General Conference: a crash course in good guilt

Dnews Sunday AM ConferenceFor any of my readers unfamiliar with the Mormon faith, we believe in a living prophet and twelve apostles.  Every 6 months, the membership of the church worldwide participates in General Conference, usually watching on TV by satellite as these prophets, seers and revelators teach us about the doctrine of Christ.  It’s kind of a modern-day Sermon on the Mount.  Anyway, it’s one of my favorite times of the year; a time of spiritual refueling and a re-commitment to things that I know are true and right.

I like to think that I’ve matured spiritually a little bit over the years.  I personally believe that one of the signs of spiritual maturity is to listen to talks and lessons and seek for ways to apply the principles to my own life instead of thinking things like, “I hope so-and-so is paying attention to this,” or “The such-and-such family should really hear this talk.”  I’ve finally determined that passing off a teaching to another is a wasted opportunity to better myself.  Having said that, I can totally understand Matt’s excitement to run home from the Priesthood session of Conference on Saturday night and say to me, “You’ll never guess what President Uctdorf said.  You’re going to die!”  I raised an eyebrow while he flipped through his notes.  “He said Don’t spend hours and hours creating a blog and neglecting your children.

So I have decided to leave the church.

Just kidding.

This leads me to the concept of conference-induced guilt.  And like the title of my post says, it’s a good thing.  What I feel is not a Boy-you’re-making-a-lot-of-mistakes-and-you-are-a-failure feeling, but rather a humbling You-are-trying-but-you-can-do-better feeling.  And it’s good for me.  It motivates me, reminds me, encourages me.  It re-converts me.

So here is a list of things that I learned from General Conference this weekend.  Some are things that were specifically said.  Many are thoughts that came into my mind and heart as I listened.

  1. I’m thankful that there are living prophets on the earth.
  2. My children have been driving me crazy this past week, but I love them.  I need to make them a priority.  And besides teaching them, I need to pray for them and ask God to bless them to grow up righteous and obedient.
  3. I need to laugh more instead of getting bugged.
  4. The temple is important.  As the world gets crazier, the need for the peace of the temple will grow and grow.  Maybe I can eliminate something from my budget so that I can pay a regular babysitter and put temple attendance as a regular item on my calendar.
  5. I don’t even know what real adversity is.  My life, though sometimes emotionally challenging is a piece of cake compared to some of the great challenges other people have faced.  Instead of complaining about my bad days, I should be grateful for my abundant blessings and ease.
  6. I  need to be more worried about what God thinks than what anyone else thinks.
  7. The depth of Jesus Christ’s Atonement is awesome.  I am reminded that my small, occasional feelings of loneliness  can be swallowed up and comforted by a loving, completely understanding Savior.  (Elder Holland’s was my very favorite talk.)
  8. Satan is working hard to destroy things that are important.  When I get in a grumpy funk, I’m not the best companion in the world.  I need to be careful that I don’t let that kind of temptation/distraction be a detriment to my marriage. I’m sure Satan would love to see it fail.
  9. I can give a little more to my calling at church.  My Sundays should be spent in service to others.  Ask myself, “How can I bless people today?”  Perhaps I need to visit more of the children to show love to them.  I need to teach reverence and respect to the Primary children, starting with my own example.
  10. When someone is lost or stranded spiritually, we should reach out to them and not judge.

I’m sure that when I re-read the talks in the Ensign magazine, many other things will stand out to me and I will again desire to do better.  Is anyone interested in having an online Ensign Book Club?  We could schedule one talk a week to study from the most recent conference, and then have an in-post discussion about our favorite parts and insights– lessons we learn, things to work on, etc.  I’m not sure about all the details, but I would love to have a forum where we could study something together and report to each other about our insight.  Just a thought.

How was Conference for you?


22 thoughts on “General Conference: a crash course in good guilt

  1. Elder Holland’s was my favorite talk as well. I haven’t heard the Saturday sessions yet. (Extra child in our home due to a friend’s emergency appendectomy). But the things you mentioned are pretty much the same things that stood out to me. Also, the importance of my home being a temple and refuge for my family. The Spiritual tour of my home showed some definite need for home improvement. Temple temple temple. I started making the arrangements in my head for how to get myself there. It’s been WAY too long. I’m one of those that holds the recommend but has a million excuses for not getting there. (OK, maybe five in the form of children.) But I was impressed that the temple is what is missing from my spiritual equation. I know that the revelation and guidance I need to deal with the things I’ve been struggling with as a parent will come as I make temple attendance a priority.

  2. Temples. Debet/live within our means/ know that you know and teach your children/ in rough times rememeber there have been many who have suffered FAR WORSE….

    just a few notes I have made and felt great making them. I already made a goal to get to the temple more, so to hear it emphasized again really just hit me hard on how important it is….

    good luck with your goal and notes! They are all good ones!

  3. Among other things, I got the #9 one as well. I’m not a people person, but the Lord gives us weaknesses so that we can have something to work on. So I get to work on reaching out too.

    This is the first time I actually took notes. I am convinced that I have a terrible short term memory and have a hard time remembering the talks even a day later. So this time, I wrote down who spoke and a few lines about what they spoke on. My favorites: Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk on discipleship and the good news of the gospel, Elder Holland’s talk on the Atonement, Pres. Monson’s talk on persevering through trials, and Elder Oaks’ talk on service.

  4. I had the warm and fuzzies during each session. The strength of those men amazes me. I love the talk Elder Scott gave. It really hit home.

    I’d love the conference talk forum/book club. That would be more incentive to read the talks regularly. 🙂

  5. Elder Hales struck a chord with me. We are facing (hopefully!) the end of a long school career and a job search within the next few months. It was a good reminder to me to live providently and have faith. Too often, I’ve been caught up in material daydreaming about all the STUFF I can get once we have a “real” job. I loved his reminders to not get caught up in that race because there will always be someone with more stuff (thinner, prettier, smarter, better dressed, more well-behaved children, etc. Just fill in the blank.) I just loved, loved, loved his talk. I loved the spirit of conference. I came away feeling like “I’m great. I’m doing great. I can be so much better. I can do so much better.” It’s both reassuring and inspiring. I’m excited about your study group idea. Count me in!

  6. I agree with you completely. Of course, there are always things said that zing right to my heart, and is something I completely needed to hear. Yesterday was no exception.

  7. I absolutely LOVE Conference!! I look forward to it every time. I went in with very specific questions about topics they wouldn’t necessarily talk about, but I received answers to every single question. The Spirit works in amazing ways!

    An Ensign Book Club would be awesome!

  8. Thanks for the synopsis. I missed Saturday’s sessions, and sadly feel asleep during Sunday’s afternoon session. I still feel guilty. I’m very much looking forward to getting the Ensign to I can catch up.

  9. President Eyering’s talk was a direct answer to prayer for me. Remember when he said, “How could this happen?” Well, my family had a “How could this happen” moment 2 years ago when my stepdad died and my mom was widowed. I think I’ve been in a kind of spiritual funk ever since then. This talk was so comforting and validating for me. And sometimes that’s all we need. I can’t wait until the Ensign comes out so that I can really sit and study it.
    (It seemed like there was a lot of talk about comforting widows, didn’t it?- Maybe I’m just more sensitive to that now.)

  10. Okay, don’t panic, but my sidebar feed still shows the April Fool’s post, but when I clicked on your blog title, it brought me right here. So somewhere in the grand, cosmic technological heap of wires and cables that connects us all together is a little green gizmo guy that is laughing maniacally at your confusion and frustration, trying to make us all think that we can’t keep up with you, when the irony is, we can still keep up with you. Go figure.

    Anyway…now I’m going to go back and read your post, now that I know I can….keep up with you!

  11. Wow.

    Nailed it. Every little bit. I’m just going to send everyone I know over to read this perfect synopsis, and then we’ll all join the Ensign Club, which, of course, will require a new blog. Go ahead and rub that in Matt’s face! (Sorry, that sounded uncharitable…) Still, I would love to join and contribute and make my blogging time more spiritually uplifting!

  12. I just RRS fed your blog. I thought I had allready done it, and you were just lazy and not posting. I was wrong. So now it is fixed.
    I had lots of Lightbulb moments with conference. Besides Elder Hollands -(also my fav) There was one about the Temple. It was a seventy, and he was quoting Elder Packard. He said “Say temple, temple, temple, then add Holy. Holy Temple. Holy Temple, Holy Temple. Then add Home Holy Temple Home. Holy Temple Home. Holy Temple Home.
    It just brought tears to my eyes. Here is what I got from it: We are to make our homes after the pattern set in the Temple, and the Temple is set after the pattern of Heavenly Fathers Home. For me, I got that the Temple is Home. It is like what we came from, and the feelings that we have there are feelings of home. We need to strive to make our home, like the home where we came from. We allready know what that feels like, we will know when we have acheived it. It is also patterned after where we are going. Is is possibel and achaiveable to strive for that in our homes.
    The Jewish faith beleives that the Sabbath is a day to sanctify yourselves and your homes to rise up to meet the courts of Heaven. The Temple is when the Courts of heaven are on earth to meet us. So we have every sabbath to not participate in certain activities, to partake of the sacrament and to serve, to help our homes become like the Temple, and the courts of heaven. Then this bleeds through the rest of the week.
    Anyway, that is what I have been mulling over all day.

  13. Hey Stephanie… I just finished catching up since April 1st.

    1) I would definitely love to do an ensign article discussion group via the internet. It might make me more accountable to read them. I try to pick our favorite/most needing review talks and do one a week for FHE, but you know how productive that is with small children

    2) I would also like details on how you do the dinner exchange nights with friends. If I could even get Sunday dinners or something out of it, it would be wonderful!

  14. Oh, my. Pres. Uchtdorf probably wouldn’t want to know, then, that I sorta missed the Saturday afternoon session of conference because I was having lunch with my sister and two blogging buddies, huh? It was totally an accident! Who knew we would fall in love with each other and gab for four hours and barely make it home for our semi-annoyed priesthood session attending husbands to get out the door on time?

    I adore conference, but I actually enjoy the Ensign version more. If nothing else, I can pace myself, guilt-wise!

  15. Yep, Elder Holland’s is the one that got me too. My husband and I are the only two speakers this Sunday for Easter and I’m talking about physical death and he’s talking about spiritual death. I was really keeping my ears tuned for that stuff. But I would have loved his anyway.

    I also really like what you said about being re-converted.

  16. Fantastic recap! And very insightful.

    My husband didn’t run home to tell me about the blog comment, alas (though I can hardly BELIEVE he didn’t! It’s PRECISELY the thing he would normally run home and tell me!) so I’m interested to hear that. haha.

  17. 1. Totally
    2. This is so me. I have a mantra (right in the header of my blog): My children are not obstacles in my path. My children ARE my path.
    3. This too. My newest mantra: Choose to be amused.
    7. Ditto
    8. Ditto
    9. Ditto
    10. Ditto
    I would be interested in an online conference-Ensign study group. Let me know if you end up starting one!

  18. I love your idea of an Ensign club. I really enjoy reading it, but it’s one of those things that gets pushed to the side too much.

    Us backward, downunder Aussies don’t get the conference until next week, so I’ll be sure to look for the No Blogging rule. May the Lord forgive me for blogging too much.

  19. Conference for me is a time to refuel and reboot. This conference didn’t disappoint me at all. In fact it nourished me deeply, very deeply. I feel like I have been struggling with a lot of internal questions lately, and this conference really helped me find and hear a lot of personal answers.

    And I think I will just print off your list of things because that is EXACTLY what my list looks like 🙂 !!

  20. I absolutely adore the idea of the Ensign club! Love love love it! You are so smart.

    And i loved Conference. So much to think about and mull over. Can’t wait for the magazine!

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