Category Archives: General Conference

Archives: truth and trivia

At work today, I randomly commented to my friend, Jason, “It’s interesting to note what drops out of your life when your time gets filled with important things.” That seems to be the trend my schedule is taking lately. Not to say my schedule is a paragon of efficiency and order. I just had pudding for dinner. But I have noticed that as my surplus of resources diminishes, things change. And it’s curious to note what gets dropped.

It makes me think of this talk I heard some time:

“When compared to eternal verities, the questions of daily living are really rather trivial. What shall we have for dinner? Is there a good movie playing tonight? Have you seen the television log? Where shall we go on Saturday? These questions pale into insignificance when times of crisis arise, when loved ones are wounded, when pain enters the house of good health, or when life’s candle dims and darkness threatens. Then truth and trivia are soon separated. The soul of man reaches heavenward, seeking a divine response to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after we leave this life? Answers to these questions are not discovered within the covers of academia’s textbooks, by dialing information, in tossing a coin, or through random selection of multiple-choice responses. These questions transcend mortality. They embrace eternity.”

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Archives: religion in general

Our church’s General Conference was this weekend (a semi-annual worldwide broadcast where the leaders have five two-hour sessions of talks, once every Easter weekend, and once in October), and as usual, it’s gotten me thinking a bit.

One thing that keeps coming to mind is that I should blog a bit on religious topics.  I’ve always been extremely hesitant to do so for a variety of reasons.  For one, I hate being preached to when I’m not interested in input, and because of that, I tend to go out of my way not to preach to other people who may not want to hear what I have to say.  Add to that that I’m extremely tolerant of people’s lifestyles, regardless of what my moral compass tells me how I should live.  I’m just open and accepting, but also strictly guard my own personal values, and try not to impose them on others.  Still, I get the distinct impression that I should share some my opinions a bit more, so I’m going to do so, but I’ll tread carefully.

Part of the problem is that I have a hard time in social relationships distinguishing between what should be private and what should be public.  When it comes to spiritual matters, I consider it all succinctly private, and rarely tell anyone anything.  So, it’s going to be a bit hard for me trying to find that middle ground between what I should say and what I shouldn’t.  Even writing this post is a bit of a difficult task — I’m never too sure how much information to reveal.  Living the gospel and it’s effects are, in my opinion, a highly personal affair.

Another thing I worry about is that I certainly do not want to sound like I’m tooting my own horn.  A holier-than-thou attitude annoys me just as I’m sure it does anyone else, and I certainly don’t want to be going off telling people about what I’m doing, as I think it may appear as vanity.  I’m also not one for trying to point out where the world is wrong and needs to change.  I’m a firm believer in progress, but also practicality.  Life changes are gradual, and the only way to gauge how a person is doing is to do a self-examination and honestly ask how you’re doing, and to consult the Lord.

So, that pretty much covers everything I’ll avoid doing — blatant finger-pointing, yelling, criticizing, grandstanding and terrifying the masses … but I still don’t have a clue what I am gonna share.   Probably my opinion in mild form, some small personal examples, and my beliefs.

Yah.  I have no idea what’s gonna happen.  So, we’ll see.  I’ll try not to keep it too over the top or anything.

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Archives: general conference weekend

My church’s general conference (a huge weekend of meetings where all our church leaders are gathered and speak to the entire worldwide congregation) was this weekend, and it was pretty good.  I started off really strong, looking forward to it a lot, but lost some steam as I usually do — it’s hard for me to sit through long meetings.  I guess two hours isn’t that long, but hey,  I find it hard to sit through 7 minute cartoons.

Two (of the five) sessions were really memorable for me.  The first one, when President Monson got up and spoke, he mentioned that there were going to be five new temples built.  One of them was in Cordoba, in Argentina.  I was so excited when I heard that.  I served my mission in Argentina (99-01), in Patagonia (Neuquen mission), and while Cordoba isn’t that close to us, it’s really awesome to learn that the country is going to get it’s second temple, after the one in Buenos Aires.  I’d love to fly down there for the dedication.

It got me thinking about my mission, though, and the people I worked with, and how the Lord really looks after even the least of us.  There is so much poverty and sadness in the areas I served, but the saints try hard to live the gospel.

I imagine the temple is going to be one of the smaller ones, and it reminded me of this small city in my first area.  My first city was Esquel in the province of Chubut.  Near us, there was a really tiny town called Trevelin which couldn’t have had more than a couple thousand people.  I remember walking down this long stretch of barren road, where buildings were dotted across the landscape, sometimes half a mile apart or so, and out in the middle of nowhere, was a little LDS chapel.  The Church only had a small branch in Trevelin, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smaller, prouder little building that they had.  Generally speaking, the Church doesn’t build a building unless the membership is either strong or large, and they are paying their tithes, so it really stood as a monument in mind to the faith of these very few members in that little town.  I really wish I had a picture of it, I remember it so vividly.

I do have a picture of us going to the falls there once, which the city was actually famous for.  I don’t have a scanner at home, so it’ll have to wait for now.  I do have a picture of me in my first area, though.  This was actually taken the day I was transferring from Esquel to an even smaller town, 25 de Mayo in La Pampa.

Notice the heavy coat.  It was freaking cold, there.  I remember wearing about five layers of clothes and still feeling like my bones were turned to ice.

Anyway, the rest of conference was good.  I’ve caught about half of every session so far, and I’ll catch up watching the rest during the week.  I did actually make it to the General Priesthood session on Saturday night, which was really good.  In fact, this is the first time in like four years that I actually made it to a church to watch the thing, since something always seems to happen every year, like I’ll get sick, or fall asleep or whatever.  I went with my friend Scott though, and it was great.

There was this one guy who got up, I can’t remember his name, that delivered this really powerful direct talk.  It was just awesome.  He talked about how the way to cast out Satan in our lives is the same things that worked to cast him out of Heaven in the premortal life.  Ah, the memory is fading, and the talks aren’t online yet or I’d quote him directly.  I remember there were three things, and one of them was the bearing of testimony.  Ah, I’m blanking.  Ah well, the archives will eventually be here.

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