Failing Conference

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Failing Conference

General Conference is a wonderful time of learning, joy and re-charging our spiritual batteries.

Or not.

Not everyone has such glowing reviews of their Conference experience – some come away with a very different feel. I was reminded of this last week in a Facebook discussion about Conference. One friend wrote:

“FAIL. As much as I love Conference and look forward to it, it reminds me of my report cards in school.

1. Gratitude for all things even in bad times (FAIL)

2. Prayers are answered.(sometimes FAIL…) Seems like I have plenty of “smallish” prayers answered, but the BIG ONES I got nadda.

3. It is the load that makes us strong (FAIL)  I just get all pissy if things get too hard.

4. LOVE….yay pass pass pass. I PASSED at something.”

Instead of feeling uplifted, feelings of discouragement and failure rush in.

And it isn’t just General Conference. Many of us emerge from our regular Church meetings feeling like failures. A talk in Sacrament might point out our shortcomings, a lesson in Relief Society might focus on things we are not doing right. A quorum lesson might spend the entire time shining a spotlight on that one weakness we struggle with most.

It happens. We then turn off the TV, or leave the meeting with our heads held. Instead of feeling hopeful and enlightened, we leave with heavy hearts and frustration. Failures.

Here is the problem with that response: General Conference is not an exam. Meetings are not tests. There are no grades attached.

The people speaking to us are not our judges or proctors. In reality, they are more like tutors instructing us to be prepared for the exam, or even a friend passing a cheat sheet under the desk to help us pass the test. They are there to help.

While there is an opportunity for self-evaluation, to which we might come up a bit short, there is no permanent mark on our eternal “Report Card.”

There are occasional “mid-terms” we take in our Church experience. They come in the form of private interviews, usually for Temple Recommends. Those “tests” are administered by those who have been given the task of standing as “Judges in Israel.”  Those mid-terms are very real, and the results do count, but they are only temporary results. They are not Final Exams, and we can still improve or decline. That is why we have to repeat the process every two years.

There is no final grade until it is Final. And it is not Final until we are safely dead.

So why do we occasionally feel like failures after being tutored? Is it self-inflicted? Or Spirit- inflicted? And yes, there is a difference.

When our feelings of failure are self-inflicted, we are focusing on what we are doing wrong and feeling embarrassed, guilty or inadequate – usually followed by discouragement or a desire to throw in the towel.  (Satan LOVES to rub our noses in this.)

“Lucifer will do all in his power to keep you captive. You are familiar with his strategy. He whispers: ” …You can’t change; you have tried before and failed.” “It’s too late; you’ve gone too far.” Don’t let him discourage you.” (Richard G. Scott)

When our feelings of failure are Spirit-inflicted, they usually comes in the form of promptings, guilt or enlightenment. It propels us foreword with purpose and joy. “I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy.” (D&C 11:13)

That does not preclude the chance that we might first get a little smack upside the head – spiritually speaking- but that’s OK, when it leads to repentance: “Guilt is to our spirit what pain is to our body—a warning of danger and a protection from additional damage.” (David A. Bednar)

The failure is not in our repeated failings. The failure is when we stop trying, and stop repenting.

Even then, as long as we aren’t dead, we can try and turn it around before the Final Exam. (aka, the Final Judgment.)

The Final Judgment will be less of a checklist of grades for each of our subjects in life, but more of an evaluation of what we have become here on earth.

One of the best expressions of this idea comes from Elder Dallin Oaks when he said,

“From such teachings we conclude that the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.” (Link)

It isn’t a checklist.

If we viewed General Conference last week with a “checklist mentality,” a “Spiritual Scorecard” of sorts, and walked away feeling discouraged, then we are simply looking at it wrong.

When the Lord’s servants teach us, they are giving us training, and ideas, as the Spirit offers insights and inspiration that will help us succeed on or Final Exam. Why? They all do it out of love and hope for our success.

President Monson closed out Conference last week with this simple request:

“As we ponder the messages we have heard, may we resolve to do a little better than we have done in the past.” (Link)

That’s really not a very high bar, is it? It doesn’t sound to me like he is calling any of us failures. As long as we are on walking around on this earth, the day we fail is the day we label ourselves “Failures” and stop trying.

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40 COMMENTS

  1. I love is! I never knew what to say to people who have shared these feelings with me. I just don’t have the type of personality that feels like I am being criticized by others when I hear something in a talk that I need to improve in. I wrote down a NUMBER of things during conference that I need to do better in – especially family scripture reading. Not once did I feel criticized, despite the fact that I know better. Great perspective – thank you!

  2. What a great blog today. I could used it a sacrament meeting talk. My poor brother continues to “Feel the guilt” of doing whats wrong. I guess we all do to an extent. I plan on copying and sending this to to him. I hope you don’t mind me sharing your words. He struggles tremendously. I love your comments.

  3. Elder Maxwell said something like this, “When conscience calls from the next ridge, it is often not to scold but to beckon.” But, yes, sometimes I feel overwhelmed after conference when I think about all the many ways I need to improve!

  4. I once revealed to my branch president that I had denied myself the sacrament for a period of time because I believed I was unworthy. His response was, “You’re not the judge. I am.”

    This experience taught me to do the best I can and to trust my judgment to my Heavenly Father.

    That’s what it really boils down to – trust. Do I try to keep control by judging and condemning myself, or do I let go and leave the judging to One who loves me more than I love myself, who understands far better than I do what the expectations are, who sees and understands the whole situation when I only see a small fraction of it, and who will never give me less than what is best for me?

    I trust Him to do the judging.

    • AuntSue
      This is so profound and so well said. It is about trust. Trust Him to love us, to forgive us, to lead us.

  5. INdeed. I used to do this very thing, in fact, I was so bad, some Relief Society teacher somewhere along the line in my experience had a seven page actual ‘check-list’ with boxes to check off and everything, of all the things we as women were ‘supposed’ to do/ be. . . to be ‘anxiously engaged’. It was all tongue-in-cheek and supposed to be humor, but the items were actual things that had been said in recent conferences. I was such a self-inflictor, I actually went through all seven pages and checked off what I felt I was pretty good at getting accomplished, and berating myself for all the things that were still blank.

    At the time I was the wife of the bishop, had four small children and had just recently be released as YW president. Not too long afterwards, I had a complete ‘drop all the twirling plates on the floor’ experience that taught me (through years of pain and major life changes) the truth of exactly what you are saying.

    In the ‘meantime’ (before my realization of what had happened and why, and what I could do in the future. . .) I couldn’t read the Ensign, I couldn’t listen to conference at all, and almost every Sunday I was in tears. I even told my visiting teachers that they could come, but I was not interested in a pithy ‘lesson’, there was no way I needed one more thing to feel badly about.

    While you are ‘in it’ there seems to be no way out.

    There is a way out. Mine was Gratitude. Tiny and at first just words, but after months of writing five things daily and never repeating, I had quite a remarkable list, and a glimmer of light returned to my world.

    I learned, as you have shared, that it isn’t about doing it all, and doing it all now, and doing it all flawlessly. It is about listening for the ONE thing, that I am there to hear. ONE take-away that can improve my life, my relationships or my testimony. That ONE thing, that has been put there, just for me.

    Like in life, reframing how we currently see things, can make all the difference. If I focus on hearing what I am doing wrong, that is all I hear. If I am searching only for that one thing that is there to help me, I find it.

    Once again, thank you.

  6. I know that some people view the prophets and apostles (and sisters) as scornful teachers with a ruler at the ready for scolding. But as I listened to them, I felt that they were closer to friends — brothers and sisters, whose only goal is to help us develop a closer relationship with our Heavenly Father and Christ, and guide us on the path that will ultimately lead to their presence.

    Having said this, there is PLENTY I need to work on. I actually printed out a few talks to re-study because there were things I needed to hear and REMEMBER. 🙂

  7. Man oh man!! I have struggled with life on so many differ levels the last 8 weeks and I decided to do what has been suggested before. Pray that you will find an answer(s) in Conference. Well I got EXACTLY what I needed! The talk by Pres Uchtdorf’s talk on being grateful for trials. I listened to it 4 times before I really began to feel a change of heart. I have been angry,sad, resentful and kinda lonely because of what was happening in my life. Why wasn’t HF rescuing me? Last night I prayed that I could endure this and still be happy and fairly well adjusted, well after Church today I KNOW I can endure it well and have a “perfect brightness of hope” that wasn’t there before. The Gospel is so very TRUE! sorry for long post

  8. Have to think of all those conference talk reminders of our failings as HELPS. They help us by giving specifics upon which we need to “examine” ourselves, exercise agency, and so avoid becoming the objects of judgement.
    28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
    31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
    32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
    29 And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance.
    So it boils down to an exercise in agency (doesn’t it always?) Once we arrive at a knowledge of good and evil, we must choose. Either we choose to judge and condemn (as Satan would have us) ourselves, or we choose to to be troubled (as Alma counseled) unto repentance. Happy we may be if upon a reminder of our “fail”, we have previously judged/assessed ourselves, and can honestly and accurately say “I’M ON IT!” even if it is still a work in progress. Inspired reminders of our “Fails” must be seen as testimony that hope remains. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

  9. I for one, loved conference, received a spiritual uplift and can’t wait to read the messages in the Ensign.

  10. Reminds me of a poem I committed to memory many years ago.
    “Life is a piece of paper white
    On which each one of us must write
    A line or two, and then comes night.
    Greatly begin though thou hast time
    For but one line, Be it sublime.
    Not failure, but low aim is crime.”
    This helps me to remember that I will fail many times, but my aim
    need should remain high and focused on eternal things.
    I have found that Satan loves to whisper in our ear, after we’ve had a spiritual high, be it Sacrament meeting, a SS lesson, General Conference, etc. He wants us to believe that we are not good enough, or smart enough to keep striving to be ‘whole’. The Atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to obtain that power to be all that He wants us to be – in His time and in His way. Each of us are on a different level and cannot compare ourselves with anyone but ourselves – we lost every time we do this. Satan knows that.
    Great Post – thanks for sharing. Also enjoy the comments.

  11. Great topic for discussion as this is definitely something I have and continue to struggle with. Two things have really helped me.

    The first is the conference talk in 2011 by Elder Holland. I happened to be home alone and when I heard the following and I just cried and cried and cried.

    “So if you are trying to do the best you can—if, for example, you keep trying to hold family home evening in spite of the bedlam that sometimes reigns in a houseful of little bedlamites—then give yourself high marks and, when we come to that subject, listen for another which addresses a topic where you may be lacking. If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you.”

    Hearing this was like this huge weight being lifted from my shoulders. Before every conference I still go back and reread his words to remind myself that not every word spoken is aimed at me. The spirit will (and does) guide me to what I need to hear. It’s okay to let go of the rest; there is no checklist.

    The second thing I did was to start paying attention to when I started to feel too much pressure (more at church meetings than general conference) and look for patterns. It really quickly became clear that my main trigger for feelings of personal failure (and anxiety, that’s what it really is) are speakers that spend lots of time speaking to the audience as if we are in need of spiritual rehabs. Especially the words “we should all..” “we must all…” These words are VERY popular for some speakers and make me start hunkering down in my seat.

    It seems like there’s something in LDS culture that really values one person influencing another for good. It can be a beautiful thing(I had a fabulous experience just today), but sometimes speakers take this too far. The language is too pushy. “We should all” assumes we’re not obedient in the first place and in need of a call to repentance. For me, acknowledging in the moment that I’m listening to an overeager speaker helps me to relax and also ‘let it go’. (Errr… Sorry. As someone with too much stress and anxiety, those lyrics have become a bit of a theme song for me.) Much of the time, the pressure isn’t about me at all anyway. It’s about the person doing the speaking and their need to be influential and do a good job with their assigned topic. And since teaching and public speaking can be so difficult/stressful, I don’t want to be judgmental because another person isn’t doing a perfect job. So when faced with someone putting on the pressure, I think through the logic of it and then read my scriptures so I don’t listen too hard. (probably rude, but a better coping method than pulling out my cellphone (one of my personal pet peeves when it comes to meeting manners)).

  12. Great post…Not sure why this thought came to me, but as I read this post and the comments, my thoughts turned to how my children reacted to conference. They are 10, 8 and 5… and after conference each of them could tell me something they had learned and something they wanted to work on/do better at. My 5 year old really wanted to bear her testimony and practiced and counted down the days…and then today, she got nervous and changed her mind. I told her it was okay…and it is. She is shy and standing up in sacrament makes her nervous…and she is five. Afterwards, she wasn’t upset that she didn’t bear her testimony or beating herself up that she didn’t follow through. She matter of factly said that she would bear it next time. And she has born it for our family multiple times lately as practice. For her, it wasn’t a failure…just a chance to try again next time. I think sometimes our children are wise in ways that elude us. Because of the Atonement, we can do better each day. On Emily Freeman’s blog she wrote a couple of months ago about a time when she didn’t follow a prompting. That night she pled with The Lord to have a do over…and he gently told her no, but she could have a Do Better. That prompting was past, but future promptings would come and she could do better next time. That is what conference is for me…and Relief Society and sacrament meeting and so many other things…my Do Betters…my chances to try again, to repent, to slowly change. If I can follow the example of my children, become like a little child as the Savior encouraged, then I will have the right attitude toward conference. (Generally, I think I do DURING conference…for me, it is usually weeks later when I am still me that I beat myself up a bit.). (Also, this is not to say that we purposely choose not to follow a prompting or do what is right just because there is always next time…but to be forgiving of our mistakes and the times we fall short. To trust that the Atonement has power to heal, to improve us, etc.)

  13. So, if conference makes us think we’re failing, then we’re actually failing? Oh great, I’m not even listening to conference right…

    Seriously, though, this is good to remember. I’m one of those who tends to beat myself up more than I should. But I’m getting better.

  14. It’s important to remember that those who spoke are also imperfect men. They were also speaking to each other as well as to us. As seers, they should be aware of what the future holds in store for them and us. They are concerned with the future and how the Lord is going to bless everyone through future trials.

  15. I don’t care who says it at General Conference, but the feeling of guilt is not of God because it doesn’t edify and only makes it harder to change. I understand what they mean/meant but guilt is the wrong word to use, I believe. In my experience, a feeling of guilt (which is different from the realization that I have done wrong or sinned) has never motivated me to repent. Guilt is a negative emotion that tears you down and belittles–a tool of Satan. It keeps you in the rut. It is never right to condemn and belittle ourselves, or better said – we have no right to condemn ourselves! That is something we’ve learned to do and a bad habit we pick up, unfortunately. When someone is very good at beating themselves up (even ‘good’ members of the church with otherwise strong righteous desires) they cultivate a frame of reference that believes everyone else is, must be, or should be criticizing them too–and thus easily hear the messages at conference through that unhealthy filter. This was a clever blog post because it hits on how so many of us struggle with self-induced, not Spirit-induced (I contend), feelings of guilt and a ‘fail’ when we shouldn’t. Let’s first repent of being hard on ourselves and needless feelings of guilt!!

      • Wonderful, I plan to as well! Definitely a sticky topic, guilt is…so emotionally charged 🙂

        Just to clarify, there are several definitions and nuances for the word guilt/guilty…and the one I’m referring to in my post above is the continual negative feeling one has that says “I’m bad”, not the condition of guilt (did you eat the cookie? Yes, I did, I’m guilty), or the prick one’s conscience/the Light of Chirst gives at a moment of weakness that warn’s “no, don’t!” or immediately afterwards that says “that was wrong”–this feeling informs, it doesn’t condemn or belittle or imply ‘failure’ as a person…as if we intended and wanted to screw up and complicate our lives. I don’t mean to split hairs here, but I think distinguishing different functions of guilt is absolutely crucial to our understanding of the gospel.

        As far as sticking with the apostles on the role of guilt, the link you gave to Elder Scott’s talk definitely doesn’t have the same tone about guilt and despair…indeed, he’s telling us to get rid of those feelings because they don’t help us. There are plenty of other references too on the bad effects of the ‘feeling’ of guilt from apostles and prophets that don’t associate it as a fruit of the Spirit. Specifically, I felt that Pres Uchtdorf’s talk in Oct 2013 “You can do it now” offered a gentle correction to Elder Bednar’s use of the word (which we generally misinterpreted as the feeling of guilt) or at least a clarification on the role of guilt. In that talk he [Uchtdorf] explains how feelings of guilt and hopelessness is ‘worldly sorrow’ while ‘godly sorrow’, in contrast, doesn’t demean yet inspires us to change. There are many other talks that also warn that the feeling of guilt is detrimental to our progress (Forget Me Not, by Pres Uchtdorf comes to mind, or how about Broken Things to Mend, by Elder Holland?).

        In my first post I was approaching from this perspective…captured eloquently by a quote by Pres. Kimball about how Christ perceives us (and how we should learn to perceive ourselves as well): “Jesus saw sin as wrong but also was able to see sin as springing from deep and unmet needs on the part of the sinner. This permitted him to condemn the sin without condemning the individual. We can show forth our love for others even when we are called upon to correct them. We need to be able to look deeply enough into the lives of others to see the basic causes for their failures and shortcomings.” (https://www.lds.org/ensign/1979/08/jesus-the-perfect-leader?lang=eng). We have no right to condemn ourselves because Christ doesn’t and the more we can get rid of the feeling of guilt in our lives the easier true, lasting repentance becomes. The more we harbor unhealthy feelings of guilt the less likely we are to repent, it motivates us to continue to sin. Refusing to give up our habits of self-belittlement destroys our faith in Christ.

  16. Regarding what apostles have taught about guilt – I like this one from Pres. Uchtdorf:
    Oct 2013 conference.

    “But there is an important difference between the sorrow for sin that leads to repentance and the sorrow that leads to despair.

    The Apostle Paul taught that “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation … but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”3 Godly sorrow inspires change and hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Worldly sorrow pulls us down, extinguishes hope, and persuades us to give in to further temptation.

    Godly sorrow leads to conversion and a change of heart. It causes us to hate sin and love goodness. It encourages us to stand up and walk in the light of Christ’s love. True repentance is about transformation, not torture or torment. Yes, heartfelt regret and true remorse for disobedience are often painful and very important steps in the sacred process of repentance. But when guilt leads to self-loathing or prevents us from rising up again, it is impeding rather than promoting our repentance.

  17. Thank you for this blog. And for the comments posted. No matter how old we are (and I’m sure I’ve passed middle age) we can continue to learn from others.

  18. I enjoyed reading this blog, as well as many of my fellow commenters. To think of conference, or any church lesson, as someone reminding us that we are failures is to look at the message all wrong. I think of these learning opportunities more like a gps. The messages are giving the Spirit the opportunity to remind us of the course we should be following. We’re all on the same path. Some of us are travelling faster than others. Some of us may have gone off course because we got distracted by the bright shiny things of the world. Regardless of where we are, we can all use that voice telling us when we need to make a course direction. Even our church leaders, from the top down, are on the same path and need periodic spiritual promptings to stay the course.

  19. I appreciate that you are so confident to take this issue on head on! Kudos! I appreciate also those who feel such frustration with their perceptions and beliefs and that they take the time to express themselves. The key of the gospel is how beautiful the process is that we are allowed as imperfect ever changing…progressing beings to teach one another. I love the power of the atonement and how it can literally cleanse a soul who is lost in the bitterness of what life has dealt them and find themselves lost in a fog of disbelief and yet if there is even a sliver a small crack where a seed of hope can take root; the power of the atonement has all of the cleansing power and they are entitled to all of the blessings of salvation. On the opposite side of the spectrum we may find someone who has lived a life relatively free of worldly challenges, but perhaps for them, their biggest trial is finding compassion or even being free of judgment or even understanding the potential and worth of all of Gods children. If we each perceive one another truly as brothers and sisters regardless if we share the same faith, values, habits, even opinions. To me our purpose is to love! To support one another, teach one another and learn from one another. I love the world we live in! It has a lot of challenges, but it is REMARKABLE! Each of us have a lot of challenges, but each of us are REMARKABLE! I want to add one more piece regarding our progression. In our day there are many challenges that are unique to this generation. I know it is essential that we do not judge another person and that there is so many pieces to what makes a person do what they do. We truly never know what truly motivates another persons behavior. For us to take another persons actions as a personal assault can be a true injustice to ourselves and to them. Only the Lord truly understands all pieces of these puzzles. There is more to this process than this life. What about Eternal Progression? We can never give up on anyone! Never give up even on ourselves! Trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding! Teach hope in Christ! Remind others that who they are and what they are entitled to! Unconditional love is the greatest gift not just for the recipient but also for the giver. The church 12 step program is the most powerful way in my personal opinion for anyone to understand the power of the atonement. We don’t need to have an addiction to attend:) Thanks for your post!

  20. For those of you who are waiting for the Ensign to come out so you can reread the Conference talks, just be aware that they are already available on lds.org and also in the Gospel Library app. A great use of technology!

  21. I’m a 79 year old great grandmother, — mother of 9 children, 29 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. I’m not saying this to sound better than others — In the 50’s and 60’s when we were raising our children, a neighbor on the left had 9, on the right had 7, across the street had 10, another family down 2 houses had 10, and another family a street away had 10 — all in the same ward. Life, if you are blessed to be able to live many years, keeps teaching you. I was one who demanded a lot of myself, (having a large family was one of them) and I was active in the Church. One time when I had 6 children still at home, 1 married and 2 in college, all my teeth ached, so I went and had a dentist fix them. Then I had bad headaches, so I finally went to an excellent chiropractor. He told me I was a hair’s breadth from a “nervous breakdown” and that I had adrenalin exhaustion. I was very busy, teaching 15 piano students, head of the roadshow, etc., and I would cry when anyone asked me how I was. This chiropractor told me I needed to learn to say “no!” and had me write it on a piece of paper 24 times a day. It took 6 weeks of going to my “chiropractor-psychologist” and sleeping morning, afternoon, and all night to regain my fairly normal strength.
    How does this apply to the great blog ? When you are trying to do everything “right”, you can actually be doing so wrong. I love Mosiah 4:27 — It is not requisite that a man (woman) should run faster than he has strength. — and a few more words. That scripture has helped me so much.
    I had a young bishop’s wife, during that particular period when there actually was a TV program about Mormon women trying to be “super-moms” that she told me — I’m supposed to know how to sew, and I made a dress once — so I’m find on that. I’m supposed to make homemade bread, and I did that once, so I’m fine on that! Etc. etc. You get the point. We can’t do it all right, or be what we should, (and want) to be all at the same time. I have enjoyed the comments above, and have a really friendly and loving feeling to each of you. If you could name almost any moral problem, connected with Church’s teachings, someone in my family has had it, and some of my teenage grandchildren aren’t even baptized. And yet we had a Temple marriage, have gone on 2 couple missions, been Temple and Family History workers, had one son who was a Stake President, 4 children go on missions, etc. and others who are almost anti-Church. How? We don’t know. At times I used to beat myself up, wondering where I had failed. I have come to the understanding that I did the best I could, (with the knowledge I had at the time) and that truly each of my posterity, as well as the rest of you, when it comes to the bottom line — live our lives using our own agency. The main thing we try to do is love each of our posterity, and thankfully, they all still love to get together.
    If we choose to feel guilty — and get bitter, or actually make plans and decisions to improve our lives, it is up to us. I do believe when we should Love our neighbor as ourselves, that it means we LOVE OURSELVES. Deep down, I believe most all of us do the best we know, with the knowledge and experience we have at the time. Yes, often in retrospect we didn’t make the best choices, but we need to, as a Micheal McLean song says “Be Gentle on ourselves.”
    In the last few months I have started a blog. It has many of my own ideas, and also many of the pioneer stories of my ancestors, telling how they had persecutions, knew the Prophet Joseph, etc. If any would like to read it — you will find it at:
    http://www.grandmapalspocket.blogspot.com
    I welcome any comments there also. We are all in this together. I often wish that some of my posterity would want to hear some of the things I feel that such a long, and often difficult life has taught me. — I do believe the final message of Conference is to have love for each other ! ! !

  22. goodness, they don’t seem to understand the fulness of the at-one-ment .Christ took upon himself the guilt too it is called Mercy,a divine attribute we all try for but fall short and its o.k. to fall short that’s Christ Grace- he picks up where we cant. sr kml

  23. A heartfelt thank you for this post. Woke up too early with those beating-self-up thoughts whirling through a tired brain and aching body. Perhaps not by chance that I came across this.

  24. This was a great post and the comments were so real. Thanks to all who contributed. I too am in my 70’s (76 this May) and the mother/grandmother/great-grandmother of a burgeoning posterity – some so full of testimony and faith, others not but all working out their life journey and receiving their personal tutorials in whatever manner they will receive. I love them all and learn from each of them. The learning never stops, and the waste of burdening one’s self with those feelings of not being enough becomes more evident the closer I come to the return home. General Conference was just wonderful – they truly do seem to get better and better! I figure I have a very good chance of having another 25 years or so since longevity is in my genes and hope to be enjoying Conference for many more sessions!

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