My husband and I traveled to Idaho Falls, Idaho this past weekend. We were fortunate to be able to hear the Saturday Conference messages while driving. It would be difficult to say what messages I loved the most. I generally just like to bask in the love that I feel from those who speak.
Of course, I always enjoy President Monson's messages; he truly is the rescuer. I loved his closing message on the Temple. I enjoy working in the temple each week and I am saddened when some of the sessions are not well attended. If everyone who has a recommend would do one session per month that would make a big difference. We would be greatly blessed and the temples would be at their capacity more often. I can't think of a better date night with my husband. As temple workers we are challenged to attend the temple as often as possible.
The message by Elder Quentin L. Cook was timely. His thoughts were on the women of the church. There is a blog site that I occasionally go in on. This site is made up of posts of women that are less active or have left the church, those that are struggling with fragile testimonies, sisters who are active but questioning some of their own beliefs and a few that are not members of the church. The first post was from a sister who is a member who gave her thoughts and opinion's about the Sunday sessions of conference. My heart was saddened because she wrote about the speakers and in doing so was very sarcastic and critical. She particularly talked about Elder Scott's very sweet message about his wife. She diffidently had a feminist point of view about how the church feels towards the women in the church. Her feelings were harsh and unkind. I wanted to take her in my arms and tell her how much Heavenly Father loves her and that the leaders of the church love her too.
The following are thoughts from Elder Quentin L. Cook's message. He opened his remarks by telling about an historian who wrote about the men and women of the church in it's infancy. Some of his writings were not favorable but he was impressed with the devotion and heroism that the early pioneers displayed. He said: "Their Women were incredible". Elder Cook then said: "Our LDS women are incredible. Elder Cook continued with these thoughts; "God placed in women the divine qualities of strength, virtue, love and the willingness to sacrifice to raise future generations of our Heavenly Father's spirit children". He also stated; "Women are daughter's of our Heavenly Father, who loves them. Wives are equal to their husbands, and marriage requires a full partnership where husband and wife work side by side to raise their children." I hope with all my heart that this dear sister who holds such angry feelings will read this very beautiful message by Elder Quentin L. Cook.
At this time I have a daughter who will be having surgery on her esophagus in May. She is my youngest daughter and has been struggling for a long time with pain from reflux disease. She was recently diagnosed with Barrett's disease; which is a precursor to cancer. She is very young to be having these problem. She has four precious children and desires to have another sweet spirit bless their home. At this point her health is an issue. She has great faith and we as a family have fasted and prayed for her on more than one occasion. She told me that she was praying that she would receive from conference comfort and answers to her prayers.
One beautiful message was by Elder Kent F. Richard, who discussed pain. I know that she heard that message and was strengthened by it. Here are a few thoughts from that talk. As physician he causes pain on a daily basis. He stated that he has had pain himself and that we all will and do. No one is immune from pain. He pondered about the purpose of pain. In these moments of pain in our lives; we often times learn patience. He thought perhaps that was why we are called patients when we are ill. Some people in pain turn away from God in anger. Others draw closer to God; their faith is fortified. Pain can bring humility as we reach towards our Heavenly Father for help. God is there to heal the soul of those in physical pain but also in mental, and emotional pain.
I know that I have gained faith through my painful experiences not only physically but emotionally. We have had many experiences with health issues in our family. We have had many miracle from fasting, prayer and priesthood blessings. When something serious happens to one of us we include the whole family in fasting, praying and obtaining blessings.
This weekend we also came to Idaho Falls to attend the funeral of our son-in-law's father who passed away from cancer. It was a moment to reflect on what pain he had suffered both physically and emotionally. The family had of course fasted and prayed that he would be cured of this affliction. He was our age and I consider that young. One of his daughters mentioned that she was too young to lose her father; and she is right. However, Heavenly Father has a different plan for him and I know she has great faith and knows that. I feel that he will be near his family and will not miss the important occasions in their lives. I know this is true. I had a spiritual experience when my mother passed away. I felt my parents presence at her funeral. The experience was such a blessing in my life. I then lost my brother in 2010 and knew he was near by watching over his family during this difficult time.
All of these truth are part of the Plan of Salvation and many of the messages in conference give us courage to continue on and fulfill the measure of our creation. I am grateful for the testimony that I have which gives me strength to learn and grow from the struggles and tests of life. I hope this young woman who wrote her thoughts on conference will read and understand more fully how much Heavenly Father loves her and all of his children.
This month in which we celebrate Easter; we turn our thoughts to our Savior and his atonement. Christ knows our pains both physical and emotional. Christ who atoned for our sins, said: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11: 28-30).