Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The conference center in Salt Lake City...estimated 21,000 members of the church gathered?

Last night for family home evening, Jerry and I shared our 179th Semi-Annual General Conference notes and insights with each other. General Conference is the twice-yearly occurrence in our church during which normal weekly Sabbath/sacramental services are suspended. During these conference weekends, people worldwide can view and listen to the living prophet and twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, as well as other church leaders. Millions of people who are not able to attend in-person at the conference center in Salt Lake City participate through television, internet, or satellite broadcast in more than 6,000 meetinghouses in 85 countries. This latest conference is being translated into 92 languages, with video and print archives available online. I look forward to continuing to review the messages over the coming months as I apply them into my life.

On Saturday, Jerry and I ended up staying home to experience the conference message online, while on Sunday we spent one session at home, and one session at the church building. I like both ways of watching conference, because I tend to get varying sorts of benefits with different locations. For example, at home I feel more free to change positions (especially helpful now that I am enormously pregnant), and I can get a snack or drink of water in between speakers--thus aiding my overall alertness. But at the church building, watching on "the big screen," I often feel moved by a sense of community and love among those gathered in the chapel. We unite in our dedication to hear God's word through living revelation, and I catch myself taking notes more frequently because each time someone near me jots a word or two, it makes me realize, "oh yeah--something noteworthy just got said!"

A few personal highlights:

  • Obviously as Jerry and I soon embark on the thrilling (and at times unnerving) responsibility of parenthood, we have sought direction from the ultimate source of knowlege in this area: our Heavenly Father. Elder Oaks' talk on Saturday reminded me, "there is no area more in need of--and more likely to receive--heavenly guidance [than raising children] because this is the work of eternity." I feel confident the Lord will help me be a successful wife and mother. God cares about families.

  • I have worked to practice positive thinking through self-hypnosis during this pregnancy. Through this process, I have grown to believe increasingly in my capacity to control my emotions. Sort of a "spirit rules the body" type of belief. President Boyd K. Packer's reference to this idea at Saturday afternoon's session thus resonated with what I have been learning lately. He said, "You can invent a 'delete' key in your mind [...] You can control your thoughts." I love that image--a "delete" key in my mind! I will incorporate that into my hypnosis practice, and even use it elsewhere in life to choose to feel happiness when circumstances might try to convince me to feel otherwise.

  • Sometimes I wonder if I am making much progress in my quest to live a Christlike life. Change comes slowly, and admittedly on occasion I slip backward. During Sunday afternoon's session, Elder Dale G. Renlund shared a metaphor relating the Christian's journey to obtain a mighty change of heart to a modern, medical heart transplant. In each case, the natural inclination of the body is to reject the new heart, and the process of conversion requires frequent assessment, maintenance, and early intervention if rejection does start to occur. Hearing this comparison made me recommit to the small but simple acts of maintenance I do on my spiritual heart--if I have been blessed enough to receive this new opportunity at life, I will follow "doctor's orders," keeping in mind, Christ is known as "the Great Physician." It is vital that I not only study and learn His gospel, but ACT on it! Or my heart will fail me, like a beneficiary of a heart transplant who fails to take his medicine after surgery. I could never throw away a gift made possible by the sacrifice of someone else's life.

I could wax on for another 10 pages...obviously I love conference! It feels great to have access to the words God wants me to hear at this time in my life. I encourage all to study these conference talks with a sincere heart (note the language link above)--I promise you will feel a deep sense of purpose and renewal in life. You will find answers unfolding to address any question, and will feel comfort to lighten any burden that comes your way.


Jason and Jami Thomson said...

beautiful insights! Thanks for sharing. What a nice way to start my day!


cornter said...

Can I just copy and paste this to my blog! you are so totally on the same page! I love this and am so thankful you took the time to document it so well!
Our prayers are with you as you prepare for this ever so wonderfully important and amazing calling of motherhood, I can't imagine anyone more prepared spiritually for this calling.

cornter said...

Can I just copy and paste this to my blog!? thanks for sharing these wonderful thoughts and for doing it so well - I feel the same about conf. It is the best time of the year!
Our prayers are with you as you come to the final stages before entering the most wonderfully amazing calling of motherhood. I can't imagine anyone more prepared. God bless.