Sunday, October 9, 2011

General Conference

Twice a year, the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speak to the world about things relevant to our time in General Conference.  These men and women teach us how to have more peace, joy, and hope in our lives.  General Conference weekends are two of my favorite weekends of the year because they are always filled with such wisdom, insight, and direction.  The fall General Conference takes place the first weekend in October and, as usual, I loved watching every minute last week.  It was especially exciting to get to hear a story shared by Elder Cook about my great-grandfather, Alma Sonne (I may have started jumping up and down when he started the Titanic story)!  As a side note, Alma Sonne had a ring made after that experience with his initials "AS" on the top and the date he finished his mission in England on the inside.  Because of the experience Alma had at the end of his mission with the Titanic, the ring came to symbolize faith, following the promptings of the Spirit, and the importance of remaining loyal to friends.  Alma wore it everyday and, when he died, it was passed down to my dad who has the same initials and who now wears it on a daily basis.

The Saturday before General Conference, there was also a special broadcast from Salt Lake City just for the women of the Church.  The women who make up the General Relief Society Presidency (the organization of women in the LDS Church) speak as well as a member of the First Presidency of the Church (the Prophet or one of his counselors).  I learned so much from all of the words spoken, but perhaps the biggest messages I heard were 1) God loves his children and is aware of their needs, 2) the challenges we face are meant to strengthen us and bring us joy if we endure, and 3) we don't need to wait to find happiness, but can be grateful for the many blessings we have NOW.

Inspired by these messages, I've decided I need to take more time to reflect on the things for which I am grateful every week.  Every Sunday I plan to write a blog post listing 10 things I was grateful for that week.  There are the big things for which I will be forever grateful and that go without saying, such as the family, friends, and Gospel that continually enrich my life.  I hope the "Happy Now" posts will help me reflect on the small things that happen each week that often get over looked but, nonetheless, make my life the happy one that it is!  The "Happy Now" title comes from President Uchtdorf's talk during the General Relief Society Broadcast two weeks ago in which he counseled us to "forget not to be happy now."  Look for the first post next. :)


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