I cannot remember much of my middle school years aside from choir. I lived for choir. My teacher could play the piano like Mozart and could pin point any person in our class of fifty and let them know if they was sharp or flat while we were singing all the parts together. Her musical ear was infallible. One of the greatest moments in my middle school experience was the day we talked Mrs. Walker into taking off her wig. She didn’t normally wear a wig in fact, she had perfectly poofy brown hair that always looked immaculate. But on occasion, I imagine on days she was getting close to or had missed her hair appointment, she would wear a wig to class.
One day Mrs. Walker made us a deal. If we could sing our competition piece perfectly she would reward us by taking off her wig. We did our very best, and Mrs. Walker agreed to remove her wig at the end of class. As the bell rang she reluctantly pulled off her wig, threw her arms over her head and ran back into her office and turned out the lights. Oh how we screamed with delight! We loved that she kept her promise to us and loved it even more that she was embarrassed. Mrs. Walker will always have a special place in my heart.
Every day as part of our vocal warm ups Mrs. Walker would have us sing a song that she called “Fill My Cup.” Here are the words:
Fill my cup
Let it overflow
Let it overflow with LOVE.
We would repeat those verses several times and each time Mrs. Walker would add more color and improvisation to the melody on her piano. As I sang those verses I could fill my cup getting filled. The wear and tear of being an awkward tween would be washed away and I remember feeling at peace as I sang those words.
Twice a year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds a General Conference for its worldwide membership. At this Conference our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, speaks, along with his Counselors Dieter F. Uchtdorf and Henry B. Eyring. All of the Twelve Apostles speak. We also hear from our prominent women leaders like Julie B. Beck or Elaine S. Dalton or others. These meetings are typically held the first weekends of April and October. Being March, I can feel my heart and soul pitching forward in anticipation of General Conference as it is just a few weeks away. I want to hear and feel the words that will fill my spiritual cup for another six months. I make time in my schedule to listen to all eight hours of conference as they happen in real time. Then I follow up by pouring over the written word as it is printed and mailed out in our monthly magazine, The Ensign.
I can only relate to you how much I love General Conference by calling up those words that I sang in middle school. General Conference fills my cup, lets it overflow, lets it overflow with love. For two days I feel the peace of the Lord in my heart and in my home. Similar to choir class there are times during General Conference where I feel like I am being singled out for being to sharp or too flat and I’ll feel the need to change or repent. That’s OK, because learning to sing means learning to know how to be in tune. General Conference helps me learn how to be in tune with the spirit of the Lord.
You may wonder what Prophets and Apostles speak about at General Conference. Here are some samplings of messages they’ve given in recent years. These videos are taken from actual General Conference addresses but have been edited to include pictures and music to enhance the message.
Our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson teaching about life after death
An Easter message by an Apostle, Jeffrey R. Holland
President Uchtdorf, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ (and current member of the First Presidency), teaches us about creation
If you are feeling like your spiritual cup is running low, I invite you to watch General Conference with us this April 2 and 3, 2011. I hope that you can come away from these meetings feeling uplifted and inspired, so much that your cup runneth over.
General Conference can be viewed at home via Satellite on the BYU-TV station, over the Internet at LDS.org and in many of the local meeting houses world-wide.
You can learn more about General Conference and how to view or attend Conference here.