Perhaps the Thursday following General Conference should be declared some sort of Mormon holiday, as that is when written transcripts of the sessions are due out. Here’s the link where they should show up sometime today. Check it out if you are looking to catch that talk you didn’t quite stay awake for (or your kids were jumping on your head during). Elder Oaks’ talk was a particular hit with me, but I think there were some things in Elder Bednar’s talk that I’d like to take another look at.
There is, I’m sorry to say, no Elder Wirthlin talk to go over. Here is a little snippet though, from six months ago in his final address:
The first thing we can do is learn to laugh. Have you ever seen an angry driver who, when someone else makes a mistake, reacts as though that person has insulted his honor, his family, his dog, and his ancestors all the way back to Adam? Or have you had an encounter with an overhanging cupboard door left open at the wrong place and the wrong time which has been cursed, condemned, and avenged by a sore-headed victim?
There is an antidote for times such as these: learn to laugh.
As long as I’m at it, here is a story I liked from Elder Andersen’s talk six months ago:
I once visited a mission in southern Europe. I arrived on the day a new missionary was preparing to return home at his own insistence. He had his ticket to leave the next day.
We sat together in the mission president’s home. The missionary told me about his challenging childhood, of learning disorders, of moving from one family to another. He spoke sincerely of his inability to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture. Then he added, “Brother Andersen, I don’t even know if God loves me.” As he said those words, I felt a sure and forceful feeling come into my spirit: “He does know I love him. He knows it.”
I let him continue for a few more minutes, and then I said, “Elder, I’m sympathetic to much of what you’ve said, but I must correct you on one thing: you do know God loves you. You know He does.”
As I said those words to him, the same Spirit that had spoken to me spoke to him. He bowed his head and began to cry. He apologized. “Brother Andersen,” he said, “I do know God loves me; I do know it.” He didn’t know everything, but he knew enough. He knew God loved him. That priceless piece of spiritual knowledge was sufficient for his doubt to be replaced with faith. He found the strength to stay on his mission.
And yes, actually, I did translate for Neil Andersen when he visited my (southern European) mission zone in 1996. Thanks for asking.