I'm finally back home in California, after traveling to Utah for General Conference.  I am exhausted.  Totally spent.  But it's the really good kind of exhaustion, where you find yourself easily brought to tears, by a simple memory.  I have so many treasured memories from this one trip, that most likely, I'll be a basket case for a good week -- at least!

But I'm filled with peace -- the peace that only He can give to us.  The peace that confirms that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly His Church upon the earth, today.  And the work that is done to share it with others, is His work.   I love that.  And knowing it with a surety, is my favorite thing.

I'm not one to frequently request a priesthood blessing for personal reasons.  But I felt impressed to do so, before I left for Utah.  And of course, my sweet husband kindly obliged.  It was precise and I felt comfort.  I'm now thinking that I need to start making such requests more often.  I feel confident that my weekend was what it was, because I reached out to my Heavenly Father.  I need to be more humble.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference...

Elder Nelson - Covenants:

"Through the ages, God has made covenants with His children.  His covenants occur throughout the entire plan of salvation and are therefore  part of the fulness of His gospel."  Russell M. Nelson

"Ours is the responsibility to help fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant.  Ours is the seed foreordained and prepared to bless all people of the world.  That is why priesthood duty includes missionary work. After some 4,000 years of anticipation and preparation, this is the appointed day when the gospel is to be taken to the kindred of the earth.  This is the time of the promised gathering of Israel.  And we get to participate!  Isn't that exciting?"  Russell M. Nelson

"The Book of Mormon is a tangible sign that the Lord has commenced to gather His children of covenant Israel.  This book, written for our day, states as one of its purposes that "ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of Israel...is already beginning to be fulfilled....For behold the Lord will remember his covenant which he hath made unto his people of the house of Israel."

"When we realize that we are children of the covenant, we know who we are and what God expects of us.  His law is written in our hearts.  He is our God and we are His people."  Russell M. Nelson

"The greatest compliment that can be earned here in this life is to be known as a "covenant keeper".   The rewards for a covenant keeper will be realized both here and hereafter."  Russell M. Nelson

Elder Cook - Tragedy:

"While we do not know all the answers, we do know important principles that allow us to face tragedies with faith and confidence that there is a bright future planned for each of us."  Quentin L. Cook

"Many do not understand that under His loving and comprehensive plan those who appear to be disadvantaged, through no fault of their own, are not ultimately penalized."  Quentin L. Cook

"Righteousness, prayer and faithfulness will not always result in happy endings in mortality.  Many will experience severe trials.  When this happen the very act of having faith and seeking priesthood blessings is approved by God."  Quentin L. Cook

"There are many kinds of challenges.  Some give us necessary experiences.  Adverse results in this mortal life are not evidence of lack of faith or of an imperfection in our Father in Heaven's overall plan.  The refiner's fire is real, and qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God."  Quentin L. Cook

"Some challenges result from the agency of others.  Agency is essential for individual spiritual growth and development.  Evil conduct is an element of agency."  Quentin L. Cook

Elder Oaks - Jesus Christ:

"Some who call themselves Christians praise Jesus as a great teacher, but refrain from affirming His divinity...  We should all consider what He himself taught about who He was and what He was sent to earth to do."  Dallin H. Oaks

"He is the life of the world because He is our creator and because through His resurrection we are all assured that we will live again.  And the life He gives us is not merely mortal life."  Dallin H. Oaks

"He is the way and He is the light because His teachings light our path in mortal life and show us the way back to the Father."  Dallin H. Oaks

"Who then will enter the kingdom of heaven?  Not those who merely do wonderful works using the name of the Lord, Jesus taught, but only "he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."  Dallin H. Oaks

"He also challenges us to focus on Him, not on the things of the world." Dallin H. Oaks

"The culmination of our Savior's mortal ministry was His resurrection and His atonement for the sins of the world."  Dallin H. Oaks

"And so we understand that the atonement of Jesus Christ gives us the opportunity to overcome spiritual death that results from sin, and, through making and keeping sacred covenants, to have the blessings of eternal life."  Dallin H. Oaks

"There is no middle ground.  We are followers of Jesus Christ.  Our citizenship is in His Church and His gospel, and we should not use a visa to visit Babylon or act like one of its citizens."  Dallin H. Oaks

"Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten and Beloved Son of God.  He is our Creator.  He is the light of the world.  He is our Savior from sin and death.  This is the most important knowledge on earth, and you can know this for yourself, as I know for myself."  Dallin H. Oaks

President Monson - Until We Meet Again:

"We are all here because we love the Lord and want to serve Him.  I testify to you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us.  I acknowledge His hand in all things."  Thomas S. Monson

"Brothers and Sisters, I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face in the world today.  He loves each of us and will bless us as we strive to keep His commandments and seek Him through prayer.

"May heaven's blessings be with you.  May your homes be filled with harmony and love.  May you constantly nourish your testimonies, that they may be a protection for you against the adversary."  Thomas S. Monson

"We are one with you in moving forward this marvelous work.  I testify to you that we are all in this together and that every man, woman and child has a part to play.  May God give us the strength and the ability and the determination to play our part well.

I bear my testimony to you that this work is true, that our Savior lives, and that He guides and directs His Church here upon the earth.  I leave you with my witness and and my testimony that God our Eternal Father lives and loves us.  He is indeed our Father, and He is personal and real.  May we realize and understand how close to us He is willing to come, how far He is willing to go to help us, how much He loves us and how much He does and is willing to do for us."  Thomas S. Monson

Kathryn Skaggs

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