Elder Zachary Payne

Elder Zachary Payne

Monday, September 30, 2013

Elder Bednar!!

Hey everyone! Gosh what a week! So on Saturday Elder Stephens and I drove down to Salina for the big and 1st ever mission conference! We ended up getting there an hour early haha but that's okay because we got to see everyone in the whole mission! crazy!! So eventually Elder Bednar walked in followed by his sweet wife, Elder Whitney L. Clayton and his wife. We all stood up and showed our reverence as one of the most pure forms of the Holy Ghost filled the room. That man is astounding! So much authority and dignity, and yet so much humility. The latter three spoke first, sharing their testimony and adding the importance to be ready to listen to an apostle of the Lord. Elder Clayton added that the keys of the dispensation of the fullness of times was in that little chapel with us, and that there ought to be a sense of awe and preparation.

Soon enough, Elder Bednar got up to speak with us. I say "with" because that's exactly what he did! He didn't give us a "talk" and instead taught us how we ought to use our agency to volunteer and speak up and participate in the meeting. Then he started asking us inspired questions. Prior to the conference, he had requested that everyone read and study three of his past talks. The questions were based on what we learned from those talks. Anyway the idea was to get us to act in faith by raising our hands and opening our mouths, and then the power of the Holy Ghost would come after.

So that's how the meeting went. He would ask us a question, he would pick a volunteer, listen to their answer, ask another couple follow up questions, and then add his own testimony and insight. We did that for several minutes and then he changed it up and this time we got to ask him the questions! He told us to ask truly inspired questions because...well, we won't get an opportunity to ask an apostle a question very often. What would you ask an apostle if you had only one chance? Anyway we started asking him questions and he would answer them, and he would invite the others on the stand to answer them as well. So profound! I, in the meantime, was trying to think of a good one to ask. Eventually one came to my mind and I started raising my hand, but by then like half of us were raising our hands haha. The Lord rewards the use of quick moral agency without delay or hesitation!

Anyway, I didn't get to ask him my question, but he noted at the end that he wasn't the one answering the questions...it was the Holy Ghost. He asked if any of us had received answers to unasked questions, and most of us had! The Spirit was the true teacher. He added that you don't need an apostle to get answers to your questions. You just need faith, and then you need to exercise that faith, and then you will gain knowledge. That was the whole process of the meeting. We learned because we used our faith by participating. 

Anyway I learned so many things, and I have my own little "small plates" from the meeting. Basically the moral of the story for me was to act. I've learned a ton of things, but I need to apply them more deeply into my life. I've already started to apply the things I've learned, and it's been awesome! We got a mission picture after the meeting, but we haven't got it yet. Oh and after the "Amen" we got to shake E Bednar's hand one by one, and guess who happened to be first in line? Elder Stephens! Which means I was second! (Elder Linville saved us a seat on the first row haha) I finally got to shake an apostle's hand and look him square in the eye. Humbling, but powerful. I'd recommend it if you get the chance. 

Well other than that, we met a guy named Caleb Swallow a few days ago near the Snow campus. He served in Safford for like 9 months from Apr 2011 to Nov 2011 on his mission. It was cool to talk with him about his adventures over there! So does Elder Swallow ring a bell to anyone? Anyway gotta run!

Elder Payne


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