Monday, April 3, 2017

Some post-conference thoughts

Before conference started on Saturday, I turned on the TV and watched the introductory footage. In the past I have just sort of been bored by it, but for some reason this time my attention was caught as the camera zoomed in on the men and women interacting among the chairs of the general authorities.

I don’t know why I suddenly became so interested, but I did.  In fact, I was RIVETED, watching general authorities chatting with each other. They put arms around each other, they leaned toward their neighbor to chat with them, they pointed out things in the conference center to each other, they occasionally waved to people in the audience…  I saw the women leaders talking in little groups, some extremely close to each other. They held hands, they grasped arms and wrists or elbows.

I loved to see how friendly and affectionate they were. I could see the love they had for each other and for the members.  It was like a little glimpse into heaven.

Also the morning of Saturday conference, I had a general impression of things I was looking for guidance on, but as the Saturday morning session started, I was suddenly inspired to write very specific questions at the top of my notes.  As it turned out, that session of conference had so much stuff in it that directly answered those questions that I was absolutely astounded.  I’m pretty sure that if I had not written my questions, I would not been as alert to pick out the answers.

This was the first general conference in which I watched the priesthood session at home while my husband went to watch it at the stake center. (Previously, I just waited for it to come out in the May edition of the Ensign to find out what the men were talking about.)  I’m grateful I did, even if I didn’t have to.

The music was awesome, as always.  As a sidenote, it seemed we had an unusually large number of musical numbers consisting of different hymns juxtaposed on top of each other or medleys or overlaid contrasting melodies.  (Think “Love is Spoken Here” and “A Child’s Prayer”.)  I wonder how often this type of musical technique is used elsewhere outside of our church. I really don’t hear it anywhere else.

I loved the spiritually stuffed feeling I got at the end of both Saturday and Sunday after listening to all those talks.  Unlike physical food, where one reaches a point that having more is painful, spiritual food still tastes good, even after hours of it. 

Probably the most uncomfortable talk for me was Elder Renlund’s talk in which he talked about not putting off the Spirit’s promptings and following first impressions. Why was this hard for me? Because I am an impulsive person and I continually worry that my first promptings will get me in trouble somehow.  When I was younger, I did things on impulse that I thought were clever or inspired and journaled about those things, and when I got older I looked back and cringed over them.  So I started to institute delay in order to keep myself from doing something stupid.  So I tend to over-think things a lot now.  However, Elder Renlund’s talk has challenged me and I have more learning to do to tell the difference between the Holy Ghost and my own thoughts. I need more experience.

President Monson’s counsel to read the Book of Mormon resonated with me and actually was a second witness to our stake president’s counsel at our ward conference the Sunday before to read the Book of Mormon. So I’m going to do that.

So much to absorb!

In October 2016 conference, I noticed that up to that point I made notes about the conference talks, but I didn’t often reread the them when they came out in the Ensign. Over the last six months I’ve tried to do better at that, and I think I succeeded. I look forward to reading this conference’s talks.

What stuck out to you?


Rozy Lass said...

I noticed how many of the talks overlapped and were second and third witnesses of a topic. Knowing that no one is assigned a topic makes this all the more remarkable. These men and women travel around the world meeting with members and have a good understanding of the needs and weaknesses of all the saints. It is reassuring to me that I am not alone when I hear something I need. I enjoyed each session and always wish there was more! As I listened to Sister Jones' talk I wondered why I couldn't have heard that twenty years ago when it would have made a difference in my family. Then I thought that maybe I don't hear things until after the fact; after I've already been through an experience and know where my weaknesses are. I don't know, but I listened to conference differently after I thought that. What do I need to be doing today? I received some answers and impressions.

Also had a sweet tender mercy. As the choir was singing, I think in one of the Saturday sessions, I composed a letter in my mind to "the powers that be" asking if they couldn't please show the top row of the bass section so we could see a brother who at one time was our youngest boys' Primary music leader. I was wondering who I could send the letter to when I realized that the camera was showing the top row of the basses! The man upstairs read my thoughts and answered my request! It was amazing! Especially as that row is called the "dead zone" because they rarely are photographed. It took me a second or two for my mind to register what was happening and then the tears just flowed, and I expressed gratitude for a listening Father who instantly gave me my heart's desire.

Michaela Stephens said...

What a neat little experience! How cool! Thanks for sharing that. Glad your conference experience was so great.