Today I went to a Stake Women's Conference where the keynote speaker was Virginia H. Pearce, daughter to President Gordon B. Hinckley. She has written a book called A HEART LIKE HIS which I have read part of.
Why only part? Because I put it by my bedside and when I go to bed I am stumbling tired--because I stay up too late, and also because we keep the heat off in our bedroom so it's cold in there. So, to read, I would have to freeze, while yawning, with eyes watering--so the words would be blurry--when I am tired my eyes water. Sometimes, in church, People think I have been moved by the testimony of others or a point in their lesson when, in reality, I stayed up way to late the night before and am tired.
Today, Sister Pearce made some wonderful points. Since I have not read the book yet, and it was a borrowed book, which I gave back to the owner today so she could get it autographed by Sister Pearce, I don't know how closely she stayed to the text of the book. The book's owner lent it to a different neighbor, who will read it about 100 times faster than I did and then I will get it back again.
Here are a few points that were meaningful to me: (I took notes but my note taking sometimes leaves me scratching my head, wondering, what is that word and what was I trying to say, here? You will see this as you read on and perhaps you will be scratching your head too.) I won't put quotes because of the incompetent note taking. I apologize for the awkwardness of the sentences to follow but this is how I wrote them down.
Through Christ's love I can become more. Will you polish and refine me so I can be more? We are not perfect women but we are trying to become holy women. Be ye holy.
You and I are of great worth, every single one of us. Every single person on this planet is of great worth. If we believe this, it makes all the difference. If we don't believe this, it makes all the difference. We have God's spiritual DNA.
She mentioned an Olympic speed skater, whose name I didn't catch, who said she used to think her value came from her accomplishments. After she learned differently, after she learned that she was of worth because she was God's child, her whole life changed. We need to gain a testimony of our worth outside of who we perceive we are--our accomplishments, etc.
Do I have a testimony of my worth? Do I know that I am his daughter? Has the Holy Ghost told me this? The Holy Ghost speaks of things as they really are. At the moment that happens--that you know you are of worth and you are of God--your life changes. You can turn outward and help others.
She quoted President Faust--We need to reach deep within us to find our divinity. We can then find our self worth.
Quoting Elder Maxwell--Get in the way of how God has always felt about us and always will. It is about belonging to God. It doesn't matter how good you are or how bad, you are His.
We want to change to be like him.
If you are annoyed with everyone your heart is like a shriveled apple (she brought two apples that she had waded through the snow in her backyard and plucked off her tree. She tapped them on the podium and they were hard and sounded like rocks). When she is generous, full of gratitude and positive about others she has a softened hart. She pictures her heart like either the shriveled apple or the ripe fruit, then she can get out of the self-deception cycle and get on with her life.
She mentioned looking into a mirror. It's all about me. But, if we look at it not at a mirror but as a window then we see others, their needs.
There is something about looking at each other. She mentioned she goes for physical therapy and it has been all about her. Would she get better? Would her body heal? She had focused on herself and not anyone else. Then she decided that was a shriveled apple heart and she noticed her physical therapist and asked about her life. They had a good conversation and she is anxious to go back and see how the physical therapist is. Before that day she hadn't even noticed the woman's face.
Are you looking at people as objects or as a person of reverence--as a person of divinity?
All that is divine within me reverences all that is divine within you.
She mentioned a woman in the audience who we all knew, she said this woman had bad acne as a teenager. They sought treatment but the acne was still there. When she was a teen her mother told her to do everything she could to make herself look good and then, when she went out the door, to think of others. (My comment: This woman has obviously done that as she is a loving, confident person who serves and graciously cares about others.)
Be a woman for others. God expects us to love them. His love is always there but it is not available to us because we won't allow it. (My comment: I think we think little of ourselves sometimes, maybe believing, like the speed skater, that our worth is dependant on our accomplishments, when God knows all the time that we are of great worth because we are of him. We are his.)
See what you can do with your heart. See what the Lord can do if you let him.
--End of my notes--
She did mention that President Hinckley, who is 97, reminds his doctors that it is because of the prayers the people that he has lived as long as he has. He is a marvelous man, prophet, president who leads this church in ways of faith.
After the talk there were delicious treats to snack on while we put together baskets full of wonderful things for the women in the crisis center. I tracked down the recipe for the popcorn. It's on my recipe site.
It was a lovely way to spend the morning. The Stake leaders had put a tremendous amount of work into advance preparation so everything ran smoothly. I am amazed at their dedication and good works. They truly have hearts like Him. May they be blessed in ways they can't comprehend.
And may each of you be blessed to know you are of God. You belong to Him. You are of worth and are loved. If you don't believe this I hope you will do what it takes to find out it is true.