Monday, October 21, 2013

From October 7, 2013: Conference in General

So like this cool thing happened this weekend where prophets and apostles of God stood before the world and proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ in our church's televised General Conference.  Many of you missed part or all of it.  So go get caught up because it's like super important!    . . . So hello my loves. I am alive.  The talks from this weekend were just like a fire hose of fantasticness.  It's like they get up there and go GOSPEL and then press an "on" switch.  And I'm looking around at some congregation sleepers and thinking "HOW ARE YOU SLEEPING THROUGH THIS?!" Oh, people. 
So a couple of things I learned and have been thinking about:
If you ever wonder why you don't get all that much from General Conference, it's because you aren't reading your scriptures closely enough or you aren't spiritually prepared to be fed.  Let's take the thrice-repeated quote of the conference, for instance.  "Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord's vineyard to bring souls to Him."  Now go read Jacob 5 and tell me we aren't being pointed to fulfillment of prophecy.  Things specifically line up and they tell us exactly where we are on the timeline of Jacob 5.  This is serious stuff.  Hint I learned:  If they say it three times it's vastly important!
What else:  Elder Bednar's talk on paying our tithing.  Wow.  Subtle spiritual blessings while we are looking elsewhere.  So true.  And let's talk about the commandments for a second.  But no, let's first go to the talk about "No other first priorities."  I was bouncing up and down with that talk because it's what I've been trying to phrase right for forever and he just nailed it.  God has to be our first priority, and if He isn't we're just doing it wrong.  So few people actually get it.  Like get it, get it, get it.  Just try to understand what the atonement means and how every time you do something wrong, the longer you go before you repent, every time you upset your spouse or child or some such, you are driving the nails a little deeper into Christ's hands, giving a little more vinegar, demanding another drop of blood to fall.  And if you truly UNDERSTAND that, how can that not change everything you do and are and want to be?
Which brings us to the commandments.  What are the commandments?  Not a list of rules we should apologetically tell others about and haphazardly keep or break because, you know, it doesn't really matter.  No!  They are directions from a loving Heavenly Father who knows what's up and is attempting to mold us into something better and more worthy!  And we should be excited about them because they are directions on how to follow the path!  If we are truly committed to following Christ, commandments are not burdens or annoyances, they are signs telling us how to follow Christ.  The Sabbath day especially is worth tightening up on.  Nowhere in the commandments does it say, "when it's convenient."  Surely, we can do better.

Which brings us to what is truly tested while we are on earth?  Which I also believe to be the measure of a missionary and a man.  It can be summed up in one word.  Commitment.  We all accepted the plan before we came here, it's just whether we end up being committed to the truth we obtain, committed to the faith we have, committed to the path of Christ.  And true understanding brings commitment.  As Elder Holland said, our commitment to "the pursuit of godliness will be tested."  If you remain or get committed, I promise you blessings and purpose beyond what you can imagine.

As for me, I'm doing well.  I woke up feeling like myself a couple days ago, which you might not understand until you've been on a mission, but it was a strange feeling.  It took a while but here I am.  The church is so, so true.  Read the Book of Mormon.  No evil man could write such a book as that, and no good manwould write it --.  unless he was commanded of God.  See the talk "Safety for the Soul" by Elder Holland in 2009.

Read the commandments section of Preach My Gospel this week and tighten up.  Obedience brings blessings.  Exact obedience brings miracles. 

I love you all.  I pray for you.  I'm being watched over here and trying to become less of a blind guide.  Wish me luck.  
Elder Molinaro

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