April 2023 Saturday Afternoon Thoughts

Busy Saturday afternoon of sustaining new Church leaders. Had the privilege of meeting Ahmad Corbitt a few weeks ago. Such a kind, good man. He said he recognized me. Come to find out that he actually taught a nightly institute class in my seminary classroom every week and recognized my family picture.

I always appreciate a good talk on covenants and Elder Renlund nailed this one. When we falter, the memory of our covenants with God helps us return to the path and we are able to go against the flow of the world. Even the powerful Amazon doesn’t stand a chance! Covenants protect and connect…and I’m so grateful for the power of them in mine and my family’s lives against the ever-present worldly waves.

SO many references to 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon today. And it never hurts to come in the sweet Australian accent of Elder Peter Meurs. “When our Savior Jesus Christ looks upon us, He sees and understands the pain and burden of our sins. He sees our addictions and challenges. He sees our struggles and afflictions of any kind and He is filled with compassion toward us.” He can heal you!

My family and I had a unique opportunity to meet Elder Randall K. Bennett and his wife as we shared an airport shuttle ride a few months ago. He is a very kind man. His talk on Patriarchal Blessings will be one I will refer to often. I’ve had mine for 32 years and continues to bless my life - a precious and priceless treasure - “a personal Liahona” (which as a side note, are words directly used in my own blessing)

When a talk starts with “My desire today is to strengthen the connection between joy and repentance.”, you know it’s going to be good! I loved Elder Craig Christensen’s reminder that we are created to have joy - a message that is always necessary and relevant. It’s not cheap or casually given! It’s a Godly attribute and daily repentance is the pathway to achieve it.

The Doctrine of Christ is more than just reciting the 5 elements of it - faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring tot he end. Elder Evan Schmutz reminded us to ask Is the Doctrine of Christ engraved on our hearts? Does His gospel live deep within the marrow of our bones? Do we trust the Doctrine of Christ and the promises that come with it?

I’ve had some awesome experiences in the Kirkland Temple, so I appreciated Elder De Hoyos’ testimony about the origins of it and how the ball started rolling on April 3, 1836 to bless all of our lives. “That is a central focus of the plan of our Heavenly Father — uniting families for this life and for eternity.”

"My message to all parents, is this: The Lord loves you. He is with you. He stands beside you. He is your strength in guiding your children to make righteous choices." As Jesus Christ is the strength of youth, Jesus Christ is also the strength of parents.” Consistent small and simple things. Small steps. Daily bread. All parents worry about “not being good enough”. Jesus Christ is the answer to this worry. I cannot type fast enough to take notes during this awesome talk….that was for me! Thank you, Elder Uchtdorf! Thank you!

See you in a few hours!