This weekend we had Stake Conference for our church. This entails approximately 10 wards which makes up a stake. We have an adult session on Saturday evening and everyone on Sunday morning. There are also leadership meetings on Saturday. We have these meetings every 6 months. I always come away from them feeling rejuvenated.
This weekend was no different. We had presiding at our Stake Conference Elder Kevin Pearson a General Authority Seventy from our SLC. It isn't often that we have leadership come from SLC to these meetings. He gave an amazing talk last night and asked us to think about some pretty important questions. Here are the main points of his talk:
1. We can call upon the Lord in the name of the Son. Pray more often. Do you still believe the Lord will answer your prayers? When you pray can you see and feel him?
2. How often do you plead to have the spirit of the Holy Ghost with you. When was the last time you plead with Heavenly Father to send the Holy Ghost to be with you? The Holy Ghost can give you great comfort. The language of the spirit isn't a spoken language. Our native language is a spiritual language.
3. (There was a song sung called) Savior Redeemer of my soul. He truly is that! When we pass away, we are going to be stunned to know how intimately Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were involved in our lives and were aware of us. God will never leave us comfortless.
4. Be of good cheer.
5. Now is not the time to give in, give up or give out. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead.
After the meeting I was talking to some sweet sisters in my ward. When our conversation was over I thought about going up to shake Elder Pearson hand. But I really don't like doing those things. So I walked out to my car. I got half way there before turning around and going back in. I did this twice before I finally went back into the chapel, where my Stake President motioned for me to come to the front. He told me he wanted to introduce me to Elder Pearson. He asked me my story and with tears I told him that I had cancer. We had a conversation about faith, prayer and enduring. He took me by the shoulders, looked in my eyes and said, "Keep fighting. Don't you give up. And don't you quit." He then gave me a hug and kissed the top of my head. I thought this was pretty neat and a spiritual experience. He also asked me what I learned from the meeting. It was that I needed to attend the temple more often. The funny thing was the meeting wasn't even on that topic, but just the personal revelation that I received.
This morning as I was on the stand to sing with the choir and before the meeting, Elder Pearson came and gave me a hug and kissed me on the forehead. After 4 speakers and a song, the Stake President got up and said before the concluding speaker, Elder Pearson, we would ask Sister Terah Young and the new Patriarch to bear their testimonies.
It was interesting that as I was sitting in the meeting that I was thinking of my testimony. It was an incredible experience to share what I know with the congregation. I told them about my cancer and how when I was in the hospital my mom asked me if I wanted anything from home. I asked her to bring a picture of the Savior, which she did. Often I'd look at the picture and think to myself that no one could possibly know what I was going through. But as I looked at the Savior it was as if He was looking back at me telling me that He knew exactly what I was going through. I testify that the Atonement if more than just for sin, but that the Savior also bore our heartaches, our disappointments, our emotional and physical pains.
I testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet. That at the age of 14 he went into a grove of tree's in Palmyra, NY in 1820 to pray to know which church to join. I testify that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him telling him to join none of them. In time they taught him of the church which replicated the same church when Jesus Christ was on the earth and he brought this forth in our time.
I testify that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I don't know how He hears so many prayers but I testify that He does. It is quite possible that He has different ears than we do. I told them about Aidree's prayer last week and how it touched my heart in knowing that He hears the prayers of all of his children.
I testify that the Book Of Mormon is Another Testimate of Jesus Christ. I know that as we read from it's pages daily we will come closer to Christ. After returning home from 15 days in the hospital, I opened my Book Of Mormon to where I had left off. It was Mormon chapter 9. In this chapter it talks about prayer, miracles and faith. I remember weeping knowing that Heavenly Father was aware of me and my situation and had answered my prayers through His words.
I testify that we have a Prophet President Monson. That he leads this church under the direction of our Heavenly Father.
I testify that family's can be together for eternity. And I testify of the power of the Priesthood.
Elder Pearson then spoke about faith during adversity. In his talk he said, "I know one person in this congregation who puts her faith in the Savior even among adversity; (he turned to me and said) our sweet Terah." It was pretty special that he saw my faith in my Savior in only just meeting me.
Most of his talk was taken from a talk he gave in 2009 General Conference entitled, Faith In The Lord Jesus Christ. You can read it HERE. It was amazing.
Here are some favorite quotes from his talk:
~Faith comes in many forms, levels and degrees.
~It takes a greater amount of faith to succeed in adversity.
~When we learn to trust in God it is as if we are focusing and accessing great power from Heaven.
~When we pray with real intent we can come to know God.
~Adversity is the trail of our faith and trust. Those who survive adversity put their trust in Heavenly Father.
~Press forward saints with steadfast faith in Christ and trust in the promised of our Heavenly Father.
After the meeting He talked with me two other times. He told me that it was his idea to have me speak. He also told me that he wanted to keep in touch with me and gave me his email.
My stake president told me that my talk couldn't have been better if I'd had the chance to prepare it ahead of time.
I now have the energy to keep doing what I need to do to overcome this illness. Yes it is hard at times, but I know I can accomplish what I have been sent to this earth to do. I've been sent to be tested, and that is just what is happening. It is my goal to pass that test.