I love modern technology. Although it can come with pitfalls and problems, it can also bring blessings and make our lives easier. As a mother with three small children, General Conference feels like an extended version of sacrament meeting – I hear little and understand less, all while reminding myself that I’m setting a good example. I am grateful for the technology that allows me to read and listen to Conference long after the closing prayer has been said.
Most people know that you can purchase Conference tapes and CDs from LDS bookstores, websites and distribution centers about a month after the last talk. The talks also can be watched and listened to over the Internet much faster. However, the placement of the talks online allows for more mobile solutions.
If you do not subscribe to the Ensign and are unable to pick up a copy from the bookstore, you can print the talks within a day or two of the actual General Conference. This makes study and notetaking easier to complete. You can also watch and listen to the broadcast shortly after Conference has ended.
But in case you don’t want to sit in front of the computer all day long, the talks are also downloadable. And this means that you can listen to them on your own schedule. If you have an Ipod or other MP3 player, you can listen to the General Authorities instead of music. Want to listen while you are walking, at the gym, or doing your Christmas shopping? Technology has made that possible, and the church has made them accessible. Honestly, I have never listened to any songs on my MP3 player; I bought it (actually, requested it as a Christmas gift) specifically to listen to a radio show that I enjoy, and only recently realized that I could listen to Conference as well. My favorite time to listen is at dinner time. I already save the kids’ TV time for that most wretched point in the day, and so it was simply a matter of strapping my MP3 player to my arm and letting the teachings of our church leaders revive me at one of my lowest points.
The other side of the downloadable coin is that you can burn the talks on CD and listen to them in your car or on your stereo system. Be warned that this takes multiple CDs, but even so, the cost is less than purchasing them at the store – and you can listen sooner, as well. For families on a tight budget, this can be a great blessing. As a side note, with both CDs and MP3s, I prefer to save each talk separately, enabling me to move within the talks themselves, rather than saving a single two-hour session as a file. I’m not altogether certain one full session fits on a disk, anyway.
Technology makes it easier than ever to treasure the words of our leaders. Thanks to the Internet and other tools, even if we enjoyed Conference in blissful silence, we can review the wisdom that our prophet and apostles share with us. We can make them a part of our daily scripture study, review them weekly or share parts of the actual broadcast as part of our family home evening lessons. A word of warning, however – the church does not broadcast the priesthood session, so make sure your husband doesn’t try to skip out on his session! Relief Society, however, is readily available…
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