Conference Moments

Bored in VernalMormon 14 Comments

Avatar-BiVTo get you in the mood, I’m sending some of my favorite Conference Moments from the past, in no particular order.  Join me and share some of yours in the comments!

1. Neal A. Maxwell’s Didactic Discourse

Neal A. Maxwell was called as an Apostle in July of 1981, when I was a newly-called missionary in the MTC.  A few months later, it was a treat to hear his amazingly alliterative address in General Conference while sitting in a chapel in Quebec, Canada

2. First Woman Speaker

On Oct 2,1988 Michaelene P Grassli, general Primary President, became the first woman to speak in General Conference in 133 years.  This is a picture of Sister Grassli in her office.  I regret that I do not have an image of that historic moment!

3. President Hinckley playing with his cane

During the Saturday morning session in the October 2007 Conference, after President Hinckley went to sit down after the sustaining of the officers of the church, the whole audience started laughing. They didn’t show what happened on TV, so most of us didn’t know what was so funny. Here’s what happened: After President Hinckley finished the sustaining of his new counselors, Elder Eyring had moved into his new seat on the stand. When President Hinckley turned around, he stood there for a moment looking at Elder Eyring, then picked up his cane and ‘knighted’ him on his shoulder and head.

4. Bruce R. McConkie’s Final Testimony (3:40-4:15)

If you’ve been around long enough, you may have been lucky enough to have been in the Tabernacle, as I was, for the last conference talk and final stirring testimony of Bruce R. McConkie two weeks before he passed away.  “…in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.  But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.”

5. Perseverance of Howard W. Hunter

After what some regard as a miraculous recovery from several surgeries, President Hunter stood at the pulpit in general conference of April 1988 with the aid of a walker. He lost his balance for a moment and fell backward, landing on his back on the podium of the choir conductor. He was quickly lifted up by President Thomas S. Monson, Elder Boyd K. Packer, and Dale Springer, a Church security guard, and despite breaking three ribs in the fall, he continued his sermon without missing a word.

These have been some of my favorites — now tell us about yours!!

Comments 14

  1. What a great list! I would definitely put Elder McConkie’s final testimony on my list, too.

    There was a talk by President Monson on the calling of missionaries in the priesthood session — April 1979, if I’m remembering right.

    President Hinckley’s moment with Elder Haight asking him to wave, and Elder Haight’s response, “I’m waving!”.

  2. April, 2007 President Hinckley —“In my 49 years as a General Authority, I have spoken well over 200 times in general conference. I am now in my 97th year. The wind is blowing, and I feel like the last leaf on the tree.”

  3. Elder David B. Haight’s account of a vision of the Saviors life he was given.

    I don’t think there is another general conference talk in the last hundred years to top it. We believe in visions, but rarely hear a GA relate one.

    He introduced is talk saying:

    “I was shown a panoramic view of His earthly ministry: His baptism, His teaching, His healing the sick and lame, the mock trial, His crucifixion, His resurrection and ascension. There followed scenes of His earthly ministry to my mind in impressive detail, confirming scriptural eyewitness accounts. I was being taught, and the eyes of my understanding were opened by the Holy Spirit of God so as to behold many things.”

    Following is a link to the talk given Oct 1989.

  4. I remember when pres hunter fell very well. I remember pres packer stood with him the rest of the talk as well. I had no idea that he broke 3 ribs. thanks for that tidbit.

    I also remember when cody judy rushed pres hunter, and threatened that he would blow up the tabernacle if pres hunter didn’t read a statement that cody judy was the new prophet. I think it was a ces fireside rather than conference. maybe it doesn’t fit your criteria for conference memories, but it is something i’ll never forget. I remember hearing a commotion, and then the church cut the video feed. they came back about 10 minutes later, and onmce again hunter finished his talk as if nothing happened.

  5. In the early ’80s, Marion G. Romney was the presiding authority in general priesthood meeting, as President Kimball was ailing. Unable to use the teleprompter, President Romney was reading his address, and it went something like this: “. . . we’ll not have the power to [page turn, followed by ruffling pages for several second) . . . and I don’t have the power to find my place. We’ll conclude the meeting by singing hymn . . . . ”

    Humorous – and touching, and admirable due to his complete lack of pretense.

  6. Dumb questions from the CofChrist guy. I know you have conference twice per year and that most of you watch them on TV or the web. When are the dates this spring. How many people are actually there present in the so-to-speak “studio audience”? How are attendees chosen?

  7. firetag, general conference is today and tomorrow. the conference center holds about 21000 people, and there is overflow at the tabernacle and assembly hall for approximately 10000 more. the church picks local stakes and wards to distribute tickets, and they rotate that as often as possible. I would say that in the past 10 years, my ward has had the opportunity to get tickets (free by the way- it is a means to limit overcrowding.) if you are from out of town, you can get there really early and try to get tickets, so manu out of towners have the opportunity to go as well. the church tries to accommodate as many people as possible and I think just about anyone who tries to get in will be able to get at least 1 session, but probably not 2.

    I think your world conference is coming up shortly and I wait anxiously to hear a report on the votes on the new revelations that you discussed a few months ago.

  8. Yes, my daughter who is an elected delegate from our mission center (proportional representation at about 1:100 membership) ia leaving to drive West Easter evening. She also has a “calling” on the World Church spiritual formation team, so she’ll have some pre-Conference prep work to do in the days before Conference actually starts. Conference itself runs from Sunday the 10th through Saturday the 16th..

    I haven’t forgotten my homework for the Section 164 outcome; that’s sort of why I asked my questions to get some idea of when I should schedule and write my post to NOT conflict with SLC conference posts.

  9. My first General Conference was Howard W Hunter falling over. It was quite vivid and still sticks out in my mind today.

  10. 1) Elder Wirthlin’s “Concern for the One” – not sure if I ever will hear a talk that will resonate for me like that one did. The orchestra and the non-piccolos might be my favorite analogy til the day I die.

    2) Elder Wirthlin shaking as he spoke about enduring to the end – and Elder Nelson standing beside him supporting him as he fought through the entire talk.

    3) Have I mentioned that I loved Elder Wirthlin?

    4) Pres. Hinckley talking about how much he missed Marjorie.

    5) Stake Conference moment: Elder Holland relating how Pres. Hinckley dreaded going home to empty space after Sister Hinckley died and how much he wanted to be with her again – and Elder Holland’s personal experience finding out the depths of Pres. Hunter’s agony shortly before he died. I don’t think I ever will forget that talk – especially the point that we devalue the suffering of others when we think our suffering is unique or unfair or proves there isn’t a loving God.

  11. In Sharing Time last week I talked to the children about hearing many of the same themes over and over again in Conference because they are the things we need to be hearing, throughout our lives.
    What a wonderful walk down memory lane, BiV (and all the great comments).
    My husband, not LDS, and I were talking this AM with the kids about Conference (he encourage their watching it) but he used his “church voice” and repeated common themes he has picked up on over the years. To me, Conference is sort of a variation on a theme. We need to hear the gospel in different ways to appreciate it fully.

  12. Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk this morning.

    Wow!! It might challenge Elder Wirthlin’s “Concern for the One” – and I didn’t expect that, no matter how much I LOVE listening to Pres. Uchtdorf.

    That talk wasn’t just a good General Conference talk; it was a fabulous Christian talk.

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