Monday, April 04, 2011

General Conference

I love General Conference.  Twice a year, it's such a pleasure to do something so different for church and devote a whole weekend to gospel learning and growth as a family.  I love how we usually spend one of the Saturday sessions working on a project together - busy hands, listening ears, open minds (this year we were out in the back yard, putting down new top-soil and grass seed while conference blasted from the car radio).  I love how we get to stay home all day on General Conference Sundays and watch church in our PJ's while we snuggle together on the couch.  I love talking about what we're hearing during the speeches (can't really do that in church without being disruptive).

After what feels like non-stop busyness for months, it was such a pleasure to relax together as a family right here in our home for pretty much two full days while listening to uplifting and inspired words from wonderful men and women who've devoted their lives to serving God and serving their fellow men.  They're the first to admit that they're far from perfect, but I'd say the general authorities of our church are saints.  Some of them say things in a way that totally clicks with me and others don't, but there's something I can learn from every single speech if I listen with an open mind and heart.  And whether or not the way they say things or the messages they choose really resonates with me, I appreciate and admire their devotion and efforts and goodness with all my heart.

Anyway, after years of struggling to get just a bit out of conference while juggling babies and toddlers and trying to keep little kids busy with appropriate activities, we're finally in a place in our family now where everyone is truly getting something out of the experience. When we turned on the TV and the sounds of the Tabernacle choir filled the house, without even being asked, the twins went and got some quiet building toys and the three older kids sat down armed with pencils and papers to take notes.  Wow - they get it!  Maybe all those years of struggling to help kids see the beauty and importance of all this actually do pay off!

 Here are some of the great notes the big kids took this weekend - I love how they captured the essence of the speeches so well and it's so gratifying as a mother to see that they're getting this stuff and they're valuing it.

Here are some of Isaac's notes (he's 9).  He went with a picture and a one-sentence summary - most of which turned out to be quite pithy.  Here are a few of his statements so you don't kill your neck trying to read them all (I kept Isaac's spelling):

  • Elder Ucdorf: Jesus can send us to anser other people's prayrs.  The best way to teach is being ing an example.
  • elder david bednar: check and see if you've done any good in the world today.
  • elder scott:  play with your children more.  show love.  forgive.
  • sister alrad: Jesus will not do everything for you.  you will have to do some things yourself.

(sorry it's sideways - can't figure out any way to fix it!)

Here are Ashton's notes from Sunday.  He was a little less enthusiastic about the whole note-taking thing but when I'd ask him if he was sleeping, he'd always come up with something great that he'd just heard.   I think he did a great job of capturing the main ideas of these talks:

Here are 3 of the 14 pages of notes and pictures that Eliza did (she just turned 8 and is extra conscientious about everything church-related).  This girl couldn't get enough.  And I loved reading over her notes to see how everything came across to her.


Rachelle said...

WOW!! These are great. Such a great idea to scan them in and capture the handwriting and drawings - darling!

Allyson said...

I was thinking we would do this one talk at a time for FHE in the coming months (have the kids take notes/draw pictures) and this post just cinched the deal! Those notes are pretty impressive!

Patty Ann said...

I love your kids notes. You better be saving those for when they grow up!! I think they are amazing.

Eyrealm said...

How fun to see this! Since we missed the Saturday sessions, it's good to "catch up on a few things." Thanks kids! You're awesome!

Becky said...

How fun to read your kids' notes from Conference. And it's nice to hear your perspective, since I'm at the point in life where I don't get much out of conference the first time as I'm helping a 4, 3, and 1 year old keep busy. :) How fun it'll be to read their notes someday (although I don't want this time to pass too quickly, as it already is). :) thanks!

bjahlstrom said...

Eliza's notes were really touching. How detailed and tender she is.


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