When General Conference rolled around last October, I realized that it was the weekend that my children were scheduled to spend all day Saturday with their father. I felt somewhat ambivalent about this. On the one hand, I looked forward to a day of actually getting to hear the talks and ponder them in quiet peace without the stress of trying to help three small children sit through eight hours of talks in a somewhat reverent manner. On the other hand, I do take seriously the counsel to watch and listen to Conference and to encourage participation from our children. During the past decade since becoming a parent I have sought to make General Conference a significant family tradition. I’ve tried special foods, coloring packets, bingo, key words, going for scenic drives, and, most commonly, just requiring children to be in the room doing something quiet and not bothering me. I don’t remember watching Conference much as a child, but I don’t fault my mother for this at all. If watching Conference meant hauling five small children to the chapel by myself for eight hours of viewing, I’d probably opt out as well. However, now that I live in a time and place where General Conference is easily accessible in my home, I try to participate as much as I can. What to do when my kids weren’t even going to be around for half of it? Continue reading
I have spent every hour since the concluding hymn contemplating last weekend’s General Conference, chewing over the words and welcomes we received. Elder Robert D. Hales, who was the first speaker at the Saturday morning session reminded us of two vital aspects in benefiting from General Conference.
First, he said, (quoting President Kimball), “What is said is not as important as what we hear and what we feel.”
Elder Hales also said, “The greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over. Remember the pattern recorded frequently in scripture: we gather to hear the words of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them.”
Post-conference, I found myself hearing and feeling all sorts of things – a yin and yang chatter fest. I decided that one good way I could process conference beneficially was to go through each talk sussing out my own uplifting take-aways from each message. Continue reading
We’re all busy watching General Conference today; we hope you are too. I know that I have received many personal messages from General Conference, either directly from the messages given or from the whisperings of the Spirit as I have watched. Click on the picture to go to the Church’s website.
Is it just me, or does everyone think long and hard about what special foods they’ll eat during General Conference? As a child, my food association with conference was a special treat bag assembled by my mother, the contents revealed to us only after we were settled into the church pews. In college, watching conference was a social event, where apartments all over Provo hosted brunch for specially invited friends and crushes.
Today, my first-session meal will be homemade butternut squash soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, followed by Thai takeout during the 4-6 p.m. block. Tomorrow, I’m thinking homemade brioche au chocolat for the morning session, and a classic Sunday supper in the afternoon.
What are your General Conference food plans? Are you a traditionalist, serving homemade cinnamon rolls semi-annually? Or does your feast change from year to year?
Normally, Saturday is a special day because it’s the day we get ready for Sunday. (Does that Primary song still exist, by the way?) But today, Saturday is a special day because it’s part one of a two-day churchathon. Are you ready?
I’ll be honest — I don’t do all I should to prepare myself for general conference. I do clear my schedule for the weekend to allow myself to watch each session in real time. I do think ahead about what treats I can bake to keep my mouth happy during the hours of screen time. But spiritually? I could be much better prepared.
So with about three hours left before the first session kicks off, I’m now vowing to watch with more intent than I normally do. Instead of relying on the printed talks in the Ensign for re-reading, I’m planning to actually write down thoughts or quotes I hear from the speakers (and hopefully, from the Spirit) that I want to ponder and study later. A novel idea, I know. Want to join me?
Let’s use this post’s comment section to share meaningful ideas from today’s general conference sessions. As you watch, let us know what hits home for you. Whose words will lead you to make real changes in your life? Which talks sound like they were written just for you? In addition to learning from our prophet and apostles this weekend, let’s learn from each other.