Conference moments: Comforting prayer

For me, conference has always been a most tender time. When I was small, I would listen to it on the radio with my family. When I was a teenager, our family would leave in the early morning hours to drive 250 miles to Salt Lake City and we'd stand in long lines outside the tabernacle just to have a seat for at least one session.

As a young mother, I joined my husband in trying to make conference meaningful for our children.As technology advanced, we would watch what we could on our television at home and then, when sessions were interrupted by sports, we would go to Church to watch the satellite broadcast.

When our son went on his mission, conference took on new meaning for us. As we watched, we knew he was doing the same thing, and it gave us such a feeling of gratitude, peace, and joy. We felt like he was right there with us in spirit.

Then it was our turn to serve, and my husband and I departed for the Florida Jacksonville Mission. Oh, how we looked forward to that first conference so we could see the beautiful Salt Lake Temple, see what the weather was like close to home, perhaps get a glimpse of the snow-capped mountains, and feel closer to "Our Mountain Home so Dear." We were so homesick!

All of the sessions were available by satellite broadcast at the chapel in our district, and I'll never forget this privilege. During most sessions, just the missionaries were in attendance. We were all soaking in the word, taking notes, and the Spirit was so strongly felt.

Then came the closing prayer during one of the sessions, and I was totally unprepared for what happened to me. I'm sorry to say I can't remember who gave it now, but I'll never forget what he said and the impact it had on me. "Please bless the missionaries in the field, our young sisters and elders, our parents and grandparents."

My mind just raced to our children and grandchildren praying, to our ward family praying, to the prayers in all the temples, and prayers in all the Church meetings. The reality of it hit me. He and they were praying for me; I'm one of those sisters, parents, and grandmothers. Such a sweet peace filled my entire being. How thankful I felt. How loved I felt. I knew I could endure well to the end because of all those prayers for the missionaries.

Conference never meant more to me than it did that October 1992 in the Florida Jacksonville Mission.

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