Thursday, April 14, 2022

Where Snacks and Inspiration Meet

To my friends, I usually describe "general conference" as a bunch of TED talks from the worldwide leaders of my church. Those leaders are inspired prophets and apostles of Jesus Christ that offer guidance, direction, peace, and hope.

Even though it's addressed to the whole world, I believe every single person can come away from general conference with a message uniquely meant for them, so I look forward to watching general conference every 6 months.

So do my kids, but apparently for different reasons. "Are we getting ready for church?" the 5-year-old asked me last weekend, right before the Sunday morning session of conference began.

"Sort of. It's not regular church today, it's general conference."

"Good," he said. "General conference is better."

"What do you like about it?"

He shrugged.

"Then why is it better?" I asked.

"Because screens trigger dopamine!" (Obviously the family dopamine detox we did a while ago left a big impression on his little mind.)

Of course continued the kids' beloved Conference Snacks™ tradition, but time my health-conscious 15-year-old came to the store with me so we ended up with stuff like pomegranate seeds, dried apricots, and cassava chips... but there were also cookies and sour gummy worms to balance it out. 

I joke about it, but honestly I  the cassava chips.

Each snack has a leader's picture on it, which the kids get to eat when that person gives a talk, so from one conference to the next the kids keep track of who had which snack last time. It's easiest to remember Elder Cook, whose picture is always on the cookies. 

You should've seen my 8-year-old throw his paper and pencil into the air and run to the kitchen screaming "ELDER COOOOOOK!!" when he got up to speak.

Watching Elder Oaks on the TV we brought upstairs.

We also write down a sentence or two about what each person said and collect them all in a Ziploc at the end of the talk. The 5-year-old is getting old enough to catch at least a little of the meaning on his own now, so his notes are hands-down the cutest.

"You can NOT control other people. You CAN control you." -President Nelson

Also this one:

"Don't cause fights, stop fights." -Elder Andersen

There were so many great talks in this April conference, but here's a quick list of a few of my favorites:

If you're searching for happiness and peace seems hard to find, you'll want to read or listen to these words from Elder Holland

If you want to know why Latter-day Saints don't believe in hell, here's a great explanation from Elder Oaks.

If you're wondering how to find balance in life, follow this advice from Elder Uchtdorf.

If you've been (or are being) abused or wronged, this talk from Elder Kearon was written just for you.

If you want to improve the quality of your scripture study, Elder Pace has some great suggestions.

If you're trying to change something in your life but don't know how to succeed, try this inspiring sermon from Elder Hamilton

And if you're ready to scream if you see one more person arguing on Facebook, read what Elder Andersen says the world needs most right now.

One of the bajillion coloring pages the kids did throughout the 8 hours of general conference.

If you take a look at any or all of these links, I probably won't need to explain very much why I love general conference. It's like getting a Pauline epistle written specifically to me, from modern-day apostles and prophets who are telling us what God wants us to know right now.

As much as I enjoy the dark chocolate Oreos and my kids' cute misspellings, even more important to me is the peace and optimism in Jesus Christ that settles over our home and my attitude without fail when I really listen.

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