I just got the fall general conference edition of the Ensign. I like reading the talks and catching the nuggets I missed while listening. This time, my first nugget came from the Priesthood session. Since I am woman I didn’t get to hear this live, but I am glad I got it now. It is a big weight off my shoulders. Pres. Boyd K. Packer gave a talk entitled Counsel to Youth that has answered a question I have carried for years.

Growing up I had a colorful grandma. She was an adult convert to the church so she had a lifetime of religious traditions she incorporated into her new faith. One of the things she was taught as a child and firmly believed was that the world would end in 2012. Everyone in her rural community believed the same. They knew about the Mayan calendar and that it ended in 2012. I grew up knowing that was grandma’s opinion about the future.

Things got very confusing and scary in high school, when I started attending Seminary. Actually, it wasn’t just Seminary. It was every Sunday school class, every Young Woman class and even some Wednesday night activities. It seemed to me like the only thing adult leaders wanted me to know was that The End Is Near. I distinctly remember entering my high school on the first day of my freshman year, thinking, “ Four years in this place? Impossible. The world is going to end before I get out of here.” No one was more surprised than I was on graduation day.

A few years ago Rob and I met a cool guy who is a professional archeologist (think Raiders of the Lost Ark and you would be close) who works in the Mayan ruins in Mexico. Rob served his mission in that part of Mexico, so it only took a few sentences for our conversation to move to the Mayan calendar/2012 thing. The archeologist said that based on his research, the prediction is not that the world is going to end in 2012, but that it would be the beginning of a period of great upheaval. The world as we currently know it will change, but the physical end would not happen.

That was enough to make me go right back to high school and the lists of Signs of the Times that I studied all my teenage years. Of course, my teachers were good about reassuring us kids that even though the signs of the end were all around us, Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” was still in force. But my grandma sure was convincing.

I stopped paying attention to signs of the world’s impending doom as marriage and kids came because nothing is more important than shutting up a screaming toddler.

Now my kids are grown and my first grandchild is two weeks old. Her name is Eleanor. You’d love her, trust me. She’s a doll. I hate the thought of the world ending in 2012 since she just got on the scene. But now President Packer has soothed my heart and finally given me peace.

He says in his talk to the boys (which goes for the girls too, even though they didn’t hear it and youth aren’t required to read conference talks) “Sometimes you might be tempted to think as I did from time to time in my youth: “The way things are going, the world’s going to be over with. The end of the world is going to come before I get to where I should be.” Not so! You can look forward to doing it right – getting married, having a family, seeing your children and grandchildren and maybe even your great-grandchildren.”

Isn’t that so great???? I am so glad to know Grandma (may she rest in peace, she’s been gone 25 years) was wrong.