First of all – if you interpreted my title to mean that I thought General Conference was in any way a let down, let me reassure you that I felt nothing of the kind. I get this incredible buzz of excitement that wells inside of me in the days leading up to Conference. Then I soak it all in! Even when I can’t soak in the talks because I have to refill a snack dish or help someone find their lost glue stick lid, I soak in the Spirit. I soak in my kids’ enthusiasm for the Prophets and try to stay in tune with the Spirit and as tuned into the words as I can be, so that the Spirit has an easier time teaching me what I am supposed to learn. Long ago – way back during those early morning seminary days – I learned a treasured piece of wisdom. I learned that if I was struggling with something – anything – I could take those questions to my Heavenly Father in prayer in preparation for Conference and I WOULD find answers as I listened with my heart tuned to the Spirit.
That idea was really refined in my mind, heart, and life while I was attending Southern Virginia University (man, has it really been SO long ago? Geesh!). My two main Institute teachers (random shout out to Bishop Austin and Bro. Stuart – y’all are incredible and we all know it!) would spend the first class after conference, and sometimes even two classes, sharing everyone’s insights from Conference. It was absolutely incredible to hear so many things shared that I had not heard at all – and this was pre-kid distraction days – this was sit in the chapel and reverently take insanely detailed notes days – yet I still did not hear MUCH of what other students and my teachers heard. The first time I witnessed this phenomenon I thought I must have just been oblivious during Conference. Then I realized what was really going on. The speakers could each only say one set of words. they could only share one talk, one message. BUT, since they were teaching by the Spirit and we were learning by the Spirit, the Spirit could teach us each our very own personal message through any given combination of speakers, messages, words, or plain and simple feelings. Incredible!
It may be a decade later, but the awe never diminishes that I feel when I have Heavenly Father find a way for the Spirit to answer my questions through the power of the Holy Ghost! I had some highly important questions to bring before Him this spring – like always. (It’s funny that they are important to me now, but may seem so insignificant in another decade. Yet, they are important enough to Heavenly Father that He still answers! Have I mentioned how much I feel loved by Him?!) I debated sharing them here, but meh, there is nothing super scary in my line-up of questions this time around. I only had a few questions really this time. Sometimes my question list is much longer or way more intense or hard to face. This time I wanted to know…
- Should I stay in school or can I drop out and spend that time and energy working on our business and getting myself deeper into my genealogical research that ends up feeling so “only surface deep” when I have so little time to do anything with it?
- If I am supposed to stay in school, what major should I take? (I have recently faced an identity crisis in terms of my choice of majors. I am currently an accounting major, but realized that I am not sure that I want my main contribution to our business to be as the accountant. It makes me wonder if business administration or “research research” – which is sadly NOT a major at my school, but what I really, really love best about my job – would better help me to do more of what I want to in our business.)
- How can I help my little man, THREE? He struggles so badly sometimes with the huge spirit and the massive energy that he has to try to deal with in his one small body. When he struggles, the whole family does too of course. I really needed to find how to reach out to him.
- Should we keep trying to creatively find ways to finance our business, or is it time to look outside of ourselves for help in what we are doing? (A caveat is needed here. We have been SO incredibly blessed as we have followed this path in business that Heavenly Father has guided us down! We’ve known the reality of the blessings of tithing for a long time, but this has been an incredible testimony builder that if we do what He leads us to do, and do our very best, then He really does open the windows of Heaven to help with the rest. We have had family and friends and total anonymous strangers (? since they are anonymous, it’s hard to know for sure that they are strangers) step forward at EXACTLY the moment we needed help. It has been incredible to see God’s hand so prominently visible in our lives!)
- If we should look outside for financing, where should we look?
So, those were my questions. I am sure that there I have different questions than anyone else, but I got answers to all of them. I bet none of you heard or felt answers to any of my questions though. Right? But not only did I get personalized answers, but I got personalized amounts of answers. I had specific ideas come to mind to help answer #3. I had realizations about my son and what he needs. That seemed fairly normal to me. (Is that totally bizarre that something so completely miraculous can also seem so normal and natural? Likely, but I’m OK with that.)
The other questions were more interesting in how they were answered. I got very strong answers to #1 and #4. I was excited, nervous, peaceful, and anxious about those answers all at the same time! (And no, I do NOT know how it is even possible to feel all of those feelings, and dozens, more all at the very same time.) I was filled with the glow of the Spirit in my new found answers. (They came one at a time, by the way. I just had similar experiences with both, so I am lumping them together.) Then, as I got the one of those questions answered, I sort of automatically turned my thoughts to seeking answers to the follow-up question for it. Then the strangest (again, strange in that it happened twice, normal that it happened at all) thing happened. The peace and glow and spiritual buzz just stopped. Ugh. I hate when that happens. I love when it happens, because answers come that way too, but it is much harder to face or understand sometimes. Then new questions come up. Am I asking the wrong question? Did I misunderstand what I felt one second ago? What? In both situations for me this weekend, the answer was simple. “Not yet.” As in, it was not time for me to know those answers just yet. That is not my favorite answer to get from Heavenly Father by the way – I am far too impatient. (Something else that stood out to me in conference was to be more patient though, so I’m working on it. Perhaps this will help me!) Even though the time was not right for crystal clear answers, I did get some direction in how to move forward to becoming prepared for those answers. As I type that, it reminds me of 4 years that Joseph Smith went to be trained by Moroni before he was prepared to receive what the Lord wanted him to receive. I sure as all get out hope that the Lord does not want me to wait that long though, since we face fairly imminent needs for our company and I have to register in the next week and a half. But, even with those crazy and somewhat daunting deadlines, I feel at peace with trusting in His time-line. I can’t imagine anything better than doing it His way! Even when I don’t even know what that looks like yet!
I have never really written a “General Conference Wrap-up” type of post before, nor have I shared those kinds of questions and answer seeking with random strangers that may wander past my blog before, but I decided to write something that would enable me to share my testimony of the personal power of General Conference. I read a post on Middle-Aged Mormon Man’s blog that was inspirational and echoes so well some of my thoughts and feelings about General Conference. (By the way, if you’ve never read his blog, I fully recommend it! He often manages to express things I am thinking but have no idea how to spit out of my brain and into a blog post! Plus he has a sense of humor that I quite enjoy.) After reading his testimony of how he uses General Conference to improve step by step, I wanted to follow his example. I know that I have – many times over – been guided by the Spirit as I listen to the Conference messages to know what I need to do to be more like my Savior. Perhaps that is why I am so fully passionate about General Conference and want so badly to help my children find and develop a similar love. In all honesty, that was one of the biggest reasons that I started this blog. I wanted to share ideas to make General Conference more engaging for kids. It is partially to motivate myself to finish projects I start. And also – even more so – to share that testimony of Conference with other kids and/or parents through funny silly printables that really mean nothing in the eternal scheme of things. I can’t express the joy and pleasure it brings to my heart that, while I have rather modest numbers of people that follow or participate in my blog from day-to-day (really, I’m OK with that, especially since I have so little time to do much day-to-day), at General Conference time, hundreds and even thousands of people drop by. Even if each Conference I only actually help one other family teach their children the love of General Conference, it is SO absolutely worthwhile for me! It simply makes my heart happy! So, thanks for dropping by and thanks for letting me occasionally be a part of your General Conference celebration. 🙂
So now back to the title of this post. I am guessing the “what Now?” part is somewhat self explanatory at this point. I don’t know what is next, but I’m OK with that, because I know who is in charge. The “Conference Let Down” part comes after Conference every single time. It’s partially an adrenaline let down after all the excitement and energy that builds leading up to Conference and carries on all through those two glorious days. And Partially it comes because it now means that I have to wait for six more months for Conference to come again. Hooray for the modern marvels that make it possible to read, listen to, and even watch every minute of Conference time and time again between now and then! I have no doubt that I still have much left to learn from what was said this weekend!
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