Why General Conference Is My Favorite Holiday

Every September and March I realize with excitement that general conference is coming up. General Conference is right up there with Christmas for me. When I lived in Provo, UT it was fun to watch the entire city shut down during conference. Saturday evening, priesthood session would fill restaurants and shops with women and once that session ended, men in suits with their teenage sons. The mood was festive.

Now that I live somewhere most people are not members of the LDS church, I still feel festive. Here are the top ten reasons I love General Conference.gluten-free cinnamon rolls

10) Cinnamon Rolls: This is the only time of year that I make cinnamon rolls. Yum

72 hour kit feature

9) Rotating 72 Hour Kits: Each conference we get out our ’emergency kits’ (as my kids call them) and rotate the expired things. We also attempt to bolster the kit each conference. In April I made us an awesome first aid kit. I love not having guilt about this for the rest of the year. I know that I worry about it at conference and I let it go the rest of the time.

8) Finding fun things to take to the girls I visit teach: this year I am going to print these flipbooks for them.

LDS Church 1st Presidency: Monson, Eyring, Uchtdorf7) My kids’ learning the apostles: We love this song. They are soooo excited when someone gets up to speak and they recognize him. My husband and I also enjoy Fantasy General Conference, I am not sure if there have been any changes since this one.

6) No church meetings: it’s refreshing. My husband and I are both home the whole weekend, snuggling on the couch no less. He even gives pedicures to me and  my girls. Don’t tell anyone, he might be embarrassed. 😉

Candy for Veterans

5) The candy game: Each year my kids each pick a word. Every time that word is said in conference, everyone gets a piece of candy. It’s lovely. My kids listen, I get candy. win. win.

4)Notebooks for my kids: Each of my kids have a binder and I add a new printable notebook each conference. There are a bajillion on the internet for free. lds.org has one. My girls also collage from Friend and Ensign magazines during conference. This October I am going to try Conference Jenga also.

3)checking up on the Apostles: I know I’m not the only one! One of my most treasured memories is being in the conference center when Elder Haight waved to everyone near the end of his life. I love these men, and I have a certain concern for their well-being.

2) Mormon Tabernacle Choir: there’s nothing like being in the room with the choir, but they are still pretty amazing streaming. Some people skip the music bits. Not me. I love it. I also love it when everyone sings those rousing hymns together like ‘High On the Mountaintop’ or ‘How Firm a Foundation’

1) The Spirit: I always come away from conference inspired, uplifted and motivated to be better and do better.

You can watch General Conference here on October 4th and 5th. Please do. It is worth the time you invest.

Turning My Heart to my Fathers

In the LDS Church we believe that this Old Testament prophecy is coming to pass:

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

Malachi 4:6

The interest and participation in genealogy and family history has exploded in the last few decades. Websites like Ancestry and FindMyPast make it easy and fun to learn about our ancestors. As a history teacher, I love finding an ancestor in a certain place and time and thinking about the context of history around them and the circumstances that may have brought them to that place. It is amazing how complex it all is. It is truly awe-inspiring to think that if anyone of the thousands of people in your direct line made a different choice you would not be who or where you are today.

I love this quote, I wish I could credit it properly but I am not sure what site it came from. I found it on pinterest.

My belief is that our family will be together throughout eternity, forever. Not just my husband and my children, but my parents and theirs and all those who came before me. This is why we build temples. We link each generation to the next like a big chain, so that one day we will be reunited with them. This is why temples are so important and sacred to members of our Church.

I am so grateful for the temples that we have. I relish the opportunity I have to get to know my ancestors through family history. I like to say that FamilySearch or Ancestry is just like Facebook but for dead people. And they’re all family. 🙂

If you are LDS and you have never done temple work for a family member, I would encourage you to do so! It is a wonderful, exciting thing to do. You might be surprised at the opportunities that are available to you if you get on FamilySearch. There is an ‘opportunities’ tab that will show you work in your family that needs to be done. The updates they have made to the website in recent years have made it much easier to use.

There are blessings to be had in the temple. And our ancestors are waiting for us to act.

 

Bishopric: thoughts on my husband’s service as unpaid clergy in the LDS Church

In our church, the clergy is unpaid. That means every so many years a man with an already full and busy life with a job and a family is asked to lead our congregation. They do not give the sermons each Sunday, since members of the congregation do that, but they have many administrative, counseling and charitable responsibilities. He is called the bishop. He usually does this job for five to seven years, although I have heard of bishops serving for much longer than that.

On Sunday my husband accepted a calling (which is what Mormons call our jobs in the church) to help the bishop fulfill these responsibilities. While he will not have nearly the time commitment the bishop does, it will still be a big change and sacrifice for our family, especially since we are expecting a baby in February.

Despite this time commitment, I am very excited for my husband to serve in this way. When my husband leaves our family for a few hours to serve God’s children, he comes back a better man. He is so excited to see us. He is more kind and patient with the kids. He is so grateful for me and the work I do raising our children. He smiles more. He feels better about himself and the world at large.

When I was a teenager, my Dad served in the temple once a month. It was a long drive through crazy traffic, and I am sure it was a big sacrifice for my mom and my dad for him to leave his wife and six children for a whole evening, when he already worked so hard at his job. But even as an insensitive teenager I noticed the difference in my Dad’s demeanor when he had recently returned from the temple. We didn’t think that once a month was enough!

I am so grateful for the organization of our church, that it gives so many opportunities to serve and grow. I know that the Lord has blessed my life because of these sacrifices we are willing to make. And we make them in faith and because we love our Savior and want to share His love with His children.

Reluctance

I have been wanting to start a blog like this for a long time. I think the reason that I have not yet done it is because of my fear of confrontation, rejection and dealing with nasty comments. In his recent conference talk Elder Jeffrey R Holland of the quorum of the twelve apostles talked about having courage in the face of ridicule and even hatred.


I am a stay at home mom. I have three little girls with one on the way. Aside from occasional break downs from my children I have not been yelled at or even disagreed with really, since my oldest daughter was born.
Before that I taught junior high school and that included plenty of opportunities for confrontation with both students and parents. I didn’t love it then and to be honest I have been enjoying my hiatus from dealing with real people.

Of course I am getting ahead of myself and the likelihood of anyone reading my blog, let alone disagreeing with anything I have to say is undetermined. However I am a Mormon and I plan to blog primarily about my faith. For some reason people feel very comfortable yelling at Mormons and bloggers. I guess just having the audacity to have opinions is what does it.

In any case, I plan to write about my life in terms of my faith. How my faith affects my life. How my beliefs benefit me, why I have them and how you can too. I am also anxious to answer any questions people have. I would just ask that people please be respectful.

I am just a regular girl. My faith is precious to me. I want to uplift and inspire others.