Elder Glenn L. Pace was the presiding authority at our stake conference this weekend. He is a great speaker. I have 5 pages of notes from his talk that I want to write in a more permanent form. And also for you to see and learn from. (A bit of forewarning: his talk was pretty off the cuff, so if it jumps around a bit, that's why. Well, that, and the fact that I only take notes on the parts I want to remember.)
When he started speaking to us, he told us that he wasn't quite sure what he should say, because he was having conflicting messages come to his mind.
He sensed that some there weren't really there. That they were becoming complacent and apathetic in their spirituality. Taking things for granted. But there were others who had come needing something -- some kind of comfort, or direction. So how was he supposed to deliver a kick in the pants and administer the balm of Gilead in one talk?
"You've been through the temple," he said. "Has the temple been through you?" (zing)
He compared Shakespeare's "Whate'er thou art, act well thy part" to Christ's "What manner of men ought ye to be? Even as I am."
Shakespeare's line is great. It made me think that I need to act better my part as a mother. But with a slightly different spin on the quote, it can be seen as simply "acting" your part. Contrasted to Christ's what manner of men (and women) ought we to be?
Are we just acting, or are we becoming?
A testimony is not enough, he said. A lot of us go through spiritual ups and downs. We all have heard it before -- our testimonies either get stronger or weaker every day. Sometimes, it hits us, My testimony isn't as strong as it should be. So pick up the scriptures, dive in, and try to get our testimonies back where they should be. Problem is, we work hard to get them back where they were, then we think, Alright. I did it. And stop reading our scriptures or whatever we did to strengthen it!! (By the way, this is the guy who wrote "Spiritual Plateaus.")
"Our goal should be more than obtaining and retaining a testimony," Elder Pace said.
It's not enough to have a testimony, or do good. We have to be good.
Have you ever read about the time of Christ, or Joseph Smith, or Moses or some other prophet and thought, "I woulda been great in his time. I wouldn't have faltered!"? Elder Pace has. Really! He joked that he could've knocked 10 years off the Israelites wandering in the wilderness if He had been there with Moses. And the Noah would've needed another ark for all the people he could have preached to. =D It was pretty funny.
Then he got serious. He said that you know something's a revelation when it speaks with power to your soul and it's something you don't want to hear.
One day as he was enjoying one of his "fantasies" about Joseph Smith, he had the thought, "You say you would have died for Joseph. What are you doing for Spencer W. Kimball?"
p.s. part 2 is right below this. I didn't want it to be too long and scare you off!!