There were many talks that I really enjoyed during Conference, including Elder Bednar's discourse on performing our Priesthood duties (I loved the story about his father's baptism), President Packer's talk about making our families a higher priority in our lives, and Elder Nelson's reminder to be grateful to God for all of our many blessings. But of all the talks that were given, my very favorite was President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk entitled "The Merciful Obtain Mercy" given this morning (full transcript available at the highlighted link).
|President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in the 1st Presidency|
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
President Uchtdorf's talk was very powerful, and I felt the Spirit strongly. He began by explaining that a mother of two adult children had recently written him a letter. In the letter, she said that her two children were no longer speaking to each other and had bitter feelings towards one another. The mother asked President Uchtdorf if he would offer a talk during General Conference about the importance of forgiveness and not judging each other, in the hope that her children would hear the talk and be reconciled to one another.
President Uchtdorf said, "I imagine that every person on earth has been affected in some way by the destructive spirit of contention, resentment and revenge. Perhaps there are even times when we recognize this spirit in ourselves. When we feel hurt, angry or envious it is quite easy to judge other people, often assigning dark motives to their actions in order to justify our own feelings of resentment...We are not perfect. The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way. Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things...Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive."
This touched me personally. Every day, I struggle with feelings of envy, desires to gossip, and judgmental thoughts (as I'm sure most of us do). President Uchtdorf's talk gave me hope that I can overcome these negative feelings by praying for help and striving to fill my heart with the love of God. We cannot overcome these negative feelings on our own, but we CAN overcome them with the help of God. I am excited to try harder to do better.
On a humorous side note, President Uchtdorf also said, "This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges or wanting to cause harm — please apply the following: Stop it!"
Instantly, this reminded me of a hilarious Bob Newhart SNL skit from a few years ago. Enjoy!