General Conference and Easter 2021

Wow, Easter was especially meaningful this year. We got to have a full house with my three big boys who don’t normally live here. Really they are my adult sons. They will always be my boys though. One is going on a mission to Texas soon, as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is my third son to serve a mission. He’s been doing home-based MTC (missionary training center) at his cousins’ house but came home for the weekend to do it here. He brought his TX flag with him for the weekend so we hung it up on the front door as a backdrop for watching General Conference over the two days.

The night before we had a hilarious game night with these games. Poetry for Neanderthals was especially a hit!

My oldest child flew in to visit and say goodbye to his brother. He actually lives in TX and will just be one mission away from his brother, but their paths will probably not cross. Then we had my third adult son come visit as well to see the brother from TX. I love these happy family times! Every moment was full of memory-making times. All my kiddos were here but my married daughter. We definitely missed her, so to ease the ache we FaceTimed over Easter dinner.

These are a few pictures of our time together. It’s interesting that because of the times, with the MTC closed, and home-MTC in place (the training is done online) my son got to be with us on his breaks.

He did all this fun stuff with us: a family game night, football with his brothers, watching Conference with us, going out to eat, having s’mores with my new fire pit outside, an Easter egg hunt, Easter dinner, and going on a family hike.

I thought a lot about how much more Easter means to me now. Just like Christmas, the Easter holiday becomes more precious to me each year. I have a dear friend who had a granddaughter die back in January of SIDS. The grand baby was only 2 months old. My girlfriend lives several states away form her son and daughter-in-law, the baby’s parents, so she never got to see her granddaughter, what with all the restrictions going on. So I’ve been mourning with her. I know that because of Jesus Christ’s suffering, that He paid the price for this tiny baby to come alive again. Because of Him, this baby won’t be gone from her family’s arms forever. My friend will someday get to hold this baby and bond with her. This baby is part of her eternal family. Elder Dale G. Renlund’s talk in General Conference about the unfairness of life being made up by Jesus rang true to her.

Doing puzzles during General Conference has become a tradition. I wish I had started doing it sooner! We did our world puzzle plus this Eric Dowdle one of Noah’s Ark below. I just picked it up from the thrift store for only $2!

I also thought of this book I just read to my two youngest children, pictured below. I didn’t mean to pick it as an Easter book, but it turns out it is, in a way. The main character is a Christ-like figure. I saw it at the public library and it just drew me in. It tells the story of a black man, a real person, William “Bill” Lewis, who was a slave in Tennessee. He was so enterprising that he asked his master to “rent” him out so he could make his master more money. He then asked the master if he could have some of this extra money. He saved and saved his earnings and eventually bought the freedom of his wife, his child, himself, his parents, and his siblings. I thought of how amazingly loving and selfless this man was. It almost brings tears to my eyes. That, my friends, is just a glimpse of how much our Savior Jesus Christ loves us. He hammered out his soul, both body and spirit, to overcome sin and death, so that we can have our freedom. May we always praise His name and receive this gift with full eternal gratitude and fierce intention to become all that God wants us to be.

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