Today was the first session of General Conference. There is another session in less than an hour, but I just wanted to share some of my experiences with the first session.
My husband had to work today, and needed to take our only vehicle to do so, so the kids and I watched General Conference at home via the internet. I missed the first few minutes because the website was busy, but I got so much out of it. I really like watching it online for several reasons:
I can do it from home
I can pause it to deal with little kids (we don't have cable and DEFINITELY don't have T-Vo, so it's nice to be able to do that.
I can type my notes
What I do is bring up the notepad from the accessories bar (word takes too long to lead everything and I really don't need the formatting stuff) and I shrink the notepad and move it so I can see the speaker and still have my notepad up. I type the points that stick out to me and other thoughts and feelings I have, and later I copy them into my scripture journal. I used to just hand write my notes, but I don't have very good handwriting when I'm not rushed, and when I'm trying to get all my thoughts down and listen at the same time, I need something faster, and I type faster than I write.
My kids are still small, 5, 3, and 1, so it's hard to get them to pay much attention. So I worked it out that they listen with me for a few minutes, then they could play quietly, but if they got noisy, they would have to practice being reverent in the living room. The computer was on the kitchen table, so they could easily see it and hear it from the couch.
During the second half the kids came to the table and at grapes and homemade granola bars while we watched the rest of the session. When we do family scriptures, to challenge the kids to notice words and tell us what they heard afterwords, so the two oldest started doing this on their own as we watched. "Mommy, he said the temple!" "I heard Jesus Christ!" Plus they asked me if every speaker was the prophet. It was very cute.
When the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang "I am a Child of God." My kids attention perked right up. They sang along as much as they could, and my one year old stopped eating, and just sat there in his high chair staring at the computer. I could see a look in his eyes that I can't describe, but it was a look of familiarity, not just to the song because we sing it at bedtime, but the way it was sung and the Spirit that was present. Usually when he notices any type of music, even slower hymns, he dances or bobs his head and sways his head back and forth. Instead, this time he started singing. Of course the words were pretty much not understandable, but that doesn't matter, he knew the importance of that song.
I'm so grateful for General Conference and for the technology we have to view it from our own home!