A Recap of General Conference
This isn’t going to be a summary of general conference – more of a reaction.
I saw several people in my social media feeds in the weeks leading up to conference expressing simultaneous excitement about conference and dismay that it was going to be all virtual. Since I don’t live in Utah, general conference has always been all virtual, so it didn’t really strike me as functionally different. Whether there are throngs gathered in a large auditorium or whether there are only the speakers spaced several feet apart, the experience is the same to me. I’m at home listening while folding the laundry.
I approached conference with cautious optimism. I’ve been wounded by too many past conferences where someone (or multiple someones) has given a pearl-clutching tirade about how wicked single people are for being single, as if reminding us that we forgot to get married would suddenly make us realize that it’s something we need to do, and we can just go down to the spouse store on Monday to pick one out for ourselves. Sermons preached at single people generally show clearly that the speaker has never spoken to an actual single person. They rail against straw-singles – painting men as video game playing basement-dwellers who are shirking their duty to ask out and propose to women, and women as unladylike workaholics who are turning down perfectly good marriage proposals left and right.
The pandemic has put a stop to dating, so I was hoping that nobody would take the heartless step of berating singles for something entirely outside our control. (Not that it was totally in our control before, either.) Before conference, I prayed that nobody would say anything cruel to or about single people.
Thankfully, my prayer was answered. The talks were Christ-centered and timely. The speakers addressed concrete issues of our day, not just platitudes and generalities. They referenced the pandemic by name and also addressed social problems happening right now.
Religion News Service writer Jana Reiss favorably compared this conference to a bowl of corn flakes – nourishing and bland. I agree. After the heartburn of 2020, something easy on our spiritual stomachs is just what the Great Physician ordered.
The cinnamon rolls fed my body, and the sermons fed my soul. May all general conferences be as good as this one.