Pleasant Grove Utah #StakeConf Oct 2018

Today = Stake Conference! Here's my own recap. Also...the boys did great getting ready and we even got to the Senior Center early. The Hubs was helping with the live streaming from the Stake Center to other locations within the stake and his responsibility during Stake Conf was to be sure that the stream worked well and ran smoothly over at the PG Senior Center.

So many great peeps there and welcomed us and the boys, they were so friendly and welcoming. I want to attend with them every week! Plus it was great they had free cookies too, so you know the boys were happy.

Pres. & Sis. Funk (Mt. Timpanogos Temple President & Temple Matron)

Sis. Funk

Within temple doors, we can find a respite from the cares of our lives and find peace and strength to bear our trials.

Pres. Funk

He said, "We see your stake in the temple!"
(See, with comments like that I feel like they do keep track of who, how many times, and from what wards and stakes people come from.) I really hope we will be able to get access to those records one day so we can keep track of how many times we go to the temple. Sure, I take a pic of it every time we go and write it in my journal but something better like in digital form. I believe what we measure we improve and how cool would it be to actually have it show up in our Ward Tools App, with the ability to write notes and thoughts about what we learned each visit and keep it in our online account and add my pic right there!? It'd be cool, I guess I need to just start a spreadsheet though if I really want to and not wait for someone else to always do things for me. LOL

Story of a sister who was asked by her bishop to invite a sister to the temple every time she went. Her bishop was released and she continued to invite sisters to the temple. After a while she realized she had brought 150 sisters to the temple throughout all of that time and continues to do so. Reminded me of how I used to invite sisters to go to the temple with me each week, my fave was, of course, inviting the YW to come with me every week, but since I got released it's a little awkward to go with your old Young Women's President, but that doesn't have to stop me from asking my adult sisters to come with me. SO....I have a new goal or a resurrected goal, of asking a new sister to come with me to the temple every week. Let's see who can come with me this week.
He quoted the phrase "compensatory spiritual power" which Elder Neil L Andersen (Video or Text) spoke about in a BYU Devotional. 
I can't remember what context he said it in, I might have been trying to hush some little boys down. ;) I found a link to a talk by him, I want to take time to research that later on.

Pres. & Sis. Cutler (Stake President & his courageous wife)

Sis. Cutler

Quoted her daughter who is serving a mission in Jacksonville, FL
"God is Good." - Sis. Cassidy Cutler
(I need to ask her to include me in her emails to her friends because I sure love that Cassidy, she always had a way with sharing such a powerful testimony and I love missionary letters. I should offer to make her a website too, just like I did one for Sis. Alli Barker.)

She was invited to attend the special youth meeting with President Ballard. I'll be honest, I'm a little bummed to have missed that! I was wanting to go and hang out in the bathroom and just listen. LOL But I guess that would not have been super obedient of me since they specifically said other peeps besides youth are not invited. I'll need to ask one of our youth if I can borrow their notes!

Anyways she mentioned that President Ballard talked about "DESIRE" and asked "How do we desire something?"
WHAT?!!! I need to learn these tricks too, how to make your child desire to be righteous on their own? Snap...I sure hope Pres. Ballard talks about that in conference or something so I can really get the deets. She did a great job though, I just wish I would have gotten to listen to the whole talk.
He said there are 2 kinds of peeps,

  1. People who taste of the fruit. 
  2. People who partake of the fruit. 
Um...yes! I love that she brought up the people who were "ashamed."
"26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.
27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit. 
28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost." 1 Nephi 8:26-28
These verses always pull at my heartstrings and take me back to a time when I used to be called "Church lady" at school. I was totally great with it for what seemed like a long while, but it began to weigh on me (the pressure of always choosing the right because that's what was expected of me) and I began to be concerned with what people in the building thought of me, and that's when there was NO SOCIAL MEDIA. Ugh!!!! So, I have totally been there! I did fall away because of being ashamed and I know what that felt like too. So that story is, oh so familiar to me. 

There also a lot of stuff going around too about feeling "shame"  vs Guilt. My fave explanation is from Brene Brown here. She is a master at explaining this, she's done so much research on it. When you share your shame you are shining a light at it and shame can not live in the light, but thrives on darkness. I believe shame is not of God but of the devil, so this being "ashamed" makes sense that I would have fallen into the darkness because of it.

Now that I've been back for a while, and have gone through more trials than I'd ever want to, been shamed by people for being "too good," "doing too much" and "making others feel bad," or being "too righteous" or "extreme." For me, going through depression and the confusing mist of darkness because of what I interpreted from them plus other things going on in my life at the time, that was the hardest thing and it made me thirst for more knowledge and I've learned and my eyes have been opened just a bit mire, those words spoken would never be the words the Lord would EVER say to me, those fiery darts and whispers were not true. He loves me! I am learning to discern "things as they really are" and have come to know that no matter what happens, I don't care what anyone else thinks of me only, "what thinks Christ of me." I now work hard at this, have set some boundaries and refuse to let others opinions trump my own life's experiences. I refuse to let others come between me and Christ and what He has asked of me. I call them "the haters" and Christ had and has those and the more I try and do my best to follow Him in the best way I know and am prompted how, the more of those haters I'll have too. I'm still learning about the tactics of the adversary, but so grateful the Spirit can help me know what is right.

Taste vs Partake - There is a difference and I want to learn more about this difference too so I'll need to research this a bit more. 

She said that Pres. Ballard also said:
"The power to lead is also to mislead and the power to mislead can be the power to destroy."
We need to be mindful of what we say and do because people are watching us and we are to be examples of Christ and lead others to Chirst and not away from Him because of our actions or inactions. For example, not telling peeps they are "too good" sheesh! LOL Crazy that I would fall for that, but hey I guess I needed that so I could learn about the side of the line that I am really on.

Pres. Cutler

"These are critical times" - was reiterated in the leadership training meetings by all 3 visiting authorities, Pres. Ballard, Elder Munk and Elder Carpenter.
Parents need to step it up! Parenting is not easy but we need to hold our youth to a standard. There are many reasons why our youth and us parents need to be where the Lord wants us to be but it comes down to Mosiah 18:10.

He broke this scripture down and likened it to each of our situations like this:

"...if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being" ___________________
  • at Youth Conference
  • in sacrament meeting
  • at girls camp
  • in the temple
  • a ministering sister
  • etc...
The entire scripture reads:

"Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?" Mosiah 18:10
Be in locations and positions where the Lord can "pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you."

And most importantly we as parents need to help our youth be at those places too because they need the spirit poured out abundantly upon them in these troubled times.

I'm a latina mom, which means I can pretty much yell, threaten or look at my kids a special way and they will do what I ask. Unfortunately, for them and me, I've been raised in that way, so it's ingrained in me, if I don't get my way I can just control the situation, because I am "the mom." And I've been to many a girls camp and conferences that way and if I really think of it, it really was a blessing. My parents did the best they could! So, I won't have a problem getting my kids to go to things for their own good because I will just "make them" in the end anyway. We try to lay out the options and let them choose, but sometimes they don't choose the "right answer" or the answer we wanted them to choose, so then we tell them, we gave them a chance to choose the right and they didn't and since we are still their parents we still get to choose for them because we know what's best and they have to come with us anyways or have to do their chores anyways, or whatever. RIGHT? LOL That being said, I don't want to always have to make them, I want them to DESIRE to do chores, be self-sufficient, go to awesome church events, go to seminary and all the good things because they are good for them and they will feel the Spirit. So my goal is not to just make them, because I can and will if necessary, but that I can inspire them to have a desire to go. And that's super tricky! Have you seen the movie "Inception?" It's like that! Seriously I think all parents, need this skill. ;) Luckily I still have a couple of years to learn this tactic of inspiration and instilling desire. I know if I ask, the Lord will help me.

Do something more with the additional hour we have been given starting 2019 every Sunday, by the Lord announced during General Conference. Don't sleep it away, but make it count!

We get an extra 1 hour each Sunday because our church meeting schedule has been reduced from 3 hours to 2 hours. Pres. Nelson said in Oct. 2018 General Conference:
"The adversary is increasing his attacks on faith and upon us and our families at an exponential rate. To survive spiritually, we need counterstrategies and proactive plans. Accordingly, we now want to put in place organizational adjustments that will further fortify our members and their families."
What is happening at home with our Sabbath Day? We need to reflect, repent and recommit! We need to prepare like Moroni and do things we have never done before to protect against the adversary's attacks on our families. My fave scripture!

"But behold, to their uttermost astonishment, they were prepared for them, in a manner which never had been known among the children of Lehi. Now they were prepared for the Lamanites, to battle after the manner of the instructions of Moroni." Alma 49:8

If we don't challenge the youth they will not rise up.

I found this brilliant thought when searching for "rise up" quotes and it's perfect! It's quoted and credited towards an anonymous Navy Seal after Archilochus, in a gist it's about how hard they train in all types of combat all the time even if they won't encounter them anytime soon.

“We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” ― Archilochus
I love it because sure we can expect them to rise up, however, if we don't provide them with the proper and consistent training they will fall every time because they won't know what to do.

I liken this to cleaning a bathroom. Let's say I ask our boys to be responsible for cleaning the bathrooms. One of them has seen me do it many times and I've taught him how and what it means for a bathroom to be clean. If I assign him the bathroom cleaning responsibility he will be able to rise to the challenge because he knows where the tools are kept, he knows what tools to use to clean what areas of the bathroom and will feel confident in his abilities to do so because he has seen me do it and I've shown him. He will most likely exceed my expectations of a clean bathroom! The younger one, however, will not be able to "rise up" to my challenge of cleaning the bathroom because he's maybe seen me do it only a few times, I have not properly trained him, I don't think he knows where all of the supplies are kept, he doesn't even know 100% what the bathroom needs to look like for it to be labeled as "clean." If I left him to this challenge he would "fall to his training." Leaving him alone to do this he could have felt frustrated if he wasn't sure about something or where to find things, he would make up things on how to clean, and might not actually end up cleaning anything at all or make it worse and scary thing is, he would think he did a great job because he was actively doing something, but he was doing all of the wrong things. Certainly, a teaching moment would occur there if we take it, because we can't just let him clean the bathroom like that everytime because someone could eventually get sick from it not being cleaned correctly. Remember Hoby's bathroom? (that's a whole other story)! So that quote to me is perfect!

If we let our children go out there in a world where satan can easily attack them and we haven't provided training on how to put on the armor of God, how to ask for help from God, how to fight the fiery darts, how to overcome the untrue whispers of the adversary, how to recognize the Spirit's helpful and protective promptings and how to build habits of protection, they will fall when they get attacked. Not "if" they get attacked but "when," because they will.

So President Cutler is right, if we don't challenge our youth they will not rise up, but if we don't train them first, they will fall and they won't be confident enough to take the next challenge they receive to rise up, because the previous experience to rise up was so hard. If we train them, we are arming them for success! Yes, but what about everyone that says "we have to let them fail." I agree, we can and they will fail even during training they will fail and we can teach them how to succeed, but training them doesn't mean being their training wheels (I don't believe in training wheels). When they fail after they have been trained, they will realize on their own where they might have been able to improve and be able to succeed the next time. Consistent training at home gives them the tools they need to succeed. You can even teach people how to move past failures, solve problems and troubleshoot but again it comes down to their training.
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
My husband knows I love saying "I told you so," but more accurately it is, "I've trained you so." It's all about the training! And our kids will know how to succeed because we've trained them so. Sure if they choose to not do something I've suggested or try something else because they feel like it and it doesn't work out, the next time they know they need to try it the way they have been trained.

He then said: The devil is in the details, who is going to have your attention, will you allow him into your home, life or family? Where are you allowing the adversary into your home?

Elder & Sis. Carpenter (Elder Matthew L. Carpenter serving as a General Authority Seventy and his hilarious wife)

Sis. Carpenter

Marry a giver not a taker. Stand strong as a power couple!
Her husband's birthday today and he got a new suit so he's wearing his birthday suit. LOL

God gives good gifts. We may not always understand but He gives us things we need.

60 times in the Doctrine & Covenants it says "I give unto you a commandment"
Commandments are gifts from God, other gifts also include keys, strength, laws, Book of Mormon, prayer, and more, these are gifts to be able to return to live with Him.

What gifts have you been given? What spiritual gifts have you been given?

This reminded me of the plea that President Russell M. Nelson gave during our General Women's Session of General Conference this past Oct 2018. He said:

"My dear sisters, you have special spiritual gifts and propensities. Tonight I urge you, with all the hope of my heart, to pray to understand your spiritual gifts—to cultivate, use, and expand them, even more than you ever have. You will change the world as you do so....
"My dear sisters, we need you! We “need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices.” We simply cannot gather Israel without you."
He has a way with words! I am excited to continue to inquire of the Lord what spiritual gifts I have been given and how I can use them to be an instrument in His hands here on the earth.

She goes on to quote in D&C 14, the greatest gift we can receive is the gift of Eternal Life.

If we never unwrap the gift, it is no good to us we can not use it.

Will you open your gifts? Will you use them?
We can give thanks to God, we can give our obedience and will to God.

She then read a scripture which said her callings are gifts. She thought her calling as a Relief Society President was more overwhelming than a gift or blessing until she read that scripture. It is our choice to see our callings and responsibilities as gifts from God. As we accept and use our gifts for good, as we give of our gifts to others we become givers like Christ and can be confident in His presence.

Elder Carpenter

His wife is a gift to him. :)

He supported Pres. Cutler in his statement to be courageous parents.

Reminded me of when Pres. Nelson called a mom, "a fearless woman of faith."
"I spoke about a young man whose life changed when his parents exchanged his smartphone for a flip phone. This young man’s mother is a fearless woman of faith."
We do need to be courageous parents!

This is the Gospel of Hope.

Shared a story of a farmer who when his horse ran away neighbors said, that was sad, but he replied, "maybe yes, maybe no."
Then the farmers horse came back with a pack of wild horses and his neighbors said wow, you're so lucky and he replied "maybe yes, maybe no."
Then as his son was training the horses he fell and broke his leg, and neighbors expressed their sadness and they said, that's really sad about your son, and he replied: "maybe yes, maybe no."
Then there was a war in a neighboring city and there was a draft for all eligible young men and the farmer's son couldn't go and neighbors expressed, how sad your son can't go and fight, and he replied: "maybe yes, maybe no."
Then because of the war almost all of the young men died at war and because this young man had a broken foot he never went. The neighbors said to the farmer, you're so lucky your son didn't go to ward because he could have died and he replied: "maybe yes, maybe no."

We don't know what is good for us until we can see the end, but the Lord does.
"I rejected my Redeemer, and denied that which had been spoken of by our fathers; but now that they may foresee that he will come, and that he remembereth every creature of his creating, he will make himself manifest unto all." Mosiah 27:30

Sometimes bad things happen to us and sometimes people we love make choices that take them away from God.

Message which Elder Ronald a Rasband shared in Jan 21, 2001
"Failure in the home only occurs when we stop trying."
As long as we keep trying there is hope!

He shared the story of the Prodigal Son found in the Bible.
"17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee," Luke 15:17-18
There is a time when individuals will "come to themselves" and they will have the opp to fully choose which path they will want to take.

Because of Jesus Christ, we have hope and we can come back, we can make a difference in our own lives today!

Use the gifts we have been given to bring people to Christ and share the hope that is in us.

Well, that was super long but as you can see such a great conference.

Our 9yr old's fave was the "Birthday Suit," the "Maybe yes, Maybe no story of the Farmer's son" and the story of the sister (from Elder Carpenter) who didn't want to go to church but had to take her daughter who broke her food to Sunday School because she couldn't drive and so her mom would sit outside the foyer and just listen while waiting for her and soon was baptized and even was able to enter the temple to see her daughter married and sealed in the temple.

I'll be honest I had to step it up as a parent. He was doing his own thing with his brother for almost the whole conference but when I finally told them to listen and pay attention he was able to learn from the last 2 speakers Sister and Elder Carpenter. I love that he was able to pay attention during the last 2 at least. See, I gave him the choice to listen beforehand, but because he couldn't, I needed to step in and tell him to focus because they were saying important things that Heavenly Father wants him to hear. So a quick step in (maybe not so quick) to make my boys focus on what they were saying blessed their lives. If I only concentrated on what I wanted to get out of it, I could have just ignored them and kept listening and taking notes, maybe hand them my phone so they could be quiet, THEY WISH, NO PHONES ALLOWED ON MY WATCH, it takes hard work to be a parent and help our kids understand what's good for them. But that's why the Lord blessed us with our kids because He knows we will be key instruments in helping them become who God meant for them to become just as much as He knew we'd need them to help teach us too. And just as He knows we will help them, He also knows each of you will help your kids become who they need to become WITH our help, encouragement and sometimes bossiness.

That's a wrap!

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