His Work Embraces Eternity

I was at the Saturday session of our Stake Conference this evening. Every talk was uplifting. Each speaker left a lasting impression. All the talks had one focus – the saving of souls. These are some of the thoughts that made an impression on me.

One of the first brethren to speak reminded us of the times in the scriptures when there was a need for haste – when Noah was getting things onto the ark, when Moses led the Israelites to the Red Sea, when Lehi and his family departed for the wilderness, when Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled Herod’s bloody campaign against the innocent, when the Pioneers fled their persecutors for Salt Lake. The need for haste is upon us again. The need for our Heavenly Father’s family to come to a knowledge of His plan for them.

If we love our Father in Heaven, we will share His interest in the souls of men. Salvation is in the balance.

And how do we share His interest in the souls of men?

Another speaker answered that for us with a quote from Alma 31:34-35

O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee.

The time for inviting is over. It is now time to bring our less-actives and non-members to the Lord. We do this by being their friend. By being loyal and consistent in showing our love to them. By talking to them of eternal principles. By listening to and caring for them.

The wife of the Mission President shared her thoughts on how to prepare our children and grandchildren for missions. This had my attention because it’s one of my favorite things to learn about. She said there we many who can tell us about all the physical preparations that need to be made, like how many white shirts to buys, or what sorts of things to pack. There are so many spiritual things to be prepared well before the call arrives:

  1. Challenging them to read the Book of Mormon with a missionary perspective.
  2. Making the study of  Preach My Gospel a family experience.
  3. Getting a Returned Missionary to be a mentor.
  4. Being involved in experiences with sharing the gospel with others.
  5. Preparing to enter the temple worthily – it is a far more important thing to enter the temple worthily than it is to enter the Missionary Training Center.
  6. Helping them understand that growth requires change.
  7. Teaching them the value of exact obedience. Preparing them for the boundaries in the mission field so that they will be able to be a support to those who will struggle with keeping the commandments and missionary guidelines. Practice being exactly obedient from when they get their call.
  8. Be clean!

And finally, the last remarks were about temples and how they become the bridge between heaven and earth. We were reminded of the immense sacrifices made by the early saints to build these holy edifices, of the great love and urgency that the early saints had for temple ordinances. Then we were asked this question:

What did the early saints understand about the temple that we do not understand?

I have a great love for the temple. I love knowing that there is a welding link that holds generations together for eternity. But I realized tonight that there is so much more that I need to know and value about the temple to fully appreciate the value of having one so close to me.

I left the Stake Center with a renewed desire to prayerfully bring at least one soul unto the Lord in the next few weeks. I want to show my Heavenly Father that I love him by having an interest in His work, which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

 

Question: How are you helping to hasten the work?

Challenge: Bring someone to church this week, or to the next activity in your auxiliary.

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Julie B. Beck Fireside 2010

As one of the world’s leading experts in procrastination, I frequently come across ‘projects’ that I had hoped to accomplish but never quite got around to. One such project was to put together some notes for my friends after attending a Fireside where Julie B. Beck was the main speaker. Needless to say I never got around to it… until now, some four years later.

Julie B. Beck

Anyway, one of my favorite things to do is scribble. I pride myself on almost always having writing implements on me and taking notes at most events I attend. So when the first thing that Sister Beck asked was who had come prepared with notepad and pencil, I was pretty chuffed. It’s not like I’m some super organized, got-it-together kinda gal. Quite the contrary. But this was a good note to start on.

I’m just going to share some of what she said and the impressions I received during that Fireside as I noted them (in bullet form because I really can’t bring myself to do it any other way).

So, without further ado:

  • You can’t delegate your female responsibilities!
  • Every sister is expected to lead and serve for good.
  • The rising generations of Rebekahs and Isaacs are dependent on me.
  • Regarding missions: ‘The Lord has already called your sons and daughters. The Prophet had affirmed that. Your job is to “pack their suitcase” with good spiritual and temporal habits.’
  • This isn’t a time for wringing hands – It is a time for standing up in strength.
  • Women have great power through using their faith.
  • Regarding members who attend Wards and Branches as ‘out-of-bounds’ members: ‘We never turn people away!’ Help them gain their strength where they choose to go so that they can take that strength with them where it is needed when it’s their turn to uplift someone.
  • Prioritize your day – Essential (spiritual needs like prayer and scripture), Necessary (temporal needs like food), and Nice-To-Do (everything else that needs your attention or fulfills you).
  • Leave things better than when you found it.
  • Prioritize and line up behind the Lord.
  • There is not one single thing I can do to improve my stature in the the eyes of my Savior!
  • You are on the right path, just STAY on it!
  • A new season of strength and power is upon this part of Kingdom.

There were so many other wonderful things I learnt at that Fireside. I remember I was filled with a renewed desire to be counted as one of Heavenly Father’s faithful daughters here on earth.

I hope that what I’ve shared will be of some benefit to someone.

I love reflecting on each of these points and reassessing my life to see where I need to make adjustments and where I’ve acquired more strength. Even in the four short years since the fireside, I know that I’ve had a remarkable period of growth. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m definitely on my way. And that’s all that matters.