Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Impressions of Stake Conference - Part 1

Prior to the recent Devonport Stake Conference we invited a number of people to put pen to paper (or finger to tablet) and record some of the thoughts and feelings they had about the meetings, which we could share on this blog. Over the coming days we will be sharing some of the responses we received. We hope you are inspired by the words which these fantastic individuals have to share. We are grateful that they are being involved in Elder Bednar's challenge to Share Goodness.

For Part 1 of the series we have chosen to share some writings from Brother Jackson Corona, a young Priest from our Burnie Branch.  The following paragraphs are his words:

"As most of you may already know, this last weekend was Devonport Stake Conference. Its the time of year for us to take a step back and recharge our batteries through uplifting and educational talks given by a variety of people throughout our stake. The outline of the conference was ‘ We are all enlisted.’ Over the two days of sessions we were instructed on how to better ourselves in the areas in which we are enlisted. Whether it be Young Womens, Elders quorum, Primary etc, there was something for you at this conference."

"I was lucky enough to able to attend the Saturday evening and Sunday morning sessions of conference. Both sessions were really good and i certainly feel more uplifted and enlightened than i did before the conference. One of my favourite talks was given by Brother Gary Woodward at the Saturday evening session. His talk was about the dangers of judging others, specifically when doing missionary work. He shared the story about how he met his wife Lisa, and her conversion story. It was not only touching, but a prime example of why judging someone is wrong. I’m not going to go into the details, but if you wanted to hear the story I’m sure he would love to tell it again. It taught me to try and see people not for what they are, but for what they can become. We should try to see people in a different light. Learn to put aside the negative things and try to see them as a child of god. This leads to a greater love for that person and a greater desire to share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them to experience the joys that we experience. Through my own missionary experiences i have seen the blessings of not judging someone for who they are at that time, but seeing what they are able to grow into. Jesus Christ sees all of us not by our mistakes, but by our potential. He sees our hearts, not our appearances. Therefore we must do the same to our brothers and sisters."

"That session was definitely one i won't forget, and the Sunday morning session was just as good. This session set clearly the theme of ‘We are all enlisted’ by hearing talks from a representative of the different groups one can be involved in throughout the church- Young mens, Relief Society, Priesthood etc. We were even privileged to hear from a Hannah Walters, a 10 year old girl from Primary! Through these representatives the whole congregation was able to learn how they are individually enlisted in the Lord’s work. We were also we taught about the importance of Motherhood and Fatherhood in raising children to become servants of the Lord. It was an overall brilliant session of conference and I feel spiritually refreshed and ready to keep improving myself as a priesthood holder and servant of the lord. “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your god.”- Mosiah 2:17 This scripture kept going through my head whilst listening to conference and i believe it is a good summary of the message that the conference gave."

"In President Buckley’s talk in the Saturday night session he spoke about when people don’t keep landmarks when journeying they walk in circles, and how that also applies on a spiritual level. I agree that sometimes we can get a bit lost in our lives and lose sight of our land mark. I see these conferences as little marks on trees or stakes in the ground that remind us that we are on the right path, give us strength throughout our journey and sometimes even point us back on the right path when we are lost. I bear you testimony that Jesus Christ lives. He has enlisted us in a great and marvellous work that can only bring us happiness. Whatever your calling may be, Christ is right beside you ready to help you fulfil it. He has prepared the way and he has prepared you. We have to keep being diligent, obedient and faithful and in doing so, we will be blessed and cared for throughout our journey. I am a strong believer in keeping an eternal perspective, having an eye singled to god, keeping our eye on that land mark. Our goal is to return with our brothers and sisters and family to our Heavenly Father’s rest to receive the blessings he has in store for us. Don’t ever forget that the Saviour loves you infinitely, you will always be able to find a friend in him. He has enlisted you in the great work of bring souls unto him and he will help you all along the way as you do so."