Conferences is over, and I have to say that I very much enjoyed it this year. Rather than blogging about this, however, I would like to simply post something that I wrote in my journal two years ago:
- April 7, 2002
General conference is one of the moments in my life when I feel most as though Mormons are still a peculiar – yet powerful — people. This assembly is our great ritual as a people. The music, prayers, the callings and releases, and even the report of the Church Audit Committee all seem to testify to the solidity of the Church and Kingdom. The testimony and counsel from Prophets and Elders are solemn and powerful. It is undeniably real. Living as a Mormon among the Gentiles — an (almost) 27 year-old husband and father at Harvard Law School — among my peers I often feel like a bit of a freak. I know that they find my lifestyle puzzling. They think Jacob is undeniably cute, but for them the idea that one would start a family before one’s career is solidified and the last ounce of youth is dissipated seems like an unseemly haste. At worst, I suspect that they see something tragic or even sinister in my life, although I admit that on this point I am probably letting my paranoia have free rein. Yet at conference, seeing the assembled Saints, listening to the Prophets, and knowing that I am the heir to Joseph, Brigham, Wilford, Orson, B.H. Roberts, and the rest of my pantheon of heroic Mormons, the Kingdom seems so much more substantial than the World. The careerism of law school and the academic pomp and glitter of Harvard seem hollow compared to the fullness of the Restoration. My faith is celebrated, my heart is settled, and my life is sane and joyous in the light of the Gospel. The birthright glitters and the mess of pottage is less alluring.