Still the First Day at World Congress of Families

It’s still the first day!  This morning of The World Congress Families IX, Elder Russel M. Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave the keynote speech. Elder Ballard was very bold about declaring the beliefs of our faith and he emphasized that the family is the beginning and the fulfillment of God’s plan, because the family goes right on into eternity.  We are His spirit children–mortality starts with a family. The most important system in our society is the family.

He presented a video of a group of beautiful little children singing a song I have not heard, I Lived in Heaven. ( I was touched by the song for many reasons, one of them being I have a book titled, We Lived in Heaven). The song was about our home in heaven with God before we were born.  I sat next to a very friendly Catholic priest who turned to me during the song and said, “Wow, I never knew that I was a child of God–awesome!”

It is such an honor just to be here!  It fills us with gratitude to be surrounded with so many like-minded people from around the world, many in the clothing of their homeland, all standing up for faith and family.

Soon Brent and I ventured out to our booth, which was made available to us in a miraculous way just a few days ago.  I was just planning to walk around and ask people if they wanted a book, but there it was when I arrived to the Grand Ballroom of The Grand America Hotel, a booth with my name on it, right next to the door of the ballroom. Amy on staff of the World Congress of Families called me Thursday afternoon and offered the booth to me, as a gift for sharing my books. I have learned that our Heavenly Father expects us to step out and do as His Spirit directs us, even if we don’t know how every detail will work out. President Ezra Taft Benson said, “Send your bread out on the waters, and God will send it back to you toasted and buttered.”

It was a wonderful blessing to have Brent with me today.  We met so many wonderful people from around the world, and his help made the visits really fun.  We reached over half again as many people than I could have reached alone.

I loved the women at Big Ocean Women.  They were right across from me–women from all over the world standing up for faith, family and motherhood.  We hugged and I told them that I was so proud of them. They went to the United Nations in March during the International Week for Women and shared their love for women of the world.  Big Ocean Women stood out as happy women in their roles of wife and motherhood and received quite a lot of excellent press.

And finally, a story of a miracle waiting to happen.  I emailed our friend Dale Gwilliam and told him that I wish I could find someone to drive books hot off the press from Mesa to Salt Lake City.  I was afraid I would not have enough books for people who wanted a copy of The Castaways. He put a post on his Facebook page and shared my post, where I offered to pay for someone’s gas if they would drive them up to me. Within less than  24 hours, a friend of Dale’s volunteered to do it. Amazing!  So grateful for such wonderful kindness!

More later—
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