So I probably shouldn't be saying this, but I have a love/hate relationship with general conference. The hate part is those sexist, homophobic, and hyper-conservative talks that make me want to quit watching all together. I'm getting better at just fastforwarding through those ones. I don't have it in me to listen to them without getting angry, and conference is not about getting angry. The flipside of that is the love part of conference which is that there are those talks that I hear and it's just like That's my church and that is truth. Those are the talks that I read and reread and memorize and that bring changes in my life.
I also have some really awesome memories of conference. See, the way general conference ticketing at the conference center goes, a box full of tickets for a stake is mailed to a stake president. Since Lorin was stake president when I was growing up (can't believe it's been a year since he got released!), we always got the box. I remember the first time the box came, and Lorin and Judy went to conference. I was about eight, I literally couldn't believe it. I didn't realize that you could get tickets to go to conference at the conference center. I'd always thought you had to be some kind of special celebrity to do that. But there were my parents, dressed up and going.
So the next time conference rolled around, I made Lorin promise to save me a ticket. Sam wasn't really old enough/interested, so Judy stayed home with him and Lorin and I went, just the two of us. And we went to a session every conference until I decided, for a while, that being Mormon wasn't really my thing. But I still love my memories of going to conference with Lorin. I love that he was willing to go, and that Judy was willing to give up her ticket so that I could go. I remember dressing up and feeling so special. And I remember how much I loved those conferences. There really is something special about conference in the conference center. I remember being there the day that Elder Bednar and Elder Uchtdorf were called into the 12, and for that reason they've always been my favorites. I remember singing "We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet" with both President Hinckley and President Monson on the stand. And I remember what was probably my favorite talk I was there to hear: President Hinckley's "The Things of Which I Know".
Conference weekend is this weekend, and I'm enjoying it. I love that I get to be one of the pre-MTC 20,000 missionaries with calls. And, most of all, I love that they finally had a woman pray in conference. I don't know which one of the church leaders is the feminist, but I love them for it. Things are slowly (very slowly) but surely changing. This may be a small step, but it meant something to me, and to lots of other Mormon women.