The end of an era

So it has been our family tradition, since our oldest child was a toddler, to go to Saturday morning session at the church building and go out for hamburgers afterward. Even after internet streaming at home became the norm and we didn’t even go to church for Sunday session, we still went to church and out for hamburgers on Saturday because THIS IS OUR TRADITION. For the last couple years, it’s pretty much been just us and the missionaries. And our friend who’s the stake A/V guy says they’re going to stop showing it at the building after this conference. Which makes sense, frankly, but it’s kind of a shame because a) without making the kids sit through two hours of boring talks at the church, I feel like we won’t have earned any hamburgers, and b) even though we play all the other sessions at home, the session I’m forced to sit through at the church is basically the only one I pay attention to (because there’s nothing else to do). Which I guess isn’t really a shame, except it’s hard to watch traditions die.


  1. I hear you. The thing I miss most about General Conference now that I’m all grown up and moved out is going to Del Taco with my dad after the priesthood session.

  2. Our stake stopped showing everything except the priesthood and women’s session. My son and I watched priesthood at home, and then went out to Whataburger, because we were hungry (not because of any tradition).

  3. Why not still “earn” the hamburgers at home by listening, then still go out?

  4. nobody, really says:

    Because you can do other things at home. At the church, you’re kind of obligated to sit reverently and pay attention. That kind of effort justifies burgers, and even fries. You’re out of the house, you’re dressed, and you’re hungry, and it would take too long to cook once you get home. Hence, easy justification and a tradition is born.

  5. Similar thing here, RJ. My dad and uncle always went out for ice cream after the priesthood session. I went with them until I moved away. Their tradition was a long one, and depended on getting into the Tabernacle, sometimes waiting for 2 or 3 hours outside in line. With the shift to Conference Center, and even before, it became problematic to get in. When my dad turned 88, we couldn’t get in anymore (my uncle had passed, and I would journey to SLC to sit with my dad and do ice cream after). It was a rather big let down when he couldn’t get in to the Conference Center. He stopped going to Salt Lake after that. Then his traditional ice cream spot closed down. It was different after those changes. I kept up a form of the tradition with my boys. But now it’s hamburgers and ice cream. It’s a modified tradition but it serves much the same purpose.

  6. MikeInWeHo says:

    I remember going to listen to GC at the stake center in Lansing, Michigan in 1982. There was this massive satellite dish beside side of the building and a large projection TV to watch it on in the multi-purpose area. At the time I thought it was the absolute coolest thing ever.

  7. You could always watch it on your phone at the church. ;) I know, I know, not the same.

  8. Kevin Barney says:

    Growing up my family didn’t go to conference, so we didn’t have any traditions. There were no big satellite dishes. Sometimes Sunday morning would be shown in tv for the station’s community service requirement and we’d watch that. Several times I remember going with a friend to the stake center (2 hours away) on Saturday night to listen to the priesthood session over an open phone line, which sounds like horse and buggy stuff now but seemed high tech at the time.

  9. I remember going to the church to listen to an audio broadcast of conference, Kevin. And Rebecca, I hear you. We still go for the Sunday morning session. It hasn’t ever gotten down to just us and the missionaries, because there are two other families in the ward with the same tradition. All together, that makes about 20 of us–year in and year out. I don’t know how long it will last.

  10. Our men and young men go to Tucanos before Priesthood session and then on to a church building to watch the session. I am pretty sure most of the young men go along for the meal, but I am also sure it has strengthened them to be with grandpa, uncles and cousins over the years.

  11. Back when everyone went to the stake center to watch conference, those two Sundays were two of my favorite Sundays of the year. This was when I had a chance to say hello to everyone who had moved to another ward in the stake, to reconnect with old friends whom I only saw at weddings and at conference. People who had moved away would sometimes come just to say hello to everyone. I miss that very much.

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