This past weekend was General Conference (meaning 10 hours of talks by LDS/Mormon church leaders, for those of you who are wondering. It happens twice a year.) I listened to all of them. Well, some of them more than others. 10 hours is a lot of talks, especially when you’ve got kids running around and didn’t sleep too well the night before.
But I certainly tried.
As usual, there were a few talks that stood out to me more than others. I think this is a natural sort of thing. Everyone’s at a different place in their lives, and so some topics and speakers will resonate more with one individual than another. There weren’t any talks I actively didn’t like, which is a plus. (Just keeping it real here, folks. Sometimes some talks really get under my skin. That might say more about me than the talk, but there you have it.)
What stood out this time?
First off, President Uchtdorf’s talk about how simple the Gospel really is. Why did it stand out? Mainly because it sums up a lot of what I feel about the church in general, and how the church can and should be run. I suppose I’m a minimalist at heart when it comes to meetings and extra rules. I’m all for the essentials, but I think that there’s a real tendency to clutter things up with extra hoops too much of the time. This doesn’t just waste time for members; it makes things unnecessarily complicated. Being a Mormon can be hectic enough without people throwing in extra bells and whistles.
Second, and connected to the first, was the talk by Elder Larry L. Lawrence about how to become a better person: pray and ask God for what you should work on next, and then do that. This is another concept I’ve long tried to follow. It’s simple, and it’s tailor-made for each person. What I need to work on next is going to be different from what someone else needs to work on. The trick is to focus on myself and not get worried about what other people are doing. Just because something is important for me to do doesn’t mean it’s something everyone in the church should be focusing on. I forget that sometimes, but it’s great to remember it as often as possible.
Finally, to show I was paying attention beyond Saturday morning, there was President Nelson’s talk on Sunday afternoon about how awesome women are and how needed their input is in the church. Now, this is one that I’d like to listen to some more, because it was getting late, and I was beginning to lost focus, so maybe I’m off in what I took away from it, but to me it was a pretty key talk, and quite timely. Of course, I anticipate some dismissing it as a simple “don’t forget to listen to women in church” throwaway piece that’s promptly ignored and forgotten. A sop to Cerberus from the leaders of the church to the membership. I didn’t see it that way. To me, it was reemphasizing just how necessary women are in the church at all levels of leadership. How their voices need to be heard on various church councils. Not sure where things are going to go from there, but I’d be interested to see if other people took the same thing away from that talk.
Anyway. Those were the talks that stood out to me most. This is where you come in. What stood out to you? Which talks made the biggest connection with you personally, and why? I’d love to hear what you have to say.