Wow! What a weekend. I hope that all of you were able to attend both sessions of Stake Conference, they were amazing. I took some notes and as I was thinking about typing them into my computer, it occurred to me that it might be fun to share them with you. So, here are a just a few of the things that stuck out in my mind from Stake Conference:
President Holladay is a walking miracle. We all knew it, but he confirmed it. He spoke of Alma the Younger and how , as he was racked with torment because of his guilt about his sins, he cried out, “Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me….and [after he cried out] my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain.” Alma 36:18,20
He then spoke of Peter, walking on the water. He said that as Peter lost sight of Christ and began to sink into the waves, he cried out, “Lord, save me. And immediately, Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him.” Matt 14:30-31
President Holladay used these two examples to teach us that when we are in despair, if we will cry, “Jesus, have mercy on me”, He will come and catch us and we will be filled with joy. Christ will “succor” us (Alma 7:11-12) and the literal meaning of succor is “to run to” meaning that Christ will run to our aid.
President Holladay then pointed out something I have NEVER before noticed in the scriptures. In Exodus 20:3-5, the Lord says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me….for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” President Holladay pointed out that the footnote to vs 5 states that the Hebrew word translated as “jealous” can also mean “possessing sensitive and deep feelings.” In all the times I have read and/or taught the ten commandments, I had NEVER read that footnote. President Holladay then expanded on that thought. He discussed the Lord’s sensitive and deep feelings. A lovely example he used was when Mary Magdalene saw Christ after his resurrection and he told her to “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my father.” (Jn 20:17) President Holladay suggested that Christ was saving his first physical embrace after his resurrection for his Heavenly Father because of the sensitive and deep feelings that they share. That is a scripture I have always wondered about and I loved President Holladay’s idea.
Sister Brady is the Mission President’s wife. She told a very short story about walking through a spider web. (Ew!) She then compared a spider’s web which is hidden except in a certain light to the wiles of the devil. She said that we much look at our lives in the correct light so that we can see Satan’s spiderwebs and avoid them. In order to do that, we must have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion. She quoted a scripture which should be pretty familiar to all of us in the 8th ward. D&C 121:46
“The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth….”
He continued where Sister Brady left off and reminded us that we must feed ourselves daily with the good word of Christ. He asked us to have a love for and a reliance on the Book of Mormon. He stated that as we do that, we will be motivated to share the Book of Mormon with our friends and neighbors. One of the things he said that really stood out for me was that the Book of Mormon has answers to our problems. It brings us peace and comfort. In today’s uncertain times, why would we not want all of our friends to have the same peace and comfort that we derive from the Book of Mormon.
What a treat!!! If you were there, you know what I mean. What a great, tender, funny, love-filled, godly man.
He was all over the board, but here are a few highlights:
James 1:22-25 – “Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only….” Elder Cordova spoke of being a “forgetful hearer”. He cautioned us not to go home and forget the spiritual promptings that we feel in conference as we listen to the Lord’s servants. (That is one of the reasons I’m doing this. I want to remember the things I took notes about.)
Matthew 22:36 – “Which is the greatest commandment …? Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Elder Cordova then reminded us that we cannot love the Lord unless we love our neighbor. He tied that into missionary work and temple work. He spoke of rescuing those who have passed on by doing their work in the temple. He spoke of rescuing those around us by doing missionary work.
He said that President Monson asked the 70 to come and teach us the importance of reaching out to save those who have left activity in the church. He told a story of a person who left the church who said that the gospel had never left his heart. He said, “I know where the church is, but sometimes I need someone else to show me the way.” That story really touched my heart. I want to be available if ever the Lord needs me to show someone the way back.
Elder Cordova spoke of a letter from the First Presidency dated February 11, 1999 which was read in Sacrament meetings and taught by home teachers. It called on parents to teach their children the principles of the Gospel. It asked us to do four things:
1. Have family prayer.
2. Have Family Home Evening.
3. Have Family Gospel Study.
4. Have Family activities
Elder Cordova promised us that as we do these things, we will be blessed with family unity and our families will not fail.
He then reminded us of the four responsibilities that we all have (as stated by President Hinckley)
1. Responsibility to family
2. Responsibility to employer
3. Responsibility to Lord’s work
4. Responsibility to ourselves
He stated that they are prioritized, but they are all important. We cannot neglect one. They must be balanced.
He finished with D&C 104:13-16.
“For it is expedient that I, the Lord, should make every man accountable….I, the Lord …built the earth…and all things therein are mine….And it is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine. But it must needs be done in mine own way….”
Elder Cordova explained:
We are the Lord’s. His purpose is to provide for us in His own and holy way. Be faithful to Him.