Unity, trials, and "redoubling"

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This week we jump forward in time to cover the General Conference that happened just last weekend, October 2020.
Thank goodness for General Conference. When have we needed it more? I haven't had any time to digest and ponder and re-read the messages yet, but here are a few of my initial impressions:

• Unity! The virtue I know we need but I also have the hardest time believing we can truly achieve. By my count, there were at least eight talks that I thought were mostly "about" Unity and becoming a Zion People (and others that mentioned it)—and not one of them said it's an impossible goal. So there!

• Along with that, there were at least four talks that brought up the City of Enoch. (Maybe more…my notes are sketchy.) I went back and looked for the story in the Bible and it's not there! It just says Enoch walked with God, but doesn't mention his whole city. I never realized that's something we knew through modern revelation, and it's much more impressive, really—since becoming "of one heart" doesn't sound nearly as hard with one person as with a whole city. :) I read Moses 6-7 where it talks about Enoch and was surprised by a lot of details I hadn't remembered. I guess that's a good place for further study as I try to learn more about unity!

• Keeping faith amidst trial and adversity: it's not surprising that this was a popular theme, but did it surprise you how popular? I think there were fourteen talks on this topic, covering every conceivable aspect of how we should respond to trials. I know there are always many people experiencing affliction at a given time, but right now I feel that it's more universal than ever before! Thinking about that makes me feel more like part of one "human family" than ever before, too. (Which I guess is good, since contention and conflict also seem worse than ever—see Point #1.)

• Three people used some variation of the phrase "redouble your efforts." I guess a lot of us are feeling tired and need to recommit to doing our best! An encouraging promise from Elder Rasband was that as we do this, we will be renewed. Interesting that the redoubling has to happen before the renewal! I suppose it's one of those "step forward into the darkness" situations.

• Three talks said something like "look forward to the future with joyful anticipation" or "our best days are ahead." Those talks also urged us not to dwell longingly on some romanticized (or pre-pandemic) past. That's a timely message for me and one I'm really anxious to internalize.

• My children loved the talk about the burning microwave! I hope they learned, at least, not to ever turn the microwave on without anything in it! I also hope they got the message that when we are empty inside, we can't absorb spiritual power. :)

• Another of their favorite stories: the dropped piano (hmm, are we noticing a theme here?). We just had our grand piano moved and it was nerve-wracking, so we could relate!

• I miss how a live audience laughs at people's jokes. There were several funny stories in this conference and it just wasn't the same without 20,000 people laughing at them!

• Two people said that women have a special gift to diminish contention. If only that were true! Well, of course I believe it is true. But I wish it were MORE true. That's a gift I really want to develop, and would give anything to exercise frequently in our home.

• I loved Sister Craig's talk, especially the part about the lady who was discouraged about her wayward children. She had tried so hard and made so many sacrifices, and felt that maybe all that effort had been wasted. Then the spirit gave her the thought, and the answer, "Why did I do these things? Because I loved the Savior and His gospel." So beautiful. I need to think of that often.

• Didn't you love President Nelson's talk on being "willing to let God prevail"? It was SO GOOD. Who would have thought that such a small fact about the meaning of a word would lead to so many great insights? Amazing. I am going to be pondering this concept for a long time.

Other posts in this series:

Tanner Lund—by G.
Mortal vs Morality—by Jan Tolman

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