I just bought two notebooks to start writing down thoughts, feelings and events. One was going to be a jounal about my family and me and the other would have my random thoughts and questions. I decided to try to blog all that instead. It's kind of an experiment since I'm not sure how often I'll actually update it and I'm not sure if I'll like other people reading my sad attempts at putting thoughts into words.
I had the opportunity to hear Sheri Dew's address at Women's Conference in May this year. It was a powerful, wonderful message. I'll post the links below in case you'd like to watch it or read the transcript. She read a quote from Elder Holland and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.
“Something is going to be asked of this dispensation that’s never been asked before. [We] must be ready to present the Church of the Lamb, to the Lamb, and when that happens, we must be looking and acting like His Church”. (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Church News, 17 February 2007).
I'm not sure why this struck me, but I felt it's power. We are all individually responsible for progressing and improving, for being better followers of Christ each day and we as individuals make up the Church. But I also thought of this quote in a little different way. We must present the Church to Jesus one day and the church is made up of wards. What came to my mind was, that we as a ward will gather and say to Jesus, "This is Your Canyon Vista ward" and He will look at all the people there. We will be judged for how we look and act, as the quote says, but I also thought that we'd be judged for WHO is there and who isn't. He might say, "Why isn't John here?" or "Where is my dear Diane?" We can't and shouldn't try to take anyone's agency away from them by trying to push them to church. But we should do all that we can to love those people who aren't there, to include them, to invite them, to be friends to them, to let them see the light of Christ through us. Not everyone will choose to come, but we are responsible for our efforts or lack of effort.
Okay, probably no one else read that into the quote. I've just been thinking a lot about missionary work the last few months so that's what came to my mind. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the quote or on Sheri Dew's talk.
Women's Conference 2008 http://www.byub.org/womensconf/?selectedYear=2008
Transcript of Sheri Dew's address http://ce.byu.edu/cw/womensconference/archive/2008/pdf/sheriDew2008.pdf