Wow. What a sacrament meeting. I don't know if everyone was affected like I was but it has been a long time since I was inspired in a sacrament meeting like that. Shame on you Carolyn for even thinking that you couldn't speak! You did awesome! About a year or two ago I asked you if you would say sacrament prayers. You immediately cringed. Your facial expression showed me that you did not want to do it. You said that you have the hardest time getting up in front of people. You finally agreed to say prayers but mentioned that this would have to take the place of speaking in church. I just can't speak in sacrament meeting. I'll get too nervous. I told you that the time would come and that you would do a great job. I really did mean that but I had no idea you would blow everyone away. So shame on you for thinking that you couldn't deliver such a talk. I'm just so glad that you accepted the call from the Lord to speak. The thought came to me during the meeting that how unfortunate it would have been had you declined the opportunity to speak. I got a clear impression of just how many people needed to hear your story & testimony. I was grateful that I was in attendance. You don't really know just how much or how many people you touched today. I am embarrassed to say that I could not keep my eyes dry. The spirit was really strong. I too know what it feels like to submit my will to Heavenly Father’s. Thank you for that story. I could see just how much you and your testimony have grown. What you and Jared said just touched me deeply. I was able to relate and really look within you two and to not only hear but feel what you were talking about. Thank you so much for your testimonies today. I know what it feels like to go & go and then can’t go anymore. I testify that the Lord does indeed send his angles to carry us. This was a pioneer story of many years ago but all of us at one time or another have felt that sacred push or pull. I look at families like the Porters and Heather Mcklinlay who are still pulling the hand cart. When will they arrive? When we can only look at the “now” it can be heart wrenchingly difficult, but as we learn to look past the “now” we begin to see & feel God’s plan for each of us. The gentleman in the handcart company referenced in Sis. Bastian’s talk said “The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.’ ” So the great test for me and each of us is to be able to say that the price that we are paying now or paid was a privilege, and we are thankful to have experienced those trials. It’s so hard to do but remember we are not here to lose character. Sis Bastian said, “Have you ever thought about your trials as being a “price paid to become acquainted with God”? I’m not sure that I had ever thought about it that way before. When we are being tried and we are in pain, emotionally, or physically, the agony that we go through is kind of like a refiner’s fire. The insignificant and the unimportant things in our lives can melt away and our faith can come out brighter and stronger than before. When we go through this “refiner’s fire”, we become like soft clay that our Father in Heaven can now mold and build into Saints that are more faithful, strong, steadfast, and charitable.” Well put Carolyn. So eloquently stated. Thank you. She continued by saying “I was talking to a friend about her daughter-in-law who was struggling to get pregnant. I was empathizing with her and she said, “wouldn’t you have just liked to have been able to glimpse into the future back then and know that ‘hey, don’t stress out, in 7 years you’re going to have three boys of your own’ and then you would’ve handled things differently.” I told her “No”. I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life through that trial. One that I wouldn’t have learned had I not gone through it or known the outcome. So the real test is how we become more like our Heavenly Father after a trial. Imagine the disappointment of a loving Heavenly Father, after giving us the trial, we become bitter or resentful. It was hard enough for Him to have to see us suffer through it and then to turn our backs on the very God that knew us so well to give us those specific trials to enable us to return to Him. Jared said, “Today, perhaps more than ever before, our faith is challenged on all fronts. We have all witnessed life's tragedies and trials both abroad in the wake of events like the Haiti earthquake as well as within our own ward and even probably within our own families. We've seen that as it's been said, fate rarely calls at the moment of our choosing. The trials of mortality of illness and loss, of financial crisis and unreciprocated love are faced by all of us both young and old, both rich and poor. One of the great mortal challenges we face in enduring the trials is humbly evolving form asking the Lord “why me” to telling Him “thy will be done, Lord.” Well put Jared. Thanks for the insight. Jared referenced this quote. Elder Uchtdorf quoted scripture saying, “It may be hard to see that at times, but hold on a little longer, for “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” and wait for Him (1 Corinthians 2:9; see also D&C 76:10; 133:45).” We have been taught since our youth that we need to love Him. Would you not agree? But here that word wait brings on a whole new meaning. What could he have meant when he said wait? Hold on! Endure! Great things are to come! We can’t get so caught up in the “now” that we forget the very reason we are here. Jared referenced this great quote. President Young said of Jesus, “Why should we imagine for one moment that we can be prepared to enter into the kingdom of rest with him and the Father, without passing through similar ordeals?” He’s right. How could we ever have compassion with our own spirit children without experiences hardships? I would like to again thank the Bastians for such marvelous words today. I have truly been edified today. Isn’t it so wonderful how Heavenly Father inspires his children to bless others. Isn’t it so evident how important it is to share our testimonies? Jared & Carolyn could have made up any number of excuses to not speak or could have rushed through their preparations. But no, they heeded the call and performed outstandingly well. Thank you again for sharing the spirit with us today. It’s so great to have people like you in the ward.