Just kidding. He doesn’t always come to town. But a couple of weeks ago, he did.
We had our Stake Conference on June 11th. We found out in May that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland would be visiting us and I literally couldn’t even contain my excitement!!!! Not only was an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ coming to visit, but ELDER HOLLAND was coming.
I have this weird thing that I bring upon myself, it’s called social anxiety. I literally get so anxious that I end up having a panic attack and start crying pretty hard. It often keeps me from going to social events like meeting up with friends, going to stake conference, etc. It’s really hard on me and I absolutely hate it but it’s just something I have to work through. :/
We arrived at 8:30 AM (more like 8:15) to get good seats. We were on the 5th row from the front where Elder Holland would speak to us. It was incredible. The meeting didn’t even start until 10:00 AM! Haha, but it was so worth it. I got to sit by my babe and my bff Abby. ANNNND my mom and Jess :) It was just a wonderful experience. Absolutely incredible. Abby and I always find ourselves doing everything together and this was one of them!
I wish I could remember everything he said, I really do. It was so good. We were getting a new stake presidency that day so, he spoke a lot on supporting and accepting those who are called to certain positions in the Church that we, as members, feel like it could have been filled by someone else. It’s kind of silly but people do! I always wondered why my dad was never in the bishopric like my friends’ dad. Or why my mom wasn’t in a super cool stake calling. You just do, it’s just apart of being within the Church. But the way he spoke about sustaining them anyway, and supporting them and promising with the Lord that you will serve alongside them. It was very powerful and probably something we needed to hear.
He then started talking about a few other things and incorporated the Book of Mormon. I say “things” because I literally just can’t really say all that he said. You just had to be there. Also, he speaks exactly the same in person/in the chapel as he does in General Conference. HAHA like woah… we can hear you loud and clear through the microphone ;) ;) ;) I kid I kid. But it was powerful and amazing and a complete testimony builder. God loves his Apostles. They are the same person both on TV and in your church building. They love us. They want to serve and help us. Some things I do remember him saying are:
- “You can stay in the church. You can leave the church. But you cannot deny the evidence!”
- “I read this book every year. I am not me without this book.”
- “YOU CANNOT DENY THE EVIDENCE!”
A little bit of emphasis on that last one because we all know Elder Holland. Haha, anyway, the “evidence” that he speaks of is the proof that God lives, Jesus Christ atoned for our sins and the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on the earth today. The evidence that Angels are real, Heaven exists and this is the true-living Church of God, the ONLY true church on the earth today. I cried. I cried through his entire talk. surprise surprise. It was exactly what I needed, what my friends needed, my family… our stake. It was everything and more. I need to read the Book of Mormon. Every year, every day.
I know, without a doubt, that my Heavenly Father loves me. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that the Prophet and President of the Church today, is Thomas S. Monson. I know that Apostles are real, and that they are just like us. I know, that after hearing him speak to us, God is ever-mindful of us individuals and what we need to hear and when we need to hear it. This church is true. It is the truest of the truest. It is life-saving, life-changing, and eternal. I would not be who I am today without it. I would not be able to live, breathe, love, or enjoy life without the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the many Pioneers and ancestors who trekked across the country to bring this light. My family is eternal. My marriage is eternal. I don’t understand, and I might not ever, some of the doctrine, the policies or any other decisions the Church makes. AND THAT’S OKAY. It’s okay that I have questions, and it’s most definitely okay that I wrestle while working through that. Nothing in this world, no alcohol, drugs, partying, stealing, etc. would EVER be more worth it. NOTHING. I know what I know because of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have had way too many sacred experiences, and too many witnesses to deny it.