There are may things I deeply appreciate about the April 2014 conference. Perhaps at the top of the list, however, is the music. The MoTab always does well, but the closing song touched me. Come, Let Us Anew Our Journey Pursue. Great message, beautifully arranged. What really thrilled me, though was the quality of the Saturday afternoon and Priesthood Session choirs. They were amazing. That is really not surprising, though, because the rising generation is amazing.
Priesthood meeting was probably my favorite session. Elder Oaks, as always, had my rapt attention from the first word. I will study that talk again and again as I continue to clarify the doctrine of priesthood authority and priesthood keys. He said that Jesus holds all the keys. I think that is about all we really need to know. The rest of us have keys delegated to us at various times, and at other times we have them withdrawn, or limited in some way. Only the President of the Church holds the active keys on the earth. Elder Oaks speaks on a frequency that goes right to my heart. Elder Holland seems to speak on the same frequency, too.
I enjoyed seeing the women leaders sitting right in the middle of the center of the section where the men usually sit. The ladies have been on the sidelines, in the wings. No more. I am not a feminist, and I don’t think there is anything to cry about, but I am totally pleased to see the visibility moves that are being made. I noticed another sign, rather subtle but significant, along the same lines. In the song, A Child’s Prayer, the voice representing God is usually sung by the men while the women represent the voice of the child asking, “Heavenly Father, are you really there?” It started out that way again this time, but then when the two voices joined together the men sang the child’s part and the women represented the voice of God.
I learned to pray at my Grandma Patterson’s knee. I am sure my mom and my dad taught me to pray, too. I know that they taught my younger siblings and I can’t imagine my own life to be any different. But perhaps my very earliest memory is kneeling by Grandma Patterson as she helped me say my prayers before I climbed into bed. I was staying with them in Bloomington, which I know I did at least twice. This was probably when Merlin and Margaret were born. Mary was staying with Uncle Les and Aunt Lola Skinner just up the road in Georgetown. For some reason, there was something said at this conference that made me remember that time in my life, just short of 100 years ago.
We get conference here on BYU-TV on the Internet. The live broadcasts are two hours later than they are in Salt Lake, so earlier in the day we also watched the Book of Mormon discussions as well as a rebroadcast of the Women’s Broadcast from last weekend. That one brought tears to my eyes.
So that’s it. I look forward to studying the talks. I am reading the Old Testament, and I am actually learning some things I did not catch before. I feel like I need to be reading the Book of Mormon again, too. It is like an old friend. And Elder Ballard gave a firm invitation to be more involved in Preach My Gospel. It really is an amazing book.
Have a wonderful week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5BDCWUfpsU