After all the hard work and long nights of studying, your graduate deserves a gift that they will cherish for years to come. Check out some of our top picks here!
Whatever You Choose To Be
For today’s young adults, the possibilities and opportunities are exhilarating and limitless. But sometimes it's confusing with no clear-cut paths for major life choices after earning a degree. In this new gift book, inspired by a commencement speech she gave in 2014, Ann Romney puts forth eight key life lessons, the pieces of advice she wishes someone had given her when she graduated college.
Even though conference is over, we don’t want to forget all the wonderful words of wisdom and counsel we received. Here are some ideas to keep the words of the prophets fresh in our minds all year round.
Every six months, we have the opportunity to tune in to new sessions of general conference where we can receive powerful inspiration and counsel from our church leaders. As amazing as that opportunity is, we sometimes neglect to revisit conference talks after the weekend is over, never taking full advantage of all they have to offer. When we do this, we are missing out. Here are 25 suggestions for making the most of general conference, allowing it to power our lives every month, week, and even day, of the year:
1. Seek spiritual nourishment on the commute to work and/or school. Listening to one or two conference talks en route can make the commute more uplifting and less stressful, but also give a clearer sense of priorities and greater spiritual power as we navigate our days.
2. Create a spiritual road map while on a road trip. Before heading cross country, choose some conference talks to listen to on the drive. If you have kids, invite them to help choose which talks you listen to. Share the analogy that just as a road map or a GPS can help us get where we want to go, listening to the inspired words of our Church leaders can help us go where we want to go in this life and the next.
3. Get spiritually fit while getting physically fit. Whether walking, running, or lifting weights, tune in to a conference talk while you exercise. If you usually listen to music while working out, try a 10-minute conference talk before turning on the music. Even those few minutes can provide a beneficial spiritual booster shot.
While attending the Saturday afternoon session of general conference in the Conference Center, I witnessed the unusual event of several people publicly giving a dissenting vote when asked to sustain our leaders. It was uncomfortable. Many were shocked and confused. But for me, it ended up being one of the more spiritual experiences of my adult conference-watching life.
Photo from lds.org
Thanks to my job, I am pretty plugged into LDS happenings. I was well aware of the strong possibility that a group of people were attending the afternoon session of conference with the express purpose to give an opposing vote. I watched with trepidation as President Uchtdorf began to read the names of the First Presidency, not sure if or how things would play out.
The first round of "opposeds" were not made up of a large number of people--to me it sounded like around 10 (although I acknowledge I could be off on that count)--but the sounds of the few resonated loudly in my ears. I heard mostly male voices, but at least one of them was a woman.
I was sitting next to my 12-year-old niece who immediately looked up at me in confusion. The opposed votes happened several times, although after the first couple times the number of voices reduced.
As much as we study Christ’s Atonement, we can never comprehend it entirely. But as we try to understand what it is—and isn’t—we can come to understand how it applies more fully in our everyday lives.
All my life I thought Big Ben was a famous clock tower in London. I was absolutely sure of it and had even taught that fact to others. Then I went to London and found out that Big Ben is actually the nickname of the largest bell inside the tower, which is now called the Elizabeth Tower in honor of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. And if we are going to get picky, it’s not even officially in London, but rather in Westminster. In that moment, the bell and the tower had not changed, but my understanding certainly did.
In the same way, we sometimes go through our entire lives thinking we understand the Atonement—the central doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and then suddenly we have an experience that helps us see it in a new light. The doctrine has not changed, but our understanding has deepened. These moments of insight help us appreciate and value the Atonement more and more. Here are a few “Big Ben” realizations about the Atonement that have made a difference to me:
1. The Atonement is not just about immortality and eternal life but about not having one without the other.
Living forever may not be such a great gift without the possibility of living with God and loved ones. When my daughter Whitney was in elementary school, she read Tuck Everlasting—a wonderful novel that tells the story of a fictional family finding the fountain of youth, drinking, and then discovering that living forever is not all it’s cracked up to be.
There are some talks that have been given by general authorities that are simply classics. But most of them were spoken over 20 years ago—long before live-tweeting and Facebook memes. So what would these talks sound like on Twitter today? Check out these landmark talks summarized in a 140-character (or fewer) tweet.
1. "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane" by Elder Bruce R. McConkie
2. "Stand Strong Against the Wiles of the World" by Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley
3. "Forget Me Not" by Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf