General Conference thoughts: Sisters’ Participation in the Gathering of Israel

by President Russell M. Nelson

There were two take aways for me from this talk.  First of all, how cute was President Nelson’s reaction to his story of his blunder at the beginning?

Second, of course, were the four invitations.  I heard the invitations and just like everyone else that heard them I had to decide whether to accept them and follow through or not.

  1. Social media fast for 10 days.  I have already written about my experience here.  But I do wish I would have read or listened to his talk again prior to doing this.  I feel as if I might have missed out on key points since it was social media and everything else that produces negative feelings.  I still did it though even though it wasn’t easy and I have tried to prevent myself from falling back into old habits by monitoring my screen time (thanks to my iPhone update) and fasting from social media once a day every week.
  2. Read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year.  This one took some thought.  When he invited us in October I was in the war chapters in Alma since I read one chapter a day.  So, I had to decide, do I finish reading the Book of Mormon and start over and get back to the war chapters by the end of the year?  Do I stop and just start over?  In the end, I decided to start from the beginning and read three chapters a day until mid-December (see the schedule link on my home page).  But I also wanted to finish reading the book from where I was at since I was reading for someone (I have someone in mind I’m going to give it to when I finish and I’ve been marking scriptures that I thought she’d like).  Yes, I basically read four chapters a day through mid-December when I finished my one chapter a day  reading.  It was  crazy busy and a lot of reading.  But here’s why I’m did it.  I remember years ago when President Hinckley issued a similar invitation.  Instead of starting over I read from where I was at and circled back around.  It was fine.  Technically I did what I was asked.  But I felt I missed out on something.  Like I wasn’t part of the group because my reading was off.  For this invitation, since I’ve been struggling with my faith lately I decided to experiment fully upon the word.
  3. Regular temple attendance.  I live 100 miles away from the nearest temple and I go once a month.  I decided that once my crazy reading schedule subsided (in addition to four chapters a day of the Book of Mormon, I also read one conference talk a day, plus I always read the specific conference talks for Relief Society, and prepare Gospel Doctrine lessons twice a month) I’d study temples during my 20 minute daily study sessions.  And try to find a way to do some family names even though the work’s been picked over pretty well in my tree.
  4. Participate fully in Relief Society.  Since I already read the talks we are going to discuss before Sunday I thought I’d try to make it to the Relief Society activities on a more regular basis.  I do try but there are some activities I’d just rather not.  I also sent a thank-you note to the presidency thanking them for their service efforts.

Funny how I heard most of the invitation but missed out a few of the details for each one.  But I decided to conduct an experiment that will give me lasting results.  In the end, it comes down to if I believe there is a prophet of God on the Earth today then why won’t I listen to him?

Sisters’ Participation in the Gathering of Israel

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