Monday, December 3, 2012

Elder Bednar and my piano

Stake Conference this weekend included a new Stake Presidency. No biggie, right? These things happen every weekend somewhere in the world. For our stake, it was quite a big deal, because the visiting General Authorities included Elder David Bednar or the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It used to be common for a member of the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency to preside when a stake presidency was changed. Not so much anymore. You see, Elder Bednar told us that this past weekend, while he was with us, another apostle was in Africa helping to organize the 3000th stake in the church. Yup, 3000 Stakes of Zion spread across this amazing world. He said that if the growth of the church stopped where it is now, and if apostles attended stake conferences each weekend for all of the existing stakes, you would have an apostle come to your stake conference every 27-30 years. At the rate of growth the church is experiencing right now, it won't happen again in our lifetime.

Some of the highlights from his two talks (Saturday Evening Adult Session and Sunday Morning General Session):
  • Primary children are spiritual giants compared to the general population of the world. Everything you need to know about the gospel, you learn in primary.
  • If you're feeling a little unsure of your bearings, visit primary.
  • The GAs who come aren't there to pick new leaders; they are there to find the leaders Heavenly Father has already prepared to lead. If corporations tried to use the same method the church uses to put new leadership in place (minus the prayer and spiritual guidance), it would never work.
  • Even though Christmas trees and lights started as pagan traditions, Christ is the Tree of Life and the Light of the World. If you can keep those two truths in mind during this season, you'll never look at your Christmas decorations the same way again.
  • The piano I bought about seven years ago used to belong to the Bednars.

Okay, he didn't really mention that last item in either of his talks, but it turns out to be true. When I bought my piano at the Summerhays Music piano liquidation sale (they don't sell pianos anymore), the salesman told me that it had belonged to the Bednars, and that Sister Bednar had traded it in on a grand piano. He mentioned it to me after I had already decided to buy the piano, and we were finalizing the deal. I'd always thought that was a sweet idea, but had no way to verify it. After the adult session on Saturday evening, I was able to ask Sister Bednar about it, and she confirmed that the piano sitting in our living room sounds like it was indeed their old one, and she even stopped Elder Bednar and had him meet me. It was an amazing conference, and not just because I now have actual bragging rights to a Bednar connection.

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