Today was busy. It started before dawn. My husband came downstairs dressed when it was still black outside on a Saturday. He talked about how much we had to get done today. Things to do included helping a young, single mother winterize her swimming pool, helping our 15 year-old son work on a science project when his partner couldn't make it over to work with him, getting my son and husband out the door to go replace a phone in a town an hour away, getting Christmas decorations out and start decorate the outside of the house, decorate my son's trumpet for a silly competition since he couldn't get back home in time (which he won), giving my husband a haircut, caring for the family in general, picking up a new cat, making sure I'm ready for my daughter's 14th birthday tomorrow, and after all of that, I needed to be spiritually ready for Stake Conference adult meeting tonight. I'm sure there were more things, but you get the idea. It was a very busy day.
So, tonight we had the adult session of Stake Conference. My husband was asked to conduct the music for the session. I wasn't able to sit next to him, but as I listened to the speakers, I felt the spirit, I felt uplifted, I felt happy that I was there, and I heard a lot of good testimonies of helping others make it to heaven. One of the counselors in our Stake presidency spoke with tears in his eyes about how grateful he was to a faithful home teacher who spent 15 years fellowshipping his father back into church activity and temple worthiness. We heard from our visiting authority (I can't remember his name) that the topic of the conference was that there is power in using the ward council to bless the lives of the people. My husband and I read Alma chapter 6 tonight. Alma had just finished what could be compared to a Stake Conference himself, and now that the conference was over, he had this to say:
Alma 6:1 "And now it came to pass that after Alma had made an end of speaking unto the people of the church, which was established in the city of Zarahemla, he ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands according to the order of God, to preside and watch over the church."
Look what he did. He created an organization of both Priests and Elders to both preside and watch over the members. He had a great love and concern for the members of the church and he wanted them protected. Then when we get to verse 6 he says:
Alma 6:6 "Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God."
We see from this verse that it wasn't just the leadership who was responsible for the care and nurturing of those around them. The assignment to care for people was given to everyone in the congregation. That seemed to fit with exactly what we were being taught at our meeting tonight. I'm not on a ward council nor am I a Relief Society president, but I can care for members. I can help people in my neighborhood. I can lift. I can build. I can reach. I can serve.
A few months ago, our family watched a video that illustrates this topic perfectly. It is called "Lift". I'm sure that the sister in this video was the topic of many ward council discussions. Through that council, they were able to devise a plan to help her. The service provided by the many men involved blessed their lives and the sister they served. The church is run with councils, starting at the First Presidency. Working together in leadership combined with the spirit, the Lord allows his great work to be accomplished. Here is a link to the video: