Today we had Stake Conference. After my scripture reading over the past few days, I have a new appreciation of Stake Conference. I compare Stake Conference, and General Conference for that matter, with Sacrament Meeting. During Sacrament Meeting, we have the opportunity to renew the covenants which we made when we were baptized. During Stake and General Conference, we gather together with the other saints and receive instruction from our leaders.
Today, I appreciated the opportunity to gather with the saints. I saw many whom I knew because we have been in the Stake for almost six years. We moved last year from the Mission Viejo Second Ward to the Alicia Park Ward. We gained many friendships when we were in the Mission Viejo Second Ward, and it was good to see them again during Stake Conference. I was able to tell them that I had not moved far.
I sang in the Stake Choir. We performed two beautiful pieces: “Jesus, The Very Thought of Thee”; and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.
Before Stake Conference, I was able to get to know someone in our ward better. He is in the Alicia Park Ward, and I talked with him, and asked him where he was from, what he used to do when he worked (he is retired), and what brought him to Mission Viejo. It was nice to get to know him. That is one great reason to go to Stake Conference: so that we might get to know each other better. Also, that is a pretty good reason to go to Sacrament Meeting, but I feel differently during Sacrament Meeting. During Sacrament Meeting, I am there to worship, because I am renewing my baptismal covenants with the Lord. For that reason, I find it difficult to get to know people on regular church Sundays. Although, maybe I can do better at getting to know people by talking with them in the halls after church; but by then, of course, I am pretty hungry and I am ready to go home and eat after the three hour block. So, Stake Conference is a great time to get to know people.
During General Conference, the gathering of the saints is virtual. We do not gather as a people to get to know each other. We watch conference on the television in our homes. Although, we could invite others over to enjoy conference with us; and now we have the facilities to do just that in our new home, with our new 55-inch TV. Although again, on the Sunday of General Conference weekend, I also know that someone in our ward invites everyone over for crepes. That was a lot of fun.
During Stake Conference, it came to me how I can be a better missionary. I thought of how positive I can be when meeting those of other faiths. I can look at what they are doing which I support, and I can share how the Restored Gospel supports and adds to what they are already doing.