As a woman with a family and home to take care of, I often feel overwhelmed. As a Mormon woman who has the words of the prophets, both ancient and modern day, to guide her through a confusing world, I am uplifted. This is why I so look forward to General Conference every six months.
General Conference is not only an opportunity for my family to “attend” church in our pajamas while listening to the words of the General Authorities of the church from my living room (via the T.V. or computer), it is also a time when these voices fill my home with their spirit, strength, and power. It is a time when I can count on hearing talk after talk that speak to my soul and at least one or two that will feel as if the speaker is directing his comments to me personally. I always hear something that helps me with the current trial or challenge I am going through, the answer to a question, a puzzle . . . a prayer.
There were many talks that stood out to me in the most recent session of General Conference that was held this past weekend. However, one in particular, the talk of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a counselor in the Presidency of the church, was, to me, a tender mercy.
President Uchtdorf’s talk, “Of Things that Matter Most,” focused on the truth that, in nature, things must slow down in times of stress. For example, the rings of a tree are thinner during times of drought, indicating less energy went into the thickening of the tree as opposed to the essentials, such as, feeding the branches and leaves and preserving the roots. Another example he gave that demonstrates how we, as human beings, do better to slow down at times was that of the speed bump in a parking lot. We must slow down to preserve the cars balance and the safety of those within. If we go too fast over a speed bump, we can veer off course.
As a woman who has many challenges in her life, many of them common to most as well as many of them that are not, I often tend to fall into the trap of believing that I must keep up the pace and proceed as if all is normal when they just aren’t. It is very difficult to have differences in your household that prevent you from enjoying the same lifestyle as those around you. It sometimes makes me want things that I can’t have at this time in my life. Even worse, I often feel like a slacker, a flake, a whiner and someone who is looked down on because I can’t keep up with my neighbors, friends, and family members who don’t deal with the same burdens I bear. I struggle to find a balance between doing all that I am merely capable of in any given day and all that I feel I must be crossing off my “to do” list. So often, the gap between the two is immense.
However, after listening to the words of a servant of the Lord, I felt the spirit confirm to me the truthfulness of President Uchtdorf’s message: when we put our time, energy, focus and attention into those things that are most important—the varied needs of everyone in my household (including myself) as well as my relationships with my husband, children, my Heavenly Father, and my Savior–the incomparable blessings of the Atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ will take care of the rest.