Choosing Conference

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“Choosing Conference,” Friend, Mar. 2012, 28–29

Choosing Conference

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth (Articles of Faith 1:6).

“Hooray! No more school until Monday!” Jennifer said as the bus pulled up to her stop.

“I’m glad too,” Katie said.

Jennifer and Katie stepped off the bus.

“Want to come over and play tomorrow? ” Katie asked.

“Thanks, but I can’t,” Jennifer said. “We have general conference tomorrow.”

“What’s that?” Katie asked.

“Well, it’s for our church,” Jennifer said. “Twice a year we listen to talks from our Church leaders—the prophets and apostles.”

“You mean a bunch of sermons?” Katie asked.

“Kind of,” Jennifer said. “But we can watch it on TV.”

“Sounds boring,” Katie said. “And it’s all day?”

“It’s not too bad, but if I can get off early I’ll call you,” Jennifer said.

“OK. See you!” Katie waved as she walked to her house.

Mom and Dad asked Jennifer and her siblings to set a goal to watch at least one full session of general conference a day. If Jennifer watched Saturday morning, then maybe she and Katie could work on their playhouse in the afternoon.

The next morning, Jennifer awoke to the smell of warm cinnamon rolls. She heard the Conference Center organ prelude music coming from the living room. She went to the kitchen to help Mom move the cinnamon rolls from the baking sheet to the plate.

“Mom, after I watch the first session this morning, can I play with Katie this afternoon?” Jennifer asked.

Mom smiled. “Well, general conference is really important, and it only happens twice a year,” Mom said. “But after you watch the first session, you may decide for yourself what to do with the rest of your day.”

“OK,” Jennifer agreed.

“You might want to pay close attention too,” Mom added. “Katie might have some questions.”

As the session started, Jennifer caught herself daydreaming about playing with Katie. Then she remembered what Mom had said. Maybe she would learn something from conference that she could share with Katie. Maybe she could even explain to her why general conference really wasn’t boring at all.

Jennifer started paying closer attention. She liked listening to the choir sing and watching as the camera scanned the faces of the singers. She liked listening to the speakers too. Although she didn’t understand all of the talks, she liked it when she could recognize her favorite scripture stories or when the Apostles told stories about their own lives. Jennifer especially loved seeing the kind face of the prophet and listening to him speak lovingly of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Just like going to church, listening to general conference gave Jennifer a warm, peaceful feeling inside.

After lunch, Dad turned on the TV for the afternoon session, and Jennifer followed Mom back into the living room.

“Have you decided what you are going to do?” Mom asked.

Jennifer nestled into the couch. “I think I’ll just listen to conference some more,” she said. “I can play with Katie next Saturday. And, after all, conference only comes twice a year.”

Jennifer wants to play with Katie, but is it the best time?

Illustration by David Habben

I’m excited to listen to conference!