Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Going to Conference

My friends Porter and Talmage
Little Porter and Talmage are two of my favorite little boys.  They are kind, bright and funny.  They are also highly talented.  They often played violin and cello duets in our ward, both for our worship services and for our talent show.  To see (and hear!) these pint-sized musicians perform was a delight.  They are just wonderful.

When their family moved to Utah, the whole congregation mourned!

However, moving to Utah has provided them with opportunities to be closer to their extended family and gave them a chance, this past weekend, to attend the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in person!

This was their very first live conference experience and the brothers were VERY excited.

The first step was taking the TRAX light rail down to the Conference Center from home.

Bouncing off the walls at the TRAX stop!
Their dad hoped they would settle down before they got to the Conference Center.
Their Dad shared that they were able to receive three tickets to the Saturday afternoon session.  These were special tickets given to them through Elder Richard G. Scott, one of the Twelve Apostles.  They had the unique opportunity to sit with the families of the General Authorities of the Church.

This alone was pretty exciting.

Dad cautioned both boys that they had to be on their best behavior.

13th Row!  Pretty cool tickets!
It was cool and rainy, of course.  Our California transplants found it cold!  You can see that people are dressed warmly in the photo below.  It often snows for April Conference - and the one in October too!  People call it "Conference Weather".

If you've never had a chance to visit Salt Lake City, you need to do so!  They give tours of the Conference Center.  It is a spectacular building!  Well worth seeing for yourself.

Taking the tour of Temple Square is also a lot of fun.  When I was going to school in Provo, Utah, my roommates and I would drive in to Salt Lake and take the tour at least once a semester just for fun. The displays and facilities are even better now than they were back in the days of antiquity when I was there.

Queues at the Conference Center
Waiting  for  admittance to the Saturday afternoon Session of Conference
People literally come from all over the world to attend Conference.  It is such a treat to visit in person at least once in your life.  I remember clearly attending General Conference in the Tabernacle on Temple Square as a child of three or four.  It was an overwhelming spiritual experience.

Talmage and Porter posing for Dad
My little friends were also very excited to be able to attend Conference in person

Sitting in the 13th row is very close!.

View from the 13th Row
The boys really made an effort to be reverent.  They brought notebooks so they could record their experiences.

I see they took really good notes.

Taking some serious notes!
Hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in person is a real joy!

Here (below) is my friend Don singing with the choir during one of the sessions.  He is easy to spot in the middle of the front row.  Don is a good guy.  Singing in the Choir is actually a Missionary Calling in the church.  A "Calling" is a special job that is performed under the direction of the Priesthood of God.  Men and Women receive all kinds of callings in the church that help move the work of the Lord forward.  I currently have a calling to teach Sunday School and to serve as a Church Organist.

Callings help us to serve others, as well as helping us individually to grow and develop talents.

My friend Don (front and center) sings with the Tabernacle Choir
The Saturday afternoon session is where they read the statistics of the church and where we get to sustain the general officers of the church.  We get to raise our hands to show the Lord that we support those in authority over us.
Every seat was filled
There is a tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit at every conference session.  It is a unique event that has been going on now, twice a year, for 184 years..

It looks like Porter and Talmage had a terrific first experience attending conference.  I hope you enjoyed coming along with them!  

Thanks to Spencer and Ashleigh for sharing their wonderful photos!

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