This weekend was so busy but so great. Our stake had the opportunity to have Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles come and speak to us at a 'special stake conference'. He happened to be in the area for something and decided to do this. Saturday night he had a special YSA fireside in Arlington that Nicole and I went to. It was question and answer format which I was unsure of at first, I just wanted to hear what HE wanted to tell us! Then after just a couple minutes I was over it and loved the Q&A format. The way he was able to quickly answer so many questions without taking a pause to compose his thoughts is what really impressed me the most and confirmed that he truly is an apostle of the Lord. Being able to answer so plainly, honestly, and quickly is seriously impressive. I know it was Heavenly Father working through the Holy Ghost through Elder Bednar to answer those questions.
I took lots of notes because that's just what I do and I want to share them all but I'll do the cliff notes version for those unable to attend. (Some of these parts are just my random thoughts and aren't 'official' Elder Bednar words. My thoughts are italicized)
- Be an agent who acts, don't sit and wait around.
- There's a reason we all read 1st & 2nd Nephi so many times. It's so we can read and reread Nephi's story to get it through our thick skulls that we don't need to sit and wait for an answer or some big dramatic epiphany. We need to have faith that Christ will provide the way when we are obedient and righteous. Nephi didn't sit around and question whether or not he should go back to get the plates, he went and did what was asked of him. He was an agent, not an object.
- Develop yourself to serve God. All things should lead to Him.
- Learn love and patience to help bring others to the gospel.
- It's not about getting them to church for a number or to say you've done your missionary work. It's about helping others find peace and happiness. Giving them the information and tools to be successful in each aspect of their lives. Pray for those opportunities.
- The Gospel makes us more than we are.
- The principles and ordinances of the gospel allow us to tap into our incomprehensible potential.
- God sets the terms and conditions of covenants.
- The promises that we make bring along an obligation but they also bring along blessings. I think the obligation will always be less than the blessings. He has always and will always follow through on his side of the promise. He is and will always be the same.
- We act then we get power. We don't wait for power to act. He will inspire us to act when we are obedience. Have confidence in what you do.
- Make time for what matters most to you. Spend time on the things that have enduring value, something that will last through eternity.
- You will become what you spend your time doing.
- Hmm so that means I should re-prioritize big time.
- Complete your most important tasks first, then everything else will fall into place.
- Take something into the scriptures, a question you want answered so you can find direction as you study. Instead of going to the temple with a question you want answered, go to the temple with the desire to find a question. Then use that question, take that question into the scriptures to find your answer.
- Promise: Ask Heavenly Father how to be an agent, how to feast upon the words, not just read the scriptures. He will bless us.
- The Priesthood is not male. It is God's authority. It blesses us all equally. It is like an umbrella that men are ordained to hold up, but it pours out and blesses everyone.
- We can't solve all the problems. We can make an impact with small influences/actions.
- No unhallowed hand can stop this work. We are in the last quarter of the game. We have an advantage, we know who wins.
- WE KNOW WHO WINS. Keep faith that satan cannot overthrow God's will. Have you ever met someone who WANTS to be on the losing team? I've never heard of that before.
- Evil will increase and it won't lessen, it proves that it's the last days.
- The more good there is, the more evil. Remember, we know who wins!
- There is nothing better than opposition. When we're asked why is the gospel so hard? What are you weird? it's the perfect opportunity share what you know. Share what makes you happy and give that gift to someone else. It's not living the gospel that is hard, it's not living the gospel that's hard.
- Don't talk about how you talk. If you're in a discussion and someone says, "why did you use that tone of voice." it makes situations harder than necessary. It causes hurt feelings and it's not necessary.
That's a long 'cliff-notes' version of the YSA fireside. Maybe I should google the meaning of cliff notes ;)
Anyways, it was really great. Then going to hear him speak again this morning for stake conference was good too. Last night was my favorite but today was awesome also. The stake center was beyond packed which is more than we can claim during regular stake conference.
Go and Do.