We arrived early and easily found a seat. Obviously kids can;t come with the exception of nursing babies and - holy cow! - were there ever a lot of babies! You kind of forget how prolific Mormon women are until you notice that every fourth person in a crowd of women is a baby under 18 months.
(The Program)Here's the issue with giving my opinion on the speakers (which I am about to do). My husband and I saw a very prominent LDS speaker together once and I was totally offended and my husband's life was changed forever because he was so moved. All different styles and speaking personalities touch individuals differently. So please remember, this is only my opinion on how I personally responded to each part of the program.
Jason F. Wright (speaker) I felt no connection at all with this speaker. He had a very John Bytheway-esque (yeah...that's a word now) presentation, so if you love John (as many many many Mormons do) you will probably like this guy. I felt the speech itself lacked substance and had a lot of rehearsed jokes. I guess I was hoping to be a bit more spiritually fed and this speaker was not that. For those who like that genre of humor he gave a fun and upbeat presentation. Just not my cup of tea.
Jenny Oaks Baker (violinist and speaker) He playing was beautiful and her speaker was sweet and sincere. She told such a sweet story about her father (Dalin H. Oaks) and Mother supporting her love of music. She was funny and relate-able and the spirit was strong as she played her violin. Her four children joined her onstage with their instruments in tow and played as well and it was fantastic. She shared her decision to quit the National orchestra to be a stay at home Mom and how much she loved it. I really enjoyed her presentation.
Heidi S. Swinton (speaker) I really loved this speaker. Sister Swinton is the author of the Biography of Thomas S. Monson and her talk mostly consisted of meaningful stories from his life and from their time together. Her talk was spiritual, funny and warm. She spoke with enthusiasm and power and the spirit was very strong. I especially loved a story of her own daughter's struggle with infertility and adoption and how President Monson helped her daughter and her husband through the power of a Priesthood blessing. I cried (as did every woman in the place) at the wonderful story of love and adoption and hope. Sister Swinton's overall message was of Jesus Christ and I felt very uplifted and inspired by her words.
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I cant wait for tomorrow! I'll be sure to share my adventures of the second day here.