As I watched Conference today I missed President Hinckley. I missed his warm humor. It seemed incomplete somehow without him. I loved how he would end the Conference with some of his quirky humor. I wondered how it would be with President Monson. I need not have worried. What a dear man. He had me laughing through half his talk, and crying through the other half! What an awesome responsibility he has. I could see it in his face, he looked tired and older. He asked for my prayers on his behalf. He has them.
I remember growing up in Utah and listening to General Conference on the radio. I didn’t understand what General Conference was. It was a weekend off from going to church and listening to some old men talk on the radio. I didn’t understand what they said, but I felt good when they spoke.
We moved to Oklahoma when I was 12. General Conference was still a weekend off, only we weren’t able to listen to it on the radio so I rarely heard it. When I graduated from High School, I attended Ricks College. General Conference weekend came and I still didn’t attend, but I got to listen to it on the radio again. There was a talk given, I don’t remember by whom, but the understanding it gave to me of a principle is still fresh in my mind. It's the first clear memory I have of actually learning something from Conference.
After I married, the habit of taking the weekend off continued. If we could get Conference on TV then we would watch it…on Sunday, that is. We had children, and the idea of taking them to sit for two hour stretches twice a day for two days in a row…well, anyway, we didn’t. My listening to Conference was sporadic at best. I would wait for the Ensign to come and then I would read the talks, or some of them, but reading isn’t the same as listening. You miss so much.
Over the last few years I have tried to make it a priority for our family to watch General Conference. We always watch on Sunday, and we try for Saturday, but it doesn’t always happen. There always seems to be something come up, like yesterday for example. A Shotgun Shooting Tournament, Baseball Opening Day, and a Karate Tournament…all on the same day…all on General Conference weekend, sheesh….
I’m sad I missed this particular one. I would have liked to have raised my hand to sustain our new prophet when it was really happening. Oh, I’ll still raise my hand when I watch it on the internet, but it won’t be the same.
Some principles I learned today:
- The Faith of our Fathers is the faith given to us by our Father in Heaven.
- Being born again is more of a process than an event. It is a gradual lessening of the disposition to do evil until we joy in doing good continually.
- When we obey God’s law, he is bound to bless us. One of the great blessings is to be worthy to enter the House of the Lord and partake of the covenants there.
- Continuing revelation does not displace previous revelation. The ultimate source of latter-day revelation comes from the Living Christ.
- Joseph’s prayer was not “what I want to know”, but “what I need to do”. It was an action based question. Faith is a principle of action and power. Faith in Christ leads to action and enlarges the power within us. We should pray with the expectation to act.
- Don’t be part of the crowd. The crowd came to see, the woman came to be healed.
- Don’t rush pass the fleeting moments, take time to enjoy them.
- Families need unstructured time to form relationships, don’t overschedule the family.
- Water cannot be drawn from an empty well, find time for myself to cultivate interests.
- Pray, study, and teach the gospel to my children.
I finished my Isaiah study *patting myself on the back*. After reading through all 66 chapters and hearing the same thing over and over again I realized something. Isaiah is just a bunch of Conference talks. He says the same thing over and over again, in myriads of different ways. He was teaching the same principles over and over again, and when I finally understood that, I was able to get past the repetition and uncover the beautiful concepts and principles awaiting me. General Conference is like that. It's nothing new. The Lord has been trying to tell us the same things for thousands of years, over and over and over again. And if we are listening with the right spirit, each variation opens our minds a little more, enlarges our soul, and brings us closer and closer to the principles that will ultimately save us.