Amy Rees Anderson

The Best Way I Know Of To Help Focus Yourself On What Matters Most

Every six months I get so excited for because there is a semi-annual General Conference that is broadcast on the internet and across the world in many languages, and during this two day conference there are always some of the most motivational and inspirational talks given that I have ever heard. Honestly this conference ends up being what grounds me and keeps me focused on the things in my life that matter most. There are always numerous topics covered by the speakers. Often they talk of things such as serving others, having faith, overcoming trials, finding joy in the journey, etc.

Let me give you an example of an excerpt of one of the talks given by Sharon Eubank at the Women’s session of the conference in which she explains through the telling of a recent news story that innovation and creation help us to help others:

“Let me tell you a story that happened this July on Panama City Beach in Florida.5 Late in the afternoon, Roberta Ursrey saw her two young sons screaming for help from 100 yards (90 m) out into the ocean. They had become caught in a strong current and were being carried out to sea. A nearby couple tried to rescue the boys, but they also got caught in the current. So members of the Ursrey family dove in to rescue the struggling swimmers, and quickly nine people were caught in the rip current.

There were no ropes. There was no lifeguard. The police sent for a rescue boat, but the people had been out in the ocean struggling for 20 minutes, and they were exhausted and their heads were slipping under the water. Among the onlookers on the beach was Jessica Mae Simmons. Her husband had the idea to form a human chain. They shouted at people on the beach to help them, and dozens of people linked arms and marched into the ocean. Jessica wrote, “To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers [was] absolutely amazing to see!!”6 An 80-person chain stretched toward the swimmers. Look at this picture of that incredible moment.

Everyone on the beach could think only of traditional solutions, and they were paralyzed. But one couple, in a split second, thought of a different solution. Innovation and creation are spiritual gifts. When we keep our covenants, it may make us different from others in our culture and society, but it gives us access to inspiration so we can think of different solutions, different approaches, different applications. We aren’t always going to fit in with the world, but being different in positive ways can be a lifeline to others who are struggling.”

Hopefully that gives you just a taste of the kind of inspirational talks that I will be watching over the internet broadcast on this Saturday and Sunday. If anyone wants to watch the streaming live broadcasts you can access them from the video link at www.lds.org .

Nothing is more helpful then taking two days to rejuvenate your soul through listening to inspirational speakers and I can’t wait for the weekend to begin!

Have a great one!

~Amy Rees Anderson

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