UU Mormon

Holidays, Holy Days, and General Conference

Posted on: October 3, 2009

by Philomytha

I can’t believe I’m going to church on a holiday weekend. Normally I look forward to this weekend for half the year because the first weekend of October is General Conference and there’s no church.

This is the closest thing Mormons have to a religious holiday of their own. Except for Pioneer Day, which is July 24th (side note: my birthday is July 23rd and I have many resentful memories of spending my birthday at some gosh-awful ward Pioneer Day potluck. Okay, it probably happened once, but I really resented it!), and commemorates the day that the Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. All other Mormon holidays are the standard Christian holidays, but with less pomp. We don’t have Christmas Eve services, we don’t go to church on Christmas (unless it’s on a Sunday). On the closest Sunday to Christmas we have a Sacrament Meeting with a Christmas theme, but basically it’s just regular church.

General Conference happens twice a year — the other time is the first weekend of April — and consists of 8 hours of sermons (10 for men) from the top church leadership, spread over two days. Members watch it on TV or over satellite broadcasts, and sometimes they get together with friends and eat food and visit in between the conference sessions.

Everyone looks forward to it. Some for the spiritual uplift from hearing the prophets of God speak, and others, like me, for a weekend without church meetings.

And yet here I am, planning to go to church (the UU church, I mean) tomorrow and looking forward to it. Imagine! I’m hoping my son will agree to go to his RE class without me and I’ll be able to attend the worship service. I think I would enjoy a few more moments of quiet contemplation.

My son will not be learning about either General Conference or Pioneer Day in his “Holidays and Holy Days” class. I’ll have to teach him about those myself. Maybe next summer I can find a potluck to take him to. He’s such a picky eater he’ll resent it as much as I did. Oh the joy of passing traditions down through the generations!

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