October 7, 2013

GENERAL CONFERENCE: OCTOBER 2013

This weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and listen to the prophet and other called leaders of our church as they provided guidance, comfort, and counsel to the church, its members, and the world. I have been watching General Conferenceever since I can remember and it has always been a wonderful experience.
One message that particularly stood out to me was a talk given by Elder Bednar, an apostle. He spoke of the law of tithing, and besides reminding us of what the law of tithing requires and how amazing it is that the church is run completely on volunteers and every member gives 10% of their income to the church, which then uses it to pay for meeting houses and temples (and the church is completely debt-free), he said something that may seem completely unrelated, but as I have learned (and as another apostle, Elder Hales, mentioned) that it's not always what the speakers say that is as important, but what you hear. This is what I heard;
Sometimes when we pray about our circumstances, we may pray for them to change, but gain the ability to change ourselves to meet the circumstances, instead. I have been suffering a sharp pain in my hands every morning for the past four months. It began as a little thing that would occasionally wake me up and then go away after walking around a bit with my arm down to my side, but steadily grew more and more painful as time went on. Three weeks ago, with encouragement from friends and family, I finally went to a chiropractor to get an X-ray and see what was going on. When I described my symptoms and suggested that my neck was the source of my problems, he wasn't quite convinced, but took an X-ray of my neck anyway. We discovered that not only was my neck inflamed from tension (hunched over a sewing machine, bad posture at the computer, hunched over knitting), but I was also experiencing an early stage of posture degeneration. This is when your neck, which normally has a nice little curve to it begins to straighten out, causing your posture to suffer. I began visiting my chiropractor three times a week for adjustments, but it wasn't really helping. Finally, we decided to try some massage therapy as well. Apart from being one of the worst and most wonderful experiences of my life, (it hurt so good!), I went home that night and slept peacefully. The next night was the same, and the following nights steadily got a little worse until I was back to where I started. I wasn't frustrated, though, because digression is common, and that's why you have to see them a few times before it gets better.
If you've read this far, kudos to you. I promise I'm getting to my point!
I had been keeping my mom updated about the situation and she strongly suggested that I purchase a memory foam, contoured pillow to sleep on at night. I had simply been using a rolled up towel inside my pillow case on top of my pillow, because I hadn't wanted to spend money on a pillow, but decided that if it would bring me comfort and save me trips to the massage therapist and chiropractor, it was worth it. 
Last night was one of the best I've had in a while, besides Chelsea waking up a few times (she had a rough day sleep-wise yesterday), I slept peacefully with hardly any trouble from my hands.
What I learned during Elder Bednar's talk is that when a circumstance isn't what it should be, or what you want it to be, do not rely on faith alone. Do pray and do ask for priesthood blessings to help your faith, but you must act. Pray for the strength to overcome challenges, the patience to push through them, and the stamina to endure. The Lord does not always take away our problems, but He will never challenge us with something we cannot overcome. I know that to be true. I hope you took time out of your fun-filled weekends to listen to the prophet, his counselors, the apostles, and other leaders of the church. If not, their messages are now available to watch on lds.org and will be available to read in a day or so. Please listen to and read their messages again and again. I know that they will help you overcome any trial in your life and can make you stronger and give you hope and peace. I know that the men and women we listened to were, indeed called of God and that they have dedicated their lives to serving Him. I know that if we listen to them, we will be blessed with further light and knowledge in our lives. I am grateful for the spiritual upliftment I received as a result of this weekend and look forward to next general conference in six months. Until then, I will read and re-read their words. I would encourage you to do the same.

One last thing:
If you're following me on instagram and Twitter, you'll have seen the photos I've taken of my general conference project. Every general conference, I've always had some sort of yarn project to do while I listened. When I was little, I just braided yarn until I grew old enough to learn how to knit. This conference, I learned how to cable knit and finished my new black, cable knit scarf.
Another item on my fall wish list: check!
 

I feel very industrious when I look at these photos. I'll tell you why later this week. See you then!


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