Monday, October 4, 2010

General Conference

Dear Family,

General Conference was incredible, wasn't it?!? Elder Uchtdorf definitely made me laugh. His talk about focusing on the basics was also very inspired. I've come to realize that the basic principles of the gospel will solve any problem and answer any question. That's why we don't usually here anything that "new" at General Conference. The same gospel principles that applied before are still applicable today so the leaders of the church will just keep reviewing them so that we can continue to improve. I like to think of the gospel as a helix that we go up, almost like a spiral staircase we climb. We go around and around the basic principles of the gospel again and again, but each time we get a little higher and we live that principle at a more elevated level. First we have faith in Jesus Christ, then we repent, then we are baptized, and then we receive the Holy Ghost. But that is not the end. We must repeat these priciples at the next level. We must exercise more faith. We must continue to repent. We must renew our baptismal covenants by taking the sacrament. And then we receive anew the promise that we will "always have his spirit to be with [us]." Each week we should repeat this process. As we go through this process of living the gospel again and again we will get closer and closer to Jesus Christ. It is something we must continue to do until the end of our lives. I have complete confidence that the atonement of Jesus Christ can heal anything. We access the power of that atonement by living the gospel.

President Monson's talk has inspired me to be more grateful. I liked the message that he shared from Christ feeding the multitude with 7 loaves and a few fishes. While the apostles only saw what was lacking, Christ recognized what they had, gave thanks, and preformed the miracle of feeding all those people. It shows that giving thanks leads to miracles. So I am going to say a prayer of gratitude each night before I go to bed. It will be nice to review how Heavenly Father has blessed me each day and feel his love.

One thing I was hoping to gain from conference was a witness that President Monson is the Lord's true prophet. I thought it would be cool to have an experience I could share with people that I teach about how I know that he is the prophet. I already know in my head that he is and I've had moments where I've also felt that in my heart, but I wanted that testimony to grow stronger. That testimony has grown, but not because some miraculous manifestation like I might have been hoping for. Rather it came as many of the other speakers bore their testimonies that President Monson is the Lord's chosen prophet. When they spoke those words I felt good inside and I almost heard the spirit whisper "Yes, of course he is the prophet, you already knew that." This experience served as a reminder that a testimony doesn't come from witnessing miracles, it comes from the withness of the Holy Ghost to our souls and most often that is like a still small voice or a calm, peaceful reassurance. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's true prophet.

Let's study the priesthood together. To help Clark prepare for the Aaronic Priesthood and Will for the Melchezidek Priesthood I thought we could study it together, as part of family home evenings and our personal study of the scriptures. Each week I'll try to put a little something that I learned about the priesthood in my emails. And I'd love to hear your insights as well.

Thank you so much for supporting and encouraging me as a missionary. It sure helps to have a loving family back home cheering me on.

Family, I hope you know that I love each one of you. I wish I could be more involved in your lives but realize that the best thing I can do for you right now is serve the Lord with all my heart. If there is anything I can do or help you with, please email me. It is a joy to hear from you. I hope you are doing well.

Sister Mortensen

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