Saturday, May 5, 2012

All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us.*

Last night I had the opportunity to go and hear some amazing speakers.  The keynote speaker was Elder Russel M. Nelson.  In addition to Elder Nelson, I also had the opportunity to hear from Sister Lansing (who was actually my seminary teacher senior year), Elder Lansing (her husband), and Elder Jay E. Jensen. 

It was a great experience and I'm glad that I had this opportunity, and that I didn't pass up the opportunity.  It's not often that a member of the Quorum of the Twelve comes to Richmond and even less often that they want to have a fireside with the Young Single Adults in the area.

Sister Lansing spoke first.  She talked about choices and what we choose to do with our free time (I feel like this has been talked about quite a bit lately in my church meetings and classes - but it could just be me...)  She shared with us something she heard during a trip out west, how choices are like a funnel and at this age we are encouraged to try many different things.  Depending on what we choose though, our choices slowly slim down like a funnel (if we make bad or limiting decisions)

Then she said that if we limit ourselves to good decisions now, then things will be opened up to us later.  It's that eternal perspective, right now we think we can (and we really can) do whatever we want, but it's not the consequences of our actions we are thinking of, or the limitations we are putting on the possibilities for our future.  If we focus now on not limiting our future, then the funnel turns upside down.
I liked that mental picture of the funnel, I feel it made it helpful and it got me thinking how the decisions I make today are limited the ones I can make weeks, months, or even years from now.

Next was her husband, Elder Christopher Lansing.
He was my Stake President in high school, this guy interviewed me for my Ecclesiastical interview that was part of my application process for BYU-I.  Elder Lansing started by telling us to marry up, like he did.  Then he told us a rather interesting story I had never heard before.  It was after he graduated college, he was living back in Richmond, working in the family business, and looking for someone to marry (when I say that I don't mean he was just seeking full time, but you know, like all us single people do).  He basically said he got a call from an old girlfriend out in Utah and he decided to take the risk.  He quit his job, packed up his car, and moved to Utah.  He went straight to her apartment when he arrived and knocked on the door.  No answer.  He knocked again and she answered and told him that she didn't know how to tell him this, but she had gotten engaged the night before (are you kidding me?!)  But I like what he said right after, he said, "A lot of our best plans can blow up in our face." I think that is something worth remembering....which is why I put it in bold for you.

There was another thing he said that I liked, and I don't know if it's just because he said the word "chill" or not, but...anyway.  He talked about some scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants, about when Joseph Smith was asking how long the Lord would let his people suffer, and Elder Lansing read the Lord's response and then put it into a modern phrase, "Chill and endure it well"

Then he told us that Heavenly Father wants to bless us.  We just need to put ourselves in the right place to be blessed.  I got the message/question (again...surprise), "what do you fill your time with?"  I think there's something trying to get through to me... 

This is becoming a long post - I will summarize (I may even go back and summarize things)

Elder Jay Jensen.
 Elder Jensen spoke about making Christ the center of our lives.  He quoted someone (and someone please help me remember which of the twelve he was quoting), "The best way to make a permanent change for good in your life is to make Jesus Christ the center and his commandments your guide." How do we do this?  Pull our your primary answers! But it's true.  I like what he said about the dailies (prayer, scripture study, etc.)  Some days it's a quarter glass, some days a full glass, others a whole gallon, but always something everyday.  It doesn't matter if some days you just get a little bit of prayer and study in, as long as you keep doing it.  I liked that, because some days things just seem rushed and then others (like today) I feel I can spend a whole lot more time on the things that matter most. 

Then he broke down the word "reconcile" - it basically means to "sit with again".  So when you reconcile with God, you sit with God again.  I liked that.

Elder Russell M. Nelson
I'm going to start by saying that I love all the leaders of the church...but I want to say that I absolutely love this man.  I've never seen him speak before (aside from on television or once when I went to conference in Salt Lake).  I was only a few feet away from him and I can't even begin to describe the feelings that washed over me every time I sneaked (sneaked - doesn't feel right, but it's the right way to say it past tense) a glance at him.  Then he got up to speak and I waited anxiously with my pen and paper ready.  Then he said he didn't know what he was going to talk about!  He was very engaging, very funny and endearing.  But my notes are a bit scattered, because he was speaking as things came to mind - doesn't mean it wasn't good, in fact, as he got going I'm sure that I wasn't the only one hearing things I needed to hear.

So - here are my scattered thoughts in an almost bullet point fashion:

"Parenting is one big problem" (he has ten kids and was talking about the opportunities for growth)

"With each challenge there is an opportunity to become stronger than you would have been."
I really liked this because I feel I am not the only one who needs to hear this.  I have one friend who I immediately thought of when I heard this, but I'm certain all my friends could benefit from hearing those words and keeping that thought in mind when challenges arise.  Sometimes it's easy to forget that struggles in life are an opportunity to improve ourselves.

"Begin your decision with the end in mind." Figure out first where you want to be, and work backwards from there.  I feel I really need to do this.  I'm very much an "in the moment" girl.  It's brought good and bad results - but I'm aiming for more good results.

Lastly, always keep preparing.  Keep worthy.  Keep growing spiritually.  Make yourself more useful in the work of the Lord.

Ok - sorry for the long post, but I hope you got something out of it - but since they were the condensed things that I got out of it, things may be lost.  If you made it through this whole post...congratulations - I probably wouldn't have!


Anonymous said...

Title quote: LOTR: Fellowship

Quote by Jay E.Jensen from unrecorded apostle: Richard G. Scott

20? :D


Marissa said...

Elder Jensen was quoting Elder Richard G. Scott. And it was great to see you. I liked some of the same quotes as you, but isn't it wonderful that we got completely different things out of it? I love revelation :)


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