BYU-Hawaii students said the talks from the 186th Semiannual General Conference were able to touch them personally. The conference center, seating approximately 21,000 people, was filled for every session on Oct. 1 and 2 as leaders of the church from around the world gathered to share messages of inspiration, love, and advice, according to LDS.org.
Bryce Nattress, a sophomore from Idaho studying exercise sports science, said watching his father, Elder K. Brett Nattress, speak in the Sunday afternoon session was surreal. “I was super nervous for him for some reason. [I] just wanted him to do well, and he did.”
Nattress continued, “People have been asking me why I stayed here, instead of going to General Conference. I've heard my dad speak before, so it was actually a different feeling seeing him up on the screen rather than just in person.”
Nattress said he was touched by the story of his grandma. “I thought that it was awesome that he told the story of [her] passing the scriptures down the pew for him to read the words ‘patience with Brett.’ I've heard that story before from my grandma. [It] makes me feel a little better for the times I was irreverent in sacrament meeting, which were very few by the way,” he said.
Erik Winegar, a senior from Utah studying business management, said his favorite talk was “Be Ambitious Boys” by Elder Yamashita because he spoke of the temple in Sapporo, Japan, where Winegar served his mission. “He mentioned in his talk a story about an educator that left an impression among Japanese people. The educator was known for a quote where he said, ‘Be ambitious boys, be ambitious for Christ.’ I happened to see that quote and statue while I was there just two months ago. I remember walking out and just wanting to do just that: live my life with the enthusiasm that quote describes. ‘Be ambitious boys, be ambitious for Christ.’”
Kate Pearson, a senior from England studying communications, had the opportunity to watch all of the sessions. “I love conference because it's a great opportunity for personal revelation. Going with questions and having them answered feels amazing. I also felt a lot of peace and reassurance about where I am in my life right now and the direction I'm heading.”
Pearson said Elder Nelson’s talk spoke to her “because he said ‘the focus of our lives has everything to do with our happiness.’ We can't always control our circumstances, but we can change our focus.”
Sarah Fabia, a freshman from the Philippines double majoring in hospitality and tourism management and business management, said Sister Bingham’s talk from the women’s session spoke to her. “I am spiritually edified by the topic about righteous judgment and giving charity to our neighbors.”
Fabia said her favorite part was when Sister Bingham said, “The greatest charity we can give to our neighbors is not to judge them.”
The talks from the October 2016 General Conference are available online at www.lds.org/generalconference.