Monday, February 11, 2013

Small Plates

Elder Bednar came to Luke's stake conference last weekend and I was able to go with him. It was really inspiring and such an incredible experience to spend the weekend being instructed by an apostle of the Lord.  

One of the first things Elder Bednar taught was that taking notes during a meeting or merely making a record of what the speaker is saying is simply writing the Large Plates. How often do you go back and read those notes? And in a month, do you even know where they are? But when we listen to a speaker and write down the promptings of the Holy Ghost we are recording the Small Plates and those notes we will cherish and look back on and they will strengthen us. 

So here's my attempt at transitioning from writing wayyy too many large plates to writing my small plates:

Here I raise my Ebenezer. So essentially to "raise your ebenezer" means to pledge anew to follow, to return, to keep your covenants. Upon being delivered by the Lord the Israelites raised up an Ebenezer of stone as an outward expression of their inward pledge to return, to rededicate to the Lord. 

Covenants and agency. 
He explained that a lot of time we misunderstand our agency and we say that we can break our covenants because we're "free to choose" and he was like no you're not. You made a covenant and now it's not an option. Agency is the ability to act and not be acted upon. Not the ability to do what you want with no consequences. He followed that up with a beautiful testimony of the atonement and how in the strength of the Lord we can be a covenant keeping people. He challenged us to start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning and go through and mark every time it says "in the strength of the Lord"

God's plan provides us with a way for us to be together in the light with hope. Satan is alone in the dark without hope. Getting something for nothing is the great scam of Satan. We are under covenant and much is expected but we don't have to do it alone. 

He told us to calm down and said 'I'm not going to talk to you about getting married but I am going to talk to you about being parents. And you can't be parents until you're married so there' :) 

We are living in the greatest period of the earth

Boys can now serve a mission at 18, girls at 19. That's great, he said but in a year will we be still as excited? The real change that this brought about was that now the home is the MTC. The responsibility is on the parents (or in my case - future parents) to teach and prepare our children for missionary work. He said when he was a bishop he would interview all the parents of 7 year old children and say 'What are you doing to prepare your child for baptism? And how can I help?'. It's not primary, sunday school, the young men or young women leaders job to teach your children -- it's yours. Everything else is there to support you -- not replace you. He said that when their son went to meet with the bishop for his interview to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, Elder Bednar and Sister Bednar asked to meet with the bishop first. In that interview they gave an accounting to the bishop of how they had fulfilled their sacred responsibility as parents to prepare their son and testified to the bishop of their son's worthiness.

Your family in the temple. 

It's not family history and temple work separate. It's your family in the temple. In Africa it never occurs to them that they could go to the temple and a name would be there for them. If they want to go to the temple they must first find their ancestors and go and do the work for them. The family history center is now in the home. We are living in the greatest period of the earth. 

What If...

Elder Bednar talked about how as a kid he would ask himself 'What if..I had a dad who had the priesthood' What would that be like? He said he didn't ask this to feel sorry for himself but rather so that when he was a father he could provide that for his family. Sister Bednar said that she was sitting in church and she looked up and saw a young man passing the Sacrament and she could tell that he honored and respected his priesthood. Elder Bednar this shared with us a story about how when their first baby boy was born he had colic. Elder Bednar said he would walk around their tiny apartment late at night with their baby boy and he asked himself...'what if I was a priesthood holder and I wanted to teach my son the importance of the priesthood? what would i do?' And so he started reading to him from sections in D&C. 

All in all it was a wonderful, intense, spiritual weekend and I just felt so inspired by all that I learned that I wanted to share it!