Upon first notice, I simply saw it as a novelty of attending the conference - just like the presence of the many do-gooders, on the corners, crying repentance to all the Mormons. But as I got closer to the Conference Center, their numbers increased and their desperation to attend became more apparent. One sweet, wide-eyed little girl, stood with her mom and dad holding a sign that said "Just turned 8". I'm pretty sure they were from out of the country. I so wished that I had a few hundred tickets that I could hand out along the way. I thought of how happy this would make so many people. When I realized that such a fantasy was not to be, and that the sincere desires of those wanting to see living prophets was not going to happen for most, I became overwhelmed with sadness. You can imagine all the many metaphors that one could apply to such a scenario...
Eventually, gratitude for the miracles of technology filled my heart! Even though these good people, with their truly righteous desires, could not physically attend the meeting, they were here and would hear the words of living prophets and apostles -- if they were willing to simply listen.
This morning we all listened, once again, to living prophets and apostles of the Lord. No matter our physical location, what was most important is that we listened and heard, and are ready to now act...
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Sunday morning session of General Conference...
President Eyring - What We Promise:
"First we have promised to become charitable. Second, we promised to become witnesses of God. And third we promised to endure. The Book of Mormon is the best guide to learn how well we are doing and how to do better." Henry B. Eyring
"The Lord is keeping His promises to you as you keep yours." Henry B. Eyring
"Prayerful study of the Book of Mormon will build faith in God the Father, in His Beloved Son, and in His gospel. It will build faith in God's prophets, ancient and modern.
It can draw you closer to God than any other book. It can change a life for the better." Henry B. Eyring
Elder Hales - The Savior's Example, for Us, of Waiting Upon the Lord:
"I have had the opportunity to study and learn more about our Savior's atoning sacrifice and how He prepared Himself to make that eternal offering for each of us. His preparation began in the pre-mortal life as he waited upon His Father, saying "Thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever. Beginning in that moment and continuing today, he exercises His agency to accept and carry out our Heavenly Father's plan." Robert D. Hales
"As we wait upon the Lord we are "immovable in keeping the commandments," knowing that we will "one day rest from [all] afflictions." Robert D. Hales
"Waiting upon the Lord gives us a priceless opportunity to discover that there are many who wait upon us. Our children wait upon us to show patience, love, and understanding toward them. Our parents wait upon us to show gratitude and compassion. Our brothers and sisters wait upon us to be tolerant, merciful, and forgiving. Our spouses wait upon us to love them as the Savior has loved each one of us." Robert D. Hales
Elder Ballard - The Importance of a Name:
"The name the Savior has given to His Church tells us exactly wo we are and what we believe. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the Redeemer of all mankind. He atoned for all who would repent of their sins, and He broke the bands of death and provided resurrection from the dead. We follow Jesus Christ." M. Russell Ballard
"While Mormon is not the full and correct name of the Church, and even though it was originally given by our detractors during our early years of persecution, it has become an acceptable nickname when applied to members rather than the institution. We do not need to stop using the name Mormon, when appropriate, but we should continue to give emphasis to the full and correct name of the Church itself. In other words, we should avoid and discourage the term "Mormon Church". M. Russell Ballard
President Monson - Prayer:
"Also evolving at a rapid rate has been the moral compass of society. Behaviors which once were considered inappropriate and immoral are now not only tolerated but also viewed by ever so many as acceptable." Thomas S. Monson
"Although the world has changed, the laws of God remain constant. They have not changed; they will not change. The ten commandments are just that -- commandments. They are not suggestions. They are every bit as requisite today as they were when God gave them to the children of Israel." Thomas S. Monson
"My brothers and sisters, I declare to you, however, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments." Thomas S. Monson
"As a means of being in the world but not of the world, it is necessary that we communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer. He wants us to do so; He'll answer our prayers." Thomas S. Monson
"Not a day has gone by that I have not communicated with my Father in Heaven through prayer. It is a relationship that I cherish -- one I would literally be lost without." Thomas S. Monson
"My beloved brothers and sisters, communication with our Father in Heaven -- including our prayers to Him and His inspiration to us -- is necessary in order for us to weather the storms and trials of life." Thomas S. Monson
"As the winds of change swirl around us and the moral fiber of society continues to disintegrate before our very eyes, may we remember the Lord's precious promises to those who trust in Him: "Fear thou not; I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yeah, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Thomas S. Monson
Watch or listen, online, to all sessions of the October 2011 General Conference now!