Tuesday, April 3, 2007
GENERAL CONFERENCE WEEKEND
I love General Conference Weekend. As a child I didn't like it too much. My father would borrow hard backed chairs from the church and line them up in the living room. We would have to get dressed in our Church clothes and sit as if we were at the chapel listening to speakers. Sometimes he'd even invite the missionaries over. It was torture to me. I alway thought that when I grew up I wouldn't put myself or my family through this.
Then something wonderful happened when I went to college: I live in a stellar apartment complex with a grassy courtyard. someone got the ideah for everyone who was home at the time to put there boom boxes in the window on the channel that conference was on, and we all meet in the courtyard on blankets and hear THE WORD together. I'm all for just about anything that can be done outside of the box. So about 1/2 of my ward, even those in other apartment complexes met in the center courtyard on blankets and sleeping bags. We gathered pillows, journals, sandwiches, chips, snacks and drinks and assembled ourselves together. And thus started the what I refer to as "THE HOLIDAY" of Conference Weekend!
When I first moved to Provo, someone brought up the Ideah of the Conference Breakfast! Saturday morning, we assemble early with crepes, pancakes and all the fixins. We have breakfast together and listen to conference. I love being able to share thoughts and ideas and testimonies afterwards. And I like being able to look back after a few years and read the journals and notes taken. It allows me to measure progress or lack of progress as well. ON occassions we would pack a picnic lunch and radio's to the park and picnic in between sessions and listen to an evening session in the park. Is there any better way to hear God's word than being in God's creation?
Now, being so close to "The Square" (Temple Square) we typically will attend the Saturday evening session and then go have dinner downtown. I love riding the traxx to the city center and the hustle and bustle of it all. The crowds, the atmosphere, the street performers. Even the protesters don't bother me. I can recall one year a protester singled me out and shouted..."hey young Lady? Did you know that black people aren't allowed to be in their temples? I stopped with a horrified look in my face and responded...? OH NO! I've been going in them for a few years now, how in the WORLD did THAT happend?"
He then said... "well you can't marry in them, they won't let you." Then I responded.... " UH OH.... they Let my daddy and his wife get married.... I bet someone is in big trouble for doing that!" And in a final attempt he said.... " Young Lady, Jesse Jackson would be ashamed of you!" to which I responded... "Probably not half as ashamed as I am of HIM" I smiled and wished him a "Blessed day in the Lord" waved, and walked on my way.
This year, started off very typical. I took some photos of my trip to conference this year. It was an incredible experience for me. Although what I did was mostly the same, it felt different to me. I felt different to me. We each hear things that will hit home with us. Hopefully we each take something away that we say we'll work on to enriche our lives and bring us closer to God.
There were things that struck me to the very core as never before. With that became an increasingly urgent desire to make the needed changes in my life to renew covenants and a pledge rededicate my life to the building up of the Kingdom of God.