Monday, October 8, 2007

a time of renewal...

The older I get, the more excited I become as General Conference approaches. I can remember as a kid, and even a teenager, almost dreading it. Not only did I feel it was too long, but I also remember feeling like nothing applied to me, (or at least I didn't put much effort into trying to apply the messages to my own life), and I just plain had a hard time focusing and paying attention. I'm happy to say now, that my attitude has since changed. I so look forward to Conference Weekend, as I love the opportunity it allows me to spend quality time with my husband and loved ones, and to be free of worldly cares. I love that I am able to give ear to the Lord's anointed, to learn new principles, to hear touching and inspiring stories, to listen to beautiful music, to bask in the warmth of the Holy Spirit, to rededicate myself spiritually, and to make the necessary changes to be considered a worthy and effective instrument in the hands of the Lord. A time of renewal.

Thought I'd record some of the things that I loved about this conference, things that spoke to me, and things that truly touched my heart.
(Taken from my notes of both Sunday sessions.)

[Henry B. Eyring]
(Speaking of recording our experiences daily.)
You might pray and ponder - asking the question, did God send a message that was just for me? Did I see His hand in my life or the life of my children? I will do that, and then I will find a way to preserve that memory for the day that I and those that I love will need to remember how much God loves us, and how much we need Him.

[Quentin L. Cook]
Live by faith, and not by fear. Faith sustains us in the crossroads of life.

[Claudio R. M. Costa]
Parents are obligated to teach the gospel to their children. President Faust taught 3 key things to protect and strengthen our family against Satan’s attacks, and to build a testimony of Christ.
1) Family prayer
2) Family home evening
3) Personal and family scripture study

[Julie B. Beck]
Children – not possessions, not positions, not prestige – are our greatest jewels.

[David A. Bednar]
The infinite atonement is for both the sinner and saint in each of us.

[Gordon B. Hinkley]
We live in an interesting phenomenon. The soloist sings the same song again and again, an orchestra repeats the same music; but a speaker is expected to come up with something new every time he speaks. (ha ha ha ha) I’ve spoken some 200 times in general conference.

(Speaking of the growth of the church)
When the church was organized in 1830, there were but 6 members – only a handful of believers – all residing in a largely unknown village. Today we have become the 4th or 5th largest church in North America, with congregations in every city of any consequence. Stakes of Zion today flourish in every state of the United States, in every province of Canada, in every state of Mexico, in every nation of Central America, and throughout South America. Congregations are found throughout the British Isles and Europe, where thousands have joined the church through the years. This work has reached out to the Baltic nations, and down through Bulgaria and Albania… It reaches across the vast area of Russia. It reaches up into Mongolia, and all down through the nations of Asia; into the Isles of the Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand, and into India and Indonesia. It is flourishing in many of the nations of Africa.
There are now more than 13 million of us in 176 nations and territories. Our General Conferences are carried by satellite and other means in 92 different languages. And this is only the beginning…

(Speaking of the Book of Mormon)
Since its 1st publication in a rural print shop in Palmyra, New York, there have been more that 133 million copies produced. It has been translated into 105 languages. Not long ago, it was named one of the 20 most influential books ever published in North America. Recently, a 1st edition sold for $105,000; but the cheapest paperback edition is as valuable to the reader who loves its language and message.
Throughout the years, critics have tried to explain it, they have spoken against it, they have ridiculed; but it has outlived them all; and its influence today is greater than at any time in its history.

[Robert D. Hales]
Most miracles are a spiritual demonstration of God’s power. Tender mercies gently bestowed through impressions, ideas, feelings of assurance, solutions to problems, strength to meet challenges, and comfort to bear disappointments and sorrow. These miracles come to us as we endure what the scriptures call, a trial of our faith.

[Richard G. Scott]
Neither Satan nor any other power can weaken or destroy your growing character. Only you can do that through disobedience.

[Daniel K. Judd]
The Spirit is the most effective teacher in any given situation.

[Octaviano Tenorio]
We knew that one day we would be reunited with our daughter because we were sealed by the power of the Priesthood in the temple. (Speaking of his daughter who died in infancy.)

[Claudio D. Zivic]
I have heard that no one has died giving a talk in General Conference. If that is the case today, I sincerely apologize. (ha ha ha ha)
I choose not to be an ordinary man. it is my right to be someone out of the ordinary if I am able. To be someone out of the ordinary means to be successful, unique, and outstanding. (Excerpt from a book he had as a missionary.) We as members of the church of Jesus Christ have chosen not to be ordinary men and women.

It is difficult to bear the sufferings that are inflicted upon us, but the real torment in life is to suffer the consequences of our own shortcomings and sins, which we inflict upon ourselves.

[Douglas L. Callister]
If you want to know that you know that you know, a price must be paid; and you alone must pay that price. There are proxies for ordinances, but none for the acquisition of a testimony.

[Steven E. Snow]
When we visit with those who are suffering from sickness, loss of loved ones, or other heartbreak, it is not enough to simply say “call if there is anything I can do”. Rather look for ways to bless the lives of others through simple acts of service. It is better to do things of seemingly little consequence, than to do nothing at all.

[Dallin H. Oaks]
Most of us have more things expected of us than we can possibly do. As breadwinners, as parents, as church workers and members, we face many choices on what we will do with our time and other resources. We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good, is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we could do, far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.
Jesus taught this principle in the home of Martha. While she was cumbered about much serving, her sister Mary sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. When Martha complained that her sister had left her to serve, Jesus commended Martha for what she was doing, but taught her that one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her. It was praiseworthy for Martha to be careful and troubled about by many things, but learning the gospel from the master teacher was more needful.

I loved all four sessions of conference, and echo President Hinkley's final thoughts:
We have now concluded a great conference. We've been edified and uplifted. We've been inspired and lifted to a higher appreciation of this wonderful gospel...

May God bless and sustain President Hinkley, and all the wonderful, marvelous, awe-inspiring men (and women) that serve with him.


Brooke said...

The second session was a little easier to hear because the kids were asleep, but I am glad to read about the first one, since I can't remember a thing with my crazy ones running around!

Rania said...

Isn't amazing how much better conference gets when you're older. Thanks for the summary. Love ya Nic.

Amber and Dallas said...

I totally agree! I look forward to conference each time. I didn't used to. But now I wish we had it more often. What an opportunity it is for us to hear from our Prophet and his Apostles. Loved your post!

buddens said...

I feel the same way! I think I was more excited about this conference than I have been about it in a long time. It was so good and I truly felt so inspired too, but there were a few talks I missed because of a little monkey that lives with us. We still have them in DVR though, so I'm hoping to freshen up again! I'm glad you enjoyed it too. I think my favorite talk (of the ones I heard, I guess) was Elder Eyering's. So good.

Kira Joy said...

I love Conference too. I get really really excited for the General YW and/or the General Relief Society meeting before conference and Priesthood meeting. My mom and sisters and me all get together to watch, discuss and learn about the gospel from and with each other.

Thanks for the notes is amazing what you forget within was a nice reminder.

Blackner Family said...

Thanks for the great recap! I too agree that conference gets better the older I get. I remember having a Institute teacher who would get so excited for conference and he would say that conference was as exciting as Christmas at his house. I loved that! He definetly had his priorities straight!

lauri said...

Thanks Nicole. Loved your post!

diana rose said...

so refreshing, right?

Laurel said...

Thanks for the recap! (I've got to admit I dozed for a bit of the last session...) The music from this Conference especially struck me this last weekend. Did you notice that? For some reason every song was INCREDIBLY powerful, almost bringing me to tears during each one. Btw, I need your email address so I can invite you to my blog (I made it private after a creepy comment the other day). Email me at as soon as you get a chance. Thanks!

Judy said...

I loved every minute of Conference. I will never forget Apostle Worthlin as he struggled to finish every word of his talk. What a perfect example of strength and enduring to the end.

The Lee Family said...

I love conference as well. It was interesting to me to read wha tyou wrote and how I took a little different spin on things. It is amazing that the Spirit knows what we need to hear and He speaks to us as well as the speaker!

Dad said...

Just a comment about Elder Wirthlin: His son told the news media that he locked his kness at the podium, and that is why he was shaking. He assured all of us who love his father that he is in great shape (especially for 90!). Thought you might be interested.