What Is General Conference?

I get this question sometimes, from people who aren’t members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  What is General Conference? They wonder why I’m so excited about a conference. 

 For members of the church,  General Conference is an opportunity to be uplifted and instructed through living apostles and prophets.  Imagine if Moses, Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob came back to talk to a group of people, delivering specific messages from the Lord.  I’ll bet their conference would be fairly well attended, even today.  For me General Conference is about the fact that the Lord still speaks today. 

It is a meeting that happens twice a year in the spring and the fall.  It is a time when leaders in the church speak words of instruction, counsel, and strength from the Lord to the Saints.  In my family, we watch conference on BYU-TV.  I usually make breakfast casseroles that I never seem to have time to make the rest of the year.  There are piles of markers, crayons, pens, and pencils in the middle of the floor.  I print off conference packets for the kids to take notes with.  Some of the kids prefer to take notes on 3×5 notecards.  I run around cleaning, organizing, and getting things ready.  At the last minute I’ll grab my mechanical pencil, notebook, or my new favorite note taking form and slip onto the sofa just as the choir begins singing.  Then I’ll take a deep breath and wait to get revelation specific and personal to my life.

There will be some talks that don’t seem to apply, even though there will be portions at least that inspire me, or make me think about someone else in my life who would truly benefit from the counsel.

There will be moments when someone steals the only green crayon in the pile from someone else.  In these moments, I love having TiVo and a pause button. 

And then once “The Great Green Crayon Drama” has been resolved there will be a talk…a talk I’ve been praying to hear for the last several months…a talk that I need to hear…I won’t even be able to take many notes during this talk.  I may be crying, or staring at the screen.  More often than not, I’m saying silent prayers of thanks for a loving Father who knew exactly what I needed.

Over the course of the weekend, there will be many moments like this. Until finally the closing song and closing prayer at the last session on Sunday are done.

 I’ll spend the next six months studying, listening to, and rewatching talks…letting them sink into me and become part of my life.  Then it will be time for another conference and the process will start all over again.

Have you ever taken vitamins to boost your immune system and keep yourself from getting sick? 

 That’s what conference is to me.  It’s a regular opportunity to boost my spiritual immune system, to fix problems sometimes before they have even begun, and to feel the divine love of a Father in Heaven who has instruction and messages for His beloved daughter. 

That’s why I get so excited.

FHE Lesson : Obedience

Do you need a quick FHE lesson? Use this great lesson on obedience from LDSLiving.com.

GreenLight - Obedience

photo credit LDSLiving.com

The great thing about the lesson is that you can download the PDF file, save it to your personal computer or print it out and keep it in a binder or folder of other lessons.  These lessons are wonderfully convenient because the entire lesson, from song to treat, is outlined for you.

I’m back from a long hiatus – so stay tuned for more, and thank you for visiting this site often!

Christmas Craziness

Dear Sisters,

A few weeks ago I was sitting in an airport watching a major news program. These were two of the top stories: WalMart Worker Trampled to Death by Deal-Crazed Black Friday Shoppers & Two People Dead In ‘Toys “R” Us’ Shooting. These two headlines shook my core.  I had spent three weeks preparing for a Relief Society lesson that suddenly needed to change because of what I was hearing over the PA system at the airport.

What has Christmas come to? Shopping? Deals? Low prices? Black Friday? Cyber Monday? The coolest toys, the hottest fashions? And cars  – suddenly it’s the most exciting thing to give someone a car for Christmas. One day all the toys and latest fashions won’t be so hip anymore, and they will be forgotten or replaced by next years gifts.

Have we forgotten about the gifts of eternal value? Things we maybe cannot touch, but we can feel; happiness, tolerance, forgiveness, peace, love, friendship, service.

President Monson sums up exactly how I feel Christmas should really be first before toys and worldly things. His message perfectly illustrates how important it is to keep Christ at the center of our Christmas celebrations, and how we can give gifts of eternal value.

It’s been very difficult for me to get into the ‘worldly’ Christmas spirit this year, but it has been easy for me to focus on what is most important, which is Christ and the gift he gave us of his example, his life, his death and his love.

I wonder, what does Christmas mean,
With its stars and shiny balls?
Is Christmas more than Christmas trees
And toys and games and dolls?
Of this I’m sure: There’s something more,
For I’ve heard many say
That in a strange and far-off land,
A child was born this day.
And Christmas is to celebrate
His coming from above.
He showed us how we all should live
And told us we should love.
In Search of the Christmas Spirit“, President Monson

::Photo Credit -BibleStoryMurals.com::

Family Home Evening: The Book of Mormon

Tonight we are having visitors over FHE and I am very excited about it. Many times we end up watching a conference talk and then have a long discussion about what we heard, but tonight I thought that I should be a little more formal and organized with my FHE lesson plan.

The lesson that I received in my inbox today (from LDSLiving) is on The Book of Mormon. The lesson focuses on how The Book of Mormon is a book with a promise.

My husband and I are reading The Book of Mormon together and it has been very exciting to get caught up in the stories, the conflict and the proof that God does love His Children.

The Book of Mormon lesson can be downloaded for you to use tonight in our home. Enjoy!

Visiting Teaching

My visiting teachers are amazing. Each time they visit I receive confirmation from the Spirit that Relief Society and Visiting Teacher are inspired of  God. Women in this church are amazing. We have been counseled to ‘stand strong and immovable’ and to be ‘ambitious to do good’. And let me just say that in every ward I have been to around the world I can see how the Visiting Teaching program has changed the lives of many women.

A few months ago my mother send me this fun little hymnal-style tribute to the women in the churhch. I do not know who the author is (so I apologize for not giving credit where credit is due).

Glancing through the Hymnal last Sunday I noted that as Sisters in Zion, we who are called to serve are all enlisted to go marching, marching forward because the world has need of willing men to all press on scattering sunshine. We wonder if we have done any good in the world today because we have been given much and want to do what is right, keep the commandments, press forward with the Saints, choose the right, and put our shoulders to the wheel going where He wants us to go. However, as the morning breaks high on the mountaintop, truth reflects upon our senses, and while we still believe that sweet is the work, we also realize that we have work enough to do ere the sun goes down.And thus we askThee ere we part, where can we turn for peace?

Thank you, unknown author.

General Conference vs Math

During General Conference I prepare notebooks for every child.  I print off conference activity books.  I replace the ragged nubs of wax in our crayon boxes for brand new mega deluxe crayons.  Everything is ready so that we can take notes during all the sessions of conference.

Although I encourage the kids to listen to the talks and take notes on what is actually being said, I’m often content to let them draw pictures of any gospel principle during the sessions of conference.  This is especially true of the younger kids.

So as I sat listening to talks, I noticed that our seven-year-old son was making a chart comparing and contrasting the attributes of cats and dogs.  Impressive for a seven-year-old who’d rather draw that write any words, but not exactly relevant to General Conference.

I leaned over and whispered, “Since you’ve finished your chart, maybe you could listen to the talk and write notes or draw a picture about it.”

He replied, “I really just want to do math.”

I gently reminded, “It’s really important for us to hear what our leaders are telling us.”

And then I left him alone to make his own choice.  5 minutes later, I noticed that he had opted to do a word problem.

“Thomas S. Monson has 4 cows.  He eats one cow for dinner.  How many cows does he have left?”

And that my friends, is an example of a compromise.

Book Review: Enemy Pie

Do you have any enemies? Well then this book is for you, and your children, too!

My favorite books are Children’s books – especially ones that teach important, life altering lessons. “Enemy Pie” is a fun story about Jeremy, his new home, his summer and his ‘best enemy’. Luckily Jeremy has a loving father who teaches him a lesson about friendship that turns his ‘best enemy’ into his best friend.

by Derek Munson

by Derek Munson

‘Grown ups’ can certainly learn from this story, too. I can think of times when I didn’t have such warm-fuzzy for someone, but as soon I put the effort into getting to know them I learn to appreciate who they are and that they can be my friend, too :)

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