Sorry, this turned out to be long, but it's good. So, read on.
I'm streaming conference while I write this. I love technology. But, although we have it so good in this day, and although I have faith in the Lord's promises to protect the faithful, I've caught myself worrying lately about the impending hard times which appear to be coming. I've wondered what forms "protection" might take, and I've contemplated that "protection" does not necessarily equate to ease.
I hope Congress' recent financial bail-out works, but I have my doubts. That action just goes so much against correct principles, and there is so much cover-up being perpetrated by the powers that be. Power and money has corrupted so many. Whether or not the bail-out works for the present, we know that ultimately the system will fail and hard times will come. It's prophesied and it's part of the plan. The Second Coming and the Millennium will certainly be glorious, but getting there may be difficult. It's like this kidney stone I'm carrying - I know I will feel better when it passes, but I'm not looking forward to the painful process of passing it.
So, I hope the day of hard times is yet far distant, allowing you all to continue your progress and to raise your families unimpeded. Yet I worry. It would be more comforting if we all lived closer together. But we our diverse aspirations have necessarily put distance between us. Mom and I are well enough off to get by, but you all have limited resources, developing careers and young families to manage. I find some comfort in knowing that you are all resourceful and ambitious, and I know you are all prayerful. Beyond that, I hope you will all take every opportunity to prepare (food storage etc,) and that you will keep yourselves worthy of the Lord's promised protection.
Anyway, this is what has been on my mind lately - a little subconscious concern. So, I've been hoping that conference would provide some answers. From what I was able to watch, a couple of talks stood out to me. I am sure more will surface as I review it. I got about 3 words into Elder Scott's priesthood session talk before the kidney stone called me away. Below, I'm going to list a few of the quotes that stood out to me.
Elder Perry - Saturday morning: "...We have been encouraged from almost every general conference that I can remember to not live beyond our means... One of the better ways to simplify our life is to follow the counsel we have so often received: 'Live within our income; stay out of debt; save for a rainy day.' We should practice and increase the habits of thrift, industry, economy, and frugality... May we be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we navigate this mortal journey."
Elder Holland - Saturday afternoon: "...Usually, [ministering angels] are not seen. Sometimes they are. But seen or unseen, they are always near... Most often, it [the angelic purpose] is to comfort, to provide some form of merciful attention, guidance in difficult times... Our present day is filled with global distress, financial crises, energy problems, terrorist attacks, and natural calamities. These translate into individual and family concerns, not only about homes in which to live, and food available to eat, but also about the ultimate safety and well-being of our children, and the latter-day prophesies about our planet... But I testify that angels are still sent to help us... Even the Son of God, a God Himself, had need for heavenly comfort during His sojourn in mortality. And so will such ministrations will be to the righteous until the end of time... I ask everyone within the sound of my voice to take heart, be filled with faith, and remember that the Lord has said he would fight our battles, our children's battles, and the battles of our children's children. And what do we do to merit such a defense? Pray always and be believing. Then all things shall work together for our good, and walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith we have covenanted. The latter days are not a time to fear and tremble. They are a time to be believing, and remember our covenants... When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of those we walk with and talk with, here, now, every day. Some of them reside within our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us. And in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed, heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure, that angelic is the only word that comes to mind... I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so, I am testifying that God never leaves us alone - never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. Nor will He so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man or woman or child upon the face thereof to be saved... Always there are those angels who come and go, all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal. May we all believe more readily in, and have more gratitude for the Lord's promise, as contained in one of President Monson's favorite scriptures: "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left. My spirit shall be in your heart, and mine angels round about you to bear you up."
Elder Eyring's message on Sunday morning will sound familiar to you, as it relates to a common wall-hanging you all have in your homes. Abby, I'm going to bring yours when I come in two weeks. Remember the inscription? Mosiah 18:21. We gave you that because we believe in the principle he talks about here. From his talk, I have also realized that it is a principle that will help all of us get through the coming hard times:
"...We see increased conflict in the peoples of the world around us. Those divisions and differences could infect us. That is why my message of hope today is that a great day of unity is coming. The Lord Jehovah will return to live with those who have become his people, and will find them united, of one heart, unified with him and with our Heavenly Father... The Lord's prophets have always called for unity. The need for that gift to be granted to us, and the challenge to maintain it will grow greater in the days ahead... You have seen evidence as I have that we are moving toward becoming one. The miracle of unity is being granted to us as we pray and work for it, in the Lord's way. Our hearts will be knit together in unity. God has promised that blessing to his faithful saints, whatever their differences in background, and whatever conflict rages around them... The reason that we pray and ask for that blessing is the same reason the the Father is granting it. We know from experience that joy comes when we are blessed with unity. We yearn as spirit children of our Father for that joy that we once had with Him, in the life before this one. His desire is to grant us that sacred wish for unity, out of His love for us. He cannot grant it to us as individuals. The joy He wants so much to give us is not solitary. We must seek it and qualify for it with others. It is not surprising then that God urges us to gather together, so that He can bless us. He wants us to gather into families. He has established classes, wards, and branches, and has commanded us to meet together often. In those gatherings which God has designed for us lies our great opportunity... In the Book of Mormon... everything that Alma and his people were inspired to do was pointed at helping people to have their hearts changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That is the only way God can grant the blessing of being of one heart. In Mosiah we read that they were called the Church of God, or the church of Christ... 'And He commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and love, one towards another,'" this being based on repentance and faith on the Atonement of Christ.
Elder Packer - Sunday afternoon: This quote does not relate directly to the question. He was talking about the worldwide growth of the Church in this day. But, I thought it was good anyway - the best one-liner of the conference:
"Today, the sun (Son?) never sets on the congregations of the Latter-day Saints."
A Little History:
Our story begins in Pocatello, Idaho, circa 1972, when the lovely Debby Christensen agreed to a first, though fateful date with admirer, David Croshaw. Long story-short, he bade her follow him, and they went arm-in-arm to the Logan, Utah temple for establishment of an eternal family unit, Generation 1, on May 23 1973.
From their first blissful summer in Salt Lake City, educational pursuits took them to Provo/Orem, Utah, birthplace of Leslie and Rebecca, and to San Francisco/Oakland California, birthplace of Colin and Matt. Then, for establishment of livelihood, expansion of the tribe with Abby and Dana, and for raising/unifying of Generation 2, it was back to the roots in Pocatello for a rewarding sojourn.
In time, driven by a raging, but commonly shared sense of adventure and independence, one-by-one, Generation 2 escaped the homeland to distant regions of the country and the world, each ultimately developing their own tribal expansions by pairing with worthy mates and initiating Generation 3.
Now sensing fulfillment of their purpose in Pocatello, Generation 1 has also left those roots and transplanted to Cascade Idaho, from which base, they anticipate more abundant contact with The Posterity, Generations 2 and 3, in the future. That contact however, awaits fulfillment of a call to LDS missionary service in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wherein they hope to help the state of the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.
So now, including Generation 0 (Grandma and Grandpa Christensen) home base includes Yuma, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, Cascade, Idaho, Vancouver, BC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, back to Boise, Idaho, and on and on (Generation 3+) to infinity.
Our Mission Statement:
This is the blog of our eternal family unit. Initiated years ago, it served well as a journal, but even more so, as an archive of our personal interaction. It was a gathering place, a confabulation instrument, a unifying force for four generations of widely dispersed and progressively prolific posterity, and their valued associates. Though it served these purposes well for many years, it eventually took a back seat to new-kids-on-the-block, Facebook, and Instagram, and was sadly forgotten.
We now move to resurrect this blog with an added functional purpose of archiving the missionary experiences of Generation 1, of their movements and activities as they participate with The Gathering of Israel in the land northward. In so doing, we hope that via their own comments and posts, this blog will again serve to gather and unify the posterity and their friends.
As in the past, that the young and vibrant may know the old and tired, that enduring bonds may be fostered and maintained, that experience and encouragement may be openly shared, that posterity may embrace truth, and that hearts may be knit together, we must resist detachment despite our geographic divergence. We shall do so here.