Sunday, May 1, 2016

Stake Conference May 1, 2016

Over the years, I have noticed with interest that people see Stake Conference as a time to get away.  I can certainly understand that feeling.  Life is so busy.  Stake Conference seems to free us from our Sunday responsibilities.  Many people use the time to visit friends or family.

For me personally, Stake Conference offers spiritual rest and nourishment.  I get to rest from my Sunday responsibilities, but I also get to be fed with wonderful talks.  I have always especially liked the Saturday night session of Stake Conference.  Often the speakers are people from the Stake who have had profound experiences in their lives.  This conference was like that.  The speakers had wonderful messages.

I was especially touched by the conversion story of a young woman.  She talked of her teenage years when she met a Mormon boy.  He eventually went on a mission and she found herself feeling very lonely and looking for something that was missing in her life.  She began taking discussions from the missionaries are found the joy that was missing.  She was honest about how her decision was not well-received by her family who were devout Baptists.  The pain of their rejection was very apparent, but she talked of how her testimony has seen her through.  It was a powerful message.

Today, I was struck by the message from President Rupp.  He spoke to those under the age of 34 regarding the impact of the internet.  He had the statistics (which I did not write down), but when the world-wide web began with the agreement to share information, the content would fit on something the size of an IPad.  Today, it would require nearly a mile and will soon be two miles.  The problem is that 70% of the information on the web is a person's opinion.  It does not get fact-checked, nor does there have to be any validation for it to be on the internet.  His message was clear and powerful.  We CANNOT rely on the internet to validate our testimony.  The only way to be certain of the truth of the gospel is through prayer in faith.

I have seen that personally.  One of the people our missionaries was teaching had a son who had gotten information on the internet which challenged the validity of the Bible.  I did some fact-checking from church sources and found that the internet information he quoted had been debunked.  Sadly, the information he was relying on is not required to carry a banner saying "This information has been confirmed as incorrect and misleading."  I wish it was required.

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