Wednesday, October 1, 2014

General Women's Meeting 2014.

It is always so interesting to see who, and how many of us will gather for the General Women's meeting every year, and this past weekend we had quite an amazing number in our stake. It is always nice to see other young women, and sisters that I normally don't see every Sunday gather together exchanging stories, hugs, and smiles. The best part of this meeting is the fact that those who are as young as eight years of age can now attend the general women's meeting with their mothers. I have a nine year old, and amazingly she was pretty excited to go that evening (I believe having a pie buffet that night had something to do with her attendance as well!) Seeing young girls between the ages of eight and 17 attending this meeting gives me hope that when these young women reach the ages of 12 and 18 that they are going to be prepared to enter the Young Women program, as well as Relief Society and hopefully spread their wings wide when they venture out into the world after high school graduation (crossing our fingers right moms?)  It was so nice seeing everyone gathering, visiting, hugging, chatting, and smiling among one other. That is sisterly love, and I hope that my daughters will follow in the footsteps of my example in the way that I strive (key word being STRIVE) to be a faithful follower of Christ and how I love, and treat my fellow matter who they are. 

The General Women's meeting was indeed so powerful this year! It seems that when I, or a loved one is going through a trial my intentions are totally focused on what our church leaders have to say, and my listening ears are on. Listening deeply with pure intent to every word they uttered that evening was needed in my life in numerous ways. 

For a moment I was prepared to enter the chapel with all these hopes and answers to my prayers for someone I love. When in reality some of these talks were meant for me. Sometimes I walk in thinking, and praying my heart out that every time General Women's meeting comes along that certain family members, and certain sisters I feel can really use some uplifting words of comfort from our church leaders, because they sure can use it. Well you know what...we can all take in some words of comfort, and we can all use it. Including me! 

**Linda K. Burton spoke about better preparing our children for temple blessings. To teach them at a young age to get them involved in family history work, and indexing names so that they'll be spiritually prepared to enter the temple once they turn 12. Preparation is key in all things especially when it comes to the way of the world. I love the example she gave about the 10 virgins, and how five of them were prepared in having oil in their lamps, while the other five were foolish because they didn't have them filled. Like those five virgins who were prepared  to go the marriage, we as members should be prepared to worthily enter the temple.

**Jean A. Stevens talk was focused on baptismal covenants, and gave a beautiful story of her mother, and father. She spoke so highly of her parents, and I was humbled by her story. She talked about how her parents were married in the temple by David O' McKay, and how their focus was purely on building an eternal family, and laying a foundation of the Lord in their life. It was a lovely talk about two wonderful people who sacrificed so much in spite of their challenges in serving their Father in Heaven with strength, and love. Preparing for temple blessings is something we should always be ready for once we enter the temple, and this quote from President Thomas S. Monson says it all, "No sacrifice is too great, no price to heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings." 

**Neill F. Marriott's talk was given with so much love, and conviction. I think the fact that she has a huge family (11 children, and 29 grandchildren) inspires her to be a strong disciple of Christ. Teaching and helping us how we can be a light to others in a dark world. Reminding us that we can shine bright just like the temples do on this earth. One of my favorite quotes she said that night was, "Great joy comes when those little boats [our children] grow into mighty seafaring vessels with gospel light."

**President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave the most quintessential talk ever! An epic talk that we all needed to hear. Mentioning social networking tells me that he knows what's up in the world with how we women think, and feel. Especially when it comes to numbers. Y'all know what I'm talking about. I mean seriously...who cares how many likes we get on a Facebook pic, Instagram, or twitter. Who cares how many followers we have on pinterest. Heck...I'm grateful to even get one like when I post a status on any of those social networks. That's the way of the world nowadays among our youth, and hope that someday they will realize that none of that matters. Heavenly Father doesn't care about any of those things. He cares about our spirituality, and helping us realize that he loves us no matter what. It is so easy to forget who we are in today's society without listening to that voice that protects us from sin. It's also very easy to stray away from the gospel especially if we are not paying close attention to the influences around us. I've mentioned before that I didn't grow up in the church, so I really appreciate everything that the young women program does for the youth including my kids. Unfortunately, I've seen quite a few young women go off on their own after high school graduation and struggle with their testimony, do what they want, and forget that they are a daughter of God. We need reminders of those moments to remember who we are, and to strive to live as a true disciple of Christ. To know that Heavenly Father loves us no matter what and that blessings will rain down upon us. Even at my age I need to be reminded of living the gospel, and how I attain that is by living the laws of the Lord the best I can. He also said that living the gospel joyfully with all our heart, mind, and soul may be hard, but by choosing Heavenly Father's path we can lay a divine foundation on our path, and in our lives. 

Every single talk was appreciated, and spoke to me in profound ways. The fact that some of the talks were so focused on leaving a legacy of great examples for our children, and seeking out our ancestors by attending the temple more often strengthens me as a mother even more. I am a first generation member, and unfortunately I don't have many stories to tell my kids about how my mother met & married my dad, and so forth. I have stories, but they aren't the uplifting kind (they will know those too.) My family as much as I know, did their best in living a good life, and unfortunately in most cases somewhat turned out dysfunctional. I know I'm not perfect, but I don't want to repeat the same mistakes some of them made. My hope for my children is that they will have fun, sweet, and uplifting stories to tell their future posterity about me.  I have built a history of my existence through happiness and trials on paper, photographs, this blog, and most of all my example which I hope will be good enough for my kids!
And I hope in return my children will live a faithful life in living eternal covenants and that by going to the temple will be much more than a "one time event", and pass that on down to their posterity, and so on, and so on. 

**Past General women's meeting posts can be found here, here, and here.

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