Monday, October 5, 2015

MM: What My Toddler Learned from Conference

Kevin is only two years old.

He'll turn three in a few months, but it isn't very realistic to expect him to sit through eight (non-consecutive) hours  of general conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and understand much of it.

However, I was touched when during one of the sessions, Kevin turned to me and said, "Heavenly Father?" He had heard one of the speakers mention him. When I confirmed what he had heard, he then said, "Heavenly Father loves me?"

I told him that yes, Heavenly Father loved him very much. He nodded, as though verifying what I had said, and then repeated, "Heavenly Father loves me!"

He said this several times during the several sessions. When he would hear the names of Heavenly Father or Jesus, he would perk up and repeat, "Jesus loves me!"
A detail of a painting by Harry Anderson showing Christ with His arm around a young boy with whom He is talking.

I loved it. He even made up a song about it and sang it several times. I was pretty proud of his understanding. He is a great kid, and I am so grateful for him.

I loved conference as well. There were so many talks that seemed to just be targeted at me.

As some of you know, it's been a rough week for our family. Grig's sister who has been living with us, suddenly ended up in the hospital during the beginning of last week. I don't want to include much, because that's really her story, but I will give you a cliff-notes version. She essentially has a tumor in her brain that has been blocking spinal fluid from leaving her head. The pressure built up to a point where she wasn't able to remember the names of normal things, and every thing that she said came out in gibberish. She also lost the ability to walk. We rushed her to the hospital, and they were able to release the excess fluid.

Thank you for all of your prayers and kind words.

She actually is back at our home now (she returned today) and out of immediate danger. This tumor has been growing for years, and she still needs to have it removed, but once she's recovered enough from her first surgery, they are going to fly her back to Virginia and treat her there.

It has been a pretty crazy and stressful week, and I have found great comfort in the words of living prophets and apostles.

I am also pleased that, even though Kevin didn't understand much, he was taught the most important principle of the gospel. It made me feel like maybe we're doing something right.

I am so grateful for my family. Both my own family, and my in-laws. It's been wonderful to get to know Grig's family better and to watch them pull together during this difficult time. I am so grateful that they have welcomed me with open arms, and that they have been so kind to me. I couldn't ask for a better family to marry into.

In my side of the family, it's been a pretty momentous couple of weeks as well. Both of my married brothers' wives gave birth. I now have one new niece and one new nephew. That has been a wonderful blessing this week, though I have yet to meet the two newest members of my family.

Throughout all of these trials and blessings, I do know that Heavenly Father loves me and my family. That theme has seemed to permeate our home this week, and I am so grateful for His love. We saw many miracles as we tried to help Grig's sister and when we took her to the hospital. One thing that happened was the night before when I went and took Kevin's car seat out of the car because I had been going to make salsa with my grandma. Having the car seat ended up being a huge blessing.

I have seen many tender mercies, and I am very grateful for the love we have seen and felt. I am grateful that my son learned something from conference, even at his tender age. I was really surprised to find out how well he was actually listening, and very proud of him and the connections that he made.

I don't think there is a more important lesson that he could learn.


  1. I have felt some despair over the years, trying to get my kids to focus during conference. I feel like this session is the first where I have been starting to see my efforts pay off a girls all listened, and all wanted to attend all 4 sessions with me @ the stake ctr. It makes me so grateful. keep plugging away. Eventually tgey listen. I tell myself this as I wrestle with my 3 yr old & end up missing 60% of the talks :)

  2. I think he got one of the most important messages from conference. It is so important to remember that Heavenly Father and Jesus love all of us. I also enjoyed listening and feeling the spirit of conference.