Elder Dallin H. Oaks holds a very special place in our hearts here at the Preston home!! Not only because he is a member of the Quorum of the twelve Apostles, but because he is the father to a special friend and neighbor of mine. As of late, we have had the privilege of talking with him, of listening to him and being around him. First, was his grandson getting married and he was there to chat with about Mikes' days in the football locker room when he was Pres. of BYU! He is just so charming and when he laughs he throws his head back and lets out a jovial, full laugh. I LOVE IT!! And so does my husband. He is always happy and loves to mingle with people!
He spoke at Women's Conference this last week along with his wife. To put his talk into a paragraph, he said, "When we're centered on Christ and service to our fellow man, we have a standard of right and wrong, and we know what to do about it. Service is an imperative for true followers of Christ.".....he talked about the causes of stress, including financial, emotional and physical issues. Women, who are prominently positioned as nurturers, sometimes need a break from the weight put upon them. The result of these stresses,is fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. The answer to the fear caused by all of these stresses is the HOPE and ASSURANCE that comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our faith causes us to trust in its author. His strength is sufficient to sustain us, and His promises are sure." Sounds like a Primary song, yes?
Sis. Oaks said, "As women, too, w set very high expectations for ourselves, at times we feel mired down by personal inadequacies, both real and imagined, sometimes counting calories more than counting blessings." She said, the world is already full of challenges and opposition and self-criticism is unnecessary. No one is expected to make it through this life alone, and Sis. Oaks emphasized the importance of remembering the presence of an almighty, loving Father.
Elder Oaks offered prophetic counsel: "service is the antidote for the amorality and individualism that corrodes our society." He cautioned women to be aware of the adversary's attempts to magnify selfish desires. LDS need to be vigilant and hold fast to eternal truths.
Elder Oaks mother would say at home: "It's amazing how much you can get done if you don't worry about who gets the credit."
He also cautioned sisters to be conscious of motives behind service and to ensure self-gratification is not one of them. We may fool man or ourselves, but we cannot fool the Lord. The Lord sees our hearts. he knows our motives and our reasons for service.
The best motivator for service is the LOVE OF GOD and his children.
Sis. Oaks asked the listeners to "become a bit more patient, a bit more diligent, quicker to smile. less inclined to find fault, more temple attending, more modest, and study the scriptures and learn sound doctrine.
Good righteous decisions on a daily basis will have large consequences. Even in trying times, always stand by the values and principles taught by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Choose the better part, trust in our Lord.
Then yesterday, I went to a member of our Ward's funeral. Carl Hawkins. And Elder Oaks and Elder Hafen was there to speak. What a most wonderful, spiritual experience that was! How one life made such a difference in the Lord's kingdom because he made the decision to do so. But the most wonderful thing to hear from an Apostle was that this man was with Nelma and he was seeing his salvation. And we knew Carl and Nelma well, they were a great example of integrity, of sound mind, of respect, of service, of Love for the Lord and using their intellect and time for the purpose of building the kingdom.
So, hence, I feel great gratitude for being in attendance and for reading Elder Oaks words. There truly is nothing like walking amongst the disciples of Christ.