It started with a talk about the law of the fast. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe in the law of the fast, which means it's important to fast every once in a while (typically we all fast on the first Sunday of the month, but not this month because it's General Conference, so we'll be fasting next week), for twenty-four hours or so. And as part of the process, we give a fast offering to the church (equal to at least as much as you would have spent on the food you didn't eat), which is used to help people with financial concerns. For example, we had to take advantage of fast offerings one time when we were struggling to earn enough money to pay the rent.
We liked that talk, because it was heartfelt, and most importantly, it was about something we feel like we're already doing a pretty good job at. It was after that that the "conference theme" hit. Speakers aren't technically assigned talks--they're encouraged to talk about what they feel most strongly they should talk about--so you could say that they're assigned their talks by the Holy Ghost, but anyway, even though there's never an official conference theme, there's always one topic that seems to pop up a lot over the course of the weekend. This conference, it was something we're not so good at: marriage. And not like "maintaining a good marriage." Usually when there are talks about marriage, they're directed at married couples, and are about how to treat your spouse with love and respect. We usually let our minds wander during those talks, because they're not really applicable to our situation (although it is important to practice treating people with respect whether or not you're married).
This time, the talks were about, "remember how marriage is, like, The Most Important Thing?" I think I've touched on this before, but was a long time ago, so I'll touch on it again. In the LDS Church, we believe that one of the most important parts of exaltation is getting married and having kids. There's a whole lot of doctrine to back that up, and you can watch the talks about it here (the one that explains it the best is D. Todd Christofferson's, which isn't up yet, but might be by the time you read this; it was also talked about by Boyd K. Packer and L. Tom Perry; Linda K. Burton added to the theme with a talk about the importance of husbands and fathers).
Sooooooo, yeah. Actually, despite marriage being such an important thing in our church, Athena and I have never felt like we were failures for not being married. ...Okay, I take that back. There was some brief wondering if maybe we were failures when both of our little sisters got married before we did, and then mixed feelings when they were having kids. But another thing we believe in the LDS Church is that there's nothing we can do to make God love us any less, and we figured it was okay to just do things at our own pace, much like Yuki tells Tohru in the first chapter of Fruits Basket.
So we still don't feel like failures, but we are feeling a little bit of pressure to, like, do something that might eventually lead to finding guys to marry. Like maybe leave our apartment once in a while. It's a really scary concept, because we've had a lot of bad experiences with interpersonal relationships, so we're not really eager to pursue more of them, and we've learned to not need other people for anything, including emotional support. Remember last week when we watched Old Yeller and we didn't feel comfortable calling anyone so we watched Host Club instead? We're really good at finding substitutes for human support. But we also realize that that's not necessarily healthy, so.
Anyway! after putting the pressure on during the first session of conference, the second session started with a talk about overcoming our fears! So there's that.
Today I'm thankful for another great Saturday of General Conference, Page coming in during the rest hymns to hear us sing (she used to freak out and run away when we started singing; now I feel like she always comes around when she starts to hear it, at least for hymns and Primary songs), finally figuring out how to get the Last Leaf ability in Birth by Sleep, finishing Aqua's story, and having the rest of the afternoon to do whatever we want.