GCBC Week 2: “Can Ye Feel So Now?” By Elder Quentin L. Cook

We will kick of the October 2012 round of general conference book club by studying this first talk from the Saturday morning session:

Can Ye Feel So Now?

By Elder Quentin L. Cook

ALSO, for your viewing pleasure, here is a video of some highlights the entire session of conference. It’s a fantastic crash-course review. Definitely worth watching and sharing:

When you click on the link to the talk up above, you will see a screen where you can read the message in full. It will look like this:

← On the right side/margin of the screen, right next to the talk text, you will see where you can click to watch the talk, listen to the talk, or download it as a .pdf or .mp3 (to listen to on your ipod, etc.).

Anyway, Elder Cook’s talk is a great lesson of how to appropriately deal with the times when we feel our testimony ebb and flow, and when we recognize that we are in a weak spot or plateau in our faith. I love that he gives guidelines of how to find strength in those lower moments and therefore reinforce our testimonies; and, he also points out what kinds of behaviors and attitudes to avoid so that we do not fall into Satan’s traps of disillusionment and apathy.

Here are a couple of quotes I liked from his talk that specifically referred to creating a culture of faith in our homes:

Please take a few minutes to discuss what stood out to you the most in this week’s talk.  How do you think Elder Cook’s counsel can be helpful to you and your family?

(For those of you who are new to General Conference Book Club, you’re welcome to return to this post any time this week and leave your comment and thoughts in the comment section below. You may also want to see what others are saying about the talk and engage in a conversation for mutual understanding and encouragement. A new talk will be posted each Sunday and will be studied and discussed throughout the week.)

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18 thoughts on “GCBC Week 2: “Can Ye Feel So Now?” By Elder Quentin L. Cook

  1. As he starts his talk he mentions Alma the Younger and his concern about the peoples “unrighteousness and LACK OF COMMITMENT.” I think many of us aren’t necessarily being unrighteous but are we truly committed 100%? I also liked his emphasis that we don’t need to commit grievous sins before we can use the gift of repentance. The call, as parents, to teach moral & righteous behavior and bear testimony to our children also stuck out.

    • The church has a great parenting class. We are having lessons from it at a stake level. We have been practicing voicing concerns by attacking frustrations and not the person. It is a plea for help and not an attack on the child. Trying to take it to the next level. How does the Savior feel when we go against what he has taught? He still sees the beauty in each of us and what we can become. He offers hope. How would He want us to parent? We have to stay gentle, inviting, being an example and not being acted upon while being firm to our expectations.

      The last thing that I want
      Is to tell you what to do
      But I have to confront
      My feelings and speak to you

      This new change that I see
      This dark mood that I feel
      Truly worries me
      Let us talk and let love heal

  2. This brings to mind family history. It could be that I just did a fireside on that. But we found this sweet story of Joels great grandfather, who would kneel with his family in prayer and then they would sing songs out of this little black hymn book. How it would often bring tears to his eyes. They had nothing, and lived in a tent most of the time Joels grandmother was growing up. We have that hymnbook. Joel and I decided to start doing the same thing with our family, out of that same hymnboook to help us become more committed.

  3. I love how timely this talk is. So often I feel myself and observe in others around me a sense that we aren’t doing any of the big no-nos and that’s good enough. But this talk is a great reminder of the next level. Lack of commitment and apathy are huge attitudes I see in lots of acquaintances and friends who have suffered financially over the last several years. It has taken more than a financial toll on them. It’s also affected their spirituality and their desire to contribute to society. There’s so much of a “what’s in it for me?” mentality that just doesn’t jive with Elder Cook’s call for civility and kindness. My favorite note I took while listening to this talk the first time was “be more diligent as parents!”

  4. The Phrase “Others spend most of their time giving first-class devotion to lesser causes.” This gave me pause. In my daily life what is receiving my “First-Class Devotion”? TV? Internet? Do children’s activities start and stop our family time for a season? What am I worshiping?

  5. This talk was one that stood out to me as one that I wanted to study because it held some of the answers I was hoping for at conference. I enjoyed what I heard when listening to it and have really enjoyed sitting down to study it. I am excited to talk about it with my spouse. He’ll want to watch Pres. Benson’s Cleansing the Inner Vessel classic that is referenced in it as well probably. (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1986/04/cleansing-the-inner-vessel?lang=eng) I have gone and started to read the references in the talk and enjoyed them too. The extended story of Eric Liddell is fabulously inspirational. a(https://www.lds.org/new-era/1993/06/day-of-delight?lang=eng)The WSJ article (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443343704577549390094138950.html#articleTabs%3Darticle) on the culture was insightful and sad. The article from Pres. Faust he references was beautiful and fascinating to read. I really enjoyed reading about the development of his own personal relationship with the Savior. (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1976/10/a-personal-relationship-with-the-savior?lang=eng) Elder Cook’s discussion of being more committed and not letting other things take the #1 spot in our life is something I needed to be reminded of. I think I would enjoy the books he references and hope I might read them sometime soon. I actually remember hearing Elder Scott’s talk (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1998/04/removing-barriers-to-happiness?lang=eng) when I was a teen.

    I think Elder Cooks reminders and comments about kindness and love in the home are important. I am trying to not yell and to speak kindly always to my kids. I am trying to be more careful with all the words I say. Since I am a selfish creature by nature this can be difficult. The way Elder Cook referenced the Family Proclamation was enlightening to me though. I really think the whole blog fest about the proclamation was a fabulous preparation for conference. :)

    I love your cute quote pics. I want to memorize Isaiah 40:31 now thanks to this. I think my favorite quote from this talk was “Immersion in the scriptures is essential for spiritual nourishment”

    Sorry this is so long!

  6. Great talk! My thoughts: I spend too much time doing things that aren’t of worth. TV and internet are the big ones. There are actually times when I am doing nothing productive, and I think to myself that there is so much more that I could and should be doing. I need to repent, and recommit myself to do better. I also love that he called out the people who say they can’t help themselves because of how they were raised. People need to take more responsibility for their actions and not blame others. One other thought…..as the mother of a 17 year old boy, I need to make sure I am doing more in the home. I need to make sure that he knows that I have a testimony, and that I will enforce the guidlines set by the church. It is my job to get him ready to go out and serve the Lord. (In just 7 short months….gulp!!!)

    “Parents, the days are long past when regular, active participation in Church meetings and programs, though essential, can fulfill your sacred responsibility to teach your children to live moral, righteous lives and walk uprightly before the Lord.”

  7. I am impressed with Elder Cook’s comment on our wounded spiritual immune systems. That analogy is easy to grasp in our world of supplements that are supposed to help book our physical immune system. What supplements do we use to combat the wounds that attack our spiritual immune system? What symptoms will we recognize when our spiritual immune systems are suffering? Can we fight off the poisoning of our day without a firm commitment to why and how we live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Excellent talk. Glad we hit this one first off.

  8. I am impressed with Elder Cook’s comment on our wounded spiritual immune systems. That analogy is easy to grasp in our world of supplements that are supposed to help improve our physical immune system. What supplements do we use to combat the wounds that attack our spiritual immune system? What symptoms will we recognize when our spiritual immune systems are suffering? Can we fight off the poisoning of our day without a firm commitment to why and how we live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Excellent talk. Glad we hit this one first off.

  9. I was so touched by this talk. It was the first talk of conference and it was also a direct answer to the most burning question I had brought with me to conference.

    I had been struggling with some hurt feelings for awhile, trying to move past it, finally did have an amazing experience a couple of months ago. Since then I have felt my Savior and His love so powerfully – and it was something I struggled to feel before as I was struggling with those hurt feelings. So, my main conference I came to conference with was: How do I keep this spirit, these feelings? How do I prevent other things and feelings from interfering with it.

    Certainly my prayers were heard and my question was answered by many of the speakers in conference. Leading up to conference — and even more so since — I have been pondering my heart and how it feels. How soft is it? How receptive to the spirit? How broken? contrite? humble? What I have found is that it changes frequently – even from minute to minute sometimes. I have become a lot more aware of things that cause the changes, but even still, I feel like this is a constant effort.

    Elder Cook taught us to (1) evaluate why we can’t “feel so now”, (2) repent, (3) immerse ourselves in the scriptures.

    Also loved his words about kindness and civility in the home and the importance of parents teaching children.

    • I have been pondering my heart and how it feels
      As it takes the brunt of my emotions each day
      It, the constant giver of life that flows and heals,
      Is always honest as it gives what I am feeling away

      May it know more love, compassion, and hope
      More enrichment, appreciation, and joy
      More resilience and ability to cope
      That the peace of the spirit is there to enjoy

      Thanks for inspiring me, Megan. Our heart makes
      the constant effort, so why shouldn’t we!

    • I am still pondering this talk. It came back to me as I am fasting and pondering the joy again in my heart. I have had a lapse in that sweet feeling on fast and testimony day.

      The heart starts to pound
      Fully alive again
      The Spirit is found
      Born of Christ our true friend

      No longer half hearted
      I seek for but the best
      The darkening has parted
      I see I have been blessed

      I feel now to sing
      The song of redeeming love
      The Spirit does bring
      That bond to God above

      I want more than anything
      To have Him always in my heart
      Humbly, I am offering
      Commitment to do more, my part

  10. I loved this talk as well. It reminded me so much of his talk the previous conference in time with the music of faith. So many good qoutes in this talk one thing that really stuck out to me was the story of what that 15 year old boy had said he had observed of the worlds standards. It was impressive to me that such a young boy could make that kind of observation, it also showed me how diligent I need to be at home so that my children will one day have that kind of discernment.

    The qoute that spoke to me most is “Spiritual maturity must be in our homes” How often do I take lightly the things that arr of upmost impotence. How many missed opportunity to bear testimony missed, lessons left not taught, etc?

  11. I loved the wording of “immersion in the scriptures is essential for spiritual nourishment.” Immersion – not just dabbling in the scriptures every once in a while.

    Also, when he said “The family is the foundation for love and for maintaining spirituality” it was a good reminder for me that our little ones come to us with a lot of spirituality, and our job is to maintain that instead of letting it decrease. They do need to be re-taught the things they have forgotten as they left the premortal world to come to earth, but I believe that their inner spirituality – their love of God, and their great faith – is there when they come to live with us.

  12. OK, so I am really late to the game, but I wanted to gather my thoughts about these talks. Elder Cook had many points that stood out to me, especially as a parent.
    ** The spiritual drought he talked about is not necessarily a result of major sins, but often because of casual observance. I loved his comment about first-class devotions to lesser causes. What do I give first-class devotion to that may not deserve it?
    ** Immersion in the word of God inspires commitment. So if I notice a lack of commitment on my part or in my children, he has given me one of the solutions.
    ** I had never thought of unkindness as a precursor to lowered commitment. Somehow I never related the two; I understand that it is important to treat others kindly, and I think I am coming to understand HOW important it truly is to love those around us, but I guess I never put those those two together.
    ** There was a call to more involved and more diligent parenting. We cannot rely on the Church or other programs to raise our children to the level that will be needed to withstand the storms that they will go through. We must be courageous as parents – a reminder of the General Conference talk in October 2010 by Elder Lawrence – another great talk! I have never thought that it required courage to bear powerful testimony, but I think as my children continue to turn into teenagers, I am beginning to see how more courage is required to teach them.
    ** I was struck by the observation made by the young man Elder Cook quoted several times. He said that in our current culture, it is not cool to try too hard in many areas. I have definitely noticed that trend, and I wonder how we as parents can counter that trend. How do we inspire them to do their best in everything even if it is not required or expected of them by teachers, peer groups, leaders, etc.?
    ** Lastly, and definitely the lightest observation I had: I need to watch “Chariots of Fire” with my family! What a great story. I think my children need to be more exposed to stories and examples of people who choose to follow their principles no matter the consequences.

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