Saturday, March 26, 2011

Till We Meet Again

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Till We Meet Again, by Thomas S. Monson
President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

While we were shopping today, my older children started discussing which kind of candy they would like to have as a reward for when they hear certain words in the next general conference. I was excited by this for two reasons: 1) they were happy for general conference, and 2) it's in only a couple of weeks!

At the end of the last general conference, I produced a word cloud to see if there was an indication of the common themes that I picked up on from many talks (see it here). As I thought about doing the same for this conference, I really couldn't identify a theme—apart from being like Christ.

Because I'm a nerd, I decided to make a word cloud again. It was great fun to harvest the words from each of the talks, because as I saw the speakers and their talk titles, I would have fun flashbacks to the things that stood out to me from their talks (the things you may have read aout in the previous posts). Again, I couldn't isolate a consistent theme, but I was considerably happy.

So, while I'm not venturing any guesses at themes, do you have any in mind? What do you expect to "pop out of the screen"? Here are the most frequent 100 words from this conference:

I like that this particular representation shows the words of deity close together, seemingly increasing the impact! Other words that stand out (that are a bit larger than the others) are: life, faith, priesthood, children, know, and Church.

As you look at this representation of conference, you may have, as did I, happy feelings and pleasant memories triggered by certain words.

Are there any words that you were surprised to see? I was tickled when I noticed that the word "Mormon" actually appears in the word cloud. For ages it seems that members of the Church have avoided being labeled Mormon, but with the recent innovations to and the encouragement members have been given to create profiles there (see mine here), the feeling I got at seeing "Mormon" was different than I had hoped!

Okay; that's general conference as a whole, but what about President Monson's closing comments? After reviewing these wonderful general conference talks, and after considering all their words reminded me of, one paragraph of President Monson's remarks stood out the most to me:

How blessed we are to have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It provides answers to questions concerning where we came from, why we are here, and where we will go when we pass from this life. It provides meaning and purpose and hope to our lives.

Knowing what we know, and feeling what we feel, we may sometime wonder, "Now what?" President Monson's closing provides an answer, and a succinct and poignant close:

May we show increased kindness toward one another; may we ever be found doing the work of the Lord.

I love general conference!

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