Isn't Conference Great?

Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains

Mi Familia,
Well this week was just wonderful. And of course General Conference just made it perfect. Man I love General Conference. It is my favorite. Its like Christmas! :) I love hearing from the Prophets and Apostles, and the other leaders of the Church. It is just so amazing how personal revelation can really be so great at General Conference.
One of the talks I really enjoyed was by Elder Ulisses Soares. I loved how he talked about Meekness. I haven't always been really able to understand meekness on this level before, but it really helped me how he explained it. I love that he talked about that there needs to be a constant focus and desire to improve. And that it is our duty to be perfect. I loved that. I think a lot of times we just think that, oh we can't be perfect now, but we have to strive for perfection. If we don't strive for perfection, we won't be able to achieve in the next life either. That hit me really hard. I loved how he talked about controlling our tempers as well. I feel like I struggle with that sometimes, but how it is an act of faith to control our tempers. When we really rely on Heavenly Father to help us, he will help us to control our tempers. Elder Edward Dube’s talk was really good as well. I liked how he talked about each of us playing our parts and to hasten the work. And then how he talked about us maybe being too complacent. Are we too comfortable, are we sharing the Gospel? I love too how he talked about being excited for the future. I thought that was a pretty big theme from this conference as well. We need to be excited because we know it means the Savior is coming soon, because of how terrible the world is becoming.
I thought a really big theme from conference at least for me, was acting and changing my own circumstances instead of waiting for someone or something else to do so for me. We choose our reactions and actions, not someone else. Sometimes we can't always change the circumstances, but we change how we feel about them. Something Elder Bednar said really struck me too, that sometimes God won't change our circumstances, but he will give us increased faith and patience to pull through, or increased emotional, physical and mental stamina. We just have to be spiritually in tune to recognize his help.
I loved Elder Christofferson's talk about the moral role of women. I really enjoyed that because I feel the world has completely changed their views about women, and not how God views women. We really do need more women who are tender, kind, refined, full of faith and goodness, virtuous, and purified. I really thought of Mom when he was speaking. It really made me grateful to have grown up in a home where the Family Proclamation is lived and sought after.
I loved Elder S. Gifford Nielson's talk obviously, because he spoke about my school, and of course MY STADIUM. Ha :) But I really did like what he said about having a winning game plan and going for it. Do we all have a winning game plan? We need to plan our lives better to make sure we are on the right track.
I loved Elder Holland’s talk. I loved when he said "if the bitter cup doesn't leave, drink it and hope for better days." Just like the Savior we go through things that aren't easy and sometimes we just have to go through them, but there is always hope on the horizon. But I loved what he said about those with disabilities and how they will be made free. And how we don't know if it will be more glorious for them, or more glorious for us to have witnessed such an event. I just felt the spirit pour into my heart when he said that. The Resurrection really is real. We will all be made perfect from every infirmity we have and every problem. One of the Elders in our zone is deaf and I talked to him after and he just said he started crying when he heard that thinking that one day he will be able to hear perfectly. I really felt the spirit then too, really seeing that he knows it as well.
Elder Ballard’s talk was great. I love how it just was about missionary work, but I love missionary work so of course I would love the talk. But it was really cool because I hadn't read the talk yet, but on Wednesday night we had dinner with a member, and she had talked about how she had felt to share a video about the Church with her friend. But she said that she was scared. But I really felt strongly to tell her that it would be okay. That Heavenly Father would not let her fail. That he would give her the opportunity and the right moment to share it with her. Then I felt strongly to ask her to read Elder Ballard’s talk. I hadn't listened to it, and so I was like okay, hopefully it will help. So I asked her too. And she committed to sharing the gospel with her friend. So during General Conference she came up to us and she told us that she had shared the video with her friend. And she was like, don't get too excited nothing has happened yet. But I was just like, isn't it exciting to just be able to share it with her? Doesn't it just make you happy knowing that you shared the Gospel with another of Gods children? And she was like well when you put it that way, I guess it really is exciting. Ahh I loved it. But she said that talk really helped her, to just go out and do it. To share the gospel with her friend, because she knew she needed it. It was just great to see this all happen.
I felt like another huge theme was the power of God’s love for us and how we are supposed to have that same love for his children. It really made me think about how I love others and how much better I need to be about that. Too often I am so quick to judge that I never even give myself an opportunity to love them. And then I loved how Elder Oaks talked about our love for Heavenly Father. He compared it to the love that we have for our Earthly Parents, and how it needs to be much more then that. And that really struck me. I thought about how much I love my parents and how much I appreciate all the love they give me. And then I thought, do I love God that much and more. Do I thank him for all that he has given me? It really put it into perspective what I needed to change. I loved how he talked about the divine role of a mother is in the home. He talked about careers, and I just had this thought, that the reason I really couldn't decide the career I wanted because my career is to be a mother someday. And it’s what I've always wanted. And I just don't have to feel bad about that.
Elder Richard J. Mayne's talk was great as well. I loved when he said "You must become the rock that the river cannot wash away." I love that. It really is true. We can't let the others in the great and spacious buildings of our lives, pull us from the truth that we know we have. I loved how he talked about the price for spiritual endurance is dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline. I really liked that and it reminded me of something that Elder Holland always says "The Only Control we have is Self Control."
I loved what Elder Scott said, "God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance because he knows what it takes to become like him." Wow. Mind. Blown. I never understood that completely before. God knows what it takes to become like him so he can't justify any mistake we make, because any time we make a mistake it pulls us further from our goal to become like him.
I loved Elder Nelson’s talk. Our bodies really are amazing, and they have to be to house the incredible spirits created by God. I love the idea of self-mastery as well. We really can master the appetites that we have. Yes it is difficult, but our spirits are more powerful than the flesh. And with God's help all things are possible.
We really can do anything. I love what he said about our personal interview with Jesus Christ. And this made me think of what I did this week to teach more like Him. We had dinner with a family Saturday night, and while the men went to Priesthood, we had chocolate covered strawberries, and some girl talk. I felt prompted to ask her what she thought was the hardest thing about being a mother. And she talked about trying to keep her children strong in the Gospel. She was telling us of how her son, never wanted to go to Church, but she always had him come. She said it was a fight every week. But now he is on a mission serving the Lord. He even wrote her last week and thanked her for always keeping him going to Church. But what she said struck me, that when she has her personal interview with Savior she wants to be able to say that she did everything she could for her children. And she really has. She has gone through so much rubbish in her life, but she is still going strong. Every time we visit her I just feel so empowered to be a great mother one day. :) Ahh its just great.
But overall my core experience with God this week was receiving all the personal revelation from Conference. I learned so much and I am completely changed because of it. I don't think a general conference has ever struck me to the core before, or not at least at this same level. I learned that we all have a part to play in this play we call life. No one person is more important then another. God is the director and He should be the very center of our lives. We need to be personally converted and be strong. We have divine roles to play and we should never lose sight of that because of the critics in the great and spacious building. I know that as we seek the spirit God will bless us with what we need to play our part fully, in building up the Kingdom of God. I feel ready to go out and do my part. And I feel like I better know now how to follow the spirit and receive the guidance I need to really find those who are prepared at this time to receive the Gospel. I just need to be actively patient with faith, until God leads me to them. Yes its difficult, but with Heavenly Father’s help we can do ANYTHING. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Church is true, its time to go forth and serve, and share the Gospel with all the world.
I would invite all of you to play your part as well. If I can do it then so can all of you. I love you all. Thank you for being great examples to me.
Love you Heaps
Sister Benjamin

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