Sunday, October 2, 2011

Conference Weekend

Find a word in this "Wordle" that might be of interest to you.  The Lord spoke to you and others on that subject through his apostles and prophets during the General Conference concluded this afternoon.  If you didn't listen to all of the sessions, it's not to late. They will be available on the Internet very soon and will be published in next months Ensign.

     For many years I have looked forward to the weekend of General Conference in Salt Lake City.  As a young child I remember listening to it on the radio long before anyone in our small farming community ever had a telephone or a television.  I do not remember all that was taught at these conferences, but I do remember the voices of  President David O. McKay  and  others, and how I felt, as they gave their sermons to the growing number of church members.  One thing that impressed me especially, at my young age, was that my Dad and Mom thought the words of the prophets and apostles were important for us to hear. 
     I remember during the time I served on a mission in Germany, we did not have access to the conference broadcasts and how I wished we had been able to hear the leaders of the Church every six months.
      I remember as a young father with a growing family in Montpelier, Idaho, I often sought to combine my love of family, the outdoors and the leaders of the Church by packing a lunch, and sometimes a kid and going with as many of my children as were willing up to the summit of Midnight Mountain above Lanark and spending the  beautiful fall day there with my children listening to conference on a transistor radio I had purchased when I was a missionary in Germany some years before.  After I was called to the bishopric in the Montpelier Third Ward I travelled to Salt Lake City for Conference nearly every time for six or seven years.  We would usually stay with Ellis and Jeannine in Bountiful.  I had generally been able to get tickets from the Stake President or our ward bishop and would then arise early on Conference morning and drive into Salt Lake City where I would find a parking spot and then go the Temple Square to await the time when the doors would open.  I wanted to be at the front of the line so that I could be on the first few rows in the Tabernacle for conference.  I was usually successful.  I remember some of the General Authorities would come down off the stand before conference began and shake hands with some of those on the front few rows.  I remember shaking hands with President Hinckley, President Kimbell, Ezra Taft Benson, and others and having short pleasant conversations with them.  I knew that they were men of God and I rejoiced in being able to see and hear them at the same time.  Later when Televison reception and coverage of General Conference were improved, I began to stay home and enjoy the Conference messages from the comfort of our home with the family.  It sometimes bothered me when the children were less than thrilled with the long conference sessions, but then I remembered my own younger years and must admit I was not a lot different.  I just didn't have as many alternatives as kids do these days.
     I now look forward to not only the conferences, but also to the published versions of these which soon follow in the Ensign and on the Internet.  It has become a habit to read and reread them every six months.  How fortunate we are to have prophets and apostles among us today to teach us and guide us as we find our way through the difficult challenges we face in the modern world.
     I recently spoke with a young man about attending the Priesthood Session with me.  He just kind of laughed at me and declined.  I couldn't sleep very well that night.  I was saddened by this response.  As I sat  on the couch in the living room reading about two o'clock in the morning, I came across the following line in an article in the Ensign. "Those who ignore or treat lightly the word of God do not have access to that divine compass which points the way to the Savior."  These are the words of David A. Bednar.  I know that they are true.  When we seek for answers in the scriptures and in the words of the prophets, the Spirit will guide us through the storms of life.  When we do not, we are left to our own devices, which will certainly come up short of the goal we all should have, to return to the Father and be as He is.  My wish is that all of our family will feast upon the words of the Lord and deny themselves nothing that He so much wants us to have and know as we struggle along the pathway of this life.


The A Gang said...

As I started reading your post, I was remembering some of our General Conferences spent on top of Midnight Mountain. Then, I read on and saw that you were reminising too! You did a great job trying to get us to listen and participate in Conferences. I agree, that I don't always remember who said what talk, but I do remember what I felt and the warmth and familiarity of their voices as we listen. Love you ..... and thanks of being a great example.

Rene Weston-Eborn said...

I love the technology now too because I can download the talks and listen on my commute to work. Or just when I need too.... agreed.