Sunday, April 1, 2012

General Conference Book Club: Week 1

Well, that’s it! What a great conference!

Image Credit: opencontent

The 182nd Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has come to a close. I feel so inspired! Sometime I wish it could go on and on. It’s a great excuse to be able to neglect all your worldly responsibilities and bask in the Spirit for 8 hours almost consecutively. I get that feeling sometimes when I am in the temple – you know, that “I almost wish I didn’t have kids at home who needed to be fed so I could just stay in the temple all day long.(but I do love my kids and I am grateful for them!)

But hey, that’s what General Conference Book Club is here for!

If this is your first time checking out General Conference Book Club, the goal is to read one General Conference talk (sometimes two) each week and then discuss the talk in an online book club format here on this blog.

A new talk will be posted each week on Sunday, but for this first week we’ll just share our general impressions of conference – your favorite talks, stories, music. We’ll start next week diving into the talks once they are posted online later this week.

For those of you who have been around GCBC for a while, do you prefer that we do the talks chronologically, or would you like to do them randomly, vote on the next one each week, etc? Include any preferences you have in the comments so I can see if there is a general consensus as to how we proceed with order.

I had the opportunity to “tweet” General Conference with A Well Behaved Mormon Woman (LDSNana aka Kathryn Skaggs) and others in the #TwitterStake. It was a really great opportunity. I was skeptical at first because I like taking traditional notes, but I found that I was more alert through conference and I paid attention more (and I didn’t fall asleep at all! Which is big – I always doze during at least one or two speakers… I know, shame on me…) and I felt like I thought more about what was going on. I also had the opportunity to respond to a few people asking questions about the Church! All in all it was a great experience (although clearly not everyone’s cup o’ cocoa!).

How did you take notes during General Conference? How are you going to share the messages you heard from living prophets?

A few things to get us talking this session:

1.) What were the “themes” that stood out to you this conference? (even though there are not “official” themes) What topics or principles or doctrines were repeated throughout the sessions of conference?

2.) What was your favorite talk? What principles of the talk stood out to you? Were there favorite quotes or stories?

3.) What was your favorite hymn sung? (either congregational or from a choir)

Share your comments below (be sure to use the “reply” feature to reply to each other! Let’s really make this a discussion!)

Thanks for participating in GCBC Week 1!!

Don’t forget to grab the GCBC button on the About GCBC page.

44 comments:

  1. I have always lived Come thou font of every blessing. Beautiful hymn. Wish they would put it back in the hymn book.

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    1. Some of us are wondering when the Church is going to publish a new hymn book and add it back in. I think we should start a writing campaign to ask the Church to put it back :D

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    2. I love it too, I wonder if there is some sort of copyright issue with it? Who knows?

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  2. The theme that stood out for me the most was: Forgiveness
    My favorite speakers were: Elder Holland, Elder Bednar(Priesthood Session), President Uchdorft(both Priesthood and Sunday Morning)
    My favorite hymn: Come Thou Font of Every Blessing

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  3. 1. I saw so much about family and keeping priorities in order. Also a theme of forgiveness and not holding grudges.
    2. Favorite talks for me were Elder Holland's because I just love everything he says, and Elder Ballard who finally came through in the last session to help me get the answer to a question that I was really pleading for.
    3. And Come Thou Fount brought me to tears. That arrangement has done that to me often. So beautiful.

    I vote to just go in chronological order because it's easy to know what's next and keep up, but I'm game for whatever you choose.

    Yay for GCBC! Thank you for doing this. :)

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    1. Stephanie - I noticed the theme about being family-centric, too. This was something I have been pondering - isn't it amazing how even though conference is 'general', it always seems to be taylor made?

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  4. First of all, Hi! Thanks for hosting!!

    Now. Questions from Week 1.
    1.) The theme that I came away with was that we need to focus on ordinances and covenants for additional strength, whether that's in our parenting, to forgive others, etc.

    2.) You know, I was really touched by Elder Koelliker's talk to single parents. Even though I'm not a single parent, I just really felt the spirit of the message he was trying to convey. Loved Elder Oaks' talk on the Law of Sacrifice; for some reason his adding "The Law of Service" helped that to make more sense to me. And favorite quote? Probably President Kimball's quote from President Eyring "Give me these mountains..."

    3.) I have to agree that they knocked it out of the ballpark with "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing." I love it when they do that. But the missionary choir singing "Called to Serve" made me a little teary-eyed. That was my anthem once too, and there's just nothing like a group of missionaries singing. :)

    Preference? I like chronological. I have a hard time always keeping up, so it's easier for me to read along that way, even if I don't have time to get on and comment.
    Thanks!!!

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  5. Yay for conference! I'm not great at keeping up with GCBC but I'll participate as often as I can. In order is probably easiest to keep track of but I'll just check here anyway, so whatever is posted is what I'll study!

    Themes that stood out to me:
    Children and families
    2 Nephi 25:26 was in both Quentin L Cook and Brother Evans talks.
    Doctrine and revelation.

    My favorite talk is hard to choose... I'll say for the moment it is a toss up between Quentin L Cook's in Saturday Afternoon's session and Elder Rasband's in Sunday Morning's session. I got answers in both of those sessions.

    I've blogged my notes for each session already so I'll share those links too:
    First session: http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/03/general-conference-session-one.html

    Second Session: http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/03/general-conference-session-two.html

    Third Session: http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/04/general-conference-third-session.html

    Fourth Session: http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/04/general-conferencelast-session-april.html

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  6. I loved conference. Theme? Parent and family stuff was the theme that stood out to me the most probably. Favorite talk? There were so many good ones! Probably Elder Holland's be kind and be glad that God is kind discussion of the parable. I really enjoyed it. Favorite hymn. Well - Come thou Fount was gorgeous. But I love How Firm a Foundation and singing that and Hail to the Prophet with my kids was awesome. My oldest son was really into the sing along hymns this time and so that was awesome.

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    1. I had never looked at the parable of the laborers from the point of view of the last laborers and generosity. When I was younger, I used to envy those who found the gospel later in life because they got a clean slate and I had to work harder (or so I thought) to overcome my issues and repent. I kind of resented them rather than welcome them with an open heart. Obviously I didn't understand the Atonement or sacrament very well. It was a great reminder that we can be excited about other people's blessings and successes without taking away anything from our lives. As a matter of fact, if we are NOT happy for them but resentful, that is what takes away from our lives and our spirits.

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    2. I really enjoyed that parable as well, my favorite quote was "dont be upset because Im being kind (I dont have my notes on me so I imagine I butchered that quote). How true it is that occasionally we become angry when the Lord sees fit to bless one of our brothers or sisters with something we feel we deserve. It reminded me to be more grateful for what the Lord has blessed me with as well as rejoice that a brother or sister has found mercy and love with the Lord!

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  7. The only session I was able to hear in entirety was Saturday Morning and I recieved so many answeres to prayers in that session. I am looking forward to reading and studying the whole conference.
    1) The themes that stood out to me were making family a priority and focusing on the gospel vs. programs.
    2) My favorite talks (I can't choose just ONE) were Elder Packer's and Elder Oaks'. I felt like they were speaking directly to me.
    3) I love it when they sing primary songs. I really liked "Love is spoken here."

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  8. I think this was the first conference that I actually listened to all 4 sessions completely live, not recorded and viewed later when I wouldn't be distracted and it was great.
    I have grown to love to hear Elder Holland he always has such powerful talks. I loved the quote "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you" by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.
    I have to say I loved hearing the Missionaries sing "Called to Serve"
    I am looking forward to using this as a tool to study the conference talks for the next six months. I need to follow the words that were given to "ponder the truths you have heard"
    Deb

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  9. Loved President Uchtdorf's Sunday morning talk. I was also very touched by Elder Rasband's talk about his daughter and his grandson.

    I loved all the music.

    Judy

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  10. I went into this General Conference with some very specific questions and concerns and I heard exactly what I needed to hear. There was no single talk that I loved more than another, but an overwhelming feeling that my Heavenly Father knows me, loves me, and is tutoring me through this life experience with the help of his chosen servants. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and inspired leaders! I was truly sad that conference was over when Pres. Monson concluded his farewell remarks.

    There were some great quotes - a few already mentioned, plus the "print shop explosion" and "asking a drowning person if they need help". Thank you to "and spiritually speaking" for already making some of them cute for us over here - http://spirituallythinking.blogspot.com/2012/04/general-conference-printables-april.html

    I am a rather random person, so I would prefer to be surprised with the talk selection each week. Thanks for hosting this book club. It really helps me faithfully read. I'm excited to start studying and I'm going to work harder on commenting this time around. I love reading all the comments each week.

    Also, I can't get the GCBC button to work on my blog. Any suggestions?

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    1. hmmmm... I tried out the code from the "About GCBC" page and it seems to work fine. Make sure you're copying all the code from the box. If you need more help, email me at mysouldelighteth (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll be happy to help more!

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    2. I tried it again today and it worked fine. Thanks!

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    3. glad you got it to work!

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  11. So I LOVED conference despite the rowdy kids at home despite my plans of activities.

    Preference? I would say chronological it is easiest to keep track of and follow along.

    How did I take my notes? On a printable packet from theredheadedhostess.com I used it last conference as well and made studying and applying so much easier for me. How do I plan on sharing what i learned with others well first my wheels are already turning of ways of presenting their words to my young ones so they are able to understand. I also plan on using their words to help me answer the questions that I receive from non member. I also use the words spoken in my lessons that I teach in relief society. It is such a blessing to have living prophets and modern revelation and as I do those things above I find more and more ways of relating and applying the words into my day to day life.

    1. The themes I noticed was Family was defiantly number one with prayer, forgiveness and gratitude.

    2. My favorite talks were President Uchtdorf, Richard G Scott, Jeffrey R. Holland and Neil L. Anderson's talks. But despite having crazy kids and missing a lot of what was said I was able to gain something from every single talk that was given.

    3. My favorite song was defiantly Come thou fount.

    I look forward to studying with you guys weekly.

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  12. I loved Priesthood Session and the emphasis on having power in the Priesthood and not just the authority. I think sometimes we don't realize the actual power we possess as Priesthood holders. Elder Bednar had a great quote, "Men who bear God's holy priesthood should be different from other men. Men who hold the priesthood are not inherently better than other men but they should act differently. They should become worthy and faithful conduits of God's power."

    Can't wait to dive into to these messages in more depth.

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    1. Thanks for your comments about Priesthood session! I haven't listened to the talks yet, but I am excited to!

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  13. I love having the talks in order, it helps me better follow along. As mentioned above, my all time favorite line was "don't judge me because I sin differently then you." I also loved hearing that Pres. Monson says to his daughter upon her arrival, "look who is here. And aren't we glad. And isn't she beautiful." Very touching... The themes I heard were 1. Parenting and family obligation and responsibility, and 2. Don't judge. Great talks, looking forward to this next 6 months of discussion.

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    1. I loved that about President Monson as well. It really made me think about how I welcome my children when they come home - too often it is with "Pick up your backpack; don't dump your stuff there; get your chores done." I need to make sure that I first make them feel loved and welcomed and then move on to other things!

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    2. Wow. I read Pam's comments and then read Katrina's comments and didn't really even notice what I was reading until "make them feel welcome" and it hit me.....I went back and reread both comments. How I could miss such an important message the first time?!?! I was able to watch one session of conference this year but I find it interesting that the very subject I have been praying about keeps getting answered and I'm not listening. I have a daughter who seems to be disappearing. I have prayed on how to reach her...and then life continues as usual. I look forward to studying conference this year and reading your comments. Hopefully it will give me the push to get out of the rutt I seem to be in and ACT for a change. Thank you!!!

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  14. I also loved to sit and bask in the conference spiritual light! For me, the themes seemed to be about families and relationships, forgiveness, and staying close to the spirit. I had kiddos running around and had a few interruptions, so I'm looking forward to studying each talk! As far as favorites, I loved Eyring's - it was so heartfelt. The songs were all beautiful, but there is something about missionaries singing that brings the spirit - their motivation to share the gospel and their testimonies are so bright. As far as picking talks, I like to do things randomly, but either way works for me.

    Julie

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  15. What a great Conference!! I am excited to study the talks and review my notes! What a great way to refill my cup, and it was needed!! I took notes in a notebook that I keep with me for all meetings. In the past, I have printed out packets for my kids, but everyone except the youngest (4yo twin boys) had their own notebooks this year. No bingo, no coloring - just listening to the Spirit. At first my 8yo son was complaining because he couldn't write fast enough, and he wasn't used to taking notes. But he got the hang of it - picking out the important stuff - and took 10 pages of notes on Sunday alone!
    I would prefer to go through the talks chronologically. I think it makes it easier to follow along and jump back in if I miss a week.
    Anyway, on to the questions:
    1. Themes I noticed were prioritizing our time and energy, focus on the family, and love everyone around you without judging.
    2. Favorite talks: Elder Holland, Pres. Eyring, Pres. Uchtdorf, Elder Ballard, and I enjoyed Elder Hallstrom's talk about the gospel versus the Church. It was a reminder to me that we can be active in the Church but not truly be active in the gospel. I also loved Elder Wilson's talk about parenting and unrighteous dominion. "Wise parents prepare their children to get along without them." From Pres. Eyring: Acting on a twig of faith allows God to grow it. From Elder Holland: We are in a race with sin, not with other people. Pres. Uchtdorf: Don't judge me because I sin differently than you. If we fill our hearts with the love of God, there will be no room for hatred, resentment, or bitterness.
    3. I loved all the music, but I must agree that "Come Thou Fount" is one of my favorites. I also really enjoyed the closing song on Sunday afternoon - an arrangement of "I Need Thee Every Hour". The harmonies were simply beautiful!
    There's my novel! So excited for this!

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  16. Hmm, weird, I posted my thoughts yesterday and they've disappeared from the comments. Oh well!
    In a nutshell I loved conference, my favorite speakers were Quentin L. Cook and Elder Rasband, and I blogged all my notes for each session on my blog ( www.ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com ) as well as how we made it through all 8 hours with the 7 kiddos. Looking forward to GCBC!

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    1. Hmm that is really weird that your comment disappeared. Well, I have proof it was there at one point because the comments are sent to my email. So here it is. Not sure why it disappeared...

      (This was Tristan's original comment):

      Yay for conference! I'm not great at keeping up with GCBC but I'll participate as often as I can. In order is probably easiest to keep track of but I'll just check here anyway, so whatever is posted is what I'll study!

      Themes that stood out to me:
      Children and families
      2 Nephi 25:26 was in both Quentin L Cook and Brother Evans talks.
      Doctrine and revelation.

      My favorite talk is hard to choose... I'll say for the moment it is a toss up between Quentin L Cook's in Saturday Afternoon's session and Elder Rasband's in Sunday Morning's session. I got answers in both of those sessions.

      I've blogged my notes for each session already so I'll share those links too:
      First session: http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/03/general-conference-session-one.html

      Second Session: http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/03/general-conference-session-two.html

      Third Session: http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/04/general-conference-third-session.html

      Fourth Session: http://ourbusyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/04/general-conferencelast-session-april.html

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    2. Thanks Becca- I almost thought I imagined pushing publish on the original comment...LOL!

      I'm loving coming back to read people's comments! It seems everyone came away with something and that Come Thou Fount was a favorite song all around.

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  17. Favorite Talk:
    President Uchtdorf: "When it comes to gossiping, ignoring, holding grudges—please apply the following: Stop it!”
    and
    Elder Holland about the laborers in the vineyard. Why do we get so jealous of others?

    Favorite Song - Come Thou Fount and Come Unto Jesus

    Please keep the talks in order.

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  18. This was my first time listening to Conference with specific questions in mind and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they were all answered. I loved all of the talks on parenting and forgiveness. Elder Holland and Pres. Uchtdorf were some of my favorites (as always). I loved the advice to "Stop it!" and that is going to be my new mental catch-phrase when I find myself being negative or judgmental. My most favorite talk was Elder Baxter's. As a single mother, he spoke right to my heart. It was so nice to feel like I am not forgotten in the body of the Church and to see that we can still thrive even though our circumstances may not be the ideal.

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  19. The themes that stood out to me were (1) first and foremost Family (2) second Revelation and (3) covenants and be kind and loving.

    One of my favorite talks - well I really had so many I liked so much and that stood out to me, so I don't really have a favorite, but Elder Ballard's talk about the family was so amazing.
    he said he didn't give all the statistics that he mentioned to boast, but to show that life is better as a family.
    Elder Evans based his talk around one of my favorite scriptures "we teach of Christ" and the thing he said that stood out most to me was "never delay on a prompting".
    Sister Esplin's talk about teaching children to understand the doctrine and to teach in the moment - something that I really need to do more often.
    Actually I guess I do have a favorite talk, I love Elder Scott and he often teaches about revelation and the need to record impressions. Then he went on to talk about dreams and how we can learn truths through them and the need to write that down. That very night I had an experience with that and if I hadn't taken the time to write it down I would have lost that fleeting teaching moment.
    (If you are wanting more details with this experience I had, I did share it on my blog Taysomboys.blogspot.com )

    My favorite hymn was Praise to the Man, the arrangement was so beautiful. I also really liked the hymn Redeemer of Israel and the words that stuck out to me were "fear not".
    On Sunday I liked how the mens ties coordinated so well with the women's dresses and asked my husband if he would like me to coordinate his tie with what I wear. He didn't answer me, so I guess that means yes, right?

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  20. i) Although I like flipping open my Ensign and choosing a talk that "speaks" to me that week, I think for purposes of this GCBC I'd prefer going in order.
    ii) During conference I scribble notes in one of the many notebooks that are left at the end of the school year. And then I try to go back and back sense of them and write journal entries.
    1) Themes that stood out to me this time were the importance of families, extending mercy and strengthening the kingdom of God.
    2) Surprisingly, I don't have a favorite talk this time; they were all equally wonderful and necessary. And I need to revisit and ponder each of them!
    3) There wasn't a particular hymn that stood out to be either, although my husband did say "That's Ebenezer's hymn" when they started singing "Come Thou Fount."

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  21. 1. I noticed a few themes but the ones that stood out to me had to do with not being effected by others (i.e. envy, holding grudges, judging, etc.) and also how to be a better parent. I think they stood out to me most because I needed to hear them most!

    2. I had two favorite talks. Elder Holland's talk from Saturday Afternoon was something I really needed to hear. With 18 of my friends engaged right now (5 of which were proposed to just this week), let's just say…I've been a bit envious!!! Of course I'm happy for them, but Elder Holland definitely spoke to me! And also, I loved Sister Esplin's talk (even though I don't have kids!). For a while now, I have been terrified of having kids, not because of the physical pain of bearing a child, but because of the potential heartbreak that children could give me. (I know it's ridiculous, but it's something I think about a LOT!!). I'm scared I won't raise my kids to be good human beings! But I felt comfort in what Sister Esplin taught, in how we should let our kids hear us pray, and read scriptures together, etc. I feel like she practically gave us the handbook to parenthood (though I know it's not really… :P)

    3. "Love Is Spoken Here" is one of my favorites because it's what all of us cousins sang at Grandma's funeral. I remember learning it in a car before the funeral because I had never sung it before. Darla and Kait were definitely there, do you remember if you were there too, Becca? Though I loved “Come Thou Fount” too!!

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    1. I didn't remember that! I think the only thing I remember from grandma's funeral was Darla playing the piano and singing. I remember singing Love Is Spoken Here a lot. That is interesting that you didn't know the song before then!

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  22. I took notes using the printables at The Red Headed Hostess. It was my first time using them and I LOVED them! They worked perfectly for me. We also kept a “General Conference wall” in our home which we posted our favorite quotes onto throughout conference. It was really neat to watch it grow. I would really like to base our family home evenings on conference topics, so I am going to organize them and try and do that. Our first FHE after conference, we reviewed all of the quotes on our General Conference wall and set goals for the next 6 months. The themes I picked up on most were “focus on the family” and “not judging others”. My favorite talk was Elder Holland’s talk about jealousy and envy, I need to work on these things. My favorite quote from conference was “Stop It!” and I love the story Elder Perry used about his friend and his enthusiasm for sharing the Gospel. I wish I were as bold in proclaiming the truth as that man, another thing to work on! I loved "Come Thou Fount", it was really beautiful! I also loved hearing the missionaries sing.

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  23. 1. I loved the talks by Elder Holland, President Uchtdorf. I needed to hear those talks. Even though I want to be more charitable and Christlike, I know that there are times when I'm letting envy and anger get in my way. Duh!

    2. Theme I noticed: family (LOVED President Packer's talk!), letting go of grievances, general spiritual preparation/strength.

    3. I loved "Come Thou Fount." Love that song. It is just amazing.

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  24. I loved all of the talks, but one in particular was Elder Nelson's talk about the miracle of our bodies. I loved "Come Thou Fount" too. I was so glad there was so much time left for them to take their time with that song. I vote for studying the talks in chronological order.

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  25. What a great concept this is! I'm so excited to get started!

    I thought conference was great, as always. I had the exciting opportunity to attend the Sunday afternoon session, and great it was. While I don't mind watching conference online at all, there is just something awe-inspiring about seeing so many united together in the conference center, knowing that we are all there for the same purpose. It makes my heart happy.

    I, too, felt like kindess was a dominant theme. I also noticed that there was emphasis on "coming back". We know that our leaders love each and every one of us and always want people to come back, but I felt it was expressed a bit more this conference.

    I was also touched that there was so much emphasis put on communicating beyond the veil, and that death is not the end. My dad passed away in January, and while I know these are truths, it was nice to hear it.

    I didn't take notes, in the traditional sense. I recently had the opportunity to hear Elder Bednar speak to our YSA stake here in Bountiful, UT. He mentioned that we were not to take notes, because A) hardly anyone actually uses them (or so he thought) and B) writing a history of words spoken takes your focus off of the feelings and inspiration you receive from the Spirit. So I decided to try it, and only wrote down things that were pesonally witnessed to me by the Spirit, inspiration and answers. I found it to be so beneficial, and I'm sure that I will use my notes again and again as I continue to study the talks.

    Regarding the order, it seems that chronological would be best. But whatever you decide to do is perfect, as it will be beneficial either way. Thanks so much for doing this!!

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  26. I just saw that you have an entire post dedicated to the note taking style I mentioned! Fantastic. It sounds like you love it.

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  27. I felt like family was a prevalent theme, not just family, but what and how we can fulfill our duties as parents! However this could have just been my focus as I listened (searching for an answer to my prayers).

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  28. Hi! I'm new to this blog and I am SOOO excited about this "book club" :)
    My favorite hymn was Come Thou Font as well - Wow - It was as if angels were singing.....
    I loved President Uchtdorf's and Holland's talk. I've had a bit of a struggle with someone close to me and these reminded me to "let the love of God govern ourselves" (not verbatim :) ) - it really put things into perspective for me.
    The theme that came across to me was definitely love. Love, focussing on families and living up to our duties and responsibilites. It was amazing :)
    I would love it if we could keep it chronological! :) Thanks so much for doing this - what a wonderful thing - I am so excited to keep these messages with me and to dig deeper as I read them on my own :)

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  29. I am a newbie to this book club and I'm so thankful to have found it. I have wanted for years to be diligent at rereading and studying tehh conference talks but I always have failed miserably. I'm hoping that this club will give me some accountability and inspiration. Thanks for providing this opportunity for us.

    I enjoyed what I was able to hear of conference. Our internet connection was terrible and we do not have TV so we had to go to the school my DH works at and watch it there. We missed some of the talks in the time it took to get to the school and get the computer set up to watch. But I'm thankful we had that option and got to watch as much as we did.

    I used my Iphone to take notes. It worked marvelously. It made me be very concise and precise in my notetaking. I'm hoping to use these talks and notes to provide material for our FHE for the next few months.

    1. The theme that stood out to me was FAMILY. That's probably because that's the stage of life I'm in. I did also notice the counsel to cease judging.

    2. looking back over my notes I really liked Elder Pyper's talk about recording spiritual experiences so that they can bless our families now and in the future.

    3. I loved all the music! Come Thou Fount is always a favorite.

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