Monday, January 27, 2014

Words of the Prophets

Life is about learning, right? Recently I have had my testimony strengthened of listening to the words of the Prophets. It started with my father's suggestion to listen to segments of General Conference while I am at work. On the weekends, I have a job doing laundry at a nursing home. 16 hours of laundry - alone in the drab laundry room. I usually just bring along a radio - but I decided to listen to his suggestion - to my benefit. I noticed that listening to Conference sessions lifted my mood, making work less of a burden. {Let's just say the laundry is NOT glamorous, and somedays, truly gross!} I have listened to the few sessions on CD that I have, borrowed others, then relistend.... I have felt the Spirit, I have learned, I have Loved it! So, I will share a talk that touched me.... This is a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland in the fall of 2006 testifying that we have Latter Day Prophets that speak today... It first testifies that we do have Prophets to guide us today, that "It is true light shining in a dark world, and it shines from these proceedings." Second, it states how General Conference is a call to action. He then refers to the Conference session in 1856, when the church was directed to go and rescue the Martin and Willy Handcart companies. I love this statement: "As surely as the rescue of those in need was the general conference theme of October 1856, so too is it the theme of this conference and last conference and the one to come next spring. It may not be blizzards and frozen-earth burials that we face this conference, but the needy are still out there—the poor and the weary, the discouraged and downhearted, those “[falling] away into [the] forbidden paths” we mentioned earlier, and multitudes who are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.” They are all out there with feeble knees, hands that hang down, and bad weather setting in. They can be rescued only by those who have more and know more and can help more. And don’t worry about asking, “Where are they?” They are everywhere, on our right hand and on our left, in our neighborhoods and in the workplace, in every community and county and nation of this world. Take your team and wagon; load it with your love, your testimony, and a spiritual sack of flour; then drive in any direction. The Lord will lead you to those in need if you will but embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ that has been taught in this conference. Open your heart and your hand to those trapped in the twenty-first century’s equivalent of Martin’s Cove and Devil’s Gate. In doing so we honor the Master’s repeated plea on behalf of lost sheep and lost coins and lost souls." Finally - he spoke to me in this statement: "To all of you who think you are lost or without hope, or who think you have done too much that was too wrong for too long, to every one of you who worry that you are stranded somewhere on the wintry plains of life and have wrecked your handcart in the process, this conference calls out Jehovah’s unrelenting refrain, “[My] hand is stretched out still.” “I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them,” He said, “[and even if they] deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, … if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.” His mercy endureth forever, and His hand is stretched out still. His is the pure love of Christ, the charity that never faileth, that compassion which endures even when all other strength disappears. " I have been feeling hopeless, so this was like my Heavenly Father speaking directly to me. I know that I am not alone in what I am experiencing. It is part of life. I am grateful to be reminded of His mercy and His love for me. P