Two weeks ago we started talking about General Conference for family home evening. We brainstormed questions that we had as a family. On Monday we finalized our three questions and taped them to the wall by the table. Every day the kids talked about the questions and how we were going to look for the answers.
Friday morning I read the account in Mosiah 2 to the kids during breakfast about how the Nephites prepared to hear King Benjamin’s address. We talked about how we went to the temple last week to help us prepare just like they went to the temple. We discussed that even though we don’t have tents to pitch, we have a house to get ready. We did some cleaning and rearranged our living space so that we could watch the TV and the kids would have a place to quietly play right there with us. Friday night we talked through things we were grateful for which was also mentioned in the account in Mosiah.
Those few simple things we did ahead of time made a huge difference to our experience as a family this weekend.
We celebrated Emily’s birthday on Saturday morning, including going to a park. When we got home it was time for lunch and Laura’s nap. Andrew and I sat on the couch and took lots and lots of notes (!!!! – it only took five years for that to happen, much faster than I had anticipated!). In addition to the big announcement that church is switching to two hours and and gospel learning is to be more home centered, we both had direct answers to our personal questions.
The Saturday evening women’s session was incredible. I went with some friends from our ward to Culvers first to chat and then to the stake center to watch the meeting. It was powerful and again an outpouring of answers.
During the two days of sessions, Andrew kept a steady stream of snacks going for all of us which was amazing. Big bowls of popcorn, lots of apples and asian pears, trail mix, and banana ice cream (my contribution) added to a cozy shared experience.
The kids made lots and lots of things out of clay. Emily spent the weekend making teapots, saucers, bowls, and I made cups to complete the set. She also made a wand which looks like a colorful mushroom circled by red ribbons. Towards the end of conference she started working on an elaborate boat filled with people. I asked her where she heard about wands before and she said it just came from her head. There was also a little bit of coloring going on.
The kids also played general conference during general conference. Emily made a podium that she would call Nathan up to to whisper talks in his ear, then send him back to be the listening audience.
Laura crawled around a lot and we held her a lot. It is fun to have an excuse to sit for hours and play with her.
Two of my big take-aways from the sessions that weren’t direct quotes:
- I don’t need more great ideas, I need God’s ideas (reference to my justification for too much time spent on social media)
- It isn’t about doing more or less, but about doing the right things with God.
We are going to discuss the answers to our family questions during Family Home Evening during the coming weeks.
I am so grateful for general conference!