This was definitely a Conference to remember, and even though I didn't take notes this time, I still have much to say about it.
The biggest thing that happened was the Church sustaining its new President, Thomas S. Monson. I was too young to remember President Hinckley's sustaining, so I really didn't know what to expect. But wow! The Spirit was so strong in that solemn assembly, as one-by-one each quorum and auxiliary stood to sustain the prophet.
Before my turn to stand, I watched the Brethren very closely as they all stood. These are the men who will send me on my mission, I thought. This is the prophet who will send me on my mission!
Tears nearly escaped my eyes when the time came for all the elders to stand. It was just a rush of the Spirit; I knew that Thomas S. Monson was a prophet of God, and what it meant that I was standing to sustain him. The feeling became more powerful when the entire Church was called to stand at the end, and my family rose with me. What a choice opportunity! To have a prophet on the earth today, and to know it. . . . To say the very least, it's remarkable.
I had to go to work shortly after the sustaining, but I was able to listen to Conference in my car on the way there and it gave me the spiritual charge I needed to get through the shift. It's an interesting thing, working in a restaurant on Conference weekend. The place is dead until noon, then for two hours it's a constant rush of Mormons looking for a meal between Conference sessions. Then it dies again for the afternoon session, and after that the rush returns. Women have dominion of the restaurant between six and eight, then the Priesthood brethren come in droves after their session. It's just one of the many things I love about living in Utah. ;-)
Thankfully the restaurant was dead enough during the afternoon session that I was let go early. I saw this as a small miracle, for I didn't know if I'd be able to make tonight's Priesthood dinner with my dad and brother before the session. It would be my last one with them before my mission, so it was very important to me to be there. Needless to say, my family was also glad to see that I'd gotten out early.
This was the part of the day to which I was so looking forward: hearing the prophet speak. It kept me going throughout the workday, and I was greatly excited for the opportunity. I was not disappointed, either; President Monson gave a wonderful talk on example, and it motivated me to be a better representative of that which is good. He'll make an excellent prophet.
After the session, Don invited me to a family party at his house. The invitation was on one condition, however: that I'd be able to tell his family one thing I liked about Conference. Of course, this was no problem, and at nine I joined the Harshes for what could best be described as a family testimony meeting. This was a tradition of theirs, and one they held dear. I was grateful to be invited to participate.
As each of their turns came, family members would spend a minute or two talking about what had touched them during Conference. I was also given the opportunity to speak, for which I chose to share my feelings on the solemn assembly. It was a wonderful experience to be in such company, where spiritual things were shared and loved.
But what struck me the most was the children of the family. The little children testified of the gospel, and that they knew Christ was their Savior and that President Monson was a prophet. They were excited to be baptized! Their understanding was leaps and bounds ahead of what mine had been at their age. Truly theirs is the greater generation, and they are also so very blessed to have such goodly parents that would teach them to love the gospel. What a delight! The Spirit was definitely powerful in that living room. I thanked Don's father for including me in the tradition this Conference; this experience set the standard for the weekend.
I loved the Sunday sessions, but unfortunately I fell asleep for the last half of the afternoon one. I was very upset with myself for this when I woke up, because I missed President Monson's closing address. I wanted so badly to hear more from him, but my physical weakness prevented that. But despite my missing him speak, I take comfort in knowing that he did speak, and that I can receive his words in the Ensign next month to study and ponder.
That's what Conference is all about: that the Lord still speaks, and that we have a prophet on the earth today who delivers that message. We are extremely blessed to have the opportunity to hear our leaders speak at Conference. Is it any wonder that their talks are treated as scripture? I felt so good to have them in my home this weekend. Truly, home felt more like home than it ever had in the past six months because of it. Nothing creates an atmosphere so loving and safe as the gospel.
We have a prophet. How much plainer can I say that? We have a prophet on the earth today, through whom the Lord speaks. The gospel was restored through our first modern prophet, Joseph Smith, and that line has not been broken, nor will it. Earth and Hell may combine against those who follow his teachings, but those powers will not prevail, for the powers of Heaven are a hundred fold greater. I fear not the mocking of the unbeliever, no matter how convinced, for in the end, those who mock will have everything to fear. And if I follow the prophet--who I know is a prophet--what reason do I ever have to fear?