General Conference is less than 2 weeks away (and if you count the General Women’s Broadcast, less than 1 week away)! And guess what? I completed my goal of reading all the General Conference talks prior to the next one. Hooray! I’m so glad I was able to do that, and of course the very last one I read was President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk given at the General Women’s Broadcast. It was exactly what I needed to read, on this day, and actually every day. Here is part of what he said:
“My dear sisters in the gospel, whether you are 8 or 108, there is one thing that I hope you truly understand and know:
You are loved.
You are dear to your heavenly parents.
The infinite and eternal Creator of light and life knows you! He is mindful of you.
Yes, God loves you this very day and always.
He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed — even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you.
And God knows of your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them. He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens — even when you are struggling with your own.
He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly — He knows you as you really are. And He loves you–today and always!
Do you suppose it matters to our Heavenly Father whether your makeup, clothes, hair, and nails are perfect? Do you think your value to Him changes based on how many followers you have on Instagram or Pinterest? Do you think He wants you to worry or get depressed if some un-friend or un-follow you on Facebook or Twitter? Do you think outward attractiveness, your dress size, or popularity make the slightest difference in your worth to the One who created the universe?
He loves you not only for who you are this very day but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become.
More than you could ever imagine, He wants you to achieve your destiny — to return to your heavenly home in honor.
I testify that the way to accomplish this is to place selfish desires and unworthy ambitions on the alter of sacrifice and service. Sisters, trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ; keep His laws and commandments. In other words — live the gospel joyful.”
I’ve been watching every session of General Conference consistently each April and October for about 28 years now (since I was 12!), and I continue to be amazed at how many of the talks given address something that I’m very personally concerned about right at that moment! So, yes…I’m really excited that it is that time of year again!
But one thing that I really noticed as I re-read the talks given over the past few months is how much they helped me when I was feeling anxious or upset. I do tend to struggle with emotional highs and lows, and I have relied a lot over the years on prayer to help me when I feel bad. But recently as I was prayingm I felt like I should also read my scriptures and the talks from General Conference. So, I’ve been doing this a lot more, and even when what I’m reading has nothing to do with what I’m bothered about, I immediately feel peaceful and more centered. And often, I find that what I’m reading actually is relevant to my concern!
If you are not familiar with my church’s General Conference, feel free to visit this page and read or watch any talks that have been given! And anyone can watch the upcoming Conference on April 4-5, 2015. It will be broadcast on-line, but my favorite way is to watch it on the BYU Channel on TV! If you take the time to watch even a little bit, I am confident that you will be glad that you did.
If you have a favorite quote or experience from General Conference, please share in the comments below!