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General Conference – Spring 2013

Tomorrow begins the 2013 Spring General Conference. What are your traditions? Tips for getting the most out of conference? Any hopes/expectations for this conference?

Here are mine:

Traditions

  • We always have a nice breakfast as a family both mornings of conference. We are on Eastern Time so conference doesn’t start until noon, giving us ample time to lounge around and enjoy our time together.
  • When my kids were little we did conference games (there are tons out there online – just google it!) One that has stuck with us is that every member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve has an assigned treat. You will also find lists of these floating around online – most are either things that have to do with their name (cookies for Elder Cook, for example), one of their favorite foods, or something that starts with the first letter of their last name (we always have M & M’s for President Monson). We used to follow the online lists but now I kind of just make my own up based on what I feel like eating that weekend. We are trying to be healthier this time – lots of veggies, fruits, nuts. But of course we’ve got the potato chips and ice cream in there too. It keeps the kids entertained, and when the program is announced they love setting out the treats in the order they will eat them.
  • In recent years, my kids have really liked taking notes. They set up a little “desk” area with pens and paper and it seems to keep them focused. Not sure how long that will last.

Getting the most out of conference

  • Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before. Be rested and open to inspiration.
  • Have a family prayer and/or personal prayer just before conference starts.
  • Take notes.
  • Some great advice I was given and plan to do this time is to write down a question or two that is on my mind. Perhaps a topic we are struggling with or something like that. Write your question or topic on the top of a sheet of paper. Throughout conference, if you hear anything that pertains to that, jot it down. Make a note of talks you would like to revisit regarding this topic. Conference will be meaningful if you personalize it. (That doesn’t mean you tune out during talks that have nothing to do with your question…but I was promised if I did this my questions would be answered. I’m going to try it.)
  • Make a game of it. I know our own Alison likes to try to guess what the title of the talk will be when it comes out in the Ensign. Just a little something to keep you focused and really listening.
  • I thing I *try* to do (not always the best at it) is to not do other things around the house while I’m listening…although I know this keeps some people from falling asleep). So, I try to have my Saturday “work” done beforehand and prepare an easy Sunday dinner so I’m not worrying about that while I listen.

Any hopes/expectations?

  • Before last conference, there was a lot of buzz that something “big” was going to happen. Many wagered a guess that The Family: A Proclamation to the World would be canonized. Instead, we had a HUGE announcement about age of service for missionaries. Who knows if there will be a “big announcement” or not – but it’s always fun guessing!
  • Any temples you are expecting/wanting announced? Now, I never would have guessed Star Valley, but there is always a surprise in there. I’m rooting for Cedar City, Utah this time.
  • Any themes you’re expecting to run through conference? There is a lot of talk out there right now about women’s issues (http://ordainwomen.org/ is a recent project, and of course we are expecting to have a woman give a prayer in General Conference for the first time). I think we will hear a little more about women than usual, and also about the priesthood – how they work together. Do I think women will be ordained? No. But I think the dialogue will definitely be increasing. We also have a lot going on with gay marriage. More than anything, however, I think we are going to be seeing more and more focus on the Savior as we move forward as a church, and less about our procedures and history. As it should be (in my opinion).

I hope you all have a most enjoyable and fulfilling conference!

{ 37 comments… add one }

  • mango leaf April 5, 2013, 10:33 pm

    I am just waiting to see a woman pray! and I love the music and hope they will talk about sister missionaries.

  • mango leaf April 5, 2013, 10:33 pm

    And President Eyring is a favorite.

  • partone April 6, 2013, 9:31 am

    We take it easy and mostly relax. That’s my way to celebrate. (Now I feel guilty!) ;)

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2013, 10:41 am

    mango leaf, welcome to MM!

    No female prayer (I have an unpublished hope about that!), yet, but President Monson did touch on the new missionary policy.

    FYI, a huge, privately owned BYU housing complex in Provo, as well as a chunk og BYU owned housing is being converted to MTC space to accommodate all the new missionaries. Woot!

    You might be excited to see that sister missionaries will now have key roles in new Leadership Councils along with new roles for the still untittled “wife of mission president.” (I’m hoping MP wives will actually get titles someday. But PLEASE, for the love of pete, let it be something other than “matron”! :0 )

    Two new temple announced: Cedar City, Utah, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2013, 10:57 am

    Elaine Dalton just spoke. Uchtdorf said, “Thank you President and Sister Dalton.” ????

    Anyway, I liked her speech, particularly about being noble and how she addressed the objectifying of women. She seemed to give some pushback to feminism. I thought the “my husband installs and I vacuum” analogy was a bit much. Why couldn’t her “part” have been to speak in General Conference instead of something so stereotypically female menial labor?
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…No Car Seats on Grocery Carts – Please!My Profile

  • Angie Gardner April 6, 2013, 11:13 am

    I thought he said, “Thank you brethren and Sister Dalton.” Will have to watch it again later.

    What I couldn’t understand is why they were laying carpet with heavy construction still going on? ;) But yeah, I agree on the pushback against feminism. We will probably see that a lot this conference. I’m not sure it will cause Mormon feminists to suddenly see things differently than they do, but we’ll see.

    BTW, I had no insider info on the Cedar City temple. I had just felt that they were past due, so I’m glad they are getting one. My husband and I were just saying that now pretty much all the populated areas of Utah will have a temple. Perhaps Heber is next?

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2013, 11:27 am

    Could be. I actually rewound because I thought he might have called her “President Dalton” and I was going to do a happy dance. But what you said makes more sense, given the immediately preceding speaker was the presiding bishop, not President something or other.

    Good question about carpets and bulldozers. I’m guessing there was a timeline adjust there. :)

    Ballard gave more pushback.

    Temples, yeah. Pretty awesome.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 95: Show Don’t TellMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2013, 11:30 am

    And there it is. A woman praying in GC coming up. Unfortunately, my prediction came true, but I’ll be content with some progress.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 89: Intelligent Risk TakingMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2013, 11:36 am

    To be clear, when I heard the blessed announcement, I said to Sam, “Just please let it be an opening prayer, or at least on Sunday not Saturday!”

    My thinking was that closing would, again, reinforce the “women can’t give opening prayers” hogwash and that a Saturday session would be less visible and seem less important. But, at least it wasn’t the closing prayer of the SECOND Saturday session, which would have pretty much been the most hidden of all. (And please don’t say “one miracle at a time” to me!)

    Sam’s response, “They should just have a woman give the opening prayer on Sunday and get it over with!” (Meaning that they should just dive right in, full force, instead of sidling up to the whole issue.)

    Oh, well. It’s a step! I am happy about it :) Happy dance!
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Today’s News: House FireMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner April 6, 2013, 12:00 pm

    I am happy about it too. It’s a step.

    Perhaps a woman will pray in other sessions as well, AND give an opening prayer. Here’s hoping. :)

  • Angie Gardner April 6, 2013, 12:24 pm

    According to “sources” a woman is scheduled to give the opening prayer tomorrow afternoon as well.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2013, 1:04 pm

    No, seriously???
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2013, 1:06 pm

    Wow, the closing prayer issue made USA Today, ABC news, etc.

    FTR, I thought Sister Stevens prayer was awesome.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 91: Change and ConsequenceMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner April 6, 2013, 1:07 pm

    That’s what my inside sources say, haha!

    No really, no insider info. Apparently John Dehlin had sources that reported that a woman was scheduled to give the closing prayer Saturday am and opening prayer Sunday pm. I saw this on the FMH site. So far, correct…so I anticipate it’s probably accurate.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2013, 1:20 pm

    (Remove snarky comment about John Dehlin.) I hope he’s right. That would be great.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 94: Execution and ImplementationMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner April 6, 2013, 1:21 pm

    LOL. I hope he’s right too.

  • cambendy April 6, 2013, 1:39 pm

    Good session. Good closing prayer! :)

  • jennycherie April 6, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Ok – we don’t have any great General Conference traditions, other than I really love being able to hibernate for the weekend and watch in my pajamas or other very comfortable, non-restrictive clothing. ;)

    Sadly, I accidentally made an appointment to visit a new sister tomorrow so I won’t be able to totally hibernate, but it’s just one visit. I was so shocked when she answered the phone, I hadn’t even considered when I might be able to visit so I made the appointment for between sessions tomorrow. Oh well. I’ll wear a stretchy skirt!
    jennycherie recently posted…Update on the HateMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner April 6, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Aw, I am so happy. Multiple reasons, but the biggest is that a member of my ward was just sustained as an area authority and he is someone I just adore. I adore his wife even more. :) I was a counselor to her in a YW presidency and I just don’t know many people who are more Christlike than them. For years I have wondered why he is not a mission president. Really, really excited about this news!

    Anyone know anything about the new YW presidency?

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2013, 2:42 pm

    That’s great, Angie. Who was it?
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  • Angie Gardner April 6, 2013, 2:58 pm

    Daniel F. Dunnigan. Amazing man. He was released as stake president not long before we moved here. He lives about a mile away from me.

  • jennycherie April 6, 2013, 3:16 pm

    Stanley G. Ellis – thanks! I needed that!

    Bloom where you are planted – what we do inside the home is FAR more important than what happens outside of the home.
    jennycherie recently posted…Update on the HateMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner April 6, 2013, 3:45 pm

    Finally a talk where I can play Alison’s game. Elder Nelson’s talk = “Catch the Wave”

  • barbj April 6, 2013, 5:11 pm

    ***Bonnie Lee Green Oscarson was called to be the new president of the Young Women’s general presidency, with Carol Louise Foley McConkie as her first counselor and Evelyn Neill Foote Marriott as second counselor.***

    McConkie and Marriott? I guess it helps if you’re a church somebody.

  • Angie Gardner April 6, 2013, 6:23 pm

    “I guess it helps if you’re a church somebody.”

    It does feel that way sometimes. I am cautiously optimistic as I learn more about these women and I’m willing to sustain them and give them a chance.

    Just in reading around on the internet since they were called, I’m especially looking forward to hearing more about Sister Marriott. I believe she’s a convert from the South, an SMU graduate, and someone even said a cousin of former President Jimmy Carter. Sounds like an interesting combination to me. :)

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2013, 8:53 pm

    First Presidency Announces New Young Women General Presidency

    Oscarson –> 7 kids
    McConkie –> 7 kids
    Marriott –> 11 kids

    Woot!

    As for nepotism or familial callings, yea, I guess it goes with the territory. Now if only the Smith’s were back in fashion, I’d have it made! ;)
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Today’s News: House FireMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2013, 9:07 am

    Who’s ready for Sunday sessions??? :)
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 97: Live the Strenuous LifeMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2013, 9:09 am

    P.S. My friend, Julie Smith, shared this link (written just like this — so accurately!):

    The Pinterest Board of the new YW President (in which she will win your heart)

    Win my heart, she did.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…No Car Seats on Grocery Carts – Please!My Profile

  • jennycherie April 7, 2013, 10:43 am

    I love her already! She has a board of “interesting women”
    jennycherie recently posted…Update on the HateMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner April 7, 2013, 12:16 pm

    I don’t do Pinterest, but that was really fun to look at. Sure hoping we will get to hear from her in the afternoon session.

    I really enjoyed the morning session. I could listen to Elder Uchtdorf all day.

  • Angie Gardner April 7, 2013, 12:34 pm

    Another talk I really liked was Elder Clayton’s. I will have to go back and read it because we had a little moment of comic relief during it. My husband dozed off, so my 11-year-old shouted out “Bishop, wake up!” and he about jumped out of his chair.
    It took us a minute to stop laughing so I missed a bit of the talk, but I really appreciated that he was giving specific examples and that he spoke about both partners equally. I think sometimes men get picked on in these marriages talks and I love that he didn’t do that, but pointed out that both husband and wife have things they need to work at.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2013, 2:03 pm

    Sister!!!!!! Opening prayer!
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2013, 2:03 pm

    Yes, I’m crying!

  • Angie Gardner April 7, 2013, 2:10 pm

    :) Yep, that just happened! :)

  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2013, 2:22 pm

    Elder Holland <3
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 95: Show Don’t TellMy Profile

  • Angie Gardner April 7, 2013, 2:31 pm

    Okay, Elder Holland’s talk just answered pretty much every question on my list. :) Amazing. Love him.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2013, 5:48 pm

    Amen, sister. :)
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