It is coming on General Conference season again. I love it. It seems like in some ways that we just had the last General Conference just the other day. But I can probably explain that.
This will be the fourth time that I have tried to read the entire Conference Report from the past conference before the next conference. The first time I did that, with the October 2006 Conference before the April 2007, I finished the last talk fifteen minutes before the first session of the April 2007 Conference. I still finished before it though. The next time I didn’t do as well and finished a week later. Last time I finished a whole month before the April Conference. This time around, I finished the last talk last Wednesday. Except this isn’t just to blog about how well I can read a conference report.
Reading it, the whole thing, every talk in all six sessions, means I think about them longer than just while I am attending Conference and writing my notes. Having my notes means I paid attention the first time through. I also get the DVDs and watch those again on Sundays. It’s interesting that the talks that stood out when I listened live are not the ones that stand out as I watch the DVDs again over the next several months. And then I read the talks and highlight what stands out to me that time. It is rare that the exact same thing stands out to me in all three instances. I blame that on me being in a different place in my life from one instance to another.
But by doing those things, it keeps me immersed in General Conference throughout the whole six months until the next one. I find that I can reference the talks much more in other situations. In a Sunday School or Institute class, I remember that there was a talk about the different subjects and reference them. I don’t always remember who the exact person was that gave the talk, but the information is in my head.
It seems that part of the concluding talk of the whole Conference is an expression of hope that what we have heard and felt will make a difference in our lives. But if you can’t remember what was heard or felt (the notes I take during Conference include a lot of things that nobody else hears but me, those things I feel more than hear), it can’t become part of your life.
I know I could make it even more a part of my life, and I will keep looking for that. Some claim that it seems like we are getting the same topics every six months. But if you study it, internalize it, while the general topics might remain the same, there is so much to learn each time. There might be a talk on faith every time (and there is), but each time will further our understanding of that infinitely large principle. Yet you have to have kept the previous information if you are going to add to it and increase your understanding.
General Conference is an amazing blessing in my life. I am grateful for the multitude of ways I can participate in it, and for more than just one weekend every six months. I have marked several different events in my life by General Conference. I am always inspired to act in some part of my life while I listen. And at least one talk every time feels like it was given just for me. I’m really looking forward to this weekend.