I went to the Relief Society Broadcast with high expectations. And boy, oh, boy! Those expectations were met! Many of my secret prayers were answered as well.
The evening was even better because our Stake held a dinner before-hand. About an hour before the broadcast, we all met in the gymnasium of the building for soup (I even made my awesome taco soup, dear reader, and it was a hit!) and other yummy Autumn food. Best part? They provided mints afterwards before we went into the Chapel for the broadcast. Giving us a chance to hide our soupy breath? Now that's love, people!
I decided not to write down notes from everything the speakers had to say during the broadcast, since I knew I could print off copies of their talks (or wait until the November Ensign). Instead, I wrote down my impressions as they came. What did their words mean to me? And specifically, what could I do to follow their counsel?
Here's what I wrote down:
President Julie B. Beck:
*Read the weekly lessons for Sunday School and Relief Society; read a part of them every day.
*Keep planning and having family dinner, even though it's hard --so hard --to have it with Brandon because of his work schedule.
*Take the time to listen to the older RS sisters in my ward; learn from those Strong Spiritual Leaders.
*Include my kids in more service-oriented activities, such as serving and visiting neighbors.
*Allow more Quiet time in my life. There doesn't have to be music playing constantly, or talking constantly, or TV constantly; allow quiet moments of reflection.
When her voice cracked, dear reader, as she spoke "...even though we are weak..." my eyes could no longer stay dry. I am so weak. So very, very weak. But if Julie B. Beck can feel weak, and yet move forward and try harder and be better, than why can't I? Why can't I?
Sister Silvia H. Allred:
*Learn to live on less.
*Lose a desire for worldly wealth and focus on food storage and the things we do have; work with what we have.
*Make the monthly Temple trip a non-negotiable.
At this point, dear reader, I wrote the non-negotiable's that I have tried to implement into my family's life, and this was the list:
1. Family Dinner every night
2. Family Prayer, morning and night.
3. Family Scripture study every night before bed.
4. Family Home Evening every week.
5. Monthly Temple Trip with Brandon.
*Personal Reflection and Repentance Daily, rather than every few months.
*Could I do Initiatories? Maybe once or twice a month while #3 is in preschool? Maybe exchange babysitting with another sister in my ward?
Sister Barbara Thompson:
*What do my neighbors need?
*Pray. More and even more, Cheryl, you need to PRAY.
*Declare the Truth with strength and boldness and do not make apologies when doing so.
And I about burst into tears, dear reader, when she quoted Joseph Smith's quote that Elder Holland used in his talk that I wrote about here and it helped change my life. Here's the quote again for your convenience:
“If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.”
*Am I living up to my privileges?
The intermediate Hymn? It was Now, Let Us Rejoice, and --I kid you not --I felt overwhelmed whilst-a-singin' with love and hope and all that mushy stuff we shy away from telling each other because we get embarrassed for being all shiny and hopey and lovey in a public setting. But I felt it and I loved it! Loved it, loved it.
*Creation and Compassion!
*Do I undervalue my Abilities?
*How can I trust and rely on the Spirit more, instead of ignoring small promptings that come my way?
*I cannot let fear of failure discourage me from trying.
*Keep writing, Cheryl. Don't give up!
*Working will cure grief and selfishness; how can I serve others and where can I find ways to serve more?
*Start serving in small ways and --again! --include the kids.
Now I can't wait for General Conference next weekend! I just hope I'm ready and open to hear the things I need to hear --even the hard stuff.
Did you go the meeting, dear reader? Were your expectations met? Did you hear answers to your prayers? What were your impressions?