Wednesday, April 20, 2011


As I try to gather my thoughts together to write this blog, my mind keeps wandering to my family and friends. Many of them are suffering from all types of struggles and afflictions.

Although I recognize that trials of heartache, illness, and devastation is worldwide-- especially in these latter days-- it seems within our own circle of loved ones adversity affects each of us in one form or another in quite an abundance.

As I ponder this thought of why adversity is so prevalent, I am reminded of two quotes from this last General Conference, both given by President Uchtdorf. The first is, “Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable.” The second quote is, “Answers don’t always come when we are on our knees, but when we are on our feet.”

The Parable of the Good Samaritan comes to mind…

When the Priest and the Levite saw the man who had been robbed and wounded laying by the roadside, they passed him by. They even crossed to the other side to avoid him. Yet, the Samaritan who was thought to be an enemy of the man, was the one who made the greatest sacrifices and helped him in his time of need. He gave comfort to the afflicted.

As for Pres. Uchtdorf’s second part of the quote, “… afflict the comfortable.” I suppose this can be taken in many ways depending on where the listener of the talk is in their life. One of my thoughts was that I believe many of us, myself included, can become too complacent in our lives if we are not careful. Should/Could we do more to help the afflicted? It’s an individual evaluation, I suppose. It’s a question I should ask myself frequently so that I don’t become too complacent and find myself not doing enough to “Comfort the afflicted.”

As for the second quote I mentioned, I believe it is a good reminder that some of our greatest blessings come when we are in the service of others. I know that when I am having a difficult time, the best way to forget myself is find ways to be of service to others

I need to thank all the Good Samaritans in my life, and believe me, there have been many. In times of my own affliction, it was such a blessing to have Samaritans to help me bear my burdens. I need to keep in mind all they have done and try to do likewise for others.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Conference Tradition

One of my fondest memories as a child of General Conference was watching the Sunday sessions on TV with my dad and sisters.

Each time the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would sing one of their musical numbers, we’d all race to see who could pick my mom out of the choir members. She sang second alto and we’d be thrilled if we spotted her. How excited we’d get if the camera man would show a close up!

Years have come and gone, and now my mother has passed. I still love to listen to the choir during conference. I desperately long to see my mother sitting there singing with the choir, but I realize the sweet spirit that can be felt any time a hymn is sung at a meeting.

One thing that has not changed, is my tradition of watching the Sunday sessions of General Conference with my Dad. To this day, I may have my own family now, but we all know that Sunday sessions are saved to watch with Grandpa. The tradition continues.

As I sat and listened on Sunday afternoon, I glanced over at my eighty two year old father who was intently listening to the speaker. My heart was full. I was grateful for the blessing of having him around to watch conference with.

I certainly love General Conference for all the reasons that everyone else does-- for the learning, the growth, for the messages of inspiration and the words of encouragement, of course I could go on and on.

But I am also very grateful for what it means to me personally and the connection I feel with my family. It’s a time when we come together in one purpose, we feel just so close. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything.