GCBC Week 2: Because of Your Faith

“Because of Your Faith”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 2010 General Conference
Saturday Morning Session

This is it, friends:  the official beginning of a new round of General Conference Book Club!  I am excited to have so many new people join us, and it’s sincerely my hope that participation in this book club will help us personally in our gospel study goals, and collectively as we share testimony, encouragement, and insight.  We will begin with Elder Holland’s beautiful talk, “Because of Your Faith.”  It seemed to me that the goal of this talk was simply validation– the bearing of testimony that our righteous efforts are seen by a loving Heavenly Father and appreciated by Him, by His servants, and by His church.  It was a lovely reminder that whatever contributions we make, no matter how small or insignificant or unnoticed they may seem, they are puzzle pieces in building God’s kingdom and in building ourselves.  When we offer our hearts and our service to Him, we are becoming what He wants us to be.  And He is pleased.

“I have struggled to find an adequate way to tell you how loved of God you are and how grateful we on this stand are for you. I am trying to be voice for the very angels of heaven in thanking you for every good thing you have ever done, for every kind word you have ever said, for every sacrifice you have ever made in extending to someone—to anyone—the beauty and blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

What are your favorite moments or quotes from this talk?  Is there anything you learned here that you had not considered before?  What stood out to you as you studied it?  And, most importantly, what did it make you feel or want to do?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  The comment thread is set up so that you can comment on and reply to each other’s comments as well.  Below each comment is a “reply” button.  If you are interested in receiving everyone’s responses, there is a box to check in the comment form that allows you to get all the follow-up comments by email.  Or you can come back and check out the progress of the post at anytime.

When you click on the link at the top of this post to read Elder Holland’s talk, you’ll see a page that looks like this:

Notice that on the right side, there are links that allow you to watch the video, listen to audio, print, download, etc.  There is also a link to the Study Notebook feature so that you can highlight and comment on the talk “in the margins.”

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37 thoughts on “GCBC Week 2: Because of Your Faith

  1. I loved this talk. The main reason i loved it, is because this is a great look into the character of the Savior. We sometimes get this idol worship with the general leadership of the church. We think they are better, or holier than us. We think we need to work really hard to impress them. When in actuality they are there to support us and our families. The reason the church exsists is to support families. To teach us, to guide us in gaining skills and knowledge to help us in building our families.
    The greatest among you will be your servant. The lord is a servant to us. He is at out disposal to serve us, to help us, to redeem us. He loves us and woudl do anything for us. The true knowledge of this, increases my desire to serve him, to pray to him, to develop a relationship with him. His motivation for stepping forward and saying “here am i, send me” was us. His love for us. Elder Holland exemplified this perfectly. I felt the Love the Savior has for me, how much he appreciates me, and how much work he is doing on my behalf. This is humbling, and frankly changes why I do everything. No calling is to hard, no trial is to daunting when you know you have a friend that feels that way about you on your side.

    • I felt the same way – I got the feeling that “we’re all in this together” and that we help one another regardless of our calling in the church. We are all a part of something marvelous and our efforts in this work matter very much.

      I think the insight about the Lord’s character is an important thing to consider. I feel so blessed to know that He is aware of me and loves me more than I can comprehend and that He smiles at my efforts.

      Another thing I got from this talk was to teach my children to look for opportunities to serve. I’m going to read them Elder Faust’s story and ask them how they can be more aware and sensitive about the needs around them – as the Savior would be.

  2. When I listened to this talk during Conference, I felt that Elder Holland had experienced the divine love that our Savior had for each of us, and that he felt that his words could not do it justice. As I listened to him, I thought, “I want to know what that really feels like too.” I’m sure that it must be an intense experience.

    I also thought that Elder Holland illustrated perfectly the sentiments that the Prophet was trying to express when he told us to express gratitude and to be grateful.

  3. I missed this talk last week and just watched it this morning. WOW!!! I was thoroughly touched. I loved listening to him talk about his parents and his mission money experience. I also loved the example of the woman who said she was only a helper.

    I imagine I’ll be listening to that talk many more times. It was a huge confidence booster for me. Sometimes I feel like either I’m not doing enough or what I am doing isn’t being noticed. It helped me realize it is being noticed by the only Person who matters.

    Great talk to start with!

  4. I was really touched by this talk, too. I felt that he was reminding us that even the small things we do matter. And that we each have something unique to contribute.

    I also liked the part where he talked about the “cultural” aspects of the RS. I’ve noticed it becoming extremely vogue to laugh/criticize the cultural aspects that crop up in the church. In a gentle way he reminded us to not let shame of being too Mormon-ish stand in the way of our charity.

    I also liked the reminder to take the time to thank those that have touched us or sacrificed for us. The story about his parents teared me up when I heard it and again when I read it this afternoon.

    • I was reassured that the little things I do are important. I was touched to know that maybe what I am doing is OK, even though it isn’t perfect. It also makes me want to do more acts of service, and fulfill my callings to the best of my ability, with love in my heart.

  5. This was our first conference since I cut the cable. So, imagine my panic when the church’s internet audio feed wasn’t initially working. It came up again, to my relief, just as Elder Holland began speaking. I have loved him since he was BYU’s president while I was there. I felt his love and the love of the Lord almost like a fire hose directed at me through the computer screen. I sobbed the entire talk. All the crazy days of wrestling children alone while my husband does bishop things felt an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. There were many messages of correction and guidance for me this conference, but Elder Holland’s talk was, for me, pure love and acceptance of my widow’s mite. I may not lead organizations, but I lead two year olds. I may be seen of no one as I walk the halls or pour cups of water in nursery, but I am seen of the Lord and that is enough.

  6. How could you not but feel wonderful about being a member of this Church after reading this talk? Individually I felt validated and loved and acknowledged, but I also felt a huge surge of righteous pride to be a part of a community of Saints where service like this happens all the time.

  7. I loved when he said “We sustain you.” How powerful and great that felt to hear. I also loved the story of the woman who was a “only a helper.” I am sure we have all felt that way. I feel that way often as a stay at home mom. I also loved his closing remarks when he said he would strive to be better, and how humble he was about his short comings. If we could all be that humble we could be in a good place.

  8. I loved this talk. I loved how he thanked his mom and it made me realize that I need to express my gratitude to my parents (and others) more. I loved how they payed for his mission and it was a struggle for them but they never mentioned it. It made me want to do that for my children.

  9. I loved this talk! OK, that’s gonna get old, I think I love just about every talk, even the ones that were hard for me to listen to.

    At any rate, I really enjoyed the kick off to conference with a talk from a leader expressing his gratitude toward all of us. I loved the highlighting of the various aspects of our church culture and membership. I also enjoyed the way Elder Holland showed us that we could laugh at ourselves, but do it positively.

    To me, this talk really highlighted not only faith and service, but just a spirit of thanksgiving. It made me think about how I need to not only build my faith, but learn to show it and share it in my daily life. It also made me think about how if I look at things positively, even that crazy Girls Camp experience or my husband going off for the Scout Freeze Out or anything else, the experiences will be even sweeter!

  10. Ok. I am determined to do the Conference talks with you each week now. I missed most of Saturday’s talks as I drove from Sin City to Salt Lake. I am so glad I finally got to listen to this talk. I think I may take a couple of days to study it out and digest what I have heard. But my initial feelings of great worth and love will definitely have me going to read it (or listen to it) again and again. What a great way to start General Conference.

  11. I don’t remember a specific part of this talk, but I do remember being in tears by the end of it, and telling my husband, “Thank heaven someone knew we need to hear that once in a while.” He, and Presidents Uchtdorf and Eyring, spoke right to me this conference.

  12. As I sat listening to this talk, I was so filled with love. I felt a greater desire to do more, to strive to do better. I felt such a love and appreciation for all those who did so much to help my children during their growing up years and those who have been my Bishops, RS Presidents, Visiting Teachers, Home Teachers, etc. We are all needed and appreciated.

    It was so wonderful to receive my e-mail from my missionary son on Monday after Conference and to have him write: “…Elder Holland’s talk, about the sacrifice parents make for full-time missionaries, and them to have a happy life. So I thought of you and Dad during his talk, and I’d just like to say thank you so much for the sacrifice you two make:)”

    I know this will be a talk I will review a few more times during the next six months.

  13. I felt like he was speaking to ME during this talk (and every other Mom who is struggling to raise her children and serve in the Gospel and the list goes on…)
    I cried as the Spirit testified to me that the little things we do really matter and that I’m doing a good job, I may not feel that way, others may not see it, but I’m doing my best and that is enough. Oh, I don’t know why, but I really needed this validation at this time in my life.

    Elder Holland has a very special place in my heart. I was privileged to be able to meet him and his wife and talk with him 5 years ago when he gave my niece a Priesthood blessing after my sister passed away. I want you to know that he is so amazing!! He took my little Mommy in his arms and said, “Oh, I’m sorry, no mother should ever have to bury their child”. He’s never met us before, but I know he meant every word. The blessing he gave my niece has been a turning point and healing point for my entire family. He is real and genuine and his love of the Savior radiates from his entire being. What a great person!! He is truly a disciple of Christ. :)

  14. I cried through this talk the first time that I heard it and again just now as I was rereading it. I hope that one day my boys appreciate that sacrifices that I make for them. Throughout this talk I could feel the love that Elder Holland has for his mother and for the members of the church. I loved the reference to girls camp and felt a connection there, this was a talk that I needed to hear. I sometime get caught up in the doing something big, but need to remember that the small things matter just as much.

  15. Isn’t it funny how each of us want to be noticed in some way? In the Church it seems like a “Calling with a Title” is what would make us feel important – more “used would we be.”

    On more than one occasion I have shared a General Relief Society Meeting with a family member, who, upon the closing “Amen,” shakes her head and says, “I’ll never measure up. I’ll never be like THEM.” And it makes me sad, for no words can help her realize that she isn’t supposed to be like THEM, she’s supposed to be like HER.

    And this is Elder Holland’s message: No small sacrifice in God’s kingdom, no tiny service rendered under His watch, no amount of accolades with title or calling will void the love the Lord has for us! In fact, it IS the small and simple things we do that will afford us inheritance in His kingdom.

    The one statement Elder Holland said, that NEVER occurred to me in a verbal, logical form before (because I am sure I knew it spiritually and subconsciously before he articulated it so well and so succinctly) was this: “The personal value, the sacred splendor of every one of you, is the very reason there is a plan for salvation and exaltation. Contrary to the parlance of the day, this is about you.”

    For a mom who tells her children – every single one of them, at least once a day – that NOTHING is about them, I stand humbly corrected!! For the Plan of Salvation is about THEM. And it’s about ME! It is the very reason Christ suffered was for me. He, who is THE Center, makes me His center of the end to which He came and the hope of which He offers.

    Elder Holland’s talk was an open invition to the Spirit to teach me all that I must do – and more!

  16. I’ll add my voice to the chorus of commenters who loved this talk. I love E. Holland. His voice is so soothing and comforting.

    One of my take-aways from this talk is that God knows us and loves us individually. He sees all the ‘helpers’ in the Church and loves them for the little things they quietly do to help build His kingdom–even me with my ADD-riddled Primary class!

  17. Initially, I don’t think I listened very well to this talk. What stood out to me when I first watched it conference weekend was: “I have never been a leader of anything in the Church. I guess I’ve only been a helper,” I say, “Dear sister, God bless you and all the ‘helpers’ in the kingdom.” Some of us who are leaders hope someday to have the standing before God that you have already attained. **I have to say, after being a nursery leader for over a year now, I do feel like “just a helper” at times. But hearing that gives me comfort that I am contributing to something bigger than me.

    I also really enjoyed this quote: “My thanks to all you wonderful members of the Church–and legions of good people not of our faith–for proving every day of your life that the pure love of Christ ‘never faileth.’ No one of you is insignificant, in part because you make the gospel of Jesus Christ what it is–a living reminder of His grace and mercy, a private but powerful manifestation in small villages and large cities of the good He did and the life He gave bringing peace and salvation to other people.” I love that he included every good person committed to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, and serving others and helping to build the kingdom. It just emphasizes that anyone can do good, and that EVERYONE is a part of Heavenly Father’s plan, regardless of what they believe. They all were for His plan before we came here.

    And most importantly, hearing (or reading) Elder Holland’s resolve motivated me to be better. If a man such as this still feels the need to improve (bc we all know he is closer to perfection than I am), I would need it far more than he would. “I pledge anew my determination to be better, to be more faithful–more kind and devoted, more charitable and true as our Father in Heaven is and as so many of you already are.” Reading this makes me feel the need to move towards that as well.

  18. Something else I was thinking about last night is how this talk helped me want to be better and love those around me more. He didn’t exhort me to action or list what I was doing wrong, but he helped me think about how much love my Heavenly Father has for me, how He appreciates me, and the sacrifices He has made for me.

    I need to make sure I do this with my children -make sure they know they are appreciated and loved and that they understand the sacrifices that Heavenly Father and others are making for them. I think this has more power to help them want to improve than my telling them the things they could be doing better.

    They probably need a little of both – but definitely a lot more of the former than of the latter.

  19. This was my favorite talk BY FAR out of all of them. The love Elder Holland radiated to all of us was clearly felt by me. I felt recognized, appreciated, and cared for. I especially loved it when he talked of the older woman who said she had never been a leader, and then he said that HE aspired to be as favored in the eyes of the Lord as SHE is. It made me realize that I will do what I can, and what I can do is good.

  20. I love how several of you have said that this talk helped them to feel validated. That is how I felt too. Sometimes, when we are plugging along with our own responsibilites, families, jobs, callings, homes, etc. we don’t get that validation that what we are doing really matters.

    It is easy to get caught up in the minutia of these things and to forget that all of our small bits of family/church/anything service is worthwhile and appreciated by Heavenly Father.

  21. His talk nudged me to finally write that letter I’ve been “meaning to write” to my parents for being willing to support me on my mission. My decision to serve was a surprise to all of us (perhaps the most to me — I was sure it wasn’t right for me until I prayed to confirm that decision and did a 180 within three days’ time), and my parents never really said anything after, “Yes, we’ll pay for it.” Being the people-pleaser that I am, I would have worried had they made a big deal out of it.

    My dad did tell me when I got home that his business had never done better than it had when I was serving, though. ;)

  22. BTW, Stephanie, if this is totally irreverent, then don’t let my comment through, but the mentioning of validation immediately brought this video to mind. It’s worth the 16 minutes.

  23. What a great talk. I could feel his love for us as he spoke. I am lifted up and okay with the sacrifices that we are making for our children today. I have been feeling like we don’t have as much as other families because I stay at home, but I felt like he was telling me directly that I am making a good sacrifice and it’s okay.

    I loved what he said about YW girl’s camp. I had one of those extremely spiritual campfires that I still remember with fondness.

    Like Andrea above, it has made me realize that I need to express more gratitude. More thankful for my husband, my children, my siblings, my parents, my friends, my leaders, etc, etc.

    Thanks for doing this, Stephanie. I’m looking forward to being involved again.

  24. I love Elder Holland- he is both powerful and tender at the same time. I appreciated many of the points he made in this talk. It reminded me to appreciate and express thanks to people more because I bet a lot of people feel like their contribution doesn’t matter all that much because they’re “just a helper”. I’ve had leadership callings before but haven’t for a while, so I felt like maybe I wasn’t doing as well as I did before. But there are many blessings in serving quietly as well, and his talk illustrated this beautifully.

    • Me, too. Living in a new place, it’s weird to not even have a calling or any responsibilities other than my family. And it felt good to realize that is absolutely fine. It’s a good contribution, and what I should be doing now, even though the past 10 years have been busy, busy callings.

  25. This talk was timely for me and questions that I have petitioning to Lord for sometime. I do feel that all of us do need to feel validated and most of all needed anywhere we live. I love the elderly lady story and I do relate. I have blogged my feelings and I guess my story about why this talk touch my heart on my own blog if you are interest you are more than welcome to go to

    http://hopkinzrn.blogspot.com/2010/10/day-77-gcbcbecause-of-your-faith.html

    Thanks Steph for doing this you are amazing!

  26. This talk helped me to have a desire to do better and be a better person. I was reminded of the importance of expressing gratitude to everyone around me and for being grateful for all that I’ve been blessed with in this life.

    I was also reminded of the importance of humility. I loved the story about the woman who said “I have never been a leader of anything in the Church. I guess I’ve only been a helper.” I realized that I have a great need to humble myself and be grateful for the opportunities to serve in whatever calling I am asked to serve in.

    I loved hearing from an apostle of the Lord that I am “individually loved of God” and “central to the meaning of His work.” This is something that I know, but hearing it from Elder Holland brought me much strength. It is comforting to know that we are loved, prayed for and thought about by leaders of the church.

    What a wonderful talk!!

  27. Okay, I’m a day late, but I wanted to add my two cents.

    Elder Holland’s talk really started Conference off on a positive and joyful note for me. Having felt my share of discouragement, and sometimes even “unappreciation” from others, his words were so comforting and uplifting. I feel strengthened knowing that the leaders of the Church, whom I esteem so highly, pray for me.

    “I am trying to be voice for the very angels of heaven in thanking you for every good thing you have ever done, for every kind word you have ever said, for every sacrifice you have ever made…” How I needed to hear this! I felt clearly during Elder Holland’s talk that Heavenly Father DOES notice and appreciate every little, imperfect act I try to do for good. Even when no one else notices. I found great comfort in this.

  28. I reread this talk when I got my copy of the Ensign, and I loved how often Elder Holland said “I am grateful.” He said it over and over. What a great example for us – especially at this time of year.
    :)

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