Did you get your conference Ensign in the mail? Yay. Now you can curl up on the couch and read the talks with the Ensign in hand, not to mention the joy of marking them up. This week we will study President Uctdorf’s talk. I loved the message of moving forward with faith and not getting hung up on doubt or hesitation. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this one.
“Waiting on the Road to Damascus” by President Dieter F. Uctdorf
What stood out to you as you read? In what ways do you think he’s asking us to apply this message? Share your thoughts and conversation in the comment thread below. If you’re new to GCBC, check out the club here.
9 thoughts on “GCBC Week 7: “Waiting on the Road to Damascus” by President Dieter F. Uctdorf”
This last week I went to an appointment with the sister missionaries and this is the talk we read together with the investigator. It was very interesting to read it through the eyes of an investigator. We focused a lot on how you can learn to discern the voice of the Spirit and then follow it. I think it’s is the section called Hear and Hearken. I shared this little experience with Frank (the investigator). Earlier that evening we had all gone as a family to my daughter’s school fundraising carnival. The place was packed and there was karaoke, an auctioneer, and loud music playing. So NOT my favorite set of conditions! As we were leaving, my daughter Emmeline was separated from us. I turned around to check on her just in time to see her lose her way. Her back was toward me and she began weaving through the crowd, obviously searching for a familiar face. It was too loud for me to call to her, and too crowded for me to run to her. So I just shadowed her. I could tell by her movements that she was getting more and more panicked. Finally, I was able to catch up, and give her a big hug, and hold her hand all the way back to the car. I explained to Frank that in some ways we may appear to God like Emmeline did to me–a little lost in a confusing maze of people and voices. We are unsure of where we belong, in whom or what we should place our trust or faith. But just as I kept trying until I could get to my daughter, God seeks for ways to communicate with us and rescue us from doubt, confusion, grief, or anger. Because he can not physically turn us to him in order to give us what we need, He sends the Holy Ghost to turn us back to Him and provide for our needs.
Interestingly, the next day I spoke on the Holy Ghost at the baptism of a woman the sisters had been teaching. Do you ever feel like you just really need to do better at something, and then all of a sudden these opportunities pop up, like Heavenly Father is saying, “You need some work in this area, so here you go. Work on it here and work on it here.”
I loved your analogy. So often we are like your daughter, turned in the wrong direction and asking God why we can’t see him, why he isn’t there or why our prayers are not being answered. But it is us that is turned in the wrong direction or turned away from him and it isn’t until we turn around or stop and rethink the direction that we are headed that we feel that big spiritual hug that lets us know he was there the whole time waiting for us to see him.
I liked how Pres. Uchtdorf compared the way we come to know the Savior with puzzle pieces. I think very few people get a testimony in one giant, sweeping experience. Most of us will get it “line upon line” as we seek, study and pray for it. Our testimonies are living things that need continual attention and nuturing.
Jan – the image of the puzzle pieces is what stood out to me too. I also had this other thought too…Even when we think our puzzle is done we still need to continue working on it. There are so many times that “righteous” people have fallen away from the gospel because they quite working on the puzzle, so to speak. Such as Samson, King David, etc.
The waiting and delaying is what stood out to me. “They stand at the waters of baptism but do not enter. They wait at the threshold of testimony but cannot bring themselves to acknowledge the truth.” It made me think of how often I have things that I can and should be working on but I delay my own progression as if waiting will somehow change things on its own. It made me think am I doing this — “delay(ing) becoming fully engaged as (a) disciple.”
The next thing that struck me was that we need to “be wise and turn down the volume control of the worldy noise in our lives.” It is only then that we will be able to hear the promptings of the Spirit because we will be carefully paying attention to what is being shared with us and the distractions will fall away.
Okay, I have to share this because it is really funny. I didn’t get the Ensign in the mail. Our son is graduating from high school next Friday and my mother is coming to town to be there. So I called her and asked her if she could just bring her copy with her so that I could read it. She tells me that for some reason she got two in the mail! Isn’t that funny? She’s never received two in the mail before, and we don’t have the same last name nor do we even live in the same state. If I know one thing it is that the lord does have a sense of humor, also that he works in mysterious ways. I think there must be an important message in this edition just for me! I look forward to reading this blog and reading all of your comments about it.
I always love hearing President Uchtdorf, and for some reason (well, for two very good reasons – one is 4 and one is 2) I didn’t hear all of this talk, so reading it was like hearing it for the first time for me. I remembered the part where he joked about not having given an aviation analogy, but other than that, I didn’t remember much.
The “waiting” stuck out to me, too and made me realize that I am often “waiting” to become fully engaged as a disciple of Christ.
I wrote more about it here on my blog
Thanks for this opportunity, Steph! I enjoy your blog, and the GCBC is a great idea!
The sentence that stuck out to me was “Sometimes a single phrase of testimony can set events in motion that affect someone’s life for eternity.” Wow, what a responsibility we have to be wise and follow the Spirit. I’ll be pondering that for a while.
I was also reminded of something my missionary son wrote in his last email: “In John 14:26 it talks about how the Holy Ghost brings all things to our remembrance. That made me think of the sacrament prayers that say if you remember Christ you can always have the spirit. It becomes either an upward spiral or a downward spiral. If I remember Christ, the Holy Ghost helps me remember him more and better and that gets me the Holy Ghost more which helps me be more purified. But it works the same in reverse.” If we want to receive personal revelation, we need to be actively seeking it; and the better we get at recognizing and following it, the more we can receive.
The last few times we’ve moved, I remember making a conscious decision to just jump in and get involved in our new community and ward, and not wait around for invitations. Maybe that’s what Pres. Uchtdorf means by “moving forward with faith.” As we start that process once again, I’m sure I’ll need that reminder.
Well, better late than never! What stood out to me are the actions we were asked to take:
1. “Lord, what wilt thou have me do?”
2. “Study first, then pray for guidance.”
4. “Share the Gospel.”
We are also promised that if we do these things our prayers will be answered and we will “come to know Him”. “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”