Sunday, September 28, 2008

Am I Living Up To My Privileges?

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.
And now!
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.

President Uchtdorf:
*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?


Janelle said...

It was so exciting! I thought there might be some pulpit pounding at points.

When we sang the intermediate song I could feel the spirit so strong as well in our chapel. It was the loudest singing experience I've had at church and I could feel the swell of emotion from the other women there. So interesting that you felt the same way at your meeting.

Sister Beck and Elder U. were the highlights for me. We can do more! In increasing faith, strenghtening family and in our service.

Elder U. best point was when he talked about how our own prayers may do us good but its when we answer other's prayer that we really shine. (complete paraphrase)

Everyone kept asking me if the meeting met my expectations. YES and then some. The Lord cannot complete His mission without the help of his Daughters.

I can't wait for General Conference next weekend.

malinda said...

Thanks for the note on the meeting. I wasn't able to watch it, so it was nice to hear what happened and what i need to work on!

Rochelleht said...

So, when we sang that song, I turned to my girlfriend and mentioned how exciting it is to think that the entire Relief Society is singing right now together and that Heavenly Father can hear it all. Very cool.

Julie P said...

Oh Cheryl I just love you. I'm totally taking your advice to take notes in that new (to me) way. Thank you for sharing it.

Shauna said...

Our stake had dinner before also and it was great! The spirit was strong! So glad we could gather as sisters and be uplifted and hear these beautiful words :)

Amber said...

OK, I am going through serious Cheryl WITHDRAWLS because I haven't heard from you in ages!

I had to work last night and have yet to hear the talks. But I heard Elder Uchdorf's was AMAZING and I can't wait to hear it!

Cardalls said...

I LOVED LOVED Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about being creative. I do not scrapbook, sew or stamp and have not often thought of myself as a creative person. But I do LOVE to teach, to make my kids laugh, to serve others and to garden. I also loved his comments on compassion, I really need to be more in tune so I can be the answer to others prayers.

Never A True Aggie said...

I missed it, but will be checking it out on the internet either today or tomorrow. I have heard a lot of positives from Sister Beck's talk and Elder U. I have also heard that the chorister was kind of fun to watch too.

Jolene said...

Our stake had appetizers before and passed out little cups of m&m's to eat during the conference!

I totally got teary while singing that intermediate hymn. I love that hymn anyway but I had the same feelings as rochelleht - that it was amazing to be singing that song at the same time as women all over the world.

I loved the talks. Pres. Uchtdorf was amazing. I came home and shared my notes with my DH and told him the story that Pres. U told about the differences between men and women with the cooking example. My DH told me that in their bishopric meetings they talk about that all the time - that women just don't understand how valuable they are.

I just felt like I do when I go to BYU Women's Conference, that if all of these women could harness the power, we could really do amazing things. The feelings that we all had singing that song should be the same ones that we have every Sunday while in Relief Society.

Anyway, I really loved the broadcast - can't wait to read the talks again and again. Sorry, for the long comment!

TaLaisa said...

I loved it! I had the great opportunity of being in the Conference Center for the meeting. The Spirit was so strong. The feeling of being in a room full of my sisters was overwhelming and empowering.

I realized we all have great gifts and talents and that no one is more valuable than another. We can accomplish so much more working together than we can trying to compete with one another.

I took great notes of promptings and impressions and I have lots to work on. But I feel hopeful,not fearful.

President Uchtdorf's talk had me in tears from the beginning. I realized that many of my own troubles are because I say the words, "I am a Child of God" but I don't allow them to sink in. My self esteem needs an overhaul and lots of the other problems will just disappear.

I also wrote down that true self worth cannot be given by the world, but only by He who sees the greatest worth IN us.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

First of all, thank you Cheryl for this synopsis. You're awesome at articulating your feelings. Have I told you today that I love your writing? Well, I do. :)

I did go to the meeting, although they couldn't get the satellite in our building to work, so we all stampeded over to another stake center to watch it. Consequently, I missed Sis. Beck's talk...I'll be reading it online today.

Anyway, I loved the meeting. And it was strange to be in a different building with a bunch of sisters I didn't know. I felt this strong sense of sisterhood with these women, due to our shared beliefs.

My overall impression of the night was one of encouragement. I felt validated, uplifted, and challenged to do better. It was perfect.

Jeanette said...

I love the General RS meeting!! I wish we had this every 6 months instead of once a year.
I am not a good note taker but that is ok because I always print the transcripts as soon as they get posted online. I will be going over Sister Beck's talk and Elder Uchtdorf's with a highlighter and a pen and blank paper to write my impressions. I actually had to leave early because my husband had the kids and he had to go to work (darn it! but at least this was the last weekend he has to work. Woohoo!) So I missed most of Elder Uchtdorf's talk. From what I heard though I need to study this one throughly.
I did come away feeling that I really need to be more giving, need to reach out more to my neighbors and people at church etc.
Loved reading your impressions!

Leslie said...

A funny thing happened on the way...

I wasn't able to go to the stake center for the broadcast, but because we live in the wonderful age of technological coolness...I watched it here on my computer. My husband took the kids to the store and then to get some dinner and so I could just enjoy listening here in my own quiet, personal moment.

I love your writing down your feelings and impressions. I find that's the best way for me to do it too.

Thanks for your beautiful post!

Amanda D said...

I missed the meeting so I am happy to read your notes on it. I look forward to reading it in November! Loved the quote that Holly ( put in her Sunday post.

Richelle said...

I loved the meeting, too. There were a lot of great thoughts. I really liked Elder Uchtdorf's talk. Every time he talks I like him more and more!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Great notes, great insight. It was a totally uplifting experience overall. Just the kind of thing I think Elder Perry meant in conference when he talked about "spiritual fuel." Thanks.

Julie said...

I LOVED it too! Such a wonderful meeting! Thank you for posting about it and laying it all out so clearly. I love the non-negotiables. I, too, am trying to uphold these things in my home.

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

wonderful article, I love how you broke it down.. if you don't mind I am going to print off your list, especially your "non-negotible" list. YOu have everything there, I think if we do all that you wrote down we will be set!

I agree with you, I felt filled too.