I haven't always loved listening to General Conference, in fact, I didn't really "get into it" until I was in college. But now I love it. This October session was no exception. I may have spent a lot of it rocking Ellie, but it was absolutely worth it. In fact, having a child now gave additional meaning to my Conference experience. I just want to share one example.
Elder Callister gave a wonderful talk on the restoration of the gospel, specifically about the truths restored about God and Christ in the First Vision. One point he elaborated on was that God the Father and Jesus Christ are two seperate beings. He explained how this is confirmed in the Bible and in the life of Christ. Christ submitted his will to the Father's will, the ultimate example of obedience for us to follow, in taking upon himself the sins of the world. And we are taught that "God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son." If God and Christ were the same being, he would simply be offering up himself. This really made me think.
We all agree that it is a truly awesome thing for someone to give up their life for another. But I think I better understand now, as a mother, what it must have been for God to sacrifice his Son. I know that I would give up my own life for Eleanor, without hesitation. But I don't know if I could do as Abraham was commanded, and offer her up for a sacrifice for others. The thought breaks my heart. How much then must God love each of us as his children to be willing to let Jesus suffer and die for our sins. I know he did, and was resurrected because of his perfect obedience to the will of the Father, his perfect sacrifice for us.
I guess I had just never thought of the Atonement in this light. I know that I will never be able to fully comprehend God and Christ's love for me in this life, but I see a small part of that now as a mother. What a great blessing from my Heavenly Father to have the opportunity to be a mother and experience a fraction of what He feels for me. And for that I am eternally grateful.
*I just thought this was too funny. We packed a picnic and stayed in between sessions on both Saturday and Sunday. It was rainy on Sunday, so we ate in a classroom off of the foyer, and Ellie took a little nap on the picnic blanket we brought. Now if only she had napped more during conference.