GCBC Week 26: “The Songs They Could Not Sing” by Elder Quentin L. Cook

First of all, if you didn’t see all the recent blog announcements, go check them out.

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We did it!  This is the last talk we’ll study for this round of general conference.  The conference countdown has begun.

That picture up there will make a lot more sense after you study this talk.  It’s a classic analysis of the age-old question:  why do bad things happen to good people?, and then it’s followed up with counsel of how to navigate those trials and testimony about the justice of God’s Plan.  The answers, of course, are found in the Savior.

The Songs They Could Not Sing by Elder Quentin L. Cook

” There are many kinds of challenges. Some give us necessary experiences. Adverse results in this mortal life are not evidence of lack of faith or of an imperfection in our Father in Heaven’s overall plan. The refiner’s fire is real, and qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God.”

Update:  I had forgotten that we did this talk already back in December.  I paired it up with another talk.  Sorry about that.  If this is a repeat for you, study Pres. Monson’s closing remarks from conference this week or Pres. Uchtdort’s awesome talk from the General RS meeting.

What are some of your favorite insights from this talk?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

The next round of General Conference Book Club will be hosted from a different home.  Go here to read the announcement (skip down to number 3).

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.” If you want to learn more, go here.

Breaking News (and other earth-shattering announcements)

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Forgive me while I wax administrative for a day, but there are a few news-items I need to communicate.  Get your mouse-clicker finger ready because I’m sending you all over the place.

1.  For the sake of pure anticipation, I need to let you know that in September, I will be teaming up with  Montserrat of Chocolate on my Cranium, Jocelyn of We Talk of Christ, and the mysterious Middle-aged Mormon Man to host a Family Proclamation Celebration.  It’s exactly what it claims to be: a two-week star-studded gala honoring the timeless principles of Family: A Proclamation to the World.  And by star-studded, I mean a cohort of guest posts that will knock your socks off, including but not limited to:

Shawni at 71 Toes
DeNae at My Real Life Was Backordered
Michelle at Mormon Women
Allison at Simple Inspiration
Melanie at Write Stuff
Ken at The Craig Report
Some other dear real-life friends that predate my blog,
and Matt (my husband, who puts the stud in star-studded),
plus even more, because that doesn’t even include guest posts at the three other blogs.

Also, in association with the celebration, Montserrat is putting together a video of families around the world reading phrases from the Proclamation.  It would be really helpful if you would do a little webcam project and submit it to her. (I’m sure it will bring you lots of fame and fortune.)  You can get more information here.

There’s really nothing else you need to do about this now except get excited.  And get your kids all ready for back-to-school in late August so that you can spend September 17-30 basically reading blog manna around the clock.

More announcements.  I’ll be brief.  (I’ll try.)

2. I’m taking a blog sabbatical.

sabbatical:  any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.

I know I’ve tried this before and failed, but this time I really mean it.  :)  I just accepted a very-part-time job to teach a Doctrine and Covenants class at BYU that starts in a few weeks. (Thrilling and terrifying at the same time.) It has become clear to me that in order to make this work and still keep my focus on my family, I need to adjust my juggling act, so I’ve picked the blog as a plate to drop.  I’m sure I will pop in occasionally because loud people don’t shut up well, and obviously I’ll be up and running again by September (see announcement #1).  Other pre-determined exceptions are listed below.

3. General Conference and GCBC.  This week, I will still do a few fun posts about getting ready for general conference.  I have been hosting the General Conference Book Club here for three years.  I can hardly believe it.  It’s my “baby,” and I love it, but it doesn’t fit well with sabbaticals, so I’m handing it off like a faith-filled birth mother.  Becca will be adopting and hosting this next round of GCBC at her blog:  My Soul Delighteth.  I’ll post more information this week, but I wanted to give you a heads up.  It will be the same deal, same system, and I really hope you will still use it as the gospel-study tool it was intended to be.  I plan to still participate, but I’m just not going to host it for a season.

4.  My Pretty Darn Funny Video.  I posted yesterday about this video contest I entered.  Turns out that, after reading all the small print, I’m still confused about when the votes actually count.  The real promotion period starts on March 31st (I think), so I may come out of my sabbatical once or twice to do some shameless self-promotion and ask you to vote again.  I really, really want to win that Caribbean cruise.  Forgive me in advance?  Thanks for all your votes so far, and feel free to drop by right here at random and leave more votes pretty much any day between now and the end of May.  :)

5. “I love you, man.”  I just want to say thank you for all your kind support here on the blog over these last few years.  This isn’t a funeral speech, and you’ll be hearing from me periodically, but really, thank you.  I’ve loved your comments, participation, and virtual friendship.  You make a sabbatical feel really hard to do.