This weekend has been General Conference. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we have a conference every six months where all the members of the church attend or watch remotely. It is broadcast worldwide in various ways, including via the internet where it can be streamed in realtime. The conference is divided in five sessions, three on Saturday (the last of which being for holders of the "priesthood" -- another topic for another time) and two on Sunday.
During each of these sessions there are talks about various different gospel topics. Leaders in the church are asked to speak for roughly ten to twenty minutes and are not given topics to speak on -- they choose their own topics and usually there is surprisingly little overlap. This time, I can't think of any two talks that were on the same topic.
This time, there were talks on faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, enduring through difficult times, and other like-topics. I was even pleased by talks on the temple, eternal families, and service. I had the chance to go watch the priesthood session last night and took the following notes in my handheld (please ignore the grammar, spelling, etc):
elder perry - high jump story with his son re raising the bar - once you reach the min standard keep raising you own bar to find the limits of your potential - be phsically able, groomed appropriately, learn to study and learn the gospel, read the b.o.m. and teach my gospel, learn abt your emotional limits and how to manage disappointment, develop in-person social skills, get a job to be able to contribute a goodly sum to the cost of the mission, be clean, and remember the spirit is what converts
donald hallstrom 70 - procrastination, don't delay needed change, easy street sign in honolulu also has a dead end sign affixed to it
whitney clayton 70 - david and bathsheba story likened to the a fish trap with bait and with barbs that are easy to swim past on the way in but not easy on the way out, pornography, popularity is not a good judge of what is good and right, ours is a quest for purity
walter gonzalez pres of 70 - lima peru disaster claimed 9 members lives, members went out to help in the darkness, we don't know when or how quakes will come and they may not be earthquakes but rather other forms of adversity, be prepared so the lord can make us equal to the challenges that come, take time to ponder the things of God that He may prepare our minds for tomorrow
pres eyring - just need to read the beginning about pleading for help to be able to do what is asked of you, assurance sometimes comes from memories, good story of a conference, forget yourself and start praying for the people you serve, just go to work and serve as you should, we are to help Heavenlt Father and JC bring eternal life to those you serve, there will always be pain or discomfort in serving - that is the nature of what we do even as it was never easy for the savior
elder monson - a true priesthood holder has vision, makes an effort and perseveres, has faith and virtue (as we think in our hearts so are we), and has prayer woven into our lives
pres hinckley - anger, charles penrose - wrote a song as a missionary on controlling anger and having wisdom 'school thy feelings'?, anger is the mother of a whole brood of evil actions, divorce is often the bitter fruit of anger, we often make a great fuss of matters of inconsequence
You can see there's a lot of good material here -- and this is just from one session! In my opinion, watching conference is one of the most wonderful things that a person can do. It's really hard for the kids to sit through, but they tolerate it well enough.
In our house, we stream it through the wireless internet, then connect my laptop to the television. Then we turn up the volume and try to get the kids to sit still. They're bored out of their noggins, and we aren't usually able to hear every message, but we try.
I can't say I blame the kids for not being too into it, though. I wasn't when I was a kid, either. My parents used to turn on every radio in the house and blast the volume so that the only way we could get away from the talks was to leave the house and go way out into the back yard. This worked, I think, once, until my mom figured it out and refused to let us leave the house.
Funny how times change, though; now that I'm an adult, I quite enjoy it and now I foist the experience on my own kids. Hopefully, if I do my job right as a parent, one day they'll do the same thing to their kids ...
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