Sunday, February 8, 2009

Elder Holland

Today we were blessed to be able to attend a special Stake Conference where Elder Holland spoke to us. He's quite a powerful man, funny, emotional, and very to the point. He spoke mainly to the youth of the church, asking them to give 10% of their lives to the church... he said he got to pick the 10% and wanted this next ten years. He said to just "Stay". "Don't leave." "Whether you're a part of it or not, the church will grow and get stronger and stronger, so just stick with it and enjoy the blessings of it." He told a story of how when he was young he grew up in a non-active family. As long as he could remember his dad had a pack of Camel cigarettes in his pocket and he just thought the shirts came like that. He remembers when he was 10 years old the Bishop, Sunday School President, and Young Men's President coming over to his house and asking his dad to teach a Sunday School class. Before they could say anything else, he quickly responded "But I smoke!" After some uncomfortable silence, his dad looked over at Elder Holland and back at the men, and knew that the class he was supposed to teach was the 10 year old class, the class with his son. The next thing said was: When do you want me to start? They looked at him, quite surprised, and told him that the class was vacant and needed a teacher that Sunday, but that he could take his time and start when he needed to. His dad immediately flicked his package of cigarettes into the fireplace and told them he'd be there on Sunday. There was a lot of work involved, but he got back on the right track. The point he was making is that he decided to change right then, and he did it. He didn't procrastinate, and he stayed with the church.

I appreciated this message even though I wasn't really "going" anywhere. I just feel that we all need the reminder that we are appreciated and loved even if we feel we are small and insignificant. They love us, and need us to stay.