I remember on my mission that I loved zone conferences. I could see other missionaries I knew. I could escape the day-to-day grind of whatever city I was working in. I could listen to my mission president (whom I loved). We often would spend a part of the conference doing street contacting, and always with other companions than our own (which, depending on the time of my mission was a blessing to me and / or to my companion).
I happened always to travel to another city for zone conference, and always by train. I found that whatever spirit I took with me out of the conference seemed to have a half-life equal to the time it took the train to roll into my city. Getting back to the same-old-same-old seemed to overshadow the spirit of the conference.
I find that General Conference is the same way. I love spending the weekend listening to the talks and music. We prod our kids to listen, plying them with snacks for Conference Bingo or whatever inducement we are using. (This time is was a suggestion from The Friend: my daughter wrote the topic, a quotation and a personal application or action for each talk.) I take notes of what I hear and what I feel prompted to do.
But still, come Sunday evening, it’s all a bit of a blur. Those talks I felt sure I would remember all mix together in the conference stew in my head and by Monday morning, I can rarely remember who said what, except in the broadest of terms.
Of course, I’ll review my notes, and I’ll listen to the talks on my i-Pod, and I’ll read the talks in the Ensign when it comes out. In our ward, most sacrament meetings are based on conference talks (sometimes too much so, but that’s another post), and of course we’ll cover some of the talks in Teaching For Our Times lessons in priesthood.
But even with all that study, the spirit of the conference, of the meetings themselves, of having the speakers in my family room with me, of listening to the remarkable music (and even the remarkably slow music…), of sustaining the general authorities and auxiliary leaders, of hearing the off-the-cuff remarks that don’t make it into the written record, does not always shine through in the same way.
So, I’ll do my best to remember what I felt this weekend, and I’ll remember to come back in October for more.