Sunday, April 03, 2011

General Conference

What is this General Conference that I speak of? Well, you can either click the latter link or read this post. I hope you choose to read this post :) 

Every six months the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attend General Conference on the first Saturday and Sunday of April and October to listen to the leaders of the church: The Prophet, the Apostles, and other inspiring men and women.

Before the days of the Internet members would gather and listen to the leaders in person. Then as technology advanced, they got all fancy and started broadcasting it on TV in some areas. (If you have satellite TV, you can watch it on the BYU channel or in some areas it's just on regular TV, but not where we live.)  We have cable, so we watch it on the Internet at home. I think our neighbors must think we slack off and play hooky from church every six months. I'll admit that I enjoy sleeping in Conference weekend since the first broadcast begins at noon on the east coast. It is broadcast at our church building, but it's nice to be able to relax at home and let the little ones roam around the house and eat snacks while we watch.  

It's always a wonderful weekend. I can totally understand that from some people's perspectives it might sound really boring. It's literally eight hours (four hours on Saturday and four hours on Sunday, each day divided into two, two hour sessions) of listening to men in suits and women (not in suits, but in nice clothes) speak from the pulpit at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. However, the strange thing is that it's not boring at all! Of course there are moments that I want to doze off which is usually due to the warmth of the sun shining in our family room around 5:00 PM, which makes me feel like a lazy cat on a sunny Spring day. But usually either my husband or I stay awake and get each other up to speed if the other one dozes. AND, the good news is that the talks are always printed in the May issue of our church magazine, The Ensign, so we can read them over and over once they are published. (They are also posted online about a week after Conference.) Also you get to hear beautiful music sung by the Mormon Tabernacle choir by watching it live which you don't get to hear when reading the magazine.

This is a picture of the kids at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City in August 2010. We didn't get to go inside though because Emily got altitude sickness and we needed to head to California early. It was very sad. It's a 1.4 million square foot building that seats 21,000 people. It's supposedly really awesome. Bradley wants to go back and attend Conference live in October, or maybe next year.

Even the kids get excited about Conference weekend.  We make it fun for them, with good snacks and games.

Here's a little photo documentary of our Conference weekend:

Emily made a countdown sheet.

A reminder about Conference hung on our refrigerator all week with a picture of Thomas S. Monson. It looks like a picture of him in his younger years.

 The kids' table with lots of coloring sheets and activities to do. I think Rachel has a mouthful of Skittles which were supposed to be the Bingo markers.

Our computer setup. Every Conference we are always straining to hear the the people speaking because the little kids are being chatty or playing with a clanky toy or something. This year we smartened up and actually brought down the sub-woofer that my husband uses in his office/music center. It helped A LOT and the kids and I enjoyed it for our Saturday night oldies dance party while my husband attended an additional two hours of General Conference at the church building. Men are not naturally as spiritual as women and need additional spiritual instruction. (I'm half kidding.)

In case you might be a bit dyslexic, LDS stands for Latter Day Saint. These are not LSD Bingo boards. That would be a trip.

George spent most of Saturday in his high chair eating snacks.

We had Gold Whales (they were cheaper than Goldfish), vegetables and dip,....

cheese and crackers.
(Not pictured: imitation Fudge Stripe cookies, graham crackers, Nilla Wafers, Handisnacks, orange juice, Sprite.)

I hung this up so the kids could check off the leaders who spoke, but my double sticky tape wasn't so sticky and the papers wouldn't stay up.

My husband takes notes during Conference. I think he was fighting hard not to fall asleep at this moment.

He lost the battle once Jason fell asleep on his lap. But don't worry, I caught him up to speed once he woke up. It was a cat nap.

The computer had to work so hard with all that video streaming, it got hot and shut down so we gave it some ice packs and restarted.

In between sessions on Saturday we did a little gardening. The first weekend in April is the best weekend to plant vegetables. We planted green peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, okra, sunflowers, and cantalope. I am so excited that we are not moving, and we get to reap the benefits of our garden! I really hope our vegetable plants are successful. We are taking extra precautions against deer this year, but this is material for a whole other post.

The kids made a tent for the second session on Saturday and first session on Sunday.

It was a great weekend! We were inspired and uplifted as we learned about:
Jesus Christ
Eternal Life
The Temple
The Atonement
Lots of other Good Stuff

Every April they read off the statistical report.
Total membership - 14,131,467
Converts baptized - 272,814
New children of record - 120,528 (One of those was mine :)

I look forward to getting my May magazine, so I can read all the talks again.


  1. That picture of the Prophet is so cute!! You should send it into the Friend : )

  2. I can't believe you went all the way to the Conference Center and didn't go in!?! You should have just put her in the stroller. Next time we'll have to join you! :)