Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are given words of wisdom every six months from our leaders in Salt Lake City. It’s that time again in October and today starts the first session. There are many wonderful reasons to watch General Conference. Here are ten of them:
10. Behold the beautiful landscapes of Temple Square:
Temple Square (on the corner of Temple and State Street in Downtown Salt Lake City) is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The flower gardens, the statues, the reflecting pool are gorgeous and you get to see some of that during the broadcast of General Conference. There is a full time staff just for those grounds with many volunteers always beautifying the area. It is quite a sight and always a joy to see.
9. Hear the latest catch phrase from Salt Lake City:
In past years, talks from our general church leaders have morphed into reminder phrases or Mormon memes we can use on Pintrest, Facebook pages and emails. These words are catch phrases which help us during the year to be better Christians, friends and family members. From October 2002 General Conference, President Gordon B. Hinckley gave us the “Bs” for our youth: be smart, be clean, be true, be grateful, be humble, be prayerful. From October 2011 General Conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave the women of the church the five forget-me-nots: 1-forget not to be patient with yourself, 2-forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice, 3-forget not to be happy now, 4-forget not the “why” of the gospel and 5- forget not the Lord loves you. There are so many more and they all have come from General Conference.
8. Get the latest scoop on temple building:
We all love to go to the temple. This is one of our favorite activities but not everyone has a temple close by to where they live. Temples are built all over the world to seal families together forever and when a new temple is announced, we hear about it during General Conference. It’s so exciting.
7. More inspiration for Sacrament meeting talks:
There are so many wonderful messages of inspiration we can use for our Sacrament meeting talks. These ideas and messages are food for thought and this keeps us in going when it is time to write our talks for Sacrament meeting.
6. Anticipation for what will be published in the next issue of the Ensign Magazine:
The LDS Church Ensign Magazine always publishes all the talks from the preceding General Conference for the May and November issues. When we listen and watch the talks we can make a mental note to ourselves to go back and reread or listen online to all of our favorite talks we heard that weekend. We heard what was said but we can’t always internalize ten hours of speaking so reading the Ensign magazine will help us to remember those encouraging words.
5. Feel a unity among other Saints:
Watching the conference center filled with 21,200 people all gathered together each session, all wanting to listen to the messages of our leaders, all wanting to live in the way the Lord would want us to live, all with one purpose and one heart is amazing. This incredible camaraderie helps unify us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and helps us to realize we are not alone. We are strengthened as a church.
4. Find out who will be our newest apostles of the Lord:
We are mortal, we all know this and unfortunately those leaders who are called to lead us so well do pass away and this past month or so, three of our beloved apostles have passed away opening up three spots in the Quorum of the Twelve. Twelve men who are called to be witnesses of Jesus Christ. Twelve men who devote their entire life as an apostle to bring the gospel to the world. It’s exciting to see and we are witnesses of this. The announcement will come during General Conference.
3. Enjoy the music:
Our beloved Mormon Tabernacle Choir along with other church choirs prepare beautiful, inspirational musical pieces for our listening pleasure during the time of General Conference. Not only that but as a congregation, we are asked to participate with the singing as well which brings a spirit of peace to our souls.
2. Become spiritually uplifted:
Two days of spiritual messages from our wonderful leaders from Salt Lake City helps us to be spiritually uplifted for weeks after the conference. We come with challenges and family difficulties only to be healed, comforted and renewed in our faith in Jesus Christ to continue on in this journey of life.
1. And the number one reason we should watch/listen to conference this weekend is to hear the Prophet of the Lord.
We have a living prophet on this earth who will give us great words of wisdom to guide and help us in our life. We should listen to him. This was from my sixteen year-old son. I was totally floored when I asked him what the top ten reasons were for watching conference. This won the number one spot, hands down.
Many of us are parents with great responsibility from the time we conceive or bring a child into our home until they get on their own (and even then some). Living up to all of these challenges takes patience, love and time. Many of us have other challenges we deal with in this life. Listening to General Conference each time renews our faith and courage to continue on for the next six months until the next General Conference is broadcast. We are so very blessed.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.