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09/24/2005: "An instrument in the hands of God"

The 2005 General Relief Society meeting took place earlier this evening and I was privileged to participate via satellite at a local stake center. There were several things that struck me during the meeting and I want to highlight those ideas.

~~First is the theme, an instrument in the hands of God. The 2003 theme "One thing is needful, choose that good part" and 2004 theme "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" both spoke to where I was feeling myself at the time, and the same is true of this theme. I have been desirous to grow and learn and serve those around me, and the messages about service, charity and revelation along with the encouragement from our leaders were just what I needed to hear.

~~The opening number by the choir "Now Let Us Rejoice" had me smiling... truly we can and do rejoice in the Lord, His blessings, His work.

~~I hope the video presentation will be made available for home use, somehow.

~~Joseph Smith's words that if the sisters would live up to their principles and privileges that angels cannot be restrained from being their associates. I know I have had the power and comfort of angels bless me in my life, in so many ways... But I do not claim to have them as my associates, and therein lies the difference, to me. I hope that as I improve my life, my service that I will recognize them more and more.

~~Loved the quote from his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, about cherishing & watching over each other as sisters. This is what sisterhood is all about.

~~Sister Bonnie D. Parkin (and later President Faust) emphasized that each of us is better than we think we are. I was trying to explain to Duncan later how a person could be his/her own worst critic and not fully apply the atonement to him/herself and he didn't understand why anyone would feel that way just yet. I'm grateful that my perfectionism hasn't tainted his own appreciation of the universal atonement. The faith of a child can be so pure and strengthening.

~~Sister Parkin spoke of how mothers are instruments in God's hands, and how our own little ones need our kind and loving hands. If we put them first, we will be guided to know what we must do. This struck me particularly as we are tweaking routines here to accomodate the needs of the baby and homeschool and housework and dating and Richard's employment and friends and callings.... Such personal revelation is highly prized in this time of changes.

~~Find joy in the journey and let our attitudes show it =)

~~Sister Kathleen H. Hughes' words on forgiving ourselves as well as others were very powerful. The natural woman gets in the way of our charity, cutting off our conduit to Heavenly Father and leaving us without the holiness we seek.

~~Sister Anne C. Pingree's testimony that we can know what the Lord wants us to do. I know I had the same feelings she described in anticipating her patriarchal blessing--what would the Lord have me do? Thankfully, I haven't tucked my blessing away somewhere, rather I read it regularly and carry a copy in my scriptures.

~~Overwhelming fear melting in the face of temple covenants.
"This was my mission and I determined to serve"

~~Becoming instruments in God's hands, let us boldly go forward.

~~President James E. Faust urged us to take challenges one day at a time and to look at life through the lens of eternity. What a difference this makes, and when applied consistently, it creates a new and lasting outlook on life.

~~Pres. Faust said he was hesistant to mention this subject but felt he must. He then spoke of how too much energy is spent on things that are past, people or things that have hurt us in the past, that we hold on to them for too long. Healing comes with hope in a higher power and when we look for that peace from God then we tap into a source of everlasting comfort.

~~We all need friends. I know this is simple, but the powerful illustration of a visiting teacher opening the door to another's heart touched me.

~~His closing quote from Sister Hinckley, wonderful. We need each other.

~~Closing hymn, "How Firm A Foundation" I loved singing along with so many sisters, I could hear you all the way from Omaha, Jaime! =D

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