LOVE EQUALS TIME —
for a while, it never occurred to me that the reason why i loved going to the conferences was not first and foremost because of god. perhaps it was because i loved my companions more, along with the delicious food. maybe because i liked the idea of escaping reality by driving upstate into the mysterious and isolating mountains more. maybe the entire time, i was relying on the conferences to get me high from the drowning waters of life.
please do not misunderstand. i wanted to gain more of god. i did. i wanted to spend time with him, tell him i loved him, and sing songs to him and for him. but all those reasons came in second place; they were not my first priority.
therefore, when i heard i was not going to spring conference, i was devastated. first, because i hadn’t seen my companions for over half a year, and now i wouldn’t be able to until august. second, because i would be missing out on important messages which, even if i listened to the recording afterwards, would not be the same as sitting on one of their grey, fold-up chairs in the midst of over a hundred other saints. third (and most importantly), it would be another five months before i could be revived and zealous in spirit.
at this moment in life, i was at a fairly low point. familial issues, personal problems, and being spiritually dead did not help. moreover, everyone was talking about it. from my companions to the saints at church. they were all excited and ready to drive off into the woods as soon as thursday rolled around. and i couldn’t go. i felt as if i was left behind unfairly, and there was nothing i could do about it. because my life wasn’t mine, it wasn’t in my hands; it was in the hands of those who had control over me.
i knew it wasn’t a good thing to be living from conference to conference. yet, despite my knowledge, i had been doing that exactly. and so i asked god to help me experience him not only at the conferences, but more in my ordinary, everyday life. again, please do not misunderstand and think i had cut off all communication with him when i wasn’t at the conferences. i still read the word, went to church, and prayed occasionally with my companions. but i rarely gained life out of it. at the end of the day, i was spiritually dead, and the cycle went on repeat.
however, after my prayer, i resumed pray-reading over the word, and with all the extra time on my hands because of spring break, i played my favorite hymns on the piano. i also went on a hunting party for new ones, which ended quite successfully.
these past few days have been bittersweet. every morning when i woke up at 9:30, i would realize my companions were sitting in building a and listening to a message without me. at noon, i would envision all the great food the saints were enjoying. and at night, i would be reminded of all the hymns they sang and all the time they spent with god. yet, i also was enjoying his presence because i paid more attention to my relationship with him. and in return, he listened to my request and took care of me.