Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blog of the Month: Pettingill Pages (Interesting Caribbean Regional Conference)

I found a really interesting missionary blog Pettingill Pages which has a wealth of information on couple missionary life and is a joy to read. It really motivates couples when they see the great places in which they can serve like the one depicted in this blog. Jeri Pettingill really has done an excellent job sharing her mission with us. An interesting thing I have noticed recently is that families have been visiting missionary couples so one of the barriers of going has been diminished since many couples say they won't go on a mission because they might miss their grandchildren growing up. You can have your cake and eat it too by going on an exotic mission, my kids would beg me to go to their mission just to go see the locale. In about ten years I am looking forward to one day going on a mission down south to a place like where she and her husband serve.

The reason I have chosen the blog is it also included a detailed description of a recent regional conference that has some gems of doctrine from the Saturday night session. My wife always says that is the best meeting as the general authorities let their hair down.

Jeri summarized nicely a recent regional conference in which she attended that included President Henry B. Eyring, Elder David A. Bednar, Elder Neal Anderson of the Presidency of the Seventy and Sylvia Allred of the Relief Society Presidency in person:
The Saturday night session was an hour and a half of questions that were answered by the leaders above. They took every question that was asked. What would you have asked a member of the first presidency or an apostle?
Here is my version of a few of the questions:

Q. Why doesn't the church tell our story more effectively through the media?
A. We are trying to do so but we will not be able to get everyone to understand the way we would like them to.

Q. When will all of the Christian churches teach the same doctrine?
A. Never

Q. What does the Lord want Jamaica to do?
A. Be a great example to the few people that you know. Increase your faith. Faith is a principle of action and power. You do not learn spiritual things from what someone says. We learn from the Holy Ghost as we act in accord with truth.

Q. How do we meet the demands of our responsibilities and keep things in balance?
A. Family comes first. Pray with your spouse. Keep out impure thoughts. Take time to ponder and pray. Seek revelation. Be kind.

Q. How do we avoid discouragement when we do not yet have the status of a stake?
A. Describe the dream differently. There is nothing magic about being a stake or having a temple. The object is not a program or an organization. The goal is one more individual, one more family living worthy of the blessings Heavenly Father wants for all of his children.

Q. What is the Priesthood?
A. It is service, it is exercised by serving others. The priesthood can never be used to benefit oneself. We are personally responsible to care for those we are called to serve. We are personally responsible for those we fail to care for that we are called to serve.

Q. Do you have counsel for the current financial crisis?
A. It is and will be the same counsel you have heard for years. Be very careful of debt. We also need to help each other. Be kind. Be generous. Don't become discouraged. God is very aware of each of us and our needs.

Q. How can we help others?
A. The Lord works one by one. Extend invitations. All answers come through the Holy Ghost. The reason the Lord wants us to be united is that it improves our ability to receive revelation and to work together to accomplish good things. Never infringe on someones agency. Be patient. The Lord is always patient with us. He never gives up.
Not to steal her thunder go to her actual post as she has a few more descriptions of talks from the Sunday session. A fascinating post was called Beaches, Dentists and Coconuts where she describes dental work done on missionaries in a church meeting house in graphic detail. You should check out this blog and see what the life for a missionary couple in the "Garden of Eden" is like. I did and was very jealous of them.

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