I can’t believe that another General Conference has once again come and gone. The weekend went by far too quickly, particularly since I spent most of it sick and with a sick baby. I’m still fighting through the symptoms (although I think they’re allergy related now) and my baby still has a lot of congestion and is really cranky so it’s taken awhile for me to write up some of my thoughts from the weekend. What a blessing to be able to listen to the prophet of God and be with my family.
I think my favorite talk was Elder Holland’s talk about the parable of the vineyard. The talk immediately caught my attention because that parable had randomly been on my mind earlier in the week. I hadn’t been reading about it or studying it but for some reason it had come to my mind during the week. I’m glad that it did catch my attention because it was something I really needed to hear. Elder Holland paraphrased one of the scriptures by saying ”Why should you be jealous if I choose to be kind?” It was a good reminder to me to not judge those who haven’t been fully faithful to the gospel. It doesn’t harm me at all, my blessings from living the gospel are so much greater than their perceived happiness from failing to do so. Why should I begrudge them the Lord’s mercies to regain later in life what they could have had all along? It doesn’t diminish from me at all. I always love Elder Holland’s talks, he has a way of speaking that is straightforward and deep at the same time. I always come away with something profound from his talks.
I was also very moved by Sister Julie Beck’s talk. In the Saturday afternoon session Sister Beck was released as the General Relief Society President (meaning she was in charge of the organization of the women of the church on a worldwide level, but will now be stepping down to allow someone else to fulfill that post). When she was released I turned to Eric and said, “I bet she’ll cry through her whole talk this weekend.” I was wrong. Her eyes remained dry through her talk, and I sobbed. It wasn’t so much the talk itself that touched me but reflecting on the leadership this wonderful woman has given to the church. I so admire her boldness in defending women and their roles in creating families and homes. She has helped me to gain a true vision of the power of women and the unique, divine abilities that we’ve been given. It is not a popular time to be declaring that women should be protectors of the home and doing what they can to fulfill that role, and I am so grateful for Sister Beck’s leadership in standing up and defending that order. My testimony was strengthened that the Lord sends the leaders we need in our time. I think Sister Beck was uniquely qualified to fill this role at this time and will miss having her at the helm of our Relief Society. That said, I know that Sister Linda K. Burton, who was called as the new general president of the Relief Society, is going to be marvelous and that she will bring something to the table that we need now. I hope I can grow up to be like these wonderful women.
Another talk that really touched me was Elder David F. Evans’ talk. I had been thinking just that morning that I wished I could be a better missionary. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and want to share it with the world! However, I live in Utah, a state where the majority of citizens are already members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a stay-at-home mom I’ve found that most of the people I know are other stay-at-home moms. Since my children aren’t of school age yet the other moms I know are the women I meet at church. So my day-to-day contact with those who don’t share my faith is extremely limited. But Elder Evans reminded me that it’s important that our missionary experiences be current. Also that just living the gospel daily is a way of sharing the gospel. I also thought of a particular friend who I felt might need some lifting up. As I was thinking of this friend Elder Evans said that when we receive promptings of people who needed a message of the gospel that we should “act without delay”. So, I stopped listening to his talk and quickly composed an email to this friend :)
There was another moment that really moved me. President Uchtdorf spoke on Sunday morning and as he began his talk he related that he had received a letter from a mother who told of her children who had a very strained relationship. This mother asked President Uchtdorf to talk about how they could fix their relationship during General Conference saying that she knew their relationship would be healed if he were to do so. So, President Uchtdorf did just that saying that he prayed for these siblings to be reconciled as their mom had faith they would be. I was so touched that with all the things that are going on in the world President Uchtdorf took the time to listen to the concerns of this individual mother and to pray for her children and address them in General Conference. The talk itself was wonderful as well, but the example he set of taking time for the one was more impressive to me than any of the words he said afterwards.
There were many other amazing talks, but those were my particular experiences with conference that I wanted to record and share. I’m excited to get to go back and study these talks for the next 6 months and continue to be uplifted and inspired by them.