For over a year now, the reverent noise pouring out of the Conference Center in Salt Lake City after each session’s conclusion has been absent. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible for individuals to gather in Salt Lake City from all around the world to hear a prophet’s voice.
Individuals enjoy conference from the comfort of their homes while the speakers speak to a mostly empty room, only sprinkled with a handful of other socially distanced speakers.
In President Russell M. Nelson’s opening remarks during the Saturday morning session of conference, he commented on the power spiritual home environments have in fostering faith.
“My dear brothers and sisters, the strength of the Church lies in the efforts and ever-growing testimonies of its members,” President Nelson said. “Testimonies are best cultivated in the home,”
BYU-Idaho students turn their apartments in conference centers for feeling the Spirit and receiving revelation.
Marie Wadsworth, a senior majoring in professional studies appreciates that regardless of where anyone is in the world, individuals can gather to hear the prophet speak and receive revelation from the Holy Ghost.
She has been to conference in Salt Lake City once before and explained that she loved the Spirit and feeling of community that comes from being in a place with thousands of others with similar beliefs.
Wadsworth finds the opportunity to watch conference in her home a great way to have the Spirit in her home. She thinks the experience of watching conference can be very similar both in person and from homes.
“I think that if we are living our lives the way that we’re supposed to be and keeping the Spirit in our home, they can be very similar,” Wadsworth said. “I guess that’s just a good goal for all of us to have, to try to make the feeling the same, to live our lives according to the commandments, and try to keep that Spirit with us all the time.”
Elder Jan E. Newman references the introduction to “Come, Follow Me“ during his talk about being exceptional teachers.
“The kind of gospel learning that strengthens our faith and leads to the miracle of conversion doesn’t happen all at once. It extends beyond the classroom into an individual’s heart and home.”
Homes can be sanctuaries of faith and a place for building testimonies. Being required to stay home can be an invitation to create that in all homes.