The 180th General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints concluded yesterday. And, WOW, What a Conference it was!For me, Conference always feels similar to Christmas. With the build-up, anticipation, preparation and excitement surrounding the event, there’s bound to be let-down the “day after”. So, today has definitely felt a bit dreary. However, I still continue to ‘bask in the glow’ of the event. I feel deep gratitude for being able to participate. I cherish the spirit that I felt, and the memories that I made. And, yes, I regret eating too many snacks.
Thankfully, through the modern miracle of technology, Latter-day Saints (and anyone else interested) may relive General Conference immediately, and as often as desired. All audio feeds are available today at LDS.org in nearly 90 different languages – with video and text to follow later this week. Full video feeds of each conference talk are offered at KSL NEWS .
Next month, the church ENSIGN magazine will publish their bi-annual Conference Edition, which includes each talk printed in its entirety to read & ponder.
Similar to past Conferences, I took vigorous notes on each speaker’s message. However, this time I left room to record each of my personal thoughts, impressions, and ideas.
Today, as I look through my notebook, I realize that while each sermon is a gift to ponder, it is what I have written outside the margins that is the real treasure!
“Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich. . . [and] I did enlighten thy mind. . . by the Spirit of truth” D&C 6: 7, 15
Each talk was delivered to an audience of over 14 million, and yet allowed individualized enlightenment.
I have at least one or more “marginal note” per talk. They include specific impressions on how to improve my marriage, teach my children, deal with current challenges, ideas for further study … potential blog topics , encouragement, validation, new resolutions, and goals.
Many are too personal to publish, however I am chosing to list a few samples of impressions that I think might apply to any Conference listener:
April 3, 2010 – Saturday Morning Session
President Boyd K. Packer “Too many of our priesthood brethren are living below their potential”.
- Outside the Margins: “I can help [my husband] reach his full potential by: 1. support calling 2. Praying together 3. Temple 4. Compliments / Thank ” . . . a few more
Sister Julie B. Beck states: “Life is not calm for women.”
- Outside the Margins: “AMEN Sister! Lord recognizes my hectic life. Burden of modern woman is validated“
Sister Beck continues by teaching that women have a significant role in building the Kingdom in the last days, and the Lord will send personal revelation to “bathe [us] in help in these turbulent times”. She suggests keeping notes on the spiritual impressions that will come.
- Outside the margins: “Begin a Prayer Diary. Keep a paper and pen at the side of bed and take notes. Pray as personal two-way conversation with Heavenly Father. He will speak to my mind. Write it down! All the thoughts and impressions that come will teach me how the Spirit works through me personally!”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “Every person we meet is a VIP to our Heavenly Father”
- Outside The Margins: Names of people in my life that came to my mind - many needing extra help, kindness or attention - with the caption: “My VIPs“
April 3, 2010 Saturday Afternoon Session
Elder L. Tom Perry: “There is no such thing as over-preparing to teach the gospel”
- Outside The Margins: “Continue reading articles on LDS.org. Searching the scriptures daily and share by writing and blogging impressions. This is building your soul“
April 4, 2010 – Sunday Morning Session
Sister Cheryl C. Lant: By following Jesus example in the story of 3 Nephi 17 we receive guidance in teaching and caring for our children.
- Outside the margins: “Pray to be an angel for my children, and that angels will strengthen me”
President Thomas S. Monson: This powerful talk focused on the life and sacrifice of Jesus. “[Jesus] went about doing good”. Pres. Monson included a description of Jesus’ last days of life, with details of his crucifixion.
- Outside The Margins: “When we serve others, we are helping to carry Christ’s cross”
April 4, 2010 – Sunday Afternoon Session
Bradley D. Foster: Speaking about straying from the straight and narrow path, he stated: “The distraction doesn’t have to be evil to be effective”
- Outside The Margins: A list of 5 specific things that have been distracting myself and/or my family with the word “Take Time To Sanctify“
President Thomas S. Monson: “Look to the Lighthouse of the Lord”
- Outside The Margins: “My Lighthouse = The Temple.”
This has been just a small sample of my many personal impressions from the 180th LDS General Conference.
The exciting thing about a General Conference is that it doesn’t really end. The messages are timeless, and we keep them alive inside of us. I know that my notes are just the very beginning of the promptings, encouragement and motivation I will receive as I continue to review these inspired talks. I will not only be reminded of my initial inspiration, I will receive more. And, when it comes, I’ll be sure to leave lots of room outside the margins!