I would love to give a blow-by-blow account of how I experienced the first day of conference. I’d like to share some observations of what made the strongest impressions from Saturday’s sessions.
Elder Anderson talked about choosing to have faith – one of the things I’ve realized in later years that is required. We may surf on the crest of a powerful spiritual experience for some time, but then time comes when we have to choose. And confirm that choice over again.
Elder Oaks talked about making the Sabbath a spiritual feast, reminding that we should have the right attitude. Often when people say meetings are a bore it is because they don’t participate actively. One thing sure to rile some people up is that he talked about dressing, how the way we dress and groom ourselves should not be done to attract attention to it (and, of course, white shirts for Priesthood in Sacrament meetings ;) ).
President Uchtdord spoke about hope in the morning session. The phrase “infinite power of hope” gave me an idea to study hope more carefully when normal schedule is resumed after conference. Then in Priesthood session he talked about standing close together and lifting where we are. The John Moyle story drove home the “unwearyingness” that Nephi was also commended for. He wasn’t building a monument for himself.
Elders Wirthlin and Holland both spoke about about adversity, with different approaches. While Elder Wirthlin talked about a helpful attitude (try find something funny in your goof – or then find an eternal perspective), Elder Holland again assured us that we are not left alone even when it feels like it to us at times. I have a story about angels, too: A man who angrily denied the possibility of there being a loving God was asked if he ever had prayed. His answer was yes, once, during the war as his platoon was retreating and he was left wounded behind enemy lines. He prayed that God would save him. Then after some time a lone straggler – one of his own countrymen – came through, literally stumbled upon him and was able to carry him to safety. When it was suggested that God’s hand was in it, he said nah, that was a man that came, no God. “Some have entertained angels unawares” has a different context, but applicable here.
Elder Christofferson talked about Zion; how the principles that characterize Zion, enable the saints, scattered around the Earth, to have the power of the Lord (see 1 Ne 14:14). Part of building Zion is that Zion’s people are equal, as instructed in the D&C. And the kitchen table story is a priceless example what “giving of our substance” means.
I highly recommend Elder Bednar’s advise concerning prayer, how to make it meaningful communication rather than a ritual.
President Eyring had good words for those who feel ourselves overwhelmed. He reminded us that we can’t measure up by ourselves. He quoted a favorite of pres. Monson’s: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (see D&C 84:88).
What has made an impression on you?