.

Finally, I'm just so full of gratitude and aware of how blessed I truly am. I hope I can hold onto this feeling indefinitely.

Friday, January 15, 2010

No time to blog...

Sorry about that! I'm going to try to be better. I still need to go back and do some big ones from last year. Good thing blogger has that thing where you can back date entries. lol. But in the meantime. Just had to record this one for posterity...

We just got home from kindermusik and Gabe was sitting in his carseat with a glazed look on his face, looking straight ahead with his mouth open in an 'o'. I stared at him for a while with no response. I spoke to him with no response. I tapped his leg and asked what he was doing and he suddenly starts giggling and says "oh, I was pretending to be a sticker." I'm thinking it's a good thing I signed him up for classes at the local theater.