Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Visit From an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ

I love this picture of blossoms on my neighbor's tree. It is a visual treat for me. Unfortunately, it fades after a week or so. I enjoy spiritual treats because they last forever. A week ago the members of the Layton Utah Stake got a spiritual treat: a visit from Elder Robert D. Hales, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, to our stake conference. This was the second time I have heard Elder Hales speak in person. The last time was eight years ago when we vacationed at Palm Desert CA and attended stake conference there, where he spoke. I remember being deeply impressed by the things he said then, and I felt the same way this time.

It was so amazing to hear this man speak. He used no notes, from what I could tell, and just went on and on, speaking forth gems of wisdom, for over half an hour in both sessions. He are some snippets of what he said, both from the adult meeting on Saturday night and the general meeting Sunday morning. I also include a few things his lovely wife Mary said below in the Sunday session.

He said that in the last General Conference he spoke on provident living. Impromptu, he decided to speak on "provident living" for relationships. So most of what this is relates to marriage and family.

-he shared that when he got married (he was coming up on his wedding anniversary, June 10, 1953, that Elder Harold B. Lee was there for the ceremony in the temple. I am assuming that Elder Lee was the sealer perhaps. Elder Lee took him aside after the ceremony and said, "Never raise your voice in anger to your wife or children, because you will be left alone. The Spirit will leave you and you will make wrong choices."

-in your companionships as husbands and wives, ask yourself, "What is it about ourselves we need to do to be stronger?"

-he took out some kind of personal electronic device, like an iPhone, from his pocket, and then declared something like, "it's amazing to have such a device with such capabilities, right here on my hip, but you have everything you need already, you can pray to God, it's better than texting."

-he told the husbands to ask their wives what they can to be better husbands. "Then brace yourself. It's going to be the worst 30 minutes of your life." But then, he said the wives will ask their husbands what they can do to be better wives.

-he asked the wives in the congregation what they want from their husbands and the first person who raised her hand said, "to listen." Elder Hales said that listening means hearkening, and it is a form of revelation. He said that when he was a mission president he felt he really listened to the elders. He told his wife that if he had listened to his sons while they were growing up like he did his elders that he would have served them better.

-he told the husbands that when they come home from work, the first half hour of their time should be spent asking the wife, "How did your day go?" and then really listen.

-he stated that there are three kinds of prayer and three kinds of study 1. individual, 2. companion, and 3. family. They can be overlapped. According to him, most of what he preaches comes from the companionship prayer and study that he has with his wife, Mary. (His wife sounds like quite the woman. He shared "the rest of the story" about his wife and the coat he wanted to buy for her, part of which he shared in the last General Conference. If you want to know the rest of the story you will have to ask me in person and I will tell you. It is hilarious.)

-What is the first thing to put on a blank calendar every month? He said that he asked this question once at a meeting and people said things like FHE, family prayer, temple attendance, church attendance, but no, it is date night with your spouse. He also stated that your children need to know that you value going on a date and that you do it every week. He said it doesn't have to be fancy, like going to the opera or ballet, just a time when you go somewhere alone and can talk. Then he said, as a nod to the men in the room, hey, you can have a ratio of something like, two Jazz games for every ballet, and he laughed.

-He shared that he believed that going to the temple is a great date night. He told the couples to go off in the celestial room together to talk some. He said, "The adversary will never get a temple recommend." I think he was implying that the temple is a superb place to have a talk together because you aren't subject to Satan's temptations there.

-He said that we have the gift of something very precious, that we can tell people what the gate of heaven is, baptism, and how to obtain it. "I want you to know that you are loved," he said. "I was going to talk about the economy, but that would have been very boring, so I changed the topic at the last minute."

From Sister Hales
-we live in a world that has had plain and precious truths taken away from the general knowledge of people. As a result, Satan has great influence.

-the story of Enoch in the Pearl of Great Price, has important information about agency. You can read it in less than an hour.

-a person doesn't mature or grow until he uses his agency.

-this bad economy is not a test or trial of the Lord, it is a result of men choosing to follow Satan, choosing greed and dishonesty.

more from Elder Hales
-Satan's plan involved two things 1. Give all the glory to Satan, and 2. every soul will come back to the Father, no one will fail. This must have been tempting, but the price was too great. The price was that every spirit would come back out of fear and force, instead of obeying out of love. The Savior's plan involved love. The Savior knew what He was getting into. During the worst of it, as He atoned for our sins, an angel was sent to strengthen Him. This shows that God will not tempt us more than we can bear.

-What does it mean to "always remember Him (the Savior)? It means that we get to know Him and remember His role

-the story of the brother of Jared shows that the Lord already knows what we want. The Lord wants to know what we are willing to do about our problems. "Will you go to your Heavenly Father in prayer and ask for what you want? You will be given a feeling."

-he asked us to read John 17 as a family to see that Jesus and God the Father are separate beings, but united in purpose. "I ask the Lord's blessings upon you. May you overcome the fear of man and share the gospel with others."

I feel so blessed to have heard him speak and feel his apostolic blessings. He is truly a special witness of Jesus Christ in these latter-days. i feel that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost to change his message on Saturday night just for me and my husband.


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