Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spiritual Sunday - What does it mean to sustain?

We had ward conference a couple of weeks ago, and thoughts of sustaining church leadership came to mind. I added up how many times in my church we get the opportunity to have our leaders names read to us, and then our chance to raise our right arms in a show of sustaining them.  Five.  We get to do that FIVE times.  Two General Conferences a year, Two Stake Conferences a year and then one ward conference.  Over a 12 month period, that's fairly often that I have the chance to think about my leaders BY NAME and then add my vote of approval and show that I will sustain and support them.

What does it mean? A quick google search resulted in this:
  1. 1.
    strengthen or support physically or mentally.
    "this thought had sustained him throughout the years"
    synonyms:comforthelpassistencouragesuccorsupport, give strength to, buoy up,carry, cheer up, hearten
    informalbuck up

A quick search on my church's website resulted in this:


See also Common Consent
To pledge support to those serving in general and local Church leadership positions.

Pretty similar. So then I'm asking myself, "do I really sustain my leaders?"  A quick inventory is all that is necessary.

Do I accept and fulfill my callings?
Do I refrain from murmuring or complaining about decisions, activities, or other things (including current doctrine)?
Do I speak highly of, encourage, aid and assist when and where I can?

I'm sure others could add to this list, but for me - it's enough questions.  In fact, the more I think about it, only one question could be posed:

Am I keeping the covenants I made with God both at baptism, and when I entered the temple?
Yes or No?

If I am earnestly trying, then all else falls into place and I am sustaining my leaders.  If not, then I have some work to do.

Pretty simple for this simple girl.  Remember, I don't overthink too much.  I made my covenants, and now I must keep them.

Easy all the time?  Negative Ghost Rider.  Sometimes I don't want to go to Relief Society.  Sometimes I want to lay in bed on Sunday's and skip church altogether.  Sometimes, it's easy to get caught up in gossip.  Sometimes I don't prepare well for a lesson.  Sometimes I complain about visiting teaching, and often I don't make time for it.  Sometimes I allow myself to get distracted by other mortal goals and focus less energy and time on my eternal goals.  Sometimes, it's not a piece of cake to live the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ.

But then.......I have moments where I can remember the promises I made.  I can weekly, renew my covenants and five times a year, I can publicly raise my right hand and show myself, the world, and most importantly my God that I will keep my covenants by sustaining the leaders of my church.

Do I always understand the direction or decisions that my leaders make?  Nope.  Not on a church level, not on a local level.  BUT - I covenanted with God that I would sustain them regardless.  And that is enough for me.

So next weekend, as we start another world wide General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints, I will raise my hand and sustain my leaders.  Not because I follow blindly a bunch of old men, but because I asked God if the church was true.  He told me yes.  I made covenants with Him about what kind of member I would be, what kind of daughter of God I would behave as and most importantly, what kind of disciple I would work on becoming.

That is enough.

PS: In case you missed it or would like to watch something that just reaffirms what an awesome blessing it is to be a woman.

Click here for last night's Women's Conference