Link to apostle's admonition about the upcoming conference.
What I'm hoping is that you will ponder with me for a moment about the space of time following the final "amen" of a conference session. Be it the end of the women's conference, the first session on saturday, or the last session on Sunday. How are we behaving immediately after these sessions. What are our actions as we leave the conference center.
Look at all those thousands of people. Just look at them! You are sitting there thinking, "Oh man, traffic is going to be a nightmare after this!" or "My son keeps whispering to me how he's 'starving'. By the time I get to my reservation at applebees they better seat us immediately!"
Perhaps it would do us well to analyze these thoughts and how we may then act 'less than Christlike' as we leave the conference center if we are feeling anxious about food or travel.
But, what is that showing about the church?
Did those last two, four or six hours of conference give us a way to rise above these human, natural tendencies? Well, if the answer is yes then I would invite us all to behave accordingly. The reasons are one: #1 You are a disciple of Jesus Christ. #2. People are watching you.
Let's look at this from another perspective. Imagine, I am a waitress named Jessica, at a restaurant near the conference center. I am a non-denominational Christian. My co-worker, Linda, who is a lesbian and Catholic, turns to me and says, "So, remember it's conference in 3 days!" with an exasperated sigh. I, Jesicca, am suddenly filled with anxiety, "Oh no! Those crazy mormons are always so demanding. You know last time I was waiting a table of mormons after conference. They came in all fancy, with their nice clothes on, and I swear they think that because they came to this 'convention thing', they are something extra special. This family made reservations but we were backed up and they had to wait a half hour. The dad was complaining to me for a solid 10 minutes about how they should have a table since they made reservations."
There are non-members all over Salt Lake. As much as we may wish to believe that Salt Lake City is the mecca of mormons, and that we are all of one mind and one heart, this is not so. But I will tell you one thing, everyone in Salt Lake city, whether religious, atheist, gay, lesbian, or whatever walk of life they are in, all want to be loved. All people have an innate desire for care, patience and understanding. Is this not what our prophets are telling us to have more of?
I believe it is extremely important that we watch our actions. Always remember who we are and live as examples. There is something different, however, about this special time of conference. Those who are not LDS know who the LDS people are. The LDS people come in armies and throngs on a specific weekend, every six months. They wear suits and ties, dresses and skirts. Many times, all these non-members know about mormons is how they act after conference. That is it! Think of the impact of the short interactions we have with all those around us who just so happen to know one thing about us, that we are mormon! Are we reflecting what we are really about? Are we showing them evidence of the things we were just taught by our actions, which is Christ-like love, having an eye single to the Glory of God, patience and understanding for all mankind, and service?
Some applicable words by President Thomas S. Monson, the prophet of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints. "Paul's words are applicable to each of us: "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. .. Neglect not the gift that is in thee. .. Meditate upon these things."
If you are not Mormon and are reading this message, I hope you will have patience with us mormons. Know that we truly are trying to do our best. We may say some things or do some things that don't reflect our beliefs perfectly, and I ask for your forgiveness in that. I pray that you may be able to look past what faults we may have and come and see for yourself what this 'convention' is really about. In all truthfulness, the messages that are shared are incredible and inspired. The kind of messages that bring peace and a sense of wholeness and love. They are messages with the ultimate goal of bringing 'souls unto Christ.'
Comment. Follow. Ask questions. Smile. :) If you wish.