There's always a bit of stress for a Bishop when it comes time for Ward Conference. He had three talks he had to give and there are other administrative things he has to do, adding to the stress. He's been Bishop for 4 1/2 years, but there is always an element of preparation that ups his anxiety level a little bit. The Stake President said in his talk that just looking at a Bishop makes him tired.
Jim after his nap looking quite relaxed. :)
I really liked the talk Jim gave in sacrament meeting. It was short, maybe only 6 or 7 minutes, but the message was very good. He talked about Jesus being the evidence of God's love for us and that becoming true disciples of Christ will lead us to joy and bring us peace. He said the natural outcropping of that would be the willingness to want to share that message with others. It was a simple message backed up with good scripture references.
Life is short. There has to be meaning to all the living. There has to be more than just the daily going about our lives (actually, come to think of it, I wrote a book on that very subject). Seriously though, the message Jim gave today just hit the nail on the head. He summarized in 6 or 7 minutes the simplicity of our purpose here. God loves us. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us. Following Christ and becoming His disciple leads to peace and joy. Turning around and sharing that with others makes it a complete circle of joy. Good message. Well done Bishop Jim.
The choir sang a hymn called Jesu, The Very Thought Is Sweet, by Bernard of Clairvaux from the 12th Century. It was marvelous. It pretty much summed up Jim's talk in the last two lines of the hymn:
Alone who hath Thee in his heart
Knows, love of Jesus! what Thou art.
Knows, love of Jesus! what Thou art.
Good message. Good day. Good talk. Good hymn. Good husband.
This is a more familiar version of the same sentiments by the same composer:
Jesus, The Very Thought Of Thee by Bernard of Clairvaux
Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.
Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest Name,
O Savior of mankind!
O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah, this
Nor tongue nor pen can show;
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.
Jesus, our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize will be;
Jesus be Thou our glory now,
And through eternity.
O Jesus, King most wonderful
Thou Conqueror renowned,
Thou sweetness most ineffable
In Whom all joys are found!
When once Thou visitest the heart,
Then truth begins to shine,
Then earthly vanities depart,
Then kindles love divine.
O Jesus, light of all below,
Thou fount of living fire,
Surpassing all the joys we know,
And all we can desire.
Jesus, may all confess Thy Name,
Thy wondrous love adore,
And, seeking Thee, themselves inflame
To seek Thee more and more.
Thee, Jesus, may our voices bless,
Thee may we love alone,
And ever in our lives express
The image of Thine own.
O Jesus, Thou the beauty art
Of angel worlds above;
Thy Name is music to the heart,
Inflaming it with love.
Celestial Sweetness unalloyed,
Who eat Thee hunger still;
Who drink of Thee still feel a void
Which only Thou canst fill.
O most sweet Jesus, hear the sighs
Which unto Thee we send;
To Thee our inmost spirit cries;
To Thee our prayers ascend.
Abide with us, and let Thy light
Shine, Lord, on every heart;
Dispel the darkness of our night;
And joy to all impart.
Jesus, our love and joy to Thee,
The virgin’s holy Son,
All might and praise and glory be,
While endless ages run.
YouTube clip of hymn