Last week I wrote about my friend's passing. I've been thinking about him this week, and his family. I've been struck on more than one occasion at the tragedy that has befallen them and I have grieved with them. I've had many thoughts about Nick and how good he was. I don't like to go into too much detail about him since his death has been in the news and so much has already been said, so I'll just leave it at that.
Death is a very spiritual thing. We don't realize how much so until we experience for ourselves the loss of a loved one. Suddenly the purpose of this life becomes so clear, and we have the chance to look with eternal eyes to see what lays ahead of us in the next life. Death reminds us that this is life is so temporary. We are, none of us, here to stay. We all have to go home to our Father in Heaven, and some of us much sooner than others. I know this about death; I learned at an early age that death can be more uplifting than it is tragic, as long as we look at it with eternal eyes. I'm grateful for this knowledge. It has given me an assurance of my divine nature and the divine nature of all of us. It has given me peace and comfort, and at my darkest moments I am able to draw upon the strength of that knowledge. I only pray that Nick's family will be blessed to remember often this truth, so that they may draw from the strength it brings as they adjust to this most sudden separation.
And so for me, General Conference couldn't have come at a better time. I needed the spiritual uplift that I always feel during General Conference. I needed to have that reminder of the eternal, of what this life is all about. I needed to remember that Nick will be ok, and so will his family, because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I've been listening to a lot of past conference talks lately (I keep it playing in my car so I can listen every time I drive anywhere), so when I had the chance to listen to 8 hours of Conference, I was on cloud nine! I had so many insights into my own spiritual progression and what I need to be doing differently to improve myself. I felt the Spirit bear a powerful witness to me of the divinity of the Savior and His Atonement. I felt a strong witness of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and of the prophets. I came out of that conference a better person than when I came in, and I know that is because it is true. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's church here on the earth. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the priesthood keys in these latter days. I know that I am a daughter of God with a divine heritage and birthright. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and the Lord's mouthpiece. I know that he is divinely called to lead our church at this time. I know that the Gospel is true!
I don't bear my testimony enough, this I know. And I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've borne my testimony on my blog, and that is a sad fact. I should be shouting my testimony on the rooftops! Not hiding it from everyone so that they are constantly wondering if I only go to church for the free snacks.
I'm going to have to finish this post tomorrow (and I'll fix it then, because this is the roughest rough draft I've ever published), because it is way past my bed time. :)