We had an amazing opportunity this past weekend. We went to a Birthday Celebration for President Thomas S. Monson. It was held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. You had to be eight years old to attend. We were so happy to have tickets to take the four boys. My cousins daughters were willing to watch the little girls for us, which was wonderful. It was a little stressful getting into the actual Celebration (parking, we lost a ticket...) but with a few answered prayers we made it! Boy was it worth it! The theme for the night was "Golden Days". There were yellow flower arrangements adorning stage and one of the hosts, Jane Clayson, wore a beautiful yellow dress. Steve Young was the other co-host. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, along with several world renowned vocalists, treated everyone to some of President Monson's favorite songs. Many came from Broadway musicals. A few times I had to tell myself to stop singing along! In between the musical numbers stories from different era's of the prophet's life, from his childhood, to present day were shared. It was so inspiring!
Here the boys are waiting for the program to begin. They are very efficient getting such a large number of people seated and you have to be in your seats promptly...a half hour early!
This was taken right after the program ended. We stuck around a while, watching President Monson take his time shaking as many hands as he could, waving to the crowd and blowing kisses. First counselor, President Henry B. Erying and Second Conselor, President Dieter F Uchtdorf both gave tributes to the Prophet. I hope this will be a night the boys will never forget. The music was amazing, the stories inspirational, and seeing the Prophet was a once in a life time experience.
I only had my iPhone with me to take all these pictures so some are not the best...but I love it of all the boys, outside the Conference Center looking toward the Salt Lake Temple, where Ryan and I were married!
Even though President Monson has only been the Prophet since 2008, he has been a General Authority for the Church my whole life. When I was growing up we would often listen or watch (depending on where we lived) General Confence in the Chapel on Sundays. Now it is broadcast over the internet and on TV. However, back then we would just sit and listen to all the speakers on hard benches. (Which was not always an easy task sitting for so long!) President Monson was always my favorite, especially as a young child. He always shares his message by telling stories. His voice has not changed and I would recognize it anywhere. I remember still hearing him at a church conference back when we lived in Germany when I was my boys age. After the program on Friday night I went away with the same message and feeling about him that I have all these years....to follow his example of reaching out to the one, rescuing the one and bringing them home. (They sang "Bring him home" from Les miserables...amazing!) After listening to President Monson you always want to be a little kinder, and love everyone a little more. He is truly follows the Savior Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for a prophet of God to lead and guide us in these troubled times. I know that he guides us and directs us, just as prophets of old did.