On Friday, Eileen called me and asked if I wanted to go to the General Relief Society Meeting (held once a year in the conference center in Salt Lake City). She had tickets and it turns out she had never been to a conference meeting live either so this was pretty special for both of us.
The closest I ever got was when I was in my first year of college. Christie, Shannon, and I had went up to temple square while the Priesthood session was going on. At this time, the conference center hadn't been built and so all the conferences were held in the tabernacle on Temple Square. I remember walking by, peeking in the door. President Monson (a counselor in the First Presidency at the time) was at the pulpit addressing those in attendance and those watching live throughout the world. Lots of lights were on him and he looked as if he glowed. He look like an angel.
Now all the conferences are held in the Conference Center. It is HUGE!
There are so many things that you just can't really appreciate watching on TV. The choir that was singing today (a young single female adults choir) was amazing. They sounded so beautiful. As I listened to them, I thought of how the Tabernacle Choir must sound in there. When you watch it on TV, it is impressive but I'm telling you, it is nothing like listening to a skillful choir in person in this conference center.
The other thing that was impressive was what was not seen on TV. Before the session started, President Monson walked on stage. Immediately, everyone stood up and was silent. Now, this is a HUGE room and to have that kind of silence just showed the type of respect that members of the church have towards their prophet. But the most impressive thing to me was when the conference ended. The prophet got up to leave and everyone just stayed there and waited for him to wave at us. It was so sweet to see all age types wait in anticipation for our beloved Prophet to say goodbye. No one moved.....again, this is a HUGE room which means that it is going to take quite sometime for everyone to get out of there and yet it was more important for us to watch our Prophet than to be the first ones out.
It was a wonderful experience. I was reminded of how important it is for women to be of service to others. That being a member of Christ's church just isn't enough. Action is required. But my favorite part was as I was listening to the Second Counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency talk to us. She spoke of trials and shared both personal as well as other people's experiences. As most women around me were sniffling and crying, I couldn't help but feel extremely blessed. Now, some of those women could have felt the Spirit and nothing more but I imagine that most of the women were crying because it hit home. Trials that come with doubts that our creator is near anymore are real and they are horrible to experience. I have been there and yet instead of those memories making me cry, I felt joy as I knew I am in a period of my life where there is peace. I am blessed. I feel it. I know it. And I am grateful.