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Forget Not

By Melissa McQuarrie

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?

About Melissa McQuarrie

(Advisory Board) grew up in Australia and California and now lives in Provo, Utah with her husband, four children, and their dog, Daisy. She served a mission in Peru and has a BA and MA in English from BYU. She loves reading, writing, and quiet afternoons. She does not love grocery shopping. Now that two of her children attend BYU and her youngest children are in high school and junior high, she is trying to adjust to this "emptying nest" stage and still wondering how it snuck up on her so fast.

30 thoughts on “Forget Not”

  1. I wish I could remember the exact quote, but I loved when Julie Beck was talking about visiting teaching and how she said when Christ comes again He will want to see us serving as He served. Not for stats, but from love.

  2. I absolutely loved the analogy that President Uchdorf gave about how the forget-me-nots sometimes go unnoticed in the wealth of flashy blooms surrounding it. It reminded me of a story I first heard in seminary, how we seem so proud of our contributions to the Lord, when we often hand him a carefully picked dandelion, not a spray of orchids. I was reminded that as long as I do my best to live as He would want every day, and to try to hear the soul of a person instead of their words, the Lord is more than pleased with my half dead, mashed bunch of dandelions I hand Him at the end of the day. It is so comforting to know that I am not expected to stand out among the crowd of beautiful women and girls around me. It is enough that I play my part, to brighten things from the background.

    Being single with no prospects at a school where there are extremely high marriage rates, it is easy to be too firm with myself, and to be harsher with my own failings and works in progress than I ever would consider being with another person. I really needed to be reminded that I can learn the qualities of service and charity just as well as a single woman as I ever could being attached.

    For the first time in a while, as I sat and watched the broadcast, I felt like I mattered, in the day to day as well as the eternal. I don't know that it was so much a single message or sentence, but the immense love of each of the speakers bleeding through their words and voices. It is hard to be a woman of God these days, and it was truly a tender mercy to me that I heard the messages presented when I did.

  3. I cannot remember a talk that moved me more in my lifetime that Pres. Uchfdorf's talk. I don't remember anytime that women have been encouraged to show compassion for themselves, and this is so desperately needed by so many. I don't cry easily, but when he spoke so earnestly about how much the Lord loves us, I wept.

  4. It's going to be a session that I reread and rewatch and rehear over and over again. President Uchdorf's talk was stunning – I sat, mouth agape, eyes welling with tears – listening to his words. It made me realise that there must be so many women throughout the world needing to hear that they are loved.. It makes me want to tell the sisters I love that I love them, and that God loves them too.

  5. I love the extension of the talk that Twitchy College Girl gave. "It is enough that I play my part, to brighten things from the background." Thank you for that.

    I always love to hear Pres. Uchtdorf speak. He does understand women, so very well, and I'm pretty sure that's because the Lord understands us, and loves us. : )

  6. I know you are looking for a discussion, but all I can really say is "amen." I feel exactly how you feel. I almost gave out a little scream when she announced that Pres. U. would be the speaker. I LOVED this talk and I drove home on a cloud. It was so inspiring, so inspired, and every one of those 5 points was absolutely necessary for me to hear.

  7. If ever a talk was inspired….from beginning to end.

    If I had to pick a favorite message, it would be not to forget the joy of the candy bar just because it doesn't have the golden ticket in it this time. I feel like so much of the time, we don't appreciate the current life we have now, the trials of raising children get to us, and we forget to treasure that which we have.

    I bet we'll be talking about golden tickets, and forget me not's for a long time now.

  8. Lets not forget the prophet had to have been inspired to assign Elder Uchtdorf to speak this time.

    This talk absolutely will be one of the "classics", along with President Benson's "Beware of Pride" and Jeffrey Holland's "Of Souls, Symbols and Sacraments".

    My favorite speaker among the 12 and 1st Presidency? Elder Holland

  9. It actually made me think of how much Satan is trying so hard to bring us down on ourselves and our Heavenly Father has given us a Prophet and Apostles try to reverse all that Satan does by making us think we are not good enough, to spend time on non-eternal things, we shouldn't be happy now, to forget why we choose to follow Christ, and that we are not loved by the most perfect Father who created everything! I wanted to shout for joy after hearing his talk .. "Take THAT Satan!!"

  10. I just listened to Sis. Allred's talk on charity again and remembered these gems that I loved when I first heard them as well. She quoted Joseph Smith as saying, "Don’t be limited in your views with regards to your neighbors’ virtues."

    And President Monson who said, "Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.”

    It's easy to feel justified in being disappointed in someone who has let us down. It's also easy to categorize people in an effort to understand them. Neither of these behaviors are very charitable. Looks like I've got some work to do : ).

  11. I thought a lot of President Beck's talk was familiar after reading _Daughters in My Kingdom_ and I liked that she highlighted some of my favorite parts of the book. I liked the way she talked about Martha and how DiMK addresses her.

    She also said that having RS organized under the direction of the Priesthood means it can get direction from both the Lord and the Prophet.

    I appreciated that she brought up wards and branches adapting to local conditions; it seems there has been greater emphasis on that recently. But I did feel a twinge of regret that some of us can't be part of the official organization of RS because we don't live in wards and branches.

    I like how President Beck has talked about visiting teaching during her presidency. I can get behind her style of visiting teaching.

  12. Thank you, all, for your comments—they've inspired me.

    Twitchy College Girl, I loved the analogy you used about the dandelion. I especially loved this: "As I do my best to live as He would want every day, and to try to hear the soul of a person instead of their words, the Lord is more than pleased with my half dead, mashed bunch of dandelions I hand Him at the end of the day." Yes! And, like you, I felt the speakers' love through their words, emphasizing that we are all women of God, important and contributing regardless of our varying individual circumstances. You expressed this feeling of belonging well: "For the first time in a while, as I sat and watched the broadcast, I felt like I mattered, in the day to day as well as the eternal."

    Charity Jeffs, thank you for the reminder on the thoughts on charity expressed in the RS meeting—yes, much to think about. And Sharon and Amira, I liked the emphasis on living the higher law of visiting teaching, as well.

    And Amira, I just received my copy of Daughters in My Kingdom on Sunday. I love what I've read so far. I wish you had a ward or branch of RS sisters to associate with—I imagine that must feel very lonely at times. I'm so glad that you're part of our Segullah community.

    And obviously I'm not alone in my President Uchtdorf fan club (Jennie, you made me laugh), but, like Sharon, I also love Elder Holland's talks—and so many others. I'm definitely looking forward to Conference this weekend!

  13. The next day I was giving a primary lesson on Christ's admonition to "Feed My Sheep" so I especially appreciated the connection between visiting teaching and charity, the pure love of Christ. Per my request, my visiting teachers serve me by helping me with my temple work and nothing could make me feel more nurtured and loved. I don't need cookies, I need help serving the thousands of sweet ancestors who are yearning to progress on the other side of the veil.

    When it was announced that President Uchtdorf was going to speak, I thought, "Heavenly Father truly loves his daughters." It just felt like a warm hug. I discussed his talk with my daughter because she was just made YW President and so is beginning to learn those lessons that many of us are still learning about balance.

    I'm also studying Milton's "Paradise Lost" this semester and had just read these lines spoken by Satan, "Which way I flie is Hell;my self am Hell; And in the lowest deep a lower deep Still threatning to devour me opens wide, To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n." Those lines remind me that I am often my own worst enemy and create my own hell. I felt like President Uchtdorf was addressing five of the ways that I create my own hell. All five of his "forget-me-nots' have been oft repeated in priesthood blessings I've received over the years, so I absolutely have a testimony that it is divine and loving counsel.

  14. Kathryn P., thank you for your comment. You are right that we often create our own hell, or misery, by ignoring the five principles President Uchtdorf spoke about.

    Course Correction, lol, I see your point. I guess I don't see this as a gender issue, though. In my mind, President Uchtdorf is not only an apostle but a particularly gifted speaker. Put him on the program with just about any group of speakers–male or female–and I'm guessing his talk would be a favorite (his talks are always among my favorites in every General Conference). So in any speaking setting, he'd be hard to beat.

  15. Really! When I said "I look forward to the General RS meeting" I was thought "Oh right, what man looks forward to the Gen RS Meeting?!"

    But during his talk I started to realize that he must really look forward to it! I really enjoyed his talk. I couldn't write fast enough and wondered which one of my sisters was missing it and needed a transcript the next day.

  16. As soon as Elder Uchtdorf finished his incredible address, I turned with a smile to my friend next to me, and said, "Of all of the apostles, Elder Uchtdorf strikes me as one who truly understands the principle of joy and enjoyment." She emphatically nodded her head in agreement.

    Like the entry that was on this site the other day, I also believe that experiencing joy is something that God intends for us. Just as He told Adam and Eve to enjoy the garden and their posterity, He sincerely wants us to enjoy our own blessings that He showers down on us as well–and what greater blessing could we ever receive that the Gospel? I appreciate that Elder Uchtdorf radiates that joy to everyone around him, and is not afraid to allow that light to shine with brilliance. It reminds me so much of the Savior's admonition in Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven."

  17. Melissa – what a wonderful post. And so timely! I too felt like I'd won the golden ticket when President Uchtdorf was announced as the last speaker. He is simply masterful. Every time. I turned to several women in my ward afterwards and said the same thing, "He understands a woman's heart." To be able to speak as he does, with such sensitivity to women, he must have surrounded himself with wonderful women. And then paid attention! I was most touched by his thoughts on sacrifices – that some are better than others. And finding joy in the ordinary, small beauties. Something I have been trying to work on.

  18. maybe it's the mantle of his calling, but I must say that every single talk President Uchtdorf has given since he became 2nd counselor has been a complete grand slam out of the park for me. YMMV. And I DON'T think it's just because he's a pilot 😉 (for the uninitiated, I'm a flight attendant) (BTW: didn't you love the reference to the blue flower, color of the sky? Made me laugh.)

    I so needed to hear that talk, those messages, delivered in that manner. I just love this gospel! ♥

  19. I agree with all the comments made and can't really add anything else that's meaningful. Wonderful and insightful talk!!

    Did anyone else notice the color of Pres. U's tie? Forget-me-not blue! Can I say it looked so handsome with his silver hair?…am I allowed? 🙂

  20. I missed the conference, but am looking forward to watching it soon. We are so blessed to have such inspired and inspiring leaders! (Love Uchdorf and Holland-Of Souls, Symbols and Sacraments helped me immensely whe I heard it in person and reread).

    I wanted to share a few things I've learned from an unusual experience. I didn't go to conference because I was helping a woman I met living in a tent (homeless for 2 years) meet with a homeowner who was willing to rent her a studio apartment on my promise of her ability to moe forward and the church's commitment to support her. After meeting her and speaking for a long time, he agreed to let her live in his rental. The ward is helping her find things to furnish it. It has been about three months since I've started helping her, I've bought her food, helped her look for a job, bought her shoes and clothes.

    Interacting with someone in her state has taught me so many things. I won't list them all here.

    One thing I've learned is to not feel guilty about enjoying my blessings. I've been given much and much is expected of me. But I've come to see somehow how much the Lord loves this single, smoking, tatooed woman who was taught the truths of the gospel in her youth, but mocks many things. And knowing that He loves her, let's me know he loves me and makes me want to treasure each blessin to the best of my ability. The brother of the prodigal son. The daughter who almost always made the right choice. And those years of not knowing who I was, feeling overwhelmed and lost in marriage and health problems are past, are part of the journey and no longer weigh down my days.

    And I learned this by seeing how extreme pride could bring someone to live without care, without honesty. There's so much I don't know, but I am grateful for the lessons I've learned as I've given so much time to help this woman who will or can barely help herself.

    Sorry for sending this out there. Writing about it helps me clarify (might be better if it weren't on my phone).

    I guess my point is that when we do exercise charity mysteries are made clear and lessons are learned. And I'm grateful for the 1000s of talks I've heard teaching me to open my heart and serve those in need. I'm not saying everyone should help a homeless person-many are crazy (Elizabeth Smart's experence), but I was placed in a position where I was the only person who could help her. So I did. Ok. Shutting up.

  21. Anonymous: while we were being taught in Women's Conference how and why to live as Christ taught us, and subsequently to become like Him you were actually doing it as He did.

  22. I was unable to attend the RS meeting but I recorded it to watch later. Then when I went to church on Sunday a lot of women in my ward were discussing the talks especially President Uctdorf's talk. Then on Monday morning the friend I walk with told me about it in more detail. At last I found time to watch it yesterday afternoon. The talk was more wonderful than I thought. I think that President Uctdorf has the ability to relate to many people on a personal level and then lift them up to be better. I love how he delivers his talks to reach out to everyone.

    I can relate to feeling very much like a Forget Me Not. I often feel overlooked and forgotten. I've been feeling that way so much more lately. I feel like I have very few close friends and people rarely think that I have any useful talents. But President Uctdorf's talk has helped me try to change that feeling. I know it's up to me to be the best that I can with what I have. The Lord expects nothing less. I think I'll try to plant some Forget Me Nots next spring to help me remember.

    Anonymous: You did exactly what the Savior would have us do. I'm sure this sister appreciates your help. "If you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it unto me."

  23. I was in the conference center and there was an audible titter when President Uchtdorf was announced as the final speaker. I'd venture to say that he is the rock star of the general authority world. And his talk was awesome.

  24. What a lovely post! And what a lovely talk–President Uchtdorf is my not-so-secret favorite General Authority. I adore that man. Thank you, Mom!

  25. Just popping in to say that I appreciate your comments, everyone.

    Catherine A., I agree wholeheartedly with your observation that "to be able to speak as he does, with such sensitivity to women, he must have surrounded himself with wonderful women. And then paid attention!" I'd love to know Pres. Uchtdorf's wife, Harriet—I imagine she's a very smart, witty, delightful woman—that's how I picture her, anyway.

    Kim, this made me smile: "Did anyone else notice the color of Pres. U’s tie? Forget-me-not blue! Can I say it looked so handsome with his silver hair?…am I allowed?"

    Anonymous, I was touched by the very kind and Christlike service you were rendering while the RS meeting was taking place. As others have said, you were living the doctrine while we were hearing it. Thank you for sharing your experience here.


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