Yes, yes, I’m late. General Conference was months ago. But I ALWAYS write about GC and this was a bit one so here we go.
Sadly, we have no Lego photos and no crepe photos and really just not many photos. It was our quietest conference ever with only five of us at home, Hans in a wheelchair and everyone just so sleepy.
But it was definitely an exciting conference. For my friends who aren’t members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, here’s a list of just of the few major changes at conference and in the months since:
- Two hour church! We’re switching from the three-hour schedule to just two hours on Sunday. It’s officially called Home Centered Church which means we focus more on learning at home. It’s brilliant. I wrote about it on Segullah.
- We’re not calling ourselves Mormon anymore. We’re members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Church of Jesus Christ or The Restored Church of Jesus Christ. It’s a mouthful and hard to get used to, but we’re working on it. After decades of being frustrated with the nickname ‘Mormon’ the church decided to embrace it and created mormon.org, mormonnewsroom.org, the ‘I’m a Mormon’ campaign, etc. But now we’re going back to the true name of the church and most importantly, the name of Christ. We’re not militant about it and we won’t be offended if you still call us Mormons. Every the Mormon Tabernacle Choir changed their name to the Choir at Temple Square. It took all of five minutes before we all dubbed them the Tab Cats.
- The recommendation process for young missionaries have changed and service missions are available to anyone who can’t serve the traditional 18 month/2 year mission. It’s a very cool and much needed change. I also wrote about that on Segullah.
- Major adjustments to the temple ceremony. I can’t say much, but the endowment sessions are shorter and the prayers of thousands of women have been answered.
- I’ll admit, the age changes for youth progression and ordination threw me for a bit of a loop. Now kids move up a class at the beginning of the year rather than their birthday (which means a barely 11 year old can go to the temple and pass the sacrament). I thought Mary would be in an awkward position because of her January birthday. And I’d truly believed 12 and 16 were sacred ages. I taught my kids about Christ going to the temple at the age of twelve. I taught my boys there was special significance about blessing the sacrament at the same age they could date– about the importance of having clean hands and a pure heart. With these changes, I had to adjust what I thought was true. It took me a day or so to process it, but now I see it as a tremendous blessing and Mary is just fine.
There have been twenty-three, TWENTY-THREE, major changes in the church since August. We’re all in a bit of a whirlwind.
But there’s still the constancy of God in His Heaven, our safety in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and our trust in our prophets and leaders. Over and over I’ve been amazed at their wisdom. I admit, I would love to be on the planning committee for many of these changes (especially the new youth program which will roll out in 2020), but over and over I realize the people at the top have thought of EVERYTHING. They don’t need me or my ideas. It’s amazing how many of these changes are things I’ve thought of but never voiced. I imagine many people feel the same.
So, our sleepy conference was actually a whirlwind of change. I imagine April General Conference will be equally exciting (and we’re halfway there). We’ll greet it the same way we always have– Lego on the floor, long walks and loud discussions between sessions, naps on the couch, crêpes on Sunday morning and gratitude for living prophets.
Favorite talks that had little or nothing to do with changes in the church:
Elder Jeffrey Holland The Ministry of Reconciliation
Elder Ulisses Soares One in Christ