The healing of the blind man

I love the story of the blind man being healed by the Savior that is found in the book of John. It not only records the experience of the Savior healing him, but also demonstrates the faith that is required for anyone who would be healed by God. It seems that in addition to the test of having to endure living his life without the ability to see, the man’s faith and integrity are also tested after he is healed and receives his sight.

It’s indication of his faith that the man responds right away when the Lord tells him to “wash in the pool of Siloam”. He doesn’t hesitate, even though he likely has to slowly feel his way there, he is blind after all. He obediently washes and is healed, it was a miracle evident to everyone around him!

We’re then given insight into the level of the man’s loyalty to Jesus as he is questioned and hassled by the Pharisees who want him to deny that it was Christ who had healed him. They don’t seem to put much effort into denying the fact that he was healed, it was too obvious. They were in a position of power and were doing their best to intimidate the man into turning against the Savior so they could have a witness against him. The man didn’t give in even though there could have been consequences for withstanding the Pharisees. He stood up for Christ and the truth of what happened to him. The Pharisees in their apparent disgust then “cast him out”.

After the man has been cast out, the Savior comes to him again, with comfort and possibly to confirm that his integrity and unwavering faithfulness is recognized and approved of by the Lord. Jesus then asks him if he believes in the Son of God. The man didn’t realize at first that Jesus was speaking of himself, he had thought Jesus was a prophet. Now understanding, the man answers, “Lord, I believe”.

Though my story is quite different from this man’s story, I’ve spent a large part of my life spiritually blind. During one of the more extreme periods of blindness, there came a point where the Lord reached out to me in a way that I couldn’t ignore, offering His healing. During this time I had become very sick physically and spiritually. I honestly didn’t think I would live much longer, and my family were concerned as well. I made several visits to the doctor but they were inconclusive. I pled for the Lord’s help, made significant changes in my life that were needed in order for me to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the Lord raised me up and changed my heart. This is as obvious to me that Christ’s power healed me as was the miracle of sight given to the blind man in the story above. What the Lord did for me was a miracle. I simply wouldn’t still be here without the Lord intervening, through His power and through loving family members who gave me Priesthood blessings, prayed for me and helped in other ways.

 I still can only partially comprehend and understand the great change He has brought about in my life in such a short time. I know the healing I have received is from Christ. It has taught me about the depth of God’s love and that He doesn’t give up on us. I love and trust Him more deeply. I learned that I have to still trust and rely on Him completely. I know that Jesus Christ has the power to heal us, if we will trust Him, turn our hearts to Him and follow His commandments. I also know that the power of the Priesthood is real, that the power of God is manifest through those who hold the Priesthood, and that this power ultimately comes from the Savior himself.

Why are some people born blind? Why do other people choose to not see the truth? Why does it take some of us so long to learn the things we need to learn? Why are we sometimes afraid to allow the Lord into our life to heal us, and to change us into the people He knows we can become?

I return to John chapter 9:

“And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” (John 9:39-41)

And finally, on another occasion Jesus taught why many of us don’t see more miracles like this in our lives:

“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matt 13:15)

Gospel Doctrine, New Testament Lesson 16: “I Was Blind, Now I See”

My wife and I drove recently to Seattle to see my brother in law and his wife get sealed in the Seattle temple, we drove through central Oregon and Portland (saw the Columbia river, green fields, rolling hills, snowy mountains, the Pacific Ocean, rainy beautiful green forests and saw an amazing waterfall) my wife commented to me, “how can people see all of this and not believe in God?” We all have the risk of being blind to spiritual truths that are right in front of our eyes if we choose not to see them and not to believe them.

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John chapter 9 tells the story of the healing of the blind man, and gives examples of the terrible state of those who allow themselves to be spiritually blind and refuse to see the truth.

(John 9: 1-7)

“…who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2)

A pre-mortal existence is implied in this question, how else could the man sin prior to his birth? This belief in the pre-mortal existence of the spirit was apparently a belief held by the Jews of this time.

“Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:3)

This man’s blindness appeared to carry with it for him a special mission that the “the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

Q. Why did Jesus anoint the man’s eyes with clay?

Believe it or not there was a specific prohibition by the Jewish rulers against the application of saliva to the eyes on the Sabbath. This strange restriction came into being because of a common belief that saliva was a remedy for diseases of the eye.

**** It would seem that Jesus was deliberately violating the Pharisees rules of the Jewish Sabbath.

“…Jesus is putting the people in the position of choosing between him as one sent of God to do the work of the Father, as one who can open blind eyes, and the traditions of the elders about Sabbath observance. They must make their choice at the peril of their salvation…”

– Elder Bruce R. McConkie (Mortal Messiah, 3:201)

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John 9:18-23

So his neighbors see or hear about his miraculous healing and are amazed and not sure what to think, are we sure this is the man who was born blind? They ask him and he gives his testimony and tells what had happened and how he was healed by Jesus. This was the first time he shares his testimony

Their reaction is essentially to take him to the Pharisees to be judged. Wouldn’t you be happy for someone who was just miraculously healed?

He then bears his testimony to the Pharisees that he was healed and that Jesus is a prophet, he doesn’t appear to know more about Jesus than that but he defends what he knows is true.

His parent’s are brought before the Pharisees and questioned, they give a simple testimony – we know that this is our son and he was born blind, his parents were afraid to say any more. Why? The threat was excommunication for anyone who confessed Jesus was the Messiah. Does their testimony give enough witness/evidence to the Pharisees that the man is telling the truth about being healed of his physical blindness?

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Q. Why do you think this man might have been chosen to have this special mission of being healed and having the works of God made manifest in him?

Did his life as a blind man (already somewhat of an outcast in his society) prepare him for what would likely follow of a hard road of being cast out of Jewish society and testifying to those who might reject him?


Q. What can we learn from (his example and) the way this man handled all the things that happened to him AFTER he was healed?

He not only had faith to be healed, he had faith to bear testimony of what had happened to him after he was healed in spite of heavy opposition and threats. This says a lot about why he was chosen to be a witness of this miracle of the Savior, he stayed true to what happened to him and stood up for that truth. He had integrity.

“Jesus saw the need of an individual…[He] performed the service immediately with just the resources he had—spit and mud and a desire to help. He didn’t transport the man to an exotic medical facility, organize a cornea transplant team, or didn’t make it into a media event. Sometimes we think we can’t serve because we’re not rich enough, not educated enough, not old enough, or not young enough. Remember, if we have the desire to serve, then our bare hands, a little spit, and a little dirt are enough to make a miracle.

[He] didn’t just dump that service on the man and walk away. He gave that man a way to exercise faith and strengthen the faith he had by asking him to participate in his own healing. It was a simple thing—washing in the pool of Siloam. But what if the man had refused? Jesus took that risk and let the man participate in his own miracle.”

– Chieko N. Okazaki, “Spit and Mud and Kigatsuku

The Savior comes to visit him again after he is cast out of the synagogue (excommunicated), notably not until after the trial of his faith and testimony.

“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” (John 9:35-41)

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Q. What does the Savior mean when he says those who see not will see, and those who see will be made blind?

“[Jesus] came into the world to sit in judgement on all men, to divide them into two camps by their acceptance or rejection of his word. Those who are spiritually blind have their eyes opened through obedience to His gospel and shall see the things of the Spirit. Those who think they can see in the spiritual realm, but who do not accept Him and His gospel will remain in darkness and be made blind to the true spiritual realities.”

– Elder Bruce R. McConkie

Joseph Smith’s blessing from his father

Prior to Joseph Smith’s father’s death his family gathered at his bedside, spoke with him and he gave each member of his family a blessing. This account was written by his mother, Lucy Mack Smith. I find it to be a great insight into the prophet, his parents and family. This occurred about 4 years before Joseph and Hyrum’s martyrdom. Here’s an excerpt from the account:

…Hyrum bent over his father and said: “Father, if you are taken away, will you not intercede for us at the throne of grace, that our enemies may not have so much power over us?”

He then laid his hands upon Hyrum’s head and said: “My son, Hyrum, I seal upon your head your patriarchal blessing, which I placed upon your head before, for that shall be verified. In addition to this, I now give you my dying blessing. You shall have a season of peace, so that you shall have sufficient rest to accomplish the work which God has given you to do. You shall be as firm as the pillars of heaven unto the end of your days. I now seal upon your head the patriarchal power, and you shall bless the people. This is my dying blessing upon your head in the name of Jesus. Amen.”

To Joseph he said: “‘Joseph, my son, you are called to a high and holy calling. You are even called to do the work of the Lord. Hold out faithful and you shall be blest and your children after you. You shall even live to finish your work.’ At this Joseph cried out, weeping, ‘Oh! My father, shall I?’ ‘Yes,’ said his father, ‘you shall live to lay out the plan of all the work which God has given you to do. This is my dying blessing upon your head in the name of Jesus. I also confirm your former blessing upon your head; for it shall be fulfilled. Even so. Amen.'”

…he spoke to me [Lucy Mack Smith], and said:

“‘Mother, do you not know, that you are one of the most singular women in the world?’ ‘No,’ I replied, ‘I do not.’ ‘Well I do,’ he continued, ‘you have brought up my children for me by the fireside, and when I was gone from home, you comforted them. You have brought up all my children, and could always comfort them when I could not. We have often wished that we might both die at the same time, but you must not desire to die when I do, for you must stay to comfort the children when I am gone. So do not mourn, but try to be comforted. Your last days shall be your best days, as to being driven, for you shall have more power over your enemies than you have had. Again I say, be comforted.'”

Smith, Lucy Mack; History of Joseph Smith by His Mother

Joseph Smith on Discouragment

George A. Smith, who served as a counselor to President Brigham Young, received the following counsel from the Prophet Joseph Smith at a time of great difficulty:

“He told me I should never get discouraged, whatever difficulties might surround me. If I was sunk in the lowest pit of Nova Scotia and all the Rocky Mountains piled on top of me, I ought not to be discouraged but hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage and I should come out on the top of the heap at last.”

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Chap. 19

I think knowing about some of what Joseph Smith had to go through makes this all the more meaningful. Great imagery though, I love it. One more quote from that same chapter:

Just a few days before the Prophet was martyred, at a time when he and the Saints knew that his life was in danger, Joseph took the hand of Abraham C. Hodge and said: “Now, Brother Hodge, let what will, come; don’t deny the faith, and all will be well.”

Gospel Principles Lesson Outlines

gospel-principles-manual

I’ve been teaching gospel principles class for a while and decided to post my lesson outlines. In my outlines I’ve organized the main points from the lessons that I wanted to cover. I’ve also included the questions, scriptures, video clips and quotes I chose to use as well as my testimony for each lesson. Obviously this is not intended to replace your own personal preparation, rather to provide lesson plan suggestions.

I hope my fellow gospel principles teachers will find this to be helpful. As always, allow the Spirit to guide with the best way to present the lesson. Its less important to cover all of the material and more valuable to encourage an uplifting and edifying discussion in your class. Pray for a spirit of love and unity in the class, that the needs of the people there will be met, and that the Holy Ghost will be present to bear witness of truth.

Download My Lesson Outlines (.doc files)

Lesson 1: Our Heavenly Father

Lesson 2: Our Heavenly Family

Lesson 3: Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior

Lesson 4: Freedom to Choose

Lesson 5: The Creation

Lesson 7: The Holy Ghost

Lesson 9: Prophets of God

Lesson 10: Scriptures

Lesson 12: The Atonement

Lesson 16: The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times

Lesson 17: The Church of Jesus Christ Today

Lesson 19: Repentance

Lesson 20: Baptism

Lesson 21: The Gift of the Holy Ghost

Lesson 25: Fasting

Lesson 30: Charity

Lesson 31: Honesty

Lesson 32: Tithes and Offerings

Lesson 35: Obedience

Lesson 36: The Family Can Be Eternal

Lesson 40: Temple Work and Family History

Lesson 41: The Postmortal Spirit World

Lesson 42: The Gathering of the House of Israel

Lesson 43: Signs of the Second Coming

Lesson 44: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Lesson 45: The Mellenium

Lesson 46: The Final Judgement

These are a few scriptures that have been meaningful to me as I consider what it means to truly be a teacher or a preacher of the gospel. I know I’m dependent on God in receiving guidance to help the people in the class, in order that comments and thoughts will be shared and that testimonies will be borne which will be of worth to the people there.

“And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.”
Alma 1:26

 

“Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say. But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things. And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say.”
D&C 100:5-8

If you have any suggestions on gospel principles lesson plans or teaching please comment!

A way to overcome evil

God has given us a way for us to overcome the evils in our world. The people of Alma understood it and showed us how to do it.

And Alma established a church in the land of Sidom, and consecrated priests and teachers in the land, to baptize unto the Lord whosoever were desirous to be baptized. And it came to pass that they were many; for they did flock in from all the region round about Sidom, and were baptized. (Alma 15:13-14)

So Alma had established the church of God and baptized many and in a later verse of that chapter there is an interesting phrase suggesting they had great success:

…Therefore, after Alma having established the church at Sidom, seeing a great check, yea, seeing that the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts (Alma 15:17)

So the verse says “the people were checked as to the pride of their hearts”. Some of the definitions of “check”: to restrain, control, reduce or diminish. How did this reduction and restraint of the pride of the people come about? That is explained in the same verse.

…[they] began to humble themselves before God, and began to assemble themselves together at their sanctuaries to worship God before the altar, watching and praying continually, that they might be delivered from Satan, and from death, and from destruction— (Alma 15:17)

They humbled themselves and met together at church often. I believe the last part is also extremely significant: they were “watching and praying continually”. What does it mean to “watch”? That was my question today so I did some cross-referencing and found a few other scriptures that shed some light. Matthew 26 records the Savior’s counsel to his apostles to “watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation”. Amulek teaches in Alma 34 that we should be “watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil”. Luke writes Christ’s words, “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching”.

This may be obvious to some but for my purposes here I want to be clear, I found these definitions of “watch”: to be alert, on the lookout, to keep awake, remain vigilant, to be careful or cautious.

Combining the definitions of watchfulness with the usages of the word in the scriptures and the words in Alma 15:17– the people of Alma were continually vigilant and alert, praying to be delivered from the influence of Satan, they were awake (spiritually) and cautious at all times. They were careful and watchful not only in regard to temptation but also regarding those things which would cause them death (spiritual death?) and destruction.

Fast-forward about 3 years later, and we see the fruits of their efforts:

“…the church had been established throughout all the land—having got the victory over the devil, and the word of God [was] preached in its purity in all the land, and the Lord [poured] out his blessings upon the people.” (Alma 16:21)

Quotes, Thoughts From General Conference, Oct 2013

I remember while growing up my parents would often have conference playing on the radio on conference Saturday but I wasn’t usually very excited about it. My thought was basically, church/conference on Saturday? Who would do that? But my tastes and understanding have improved as I’ve gotten older.

I watched all 5 sessions of general conference this weekend and found them all to have valuable messages I needed to hear. However it was the Sunday morning session that I found to be the most powerful. I was eagerly watching, listening for quotes that would help me– the Lord gave me something more meaningful and more lasting through the Holy Ghost that I won’t forget. As I listened to the prophet speak Sunday morning I felt an overwhelming impression from the Holy Ghost that President Monson was indeed called of God to be a prophet, and that he was prepared and lived a life consistently in line with God’s commandments, that he is guided and directed today by God through revelation to lead the Lord’s church and that he is leading us by example. No force on Earth and no power of darkness can take that knowledge from me. The Holy Ghost has borne witness to me of this and left no doubt. I already knew it but the Lord deepened my testimony. What a great blessing!

Some favorite quotes:

“Only the Master knows the depths of our trials, our pain, and our suffering. He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity.”
–President Monson

“…your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.”
–President Monson

“It is only with the companionship of the Holy Ghost that we can hope to be equally yoked in a marriage, free from discord…the miracle of becoming one requires the help of heaven and it takes time.
–President Eyring

Pres. Eyring explained how he has prayed for some members of his family that angels would attend them during difficult times in their relationships. This point of needing angels and the Holy Ghost to help overcome relationship struggles is one that was very timely for me. I really like how he went on to emphasize the reality of angels watching over us:

…There is not one of us, but what God’s love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that he has not been cared for and caressed. There is not one of us that he has not desired to save, and that he has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that he has not given his angels charge concerning us. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are the children of God and that he has actually given his angels, invisible beings of power and might, charge concerning us and they watch over us and have us in their keeping.”
–President Eyring quoting Pres. Canon

I don’t know a lot about Elder Vinson but I loved his talk from Sunday afternoon. I also felt bad for him having to deal with the fly buzzing around him as he spoke, how frustrating is that? But he handled it with dignity. I’m not sure but they may have edited that out in the recorded version of the video. This is the quote from him:

“[Speaking of the story of the brother of Jared] …the Lord not only left temporarily unsolved the challenge of how to provide light, but he then made it clear that he the lord would allow the buffetings and trials that necessitated its solving. He it would be, that would send forth the winds, the rains and the floods. Why would he do that? And why does he warn any of us to remove ourselves from the source of danger, when he could simply stop the danger from happening? …Rather than solve the problem himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon him in solving our problems, and trust him. Then we can feel his love more constantly, more powerfully more clearly, and more personally. We become united with him, and we can become like him.”
–Elder Terence M. Vinson

Elder Holland is full of surprises. I certainly didn’t expect this talk from him, but I was pleasantly surprised that he would address such a difficult subject, depression, in a conference talk. To know he’s dealt with depression makes it seem more ok to have experienced it, and makes him that much more of hero to me for who he has become.

“Whatever your struggle, my brothers and sisters—mental or emotional or physical or otherwise—do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it! Trust in God. Hold on in His love. Know that one day the dawn will break brightly and all shadows of mortality will flee. Though we may feel we are “like a broken vessel,” as the Psalmist says, we must remember, that vessel is in the hands of the divine potter. Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind.”
–Elder Holland

“Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead”
–Elder Holland

More good quotes:

“The scriptures hold the keys to spiritual protection. They contain the doctrine and laws and ordinances that will bring each child of God to a testimony of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer.”
–President Packer

“The gospel teaches us to be happy, to have faith rather than fear, to find hope and overcome despair, to leave darkness and turn toward the light of the everlasting gospel.
…peace can be settled in the heart of each who turns to the scriptures and unlocks the promises of protection and redemption that are taught therein. ”
–President Packer

“It is a fundamental truth that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be cleansed. We can become virtuous and pure. However, sometimes our poor choices leave us with long-term consequences. One of the vital steps to complete repentance is to bear the short- and long-term consequences of our past sins. Their past choices had exposed these Ammonite fathers to a carnal appetite that could again become a point of vulnerability that Satan would attempt to exploit.

Satan will try to use our memory of any previous guilt to lure us back into his influence. We must be ever vigilant to avoid his enticements.

…The joyful news for anyone who desires to be rid of the consequences of past poor choices is that the Lord sees weaknesses differently than He does rebellion. Whereas the Lord warns that unrepented rebellion will bring punishment, when the Lord speaks of weaknesses, it is always with mercy …repentance is not punishment. It is a hope-filled path to a brighter future.”
–Elder Scott

“There is no greater joy in life than being anxiously engaged in the service of the Lord.”
–Elder Ballard

“In recent decades the Church has largely been spared the terrible misunderstandings and persecutions experienced by the early Saints. It will not always be so. The world is moving away from the Lord faster and farther than ever before. The adversary has been loosed upon the earth. We watch, hear, read, study, and share the words of prophets to be forewarned and protected.

…“The only safety we have as members of this church is to … give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through His prophet. There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your [personal] views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; … and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory’.
–Elder Hales (second paragraph quoting Pres. Harold B. Lee)

Checkout out the archive page on LDS.org to watch or listen to the other talks given during the conference:
October 2013 LDS General Conference Archive

Reasons general conference weekend is awesome

So yes I’m copying this idea from another blog post, actually several other blog posts. I don’t mind though because I have some of my own reasons, or at least my own perspective on why LDS general conference is awesome. Here’s a few reasons, in no particular order:

1. Quotes. I need more power quotes that I can glance at daily to feel more inspired and motivated. I’ve mentioned this before, on my desk I have a stack of 3×5 cards, each card contains a quote that is meaningful to me. I flip through them often. Reading these regularly helps keep me grounded and helps bring the Spirit into my life more. The quotes are often played back in my mind when I need them. The talks given by the speakers in conference never fail to produce several powerful quotes that I will treasure for months and years to come. After all, we get to sit and listen to prophets of God give us inspired counsel and direction. Of course there will be something in there, many things in there that I need to hear personally. And there always is. Can’t wait!

2. The Priesthood Session. Ok so for the first time it will be streamed live and we don’t have to go to a chapel to watch the satellite broadcast of this session. That’s cool, but I’ve always liked getting together with my Dad and my brother to watch that session. There’s a feeling of unity that comes to us when we go together. It’s a family tradition, just like it is for my sister and Mom to get together to watch the Relief Society session. I also love the feeling of standing and singing with the congregation at the broadcast. I will miss that. But I can’t wait to see in what ways we’re rebuked and nurtured by the speakers.

Come listen to living prophets

3. Another Elder Holland talk to memorize. I’ve been trying to memorize, word for word, a few of Elder Holland’s talks. Even though I probably only have about 50% of each of those talks committed to memory they continue to inspire me. Plus to be fair, some of them are over 20 minutes long. Who speaks with more candor, more boldness, and more power than Elder Holland?

4. No church meetings. I know other people have given this same point for liking conference. I love church, I need church every week, I look forward to taking the sacrament at church. But not having extra morning meetings, not having to work on preparing a lesson or work on coordinating other church things is nice, at least every 6 months or so. Any more than that and I would miss it.

All sessions of Lds conference are streamed live on Oct 5th and 6th this year, 2013. Don’t sleep in too late tomorrow because the first session starts at 10:00 AM MDT.

Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know

“Please don’t nag yourself with thoughts of failure. Do not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know, and the Lord will accept of your effort.”

–Gordon B. Hinckley, “Rise to the Stature of the Divine within You,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 94