General Conference Book Club Week 1: Favorites

 “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled,  Whether by mine own voice, or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”  (Doctrine and Covenants 1:38)

Easter is a time of new beginnings, a symbol of renewal.  What better than General Conference to help us shake off the “old self,”  invigorate us with the Spirit, and begin us on a path of spiritual rebirth?

With that, a new round of the General Conference Book Club begins.  Next week, we’ll begin studying one talk from this conference.  For this week, leave in the comments below some of your favorite highlights from this conference.  Favorite talk?  A stand-out quote? Most memorable moments?  Share what you loved and learned.

For those who are new to the General Conference Book Club (GCBC), we’d love to have you join us in our study and discussion.  Here’s how it works:

The goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”

(If you’re not familiar with General Conference or the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, go here and here and here for more information.)

A new talk will be posted each Sunday.

You don’t have to do anything to “join” the club– You can just visit the Sunday post at any time during the week and share thoughts, findings, favorite quotes, applications, even questions from the talk of the week. Personally, I think it would be a good idea to subscribe to comments from the post so that we can read each other’s insights and have a “real book club” conversation.  (There are two ways to do this:  1. Below the actual talk post, click on Comments RSS below the “Actions” list to subscribe to an RSS feed for comments, or 2. click the little box under the “Submit Comment” button so that comments are emailed to you.)   Or of course, you can just check back often to see what folks are saying.

My own plan is to try and use the talk as a guide for my personal scripture study throughout the week.  First I’ll read the talk all the way through, then look up and read all the scripture references he quoted, and then break the talk down into segments to study them carefully and try to find other related scriptures that help me understand it better.  Feel free to share any ideas of how you plan to study or apply the talks we read.  (You’re allowed to do this however you want.  You can simply have a goal to read the talk before the week is over, and that’s good, too.)

Here’s a little button you can put on your own blog if you’d like to.  Feel free to invite friends (the real kind and bloggy kind as well) to participate.  The more the merrier.  You can link it directly to this page or to the host page at http://diapersanddivinity.com/gcbc since it has all the instructions for the Book Club challenge.

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And try to comment when you’ve read each article, even something as simple as “I did it.”  Then we have a certain motivation/accountability to each other to meet our goal of reading all the talks from the previous General Conference. The objective is to read the words of the living prophets and learn from them.  Our book club community is for sharing and encouraging, but please don’t feel pressure that you have to come around and make profound insights or write eloquent summaries.  Just show up and be counted!

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21 thoughts on “General Conference Book Club Week 1: Favorites

  1. We had family in town and didn’t get to really watch yesterday’s sessions, which bums me out since Elder Bednar (my fave) spoke. But we were able to watch today. My standouts come from Bradley Foster’s talk.

    Dad: Who do you think is the ultimate authority in this house?
    Son: (thinking long and hard) You, Daddy.
    Dad: (beaming) You’re right! And how do you know that?
    Son: Mom told me. (all paraphrased, of course.)

    And my other fave: “A distraction doesn’t have to be evil to be effective.”

    I also loved that so many of the talks were about parenting.

  2. Many were about families and parenting. I take particular interest in ones that spoke about responsibilities teaching children and youth since I am a parent and primary teacher.

  3. So I am officially a very poor member of the general conference book club. But. Conference is fresh on my mind, so today I am participating.

    I loved Robert D. Hales talk about being present as parents. There were so many wonderful talks on parenting and mothering… that and individual worthiness/discipleship and the Atonement seemed like big themes to me. I loved Sister Beck’s talk… she always rocks.

    Really, I just loved it all. I watched all four sessions and was sad when it was all done. I can’t wait to read them all back through.

  4. I love all the messages there were on The Family: fathers and the priesthood, mother and daughters, teaching children, etc. There seemed to be a lot of funny moments too!

    I too enjoyed Elder Foster’s talk. And of course Elder Ballard’s.

  5. Three different times I heard the message that it isn’t the adversity as much as our reaction to it that matters and shapes the rest of our life. With that kind of repitition, it is a concept I’m going to do more thinking on in the days to come.

    I thought that the overall feeling to the conference was a happy and positive and uplifting one. I just LOVE it when Conference falls on Easter!

  6. Loved conference! It has been awhile since I have written anything, and I am grateful you have haven’t given up.

    YW General Broadcast

    President Uchdorft–”How you react to adversity is a critical reaction to your happily everafter.”

    General Conference

    President Uchdorft–”You are my hands” “Love is the grand motive for the plan of salvation”

    Quinton L. Cook–”Seek Higher Ground. . .He provides safety.”

    Priesthood

    President Uchdorft–Patience.

    I have quoted all of what stands out to me right now. Please forgive if they are not worded exactly as spoken. My feelings this conference are– there is still much I have to learn. By studying these talks I will grow. I know that some of topics will require more time, more faith and diligence in order to learn and grow, but I do know that through prayer I may prioritize those topics that will require more time and faith.

    Again–I LOVE CONFERENCE!!

  7. This conference was fantastic. So many of the talks were aimed at parents (especially mothers) and our important role in teaching our children. Over and over I heard people reminding me of my role as nurturer. Also that our children may not always appear to be listening, but they are always learning from us.

    Another theme I saw repeating was the need to not only know but act on that knowledge. We must live what we know to be true. We must teach our children to do the same.

    The other message I got was that I need to be better at studying the scriptures, especially if I want to be open to revelation.

  8. I AM GOING TO PARTCIPATE THE WHOLE TIME THIS TIME! LOL! I swear it!

    President Monson’s talk on death absolutely blew me away. Just to hear a prophet say with so much force and certainty that there IS a life after this one was really what I needed to hear this weekend.

  9. I’m new to your book club! It is such a wonderful idea! I personally felt like this General Conference spoke to me more than any other.

    I saw the same repeated themes as Charlotte. It was fun to hear Elder Andersen explain that the topics were chose by the General Authorities themselves. Very affirming that very specific instructions are to be given over and over.

    It is even more obvious to me that the best protection from the world we can provide our children is a testimony. I loved how so many talks explained that providing our children with opportunities (teaching moments, testimony, etc…) to feel the Spirit will help them to not live on “borrowed light” and resist the temptations of the world.

    Kim, you are giving me the extra push to watch the YW Broadcast. I recorded it to watch with my 11 year old daughter. A friend of mine, who has 6 sons, planned their last FHE around a YW Broadcast talk given on “beauty”. I haven’t yet heard the talk but, she felt it would be great advice for her sons as they developed friendships and dated. From what I have heard from her it is about inner beauty/ spiritual beauty. I need to watch it, hopefully that makes sense to those who have.

  10. With 4 little kids running around, I am lucky to get bits and pieces here and there! But from what I heard of Saturday (which wasn’t much!) I can’t wait to reread Elder Bednar’s talk. I look forward to reading all of them. I caught the theme of being better parents and strengthening our children through teaching them the gospel. I know that this conference was given just for me…I need soooo much help in this department!

  11. I really loved this general conference, and there is so much that I can’t wait to go back and study more. I don’t remember ever crying during a conference but I did this time. I just felt everything so powerfully – from the music to the talks. Julie Becks talk was expecially poinant for me and I believe relevenat to my life right now.

  12. I love a quote that comes from Elder Hallstrom. He said, “Never let an earthly experience disable you spiritually.” :)

  13. I missed Saturday’s talks, and part of Pres Uchtdorf’s on Sunday, but what I heard of his talk impressed me greatly. I can’t wait to reread his talk.

    All the parenting-centered talks had me depressed because it just pointed out to me where I’ve been going wrong for 20 years. Sigh. I hope my kids survive my mistakes.

  14. I love that I now feel like I have a Parental guide book to raising children, and one inspired by the Lord’s apostles! I missed Saturday morning, the satellite went out:(
    Things that I learned:

    L. Tom Perry: As a mother it is my responsibility to teach my children the gospel and to help them memorize scriptures and articles of faith.

    D. Todd Christofferson: Read the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon with you young children. They can understand the spirit of the book.

    Elder Bednar: Invite children to act!

    Cheryl C. Lant: Seek the face of the savior, receive his image in your countenance.

    Quentin L. Cook: Follow the Savior, remember him, help others, go to the temple.

    These are just a few of the things that really stood out to me! I am so excited to be a apart of this again, I can’t wait to delve into these talks further!

  15. I didn’t get to see Saturday afternoon yet, so I am probably missing a few great ones.

    But I especially loved Elder Ballard’s talk about mothers and daughters and I loved Sister Beck’s talk. Those are the two that have resonated most with me so far, although I loved all of them, of course!

  16. Shoebox Princess: Please don’t be discouraged. I think we all wish we would have done x, y, or z differently. My mother still shares her testimony and spiritual life lessons with me now. I still gain strength from them 40 years later, so it is not too late.

    Tonight, I was all excited about applying the “teaching/testifying counsel” given in Conference. It didn’t go so well though. I was very frustrated as my almost 12 year old thought it was hysterical to act babyish and attention seeking throughout the entire night. I still don’t believe she feels much remorse or gets that it was so disrespectful. Her younger brother, naturally, finds her funny. I was so frustrated by her behavior that I scratched all of my plans and turned on a Living Scripture cartoon. Another time, when I am more calm, we will talk. I find that with her personality only one-on-one conversation works well.

    Applying the Conference counsel is the hard part. Sister Lant’s talk was encouraging. She said with the the Lord’s help we can be strengthened to do all we need to do.

    I find a lot of gospel centered conversation starters in that book “WHY?” that came out this summer. My daughter often likes to share a trivia tidbit that she read in it and it opens the door for a teaching moment. It’s a recent discovery & I’ve been very excited about it.

  17. Bahh!! I’ve been horrible about the GCBC as well. But, there’s no a better time to recommit than now, right?

    I loved Sister Beck’s talk. For myself, I’ve entitled it, “Put on Your Big Girl Panties and Git ‘r Done!” I felt like so many of the talks this time told me that no matter how overwhelmed I may be feeling, the point is to ALWAYS be improving. What is this life for if not working toward our Heavenly goal of perfection and Eternal Life? Over and over I was reminded to keep praying, reading the scriptures, and seeking personal revelation to sustain me.

  18. My favorite, my absolute favorite, at least until another takes its place is Sister Beck’s talk. My son wrote home yesterday and said he challenged his branch to ask a question of the Lord, and wait for the answer during conference. He said that his answer came in the second talk…Sister Beck. What was his question? “Am I doing a good job? Is the Lord pleased with me?” Sister Beck said if the spirit is working through you then the Lord is pleased with you…(paraphrased) Isn’t it so easy to think we don’t count? The adversary would have us believe we don’t matter to get us to give up….the Lord wants us to know how important we are, who we are and wants us to reach our potential…I love Sister Beck, I love that she wants us to be spiritually strong first, and then do crafts!

    • Donna~

      Along with your son, I too asked the same question. For years, I mean years, I have questioned my worth in Heavenly Fathers eyes. Recently I met with our new Bishop whose impression of many in my ward is “they don’t know their worth.” When he and I were talking he said to me “you truly don’t know your value in Heavenly Father’s eyes.” He then counseled me to read the story of the Woman of Samaria. That is what I used as my preparation for this conference. I have been struggling, trying to figure out and most of all feel Heavenly Father’s love and approval. It was at the moment I read you response that it hit. Thank you for your comment and sharing your thoughts. I will once again listen to her to talk on my way to work. I too love Sister Beck!

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