Saturday, October 24, 2009

Holland's fireside

We had Elder Holland here on business, and he did a wonderful fireside for the district here. All our teachers and staff were running around putting stuff together and making sure everything was just the way it should be. My Old Testament teacher gave me two cool assignments. One was to usher and the other was to give the closing prayer.
So not only was I ushering, but I realized a very important lesson today.  Elder Holland is a hard act to follow, even if you are just saying a prayer. After my closing prayer I ran over to shake his hand and his wife's and the seventy that was there too, I thought it might be awkward but I figured it best to beat the crowd.  Elder Holland and his wife thanked me for my beautiful prayer. Although I've live in Utah for a year now and have seen every session of general conference that I've been able too in person, this marks the first time I was able to shake an apostle's hand. Very cool.
Oh and his talk was amazing.  As of officer in the church he would be very disappointed in any of us if we hadn't permenantly been changed for the better during our stay here.  He got all dramatic in the finger pointing Big Boss Elder Holland way.  He also talked about how there seems to be an extra responsibility placed on the Saints who have literally walked in the Lord's foot steps.  I've thought about that a lot lately, wondering what I'll take from my semester here. Things have been really good and spiritual, but not quite as I had expected. Lately I've been thinking this place feels an awful lot like the MTC(the mission training center, or boot camp for LDS missionaries before they get sent out), and that perhaps the change will be felt more once I go back to the States and into the "field." His wife brought up the Isaiah 52 and how it is our duty for the rest of our lives now to bring good tidings and publish peace after walking on the mount of Olives and otheres here.
His talk was on mercy, challenging us to find little ways throughout our day to become merciful, patient, and long-suffering. His closing remarks involved him connecting Christ staying with the Nephites a bit longer to bless their sick with the sermon on the mount (Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. vs Matt 5:48 switching merciful with perfect) and finally with the mercy seat in the old testament.  Wow!

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