If you didn't get a chance to watch the youth Face to Face Broadcast with President Eyring and Elder Holland, I highly recommend it. This was one of my favorites and it just got me itching for Conference next month. Anyway, I wanted to share a few thoughts that I am paraphrasing, and then my favorite quote at the end. (You can watch or listen to it here: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/face-to-face/eyring-holland?cid=HP_SA_4-3-2017_dPFD_fArchive_xLIDyL1-C_&lang=eng
- Your choice to listen today is a sign to God, that you are a seeker of truth.
- God is the true source of light, He will answer you through His Spirit.
- A testimony is living. It's organic. It's supposed to be tended. What do you do to nurture this living thing? You go to the scriptures and pray.
- If you're having a crisis of faith, think about the thing that brought you to the gospel/testimony in the first place.
- Have faith to ask and expect to receive an answer.
- What can we learn about personal revelation from Joseph's experience? He reflected on the scriptures again, and again, and again. And he went off by himself and had a quiet moment.
- President Eyring recommends starting the day, early in the morning, by studying the scriptures, so you can have the spirit with you throughout the day.
- About the nature of God--He is personal as a Father, and Jesus Christ. This is family. They know our names. The sacred grove experience, although it affected us now, was a personal experience of a personal nature to Joseph Smith. God knew Joseph and had known him forever. The Father and Son are one in their love for us.
- Taking the sacrament is supposed to fill us.
- How can I distinguish between the Holy Ghost and other feelings? When we feel peace, it's a way to know that we're not just getting what we want. Other feelings might mean that it's not from God. The revelation we receive would also have to be consistent with other things/revelations in the scriptures and with the living prophets. If it's not consistent, you won't feel peace. If it doesn't provide feelings of love for the Savior or loving the prophets or others, those might be your own feelings, not revelation. We can't just be immobilized or just wait for revelation forever, we need to move forward, and then if it feels wrong, then we can course-correct. But, don't deny Him the chance to reply. Give Him time to answer--stay still. Say, "Thy will be done," and be still, and the Lord will answer you.
- What do you do when your loved ones lose their faith? It will be different for each person and circumstance. You can't control everyone else's life. You be a disciple. It's more powerful than anything else you can do. You are the first sermon anyone is going to hear. Keep loving them. Make sure your passion or intensity doesn't overpower them. We need to be disciplined in that and make sure the love always comes through first. They told a story about a woman who wondered why she had been given such a difficult child. The answer came to her, "I gave him to you because I knew you were the only one who could love him, no matter what."
- How to have good conversations with God... Have modest expectations. Be reasonable. Chatting with God is a lofty goal. Pray as if He is listening, but it's ok if there are long silences. God the Father and Jesus Christ are so far above us. Just get the feeling that He is hearing you. Pres. Eyring said, "I do a lot of asking and then I wait. And answers come." Elder Holland said that not every prayer can be so focused, but some should be. He talked about David O. McKay occasionally entering a private room and kneeling in the middle of the floor and sitting quietly, just to prepare for prayer. Elder Holland said that for some prayers we should be carefully prepared to go before Deity, like we would prepare to give a blessing. Going before the thrown of God is never casual.
- Elder Holland recommended making evening prayer more meaningful by doing it at an earlier time before you're ready to fall asleep.
-Patriarchal blessings: Take them very seriously. They often give warnings. It will be whatever the Lord wants it to be for you. When we review our blessings, we should ask ourselves, "What does God know about my life?" and "What can I do better?" You are wise to take whatever the patriarch says to you. When it seems as though some blessings may not ever be fulfilled, live with faith that says I will wait and learn to see how my blessing is fulfilled. Timing of fulfillment isn't always in our control.
- How to share the gospel without being too bold... If we're honest and trying to be in tune, the Lord will give us words to say. Boldness can come through without giving offense. If they can hear love in your voice, they will receive it better. They need to know that you really care about them, regardless of your message. The Lord will help you be bold in declaring His words and what you believe, with love. The Spirit of Christ is abroad in the world so that the good will hear it. If you testify of the truth with love, the reaction will be ok. Don't worry about it. Always find something righteous to say.
- What is the atonement and how can I access it? The atonement was something Christ did, that qualified Him to forgive us through the Holy Ghost. The Savior gives us a feeling of forgiveness because of the atonement. Moroni 8: Meekness & lowliness of heart brings the Holy Ghost, which fills us with hope & love. Unless Christ fulfilled the atonement, the Holy Ghost couldn't come to us. The Holy Ghost is the cleansing agent that comes. The Lord allows the Holy Ghost to come. (This next part gave me some comfort) President Eyring said that he's not to the point where there's no desire for him to do evil, but he said he's better than he ever has been, and the Holy Ghost has changed his nature. The atonement changes the perception of where we are. The atonement works in our lives by our faithfulness. It changes our nature. Jesus allows us to receive the Holy Ghost through His atonement. It's already been provided and finished. Take advantage of faith, repentance, baptism, & honest living. Every time Pres. Eyring takes the sacrament, he tries to repent beforehand. He says then we should listen and feel the Spirit with us. The Holy Ghost is a purifier.
- What can I do to stay positive when I feel like I'm not enough? Elder Holland says we all fall short. That's the whole point of the atonement. But, we've got help. Father is always there. People are around us and our family on the other side of the veil. Never underestimate that power. Don't be too hard on yourself. The prophet, Joseph Smith, did not go uncontested. He thought he was going to be destroyed. "Exerting all my power, I called upon God." What the adversary doesn't want you to do is pray, but do it anyway.
- James 1:6 What does "nothing wavering" mean? You have to believe that Jesus is the Christ. Never waver in your determination to do whatever it is that God wants you to do.
And I loved this quote by President Eyring:
"As you review your life—that’s why I like the idea of the sacrament—it’s a good place to review your life… In addition to thinking of what you’ve done wrong,… try reviewing things that you’ve done that were right, where you’ve actually felt that Heavenly Father and the Savior were pleased. And, if you’ll do that, you’ll notice something. Not only will you be repentant, because there are things you need to change, but you’ll have hope that you really are getting better. You really are. And, that’s real.
"You are children of God. You are His sons and His daughters. You have come from royal parentage. Whatever your circumstances are in this life, let me tell you what they were in the world before. You were one of the valiant ones. A lot of people didn’t make it here. You made it here. You found the gospel of Jesus Christ. You’re very special. And He has great confidence—Heavenly Father and the Savior—they have confidence in you and you need to have confidence in yourself, as well.
"Satan’s favorite trick—and he’s played it on me—'Oh, golly. I’ve made a mistake. Might as well go ahead and make more mistakes… I’m doomed.' He’s good at that. 'You know, I’m just not good enough.' And, that is from Satan…
"You are a child of God and the atonement was done for you… so let’s just try a step at a time, one more time, and don’t believe Satan when he says, 'You’re doomed.' Just don’t do that. You’re not doomed. The atonement is sufficient for you from where you are, wherever you are, to move closer to where you really want to be…"