Sunday, February 13, 2011

More Refined in Christ's Image


Today I'd like to share a small part of a special BYU Women's Conference 2009 address by Sandra Rogers called In the Strength of the Lord.

"Mortality is like taking a very difficult final examination in the most important course of your degree program, with people yelling obscenities in one ear and whispering sweet nothings in the other, kicking your shins, poking their fingers in your eyes, turning the lights on and off, making the room either blazing hot or freezing cold, telling you that you’ll never succeed and should not even try, and playing your least favorite music loudly in the background. Mortality, with its normal losses, sorrows, sicknesses, disappointments, torments, weeds, mistakes, errors, sins, and other afflictions would be a reasonable test in and of itself. But throw in Satan and his minions and now we have a test of faith and obedience that will ensure the Lord knows what we are made of. You know this is true because you’re out there taking mortality’s exams.

But there is another, even greater truth. And that is the message of this Women’s Conference. During all this testing and trying in mortality, remember what we rejoiced about in the Council in Heaven. We have a perfect friend beside us to buoy us up; to steady our feet; to put starch in our feeble knees; to enlighten our minds; to lead us, guide us, and walk beside us; to bear our burdens and our griefs; to take our stripes when we have been in error; to 'take our lickin’' for us when we have sinned; to face the bullies with us; to wipe our fevered brow in sickness; to mourn with us when we lose the people we love the most—and the things we probably shouldn’t have loved so much; to steady us when the job is lost; to reassure us when our hearts are troubled or sore afraid or lonely; to ease our pain; to stand with us when we have been falsely accused; to carry us when we are tired and weary; and to comfort us through a betrayal of trust. We have a Savior and a Redeemer. When we rely on His strength we can ride out the storm, complete the test, fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith (see 2 Timothy 4:7)."

"At a time when chaos and confusion encircle us, when disappointments and pressures mount, when even our strictest obedience doesn’t seem to be rewarded in the ways we might have hoped, we can be assured that through the Atonement of Christ we can endure well all that we face, and come off more refined in Christ’s image, more true in our discipleship, and more content in our hearts."
Sandra Rogers, In the Strength of the Lord

I am so grateful for my Savior, my perfect friend, who is always beside me, who does all of these things Sister Rogers listed and more. There is not one of us in this life who is not hit by pain or tragedy of some kind, so there is not one of us who does not need his friendship and pure love. I know that our Heavenly Father's plan is perfect and that he knows what we struggle with every minute and he never leaves us alone to wander through this life. I am grateful that through the Atonement, I can be forgiven and also uplifted from my current state to progress upward, and that through the Atonement I can become "more refined in Christ's image". That, to me, is a beautiful thought.  

11 comments:

  1. Oh Valerie, I love this one. It is a beautiful talk and so very true. Thank you for sharing with me. I love Sister Rogers. She has been through a great deal of trials in her own life, and she has much wisdom in speaking to us. Did you go to Women's conference? Or read the talks? I haven't been for a few years, but I love it so much. It is amazing.

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  2. When you walk in the light of Christ you never walk alone. You are a great example of that to me!

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  3. Valerie you always share the most beautiful thoughts and messages.
    You always inspire me with your insights and wonderful spirituality!
    {{{HUGS}}}

    Hope you have a wonderful Valentines Day with your 3 sweet Valentines!

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  4. What a great talk. How do you always find such good ones?

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  5. Valerie, I think of you often. It was good to hear from you, but I know of the sadness in your heart too. It is tough to understand why we must go through trials, sadness, chaos and confusion.

    You have a great attitude and spirit about you while going through this journey. You are an amazing woman. I always love your thoughts and messages. I always read them - but have cut way back on my comments.

    I wish there was someway I could let you know that you WILL be OK. There's always opposition, so we will know Joy from Sorrow. You will know joy again and be stronger.

    I wish I understood why life sends us on certain paths and especially what is down the road. I know that Heavenly Father knows me and I feel his hand in my life encouraging me on daily. But, there are always bumps in the road of life - just like an email in your box - coming out of the blue to give you a little jolt.

    Keep your chin up. I hope you have friends near by that let you cry on their shoulders and hold you up. My mother was there for me all the time, through my tears and sorrows. If you need me - please send me an email. I'm here for you. ladysondradee@yahoo.com

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  6. Great quotes! Such a great reminder! Thanks for sharing it and your testimony with us!

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  7. I had never heard this talk. Thank you for sharing it.. as I always love to be inspired.

    I hope you have a Happy day today.
    I have Faith that things will work out in the future with you. YOu are loved.. and Heavenly Father knows your desires! XO ~ Ann

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  8. Thanks so much for your comments and love, everyone. I'm glad that many of you hadn't heard the talk so I got to introduce it to you.

    Patty, I have gone to a few Women's Conferences, but I can't rememeber which years. But I know I didn't hear this talk in person. I just listened to it online. So glad they post a few!

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  9. I loved the talk. Beautiful.

    I hope you had a wonderful day.
    Maybe it wasn't what you planned, but you are so strong and have such a great attitude.
    I know that angels watch over you and your children.
    HUGS!

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  10. have you read "Defined by Christ" by toni sorenson yet? i bought it for my husband at Christmas. i have a feeling you would really enjoy it! :)
    ::hugs::

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