Elder David A Bednar was recently in Australia. We do not see Apostles here every day, and rarer still is a Prophet’s visit. Though I have listened in person to Spencer W Kimball, Howard W Hunter, Neal A Maxwell, L Tom Perry and Gordon B Hinckley twice: as Apostle and as Prophet. Plus, now Elder Bednar, though not actually in person. But hey, he was here on the same continent as me. So to me that counts.
The Devotional was in the form of a Q and A session. Members were encouraged to ask serious relevant questions.
The questions ranged from how to change a teenager’s heart to how to balance work home and family? How do we align our will with that of Heavenly Father, to what can we do to receive the gift of charity? How can we deal with indiscretion in marriage? How can we forgive, through to a single sister seeking guidance for her life circumstances? (that’s me paraphrasing)
Elder Bednar requested that beyond any notes that might be made of the questions and responses he would give, that those listening write down what the Holy Ghost prompted us to do….he encouraged the congregation to seek our own answers to our own specific questions as we listened to the stories and examples he shared.
We are of course, familiar with the lessons contained in the parables that Jesus shared with those seeking enlightenment from him.
For myself I came to understand more about the atonement that I had ever before. A few serious conversations over the next days. A quickening of the mind occurred, the spirit led me to understand the enabling power of the atonement. I had not grasped that before. As I reflected back through various experiences in the years since my baptism, I began to see over and over, a something far beyond my abilities, that truly enabled me to reach and stretch way beyond my natural ability. Smiling with recognition, a certain peaceful joy spread through me. I felt – feel a deep, soul-deep gratitude. I feel loved. I feel trusted. I feel a desire to be trusted even more. To be more worth.
Then into my life came an undesired irritating frustration. I expressed in simple terms how I felt. I received back way more than I expected or thought was deserved or needed. But now something happened. Something different. In the past I would have responded at length and in specific detail where I was at; however when you have learned something, really learned, you need to live by it, apply it. You need to be different. To act differently. Thus I said nothing. Nothing outward. I turned instead to prayer. I felt a concern and love for what had been shared. I felt able to pray for the other person more than for me. I felt a peace. I realised the atonement had again enabled me to step away from a habit of behaviour and be, in that moment, a better version of myself.
I am sure that I will not be 100% successful at this 100% of the time. However it is encouraging when one is in a sweeping learning curve, to be able to apply the lessons being taught.
Elder Bednar urged all those present to honour our ordinances and covenants.
Wondering what all this is about? Visit Mormon.org.
Did you attend? What did you learn? What have you learned about the atonement?