It's funny how we change our attitudes toward it as we grow up. As a child, and a part of the one of the only families in the U.S. of A. who did not have cable television, my family and I always made the trip up to the Independence Stake Center to watch conference. My mom would pack a picnic lunch to eat in between sessions. I thought that was the best part. The hours spent during the actual sessions of conference consisted of trying to get out of watching conference. I would draw pictures of the speakers, walk up and down our pew (or worse, the silver fold-up chairs--ouch for the bumster!), try to locate snacks, and take my younger brother, Mark, on walks. Every kid in our family asked to take Mark on "walks" around the Independence Stake Center up to the time he was 12.
Now I look forward to conference. It is a supreme combination of uplifting messages plus kicking-my-bum-into-gear that I often need. Of course, now we have June to watch it with us. That means it's payback time. While I tortured my parents through conference, now I get to be tortured as I try to glean anything from the words of the prophets while being poked, bitten, jabbed, crawled on and climbed under.
Despite some distractions, I felt my prayers answered in a couple of ways I feel the need to share. Thank you for indulging me.
1. The doctrine on the family. Let's be honest; this is a tough one. Even though I have a testimony of the church and gospel, it is still really hard to reconcile all of my feelings on this from time to time. I have good friends who are gay, inside and outside of the Church. I feel like I have heard arguments all across the spectrum, and everyone has a good point or two.
So lately, I have felt myself pleading with the Lord to understand more about this issue. To be stronger in my testimony of the family. To maintain all of my friendships. To have the courage to voice my opinion. And to do so with love for all of my fellow man. To live my life full of faith, not fear.
All during Conference, I felt the Spirit testifying to me time and time again that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. I know that's true and that it's worth fighting for.
I have also had words of a talk by Elder Quentin R. Cook of the Twelve going on in my mind--
Let me be clear that all voices need to be heard in the public square. Neither religious nor secular voices should be silenced. Furthermore, we should not expect that because some of our views emanate from religious principles, they will automatically be accepted or given preferential status. But it is also clear such views and values are entitled to be reviewed on their merits. (October 2010 General Conference)
I need not be afraid to express my view in the public square. Also, I need not be afraid to let others, though they disagree with me, voice their opinions in the public square. And, at the end of the day and conclusion of our discussions, I hope to be still considered a friend to all. I want all people to feel welcome in my home and a part of my life. For I consider all I engage with to be my brothers and sisters whom I love very much.
2. Motherhood. Going along with the doctrine on the family, I have needed some reminding on the importance of motherhood. Sometimes I fall into the trap of feeling like being a mother isn't a valid use of time. I feel like less because I don't have a career.
How wrong it is to think that way!
Now, please don't misunderstand me. Everyone is different. Lots of moms work because they need/want to, and that's great. I work from home. Sometimes it's a nice mental break from "Did Junie make a poopy?" and sometimes I hate it because I feel like it's hard to focus on work and June. I'm not trying to make a statement here about how other women should be mothers.
But I have been needing to understand myself that motherhood is enough. Not only enough, but the most important thing I can be doing with my time. That mothers save the world by teaching their children the Gospel. That mothers make all of the difference in the life of a child.
Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts. If you would like to read/watch the LDS Conference and don't know where to go, please visit http://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2013/04?lang=eng.