"Stay in the Boat and Hold On" - Conference Address given by Elder Russell M Ballard
Most of us experience periods in our lives where the tranquil waters of life are appreciated. At other times, we encounter white-water rapids that are metaphorically comparable to those found in the 14-mile stretch through Cataract Canyon—challenges that may include physical and mental health issues, the death of a loved one, dashed dreams and hopes, and—for some—even a crisis of faith when faced with life’s problems, questions, and doubts. (Make sure to read the article that tells the story of the raft trip through the Cataract Canyon)
President Young reminded the Saints: “We are on the old ship Zion. … [God] is at the helm and will stay there. … All is right, sing Hallelujah, for the Lord is here. He dictates, guides and directs. If the people will have implicit confidence in their God, never forsake their covenants nor their God, He will guide us right."
Invitation to Action:
We need to experience a continuing conversion by increasing our faith in Jesus Christ and our faithfulness to His gospel throughout our lives—not just once but regularly. Alma asked, “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren [and sisters], if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?”
We need to become like the sons of Mosiah, who “waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth.” We can become men and women “of a sound understanding.” This can be accomplished only by our “search[ing] the scriptures diligently, that [we] might know the word of God.”
In searching the scriptures and the words of past and current apostles and prophets, we should focus on studying, living, and loving the doctrine of Christ.
In addition to developing the habit of personal scripture reading, we need to be like the sons of Mosiah and give ourselves “to much prayer, and fasting."
It seems that these things which are not easily measured are of great importance. Stay focused on these simple things, and avoid becoming distracted.
As I have known people who have not stayed in the boat and have not held on with both hands during times of trials and troubles or who have not stayed in the boat during times of relative calm, I have observed that many of them have lost their focus on the central truths of the gospel—the reasons why they joined the Church in the first place; the reasons they remained fully committed and active in living gospel standards and blessing others through dedicated, consecrated service; and the ways in which the Church has been in their lives “a place of spiritual nourishment and growth."
If we keep our focus on the Lord, we are promised a blessing beyond comparison: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”
Read or Listen to the entire lesson here:
General Conference is only a week away! What great privilege it is to be able to hear the inspired words and messages of our prophets and leaders. Are there things you and your family can do to be more prepared to receive the teachings?
Why does preparing for general conference matter? It is a special opportunity we have to learn from living prophets and apostles and to receive personal revelation. What questions and challenges do you need direction and guidance on?
There in an article in this months Ensign giving several suggestions on preparing for conference. You will find ideas for adults, teens, and kids. Read it here:
I have also found several websites that have great ideas on making the most of general conference. Here are a few of them:
This website has great ideas for kids:
1. Make a list of specific questions or issues you’re working on and would like help with.
2. Pray to feel the Spirit and about one or all the things on your list.
3. Learn about the General Authorities’ lives, families, etc.
4. Have a Family Home Evening about General Conference (how to act during, what happens, who speaks, etc.)
5. Read your Patriarchal Blessing if you have it
6. Get plenty of sleep the night before
7. Do all your cleaning and chores before Conference if you can
8. Plan to discuss the talks after you watch Conference. This helps you pay attention because you know you’ll have to have something interesting to say about it later.
9. Plan to listen for which talk to focus on for your Visiting/Home Teaching lesson
10. Plan and shop for meals the day before. Have a Conference food tradition.
11. Plan where and how to watch Conference in advance.
12. Find your journal or whatever you take notes in. Find a pen, too.
Happy Birthday to the Relief Society This Month!
Relief Society Purposes are to: Increase Faith and Personal Righteousness, Strengthen Families and Homes and Seek Out and Help Those in Need.
President Gordon B. Hinckley once said at a National Press Club appearance, “People wonder what we do for our women. I’ll tell you what we do. We get out of their way and look with wonder at what they’re accomplishing.” In the late 1800’s, Relief Society sisters were sending women to medical schools in the eastern U.S., a well as donating money toward their tuition, the Relief Society Magazine reported. These female students were some of the first women in the country to graduate as medical doctors. They returned to Utah to train additional women as nurses. Deseret Hospital was run by the first all-female board of directors in the United States. Dr. W.H. Groves donated money so that Groves LDS Hospital could open its doors. The leaders in the Primary Association became concerned for the medical care of children and created a wing at the hospital called Primary Children’s. The Cottonwood Stake Relief Society established its own maternity hospital. (One was also set up by the Snowflake Arizona Stake Relief Society.) (Deseret News March 2014)
There was a great article printed in the Church News celebrating the Relief Society
and it's purpose.
What are we celebrating? “We are celebrating who we are and what our work is. We are celebrating those who have gone before. And we are celebrating our purpose.”
Sister Burton said understanding the purpose of Relief Society will not only bless the lives of individual women, but it will also help them bless the lives of others “in their homes and families and also in their communities.”
“Think of it. We are beloved daughters of a loving Father in Heaven. We are dedicated disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. And we are part of a great worldwide sisterhood. We are sisters.”
—Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president
There are many sisters who are living in rags—spiritual rags. They are entitled to gorgeous robes, spiritual robes. … It is your privilege to go into homes and exchange robes for rags. —President Spencer W. Kimball (Daughters in My Kingdom, 117)
Although the name may be of modern date, the institution is of ancient origin. We were told by our martyred prophet that the same organization existed in the church anciently. —Eliza R. Snow, Relief Society general president, 1866–87 (Daughters in My Kingdom, 1)
Read the article here: https://www.lds.org/church/news/relief-society-celebrates-birthday-and-more-march-17?lang=eng
Read, study, and learn more about the Relief Society in the "Daughters of Our Kingdom Book." Visit the website for some wonderful quotes and inspiring videos.
If you don't have your own copy, and would like a copy of the book. please see a member of the Relief Society Presidency.
SWEEPING THE EARTH AS IF A FLOOD:
Invite and Share via Social Media
Those of other faiths are welcome to participate in general conference sessions. Members may invite them using the Facebook event or by changing their cover image. Visit lds.org to get your facebook image: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/invite-others?lang=eng
To participate in general conference conversations on Twitter, use #LDSconf, or retweet quotes and images posted at @LDSchurch. See and use the list of speakers’ recommended hashtags to help extend their messages.