Today would have been my good friend Enrico’s 67th birthday. I think he would have taken great delight in having General Conference on his birthday.
Before conference started, we met with a BBQ company about vending food at our July 20th Art in the Yard Sale. As the owner reviewed the menu, I started getting hungry. They are going to be a great asset to our Art in the Yard Sale.
During the first session of conference, three important points were brought forth. Before I reiterate them, I want to say what my mission president taught us. He said the first session of conference is to the world, not just members of the church. Since learning that, I’ve noticed the first session always has messages that are farther reaching than just Latter-day Saints.
The three important were 1) God has ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman and that any sexual activity outside that union is sinful, 2) we are taught to be tolerant and accepting of others, but not of sin, 3) women play a great role in the gospel and the only path for a man to return to our heavenly father involves his wife. These teachings were further strengthened in the second session.
Between sessions I prepared white bean chili and corn bread to take to the priesthood dinner. As soon as the second session was over, I grabbed the corn bread and chili and made my way to the chapel.
The dinner seemed scarcely attended compared to previous years. I enjoyed the company of my friends as we sampled all sorts of chili. At the end, we had quite a bit left over.
During the priesthood session, I looked at my watch. It was 8:50pm EDT as the congregation sang Hope of Israel. We were not in the Conference Center where some 21,000 men sang this hymn; there was less than 100 of us. Yet, around the world, there were hundreds of thousands men singing in unison. Perhaps, there were even a few million. I don’t know the exact count. I do know how it made me feel as we sang,
Soon the battle will be over;
Ev’ry foe of truth be down.
Onward, onward, youth of Zion;
Thy reward the victor’s crown.
It came as a calming feeling that God is in control, that the evil of this world will be defeated, and soon, whether in this life or the next, we will reach the victor’s crown.
(follow this link to download the MP3 and hear the hymn as sung at conference: http://media2.ldscdn.org/assets/general-conference/april-2013-general-conference/2013-04-3031-hope-of-israel-256k-eng.mp3?download=true )