We had stake conference today. Abe and I felt so grateful to be addressed by Elder Ballard, whose talk was broadcast to a lot of Utah Valley. Abe pointed out that it was like General Conference, only Elder Ballard tailored his talk specifically to us. Elder Ballard cited statistics about how Utah is the most religious state in the U.S., and how Utah Valley is the most religiously active part of Utah. He talked about how this is the heart of the Church, and then he gave warnings and counsel to the members here.
Specifically, he told us to not get caught up in pride about education. He said that there are lots of opportunities for education here, and we should be careful not to look down on others who have not had opportunities for education and yet still contribute to the Church. He said that their contribution is like the widow’s mite, and that we should respect and honor that.
He also warned us to live within our means and not try to outcompete our neighbors in material things. He said that we should not over-schedule our children or text while driving. (Abe and I thought that was great practical counsel.) He also told us not to text during family time. Then he counseled us on the subject of questions about faith. He said that questioning is not wrong and that we should never dismiss another person who approaches us with doubts and questions. At the same time, he said that we should search the scriptures and listen to apostles and prophets instead of just searching the blogosphere for answers.
During the closing hymn, Praise to the Man, Mary started dancing all around the foyer. I whipped out the phone during the last couple of lines and took some photos. I don’t know if that was appropriate, but since these were my only pictures of the day, I’m glad I did! I also got the very last line on video here. (Her dancing was a lot more vigorous during the earlier, more fast-paced parts of the hymn.)
For the rest of the day we just napped and spent time together as a family. It felt like a great Sunday.