So confession! Remember when President Hinckley said, "...the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings.” -- I was in college at the time and I remember very well hearing the counsel. I think it was only six or so months before that, that I went out and got a 2nd earring pierce in my right ear. AND OH HOW I LOVED THE Diamond that or small hoop I kept there. I LOVED IT! ("Love" probably doesn't describe enough the emotion I had for a little extra piece of metal placed in my ear.) I never regret getting that piercing... what I do regret is my attitude and lack to follow counsel given. I heard the prophet say it, and in my mind completely justified/came to the conclusion rather too quickly that his counsel surely didn't apply to me. After all I was keeping commandments and trying to live my life right. Ya, you might be saying, as I have come to see--the commandment about following the prophet must have been slipping my mind!
I remember going to institute that week--Miracle of Forgiveness. The section "just happened" to be on following the prophets. Nothing was said about the earring comment just made the weekend prior at general conference... but I remember distinctly that I my soul was wracked. And almost as if I had had a battle outwardly, I shot my hands up to my ear while saying, "Okay, okay, I will take it out". I took out the little diamond stud and threw it away. I am sure there were others in the class that must have thought I was crazy. Now, I never regret getting the earring. At the time it was not against counsel. I do regret that it took me several days to follow the counsel of the Lord's servant. I really didn't think his council applied to me.
Since then, my spirit has become a little more "hyper/sensitive" to try to catch areas where I am justifying not following what is taught. I have had many great examples placed in my life to remind me that I need to be looking for what is asked of me, and then following.
A month or so after conference, I was visiting with a dear mission friend. We were talking about how awesome the RS conference was. She made the comment about when she heard that we RS sisters need to be studying from our history, her thought was, "Oh no, one more thing I need to start researching--how am I going to find time." She was relieved when Sister Beck made the comment that they have already compiled a history book on RS that will come out for us. My friend was sorry that she was a little grumpy she had the thought of dread in where she was going to make the time to do research on history... UM PERSPECTIVE! I was floored that my friend had even had such a thought... didn't even cross my mind that I should start studying from the history of RS. I heard Julie B. Beck state it--but the thought that I needed to do it--never crossed my mind. That is what I am talking about! I have this disease of not thinking things apply to me. SO.. I found a weakness I really don't want--and I have been working to not be in the category of, "well that doesn't apply to me" mode.
Because of this sweet sister's comment, and my sin of omission of taking so long to follow Pres. Hinckley's words--has made me a little hyper sensitive and this past general conference, I was bound and determined to be more in-tune/willing to apply whatever was said of the prophet that I would apply, go, and do. I just wanted to make sure my spirit recognized that what he says for all--applies to me too!
I know there was lots to catch, and I am working on his constant theme/reminder of gratitude-- but one thing I caught to do was President Monson said,
"I hope that we will take the time to read the conference talks, which will be printed in the November issue of the Ensign...for they are deserving of our careful study."Now I know he didn't command us in a "thou shalt read the ensign" way--but I really do want to get rid of the weakness of not seeing/hearing/applying to myself.
SOOO-- Confession - (what a way to end my year with all these confessions! ;) ) I have never, that I can recall, ever read the conference ensign cover to cover before. I probably listen to the conference at least 8-10 times over and over before the next conference--but I have never sat down and studied the pages. I have been a little opposed to it, because I listen to them while cleaning or exercising or traveling. Well, not wanting another regret in an omission--I decided I would read one conference talk a day... and for the first time in my life, I read the conference edition cover to cover. And can I tell you--I have very few pages that are not marked up!
When I was telling a sister of mine about the amazing journey it has been in studying through reading--she questioned if reading is really different than listening--and in with a resounding, "YES" I answer her question. At least it has been for me.
I remember working in the temple and a brother that would come quite often on my shift pulled me aside and asked if there were different blessings that came from being a temple worker as apposed to being a patron. I told him for me there had sure been. Being a worker in the temple brought choice choice blessings and experiences into my life. But if I fell into the trap of thinking, "I work in the temple, so therefore I didn't need to go as a patron" I missed out on blessings that come from only being a patron.
I found that it is true for general conference. I have found power and answers to prayers with listening over and over to the general conference talks. And in a more powerful way--studying from the conference ensign--so different are the blessings that have come into my life through the careful read/pondering of it's pages. It took me two days to just go over Richard G. Scott's talk--and I still feel a week long study of his talk alone would still render countless mysteries unfolded and still lots more to be gained and understand.
Holy Cow! I AM A BELIEVER!! I hope to pour over every conference edition ensign from now on. It changed me. It was beauitful. I HIGHLY recommend the challenge! :)
ON A CHRISTMAS NOTE
Christmas was amazing... can I share a little something with you? I had prayed and God gave me a list of some folks to see on Christmas Eve. I had no idea how I was going to hit those on my list for they seemed to live in all opposite directions from my finally destination=Christmas BBQ Salmon with my folks and then off to caroling to the branches widows. (The caroling with my folks to these choice friends is my favorite--will forever stay Christmas tradition.)
Well God made a way and I was able to make the visits I had felt impressed I needed to do. On my hurried drive up the canyon--it was late in the evening, the canyon was dark and I was driving with a purdital (one headlight missing) car. As I came around a bend--all of a sudden there was a large dear within not even three feet from my car. I didn't notice the deer until it was right there. My heart jumped and I drove past un-harmed and the deer safe too. I know, "Bryndi there are deer in the canyon all the time" but had you seen this deer--you would have notice as did I that the body was ready to leap probably from the scare of my one car headlight. (I know, I still need to get that fixed!) The deer was going to leap right into my car. It's body was facing (looking to charge) right into my car--but it's head was facing the opposite way. As I drove past, deep gratitude set in and I pondered over what could have been and I questioned why the Deer had not jumped. To my minds eye, came the image of someone dressed in white at the side of the deer. The person was holding their arms around the neck of the deer and the deer was being held from leaping into my car.
I cried as I thought of the image of this unknown, only seen in my minds eye, angel--who protected me so that I could not have any delay in getting to be with my parents and going caroling. The tears came down as to how, because of the lack of light and hurry of the moment, I hadn't seen the deer until it was right by my car. I pondered over why the Lord would be so kind. I felt it was a blessing for going the places he wanted me to be that day--and in return he was allowing me to go to the place I longed to be for Christmas Eve.
A family member, a relative, an ancestor or a past friend? I have no idea who the angel was, but an angel dressed in white it surely was. With my hand over my mouth, I wept in gratitude, for several mins afterwards.
HE KEPT ME FROM SEEING
I am an accountability partner for a friend that has had a battle with pornography. There is this awesome sight that is called covenanteyes.com that will put a block on websites and give you a high level of filter. Then once a week or however many times you want a report--the accountability partner gets an email with all the websites viewed/searches attempted.
I have been the accountability partner for my friend for several months now. A few weeks ago, the report came through and it was alarming. I didn't dare check the sites that had been visited/attempted to be visited on my work computer because I feared what might come on my computer. I made a mental note to check the sites when I got home to my mac. I LOVE macs for the fact that pop ups are hard to come through. I kept forgetting to check when I was at home... until finally I remembered.
The keywords were new to me--and I was saddened by the terms that could pull up such filth. I needed to verify the sites my friend had visited so I could know if it was a problem site. Nervously I clicked on one, and had a beauitful miracle take place.
Yes, sure enough it was a horrible search. When the page opened--although there was MUCH to look at, God had my eyes focused on a particular part of the page that was demeaning to women yes, but was the least "yuck" possible to see. I quickly closed the window and clicked on one more to check, and again, awful was the site, but God had me focus on a particular spot on the page long enough to confirm and then to get out!!
What is so amazing to me--is that I really didn't "see" anything that would leave a haunting image. I know they were on the page--many many disrespecting pictures, but when I opened them, literally, my eyes were blurred from seeing them and I was able to get out. This happened on both pages.
I count this as a tender mighty miracle from God. I was able to keep my accountability in order because I knew that what my friend was dealing with was real--but God had me verify without having to see any images that would stay in my mind. I can't describe it, but I know was a miracle from God. A kind of tunnel vision/blurred stigmatism kind of thing really happened with my eyes.
I lOVED Elder Ballard's talk on addictions-- in all their forms. He said:
"Brothers and sisters, stay away from any kind of substance that may trap you."
"Remember...any kind of addiction is to surrender to something, thus relinquishing agency and becoming dependent."
"Medical research describes addiction as "a disease of the brain." This is true, but I believe that once Satan has someone in his grasp, it also becomes a disease of the spirit. But no matter what addictive cycle one is caught in, there is always hope."
"To those who are dealing with an addiction personally or within yoru family, I repeat, fervent prayer is key to gaining the spiritual strength to find peace and overcome an addictive craving. Heavenly Father loves all of his children, so thank HIm and express sincere faith in Him. Ask Him for the strength to overcome the addiction you are experiencing. Set aside all pride and turn your life and your heart to Him. Ask to be filled with the power of Christ's pure love. You may have to do this many times, but I testify to you that your body, mind, and spirit can be transformed, cleansed, and made whole, and you will be freed.
"I have seen the marvelous blessing of recovery that can set one free from the chains of addiction. The Lord is our Shepherd, and we shall not want as we trust in the power of the Atonement. I know the Lord can and will free the addicted from their bondage, for as the Apostle Paul proclaimed, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13)."
OH I AM A BELIEVER! There is hope! There is a way for our deliverance, through our Deliver, Jesus Christ.
We can be made whole through His atonement. Reading/studying the pages of the general conference magazines=life changing.
I'M A BELIEVER!