Wow, General Conference sessions of Saturday and yesterday were amazing! I feel so blessed to have taken part in it. The photos in this post are from our General Conference weekend, this past Saturday and Sunday, April 4-5, 2020. for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It involved a Bicentennial Celebration of the First Vision of Joseph Smith. The vision happened in the spring of 1820, when God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in New York. We got to watch Conference from home, as we usually do, but this time it was extra unusual knowing that only ten or fewer people were in a small auditorium to take turns presenting instead of tens of thousands in the Conference Center, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conference was definitely a bright shining ray of hope that I was looking forward to, in order to get me through this time of pandemic and social distancing, which makes this new season of spring feel like it’s still winter.
The boys had fun playing roller hockey between sessions on Saturday. It does my heart good to see them dig out old hand-me-down rollerblades and other equipment we’ve had for years and fashion goals out of cardboard boxes.
I deliberately took photos of new life during our celebration to remind me that winter doesn’t last forever. Lots of trees on our property are budding green leaves or new pinecones but sadly we don’t have any flowers. Bugsy took photos of his carrots sprouting up. He’s keeping the location a secret from me. Every day he’s very diligent about watering them.
It’s hard to tell those are carrots, but he assures me they are!
I love that President Russell M. Nelson called on us to fast and pray this Good Friday in a worldwide fast for relief from the pandemic. I also felt blessed by his assurance that the temples of the church will open again sometime. He encouraged us to continue with family history research work at home while we await the opening of the temples again. That is just what I needed to hear.
The whole weekend felt like a glorious holiday because my husband was home both days from his temporary job. That, combined with the food, relaxation, and new “gifts” (announcements) from President Nelson made the days feel like Christmas. Eight new temples, including one in Shanghai China! and one in Dubai! Wow! (See video below.) Also Brad Wilcox being called to be a General Authority! Not to mention the stories shared by the leaders that invited more revelation into my life. My two favorite stories were the ones by Sister Cordon about feeding chickens with Elder Perry and the one by Elder Christofferson about the young man who was told by the Spirit not to burn the Book of Mormon but to read it. He obeyed and witnessed that he felt the most joyous feeling he ever had, when he was done reading it. He then got baptized and served a mission.
I kicked off the event the night before with an online game night with some of my Relief Society sisters. That was fun! I had two General Conference themed games: a General Conference trivia quiz and then I had Gen. Conf. categories for my Double Ditto game. In my Conf. Double Ditto game, we guessed locations for new temples. I actually guessed Africa so I got that much right, because Pres. Nelson announced a new one in Nigeria two days later in Conference.
I sure enjoyed our food! I continued my vision of having special food over Conference weekend that I started a few years ago, when I wrote this. We had ground beef nachos, which is something we only have on Gen. Conf., on Saturday, and beef teriyaki and roasted broccoli on Sunday afternoon. This tasted soooo good!
I think I finally figured out the Conference food thing. For now, maybe I’ll just focus on having one unique exciting meal/tradition a day instead of three fancy meals to plan, shop, and cook for. Then have my regular standby meals for the other meals. (I’ve done cinnamon rolls in the past for breakfast but just didn’t want to this time.) Anyway, Sunday night the rest of the family enjoyed a store-bought cake hubby had bought while I had my new keto yellow cake with chocolate frosting and crushed up keto chocolate.
Nobody in this house has weight-control issues but me, so they don’t need the keto. I was pleasantly surprised though that my bird of a 14-year-old daughter actually ate more of the keto cake during the week than I did, she loved it that much.
To add to the holiday/holy days excitement, my niece got married, hundreds of miles away from us, on Saturday. A small set of people witnessed it, in order to practice social distancing. She had planned a temple wedding in a few weeks which I would have loved to have attended, but with the temple closures, she chose to get civilly married sooner. I am happy to see her start married life. It was a drive-by wedding reception with guests driving by to wish them well as the newlyweds stood on the front lawn of the groom’s parents’ yard. Not ideal but I admire her for making the most of a difficult situation.
Sunday night after Conference, we played the Restoration timeline card game I blogged about over here. The rest of the family tired of it before I did, because the complete game involves 150 cards!
After my daughter won the game, being first to run out of her 20 cards, they all bowed out and watched a movie. So I finished playing the game myself! Here are all the cards:
I even made three new cards for the historic events of the weekend: the announcement of the new Church logo, the Hosanna shout in Conference on Palm Sunday, and the new Bicentennial Proclamation of the Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I felt the Holy Spirit several times, bearing witness of the truths of which I was hearing, of which I’m so grateful for. My life certainly isn’t perfect right now. I’m experiencing a lot of messy challenges within the messy macrocosm of the pandemic. But Jesus is real. Jesus and His gospel give me hope to carry on. He has paid the price of His redeeming love for all our sins and pains and problems. He has visited the earth, since his resurrection. He spoke to Joseph Smith and chose him to be his prophet to restore His gospel and His church. That church exists today. For that I’m grateful and will forever rejoice! I’m grateful for the prophet of today, President Russell M. Nelson, who invites us all to Hear Jesus through the Holy Spirit to hear answers from God.
I also enjoyed watching most of the world report of the video below, part of which I watched while soaking in a relaxing tub of hot water. Luscious! The kingdom of God rolls forward, and we each get to play a part in it. What a glorious weekend!