For most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our annual General Conference is a favorite time. For our family, it's treated very much like a holiday. This year was no different. On Friday evening we packed the car with suitcases and kids and headed north to Utah Dad's parents' home, stopping only to pick up Chinese food from our favorite restaurant (Jasmine China Bistro).
We slept in Saturday morning. We woke in time to eat french toast before the first session of conference. I love listening to the words of the prophets and apostles. And the music. Oh, the music.
Sister Jean A. Steven's talk.
Utah Dad's brother had friends visiting from Germany. They had an extra ticket for the Saturday afternoon session, so Utah Dad joined them downtown. His parents took Amberly to see Riverdance for her birthday. She was so excited. And just as the afternoon session was starting, my sister-in-law and her married daughter arrived. They drove up from Southern California to surprise my in-laws. Needless to say, we spent the afternoon visiting more than listening. I will definitely have to read that session.
The men in Utah Dad's family all gather and go to Priesthood meeting together on Saturday night. This year, instead of going out for ice cream afterward they came to the house for ice cream sundaes. My brother-in-law's friends from Germany also joined us. They are delightful people and it was so much fun to hear about being a member of the church in Germany.
Some of our college-age nieces and nephews and significant others joined us today. My children did their best to distract from the spirit by teasing their cousins and coercing them into a game of keep-away.
I loved the reminders from the Brethren to serve others today. Charity for others is something that I definitely need to teach my children more. Hopefully, they will learn by example as Utah Dad and I resolve to be more service oriented in the coming months and years.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is one of my favorite speakers. I just love his talks and I even forked over the money to buy his book even though it's just a collection of his talks I could have printed off lds.org for free. Anyway, I was listening carefully to his talk this afternoon. I have to admit, it made me squirm a little. For I recently posted on this blog about a relative's frustration with being told the same thing over and over in his church meetings. Elder Holland's talk addressed this exact issue. He spoke with firmness and eloquence about the reasons why the Brethren must warn us (over and over, if necessary). And if what they are speaking about is something that we are already doing right (or as good as we can), then we can just happily give ourselves points. I was properly chastised. To hear the entire talk click *here*.
Holland also coined a new word : "Bedlamites". At the exact moment that he was speaking, I was watching my own bedlamites wrestle wildly on the floor. Gotta love them.
It was a fabulous weekend. I wish it didn't have to end.