GCBC Week 15: “Trial of Your Faith” by Elder Neil L. Andersen

This week we will be studying Elder Andersen’s talk from the Saturday afternoon session of conference. I love the talk because I think it sets a clear path of how to navigate questions and doubts with faith and in a way that will bring answers and truth and testimony. My favorite part is when he points out the right sources to turn to when we are looking for answers and clarification.

Trial of Your Faith By Elder Neil L. Andersen

neil-andersen

One of the fastest ways we can come closer to Christ is to repent and regain the Holy Ghost. The Spirit can comfort, quiet fears, answer questions, resolve doubts, and restore confidence.

What stood out to you from this talk? What strategies have been helpful to you when your faith needed bolstering? 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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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.)

Another installment of “Dear Wise Readers”

Dear wise readers,
This is a post where I temporarily stop pretending that I have all the answers to all the questions in the universe, and I direct some of the more important ones to you, because even General Conference didn’t answer all of my questions (and I was so sure one of the apostles might have tips on muffin pans).  Let’s start there, shall we?

  1. I hate my muffin pans.  The “no-stick” stuff isn’t, and the pans get rusted where it scrapes off, and they’re impossible to clean and keep clean.  Does anyone have a recommendation for muffin pans that they love?  I would prefer for them to be dishwasher safe, but maybe there’s no such thing.
  2. I’m having a little bit of a blog identity crisis.  My entire blog (including the title) is built on the premise that I’ve been changing diapers every day since 2003, and now that’s . . . well, it’s not true anymore.  (Knock on wood.)  All of my children are now potty trained, and only the youngest wears pull-ups at nighttime.  This new development makes me want to sing the Hallelujah chorus to strangers on the street, but as far as blogging goes, it kind of makes me feel like a fraud.  I’ve thought about changing the name of the blog, but that doesn’t seem right because the whole point is the juxtaposition of our daily, menial tasks with our greater, divine mission of motherhood.  What do you think?  (Anyone who suggests that I should fix this problem by having another baby is hereby banned from my blog.  Banned! You hear me?)
  3. Right now I’m feeling a deep love-hate relationship with Cadbury.  That’s not really a question, but I needed to get it off my hips chest.
  4. Do you feel as much joy as I do that Spring is actually in the air?  There’s something so exhilarating about sunshine and warmth after a long cold winter.  (This excitement is counterbalanced by a lovely reminder that soon my body will have to wear a swimsuit.  Probably in public.  Refer to #3.)
  5. All joking aside, I’m anticipating that I will soon experience something I like to call “post-Conference depression.”  It’s the point where a few weeks after General Conference, you realize that you are still the same, lazy person you were before you got all pumped up and energized by the talks.  Anyone who reads my blog knows I love General Conference.  I love it.  I feel like it’s half pep rally/half spiritual boot camp— a veritable showering of truth, encouragement, reproach, exhortation, and Spirit.  I feel brought down and lifted high at the same time.  My heart and my mind have a continual dialogue at Conference, and where they come together in harmony, they leave goals and hopes and iron-clad intentions.  And then a few weeks later, I feel much like the man who asked President Uctdorf for some advice:

I wrote back to him and lovingly suggested a few specific things he could do that would align his life more closely with the teachings of the restored gospel. To my surprise, I heard back from him only a week later. The essence of his letter was this: “I tried what you suggested. It didn’t work. What else have you got?”

Wisely, he entitled this particular section of his talk “The Path of Patience,” and he then explained:

“Brothers and sisters, we have to stay with it. We don’t acquire eternal life in a sprint—this is a race of endurance. We have to apply and reapply the divine gospel principles. Day after day we need to make them part of our normal life.

So that’s my question:  How do you do that?  How do you take the long list of great things you want to do and actually PUT them in your daily life?  I recognize the reality that Sis. Beck alluded to in this Saturday’s talk: (paraphrased) “There is not time to do all the things your heart desires to do,” and her counsel to seek the direction of the Spirit to identify your priorities (SUCH great advice!), but even then, I need some tips to transition me from the “decided” stage to the “doing” stage.  Come on wise readers, lay it on me.

p.s.  I’m back from Spring Break now, and hope to drop in on more of your blogs soon, where I’ve been obviously (or serendipitously) absent.  🙂