While announcements about new temples, Church, and home-centered gospel study are exciting, the most thrilling part of this past general conference weekend for me was listening to the men and women Heavenly Father has chosen to lead His Church today. It was painstakingly clear to me that each person who stood at the pulpit relied on revelation and their Savior to be able to say the words we needed to hear at this time we need them more than ever.
Among the stories, songs, memories, and moments we shared this weekend, here are some of the most touching.
1. When Elder Holland grabbed President Ballard's arm during the first session of conference.
Image from Twitter
From President Eyring's introduction to conference to the closing session, many Church leaders shared beautiful tributes to Sister Barbara Ballard, who was a fearless and devoted disciple of Christ.
2. The reactions to the 12 new temples to be built across the world.
It's rare to hear uninhibited shouts and cheers in the Conference Center, but that's what happened during President Nelson's closing remarks on Sunday when he announced 12 new temples, the most announced at one time. The joy and excitement could not be contained as people learned about temples soon to be built near their homes.
3. Listening to the Tabernacle Choir on Temple Square and seeing the emotion they put behind the music.
Image a screenshot from general conference
Shortly before our prophet spoke on Sunday morning, the Tabernacle Choir sang a moving and unique song. As the camera zoomed to a close-up shot of a sister with tears streaming down her face, we all suddenly understood how much time, emotion, power, and spirit each member of the choir puts into the sacred music of conference.
4. When President Ballard spoke about Sister Barbara Ballard.
“My talk was prepared some time before the passing of my dear wife Barbara. My family and I thank you for your love and outreach and kindness,” President Ballard said before giving a powerful witness of the spirit world and life after death. “How grateful I am today, my brothers and sisters to know where my precious Barbara is and that we will be together again with our family for all eternity,” President Ballard said. “May the peace of the Lord sustain all of us, now and forever is my humble prayer.”
5. When Sister Bonnie Cordon spoke of the little boy who wanted to be mentioned in conference.
Sister Cordon began her conference talk, "A year ago, a Primary child I met in Chile brought a smile to my face. 'Hello,' he said. 'I am David. Will you talk about me in general conference?'"
While she pondered David's unexpected greeting, she realized a profound truth: "We all want to be recognized. We want to matter, to be remembered, and to feel loved. Sisters and brothers, each of you matter. . . . The Savior knows and loves you."
6. President Eyring and other Church leaders' touching tributes to their wives.
"Over a lifetime, my wife has spoken for the Lord and served people for Him. One of our bishops once said to me, 'I’m amazed. Every time I hear of a person in the ward who is in trouble, I hurry to help. Yet by the time I arrive, it seems that your wife has always already been there.' That has been true in all the places we have lived for 56 years," President Eyring said over the pulpit. He continued:
"Now she can speak only a few words a day. She is visited by people she loved for the Lord. Every night and morning I sing hymns with her and we pray. I have to be voice in the prayers. Sometimes I can see her mouthing the words to the hymns. She prefers children’s songs. The sentiment she seems to like best is summarized in the song 'I’m Trying to Be like Jesus.'
"The other day, after singing the words of the chorus: 'Love one another as Jesus loves you. Try to show kindness in all that you do,' she said softly but clearly, 'Try, try, try.' I think that she will find, when she sees Him, that our Savior has put His name into her heart and that she has become like Him. He is carrying her through her troubles now, as He will carry you through yours."
Like President Eyring, many of our Church leaders shared lovely memories and mentions of their wives. What an example of devoting our lives and energies to our families.
Photo by Jeffred D. Allred, Deseret News.
Lead image from Twitter