Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

General Conference: Rich in Content and Meaning

As dull as General Conference can be compared to modern entertainment options, the more I pay attention, the more I come away with valuable insights into how to live a better life. A day or two of General Conference strikes me as more valuable than many of the high-paid self-help gurus and motivational speakers out there.

Priesthood Session last night touched upon many issues that have been weighing upon. Wise leaders speaking with experience and deep spiritual perspectives can do much to help us reframe our questions and problems. I also was enriched by the focus on Christlike service that we heard about today, and the eternal perspective that was added to many of our problems.

I love the stories I hear at Conference as well. The explanation of a young child for his bad deed still has me chuckling: "I'm sorry - I lost my CTR ring and now I can't choose the right."

Warnings about spiritual vertigo from Elder Robert D. Hales rang so true, and the dramatic story of a rebellious pilot doing stunts at night and mistaking the lights of an oil field for the stars above him, crashing into the ground due to his disorientation, described so well the chaotic moral misdirections of our day in which the movers and shakers of our society send millions into spiritual death spirals while proclaiming that they bring liberty.

Thomas S. Monson's story of a Conference talk that he felt inspired to direct to one young girl in the audience really touched me. She came to conference seeking guidance on whether to be baptized or not, and his inspired focus on her was an answer to her quest. I was thinking, "Yeah, but it's easy for skeptics to dismiss because we haven't been given details . . ." - but there was her picture, and then the follow-up picture of her and her family years later, obviously used with permission (along with her first name), and certainly hundreds of people know her and were also witness to the earlier talk. Any of you know more details?

And I loved the tribute to the Amish people and their inspiring forgiveness after the senseless murder of children. (This came right after my blood was boiling over the horrid murder of Hmong women and children in Laos by the Laotian army that I had the misfortune of seeing documented in gruesome video. Sharing the grief of the Hmong people made me appreciate so much more the divine power behind forgiveness in such cases -- though there also needs to be justice and no more US support for such brutal governments.)

Overall, a wonderful Conference, with lots of rich material that we can look forward to reading in future weeks when the Conference Report comes out.

8 comments:

CJ said...

From a friend's blog: "Today was a fabulous day of conference and I was really excited for this afternoon session because President Monson talked about my aunt Misti! If anyone was listening or watching - President Monson talked about the little blonde girl in the balcony that knew she would get her answer by going to Conference. Misti is my dad's youngest sister and my favorite aunt on that side. Plus she has the cutest kids ever and another on the way! It was exciting to me to hear that story and to be reminded again how a decision at age 8 can make a difference for the rest of your lives and for other generations to come."

Not a lot of insight, but some substantiation for you.

Connor said...

The singing during the Priesthood Session was amazine! My favorite was "I Love the Lord" by the BYU Men's Chorus - SO good!

OnHech said...

Conference was great as usual. How often can we take it for granted, and maybe worse, how often do we treat it as a chore? I enjoy conference when I have the spirit with me. It makes the difference between choice and chore.

Greg said...

Conner was right on with the singing during Priesthood Session, especially during the final number. That was so tight and on target, but more importantly it brought the Spirit like nothing I have felt with music in a conference setting. After the closing prayer we all kind of sat there with looks of amazement on our faces. All of the brethren around us were the same way, we couldn't believe what we had heard. I also thought Elder Oaks counsel on divorce was timely, as a bishopric we see way too many marriages that slip for reasons he discussed.

Drew said...

The last number by the BYU priesthood choir during the priesthood session took my breath away.

Words from the psalm of Nephi sung to the tune of "Be Still My Soul"!!! Brilliant!!!

I love conference. What a blessing it is to be able to sit and listen to the Prophets! How valuable it is to have those 10 hours to medidate on the things of the Spirit, and to escape the world!

To me, the meditation and thought that General Conference provides can only be more available in the Temple.

Téa said...

Enjoyed reading your thoughts.

I heard it was Robert D. Hales that spoke of spiritual vertigo in the priesthood session. Russell M. Nelson spoke in the Sunday afternoon session about repentance.

Dan the Man said...

I also enjoyed conference, though admittedly I failed to pay attention on sunday morning, but every other session I loved and enjoyed.

Mormanity said...

Thanks, Tea. I corrected that.