Monday, October 10, 2016
connected to heaven
Every week I study a different General Conference talk and then I write about it here in what I call my Conference Report. Before I started doing this, I watched conference, and sometimes I would even take notes, but I think to really understand the talks and to incorporate the principles they teach into my everyday life, I need to do more than watch or take notes. I need to study them. Writing about them helps me internalize their teachings. And all of this makes me happier and more focused on the things that matter most.
So, I hope you don't mind, but here's another installment of my weekly Conference Report.
Elder Juan Uceda tells a story from his time as a missionary in 1977 in Cusco, Peru. He and a group of missionaries visited the Machu Picchu ruins. At the end of their visit, some of the missionaries wanted to see the Inca Bridge, which is on a very perilous trail with a 2,000 foot drop down to the river below. Elder Uceda had a strong impression from the Spirit that they should not visit the bridge, but after some persuasion from the other missionaries, he ignored the prompting and off they went. The group of missionaries were ahead of him on the trail, all except one missionary who had received a prompting to stay behind and let Elder Uceda go ahead of him. As Elder Uceda hurried to catch up to the group, he stepped onto what he thought was a patch of greenery, but there was no solid ground beneath. He started to fall, desperately grabbing onto branches as he hung, 2,000 feet above the river. He immediately cried out to God, asking for help. The missionary who had stayed behind was there in a moment to help pull him to safety.
Elder Uceda was ashamed that he had not listened to the voice of the Spirit when it told him not to visit the Inca Bridge, but as soon as he called out to God, God listened to him and saved him.
He says, "At the very moment we say. 'Father in Heaven,' He hears our prayers and is sensitive to us and our needs. And so His eyes and His ears are now connected to you. He reads our minds, and He feels our hearts. You cannot hide anything from Him. Now, the wonderful thing is that He will see you with eyes of love and mercy--love and mercy that we cannot fully understand. But love and mercy are with Him the very moment you say, 'Father in Heaven.'
"So a moment of prayer is a very, very sacred moment. He is not one to say, 'No, I will not listen to you now because you only come to me when you are in trouble.' Only men do that. He is not one to say, 'Oh, you cannot imagine how busy I am now.' Only men say that."
Elder Uceda asks, "When you pray, are you really praying, or just saying prayers?"
I've pondered that question all week as I have knelt to say my prayers. Am I really praying? I know that when we pray to Heavenly Father, we can be connected to heaven, but only if we come to Him with a sincere heart, with real intent, and with faith in Jesus Christ. When I do this, I feel God's love for me more fully, and His peace washes over me.
Read, watch, or listen to the entire talk here.
posted by stephanie at 8:44 AM