**CAPTION** The Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform for the Sunday Morning session of the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this October. **CAPTION**
In case you don’t follow my tweetstream so somehow missed out on my nearly 550 tweets, this weekend was the 180th Semi-Annual General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (If you do follow me on twitter, well, I hope you were uplifted! I promise not to do that again until April!)
So what is this conference all about? In a nutshell, it’s a two day experience filled with beautiful music, many inspiring sermons, and for many – cinnamon rolls. (I don’t know, I saw that last one on twitter. In my house we had these way yummy Ghiradelli muffins.) This conference might be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, but it is broadcast throughout the world. During the event itself, the proceedings get interpreted immediately into scores of languages. Video and audio recordings are already available at the Church’s conference website and by Thursday we can read the written transcripts. Next month a magazine with each talk included will become available to the Church as a whole.
Basically, I sit at home in my jammies worshiping with 14,000,000 of my nearest and dearest Latter-day Saints.
Why? Because us Mormons don’t do anything small.
Those speaking are the men and women that spearhead our church on a global level. (It’s why we call it "general". They are commonly referred to as "General Authorities" within the Mormon church.) And yes, I did say women. (There’s a common misconception about women in the Church but that’s a blog entry for another time should anyone want it.)
So here I am on Monday evening, and pondering what I experienced in eight hours (and nearly 550 tweets) over this weekend. (Ten hours for my menfolk!)
Here’s some of the highlights courtesy of a Meme I found from the good gal over at The General Conference Book Club:
First let me say that these talks, while geared toward those of my faith, hold many things that other Christians could find uplifting and encouraging. Some of the topics spoken on were: Faith, parenting, and overcoming addiction. I’d say those are things that are probably good for anyone!
Me, joking here, says: 2010 Conference is summed up as: "Hollow trees lead to stupid cows that have pens that don’t work in space but we’ll go fly fishing while we follow the Prophet." (Seriously, you had to be there!)
On to the Meme:
General Conference Highlights, October 2010:
1. Who were your three favorite speakers?
Seriously? Three? Only three? Ok…
President Uchtdorf on "foundations". I love that he can take ten completely unrelated items and somehow make them into a talk. One of those is always involving flying jets. I always look forward to his talks!
President Monson, our beloved prophet. He has a story for every situation and somehow always works in widows. Ok, he was also in the publishing industry. I just relate very well with him. That and he said he has "miles to go before he sleeps". Seriously, he’s the head of a major world religion. If he has miles to go, I must have light years.
Elder Gong. Ok, he’s this cute little Asian guy with these cute little stories from Asia. And I adore him. No really. I do! This time he talked about the Dragon in his family line and how his wife bakes awesome bread. I like anyone who bakes awesome bread. 🙂
2. Favorite talk?
Geeze, really? *SIGH* Ok I’m just gonna grab one for you. Fly Fishing. Why? Surely not because I like fly fishing or anything. I mean really? Not my scene. But the analogy was AWESOME. The gist is that a fly fisherman designs his lures to fool fish into biting. It was said that: Satan is not into catch and release. AMEN! I think he’s more into "Catching and Frying." Anyway… it’s just one of the talks that struck a cord. Watch out for the temptations that are there. They are crafty.
3. Favorite hymn sung during Conference?
No way. Too many. We were blessed to hear from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir THREE times! THREE! Anything that America’s Choir sings is AWESOME. So because they get enough love, I’m going to say something from the second session because it was a family choir. A FAMILY choir. That took up just as many seats as the MoTab. That’s like nearly 400 seats. All I have to say is, Only in Utah. LOL The song is Lord, I Would Follow Thee. This is one of my favourite hymns, if I have to say I have "favourites". The name says it all.
4. Who wore the best tie?
All I have to say is: Purple tie trumps all. Bishop Edgley FTW! Dude, I loved it. you rocked the stripes in my fave colour!
5. Do you think conference had a “theme”?
Given we had several talks that actually used the same background? Uh yeah. Let’s see. Faith. Follow the Prophet. Holy Ghost. Beware of Addictions. Faith. Follow the Prophets. Holy Ghost. Beware of Addictions. Faith… oh you got the picture? Yeah. Unless you want to say "Ezra Taft Benson" since I think he was quoted in every session.
6. Share a few of your favorite quotes (paraphrasing is fine).
HAHA Read my tweet stream. But here:
"Satan is not into catch and release"
"Stupid Cow" (In case you people wanted to know why it was trending on twitter… thank us crazy mormons and farming stories)
"I lost my voice… that’s a foundation I need to have!"
"Parenting is not a popularity contest"
"Five new temples" Ok, this is just always making me happy. 🙂
President Monson talking about taking on the MoTab as a responsibility when he became President of the Church. 🙂 Then telling about his mother saying, "Tommy, you should have stuck with the piano." Then he sang a little ditty to us. HEHE
"Gratitude unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel the love of God."
"A teacher’s attitude is not taught, it’s caught!"
"Love is spelled T-I-M-E."
"As much as there is wrong in the world today, there is much that is right!"
"Cultivate the attitude of gratitude."
"Endure to the end, you must." (President Monson channeling Yoda?)
"Pride is the switch that turns Priesthood power off, humility that turns Priesthood power on."
And my personal favourite comes from the session for women (we call ourselves Relief Society) a week before (so really, it was 10 hours for me overall.. LOL). Take it away President Monson: "Why beholdest thou what you think is dirty laundry at your neighbor’s house but considerest not the soiled window in your own house?"
7. Something that made you smile during conference.
Seriously, did you not read the quotes above? I gotta say first off watching President Monson. He’s so funny. He pulls these faces and when he breaks into a grin I just can’t help but grin back! I must say the "stupid cow" story had me in stitches. So did President Monson’s singing.
8. Any evidence that your children paid attention?
Ok, so I have to tell you that at one point I had Joram doing sit ups and solving the Rubik’s Cube at the same time. Caramon was doing chin ups. And Megs? He was on our Gazelle. (It’s like an eliptical.) However, my boys and I spoke about different things we heard and they really did listen to a lot. I think the greatest thing was when Caramon was on the floor, solving the Rubik’s Cube and the analogy of fly fishing was going on and Caramon looked up from his cube (while still flipping it) and said: This is really all true. Fly fishing is a great way to compare with the actions of Satan."
9. If you had to give a talk in General Conference (don’t faint, this is hypothetical), what do you think you’d speak about?
Holy smokes. So many topics. Faith. Adversity. God’s love. I don’t know. Especially since I know my Bishop could actually find his way here. I mean isn’t this just asking to speak in Church? (Actually I don’t have a problem. As a journalist, I can write. As someone who grew up on the stage, I also don’t mind being in front of people. I just gave a ten minute talk on baptism and The Holy Ghost. While pretty much blind and unable to read the talk I prepared.) I would say though? It would be a toss up between "leaning on the Lord in trials" and "music and the spoken word".
10. What are some of your post-conference goals?
a. Study Ezra Taft Benson’s 14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet
b. Pray more – My Bishop has requested we pray three times a day. I’m trying!
c. Go to the Temple more
d. Be more grateful, even through my trials. At least to have a better attitude.
So there you go. Just a tidbit of what I got from General Conference. I love my Church, I love my leaders, and I love my Lord.