Saturday, April 5, 2008

General Conference - and other thoughts

I got to come home from work early last night. It's interesting because all day yesterday (and the night before) I wanted to request the night off, but kept talking myself out of it. Something kept drawing me to stay home, but I brushed off the feeling. I reminded myself that I really need to go to work and earn money! But when I got there, we were very overstaffed and someone was going to have to go home at 11pm. I volunteered for a couple of reasons... the first being that... well... I just wanted to... but more than that, I could tell by looking at the numbers that if I didn't come home last night, they would likely have put me on low census status tonight. Tonight is actually a much harder night for me to stay home because it falls right in the middle of my three night stretch. It's not bad if it's the first night or the third, but the second is brutal. So I happily came home.

I knew Mike would be taking off today with the boys to go and see his sister. After they left, I decided to use the time alone to jump on the treadmill. I'm proud of myself... this is the third straight day I've used it. The first day I did 1-1/4 miles, the second 1-3/4 miles, and today, I did 2 miles! I am actually surprised at just how good it's made me feel!

Anyway, I figured before I got on the treadmill, I'd set up the TV to watch the first session of General Conference from this morning. I was so happy I did!!

I have to say... the minute it came on and the choir could be heard singing in the background, I could feel the spirit so strongly. I am not sure I've ever been this excited to watch conference! At first it was odd... President Hinckley's absence was noticed immediately. What an amazing, spiritual giant he was. He will be missed beyond measure. But as soon as the camera focused in on President Monson, the most incredible feeling came over me. He is a man of God! My spiritual eyes could see the glow of white surrounding his body. He is such a humble and compassionate man. When he stood up to speak (he conducted this session), I was again struck at how strongly I felt the spirit when he began to speak. I was instantly so grateful once again that we have a living prophet to guide us on this earth today. How blessed we are!!

President Uchtdorf was asked to officiate the solemn assembly and the sustaining of the leaders. I found this to be a very intense part of the meeting. I must back up for a moment...

When President Uchtdorf was first sustained as a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles, I could not stop staring at him. There is something about him that just strikes me on a very spiritual level. There is something different and special about him and I have yet to put my finger on what that might be. But he is a spiritual giant and I can always see that in his face whenever I look at him. It's a very humbling feeling. Now when I say these things, I certainly don't mean to diminish in any way any of the other leaders. They are all men of God and called very specifically for the seats in which they occupy. But there is just something about President Uchtdorf... I don't know... he is a man of greatness...

When he stood to lead the solemn assembly and asked for a sustaining vote from the various auxiliaries, I was so moved.

I must also take a moment to talk about the music. I don't believe I've watched conference "live" in years and years. I am always working and so I record it and watch it later, or else I view it on the internet. Because of this, I am always tempted to fast forward through the announcements and songs. I felt compelled not to do that today. I'm so happy that I didn't! The Tabernacle Choir was singing today and I heard the most beautiful renditions of Lead, Kindly Light and Praise To the Man. These songs really lifted my spirits!

Russell M. Nelson gave a wonderful talk, as did Sister Lant of the general primary presidency. I had to stop at that point. I can't wait to watch the rest of conference!!

There is such organization to the church. There is peace and order to everything. I am so grateful for the gospel in our lives and the perspective that it brings. I can only imagine what a dark place the earth must've been when the gospel was not present. I feel blessed beyond measure for having the gospel in our home!

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