GCBC Week 17: “Where Is the Pavilion?” by President Henry B. Eyring

This week’s talk addresses the distance we sometimes feel between God and ourselves, especially at difficult times in our lives. “Many of us, in moments of personal anguish, feel God is far from us….” President Eyring discusses ways to recognize Him, know He is close to us, and move ourselves closer to Him. He encourages us to have child-like faith and trust in knowing of his care and active role in our lives.

Where Is the Pavilion? by President Henry B. Eyring

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What stood out to you from this talk? What can we do to avoid and remove pavilions in our life? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

(A reminder to 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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General Conference Book Club Week 17: President Uctdorf

Take two.

(Apparently if I try to rattle off some GCBC post from Disney World on my husband’s Blackberry and come off as an illiterate hack, no one will read or comment on the talk for the week.  So now I’m back, and we’ll try again.)

The Saturday morning session of Conference was my favorite, and President Uctdorf’s talk, “The Love of God,” is one of the reasons why.  Look at the questions he answers as he speaks:

How Do We Become True Disciples of Jesus Christ?

Why Should We Love God?

Why Does Heavenly Father Love Us?

How Can We Increase Our Love of God?

How Can We Hear the Father’s Voice?

Why Is Love the Great Commandment?

I was fascinated with how all our actions, thoughts, motivations, and desires can and should be traced back to love.  Even the simple things we do that don’t seem to mean anything to anyone–even to ourselves–appear more glorious when viewed as manifestations of our love.

Love is the measure of our faith, the inspiration for our obedience, and the true altitude of our discipleship.”

It’s a great talk, definitely worth reading.  I’m excited to study it again and read your insights as well.

You can read the talk here.  You can also  watch it here or listen to it here.

If this is your first visit to our weekly book club, welcome!  (You’ll find details about GCBC here.)


General Conference Book Club Week 12: Elder Hales

Maybe I should have taken a break this week from GCBC, but I figure: What better time than Christmas to focus on the Savior?  or what other week of the year needs more extra effort for quiet, peaceful reflection?

So, please join me this week in studying the talk by Elder Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of Twelve apostles.  The talk is called “Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ,” and is from the Saturday afternoon session of conference.  I like how this talk lays out the basic doctrines about the nature of God and His son that we often take for granted, not realizing how powerful and rarely-understood they are.  And mostly I loved his closing testimony as I felt the depth of his love for Jesus Christ, and remembered my own.


“The light of belief is within you, waiting to be awakened and intensified by the Spirit of God.”

“I testify that the way to know the truth about God is through the Holy Ghost.”

“With your own testimony of God, you will be able to bless your family, your posterity, your friends, your own life—all those you love.”
You can read it here, or watch it here, or listen here.  It’s also on page 29 in the November Ensign.  Please share some of your thoughts in the comments after reading the talk.
(Go here if you’d like more information about this General Conference Book Club.)

Why I cried three times today, or how a two-year-old can set the universe right again.

Today has been a hard day.  I lost my wallet, again.  I spent most of the morning looking for it.  My house shows no remaining evidence of the thorough cleaning it received a mere three days ago.  I’ve also been struggling with a silly issue where I’m trying to accomplish something that I know is right, but I’ve felt a lot of opposition and frustration.  That’s been heavy on my mind for the past several days, with my asking myself “Why?” a lot.

I called Matt at work for my daily “hey, have you seen this item I lost?” call, and he even walked out to his car to see if my wallet was there.  No luck.  I felt discouraged, like maybe nothing’s going like it should.  Maybe I just don’t have it together.  Matt suggested to have the kids pray about it (their prayers always help) and he would too.  The boys were at school, so I hung up the phone and looked at little Natalie sitting on the floor playing with her button book.

“Natalie, can you say a prayer for me to help me find my wallet?”

She just kind of looked at me, and then went back to her book.  I turned my head and stared out the living room window.   Feelings of discouragement started to pile up and I felt myself on the verge of tears.  I don’t cry very often, so I just kind of swallowed the feeling and tried to control my emotions.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Natalie looking up at me from the floor.  She closed her book, climbed up the couch on to my lap, and hugged me.  Hard.  The tears slid quickly down my cheeks.  After a couple minutes, she looked at me and said, “Why are your eyes wet?”

I told her I was a little bit sad because I couldn’t find my wallet, and …

She hopped down, walked over to a chair, climbed up into it and looked at me.

“Where is Heavenly Father?”

“Where is he?  He’s in Heaven?”

“Can we see him?”

“No, we can’t see him right now, but he can see us.”

“How can he see us?”

“Well, because he knows everything.”

“Does he have a telescope?”

“Maybe he does.  I don’t know.”

“Maybe he has a periscope.”

“Maybe.”

Something about her words made me remember that despite all His wonder, He watches us individually.  And I remembered a devotional I attended once where the speaker, who I knew personally and admired,  said this:

“I testify that he who will bring about the universal restoration of all things also brings to pass those intimate restorations that heal our wounds, cleanse our sins, and fulfill divine promises.”

I went into the kitchen to get Natalie’s milk ready for her nap, and while I did, a thought came to my mind.  I went and looked, and I immediately found my wallet.  Tears came back as I realized that this was a testimony that God was mindful of me and my simple problems.

I walked down the hall to tuck Natalie in, and she asked me to read her Llama llama red pajama, one of her favorite stories.

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It’s about baby llama who goes to bed at night and waits for his mom to bring him a drink.  As he waits and waits, he gets scared, then frustrated, then angry, and cries out frantically to his mother.  I’ve read the book probably a hundred times before, but today I felt like it was a parable for me and my Heavenly Father.  So, the tears ran down my face (again!) as I read this page:

Little Llama, don’t you know, Mama Llama loves you so?

Mama Llama’s always near, even if she not right here.

So, yeah, I cried three times today.  I also got a hug, an answer to prayer, and a little insight that maybe, just maybe, Heavenly Father does have a periscope.