Friday, October 2, 2015

"TAKE HEED, BE QUIET; FEAR NOT, NEITHER BE FAINT-HEARTED"

Do you love fresh starts and new beginnings? I sure do. There is something truly wonderful about an opportunity to start over and start better. New Years, the beginning of a new season, even a new day can all be great times to reflect and improve. Another one of these reflective, fresh start, opportunities for me is General Conference. I love General Conference. Twice a year we have the opportunity to learn, grow, be inspired, and take a personal inventory as we listen to God’s servants. Last Saturday during the General Women’s Meeting there was so much goodness shared that made me even more excited about the sessions coming up this weekend. (If you missed it, check it out HERE. You can also see/read/listen to the rest of the sessions from this weekend through the same link). 
As I prepare for conference there are a few things I want to focus on. As I was reading my scriptures recently I came across a verse that was very humbling. In 2 Nephi 17:4 there is a part that reads, “…Take heed, be quiet; fear not, neither be faint-hearted.”  I feel like this might be a very simple phrase that can be easily overlooked. In fact I have read over this verse dozens of times and never had it mean that much to me. Until now.  
“TAKE HEED”
To heed something means to “take careful note”, “listen”, “hear”, and to “follow advice”.  How carefully am I listening to and following what my Heavenly Father would like me to do? As I watch General Conference one of my goals is to be truly humble and look for ways and opportunities to “heed” the counsel I receive. I challenge you to do the same. Find ways that you can implement the counsel you receive and make the necessary changes to begin bettering your own life.  
“BE QUIET”


Life is busy. There are so many distractions, both good and bad. I worry that I am spending so much time being “busy” that I forget to make time to be “quiet”. When I pray to my Heavenly Father am I taking the time to listen for His response, or am I simply rushing off to whatever I am so desperately “busy” with? During conference, but also after conference, take some time to truly ponder what you have heard. Spend some time simply “being quiet” so that you can receive the insights and personal revelation God is waiting to offer you. 
“FEAR NOT”

Countless times throughout the scriptures we are taught to trust in the Lord and turn to Him. We are told that through Christ we can do all things. We are reminded that we will never be left comfortless. So then why do we so often allow the things of the world to cause us to fear? Trust that God is in control. He is aware of your circumstances. He is aware of your trials. Remember that the difficulties we endure while we are here will be for our benefit, if we endure them well.  
"I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, “Was that all that was required?” I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter, dear sisters, what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?”  - Linda S. Reeves 

“NEITHER BE FAINT-HEARTED”
It can be easy to become discouraged and feel as if you are not doing enough, being enough, giving enough etc. The truth is, during your Earthly journey, you will never be enough... alone. With Christ we can become perfect. With Christ you are enough. He doesn’t make up the difference, He is the difference. All that is expected of you is that you do your best. Just keep trying. “Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength...” (D&C 10:4) All that is expected of you is that you “...be diligent unto the end.” (D&C 10:4) Do not be faint-hearted. If you are doing your best, you are doing enough. 


I hope that as you listen to, watch, or read the talks from General Conference that you consider implementing these simple ideas. I know that as we do our part and have faith, our prayers will be answered and our in our trials we will find peace. Let me know if you use any of these tips and how they work for you. Happy conference weekend! 



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