Conference this morning (Saturday session) was one of the best sessions I think I have ever watched. Spencer and I watched it on BYU-TV on our computer--I love the internet!--and thankfully Rachel was sleeping so I really could listen! I loved what Elder Hales said about choosing. Our choices are truly the only things we have. "Choose to act in faith in obedience. Choose to accept that you are a child of God, that he loves you and has the power to help you. Chose to use your agency to do his will." I loved that. We have the choice of how we are going to use our agency--to do good, or to do evil. The choice is always up to us. He also said, "Choose to believe in the Atonement of Jesus Christ, accept the Savior's forgiveness and then forgive yourself." For me that is something I have a hard time doing. I beat myself up over it but I know if I really accept the Atonement's power, I have to forgive myself. The Lord has forgotten once I repent and so should I.
Elder Eyering's talk really struck me too. I have been really praying a lot lately about how to recognize the Spirit. When I read the part in the Bible about Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac I wonder, how did Abraham really know it was the Spirit telling him to do that? Obviously he would not want to kill his only son, but if I got a thought like that I would seriously question whether it was a temptation from Satan. I also think about Nephi being told to kill Laban. "And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him. And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this causeÂthat I might obtain the records according to his commandments. Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword." (1 Nephi 4:10, 17-18). To kill a man is a horrible sin. Why would the Spirit ask this and how did these two men know it was the Spirit?
Elder Eyring says that he has prayed to know what to do when choices that he has to make have eternal consequences. Once he prayed through the night to know what he should choose to do in the morning. He knew what choice looked most comfortable to him. He said he could not see which choice would lead to each outcome. He prayed for hours, then he had a feeling that he was a child. "My heart and my mind seemed to grow very quiet. There was a peace in that inner stillness. Somewhat to my surprise I found myself praying, "Heavenly Father, it doesn't matter what I want...I only want Thy will be done. That is all that I want. Please tell me what to do." He continues to say, "In that moment I felt as quiet inside as had ever felt. And the message came and I was sure who it was from. It was clear what I was to do. I received no promise of the outcome. It was only the assurancee that I was a child who had been told what path led to whatever He wanted from me. This touched my heart so much. I felt the Spirit when he was speaking this. That alone helped me to realize what the Spirit feels like. Like Elder Eyring says "Only when my heart has been still and quiet in submission like a little child has the Spirit been clearly audible to my heart and mind." This is one thing that I really need to work on. I have a hard time sitting still and quiet.
It has been a while since I really felt the Spirit strongly testify something to me. I guess that's why I've been having these questions. Feeling the strong spirit that I felt today helped me to remember that the Lord knows us. He loves us. He wants us to have answers to our prayers and if our desires are righteous he will answer them. He will help us in any way he can to learn how to return back to Him.
I love Conference! I can't wait for tomorrow!