Monday, June 25, 2012

What if love were our only motive?

This past weekend was our Stake Conference.  I'll be honest.  We haven't been the best Stake Conference goers for the past few years.  Who likes having to keep 2 active children quiet and content for two straight hours while trying to gain a spiritual experience simultaneously?  Sacrament Meeting can be challenging enough some weeks!  Well!  We broke the habit and went to the adult session Saturday night and even braved Sunday's session with the kids.  I'm glad we did.   

With each passing week, I feel greater confidence in my church.  It's a combination of things that increase this confidence, but among them, I think these are the greatest contributors:

The leaders, the inspiration behind those who are called where, and Priesthood power in general.  I know with surety that our Prophet and his Apostles are God's representatives, that they converse with Him, share with us His counsel, and love us as He does.  I know that our Bishop and our Stake President and their counselors were hand picked by God Himself to fulfill their roles at this place and time, and that they too hold great power and inspiration to know the needs of those over whom they preside.  And I know that there is infinite power in the Priesthood.  I have heard way too many miracle stories and seen in my own life too many examples of the priesthood being exercised and blessing me and my family to deny its truthfulness.   

The order and exactness of things.  It's amazing how such a process as calling a new Stake President (which we learned about from our own Stake President Saturday night) can be so intricate and exhausting; and how the rights, responsibilities and order of the Priesthood can be so precise, with a maximum number of members for some of its quorums, not to mention all the accompanying regulations, which just give me a headache to think about or try to assimilate.  Yet amidst the order of things in the church, all of which I truly believe is inspired and correct, the gospel itself and our purpose here is simple and straightforward.

The undeniable feelings I get that tell me it is true. I don't know everything there is to know about the gospel, and there have been times when I've been asked questions I didn't have answers to.  But I understand the concept of obedience, its power, and the power of acting in faith.  I also recognize that our view as humans is limited, and that in this lifetime, we will only be able to see to a certain point.  That is when faith comes into play, and when we must not question the counsel of our leaders but simply follow it.  Sometimes I don't logically understand something, but I know in my heart that it's right, so I go with it.  Can't really explain it, but can't really deny it either.  When it's right, it's right.  Period.  I remember someone questioning me when Neil and I got engaged after only knowing each other 3 months.  What this person didn't know is that we actually knew only 2 days after our first date what was to come.  How did we know though?  It didn't make sense, and went against both Neil's and my logic.  There was no explanation.  We just felt in our hearts that it was right.  And thankfully, those feelings were legitimate because here we are, 10 years later, still happily married with a family.  Had we relied on logic and allowed the doubts of others to persuade us, we wouldn't be where we are today.  Feelings are a powerful thing, and sometimes more powerful than any knowledge we can go by.  No doubt the Holy Ghost plays a great role in such feelings.  How grateful I am for that gift in my life.

President Crockett shared an experience he had shortly after he was called to be Stake President 8 1/2 years ago.  He said he was sitting in his office one night feeling quite overwhelmed and lonely at all of his new responsibilities, when suddenly, he felt a warm sense of love and comfort come over him.  In that same moment, he had a vision of a small child kneeling with his mother in prayer and asking Heavenly Father to bless President Crockett.  As President Crockett sat there at his desk, he realized that just as he was receiving the warm comfort he needed, this sweet child's prayer was being answered.  What a precious thought.  He closed the story with the reminder that God hears our children's prayers, and that He hears our prayers, and that He answers them.  I love the gentle message there.  I am often touched by Chloe's and Ryan's prayers, and as they've grown, they've become more thoughtful.  I love knowing that Heavenly Father listens to their prayers, and to mine.

President Crockett's final thought of the night, among other inspiring things he and his counselors shared, was in the form of this question:

"What if love were our only motive?" 

Naturally, he used the example of our Savior, who did everything out of love.  While it wasn't always easy, even for this perfect Being, He remained constant in making love His motive.  Like Christ, President Crockett pleaded with us to try to do the same.  As I sat there listening and watching this man of God preach such truthful words, it just hit me!  What kind of world would we live in if everyone took this simple concept to heart?  What great changes would we witness?  We would probably be more patient and tender with our spouses and children.  We would probably be slower to anger.  Our hearts would probably be softer and more open to our Father's will.  We would probably feel happier and more at peace.  I loved this challenge and am actively trying to apply it to my life.  Easier said than done - especially with young children - HA! - but I am trying.

Here's how Chloe occupied herself during Stake Conference...
How lucky I am to have a daughter who loves her Father in Heaven and Savior, and who recognizes her worth.  Her level of faith and desire to choose the right inspires and strengthens me daily.  I'm sure Jesus and God both appreciated this drawing.

I'm grateful Neil and I went to the trouble of finding a sitter and go to the adult session, and to get up yesterday morning and take the kids to Sunday's session.  Had we not gone, we would have missed out on some inspired counsel, and the many reasons I love and appreciate this church may not have come to light or been as easily conveyed to me today.

1 comment:

mistyb said...

Beautifully written my friend. I especially love the part about feelings. I agree completely with you and sometimes get frustrated when I can't explain logically my reasoning for doing something but I know it's the right thing because of the feeling that I get. We had an amazing stake conference last week and I was so grateful I went too. I really love reading your testimony. So thankful to have you as my friend! Just love ya!