Twice a year, it rolls around. A full weekend of inspiring speakers, uplifting music, and a chance for a tweetstorm.
It’s the Semi-Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is made of six different 2-hour sessions. The first comes a week before, for the young women in the spring and the adult women in the fall. comes two sessions for the general membership on Saturday and two on Sunday. Saturday evening, the men gather for their own meeting.
This year we gathered for the 181st conference, which is just exciting. My plans for each Conference is to sit with my laptop for the entirety, tweeting the things I find the most moving. It’s like note taking – but social! (*Note for those not aware, you use the #ldsconf hash tag to join the hive note-taking mind.) I have found that this makes me pay more attention and get more out of the addresses.
Let’s face it, when you’re staring down the barrel of 10 hours of church in a little over 24 hours, your eyes *might* start to glaze.
In the pat, when stat tracking came easier, I generally fall into the top #ldsconf tweeters list. I type very fast and use closed captioning by preference when watching TV.
In April’s Conference, I had my posting rights suspended (aka TwitterJail) a record seven times. This weekend I only lost posting rights six times over the whole weekend. Once per session, plus late last night while talking to people about the Church and Conference.
I try to warn my followers of my upcoming social media blitz. I find most are fairly tolerant, and some even intrigued. With the “Mormon Moment” going on right now, I believe a lot of people are curious about our beliefs. We’re the wacky Mormons after all, there’s a lot of misinformation out there.
Questions I’ve been asked:
- Do you still practice polygamy. (My answer: Yes, would you like to be our second wife? Real answer: No, we’ve not practiced polygamy since the late 1800s. In fact, you cannot be a member of this church and practice polygamy.)
- Is it true you can’t eat at McDonald’s? (I honestly have no idea where that one came from. We can eat where ever we want. Even at McDonald’s.)
- I heard you must have an even number of boy children and girl children. Is that true? (I guess that’s one way to explain our large families. I have friends with seven boys. I think they are all weeping right now at the thought. We just like big families, and since there’s no way to guarantee a gender – this is definitely false!)
- Is it true you wear funny underwear? (It astounds me how many people are obsessed with what I wear under my clothing. As a general rule of thumb, I consider all underwear funny. How else do you explain butt floss? Or bras that somehow manage to combine zebra stripes and polka dots? *Note, I have never worn such an item as the aforementioned bra, however I know someone who does. No, she is not LDS.* If you really want to know, well then yes. I do wear underwear. Unless I’m going commando. Feel free to guess which is true today.)
- So you guys don’t believe in Christ or the Bible – right? (You’d think with the name “Jesus Christ” in the title of our Church, the first part would be a no-brainer. However, a lot of people do not realize “The Mormon Church” is not our name. I generally explain to them the actual name of our church. As for the Bible, we do believe it. In fact all of our high school age teens are studying The Old Testament this year as part of their four-year scripture schooling we call “Seminary.”)
- These are tough times with wars, natural disasters, and economic uncertainty. It’s all right. Rely on the gift of personal revelation, God’s love, and be at peace.
- Church waits for no man. Our beloved Prophet and leader, Thomas S. Monson, arrived nearly an hour late for the first session yet we did not hold the meeting for him. I was intrigued by the rumor mill that instantly began, since no one gave a reason for his absence at the start of the session. He strolled in late, dispelling the rumor he could not walk, and announced six new temples, my thought is he probably had some mundane phone call, probably in regards to the temples.
- There was a lot of push towards missionary work. Our missionary ranks are on the rise, and I see this leading to even more missionaries. Exciting!
- Uchtdorf did it again – six seemingly random things, a tie in from the early pages of the Bible to flying an airplane, and a Gospel message. All in one 15-ish minute talk. I love him.
- The tie selection rocked. I liked that the first presidency actually changed their ties between sessions. I’m betting somewhere in church HQ there’s a whole tie room. Either that or the General Authorities don’t know to throw their ties over their shoulders at lunch. 😉
- The world is ever-moving away from our values, but we need to stand strong and not waver. I almost thought I was going to hear the words “Modest is Hottest!” but I didn’t.
“Be loyal to the royal within you.” –Elaine S. Dalton