Sunday, September 27, 2009

firm foundations

The ladies in my ward...oh the elderly ladies in my ward- cream of the crop I tell ya.


Last night I was able to attend the General Relief Society Conference at the conference center in Salt Lake.

A bunch of us ladies from the ward carpooled together.

I was able to mingle with the amazing sisters in the ward whom I call my greatest examples. I feel like I am sitting upon the shoulders of giants when I am in their presence.


Those are really their names! so so perfect.

All of these ladies are widows. They are smart and articulate. They are classy...some wear pearls. They attend the temple weekly. Their foundations are firm.

Fern raised 7 children in a home exactly like mine! 7 children! She smiled sweetly as she reminisced about having 4 children in 1 bedroom- it was a sweet memory of hers to think about 4 of her kiddos all smashed in a 8X10 room. I thought to myself, "I want to have those types memories when I am 88. I would rather have those memories than the memories of having some elaborate house where all the children listened to their own Ipod in their own room next to their own computer..sounds a little boring hindsight don't you think?? It's the chaotic, faithful, loving, crisis, sacrifice family stories of the past we like to hear isn't it?-

Being with those sisters always opens up my perspective on life. After we parked the car in the conference center's parking lot, we had to still walk a little ways to get to the conference center. I was somewhat concerned for them, wondering if the long walk would be manageable for them to do. Then I quickly noticed how confident and strong these ladies were- and yet very compassionate for one another. They grabbed their cute little purses and some would hold hands and they made their way successfully to the Relief Society conference.

My eyes were watering up a little. I was witnessing pure love and faith. Here these old ladies could have easily stayed home, sat on their favorite recliner, and watched the conference on TV. But they didn't. They came. I'm so glad they did.

Last night made me think about the silly things I pay too much attention to in my life. These elderly sisters have a rich history of motherhood and service. They are so kind and loving. They don't have facebook accounts- they don't text each other, they aren't concerned about wrinkles or being a size 6 or wearing fashionable clothes- they are just centered on Christ and family. Their conversations reflect family stories of the past, being a grandma, working at the temple...I hope when I near the closing chapter of my life here on earth that I can resemble the character of these ladies.

The conference was amazing. We of course were stuck up in the nosebleed section- thank goodness for those huge TV screens...but it was a great feeling to be surrounded by sisters in the gospel. It felt good- it felt right. I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

The spirit most touched me when all 18 thousand plus of us sang "How Firm a Foundation" Holy smokes- POWERFUL! Then the choir would do their high octave thing while we sang and I just lost it...the tears...just beautiful. I got that feeling...that wondrous feeling that everything is in the Lord's hands and that I am not alone- there is an army of believers surrounding me.

favorite verses of the hymn:

3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!


Heather said...

April, I love this post! So true about cute lil' old ladies who have the right perspective - so true and so good.

I was there too last night! My cousin was in the choir and said it was the neatest thing to prepare for the 6-weeks ahead of time. Definitely some great music (and spirit) there last night!

We had 2 extra tickets down on the Plaza - wish I could have shared them since we sat on the terrace with my aunt.

Anyhoo... great thoughts and I'm glad you have such cute women to be friends with and gain a great perspective from!

Tara said...

Sounds like an amazing time! I really enjoy getting to know, watch, and soak up the goodness from our precious sisters.

I love that the Primary learned How Firm a Foundation this year for the Primary program. It is a glorious song - I love that I get to play it over and over and hear the little angels sing.

Tiffani said...

I like your imagery of an "army of believers surrounding" us. That is so true! I love that hymn- it is powerful. It would have been something to have been in the conference center to hear and be a part of that.

Tami said...

I loved conference too. But I went by myself to our stake center...not the same as the conference center. I love that you went with the elderly sisters. That would be so neat! And I LOVE their names! What awesome examples you were among as we were taught about our heritage and how to continue it on.

Mrs. Olsen said...

I love Relief Society widows too! They seriously are the best. Enjoy conference this weekend...