Monday, April 4, 2011

Themes in the April 2011 General Conference

This weekend was General Conference weekend for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I absolutely love Conference weekend. At the end of the two days, I found myself feeling sad...sort of like you can feel with post-Christmas letdown. Conference is like Christmas around here -- we anticipate it for weeks, we savor spending time together as a family, we eat fun food, we stop regular life for a couple of days, and we wish it could last longer. (My children always yell "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" as the last session ends.)

And it's another time to focus on and renew our faith in Jesus Christ and in our Heavenly Father's eternal plan for His children. It's a time when we seek to feel God's Holy Spirit in our hearts to help us refocus on what matters most.

Whenever I listen to General Conference, I like to look for themes. I'm reminded of what Elder Neil L. Andersen said last April in General Conference:

There are no assigned subjects, no collaboration of themes. The Lord’s way, of course, is always the best way. He takes the individual prayerful efforts of each speaker and orchestrates a spiritual symphony full of revelation and power. Repeated themes, principle building upon principle, prophetic warnings, uplifting promises—the divine harmony is a miracle! I testify that in this conference we have heard and felt the mind and will of the Lord.

I still want to mull over all the messages a little more (and given my weird sleep issues, I still have a couple of messages to listen to that I missed while sleeping). But here are some themes I noticed [edited to add that I'll be editing this list as I think of other themes]:

-The healing power of Christ
-Helping the poor and needy / Giving service
-The centrality of marriage and family in Mormon doctrine
-Life is a test
-Discipleship takes work, discipline, commitment, willingness to sacrifice, willingness to change/grow/receive (and even seek) correction
-We believe in angels
-Doing vs. becoming
-Small and simple things
-Revelation and personal testimony/answers

What did you notice? What talks stood out to you?

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