Conference memories can last — and inspire — a lifetime

Published: Tuesday, April 2 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

“I’ll never forget how excited I was when I heard this,” Sharon said. “In those days, we had to travel 24 hours on a bus one way to attend the Washington D.C. Temple. We were willing to do it, of course, but we couldn’t do it very often. A new temple only six hours away in Chicago meant we could go to the temple more often even though we had five children at home. That one conference announcement really made a difference for us!”

The conference that is most remembered by Elma Leta McBride of North Salt Lake, Utah, occurred during her full-time mission.

“It was April 1977, and I was in France,” McBride said. “In those days there was no way for us to watch conference live, and so we usually didn’t learn much about it for a while.”

When a friend sent a package of cassette audio tapes of the conference, the tapes arrived at the perfect time. McBride’s companion was ill and the missionaries were apartment-bound for a significant period of time.

“We listened to that conference over and over again — I almost had some of the talks memorized,” she said. To this day she remembers and cherishes some of those conference talks, especially “The Power of Plainness” by Elder Marvin J. Ashton and “The Daily Portion of Love” by Bishop H. Burke Peterson.

“I really needed conference that year," she said. "I’ll never forget it.”

For L.R. Hughes of Kentucky, the conference he remembers best was just two years ago. Although he has been a member of the LDS Church for more than 50 years, it wasn't until 2011 that he and five members of his family attended their first general conference session live in Salt Lake City.

“Initially,” Hughes said, “there was the extraordinary experience of being seated in the middle of the Conference Center, only a matter of rows from the speakers. And then to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform ‘Music and the Spoken Word’ live just before the Sunday morning session was just plain glorious.”

But what was truly unforgettable, he continued, “was sitting literally at the feet of a living prophet of the Lord and the other general authorities of the church and listening to them speak. That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.”

And a general conference that he'll never forget.

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