Today was a good day. Not only was it conference and there were many great talks that were applicable, but I also started my inventory version 3.
Doing an inventory is a tough thing for a variety of reasons:
- It’s hard to think about the past without feeling shame.
- It takes quite a bit of time to “finish”.
- I wish there was a “right” way to map it out.
But I’m trying and I’m willing – so I guess that’s a start.
One thing I’m doing this time that’s different is looking back at journal entries. It’s interesting because I can see a direct correlation with my study and journal writing and with my recovery or lack thereof.
Here are a couple talks I liked today from General Conference:
Elder Jorg Klebingat talk
6 Practical Suggestions to Improve Spiritually
- Take responsibility for your my spiritual well being. Stop blaming others or your circumstances for why I’m not being fully obedient. The Lord knows my circumstances fully and He’s willing to help me.
- Take responsibility for my own physical well being. Regard your body as a temple of my own; I should take good care of it. My body becomes an instrument of my mind. Begin a regular long-term exercise program and watch my diet.
- Embrace voluntary whole-hearted obedience as part of my life. Keep the commandments. Avoid selective obedience. “You can’t watch a bad movie and feel virtuous because you didn’t watch a worse one. Do the right things for the right reasons – when you go to Church, BE THERE. Casualness in spiritual matters never was happiness. Make the church and the restored gospel my whole life instead of just part of my social agenda.
- Become really, really good at repenting thoroughly and quickly. Embrace the Atonement daily. Establish an attitude of on-going happy repentance and don’t expect the world to cheer me on. Repent of sins in real time.
- Become really, really good at forgiving. Forgiving everyone. Don’t hold grudges, forgive and forget quickly. Don’t bear ill feelings to another.
- Accept trials, set backs and surprises as part of your mortal experience. We are all tested. Some trials come through my own disobedience – others come due to the mistakes of others. Take on trials as an opportunity to prove myself and gain the trust of Heavenly Father. Acknowledge and face your weaknesses but don’t be immobilized by them.
I can find out if I’m pleasing God.
I can feel the grace and mercy of my Savior as I apply His Atonement daily.
President Uchtdorf’s talk
The discovery of galaxies has been due to the tools and resources we have now that we didn’t have over the last 100 years. We didn’t even believe that there were additional galaxies.
Imagine telling people 100 years ago about the modern technologies that we have today. Would they believe it?
Some might; most would ridicule or seek to silence or harm us; some might attempt to prove us wrong and say we are foolish or even dangerous, trying to mislead others. They may be well-meaning and sincere, but wouldn’t be able to see clearly because they hadn’t seen the full light or truth.
Is it possible to find new truth?
God himself, the Lord of Hosts, who knows all truth, has given His children the promise that they can know all truth for themselves. They must approach with a sincere heart, with real intent.
Some will scoff and say such a thing is impossible. God does care about me. He will listen; he will answer your personal questions. Answers will come in His own way and in His own time.
The Savior is the way back to Him.
How can we know truth?
- Search the word of God: read and study the words of ancient and modern prophets. Not with an intent to doubt or criticize, but with an intent to discover truth.
- Consider, ponder, and strive to believe.
- Ask Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ to manifest the truth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints unto you. Ask with a sincere heart, with real intent.
- Do God’s will, and you’ll know of the doctrine – whether it be of God or of man.
God promises that He will manifest the truth to you by the power of the Holy Ghost. You’ll be able to see things you’ve never seen before, just like astronomers are seeing now in different galaxies.
If you want to recognize spiritual truth, you have to use the right instruments. That which is of God is light. The more we look toward God, the more Heavenly light will distill upon our souls. We show God we’re ready to receive more light. Dark things become more clear.
If I remove myself from the Gospel, that light will dim gradually until I question why I even believed.
The message of the Gospel is foolishness unto those who are perishing. (see Paul’s letter to the Corinthians)
The Church is a home for all to come together. It’s not for perfect people; but a place to help one another and pursue our individual search for divine truth.
Don’t condemn others for the amount of light they do or don’t have.
Gaining a testimony takes time – it’s the quest of a lifetime. If I do my part, my testimony will strengthen and spiritual truth will fill my heart.
I’m looking forward to studying the conference talks in my process of working on recovery.
I know that the words of the prophets come directly from God.
I know that He wants what’s best for me.
I know that I’ve made terrible mistakes, but I know that He loves me and wants me to come back.
I’m grateful for the hope I feel today.
I’m grateful for Becky – that she’s still with me.
I’m grateful for my children and how much I love them.
I’m grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it provides a straight path back to God.