neuronal pruning // an invitation to watch general conference.

Carly posted this on Instagram the other day and I felt it was so timely with both school and General Conference this week.

In my Neuroanatomy class, we were doing a brief review before going into the real stuff and we talked about the plasticity of the brain--the way the brain adapts to new information and the way the brain can changes through our lives. If there's ever a lesion, sometimes the brain can repair and reroute the function of the region to a different, healthier part of the brain. It's all about the connections between neurons. There's a term called neuronal pruning/synaptic pruning, which essentially means if a connection made between two neurons isn't being used or if it is a weaker connection, the connection is eliminated to make room for more important functions or more essential information. This concept lends itself to the phrase, "Use it or lose it", in regards to learning and memory. I'm doing an awful job of explaining this and I'm trying to explain it in a basic way, so hopefully you're getting the picture. 

Last week, I posted about God pruning us to become better people. If we are not utilizing what He is teaching us and recognizing the opportunity to grow, that connection will never be completely eliminated. However, the opportunity to build our relationship is greatly diminished if we aren't living up to our part of drawing near to Him during a time where He is working to prune us and cut us down to help us grow into His ways and grow up in Him. He gives us weakness and trials to help us become stronger (Ether 12:27). He puts so much trust in us to learn of Him. He wants us to succeed and return to Him. He gives us all of the tools to make it back to Him, because He loves us so. And just like the brain is able to compensate and make new connections when a lesion occurs, the Lord fills the gaps in our lives when we have heartaches and heartbreaks. He will compensate us for all of our hurts in this life. "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces." (Isaiah 25:8) and "there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:4).

Those promises and blessings are there for us to claim, but do we actively seek them and receive them? Are we using what we are learning? Do we try to build upon our gospel knowledge and utilize it? 

General Conference happens twice a year; the two most wonderful times of the year, in my opinion. It is so important to listen the counsel and revelation of God we learn from our living, modern day prophet, Thomas S. Monson, along with his counselors, the apostles, and all general authorities. Not only to listen to it, but to heed. To obey. To act. To build. To utilize it in our lives. To seek and receive it in our lives.

I know that as we listen to the messages in General Conference, our lives are greatly enriched and that connection to God is made stronger. He has something waiting for all of us to learn; all we need to do is take that step to come to Him and make the connection even stronger. As Elder Bednar points out, He will not help us in our hour of need if we have not taken the time to learn of Him

I hope you'll join me the next two days and listen to these inspired messages from God, given to us through modern day revelation. 

Watch or listen to it {here}.

 "What a marvelous privilege it is to hear God's messages for each of us during General Conference! Let us prepare well for this great blessing of divine guidance delivered by His chosen servants, for this is no ordinary blessing." 
— Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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