Sunday, January 8, 2012

~General Conference~

Our real purpose in taking this trip was so that Spencer & Kaylea could attend their 1st session of General Conference. This has been Kaylea's dream since she turned 8! We even sacrificed our Summer Vacation to come here instead since we couldn't afford to do both. There were 2 specific miracles that happened to us previously that got us to this destination.  Number One: Tim was allowed after just a few weeks of working his new job to take off for a week & come. This went directly against company policy & we feel it was a miracle. Then the other is what happened on the car ride up. I've come to recognize more often the tender mercies that happen often in all of our lives and realize they are not coincidences but rather little miracles that just show us that God is always with us.

Because we didn't have pre arranged tickets we were going off of faith that we'd get in. So Saturday morning after the first session we walked down a few blocks to Temple Square and started our search. Spence held a sign that said: "Need Tickets-It's My 1st Time.."  
With just minutes before the next session started & with help from other family members we had tickets for us to get in, but they were in different areas. My sis Sara & Tim watched the 3 little ones while Spence, Kaylea & I went into the Saturday Afternoon Session. Spencer's ticket was on the floor & mine and Kaylea's was on one of the higher balconies. 

Spencer insisted to me that he would be fine on his own and that he really wanted to do this. I trusted that he'd be okay alone & off he went. Afterwards he told us that he ended up like 5-8 rows from the front!!... and could see the expressions on the Prophet & Apostles faces. Come to find out, two older ladies had helped him get to the front which truly made this a memory & experience he will NEVER forget. I know this kid has a special work here on the earth to do & I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of these kind of experiences for  him.

I enjoyed the quiet time I got to have with Kaylea up in the balcony. She laid on my lap, held my hand & journaled right along with me. We sang loudly with conviction the hymns that we had such belief in. We got to stand & sing "Praise To The Man". She happened to know it since it was in the Primary Program this year. It was much so that the lump in my throat didn't allow me to get very many notes out. Some of the words that spoke to me the most were "Traitors & Tyrants now fight him in vain..." 
~Just minutes before we sang this, there was one of those protestors outside the Conference Center, who just happened to be standing literally 4 feet away from me & my innocent daughter. He had a megaphone yelling things like: "You are being lied to, Joseph Smith was a foolish man who made up stories"....& on & on. He was an inch off the Conference Center's property so he was allowed to stay. Kaylea & I talked back & forth about looking in someone's eyes to know if they are good or evil; and this man had angry, disturbing, evil eyes that she I'm sure will always remember. The hundreds of people in line that could hear/see him were calmly ignoring him. He wanted someone to argue back or be affected but we weren't. 

~Our testimonies go much deeper...So much deeper than {these} people will ever realize. And then just minutes later as the MILLIONS of members around the Globe sang "traitors & tyrants now fight him in vain...", it hit me! These protestors, nay-sayers, politicians, etc.. They might hope to persuade one or many but they are doing it in vain, because the course of the Gospel is in stone & will not be affected. (They are definitely fighting in vain!My only hope in all of this was that this little girl (pictured below) would have her blossoming testimony strengthened & I believe it truly was. 
I love just being on any Temple grounds, but especially the grounds of the Salt Lake Temple. My heart is tender as I think about our pioneer ancestors who spent over 40 years building this. Heartache after heartache & many of them never even got to see the final outcome. They definitely knew of it's eternal nature and the role it played.

~During the Priesthood Session that evening, some of us girls sat on the beautiful temple grounds & enjoyed the sunset and conversation. Another group of us went shopping with all the other LDS females in the really that's unwritten Mormon tradition. While the men get spiritually fed, we have female bonding time. I love it! Then they come out all spiritually uplifted & happy. I enjoyed watching the sky change over time with the Temple in the foreground.
This is my Aunt Deeanna with two of her girls. I'm her favorite really I am. She is the Mother of 8 children (5 of whom they fostered and then adopted)...and now they are almost all grown up. I could swear they were just babies. We don't get to see them often being that they live so far away, so it was so nice to see them & spend a little time with them in Provo & Salt Lake. Of the thousands of people there we continued to run into them & we giggled each time we did.
{Joining us in SLC were many Family members including my parents, my sisters Sara, Brittany (& Scott), Tim's parents, his sisters Ashlyn, Lacey (& Jordan) & his brother Brian's family. We got to spend time a little time with all of them.}

For the other sessions of Conference we enjoyed just 
chillin' in our Hotel room all cuddled up....
My 5 boys...
...And us girls taking notes! 
{We were lucky enough to have Aunt Sara stay with us & catch up on lost time.}

There is nothing I love more than feeling the Spirit as I watch & hear the music and words spoken and sung at General Conference. The best part is that we are all together, snuggled up as we contemplate the things that matter most in this life and the eternities.

This General Conference was as enriching as all others. Just so happens to be that this time we got to be right there where it all took place...and we felt very blessed for it.


Kristal said...

I am so jealous! This is on our bucketlist before we hit 40...which is so coming up faster than we want. I love that Spencer went up and sat alone. I bet that made it a lot easier to feel the spirit. I know when jase has the kids out in the hall during sacrament I feel the spirit a lot more. haha! Um, and what's Tim's new job???

Tracey said...

Loved this post! You are a great writer Audra.

A day in the life of the Campbell's said...

Audra, i want you to know my mother called me and told me that this post was the most beautiful thing she has read. She said it brought tears to her eyes and she felt the spirit so strongly as she read it. You ARE an amazing writer and so talented in sharing your feelings!

Unknown said...

You are an amazing writer, I cried as I read your words and saw your beautiful pictures! I miss you Audy.

Anonymous said...

I do think a megaphone was a bit extreme. And he certainly may have had issues to make you fear for safety. I do wonder though if while on your missions or when your kids are on their missions if they will ever be standing in front of another place of worship to tell others how they aren't in the truth, what will those parents think of lds missionaries? Like the man with the megaphone? Frustrated they chose to stand just off church property because its the center of a town in south america or Europe and can approach more people? LDS missionaries show up on the steps of people's homes just to tell them they are believing a lie. I find that invasive.

AudyCamp said...

Dear Anonymous,

First off, I really am stunned that you would compare these ridiculously loud, rude & "invasive" megaphone people to LDS missionaries who give up everything they have, miss seeing & talking to their family & loved ones for 2 whole years & devote every day of their life to sharing the Gospel & serving their fellowmen. They, by the way are serving others constantly...

Second, Missionaries have very strict guidelines to what they can and can't do & certainly yelling to people as they're leaving another place of worship is NOT something that is allowed. I chuckle even typing that because I think it's so silly.

As far you saying that missionaries showing up on your doorsteps is "invasive"....tell me then what you would think is a better way for them to share this message that they feel is so important. I on the other hand welcome other faiths coming to my doorstep, I honestly enjoy conversing with them about what we each believe and don't feel invaded or threatened whatsoever.

The restored Gospel of Jesus Christ brings an active Member of this Church unmeasured amounts of happiness. And we want nothing more than to be able to share that with everyone! This desire comes from pure hearts, certainly not from a proud hearts or from what some would call a cult.

What it comes down to is; that the Book of Mormon is here- we believe it is simply another testament of Jesus Christ. It testifies that He was here on this continent as we read the hundreds and hundreds of years of history that were recorded and passed down through ancient prophets.

Don't believe it, that's fine. But we just simply want to share this incredible story to everyone-that's all. No hurt feelings, no saying you are wrong we are right. It is simply this=take the beliefs & knowledge you have and let us add to that, completing the puzzle.

"Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another."

And that is my 2 cents (or 10)...I could go on and on because this is something so dear to my heart. So please, please don't compare people like my baby brother who is about to leave us for 2 years to one of the "megaphone" people. Thank you.