Today was the final day of the October 2011 General Conference for The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints. I have to say that it was one of the best I have ever been a part of. I have participated in pretty much every Conference weekend at some level, ranging from watching all sessions to watching only one.
I think that there are a few reasons as to why this session of Conference was different than the previous ones. The first is that I prepared beforehand to participate in conference. This preparation was brought on by the article in the September 2011 Ensign titled “General Conference – No Ordinary Blessing” in which President Dieter F. Uchtdorf encouraged readers to prepare to be receptive to the messages that will be presented in General Conference. I have faith that the leadership of the LDS Church know what they are talking about, so I followed through with the suggestions of the article. I thought of questions that I would like answers to, I pondered these questions and prayerfully asked for guidance and that through the messages presented in General Conference, I would receive my answers. Another recommendation is to not discount a message just because it sounds familiar.
Another aspect that made this session of General Conference so much better, is that I was able to attend the Saturday afternoon session in person with my two children. Being in the same building and passively participating in the session had an impact on me as never before. It started when President Thomas S. Monson entered the building and as is custom, everyone rises as a sign of respect for the Latter-Day Prophet. When he entered, the Holy Spirit entered too. I could feel that this man was called by God to lead His Church in these latter days. It only got better from there as each speaker presented their message and my understanding of the Gospel increased.
Another important aspect that helped was that I didn’t fall asleep during Conference for the first time that I can remember! What helped me not fall asleep was #twitterstake and the LDS members who were live tweeting with me during Conference. Tweeting during conference helped engage me enough so that I was busy listening to the speakers, reading insightful tweets of others, and following new and interesting people. Sure, I probably missed a few points here and there, but the alternative was me sleeping through whole talks. There was one instance during Elder Yamashita’s talk, that admittedly I was only half listening, when I felt an increase in the presence of the Spirit and I stopped what I was doing and had to listen to what he was saying. I would have missed that had I been asleep.
These different activities lead me to be able to put myself in a mindset that I was able to feel the Spirit and receive personal revelation and instruction that I have been unable to in previous Conference sessions. I believe that in the past, I have at times felt the Spirit and have at times receive personal revelation. However, this was the first time that during each of the five sessions that I participated in, I greatly benefited from each one.
There were a number of talks that I truly enjoyed and will be watching, reading and listening to in the future. The highlights for me were Elder Scott’s talk on Sat. morning, Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk on Sat. morning, Elder Bednar’s talk on Sat. afternoon, Elder Holland’s talk at the Priesthood Session, Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk at the Priesthood Session, Pres. Eyring’s talk at the Priesthood Session, Pres. Monson’s talk at the Priesthood Session, Pres. Eyring’s talk on Sunday morning, Elaine S. Dalton’s talk on Sunday morning, Elder Oaks’ talk on Sunday afternoon, and Elder Nelson’s talk on Sunday afternoon. These are just a few of the amazing talks that were presented this year.
I encourage everyone to read, listen or watch all of the October 2011 General Conference talks for the first time or re-watch, re-listen and re-read them. They will enrich your lives and lead you in the paths of righteousness and happiness.