Quote of the Week

"I assure you that if you have to wait even until the next life to be blessed with a choice companion, God will surely compensate you."
President Ezra T. Benson, To the Single Adult Sisters of the Church, 1988.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oct. 2015 General Conference Highlights

General Women's Session Sept. 26, 2015

For those that missed it, and even for those who did take the opportunity to attend, I encourage everyone to go to www.lds.org to view (or RE-view) all of the talks and videos from this last session of General Conference.

The Women's Session was particularly moving. The opening song by the children's choir brought tears to my eyes and we hadn't even heard the first speaker yet! So beautiful.



The shout out in this next video to single, never married sisters was also greatly appreciated.

Mother in Isreal

For the first time in many years I felt hope the church was finally recognizing and acknowledging the uncomfortable reality that there are thousands of amazing sisters in this church who yearn for the ideal life of temple marriage the gospel encourages us to strive for yet continues to ignore our unique circumstances. It's a classic catch-22: telling women they'll be blessed with a man they can never attain in this life then making them feel like failures for having such high standards.

Rosemary M. Wixom, primary general president quoted Elaine Cannon, a former Young Women General president who said, "There are two important days in a woman's life: The day she is born and the day she gets married she finds out why."

Even at the ripe old age of 41, I continue to struggle with finding the answer to that question: Why was I born?

Perhaps in the coming months (years?) I can share my experience in how I will get my answer.
Especially since it doesn't seem to include temple marriage, bearing children or finding a satisfying career that doesn't include the phrase, "Would you like fries with that?"

Saturday Afternoon Session October 3, 2015

Three new apostles were called. Like many others, members and gentiles alike, I too was taken aback that at least one of these men was not someone born outside Utah, someone not of Anglo-Saxon ancestry. Yet, I raised my hand to sustain all three and was glad to do so.



Later, as I watched the press conference, and heard their answers to the very questions I'd been secretly asking, the confirmation came again.
These are the three men that needed to be called.
The time is coming when a man of color or different ethnicity will be called forth to join the Quorum of the Twelve, however, that time is not now.
The Lord knows what He's doing.
That's a nice feeling, be it regarding the leadership of an entire global religion or my own little humble (insignificant?) life...

The Lord knows what He's doing.

Sunday Morning Session October 4, 2015

Thanks to clever camera directions and editing, if you hadn't been watching or listening carefully to President Monson during his talk, you would never have noticed those last two minutes as he leaned against the podium and seemed almost ready to collapse.

I had moved to the couch to listen while the flat screen TV was still aimed toward the breakfast table where we'd just finished eating ("Hey, Elder Wong, would you mind including a blessing on our food during your invocation? No? Okay, we'll just pause the DVR after you finish."Ain't technology grand? We are so spoiled. It became a running joke during the weekend at our house for whoever was watching from the bedroom house antenna TV to come into the front room and "predict" who the next speaker or song was to us viewing the sessions on the three-minute- delay, satellite TV. Let's hear it for Direct TV bringing back KSL just in time for conference!) I only listened with half an ear as President Monson gave his first and only talk of the day.

As his voice became weaker and he ended his talk I asked, "Is he all right?" and moved just in time to see the camera cut away to a long shot of the conference center rostrum. Later we would learn from this article why we all love Elder Uchtdorf so much.

I particularly got a kick out of his talk at the General Women's Session
 Another shout-out to single sisters. Yay!




Finally, Elder President Russell M. Nelson kinda missed a great opportunity to acknowledge single sisters with his talk, A Plea to my Married Sisters by giving us some specific marching orders or at least some counsel and instruction on how to dance alone while the world refuses to take a woman who won't cohabitate before marriage seriously.

Oh, well. At least he included us in the compliment that we "possess distinctive capabilities." that we can use to help in building the kingdom and prepare for the second coming
read or view his talk here

I was mostly alone at church today as my sister and her family was out of town but I wasn't lonely.
Despite my lack of husband or family of my own to add to the general chaos that is sacrament meeting in our ward, I am starting to realize it's okay. Contributing to the building of the kingdom doesn't have to be some grand affair that gets a million Facebook "likes" as I prefer serving in quiet ways such as distracting the curly-haired two-year-old in the pew in front of me, using a black marker to embellish her ABC book with her own illustrations, handing her a piece of paper and a pen I just happened to have as part of my own primary lesson to color on instead. I could spare the extra sheet. Not to mention the pen. We all have at least five million of them stashed in a drawer somewhere at home.

It is my firm belief that anyone called as Sunbeam Wrangler (Sunday school teacher of three-year-olds) deserves an automatic free pass to the Celestial Kingdom. I was actually moved back one row to help teach the four-year-olds but my old class still enjoys sitting on my lap during the opening exercises and singing time. Here's a funny exchange I once had with a little boy named Asher:
Me: It's time to sing. You like this song, are you going to sing?
Asher *sighing with fatigue*: No, I only like to sing rock n' roll songs.
Me too, Asher, me too.
Which is not entirely true. The primary songs are all wonderful and fun to sing.
My lesson on the importance of prayer to the four-year-olds went very well. They are such a good class.
The woman I "team-teach" with also brought her little baby to our class today and I got my "baby fix" while the kids were coloring. I've decided I'd much rather be around the sweet spirits in primary right now than stuck in singles purgatory that is Relief Society (sorry Sister Burton).

I sang another number in sacrament meeting last month too.
I wrote this article describing my experience. My thanks to the talented Esther Stringer who combined two songs, Our Savior's Love and I am a Child of God into one beautiful solo piece for me to sing while she accompanied me on the piano. Singing solo in public was considerably easier this second time around. I feel like an old pro now.

With choir practice cancelled today, I stayed to visit with a divorced woman in my ward who also happens to be my visiting teacher (a woman who fellowships and befriends the women she's assigned to making sure everyone's needs are met) and we had a nice chat. She thanked me for being a listening ear and I was grateful for her reminder to me that I have so much to be thankful for.

How grateful I am to belong to a church that provides so many wonderful opportunities to serve. I hope you find many opportunities to serve others this week too.
Perhaps President Hinckley was onto something when he encouraged single sisters to forget themselves and go find others to help and serve.


4 comments:

  1. I gotta say, Holland's talk on mothers kind of sent me over the edge. I'm wondering what you thought of it.

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  2. It is hard being among those left out of the general narrative of church talks like Elder Holland's who assumes that all women in attendance have had the opportunity to fill the measure of their creation.
    "There are heartbreaking exceptions," was his only shout-out to those who either have never given birth or were born to selfish and irresponsible women who put their own needs first.
    All I can do is go to my "happy place" reflecting on the relationship I enjoy with my two favorite nephews, the cute things they say and do, the hugs and kisses given so freely and intense love and protection I feel for them as Elder Holland described in his talk. They're like the sons I might have known, if God had granted me a son.

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  3. I am in the same situation you are in, only pushing 50. I enjoy your blog very much and hope you will keep writing.

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  4. Great post! Now, your personalized Priesthood Line of Authority is beautifully laminated featuring the classic portrait of Jesus Christ by the renowned artist Greg Olsen.

    ReplyDelete