Sunday, April 11, 2010

Barefoot at Conference

Thanks to Steve's family getting tickets and a well-timed spring break, Steve and I were able to go to General Conference on Saturday, April 3. We went with most of Steve's family to the Saturday afternoon session. The events leading up to conference were kind of strange honestly. We got downtown early so we could park and eat before going into the conference center. Unfortunately I had not thought about all the walking we would be doing when I packed for the trip and my feet were chewed up by my shoes before we ever got to the Conference Center. After we ate, we headed to the Conference Center and were not surprised to see masses of people there. What was really strange, was all the people outside with little signs they'd written begging for tickets! Especially since many of these people were begging for tickets hours before conference started, I couldn't help but wonder why they hadn't used the time to get in line for the stand-by seating which would have ensured they got in as they seated a lot of people this way.

Anyway, we got into the Conference Center and found our seats. The Bennett Clan took up most of a row and it was an amazing feeling to be in such a special place at such a special time with so many family members. It was an overwhelming feeling as the choir began the prelude music. The part of conference which will probably stick with me the most was the Spirit I felt testify of Thomas S. Monson as a true Prophet of God when he entered the room. Having never been to conference, I didn't know, but when he entered the room everyone stood and was silent. Even though people were still being seated in the balconies, all was quiet and reverent. As he entered you could feel the whole Spirit of the room change. It was an overpowering feeling and as per usual in such occasions, brought me to tears. After he motioned for us to sit, I watched him greet the Apostles and a few people in the crowd. You could not help but feel his goodness and love for those around him. Although President Monson never spoke while we were there, the confirmation of his calling will remain with me. I also LOVED Elder Holland's talk and the power, authority, and love you could feel in his words.

The not so spiritual side of the story, and the too much information part, was that I was frustrated soon after President Monson entered. I had dutifully gone to the bathroom after lunch and after finding our seats about a half hour before conference began. However, 10 minutes into conference, I learned that Little Girl Bennett was sitting extra low that day and had to leave. I got a lot of strange looks for leaving only 10 minutes into the session but luckily didn't miss any talks as they were sustaining all of the church leaders while I was gone. She allowed me to enjoy the rest of conference after that with only one more trip to the bathroom before we left the building.

After conference was over, we found band-aids for my feet, but only a few blocks of walking later, they were worthless. I walked on my toes shuffling my shoes, but eventually gave up. It had warmed up quite a bit after all the recent snow and was a nice spring day. My day brightened enormously as I walked barefoot through the streets of Salt Lake City to our car.

Afterward, we enjoyed a delicious dinner of prime rib with the family. We are so grateful to have been able to attend conference, especially with loved ones. Such experiences where the Spirit is so strong always bring Steve and I so much closer. Thank you Ray and Reva for a wonderful experience!

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