Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I will go and do.

Today I am thankful for Firesides.

Throughout my growing up years, I have gone to more firesides than I could count on both hands. I have been to firesides for young womens, youth conferences, stake youth meetings, mutual activities, etc, etc, etc. Since I graduated from high school, I have dabbled my feet in the CES firesides. And boy oh boy are they fantastic! Different apostles and church leaders like Richard G. Scott, H. David Burton and Dieter F. Uchtdorf are just a few of the speakers from the past year. These inspired men speak words directly targeted for the single adults of the church. That would be me. A single adult. Weird.

Just this past Sunday was another CES fireside and perhaps the most powerful and touching one I have attended since I have declared the single adult status. President M. Russell Ballard spoke from the Marriot Center in Provo. And I was there. In person. The Logan Institute formed a choir of 1100 people. Yes, let me repeat that. 1100 PEOPLE! We filled 21 buses and made the two and a half hour trip down to Happy Valley. I don't remember school buses being so squishy, but maybe that's because I was younger when I used to regularly ride them. Then to add to the already confined space, I was lucky enough to sit on the tire seat. Now I know what it feels like to be a 6+ foot man sitting in a small chair. Not a pleasant experience. My deepest sympathies to you tall men in this world.

A group of us getting ready to load the buses.

Despite the uncomfortable ride down and back, the experience I had on November 7 was one that I will never forget. After about 6 weeks of practicing, we were prepared to sing for the world to hear. We sang True to the Faith and Our Savior's Love. When the broadcast began, we were a group of 1100 college kids wanting to sing hymns and please our choir directors. When we actually sang, something happened. We turned into a choir of angels praising our Lord and sharing our testimonies through the powerful aspect of music. At least, that's how I felt. We had never sounded as good as we did during that broadcast. I believe that everyone feels the spirit in different ways and at different times. For me in particular, it was during our final song, Our Savior's Love. I pride myself for not being emotional, but I couldn't keep back the tears from swelling in my eyes. [Thank you mascara for not running all down my cheeks.]

Our Father, God of all creation, hear us pray
In reverence, awed by thy son's sacrifice.
Praises we sing. We love thy law; we will obey.
Our heavenly King, in Thee our hearts rejoice.

This third and final verse touched my heart in a way that I can't describe through text. Let's just say it was an incredible experience. I didn't think that I would have felt the way I did that night, but I felt the Spirit of the Lord in that room very strongly. I am so grateful for uplifting music and the power that it can have to so quickly entertain specific feelings and emotions.

Finally, I am thankful for faithful servants of the Lord. Regardless of the fact that I sang in the choir, I think that this was my favorite CES fireside I have attended. Now it's hard to pick favorites, but the words Elder Ballard spoke that night were written for me. I know that many other people probably feel that same way, but his talk was a confirmation to me that the Lord loves me. He knows what I'm going through and the feelings I have. He wants me to be the best that I can be, and that may require some change and discipline to accomplish that. There is a divine plan for me that I can accomplish if I keep His commandments.

When Elder Ballard entered the room, everyone fell silent and stood in respect. Call me a cry baby last's true. But my heart was filled with an indescribable feeling. I just knew that he was a disciple of Christ. He brought a special spirit into the room that was not there before he entered. I hope that one day I will be able to do the same. I hope that I can live righteously and worthy of having the Spirit with me so strongly wherever I go.

Well, time to wrap up my gratitude-filled heart being spilled out on this blog. Elder Ballard's talk was an extension of his conference address this past October. He told us to watch out for Satan and his cunning plan. Satan knows us as well and knows our weaknesses. My generation is the future of the church. We must be strong as ever to withstand his slimy tactics and traps and become the leaders of the church. Membership numbers continue to grow thanks to the work of those faithful missionaries. The Lord needs us to live righteously and help the work of His kingdom. May we all be like Nephi, obedient and eager to do this work.

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." 1st Nephi 3:7

My dear friend Tessa and me.

Cousins. Joanna and myself.

What good friends I have. Parker and Lauren.

1 comment:

Jessica Pedersen said...

love love love firesides. so cool you were singing!