This past weekend I have been very grateful to watch on TV the proceedings of the 183rd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There have been many wonderful messages shared by living Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. These messages are available now to watch or listen to and will soon be available in written form. I invite you to check them out for yourself.
Sunday morning, the Lord's living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, presented his main address to the church and to the world with his usual love and humor. His main message was that life is simpler if we always obey. He illustrated his thoughts with a personal experience from his own childhood when he did not obey, and started a fire that could have had devistating consequences if not for the efforts of many adults who valiantly fought that fire. Obedience brings knowledge, happiness, peace, progress, prosperity and eternal salvation. Other speakers shared similar messages emphasized that obedience to all of the Lord's commandments is essential. We are not entitled to pick and choose which of God's commandments we should obey. Faith in God and personal prayer and study of the scriptures will bring us direction and peace in our lives in this troubled world. Obedience to God's laws brings us blessings and happiness. Sanctity in marriage, families and devotion to our children are of prime importance in enjoying peace and happiness in our lives and in the world as a whole.
I recently attended a workshop where a sensitive topic was being discussed. It was continually emphasized that the workshop was meant to be a place where everyone should feel comfortable, safe, and accepted. The presenter stated that she personally believed that no one was a sinner. I do feel that everyone should be entitled to their own personal beliefs and values. But I believe that God is real. I believe that life has a purpose. Part of this purpose is to learn and grow and be obedient. Obedience to laws and commandments brings blessings, and disobedience brings sorrow and consequences, no matter what the world teaches or believes. I am grateful for prophets and apostles who have accepted the calling and responsiblity to share the messages that God, our loving Heavenly Father wants us all to hear and know today.
This weekend I have taken copious notes of the things that were mentioned and marked specially those things that I feel I need to do or improve on, and I plan to review my notes often. I don't feel shamed or guilty or discouraged by the things that I have heard this weekend. Instead I feel loved, accepted and encouraged. Life can be good, it can be better, and I believe that I can become a better person too.