I love this time of year, when General Conference is coupled with Easter and I feel renewed spiritually.

All around us, the world is coming alive with green trees and wildflowers. The air is filled with the sound of birds calling to each other. I sound like a primary song, I know, but it's true. Springtime is a season worth singing about, don't you think?

This time of year brings to mind one of my favorite poems by e.e. cummings:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,

and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing

breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

I've have conference on my mind, as most of us do after a weekend of internalizing the messages from our church leaders. I was humbled, many times over, by the messages on teaching our children the gospel.

I am, by nature, a private person. My thoughts and feelings stay mainly in my head, or I put them down on paper, but after this conference, I am recommitted to vocalizing them to my family.

So on a springtime walk between conference sessions yesterday, we talked as a family about the coming of spring, and what it symbolizes. Easter is my favorite holiday. Stripped of the stress that comes with Christmas, Easter is a simple and powerful day of remembrance. It is THE holiday of hope and joy. It carried with it the same feeling I get when I see those first green buds shooting out of a frozen ground: Oh, there is life again, after this dreary winter! No matter how bitter and cold it has been, around the corner is a warmth that will melt it all away. The bleak, brown landscape will soon be swathed in vivid colors.

This is the message of Easter, the message of spring, the message of Christ. And while the gospel has many facets, this simple message is the one I want my children to know and believe, above all. There is always, always hope.

It was Moroni who wrote: "Whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, ..." (Ether 12:4).

I know as a parent that I sometimes get so caught up on teaching the do's and don'ts of the gospel that I neglect to talk about how we get through it all: with hope. This is what makes the gospel one of joy and peace, no matter what is raging around us.

So this is my post-conference goal. I will do more to teach my children, and focus on the hope and joy that comes through Christ. It is something we can talk about as we plant our springtime garden, wash stains out of clothes, clean a room that may look hopelessly messy, and paint a new wall.

That too, I love about spring: the cleaning, and the symbolic reminder that there is always a chance to clean up my own act and be better.