Like many of you, I attended the Saturday night Relief Society broadcast at my stake center and came away feeling spiritually rejuvenated and replenished. I listened with interest to Sister Beck’s talk about the history, purpose, and vision of Relief Society (can’t wait to read the new book!), Sister Allred’s thoughts on charity (note to self: pray for this attribute more), and Sister Thompson’s discourse on cleaving to covenants (I love that word “cleave,” by the way—and yes, I want to be a remembered as a woman who cleaved to her covenants). I felt the bond of sisterhood as I stood and sang the rest hymn with the other sisters in my stake and the sisters in the Conference Center; we were a lyrical chorus of all-female voices, raised in song and worship together. I felt grateful and glad to be there.
And then Sis Beck announced that President Uchtdorf would be speaking and I felt like I’d just won a golden ticket. =) Yes, the rest of the meeting had been great but oh, how I love President Uchtdorf. Now, I love listening to Pres. Monson and I feel his prophetic mantle every time he speaks, and I think there are few people on this planet as articulate and gracious and well-spoken as Pres. Eyring. But Pres. Uchtdorf, well, he’s my secret favorite General Authority (and I suspect many women in the Church feel the same) and I always LOVE his talks. His messages are unfailingly astute and timely, and he delivers them in such a personable, kind, and loving way, with that dash of wit and those unforgettable analogies, that it’s impossible not to feel a zing of joy every time he delivers a sermon. And, as one of my Segullah friends so aptly put it on Sunday night, “Wow, does that man understand women, or what!?”
Yes he does, and his talk Saturday night was just what I needed; I’ve been pondering over it ever since. So today I thought we could discuss what we loved about President Uchtdorf’s talk and how it relates to us individually. Each of the five points he covered could be a sermon in itself, and each of them gave me so much to think about that it’s going to take me a while to internalize the whole talk, but here are my initial thoughts on the five “forget nots” (and will you ever be able to look at a forget-me-not again and not think of President Uchtdorf’s talk?):
1. Forget not to be patient with yourself. As someone who often feels discouraged by her weaknesses and who tends to compare herself to other more successful, accomplished, talented, organized, intuitive, loving, and patient LDS women, wives, and mothers (I’m sure you don’t have this problem, however), I really needed to be reminded that turning my weaknesses into strengths is a long-term goal, and that I need to extend the compassion I often give others to myself.
2. Forget not that some sacrifices are better than others. Oh wow. If I had a penny for every time I stayed up all night, cross-stitching the RS lesson’s theme onto pot holders…..okay, I’ve never done that, but I have spent a lot of time (and even stayed up all night on occasion) on relatively unimportant projects, tasks, assignments, and even hobbies while neglecting the better part—my physical health, my spiritual and emotional wellbeing, my family. Figuring out what’s really important and the difference between good, better, and best is an ongoing challenge for me, so I needed this timely reminder.
3. Forget not to be happy now. Especially pertinent to me! Finding peace and contentment during times of stress and trouble has never been my strong suit; I tend to just endure or mope through the present (especially when the present is hard) as I wait for some elusive future joy. But lately I’ve been trying to savor the everyday beauty and sweetness that surrounds me now. President Uchtdorf’s talk reinforced those attempts and motivated me to continue.
4. Forget not the why of the gospel. I loved this. How often do I focus on the what and how instead of the why? About 90% of the time, I’m guessing. But, oh, how I want to live the gospel motivated by the why. And I want to help my children internalize the profound truth that living the gospel gives us purpose and joy. Much easier to teach if I focus on the whys.
5. Forget not that the Lord loves you. Such a simple truth, but one I need reminding of often. I stand with the young women in our ward every Sunday and say, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him”—and yet sometimes—especially when I’m slogging through a trial—I fail to recognize the miracle and reality of this truth in my own life. So let this fact sink deep into our bones, into our souls: God loves us. He loves me. He loves you. He loves each of us with a perfect, infinite, abiding love. He won’t ever overlook us or forsake us.
And that’s something I never want to forget.
And now it’s your turn. What did you enjoy about the RS broadcast? Which talks resonated with you? What did you love about Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk? How does the counsel he gave apply to your life?