I love everything about general conference. As soon as one is concluded, I eagerly anticipate the next. Though I have loved every conference, my most memorable was in April 1981. I'm sure this conference might not have seemed out of the ordinary to most people, but to me it was significant for many reasons.
One is it was the first conference I attended in person. I still remember getting up early Saturday, traveling to Salt Lake City and waiting in line to make sure I would get a seat. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just six years earlier, I was so thrilled to sit in the Tabernacle at Temple Square, to feel the spirit there and to hear the words of a prophet of God.
Another reason it was a particularly memorable conference for me was the announcement of plans to build nine new temples. At the time there were fewer than 30 temples worldwide. Attending the temple involved travel and expense that a lot of members, including myself, were unable to afford. One of the temples announced was to be built in my home state of Texas. I was excited with the anticipation of the blessings this temple would bring. I was even more excited when President Spencer W. Kimball spoke of how these nine temples were just a start, saying, “As the work progresses there will be scores of temples throughout the world.”
Probably the biggest reason this conference made such a lasting impression upon me was I was just weeks away from entering the Missionary Training Center to begin a full-time mission. As the prophet, apostles and other general authorities spoke, I hung on every word, anxious to soak up every bit of this precious gospel that I soon would be sharing with others. I listened intently as Elder Jacob De Jager spoke on Saturday morning of how “we are called to spread the light” and as Elder Marvin J. Ashton taught Saturday afternoon that “we serve that which we love.”
More than 30 years later, I still cherish my memories of the April 1981 general conference. To some, it may have seemed plain, ordinary and unspectacular, but to me it was one of my most memorable. I think this is true of all general conferences: They touch, inspire and influence everyone differently, depending upon the events that are unfolding in their lives and the trials they are facing at the time.
Sandra Nazar lives, writes and blogs in Oklahoma with her husband and five children. View her blog at www.sincerelysandra.net