Sunday, April 14, 2013

These Things I Know

I REALLY loved General Conference this year. It was exactly what I've been needing. It helped me find clarity, the Spirit touched my heart and I learned so much. I was able to see where I need to make improvements in my life, and to see that though I'm far from perfect, I'm really on the right track and headed in the right direction. Over the next several weeks I'm going to highlight the various conference talks based on my notes.

I'm just going to have to apologize in advance on the length of this post, but I LOVED the poem that President Boyd K. Packer shared in his talk on Saturday morning. Directly from his talk he says:
In 1992, having served nine years as an Assistant to the Twelve and 22 years as a member of the Twelve, I reached the age of 68. I felt impressed to start what I called an “Unfinished Composition.” The first part of that work goes like this:

I had a thought the other night,
A thought profound and deep.
It came when I was too worn down,
Too tired to go to sleep.
I’d had a very busy day
And pondered on my fate.
The thought was this:
When I was young, I wasn’t 68!
I could walk without a limp;
I had no shoulder pain.
I could read a line through twice
And quote it back again.
I could work for endless hours
And hardly stop to breathe.
And things that now I cannot do
I mastered then with ease.
If I could now turn back the years,
If that were mine to choose,
I would not barter age for youth,
I’d have too much to lose.
I am quite content to move ahead,
To yield my youth, however grand.
The thing I’d lose if I went back
Is what I understand.

Ten years later, I decided to add a few more lines to that poem:

Ten years have flown to who knows where
And with them much of pain.
A metal hip erased my limp;
I walk quite straight again.
Another plate holds neck bones fast—
A wonderful creation!
It backed my polio away;
I’ve joined the stiff-necked generation.
The signs of aging can be seen.
Those things will not get better.
The only thing that grows in strength
With me is my forgetter.
You ask, “Do I remember you?”
Of course, you’re much the same.
Now don’t go getting all upset
If I can’t recall your name.
I would agree I’ve learned some things
I did not want to know,
But age has brought those precious truths
That make the spirit grow.
Of all the blessings that have come,
The best thing in my life
Is the companionship and comfort
I get from my dear wife.
Our children all have married well,
With families of their own,
With children and grandchildren,
How soon they all have grown.
I have not changed my mind one bit
About regaining youth.
We’re meant to age, for with it
Comes a knowledge of the truth.
You ask, “What will the future bring?
Just what will be my fate?”
I’ll go along and not complain.
Ask when I’m 88!

And last year I added these lines:

And now you see I’m 88.
The years have flown so fast.
I walked, I limped, I held a cane,
And now I ride at last.
I take a nap now and again,
But priesthood power remains.
For all the physical things I lack
There are great spiritual gains.
I have traveled the world a million miles
And another million too.
And with the help of satellites,
My journeys are not through.
I now can say with all certainty
That I know and love the Lord.
I can testify with them of old
As I preach His holy word.
I know what He felt in Gethsemane
Is too much to comprehend.
I know He did it all for us;
We have no greater Friend.
I know that He will come anew
With power and in glory.
I know I will see Him once again
At the end of my life’s story.
I’ll kneel before His wounded feet;
I’ll feel His Spirit glow.
My whispering, quivering voice will say,
“My Lord, my God, I know.”1
Now on to a few notes I took during his talk (in all instances, these notes may be based on exactly what he said, or they may have been a thought I had while listening, just in case you get lost):

1. Age brings the things that make the Spirit grow. We are meant to age - it brings knowledge.
2. The family is under attack by forces seen and unseen. We will not always be safe from the adversary, even in our own homes. The priesthood in the home is there to work to protect the family.
3.Fathers, love your wife so your children can see that love!! (I love ALL quotes like this!!)
4. We, with our mortal bodies, have power over those who do not have bodies.
5. The Lord CANNOT look upon sin with the least degree of allowance - neither can I!
6. The Lord has a way of pouring pure intelligence into our minds and hearts
7. "I know He lives"

Full message can be found here.

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