Monday, May 5, 2008

Stake Conference

Today we had a fantastic adult session of Stake Conference. Josh and I almost didn’t go – because Redbox and other stuff came up – but we decided to and boy am I glad.

The meeting was about 1 ½ hours, and we probably heard 10 speakers. Only 2 of them were in the Stake Presidency and the other 8 (or so) were just members of the stake.

They were each asked to share an experience in their life (some had specific direction) which strengthened their testimony of the Holy Ghost and it was REALLY fantastic. I think that’s how Testimony Meetings are supposed to be. They were all simple, not discourses, not thankimonies, not doctrine, just a simple testimony of the power of the Holy Ghost in their lives. They were each different, and they were each very powerful. It was a fantastic meeting.

One story that I especially liked was of a guy who explaining how in his life he feels the power of the spirit a LOT more when he asks for it than when he doesn’t. (Makes sense huh?) He explained that while there are some instances that we are overwhelmed with the feeling of the Spirit, much more often, we have to ask for it first.

One night, when his kids were teenagers, he came home from work and his wife immediately told him, “You need to talk to your daughter.” This particular daughter was 13 years old, they lived in California and there was a school dance coming up. It was their family practice not to attend dances until they were 14. He knew he was in for it.

He went upstairs and silently prayed to have help in knowing what to say to his daughter to help her to make choices that would make her happy in life. He knocked on her door and asked if he could come in. She said yes and immediately started into her speech outline all of the reasons she should be able to go to the dance.
“The bishop’s daughter is going.” “It’s just a dance, not a date.” “I’m only a month away from being 14 anyway.” Etc.
He said he listened to her speech, then he very clearly thought about the thing that would make the most sense to her.
“When you turn 14 and start going to stake dances, how many will there be?” He asked.
She thought about it, and he could see her doing the math in her head. “2 a month, plus an extra one for Christmas....25.” She answered.
“And how many at school?” he continued.
“5 or 6 a year”
“So total, that’s about 30 every single year, right?” He verified.
She nodded
“So over the course of the 4 years you can keep up this routine, that’s at least 120 dances. Right?”
She nodded.
“Do you really think you’re going to miss that much by not going to this one?”
“You’re right dad, I don’t need to go.” She answered happily and went on doing her homework.
Seriously! That’s what she said. Wow. I have to say I doubt that happens very often, but he was thankful that the Holy Ghost was willing to show him how best to approach this topic with his daughter. He also reminded us that if we want to be inspired or feel the Spirit, we should 1. Ask for it. 2. Listen so you can hear it. and 3. Act on it. Ask, listen, act.

The 2 speakers from the Stake Presidency took a little longer and were more doctrine-y, but one was first and the other was last so it was easy to pay attention. One of them gave an absolutely fantastic talk about how the power of Holy Ghost pretty much encompasses everything that makes our religion different. Personal revelation, modern prophets, everything else falls under the Holy Ghost, which is pretty cool. His talk was fantastic.

It really was a great meeting and Josh and I both came away wanting to be better and already feeling more grateful for the blessings we have.

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