As dull as General Conference can be compared to modern entertainment options, the more I pay attention, the more I come away with valuable insights into how to live a better life. A day or two of General Conference strikes me as more valuable than many of the high-paid self-help gurus and motivational speakers out there.
Priesthood Session last night touched upon many issues that have been weighing upon. Wise leaders speaking with experience and deep spiritual perspectives can do much to help us reframe our questions and problems. I also was enriched by the focus on Christlike service that we heard about today, and the eternal perspective that was added to many of our problems.
I love the stories I hear at Conference as well. The explanation of a young child for his bad deed still has me chuckling: “I’m sorry – I lost my CTR ring and now I can’t choose the right.”
Warnings about spiritual vertigo from Elder Robert D. Hales rang so true, and the dramatic story of a rebellious pilot doing stunts at night and mistaking the lights of an oil field for the stars above him, crashing into the ground due to his disorientation, described so well the chaotic moral misdirections of our day in which the movers and shakers of our society send millions into spiritual death spirals while proclaiming that they bring liberty.
Thomas S. Monson’s story of a Conference talk that he felt inspired to direct to one young girl in the audience really touched me. She came to conference seeking guidance on whether to be baptized or not, and his inspired focus on her was an answer to her quest. I was thinking, “Yeah, but it’s easy for skeptics to dismiss because we haven’t been given details . . .” – but there was her picture, and then the follow-up picture of her and her family years later, obviously used with permission (along with her first name), and certainly hundreds of people know her and were also witness to the earlier talk. Any of you know more details?
And I loved the tribute to the Amish people and their inspiring forgiveness after the senseless murder of children. (This came right after my blood was boiling over the horrid murder of Hmong women and children in Laos by the Laotian army that I had the misfortune of seeing documented in gruesome video. Sharing the grief of the Hmong people made me appreciate so much more the divine power behind forgiveness in such cases — though there also needs to be justice and no more US support for such brutal governments.)
Overall, a wonderful Conference, with lots of rich material that we can look forward to reading in future weeks when the Conference Report comes out.