I love General Conference! Every six months, we get to hear direction and guidance from the Lord's anointed servants. How lucky are we!
I was reminiscing this morning about how my being able to enjoy a spiritual "feast" at General Conference has changed since I had children. Before we were blessed with our wonderful children, I was able to listen, absorb, take notes and just generally try to draw everything possible from the words as they were spoken. Things are a little different now...
I'm so grateful for the ability to watch conference at home. We don't have cable or satellite, but we were still able to watch General Conference here at home by the wonderful means of the Internet. If that hadn't been an option, I don't know what we would have done. Yes, we would have been over to the Stake Center to watch, but I am certain it would have been more difficult to listen. The good thing about being at home, is that we were able to let the children move around the house and engage in activities that were interesting to them, while having them be able to participate anytime they could (or would) by listening when something was being said that was pertinent to them.
Notwithstanding all of this, watching Conference now is a different experience. There will invariably be a few talks I miss altogether because one of the children is crying, or needs some kind of immediate assistance. Even when someone is not crying, I must still be very aware of them and try to direct them to activities that are quiet and reverent and still fun, interesting, and easy enough that the kids can do them on their own. At this point in my life, General Conference is about feeling the Spirit and taking as much in as I can while also paying attention to other responsibilities.
With all of that as backdrop, per se, I just had to express the wonderful feelings I experienced while participating in General Conference over the weekend. I felt a deep sense of gratitude and wonder as I stood to sustain and pledge my support to Pres. Monson, his counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I must admit to feeling a bit sheepish at standing while still in my pajamas (since I had spent the time up to Conference getting breakfast made and cleaned up, bathing and clothing the children and trying to get things a little bit in order), but I felt so grateful to be able to stand and offer my hand in the sustaining. I felt a sense, throughout the Conference, of the Divine approval of Pres. Monson (as was mentioned by so many of the General Authorities). As we came to know him better, I felt an even deeper sense of love and gratitude for him.
So many of the talks were wonderful and I can't wait for them to be posted so that I can really review and try to draw more from them. I'm sure many young mothers appreciated Elder. M. Russell Ballard's talk. His warm affection and love for mothers who are trying was so evident. I don't want to misquote him, so I won't try to recapture what he said...but his words gave me courage and hope and helped me to feel valued and motivated. He was amazing and I am so thankful for his talk. What a blessing! I loved how he spoke for a moment to the little children. My four year old (Big Sis), perked up and looked at the screen riveted by what he was saying. She tried to listen and think about what he said and has been giving my lots of hugs and saying, "I love you, Mommy" since that talk. I know it's only been a day, but I think anything my little girl retains for more than 5 minutes is a miracle!
I was sad when Conference was over, but grateful for the spiritual renewal. We really are so blessed!