“What We Are Learning and Will Never Forget,” President Russel M. Nelson, April 2021 General Conference – Priesthood Session
God is optimistic about my future? And He has ever and always been that way? How? How can one be optimistic and then been saddened when we don’t choose right? Or what does God know about our potential to progress that we cannot see. Events do not define us.
The first two paragraph’s of Pres. Nelson’s remarks give me pause for reflection. On the one hand, not much has changed in the past two years of my life. There was no major losses incurred. We are among the smaller minority that has inadvertently improved our position in the past two years as a result of COVID. I gained family moving closer to me. No one has died in my family in I don’t know how long! It it strange being on the far side of such suffering, so removed, so isolated from it all.
“Great changes are easier than small ones.” Sir France Bacon
“I know the Lord has great and marvelous plans for us—individually and collectively.” What does this mean for me? Then the reminder that the Lord has greater blessings in store for us, and he also knows that we cannot bear all things now. The timing of the Lord is not our own.
My feeling this morning is that there is another significant step forward that we need to take to be put in a position of greater advantage, what that step is, I don’t know? It took the pioneers 17 years to get to where they needed to be geographically, 5 more to start building a temple, and then 40 years after that to see it through to completion. Eek! What a time table?
Lessons Learned from the Last 2 Years
“What have you learned in the past two years that you always want to remember?”
Or better said to maintain focus in attempting to answer this question: what have I learned in the past two years personally about Jesus Christ that I always want to remember?
- Look to Christ in every thought, doubt not, fear not. When I am overcome with darkness because I have dwelt on the poor decisions of family members that have led to greater suffering, Christ will pull me out of those sinking waters.
- Christ is serious about honoring my temple covenants and empowering me to do the same to bless my family.
- Because of elective personal hardship which we choose to follow the Spirit in 2011, we have sailed through the 2020 pandemic where everyone else was faced with hardship.
- Strengthening my marriage to Rachel and my family are the most important responsibilities that I have.
Lesson 1: The Home Is the Center of Faith and Worship
My initial response to making home the center of faith and worship has to do with the physical appearance of my home, but President Nelson doesn’t point to the appearance of my home as the key to making it a holy place:
Attitudes and actions that invite the Spirit will increase the holiness of your home.
Now, I am just sitting with this thought for a moment. How can I change my attitude towards the members of my family enough to invite the Spirit into my home? What actions would encourage the Spirit to be in my home?
Lesson 2: We Need Each Other
The problem with the pandemic is that I enjoyed the excuse that it gave me to be more focused on myself and my family. I am sitting with myself asking if this is wrong? Balance is the answer, and it has never been requisite to run faster than we should.
No one needs to feel alone. “If you know of anyone who is alone, reach out—even if you feel alone too! You do not need to have a reason or a message or business to transact. Just say hello and show your love.”
Personal Lessons Learned from the Pandemic
- (See list from above.)
- The power of temple covenants exists outside the temple.
- God’s work never stops. The pandemic taught us ways to be more efficient in doing his work. We learned how to use technology to hold meetings and be more effective.
- Response from pandemic has been what has defined us as a people.
- Disease doesn’t scare us as a family.
- We chose to home school before before everyone was compelled to homeschool.
- Our oddities have become the norm: work from home, online education, home school.