Full of power and abundantly satisfying

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This week we take a break from past Conferences to cover the General Conference that just took place last weekend, the April 2018 Conference.
When we were in Paris recently, I was thinking about this blog post (the metaphor of the stained glass window) and its relation to faith. The post talks about how stained glass windows are nothing very special from the outside of the church, but become breathtaking and beautiful from the inside, with the sun streaming in. Similarly, our faith is at its most beautiful from "the inside"—that is, when it is deeply and personally felt. To an outsider, religion may appear to be an unexciting part of some people's lives, no more notable any other interest or hobby. But from the inside, it is breathtaking and transformative when the sun shines in.

That's how I feel during Conference (or, during the parts where I'm able to listen, anyway…): like the sun is streaming in. I feel the spirit testifying of Jesus Christ, of His prophet, of my own need for improvement, and of the hope that I CAN improve. This time, I was amazed at the sheer number of talks testifying TO ME of several things I've been trying to learn more about.

I'm not going to talk about all the big announcements (plenty of time for that when we've had time to absorb it all a little better!). But I just want to highlight some of the moments that spoke most to my heart. Since I heard this talk, I always go into conference asking "What lack I yet?" For me, collectively, each of these moments added up to a powerful and unified witness of what I need to be focusing on and how I can grow closer to God.

• First, and maybe most memorable, was how I felt during the Solemn Assembly. I have rarely ever felt the Spirit so intensely in such an "everyday" setting (sitting in our family room with kids and toys scattered everywhere). I felt like the roof of the house had been blown off and there was a direct beam of pure Spirit flowing in from heaven. I felt like it would knock me over with its brightness. To me it was an amazing witness that President Nelson is indeed God's prophet on the earth.

Elder Andersen described his feelings during the Solemn Assembly by saying "The Spirit of the Lord was full of power, and abundantly satisfying." That was a good (although inadequate) expression of what I felt, too. I'm grateful that I didn't have to be in the actual Conference Center to feel it.

Elder Eyring said the Spirit brought "a feeling of light and quiet assurance." 

Elder Ballard said that "to experience the joy and warmth of the Spirit," unblocked by worldly filters, is the power of the Sabbath! (I'm quoting these from memory and may have the wording wrong.) What I understood from that is that though the Sabbath is often described as having a renewing or "restful" effect on us, that blessing comes not through conventional means (in other words, it's not because we are having what seems to us like a "restful day" with less work and less responsibility)—but through miraculous means. When we dedicate the Sabbath day to Him, the Lord blesses us (miraculously) with a taste of what the Spirit could feel like all the time—if the cares and concerns of the world weren't always crowding it out. 

• Elder Renlund said that when God asks us to do one thing, He often has many purposes in mind. We might not know what all those purposes are until we faithfully do that thing. 

• Elder Taylor said "God sanctifies our most difficult days."

• Elder Wilson said we should expect daily guidance from the Spirit, and that God is eager to guide us. We are always just one prayer away from receiving that guidance again. Elder Wilson answered an objection I've heard before ("Isn't it slothful to expect God to command us in all things?") by saying that we are only slothful if we expect others to get revelation for us. When we seek to receive revelation for our own lives (as often as we wish!) we are "counseling with the Lord in all our doings"—just as He has asked us to!

• Reinforcing that, President Nelson said (quoting Lorenzo Snow) that it is our right to have manifestations of the Spirit every day. He said that God is SO WILLING to reveal his mind and will! And there is SO MUCH MORE that Heavenly Father wants us to know!

I want to know it! All of it! And I hope that I can say later, as President Nelson challenged, that this Easter Sunday was a defining moment in my journey to hear the Spirit more frequently and clearly! From the tastes I've had, I know that being filled with that spirit truly is a transformative experience: "full of power and abundantly satisfying."

Other posts in this series:


  1. This conference was incredibly challenging for me. I sought the encouragement that I was used to, and I went into conference with some expectation that my personal prayers would be answered, but that did not happen. Instead there was a different outpouring of revelation, and because it was not what I expected, I was disappointed. However, I am studying conference, and I am repenting, and I am seeking for the light that you described here in your post. :)

    And it is coming.

    Just this morning I rewatched/studied President Ballard's talk, and it was clear to me that he was preparing us for what was to come. I didn't recognize it at the time, but I do now, and that is testimony-building to me.

    I admire you, and the many other people who felt the light of revelation during the conference . . . it takes me so much longer to catch up!

    1. It's interesting how that happens sometimes...you want that light so desperately and then it feels like it doesn't come. I'm not sure why! Sometimes (after having a good spiritual experience) I think, "Wow, God always blesses me when I'm where I should be!"---but really, it's more like 1 out of 3 or 1 out of 4 times. Is that just to preserve my agency? To see if I'll keep trying? I don't know.

      There's also the variable that sometimes I realize I DID get revelation...but only later. Anyway, I hope this week is good for you, and that you find the answers you're seeking!

  2. I loved that first paragraph! I feel all the time that people just see my “religion” as some incidental thing about me when it is actually the light and hope and beliefs whereby I exist and operate at all!

    And I noted so many of the same things as you — Elder Taylor talking about our hard days as moms being sanctified. Elder Renlund mentioning the many purposes that one event can have. And Pres Nelson!! I just FELT a prophet speaking and I want so much to improve in my ability to receive revelation!

    1. It's funny how one line from a talk will stand out so much. Sometimes I was distracted during the whole talk---but heard the line I needed most. (Of course, other times I probably MISSED the line I needed...but I guess I'll discover that as I re-read the talks later!)


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