Sunday, April 3, 2011

Two Reasons I Look Forward to Conference

The most obvious reason is that it is such a feast to sit at the feet of the prophets!  Their inspired words always inspire and lift me.  This conference was no exception.  What wonderful guidance we were so freely offered.  I marvel at the humility of these fine servants of the Lord.  Too often we think of them as celebrities who just go around motivating and encouraging us.  We hardly notice that behind the scenes these men and women perform Herculean tasks that involve monumental decisions and tremendous organizational and leadership effort.  There's is not an easy task of comfortable notoriety.  Theirs is a complete, entire and constant commitment of consecration.

That leads me to the other thing I so eagerly anticipate about Conference.  Here in Utah we get to watch documentaries about the Church in between sessions.  Presentations about Temples being built.  Missionary efforts abroad.  Tours of the Tabernacle Choir.  Things like that.  This Conference marked the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Church Welfare Program.  Much of the programing between sessions of Conference focused on that.  What a wonder to behold as Latter-day Saints from all around the world sacrifice time and resources to care for those in need.  Organizationally, that alone, is among the most incredible efforts on the planet today.  Producing, preparing and storing our own commodities, having our own distribution systems in place, responding to immediate needs here and abroad, requires an army of laborers and we seem to never lack for those who will step forward to serve.

Tears rolled down my face as I learned of a Ward, who, on Christmas day went out to a Church vineyard to prune the grapes in preparation for next year's growing season.  They called it a gift for the Christ Child.  Farm workers themselves, having little time off, they chose to serve the Lord on that precious day they were not required to work for their employers.  Legion, were the examples of faithful Saints quietly stepping forward to meet the needs not only of friends and neighbors, but of total strangers a world away.

In my own Ward I marvel at all the hours that are quietly spent serving, loving and watching over one another.  Spread that blessing across the globe, as it surely is in over 28,000 Wards and Branches, and it's power and magnificence is truly magnificent!  What a blessed time to be upon the earth!

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