This past weekend we have enjoyed two sessions of one of the best Stake Conferences I have ever attended. There are seven wards or congregations of approximately 300 people of our church here in our neighborhood, and we meet together in a Stake Conference twice each year.
This past weekend we were spiritually fed. We were taught. A new Stake Presidency was called and sustained. Personal examples of faith were presented to us. Neighbors and stake leaders shared their testimonies, and many shared their personal experiences in finding the truth of the gospel, being taught and fellowshipped, and being able to receive their temple blessings and make their temple covenants.
We were personally taught by general authorities who are called and directed by living prophets, and the congregation listened intently. I don’t ever remember being in such a large congregation or audience where the attention was so rapt and the spirit so peaceful. We were gently admonished as to what we need to do better. One thing that I learned with clarity is that I need to become a better friend. A true friend is someone who has eaten at your table. I have been very negligent in this area for many years. My children, parents, in-laws, siblings and some of their families, the missionaries, and a few of my children’s friends have all eaten at my table over the years, but it has been many years since I have invited neighbors or other friends to eat with us. I need to repent. I need to be a better friend.
We were reassured and comforted. We have received promises. Everything will be all right. Everything will work out ok. The storms are coming. We have seen the breezes, but the storms are coming. But everything will be ok. We all worry about family members and loved ones. We were reminded and promised that those who have been sealed to us in the Temple of the Lord will be returned to us. Everything will work out ok. The music was wonderful. The spirit was strong. Feelings of peace and comfort and love abounded.
After it was all over I just wanted to stay and soak it all in. It was wonderful. It was awesome. But, life goes on, and we can’t just sit and keep on feasting. Eventually we need to get up from the table and get back to real life and back to work. Hopefully we can carry the peace and the hope and the wonderful strength that we received with us, at least a little bit. Hopefully it will still be with us when the challenges and difficulties arise, as we know they will. And hopefully we can each do a little bit better and be a little bit better every day than we were the day before.