Twice a year rather than our normal LDS services we attend a General Conference. I use the term attend rather loosely. The conference is broadcast via satellite to each stake center. We also can attend via the internet or if you have access to KBYU you can watch it on TV. Each conference we usually watch each session with the in-laws and then I will download the mp3s from www.lds.org and listen to them again throughout the the next week or so.
A few month ago Gordon B. Hinkley died and Thomas S. Monson took the reins as the new Prophet and President of the Church. Since the church has grown so much in the last ten years and this was the first time it had happened for so long, I fully expected speakers to explain and support the process that brought Monson to the head of the church. As I lifetime member I kinda felt that they took it a little too far. It felt like every speak started out by explaining the process. Perhaps this was more useful to other who hadn't seen it before. I've always liked Monson and had always accepted that he'd be Prophet one day.
I've always felt that religion was best when it dealt with specific ways that we can apply love into our lives. In this aspect conference did not disappoint. I specifically liked M. Russell Ballard's advice about how to treat your family members. Rather than just tell us to love and respect them he detailed specific ways that parents can support children, children support parents and parents support each other. There were other talks that dealt with ways of applying this love into our lives too. Ballard's was just the one that I remember most.
To end it all off Monson gave a very touching story about when his wife was in the hospital. As if to put the exclamation point on Ballard's talk, he shared a personal story that showed how he was applying this Christlike love in his own life.
As you read other posts on my blog you may be tempted to think that I am bitter toward religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. At it's best I believe that religion can add meaning and provide guidance and hope. My criticism of religion is when it looses sight of these goals and ventures into unfamiliar territory. This weekend I believe I saw examples of the best in what religion can be. When I get home tonight I'm planning on downloading the mp3s of all the talks. I look forward to listening to them again to glean what advice I can to learn to apply love in my life. For starters I plan on easing Victoria's load a little by taking care of some chores around the house.
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