You may totally disregard what I said earlier this morning. Of, course I could go into the settings and delete it, but then I wouldn’t have a permanent record of how totally wrong I was for those few hours. JK! I’m wrong a lot and I often recognize it. It usually is when I am judging, feeling sorry for myself, depressed, critical of others. You know, all those pesky [obvious] sins that continue to distract and mislead us me.
I admit. I was feeling pretty messed up this morning before conference. Kind of down. Kind of depressed. Kind of lonely. Kind of abandoned. Kind of sad. Kind of miserable.
But, as often happens, I got to conference an hour early, visited with lots of people, moved around the chapel looking for the perfect place to sit, found it. I spent some time with President [now Patriarch] Isom talking about Blythe’s amazing P blessing. I got to see Terri, Jim and Gaby, Becky and her Mother, Dave Taylor, the Becks. I shook hands with President Mark Isom and Don Toomer and the Stoddards. We visited about Family Search. I saw Mary and Clark. It was wonderful.
Then the talks began. Carilyn Gillies spoke and I swear, the entire chapel emptied on cue and I was the only one she spoke to. She talked about burdens, sadness, disappointment, hurt.
Many carry heavy burdens. Some have lost a loved one to death or care for one who is disabled. Some have been wounded by divorce. Others yearn for an eternal marriage. Some are caught in the grip of addictive substances or practices like alcohol, tobacco, drugs, struggles with weight, or pornography. Others have crippling physical or mental impairments. Some are challenged by same-gender attraction. Some have terrible feelings of depression or inadequacy. In one way or another, many are heavy laden.
To each of us our Savior gives this loving invitation:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”
I’m telling you, she had my total attention. I had gone through most of my stash of Puffs Plus by then and was re-using the best ones of the bunch.
No matter the burdens we face in life as a consequence of natural conditions, the misconduct of others, or our own mistakes and shortcomings, we are all children of a loving Father, who sent us to earth as part of His plan for our growth and progress. Our individual experiences can help us prepare to return to Him. The adversity and afflictions that are ours, however difficult to bear, last, from heaven’s perspective, for “but a small moment; and then, if we endure it well, God shall exalt us on high.” We must do everything we can to bear our burdens “well” for however long our “small moment” carrying them lasts.
Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues that contribute to eventual perfection. They invite us to yield “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and put off the natural man and become a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and become as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon us, even as a child doth submit to his father.” Thus burdens become blessings, though often such blessings are well disguised and may require time, effort, and faith to accept and understand.
Yup. I needed that!!!!
Bearing up under our own burdens can help us develop a reservoir of empathy for the problems others face.
All of the other talks were along the same lines. I think. Actually, when I talked to a few others afterward, I mentioned that all the talks were on the same subject, and they didn’t think so at all. So it must have been — that I needed to hear — those things until they sunk in!
I heard [over and over] that Heavenly Father has a unique individualized plan for me and although I have disturbed that plan many a time, He continues to provide ways for me to return to Him, both in this life — with peace and happiness here on earth — and in the life to come, if I will repent, follow His example, serve others and ENDURE.
ENDURE, for Heaven’s Sake, Dorothy! And, Endure Well.
So, so glad I went to conference!