General Conference Quiz

Temple Square in Salt Lake City
For those who watched General Conference last week it is time to see how well you were really listening. Allowance can be made for a rickety memory but you might be surprised how much you can recall. There are quotes from conference talks below, sometimes just a few words, for you to see if you can identify the speaker. Give it your best guess and then point your mouse over the word Speaker and see if you got the correct answer. Twenty questions, all from Saturday sessions of conference.

  1. Arms of safety. Speaker Talk
  2. Brethren, may we cease to aspire and cease to retire! Speaker Talk
  3. The ordinance of the sacrament makes the sacrament meeting the most sacred and important meeting in the Church. Speaker Talk
  4. As I prayed, the feeling came: “You don’t know everything, but you know enough!” Speaker Talk
  5. There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the Way. Every other way, any other way, whatever other way is madness. Speaker Talk
  6. They covet a crown or a cave. Speaker Talk
  7. First, learn what we should learn. Second, do what we should do. And third, be what we should be. Speaker Talk
  8. One evening, when my wife and I were away, our children’s babysitter, intrigued by the prayer she heard them saying, asked them this question: “But what is the difference between your religion and mine?” The reply from our eight-year-old daughter was immediate: “It’s almost the same, except that we study a lot more than you do!” Speaker Talk
  9. Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church. There is no greater work, no more important work. It blesses the lives of all those who participate in it. It will continue blessing future generations. Speaker Talk
  10. Lift Where You Stand. Speaker Talk
  11. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result. Speaker Talk
  12. The answer is simple: it was because my father read the Book of Mormon. Speaker Talk
  13. Our present day is filled with global distress over financial crises, energy problems, terrorist attacks, and natural calamities. These translate into individual and family concerns not only about homes in which to live and food available to eat but also about the ultimate safety and well-being of our children and the latter-day prophecies about our planet. Speaker Talk
  14. In our families and in our stakes and districts, let us seek to build up Zion through unity, godliness, and charity, preparing for that great day when Zion, the New Jerusalem, will arise. Speaker Talk
  15. In our search to obtain relief from the stresses of life, may we earnestly seek ways to simplify our lives. Speaker Talk
  16. The Savior is the perfect example of praying for others with real intent. In His great Intercessory Prayer uttered on the night before His Crucifixion, Jesus prayed for His Apostles and all of the Saints. Speaker Talk
  17. He is pleased with the noble servant, not with the self-serving noble. Speaker Talk
  18. You may have thought then, “Once I finish my mission, being a faithful priesthood holder will get easier.” But in a few years you found yourself getting even less sleep at night, while trying to support a wife and a new baby, being kind and loving, scrambling to get some education, reaching out to the members of your elders quorum, perhaps even helping them to move their furniture, and trying to find time to serve your ancestors in the temple. You may have kept a smile on your face with the thought: “When I get a little older, being a faithful priesthood holder will not require so much. It will get easier.” Speaker Talk
  19. Along the way the train stopped occasionally to get supplies. One night during one of these stops, my mother hurried out of the train to search for some food for her four children. When she returned, to her great horror, the train and her children were gone! Speaker Talk
  20. Therefore, as a husband or son, express gratitude for what your wife and mother do for you. Express your love and gratitude often. That will make life far richer, more pleasant and purposeful for many of the daughters of Father in Heaven who seldom hear a complimentary comment and are not thanked for the multitude of things they do. Speaker Talk

Rickety signature.

How to Keep Attentive in Sacrament Meeting

Kaysville 14th Ward Chapel
As a convert to the Church I was always attentive in sacrament meetings and listened carefully to what was said. Until two years ago. It was about then that I noticed I was not always focused on what the speakers were saying and my mind would become rickety and wandering. It was time to introduce some simple methods to help focus on what was important. Here is my list:

  • Look up scriptures that are quoted.
    This is one of my favorites. It works even better when a scripture is read but no reference is given. I see how quickly I can locate it while keeping one ear on the speaker to listen for the next scripture.
  • Report on a talk on your blog.
    It would be nigh impossible to write about a talk that I didn’t listen to.
  • Identify any challenges that are issued by the speakers.
    Once I have them all, I choose one challenge to work on this week.
  • Sleep sufficiently, eat well, and wear comfortable clothes.
    If I am rested it is easier to pay attention. For most of us getting enough to eat should be no problem. And lose the tight fitting clothes (maybe you are eating a little too well).
  • Repeat a talk at supper.
    By planning to discuss one of the talks at supper I am more likely to pay attention and the talk will have more meaning.
  • Don’t watch the clock.
    The clocks on the walls are for the speaker so he or she won’t go over time. They are not there for me to look at and see if I can spot the minute hand moving (I never can).
  • Absorb the talk.
    I try to get really involved in what is being said. Even the announcements. I concentrate on the choice of words in the talks, where the emphasis is placed, and on any personal stories. Sometimes I even count the ums.
  • During the passing of the sacrament read a hymn or scripture.
    I randomly open the hymn book or my scriptures and read what is on the pages. Today my scriptures fell to Jeremiah 48:2-47, all about the destruction of Moab.
  • First be reconciled to thy brother.
    Matthew 5:21-24 speaks of being reconciled to those who you have grievances with before offering your gift to the Lord. I used to practice this in England and I would apologize to a member I had wronged before the sacrament meeting began. This worked to put me in a better frame of mind and pleasantly surprised the members who usually did not remember the offense.
  • Be willing to pray and to speak.
    If I am asked to pray or give one of the talks I accept willingly. First, it obviously gets me involved but secondly I learn it is not so easy to be before 400 people and it reminds me to be more forgiving of others’ talks that are not always the most inspiring.
  • Volunteer to take the sacrament to shut-ins.
    In our high priests meeting I often have the opportunity to accompany the priests to take the sacrament to shut-ins. As a high priest I preside and give a summary of what was said during the sacrament talks. Obviously I paid attention during the talk.
  • Sing the Hymns.
    I really try to get into the hymns that are sung and enjoy the songs of praise. I focus on the words and their meaning (I read better than I sing). This puts me in a better frame of mind.
  • Help with noisy children.
    I could help with noisy children but I never do. If I did it would help others to enjoy the meeting. My wife brings some stickers to church and will hand them to a problem child who then is happy to play with them quietly for quite some time.
  • Sit closer.
    If I am able, I sit closer to the podium. The closer I am to the speaker the more likely I am to pay attention. In our ward there is great competition for the pew seats. Not because they are closer but because they are softer.
  • Listen to the invocation.
    By listening to the opening prayer I pick up on pleas for the Spirit to be present and to help the speakers. Just before the speakers begin I recall the words of the invocation.
  • Join the choir.
    I have never done this but if I did it would instantly involve me in the meeting which increases attentiveness to the contributions of others.
  • Make the ward clerk smile.
    When the ward clerk does his count and walks by me I make a show of counting on my fingers to see if I can get him to smile. He uses a PDA for the count so my son imitates texting a message to him. These things would probably fall in the category of Distractions to Avoid but a little humor puts everyone in a good mood.
  • Enjoy the organ music.
    I don’t often get to enjoy the sound of an organ during the week so I especially like to listen to the organ being played at Church. Again this helps put one in a good mood for the meeting.

Perhaps you have something that you do to help you pay attention during sacrament meeting. Let me know in the comments.