When I was 16 I asked my parents if I could go to Salt Lake City for April General Conference. They said I could go if I took the bus and took my little brother Charles with me (he was ten years old). I remember standing in front of the Greyhound bus door at the bus station in Los Angeles saying goodbye to my Mom and asking her to tell Charles not to ask me questions the whole way to Utah (which he did). Back then the bus traveled through lots of small towns between L.A. and Salt Lake City (I think we stopped for lunch in either Fillmore or Beaver). It was a great adventure for two big city kids. We stayed with our Pitchforth grandparents in Salt Lake City who lived at the Bell Wines apartments on 5th East and 1st South. I have some fun memories of that trip with Charles.
I woke up early on Saturday and walked downtown with Charles and Grandpa Pitchforth to wait for the 10:00am session. Grandpa left us in line at the Tabernacle and he walked home. Soon after that someone announced that we were in line for the 2:00pm session. Immediately Charles yelled, “I’m not waiting all day in line!” I couldn’t let him walk back to the Bell Wines alone. I remember being mad that Charles was being uncooperative and thought my plans for attending Conference were ruined. We left the line and walked back to our grandparents’ apartment.
On Sunday morning I woke up early again. Charles stayed home with Grandma Pitchforth while Grandpa and I walked to the Tabernacle. I got in line for the 10:00am session and Grandpa left to walk home. Not too long after that a lady approached me and told me that she had an extra ticket and asked if I would like to sit with her. I have never forgotten how nice she was. Her name was Lily Swatzell and she was from Homer, Alaska. I had her write her name and address in my steno book that I had brought along to take notes in. We entered the Tabernacle that morning and our seats were on the 4th row. That was exciting for a girl from California. It was a memorable experience to see the prophet Spencer W. Kimball up close and to be in the Tabernacle for General Conference! The experience strengthened my testimony.
This weekend is General Conference! Whether you’re watching in the Conference Center or on TV or listening to it or reading or watching talks later, I hope your testimony is strengthened from hearing our inspired leaders.