Saturday, January 28, 2012

Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts

Today Micah and I were supposed to go to the Temple, but I was really sick yesterday and today Micah had whatever I had so it has been postponed until next week. It's okay though because I was still able to make it to my stake's Relief Society Conference. I had been excited to go to it until just before I was supposed to go. I was feeling lazy and just wanted to spend the day with Lila and give Micah a break as he was sick, but because we weren't able to go to the temple I thought that it would be worth it. Sister Hilary Weeks and Sister Kris Belcher were the main speakers and they were so inspirational. I enjoyed every moment of this conference and in a way it made up for not being able to go to the temple. I love when I'm able to come out of a church function feeling so inspired and uplifted. I wish that I could have recorded it so that I could allow you to listen, but I'll just have to try and give you some of the highlights.

It began with a stake choir singing "The Spirit of God" and it was really beautiful. They had most of the choir up front, but then had some of the members gradually join that were spread throughout the congregation and then on the final verse they had us all stand and sing it. It was a great way to start off the meeting and to invite the spirit.

Sister Keddington from our stake gave a short talk first and introduced the other speakers. Even within her short talk what she had to say had an effect on me. The main idea was that we need to be women of hope (which was the theme) in a world that is expecting the exact opposite.

Next, Hilary Weeks spoke and she focused on the power of thought. She had a lot of wonderful quotes and sang several beautiful songs. I'll only share a few of her thoughts otherwise this post will be REALLY long. She began by having us picture ourselves in a kitchen, going to the fridge, pulling out a lemon, cutting it in half, and then licking one of the halves. While imagining this my mouth began to salivate and then she said, "I bet most of us began to salivate as we thought of the lemon. If a lemon could cause that much of a reaction, how much could the power of positive thought affect us?" She then talked about an article that she had read that stated people have on average more than 300 negative thoughts daily. After reading this, she decided that she was going to do an experiment where she would use a clicker to keep track of her negative thoughts. She started off the day explaining this to her kids. On the way to school one of her kids picked it up and said "Nine already? Really Mom?" And so she decided to cover the number with masking tape so that she couldn't try and skew the results. After the first day she had clicked it 145 times and she hadn't actually taken it with her everywhere. She continued on with her experiment into date night with her husband where she was constantly clicking it, because she was complaining about her day. She talked about how she couldn't take it to church with her as she was worried people would ask her what she was doing and she would have to click it in front of them as she explained, or she would be clicking it a lot during church while some kids spill their cheerios all over the floor and she would judge their parents. It got to the end of one week and she started to feel really depressed and down and she couldn't figure out what happened. Suddenly, she realized that it was probably because she was focusing so much on her negative thoughts and giving them so much attention. She then decided to flip her experiment and keep track of her positive thoughts. The first day she had 321 thoughts and by day four she had 1,262 positive thoughts, and she had never felt happier.

I'm really butchering the power of her talk, but I'll just finish with a last few quotes and ideas that she had.

Every day she tells herself that she is a "capable, dynamic, beautiful, healthy, courageous woman." She chose those five words as they are the things that she doubts most in herself and so it is her way of encouraging herself to be that way.

"Thoughts make us what we are." ~Pres. David O. McKay
"How can a person possibly become what they are not thinking about" ~Pres. Spencer W. Kimball
D&C 6:36 "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

She ended by talking about how positive Nephi was throughout his life even in times of hardship. She compared him to Laman and Lemuel who were constantly complaining and saying that things were impossible. When Nephi was asked to build a ship he didn't complain and talk about how he didn't know what to do, but instead had faith and was positive in his thoughts and accomplished the task that was set before him. Sister Weeks then asked us to think about the following question... "Have you been asked to build a ship, but have no way or no idea of how to do it?" This was probably my favorite part of the talk, because she related positive thought to real faith and that is how I feel right now in my life. Not knowing what is next for Micah and me is hard for me as I had my life somewhat planned out. I thought that finding a job would be easier than it is and so I have been somewhat struggling in my faith with this. I have SAID multiple times that I have faith that it will all work out, but then I have negative thoughts that I'll perhaps have to work for the next 30 years and I won't get what I ultimately want. I can't just say I'm one way and then think and act a complete opposite way. I actually have more faith now that things will work out and that I'll be able to "build my ship", since listening to her talk, than I did before. I have resolved to have positive thoughts as long as I hope to have faith in the Lord.

"We become what we want to be, by consistently being what we want to become." ~Elder Scott

I'm so grateful for opportunities like this where I get to have my spirit uplifted and my testimony strengthened. What a blessing to have the gospel in my life and feel hope in a world that is dying without it.

**I was going to post about the second speaker, but this one was already SO long that I'll save it for tomorrow.


  1. Thanks Louisa for this, I have taken some little things away just from your words and look forward to what the other speakers have had to say. I to wish that you had taped the conference as I would have loved to have heard more. So I look forward to the next chapter. We also really need a "like" button like Facebook !!!! I'm so glad that you had such an enlightening day !! Miss you guys heaps xxxx

  2. This was excellent, thank you so much!