'Consecration is not an event; it must become a way of life'

When you consecrate something - such as performing an act of service - the Lord returns your investment with interest, said Mary Ellen Edmunds, a member of the Relief Society general board during Women's Conference at BYU.

Sister Edmunds, who is also director of training at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, moderated a panel session entitled, "Daily Acts of Consecration." Recounting acts of consecration - their own or that of friends and loved ones - were four panelists, consisting of Rosy Curtis Neider, Riverside 4th Ward, Murray Utah North Stake; Mary Taylor, Orem 6th Ward, Orem Utah Stake; LaDawn Cox, Pleasant View 4th Ward, Pleasant View Utah Stake; and Susan Kamei Leung, Pasadena 2nd Ward, Pasadena California Stake.In speaking of her experiences, Sister Neider said, "I'm beginning to realize that we refer to acts of consecration as being daily mostly because on the day they were needed, they were given."

She explained the following:

Consecration is returning kindness for unkindness.

Consecration is the act of validating another.

Consecration is the act of absolute gratitude.

Sister Taylor related accounts of people who have given acts of consecration to her, including her mother, who had children at the risk - and subsequent loss - of her life; and her step-mother who helped Sister Taylor develop her personality and abilities. Continuing, she related the kindnesses her friends and members in her stake have shown her and her sister, who was brain injured years ago. The latter, who lives with Sister Taylor, requires home care. Friends have helped care for her sister - giving Sister Taylor some time to herself.

In her discussion, Sister Cox said: "Consecration is a holy word that means a total dedication to something."

After speaking of an illness her oldest son suffers, she added: "Consecration is not an event. It must become a way of life especially on those days when you feel like you don't have the energy.

"We must decide each day - consciously - that we will consecrate our lives. Sometimes miracles happen as God's gifts acknowledging our willingness to consecrate our lives to each other and to Him, and sometimes they don't, but we simply have to trust in God's will."

Sister Leung spoke of "The Little Drummer Boy," a Christmas song about a boy who played his drum for the Baby Jesus. He didn't try to be what he wasn't.

"To me, consecration is just being who the Lord made each of us individually to be. I firmly believe that whatever our gifts are, that whatever it is that we offer up with righteous intent and divine guidance is worthy and acceptable."

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