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Childhood Family Tradition Continues to Bless the Next Generation

Twice a year, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and interested friends gather to hear inspiring messages and music originating in Salt Lake City, Utah at the faith's annual and semi-annual worldwide general conference.

Senior leaders of the Church and others share messages on gospel principles or address significant issues of the day, with speakers encouraging individuals and families in their efforts to follow Jesus Christ.

Heitinui Gariki Holman, the eldest of a family of nine children and now a mother of three, recently shared how preparing for general conference is rooted in a family tradition learned from her childhood.

Carlos and Tania Gariki gather with their family. Heitinui Gariki Holman is on the far right with her husband and children. French Polynesia, 2020.© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

She recalls, “When I was little, my parents always invited us to view general conference and share what we learned from the talks afterwards. We loved finding, sharing and learning short inspiring phrases [in the addresses] given by our leaders and use them to enlighten our everyday life.”

“Today, although we are all grown-up and we left the family nest to live our own experiences, we keep calling each other after each conference to share what we have heard, remembered, felt ... and above all, we share short phrases that touched us, on [Facebook] Messenger.”

Heitinui has made this habit an ongoing tradition in her home as well.

“I always find an application for my general conference phrases in my everyday life for me and my little family. They sustain my faithful efforts to be obedient to the revelations received for my benefit from our inspired leaders.

"For example, recently my seven-year-old daughter told me that I have beautiful handwriting, and I replied, ‘It is because when I was your age, I wrote a lot. So, you should not complain when your teacher gives you writing exercises.' And above all, remember what Church President Russell M. Nelson taught us in April, 'The Lord loves effort' (see full text of talk here).

"The Church's Young Women president, Bonnie H. Cordon’s exhortation to 'shine our light so that others may see,' inspired me in my calling as an editor and Facebook account manager, serving in my stake (group of congregations) communication council. I strive every day to strengthen my associates. I know that messages on the stake Facebook page are opportunities to help not only [Church] members, but also our friends to see the way to Jesus Christ.

"As parents, in this time of pandemic, our worst fear is for our children to be infected by the virus. Hopefully, President Nelson’s advice to 'replace fear with faith' repeatedly entices us to devote ourselves to daily prayer together and to implore the Lord for His divine protection.”

Heitini feels that she is being prepared for the upcoming October 2020 general conference through the learning experiences that turned her mind and heart to inspiring phrases from the April 2020 general conference and helped her move forward.

She relates, "Until I receive new inspiring mottos at the next conference, I live by my choice sentences like:

"We have our own Sinai mountains to climb"

"We must see others as God sees them"

"Do our best to increase our spiritual aptitude to receive revelations"

"To have a good home is to strive to be imbued with the image of Christ"

"The Saviour must be the architect of our soul"

"Suffering is universal, but our reaction to suffering is individual"

She concludes, "Blessed with all the miracles from applying my touching teachings from April 2020 in my life, I look forward to the next general conference.

"I testify that our leaders are truly inspired in every general conference. Their words are a source of peace and comfort. I also testify of the power of God who continues to work miracles in the lives of His children when we trust Him because He knows everything. He is omniscient and merciful.“

To learn more about viewing the October 2020 Semi Annual General Conference, visit here.

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