Saturday, October 1, 2011

General Conference

In the vernacular of my friend, Pam, and her daughter-in-law:  I am a General Conference SLUT.  That's right.  I just can't get enough.

I first tried to watch Conference when I was about 12.  I watched a lot, but I understood none of it.  What the heck does "apostolic" mean, anyway?  (This is a rhetorical question, kids.  I already know the answer.  But I didn't when I was 12.)

When I was 14 I was challenged by my seminary teacher (Hi, Brother Fuelling!) to watch Conference, and that's it.  I've been hooked ever since.  Some gems in the ensuing years:  Elder Ashton's talk on gifts and talents, 1988; Elder McConkie's testimony of the Savior (1986ish); Sister Dew's talk on motherhood (2001 or 2002); Elder Bednar's talk on the Lord's tender mercies; President Faust's talk on self-mastery; Elder Worthlin's talk, "Come What May and Love It;" Elder Holland's talk on the Book of Mormon.

When we moved to California, we had to go to the Stake Center to watch General Conference, because it was only broadcast via satellite to select locations.  My friends and I would pack picnics (as YSAs) and stay at the church all day so we could watch the entire conference without having to go home (which wasn't that far, but let's face it, Conference is even better when shared with the people you love.  And partying.)

After our children were born, and we lived in Utah again, my sweetheart (who is the best man in the world--have I mentioned that?) would take care of the kids all weekend long so that I could enjoy every last word of General Conference.  One year Elder Holland gave a wonderful, amazing talk DIRECTLY TO ME about being a mother.  And I heard every word because Spencer made sure that I could.

The thing about giving Mommy this time was that our children grew up knowing that General Conference was something special.  It wasn't really too long before they would either sit and watch with us or at least go outside to play so that we could hear.  (It helped that I snapped at them, "I'm trying to listen to the prophet, if you don't mind!"  How's that for love at home?)

One year at Christmas time I bought this beautiful counted cross stitch.  I worked on it, and then it got tucked away.  But it came out every Conference.  For about 4 years.  Seriously.  I worked so long on this cross-stitch of Mary and the Christ child that it was worth every penny to have it professionally framed, and it stays on our wall year-round.  And that, my friends, is how our General Conference tradition began.

Other families have traditions that center around food.  My tradition centers around handicrafting.  It's kinda the only time I really get into it, but for 8 beautiful, uninterrupted, glorious, spirit-filled hours, I work on some kind of handicraft.  A couple of years ago Bri and I spent all of Conference weekend working on costumes for the high school play.  I've made Christmas ornaments.  Usually I do some stitching of some kind.  Breezy has now joined me in the tradition.  Remember this cute pillow?  My birthday present began as a General Conference project.

Today I spent four hours stitching, listening, and crying tears of joy.  Also, did you see that adorable Primary choir?  Dang, I love those kids!  (How about the boy whose white shirt sleeves hung clear past his fingers?  Love it!)

The only bad thing about today is that it is over, so tomorrow is the last day of Conference.  For another 6 months.  *sigh*

On the up side, however, I have some CUTE crafting to show off!