03 Apr

General Conference, April 2010

Posted by Jenna, Under Religious

It’s General Conference time once again! If you’ve been reading for awhile now you may be familiar with this semiannual conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, if not you can read a description of General Conference here.

Throughout the weekend I’ll be tweeting my thoughts, and doing a bit of live blogging, updating this post during each session throughout the weekend. If you’re curious, I encourage you to tune in to the live video stream, broadcasting at 10 am and 2 pm MST on both Saturday and Sunday of this weekend.

Saturday AM Session

President Monson opened up the session and spent a few moments speaking “off the cuff” about his relationship with his wife. I admit I teared up a bit as I think my favorite moments in conferences past are when these great men speak of their spouses in such respectful and loving tones.

Boyd K. Packer devoted his talk to the subject of Priesthood power, and how we can strengthen the home and family by utilizing this great Power of God. I grew up receiving blessings from my father before each school year, when I was ill, or during times of great stress or trial. I am so grateful that I chose to marry a man who possesses that priesthood power and will be able to administer to our family in time of need.

Two talks in a row with the message that the genders need to step forward and embrace their roles and callings. I loved Sister Beck’s quote from Eliza R. Snow: “Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time.” Sister Beck’s comfort was a talk to me, especially at this time in my life where I frequently feel so frustrated at how little I am able to accomplish each day. Sister Beck assured us that we all struggle to accomplish all that our heart yearns to do, and I”ll be keeping that message in mind as I struggle to learn to care for a newborn for the first time.

Hope, happiness and joy are not products of circumstance, but of faith in the Lord.- Wilford W. Andersen. I also have a perfect trust in the Plan of Salvation. It is my faith in the reality of this Plan of Happiness that buoys me up during times of trial.

A talk specifically geared toward the women of the Church by M. Russel Ballard! The ability to nurture is part of our divine nature, we do no have to have children to exercise this gift from God. Elder Ballard spoke of popular culture’s tendency to make women look silly, objectifies them, makes it seem like the only way to leave our mark on mankind is through seduction. How I hope my daughters will never buy into this! President Harold B. Lee told mothers stated “The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home. ”  Elder Ballard is urging us to have frequent, open discussions about sexuality with our daughters and sons. That Husband and I don’t yet know exactly how we will do this, but we plan on making it a priority in our home.

Saturday PM Session

Elder Perry’s reference to his mother’s notebooks is a lesson to me on the importance of keeping a written record of impressions and insights. For me, the message of this conference so far has revolved around the importance of raising up righteous children, and making the rearing of our posterity the central focus of our lives. It is my belief that one of the most effective thing we can do to improve teaching in the Church is to improve teachings in the home. – Elder L. Tom Perry. Father and Mother are to be equal partners in the work of raising children, but it is primarily the mother’s responsibility to nurture and teach children. As parents we partner to bring to pass God’s work among His children… what a great responsibility I have to care for and teach this little baby of mine!

Elder Bednar urges us to find ways to bear our testimony regarding day-to-day experiences. Around the dinner table or driving in the car, these are the times to help my children see how the Gospel plays a regular and important role in my everyday life. I need to work toward being both a parent and a gospel instructor in the home.

I wanted to write about Elder Holland’s talk as he gave it, but I was far too overwhelmed by how powerful it was. Pornography and other such filth must be eliminated from our lives. TV show indecent? Turn it off! Movie inappropriate? Walk out! Relationship growing inappropriate? Get out! There is no doubt in my mind that Elder Holland is a man called by God.

Sunday AM Session

Source

I woke up 4 hours later than I usually do on a Sunday because we aren’t driving in to the chapel for 8:30 church like we usually do. I think we are going to hear several talks on the atonement and finding ways to appreciate the sacrifice of the Savior, something I always need to hear. I have felt the power of Christ’s atonement countless times and I know that He lives! He lives, and his atonement has made all the difference in my life.

Sunday PM Session

I admit I didn’t once take the time to reach over and type what I was thinking and hearing as I was so enjoying what I was hearing. I wonder what direction my thoughts used to take while listening to conference, as at this point in my life I feel like all the messages speak of the importance of parenthood and raising up children in the Gospel. I think that’s the beauty of conference; over the span of 4 different 2 hour sessions each listener around the world, no matter their circumstances, is able to walk away feeling like the words that were spoken apply directly to their life.

“It is appropriate to disagree, but it is not appropriate to be disagreeable.” - Elder Cook. The more time I spend on the internet the harder I find I have to work to follow this counsel.

I absolutely loved Elder Schwitzer’s talk on judging, and his example of how we often misjudge Martha, sister of Mary. It is true, when the whole person is evaluated, we find that Martha is indeed a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.

7 Comments


  1. President Harold B. Lee told mothers stated “The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.”

    I love that you share your faith so openly and how you capture some of the quotation of your leaders. This one struck me and I appreciate that he aimed this statement towards mothers, not towards all women. Although, it did make me wonder how mothers like Secretary of State Clinton and Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil would respond; do they value their home lives or public lives more? Would their children have the same answer? I’m not sure I know the answer.

    I’m not a mother yet. I hope that when/if that time comes for our family that I am able to recognize the immense responsibility of homelife and sacrifice on my professional life, to some degree. I recently told my grandmother that I wanted to continue to work, at least part-time, when we have kids and that I’m trying to sculpt a career path that would let me work outside the home. I said that I thought I would pull my hair out with boredom if I was stuck at home with kids all day, lacking adult interaction and intellectual stimulation. She immediately snapped and said that with that kind of attitude, I better not be planning a family any time soon… I just smiled and said I agreed :)

    But I think ultimately, I struggle because I know that my family is always be more important than work. I try to remind myself that if I love working as much as I do… just imagine how much I will love my kids!

    I am intrigued about Elder Ballard’s suggestions that you have open discussions about sexuality with your children. Hope you’re still blogging in 5-10 years so I can read about how you handle this one!

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    Ellie Reply:

    This quote also struck me, because, well, I’m not sure if it’s true for me. I want to do big important things with my life and my career, and I’ve always thought that parenting is…less big and important. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe I’m right, but it’s a question I know I need to answer before I have kids.

    As far as open discussions with sexuality, I’m really glad that the LDS church encourages this – I grew up this way, and since nothing was ever secret or taboo, I didn’t have sex to rebel or mess around with a whole bunch of boys just to explore sexuality. My parents got us a lot of books, sent us to a church that taught comprehensive sex ed, and nothing was not allowed to be talked about. Sex was a regular subject of dinnertime conversation; not necessarily asking specific questions about my parent’s sex life, but more broad things like whether there is a link between birth control pills and breast cancer, etc.

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  2. I really needed to hear Sister Beck’s talk – especially the part about complaining about our role as mothers. I chose this. I wanted this. These little boys won’t stay little forever and I need to stop wishing and waiting for “my time” because soon they will be gone and I’ll have all the “me time” I want. But the crazy thing – - then I won’t want it!

    Of course, every mother needs a break (I have an all day break planned with friends next Saturday!) but I really need to work on my self-pity and complaining.

    …and that is only as far as I’ve gotten. Haven’t seen the PM session, but thanks to DVR I soon will watch it!

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  3. Marissa C says:

    I always thought Martha got a bad rap :)

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  4. I definitely thought there were several about parenthood and the importance of the family! And I thought about Martha watching and thinking “FINALLY!”

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  5. No, it wasn’t just you – everyone is commenting on how much emphasis was placed on the role of parents, especially mothers. It was a great gift! I can’t wait to re-read the talks, because I too was just mesmerized and now I don’t remember everything I wish to remember.

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  6. What a great post! Loved it especially since I didn’t listen to the whole thing so I got a teaser from you for when I listen to it throughout the week.

    The quote of Eliza R. Snow’s that Sister Beck shared really stood out to me too. I definitely needed to hear that. I also always love Elder Holland and his talks.

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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