Monday, August 29, 2016
I love this print hanging in my girls' room. It says "He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name" from President Uchtdorff, and it goes along quite nicely with this week's Conference Report.
Have you ever been sitting in a church meeting and a speaker said exactly what you needed to hear? That happened to me at Stake Conference this weekend, although I didn't recognize it at the time. But as I have been thinking about the things I learned, one speaker's message stands out in my memory and feels like an answer to prayer.
Now that my kids are in school all day, I have struggled to find a purpose. Maybe I am being dramatic and just thinking about it too much, but I have honestly felt a little bit adrift. The message I heard during Stake Conference was to remember that above all else--before my calling as a mother and a wife, even--I am a daughter of God, and that He knows me, He knows my concerns and worries, that He loves me, and He wants to help me.
After our meetings and a really good Sunday nap, I remembered this talk from our last General Conference. As I reread it yesterday afternoon, the message I heard in Stake Conference was strengthened in my heart.
I'd like to share some of my favorite parts below:
Elder Hallstrom said, "Here on earth, we identify ourselves in many different ways, including our place of birth, our nationality, and our language. Some even identify themselves by their occupation or their hobby. These earthly identities are not wrong unless they supersede or interfere with our eternal identity--that of being a son or a daughter of God."
So if I am having a hard time identifying myself as a mother from the hours of 8am to 3pm, it is because I have placed that identity above my eternal identity of daughter of God. And in this lies my confusion or loneliness.
Elder Hallstrom continues, "In real life we face hardships. There is pain--physical, emotional, and spiritual. There are heartbreaks when circumstances are very different from what we have anticipated. There is injustice when we do not seem to deserve our situation. There are disappointments when someone we trusted failed us. There are health and financial setbacks that can be disorienting. There may be times of question when a matter of doctrine or history is beyond our current understanding.
"When difficult things occur in our lives, what is our immediate response? Is it confusion or doubt or spiritual withdrawal? Is it a blow to our faith? Do we blame God or others for our circumstances? Or is our first response to remember who we are--that we are children of a loving God? Is that coupled with an absolute trust that He allows some earthly suffering because He knows it will bless us, like a refiner's fire, to become like Him, and to gain our eternal inheritance?"
I would never liken my current situation to actual, real suffering, but this message is powerful to me nonetheless. Any confusion or uncertainty I feel in this new stage of my life can be washed away in the knowledge that I am a child of God. If I can keep that identity first and foremost in my mind, then I will find the focus that was lacking in my days.
One final message from Elder Hallstrom: "We live in a world that can cause us to forget who we really are. The more distractions that surround us, the easier it is to treat casually, then ignore, and then forget our connection with God. . . no matter where we live and no matter what our circumstances are, it is essential that our preeminent identity is as a child of God. Knowing that will allow our faith to flourish, will motivate our continual repentance, and will provide the strength to 'be steadfast and immovable' throughout our mortal journey."
Read, watch, or listen to the entire talk here.
posted by stephanie at 7:49 AM