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“God uses the weak and the plain to bring about His purposes” -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

In a recently released movie called “Onward”, it is a story of two brothers on a quest trying to bring back their Dad for one day. Their Dad died when they were children and when they were past the age of 16 they were able to bring their Dad back for one day, through a magic spell that he left for them. They had to fulfill the spell with a special Phoenix Gem for the staff that was left with the spell. The quest was to find the Phoenix Gem and then say the spell. They had to go on a long adventure with obstacles in the way.

One brother (Barley) on the quest found joy in the journey and learned from his mistakes. He also didn’t allow them to hang over his head too long but to lift his spirits and keep going. The other brother (Ian) didn’t want to make mistakes. He thought the joy would come once he was able to see his Father. Towards the end of the movie, Ian was upset at Barley because of his directions in the Journey that had them almost miss the chance to see their dad. Barley didn’t want to give up and wanted to keep going to find answers. Ian left Barley and reviewed a list of things he wanted to do with his dad. When he walked away from his brother he opened that list and realized all the things he wanted to do with his dad was all the things he HAS been doing with his brother. His brother was his adventure and the one he was meant to experience the quest with. He quickly realized he needed to get back to his brother and make things right. They both grew closer together because of what they experienced. It was very real to me and touched my spirit.

During this conference weekend I was hoping to have some grand spiritual awakening to something that was said by the speakers. I loved a lot of the talks but I was hoping for something so profound that it shook my thoughts.

In the last session of Conference I started to feel my eyes get heavy. I thought that if I rested my eyes while the choir was singing in the first few minutes of the session I could be fully alert for the remaining part. I was asleep for the first 20 minutes of the session and woke up feeling horrible. I felt horrible for missing a talk and I started to feel horrible about myself. I was beating myself up for falling asleep and I started beating myself about all the wrong things I do. Oh, how negative thinking can downward spiral… 

I went into thoughts about all the mistakes I had made and how Heavenly Father could even accept me into his presence when I passed from this life. I knew and know that these thoughts are never helpful. I also know I have repented of every single one of them and have bettered myself because of those mistakes. They shouldn’t be something I focus on anymore. 

My negativity drained my thinking and it was all I was focusing on when I wanted to be focusing on the remainder of the talks. I looked up at the screen and it was then Dieter F. Uchtdorf giving his talk, “Come and Belong.” His talk was the spiritual awakening I was hoping for. He said three things that comforted me and helped me remember my purpose. I was reminded that I am worthy of love and the opportunity to live with Heavenly Father again. 

My three takeaways from Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

  1. Jesus wants us to belong. Our savior wants us with Him even if we don’t have faith in ourselves or think we are worthy to be with Him.
  2. God brings out the weak to fulfill His purposes.
  3. If God wanted someone perfect to restore the church, He would still be waiting.

I loved these thoughts that he presented to me. He shared how Heavenly Father knows none of us are perfect but still wants us to keep trying to follow Jesus Christ. He wants us to do our very best and learn from our mistakes during the journey. He still has purposes for ALL of us. 

I then thought about the purpose I have now. I feel a divine purpose to be a mother and share my spiritual experiences through writing with others, from all over. I thought of the movie “Onward” and dwell in my mistakes or I can move forward from what I learned and find joy. I can find joy in the work that I am called to do. I believe the work I am called to do is to help others understand the spirit more. I want everyone to realize that we all have a spirit that can speak to them, encourage greatness, ways to become better and grow from their experiences in their journey.  

Doctrine and Covenants 4: 2-7

2. Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind, and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.

3. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;

4. For behold the field is white ready to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;

5. And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.

6. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.

7. Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.

While listening to General Conference I felt like the brother, Ian that didn’t want to find enjoyment in the journey. I only wanted to find joy or excitement when it was something fulfilling for me. 

Having my heart set on the Lord

Jenny Oaks, a spiritual musician, described a similar experience she had when she was performing in front of a large audience. She said something on BYUTV about her attitude during the performance. I’m paraphrasing when she said something like, “during the first half of the performance I didn’t have good feelings or the spirit with me. When it was the intermission I realized I was out on stage performing for myself and not for the Lord, which is who I really want this music to be for.” She repented during the intermission and the second half was centered on performing for the Lord. It was so much more rewarding.The spirit was with her and she felt the love of the Lord.

I thought of her words while I was listening to Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I said a silent prayer and asked for forgiveness for my thoughts and for not opening my heart enough to the other talks. I could have enjoyed all the sessions if I went in with a more Christ-centered mindset. 

I then read through all my notes from each speaker and thought of how each one of them sincerely applies to me. After reviewing my notes I felt like they spoke about fulfilling the work of the Lord, Hearing Him, and listening to the Holy Ghost and following through with the promptings we receive. Absolutely everything I wanted to hear. 

I loved Neil L. Anderson’s talk, “Spiritually Defining Memories,” with him asking what we do to hear Christ? Is he our focus in everything we do? 

For me, I thought of how I hear Christ when I am writing and wanting to serve others, like my family. It reminded me of these same scriptures from Doctrine and Covenants above. My eye should be single to the glory of God. When I focus on Christ and hear Him I want to have faith, be virtuous, knowledgeable, temporant, patient, be kind, love God, have charity, humility, and be diligent. 

I want to repeat these scriptures again because of how much they impacted me with my thoughts during General Conference.

  1. And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
  2. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.

What I took from Neil L. Anderson is, while I am working towards Hearing Him I will find more spiritual moments and more will come to me. More impacts and great spiritual experiences. 

My spiritual impact

I want to share the biggest impact that I received during this conference that brings so much emotion to my heart. It was that spiritual empowerment I was longing for. When I woke up from my “nap” to finish listening to the evening conference, experiencing my shameful thoughts I was overcome with a moment to “Hear Him,” the focus of this General Conference. I looked out the window trying to avoid my thoughts and saw an image come to my mind. I saw Jesus Christ turning his shoulder back at me. I could see Angels ahead of Him that he accepted into His presence and he was looking back at me to make sure I was still trying to come to Him. 

I felt the spirit so strong and started to cry. I immediately looked up on Pinterest a photo that described the picture I saw in my head. I came across the photo above and below that I have never seen before and thought it was exactly what my thoughts were depicting. I saved the photo and had to share the impact it created for me while I was listening to the end of conference. 

We all have a work to do. We all can find enjoyment in the learning of our own journey as we grow in Christ and do our best to “Hear Him”. Our prophet did a wonderful job making the focus about Jesus Christ in a somber and gracious way. He wanted our focus to be to Hear Christ.

Jesus Christ was present in every talk and is present in every good thought. I had negative thoughts during the session and prayed for comfort. I have had rough points in my journey, but I’m grateful for when I learned from my mistakes and found joy in repentance and feeling my Savior’s love. 

I could Hear Him, I felt His spirit, and I could see Him looking back at me encouraging me to join Him. Join Him in the work and continue to learn from my spiritual experiences and continue to share them.

My impact is the love I feel from Jesus Christ

This General Conference was extremely impactful to say the least. I am so grateful and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father for their pure love for me. 

“God uses the weak and plain to bring about His purposes.” 

Crosswalk.com

I am weak at times. I am learning and so blessed to keep growing. I want to fulfill His purposes by being a hand for Him and strength through my experiences. I do them because I love my Savior and I can feel His love for me. He is ever reaching towards me to help bring about His work. 

“When personal difficulty, doubt, or discouragement darken our path, or when world conditions beyond our control lead us to wonder about the future, the spiritually defining memories from our book of life are like luminous stones that help brighten the road ahead, assuring us that God knows us, loves us and has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to help us return home.” -Neil L. Anderson

Please find joy in your journey. We are all making mistakes. We are all learning and growing. There is hope. There is weakness. There is love. Allow Christ’s love to impact you and help you to become better and strive to fulfill your best purpose, whatever you believe it to be.

 We are called to the work even with the mistakes we have made, learned and become better from. Our focus should be to “Hear Him.” When we Hear Him, His spirit is present and we are able live better and at moments like mine, think better. Listen, He is there and ready for you to “Come and Belong.” 

I feel His embrace and I hope you are able to feel it as well.

What impacted you this General Conference?

What was your favorite talk?

What are ways you are able to fulfill God’s purposes?

Love, Bri

About Author

My name is Brianna Marshall. I was born in Dayton, Ohio into a Air Force family. We moved to Colorado Springs, CO when I was 5 years old and lived there till I moved off to College to Orem, Utah in 2007. I was raised into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'm still actively practicing the same faith today. I graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelors in Communications. I was married to my husband Dom in 2010 in the San Diego Temple. Dom and I have two children, one a boy, named Ronen, and a girl, named Ryen. I have been in and out of teaching physical fitness for over 10 years. I love to run and weight lift most days of the week. I also love to do yoga at night to calm me down before bed. I have always had a love for baked goods. My mom made a great dessert every Sunday and made them upon request growing up. I have always been really well at expressing my thoughts and feelings. I love to express a lot of my spiritual feelings with friends and family. As a young girl, I worked really hard to have a great relationship with my Father in Heaven. I have felt His presence from the time I was 8 and currently still feel his love and desire for me to become closer to Him. I desire to be a missionary as well as help others understand His love for all of His children. I find that being friendly, understanding and being compassionate to everyone is the best example of His son, Jesus Christ. I strive to follow His teachings. I also stumble with all of it. I'm so grateful for the atonement and repentance when I'm in need of change of heart and a compassionate spirit. I find life to be so beautiful and I'm grateful everyday for the experiences I have. I am a wife, mother, daughter of God, writer, runner, baker, and an imperfect being striving to be the best me.

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2 Comments

  1. I love this article because I can relate to having similar thoughts of discouragement and doubt. the message from Jenny Oaks, hit it on the spot. When I do things to bring glory to me, I am alone, but when I do things to bring glory to God I am surrounded by love. I love this gospel!

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