Families Traditions Surround LDS Conference on TV

Families Traditions Surround LDS Conference on TV

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HARRISVILLE, Utah (AP) -- Come Sunday morning, Katy Saunders' house will be alive with activity as her two kids still living at home are joined by her three married children.

They will come for the semiannual eating of the scone breakfast before watching the televised morning conference session of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After sharing a session with their in-laws, the married children will return again after the second session of conference. This time it will be for the semiannual eating of the turkey dinner.

"That's been our tradition," Saunders said. "Ever since our kids have been married, they've come back for scones and turkey."

There is more to listening to conference talks than just the information itself for some area families.

Some conference traditions are as much a part of conference weekend as anything that officially goes on in the church.

There are those who eat all the food out of their 72-hour kits and replace it during that weekend.

Others make traditions out of taking drives, eating picnics and listening to the talks on their radios.

Still others try to make the whole weekend as much fun as possible, while also listening to the leaders of their church.

Saunders said when her children were small, the family would play LDS Conference Bingo after the sessions.

That was also a tradition for Cathy Fullmer, of North Ogden, who now watches as her oldest son, Joshua, passes this tradition on to his own children.

"Whoever got the first bingo, they got the prize," she said.

We just did whatever we could to make it as special as possible so they would look forward to conference weekend."

Fullmer said in addition to the game, when her four children were small, she would buy a bunch of the their favorite food for the weekend and let the children stay in their pajamas if they wanted.

"We would all just gather in our living room and put big blankets on the floor, and we all would just eat whatever we wanted to eat," she said. "It didn't matter if it was dessert for breakfast. The whole conference weekend was whatever the kids wanted to do, and they just loved it."

Another popular conference tradition involves the men of the house. Several area men like to go to the Saturday priesthood session and then go out for ice cream or dinner.

Bruce Fransen, of Roy, takes his three sons and a couple of sons-in-law to the Saturday evening priesthood session. After the meeting, they pick up their wives and his unmarried daughter and go out for either dinner or a treat.

He said it has been a 20-year tradition.

Ralph Ellis, of Ogden, also takes those of his six sons who are available to the priesthood session.

They go with just the men for a dinner afterward, always at the Greenery.

However, it's the women who have the tradition in the Richey family of South Ogden.

Georgia Richey for eight years has invited all six of her daughters and daughters-in-law to attend the women's conference, traditionally the Saturday before general conference in the fall.

"We all go to her stake center and watch it together," said daughter-in-law Shanda Richey, of Ogden.

"Last year, we got tickets and went to the session in Salt Lake together."

The group typically has dinner afterward.

This year, Shanda's father-in-law and youngest brother-in-law cooked the meal.

"It's fun to be able to go and do that and listen," she said. "Then we can have the girl-chat afterward. Guys just listen to things differently."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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