What It Is

Me to husband:  “Stake conference this weekend.”

Eight-year-old:  “Can we get jelly beans?  Please?”

Me:  “No, you’re thinking of General Conference.  This is stake conference.  No jelly beans.  Just the hard seats of doom.”

Eight-year-old:  “Why hard seats?  Why not good seats?”

Husband:  “Because those . . . people . . . in the choir come early and save all the good seats for their families.”

Eight-year-old:  “Maybe with some lipstick and groaning . . . chicken pox? . . . and you wouldn’t have to go?”

How are you transmitting Mormon culture to the next generation?  Discuss.




14 comments for “What It Is

  1. February 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    We usually take stake and general conference as days of rest from church. That family time helps make up for all of the Sundays we spend hours away from our children in meetings and other church work that are in addition to the normal 3 hour block.

  2. February 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Well, we ARE those choir people. Sorry.

  3. February 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Don’t be sorry. If we do go, we make sure to get there 30-40 minutes early so we can sit in the pews. The extra time is not ideal with little kids, but it beats those awful folding metal chairs that kill my back. I liked going when we met in the Provo Tabernacle. Sitting upstairs in the balcony was great with kids and to go to the bathroom, they got to go down the spiral staircase, outside, and back in through the back door. It was perfect for a potty-training 3 year old who couldn’t sit still through the whole 2 hour meeting anyway. I still miss having stake conference there.

  4. Seth R.
    February 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    A couple months ago, I had a nice discussion with my ten year old daughter of who Heavenly Mother is, how she is highly likely affiliated with the character of Asherah in the Old Testament, and why we rarely hear about her.

  5. February 11, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    We usually find a babysitter to watch our kids while we go to the saturday night session of stake conference, and then stay home sunday.

    Also, jelly beans FTW.

  6. ji
    February 11, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I’ll probably be the outlier here, but I want to sustain the principle of common consent and to sustain my stake presidency and high council — they only hold two all-stake meetings per year (stake conferences), and I want my son to respect them as important meetings. We cannot attend in person at the stake center (our geography does not allow it), but we watch it from an internet video feed. So everyone in our stake gets good seats :-) all in our home chapels. My wife and I are supportive, so our son is growing up supportive.

  7. makakona
    February 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    i love stake conference, but am a convert. i used to have to take five kids under seven by myself, as my husband worked sundays. he now has them off and goes an hour early to save us “soft seats.” he’s now on a “security team,” so they save a row for our family up front, no early arrival necessary.

    we normally only allow books after the sacrament has been passed, but we allow more for conferences. it goes far in keeping them quiet longer, but our 2.5yo is always a wild card. next week is our first conference with six kids, so we’ll see!

  8. Chadwick
    February 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Julie, when you ask us how we transmit Mormon culture to the next generation, I presume you mean more than just “how do we handle Stake Conf.” Correct me if I’m mistaken.

    The new battle in our household is the ipad. My son asks every Sunday why the ipad can’t come to church with us, and he’s only three. But every Sunday we sit around children playing Angry Birds during Sacrament Meeting. I’m not saying they’re right and I’m wrong, but simply that I don’t want the ipad at church. They can play it on Sunday, just not at church. That being said, I did bring it this last Sunday so my daughter could read her scripture off of it during Primary sharing time.

    With regards to Jelly Beans, oh boy the treats we bring to church. Yogurt raisins, goldfish, fruit snacks. If I ever showed up with just cheerios, my kids probably would not eat them.

    I personally don’t enjoy Stake Conf but we actually did attend our last one. Our new stake has a double chapel stake center so we latecomers still got the comfy seats, but watched via satellite in the other chapel. It’s tempting me to go again next time!

  9. Jtg
    February 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Now that I have a baby I have finally figured out how to endure stake conference. Every stake conference the congregation is reminded that the proceedings are broadcast to the auxiliary rooms to “maintain the reverence” of the meeting. Baby was unruly, so we went and surveyed all of the rooms. Breastfeeding mothers in the RS room. Noisy toys in the nursery room. Primary room for the win – baby can crawl around all he wants and no one minds. We don’t even bother with the hard seats anymore, we go straight and secure our seats in the Primary room.

  10. Mike
    February 11, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    I know this isn’t about stake conference, but since it was brought up . . . I really enjoy stake conference and feel a little bad for those who habitually miss because those are some of the best meetings all year. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Saturday afternoon priesthood leadership meeting because it usually cut into some family activity, but I only missed a few of those (for family things). The adult session is always my favorite.

    I understand why people like to take that time off to “rest” from church, but I feel bad for them, while I enjoy it. I also try to convey that to my sons, though I’m sure it’ll be years before they feel the same (if ever), but they’re pretty good about it.

  11. Joshua Smith
    February 12, 2013 at 11:07 am

    My position on meetings has “evolved” over the last 5 years of marriage.

    [5 years ago]

    Me: Honey, stake conference is not a meeting for children. Let’s take the kids and feed geese.
    Dear Wife: Josh, the kids can learn how to be reverent.
    Me: [grumbles to self and goes to stake conference]


    10-year-old: Dad, you’re not supposed to go hiking on Sundays.
    Me: Heavenly Father gave us bodies. The best thing we can do on any day is use our bodies and show gratitude for the beautiful world in which we live.
    Dear Wife: We can go after stake conference.
    Me:[grumbles to self and goes to stake conference]

  12. February 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Take the jelly beans and bribe a choir member with them to save you some comfortable seats….

  13. john roberts
    February 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    we welcome all to church meeting including stake conference. that includes sharing the best seats on a first come first serve bases. true fellowship does not place a coat or scriptures down and call it a place reserved to me and mine only.

  14. Ken
    February 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Ah, but the question is, “Is it what it is?”

    To which you might reply, using one of the most profound and oft-uttered statements that has ever been used in the long history of rhetoric, “It is what it is.”

    ;-D (Sorry. Couldn’t resist. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled, on-topic programming. What’s the topic again?)

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