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This past weekend our stake was reorganized under the direction of Elder Ballard and Elder Wheeler. We had wonderful meetings- the Spirit was present, and I was taught/reminded of many important truths. Here are a few of the main ideas that caught my attention:
- prophets are seers; they see the enemy from afar and warn us of what we need to do to be safe; our safety lies in following the prophet
- we need to make a greater effort to recognize promptings of the Holy Ghost; we must find a time and place to ponder and to listen
- a “mental” conversion to the gospel is not sufficient; to withstand temptations and trials that we may face, we need testimonies that are deeply rooted in our hearts
As I have thought about some of the comments, I have also been reminded that comparing ourselves to others can be dangerous. On one hand, if we view ourselves favorably compared to others, certainly we have problems with pride. And if we compare ourselves with others and find ourselves lacking, we suffer from yet another aspect of pride.
In a favorite book of mine, Ester Rasband puts it this way: “Self-hatred…is the most intense form of self-love, because it is total self-absorption, total preoccupation with seeking our own comfort.” While I find myself often thinking that so-and-so has such a perfect life or that I wish I were like such-and-such, I realize that such comparisons are never productive and that I am better off not judging at all. I think there is a fine line between appreciating some else’s virtues and coveting them.
Finally, one of the speakers reminded us that we do not need to be called to the stake presidency (or any other calling for that matter) to obtain the greatest blessings that Heavenly Father can offer. We only need to have faith, to repent, and to endure to the end in keeping our covenants, and although it may not always be easy, these are things that we all can do.
It was a wonderful conference, and now the challenge is to actually change- not necessarily what I say or do but more in how I think and feel.