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Ann Cannon: Pajama church? How to watch Mormon conference

Published October 2, 2014 12:01 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I still remember the profound horror a friend felt when she watched a televised session of an LDS General Conference with her new husband's family for the first time.

They wear church clothes, she exclaimed. Church clothes! Including nylons! And they all sit in the living room on actual chairs. Actual chairs! And nobody talks to one another because if you DO talk to one another, the scary grandmother gives you snotty looks. Snotty looks!

In other words, her new husband's family behaved during televised sessions of conference the exact same way they would have behaved during a regular church meeting, to which I can only say, "Where's the fun in that?"



But whatever. To each his own. Whatever floats your boat. Live and let live. So on and so forth. As far as I know there isn't a section in the bishop's handbook titled "The True Way to Watch Conference." And as I have observed through the years, there are plenty of conference-watching styles along the Wasatch Front from which to choose, including the following.

Treat Conference Like a Normal Church Meeting That Happens to Last for Two Days • See above. Make sure to invite the scary grandma. Also, don't forget the nylons.

Watch All Four Sessions of Conference in Your Pajamas • Or at least in comfortable nonbinding, non-Sunday-type clothing. This is how many of the families I knew while growing up in Provo did conference weekend. It was also a time when the moms trotted out favorite brunch recipes such as butterscotch sticky buns, baked French toast, and ham and egg casseroles (all of which are insanely delicious, btw). I find that almond Danish rings also make an excellent conference weekend breakfast. Here's my secret recipe.

Ann Cannon's Secret Recipe for Awesome Almond Danish Rings

1. Get in the car.

2. Drive to Mrs. Backers bakery on South Temple.

3. Buy an almond Danish ring there.

4. Take it home.

5. Hide it so you don't have to share it with anybody else who lives in your house.

6. Because they probably don't deserve it anyway.

7. OBVIOUSLY.

8. You're welcome!

Watch the Sunday Sessions of Conference on TV and Listen to the Saturday Sessions on the Radio • This frees you up to go about your regular Saturday business — mowing the lawn, attending kids' soccer games, going to the grocery store — while still earning you church points.

Listen to All Four Sessions on the Radio • If you're a regular churchgoer, which means your Sunday dance card is usually full, this frees you up to get even more done during the weekend than you usually do while still listening to what's being said.

Turn on the TV or Radio and Hope That Some of What's Being Said Rubs Off on the Family • This is a style favored by parents who know their children probably won't listen to conference but who hope they'll still pick something up by osmosis. I think this actually works sometimes, although I've learned from personal experience that there are some things in this life you can't just "pick up" by osmosis. Like long division, for example. I tried that in the fourth grade. Didn't work.

Regard Conference Weekend as a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card • Conference weekend is the weekend that some families pack up the minivan and head for the hills. Or Bryce Canyon. Or the beach. Or Disneyland. Or any of the places they've wanted to visit but haven't had the time. Along the way they may talk about all kinds of things (if people can manage to turn off their electronic devices) — how sad it is that Derek Jeter won't make it to the World Series during his final season, for example, or what the Wasatch Front used to look like before all the orchards began disappearing.

Yes. There are all kinds of ways to "observe" conference weekend. And whether you do or you don't, here's hoping the weather is fine and that the days ahead will refresh, restore and renew you and yours.

Ann Cannon can be reached at acannon@sltrib.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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