As my calling as a counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency was coming to an end, I was looking forward to having a change of pace and more time to do things that I had been putting off for a while. I wanted to spend more time with my family, to be better at caring for myself, and to even start an overdue project to declutter my house.
However, after I was released from that humbling and beautiful calling, my plate was shortly filled with other things. I started receiving invitations to support amazing causes, to give messages at events of all kinds, and there was even an increase in the amount of time that my professional work required. All of that was not allowing me to spend more time on the things that I truly needed to do.
As I started listening to our general leaders during conference weekend, the prayer that I had in my heart was, “Father, please help me know what changes I need to make to simplify my life and to focus on what is more important.”
When I heard Elder Alan T. Phillips say, referring to his son Jasper, “He is mine. He is my son, and I love him more than he will ever know,” an overwhelming feeling of peace came to me, and I received the assurance I was longing for. I felt that my Heavenly Father was telling me, “You are my daughter and I love you more than you will ever know.”
Through this gentle reminder, I realized that I was probably making the mistake of wanting to do things by myself and trusting in my own capabilities. I needed to turn more to my Father in Heaven in prayer to know what I could focus more energy on and what I could let go of.
Elder Phillips taught that “Religion is not only about our relationship with God; it is also about our relationship with each other…. We do not have to look far to find people who are struggling. We can start by helping someone in our own family, congregation, or local community. … His work is our work.” I felt that this was an invitation to me to slow down in my daily routine, so I can be more sensitive to others and more aware of the people around me.
All of this was a reminder to me that my personal relationships with Heavenly Father and with my Savior Jesus Christ truly matter most. If I remember to spend time and energy on those relationships every day, everything else will fall into place, I will be where I am needed, and, with the guidance of the Spirit, I can take one step and one day at a time.
In the weeks that have passed since general conference, I have been able to see more clearly what I can let go of and what I can simply do at a slower pace, like my decluttering project, as long as I spend time on what is more important.
As President Russell M. Nelson assured us, “Once you and I have made a covenant with God, our relationship with Him becomes much closer than before our covenant. Now we are bound together. Because of our covenant with God, He will never tire in His efforts to help us, and we will never exhaust His merciful patience with us. Each of us has a special place in God’s heart. He has high hopes for us.”
If you are feeling overwhelmed by your daily routine and many occupations, turn to Heavenly Father for help, turn to Jesus Christ for strength, and turn to the Holy Ghost for guidance. They will give you the direction that you need every day.
Journals will begin shipping in November.