As we gear up for general conference, we will be highlighting past conference talks to help us review, remember, and grow closer to the Spirit so that we can better recognize the Lord's voice and direction this coming weekend. This talk was given by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf in October 2011 in the women's session, and we wanted to share it in anticipation of the first time women's session will now be held general conference weekend. This is just a small part of Elder Uchtdorf's message, read the full talk here.
A while ago I was walking through a beautiful garden with my wife and daughter. I marveled at the glory and beauty of God’s creation. And then I noticed, among all the glorious blooms, the tiniest flower. I knew the name of this flower because since I was a child I have had a tender connection to it. The flower is called forget-me-not. . . . There is a German legend that just as God had finished naming all the plants, one was left unnamed. A tiny voice spoke out, “Forget me not, O Lord!” And God replied that this would be its name.
Tonight I would like to use this little flower as a metaphor. The five petals of the little forget-me-not flower prompt me to consider five things we would be wise never to forget.
1. First, forget not to be patient with yourself.
I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect.
Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not. . . . Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.
In the meantime, be thankful for all the small successes in your home, your family relationships, your education and livelihood, your Church participation and personal improvement. Like the forget-me-nots, these successes may seem tiny to you and they may go unnoticed by others, but God notices them and they are not small to Him. If you consider success to be only the most perfect rose or dazzling orchid, you may miss some of life’s sweetest experiences. . . .
2. Second, forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice.
An acceptable sacrifice is when we give up something good for something of far greater worth. . . .
There are so many good things to do, but we can’t do all of them. Our Heavenly Father is most pleased when we sacrifice something good for something far greater with an eternal perspective. Sometimes, that may even mean nurturing small but beautiful forget-me-not flowers instead of a large garden of exotic blooms.
3. Third, forget not to be happy now.
. . . If we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us.
This is not to say that we should abandon hope or temper our goals. Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life.
The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy.
4. Fourth, forget not the “why” of the gospel.
Sometimes, in the routine of our lives, we unintentionally overlook a vital aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ, much as one might overlook a beautiful, delicate forget-me-not. In our diligent efforts to fulfill all of the duties and obligations we take on as members of the Church, we sometimes see the gospel as a long list of tasks that we must add to our already impossibly long to-do list, as a block of time that we must somehow fit into our busy schedules. We focus on what the Lord wants us to do and how we might do it, but we sometimes forget why.
My dear sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not an obligation; it is a pathway, marked by our loving Father in Heaven, leading to happiness and peace in this life and glory and inexpressible fulfillment in the life to come. The gospel is a light that penetrates mortality and illuminates the way before us.
While understanding the “what” and the “how” of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the “why.” . . .
5. Fifth, forget not that the Lord loves you.
. . . Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.
Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time!
. . . You are closer to heaven than you suppose. You are destined for more than you can possibly imagine.
Lead image from lds.org
To have a copy of this talk to own, cherish, or to give to a loved one, check out this beautiful gift book, Forget Me Not.