(I don't often post like this, but mostly I want to remember the thoughts I had today. Plus, I'm trying to be more fearless like this cool girl, also named Al. #UseTheInternetForGood)
General Conference with kids is often an 8 hour bribe session. This year was no exception, although for being so young I was really proud of how well they did. Conference Bingo with treats was key.
There were two talks that spoke to me this go round. The first was Rosemary Wixom's talk on parenting. She spoke on the importance of being present with your children. Put away the iPhone, the TV, the internet and connect with them. This is something I know I can work on, and it was good to hear it and recommit to being a better mother.
The second talk was by one of my favorites, Jeffery R. Holland. You can't help but love him. He brought to life the Bible story of the father who is pleading for the Lord's help to heal his son. "Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief." There were so many great pearls in this talk. Not denying your questions, but putting your faith first, no matter how great or small it is. And the beauty of belief. I've been thinking a lot about this since listening to the podcast that I referenced a few weeks ago. Fiona Givens talked about how in the LDS culture there is a lot of emphasis on knowledge. People stand in testimony meeting and say, "I know________." It is wonderful to know, but how there is also great power in belief. To some it is given to know and to some it is given to believe on their words. In this world there are compelling arguments for both belief and unbelief--and one has to choose the better of the two options. If it were perfectly clear what would be the role of choice and agency?
This all resonated with me. Then to hear Elder Holland talk, which reiterated many of these ideas, was so sweet. For me, there are things that I know. That God loves me and knows me oh so personally, and that He hears and answers my prayers. That Jesus Christ is my Savior and the Atonement is so real it is almost tangible. That Gordon B. Hinckley was a Prophet of God. That following the gospel and living right makes me happy. And then there are a host of things that I believe. It was good to hear someone with authority say that it is okay to just believe, and not know everything right now. Hopefully when I am Elder Holland's age my list of "knows" will be a little longer. But for now, I am good with belief.