Friday, October 20th – 65 Binney St, Cambridge

6:00 – 7:00 pm: CHECK-IN/REGISTRATION

7:00 – 8:30 pm: OPENING KEYNOTE

Sister Reyna I. Aburto – Being One in Quorums and Relief Societies

In preparation for this discussion, Sister Aburto has asked that conference attendees review the talk “Why We Are Organized into Quorums and Relief Societies” by Julie B. Beck. The link provided will enable you to read, listen to, or watch Sister Beck’s talk.

“In the dispensation of the fulness of times, the Lord instructed that the priesthood [holders and sisters] should be organized into quorums [and Relief Societies], meaning selected assemblies of brethren [and sisters] given authority that His business might be transacted and His work proceed” (President Boyd K. Packer, “What Every Elder Should Know—and Every Sister As Well,” Ensign, November 1994)

What are the purposes of the priesthood quorum and the Relief Society to which we belong?

How can we live up to the privileges that are our opportunity and right as members of priesthood quorums and Relief Societies?

How can we elevate our vision of priesthood quorums and Relief Societies so we can be one in purpose with our Father in Heaven and our Lord Jesus Christ?

Let us embark together in a journey to find answers to these questions and deepen our relationship with God and our neighbors.

8:30 – 9:30 pm: DESSERT

Saturday, October 21st – 65 Binney St, Cambridge

8:00 – 9:00 am: CHECK-IN & CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

LOCATION: Cambridge Stake Center, Cultural Hall

65 Binney St, Cambridge, MA 02142

Continental breakfast – fruit, bagels, muffins, juice, etc.

If you didn’t pick them up Friday evening, pick-up your conference materials, including a schedule, map, and name tag.

9:00 – 10:30 am: KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Joseph Grenny

“Crucial Skills for Connecting: How to Talk Best when it Matters Most”

The greatest challenge of life is to learn to “speak the truth in love.” (Eph 4:15) This is the key to personal influence, relationship health, and even career success. The Savior through example and instruction that our relationships must be based on truth. For example, He counseled that even when others seem to be bothered with us, we must take the initiative to approach them (Matthew 5:23). In fact, He taught that living honestly in our relationships is part of worthily participating in priesthood ordinances! (3 Nephi 18:28-34). In this session Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, will share principles and skills for talking about what matters most in our lives.

10:45 – 12:00 pm: WORKSHOPS/Session I

Please see our speakers page for bios.

Option A (Room 104/105/106):

Elizabeth Harmer Dionne – “What Does the Gospel Teach us about Good Citizenship: Civic Virtue, Civic Engagement, and Social Capital?”

Millennia ago, Aristotle defined the cardinal (fundamental) virtues as wisdom, justice, temperance, and courage. These were the virtues of good citizens, and men could realize their full humanity only in the context of citizenship. Early Christians redefined virtue as the inward attributes of faith, hope, and charity. Over time, Catholic scholars amalgamated public and personal virtues to define the seven deadly sins and their concomitant virtues: Anger (patience), greed (charity), sloth (diligence), pride (humility), lust (chastity), envy (kindness), and gluttony (temperance). The Victorians ran with these virtues, realizing that middle-class values that encouraged education, industry and self-restraint likewise fostered self-improvement, economic progress, and social mobility. Alexis de Tocqueville, a great scholar of American democracy, noted the unusual combination of civic virtue and civic engagement that restrained the worst impulses of democracy and explained the relative political stability of the United States. We live in a time of civic crisis, not merely because of the loss of political bipartisanship but also because so many of our fellow citizens have abandoned the public square for purely private pursuits. What does the gospel teach us about the importance of civic virtue and civic engagement? What can we do to become more engaged, and how can we encourage our fellow citizens to do likewise?

Option B (Chapel):

Roz Soulam Hawk and Jeffery Hawk – “Connecting through Communication, Courtship, and Communion: How an introvert and extrovert got together in their 30s”

Using principles of acting, personal stories, and scriptural insights, we will explore the interpersonal communication skills that can give us confidence in all different types of relationships with each other and especially with our Heavenly Father.

Option C (Floor 1 Relief Society Room):

Jane Clayson Johnson – “A Conversation about Depression: Finding Hope”

Depression can be devastating to the mind, body and spirit. Millions of people suffer and church members are not immune. We’ll have an honest discussion about depression, how it can impact your spirituality and how to find hope, if you or someone you love is suffering.

Option D (Floor 2 Relief Society Room):

John Thompson – “What Ancient Temples Can Teach Us About Drawing Near to the Lord and to One Another”

The temple anciently was not only the spiritual center of worship but also the social and economic center of the community. What do ancient temple rituals, practices, and decorations teach us about how we draw nearer to God and to one another through our modern temples?

Option E (Assembly Room):

Michael Thomas – “Career and Life Connections: How to Network, Find Mentors and Build Your Social Capital”

Looking for a new job? Trying to figure out what field or career to pursue? Wondering how you get to where others seem to have arrived? Wishing you had others to suggest where to start and which direction to go?

Finding answers to such questions can be a lonely process. Effective networking, supportive mentors and learning to leverage others’ experience, insights and connections can be critical to achieving your goals.

This session will explore fundamental strategies for building professional relationships, effective networking skills and understanding how to connect to move forward in life and careers. It will discuss practical approaches and address common fears and impediments that everyone encounters.

Option F (Primary Room):

Jennifer Thomas – “My Heavenly Mansion Will Have Good Parties: Building the Friendships that Make Life Joyful, Society Stronger, and Eternity Appealing”

As Saints we make covenants that bind us individually to God, but we often overlook the fact that those covenants also bind us to a community of other saints. In an age of growing individuality, these covenants can call us to move away from isolation and toward deep relationships and joyful engagements. They can protect us from loneliness and selfishness all while helping us to become our best and most actualized selves. Come for a pleasant chat about how to create meaningful friendships, spaces of hospitality and connections between individuals who would otherwise not feel linked. This is a class about how to create joy and belonging in an increasingly fracturing world and also about how to host good parties.

Option G (Room 101/102):

Family History Lab

Bring your own laptop and work on building connections across generations of your family through ancestral research, or help make the research easier for everyone who is searching for their ancestors by participating in FamilySearch’s Worldwide Indexing event that is happening the weekend of our conference!

12:00 – 1:00 pm: LUNCH

Enjoy a delicious box lunch catered by Sensational Foods of Watertown!

Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options will be available.

1:00 – 2:15 pm: WORKSHOPS/Session II

Please see our speakers page for bios.
 

Option A (Floor 1 Relief Society Room):

Steven and Margaret Wheelwright – “Temple and Family History Work: What’s Your Story?”

“Family history begins with a story and a conversation, not a fan chart” (Roots Tech 2017). Family history is about real stories and real people, it’s about “uniting the great family of God” as President Hunter calls it. There are always reasons not to participate in Temple and Family History Work, but there are even more reasons to climb your family tree. As Elder Scott tells us, “it will make you feel wonderful.” Come learn how to discover the blessings in store for you.

Option B (Chapel):

Robert Wood – “Between Babylon and Zion: On Asking the Right Questions”

Prophets and philosophers alike have taught that men and women are social animals and that our personality and relationships are molded by and expressed through social institutions. Moreover, the very questions we ask and, therefore, the answers we are likely to receive, arise from the society of which we are a part. Prophets, ancient and modern, and Christ himself have distinguished between “the world” or Babylon and a kingdom that, although part of, transcends the world, Zion. If one chooses Zion, the nature of our questions and the quality of our relationships are transformed. A peace, not as the world gives, rests upon us and the vast horizon of possibilities in time and in eternity opens up. It is those relationships, questions, and the transcendent peace that this workshop will address.

Option C (Room 104/105/106):

Elizabeth Harmer Dionne – “What Does the Gospel Teach us about Good Citizenship: Civic Virtue, Civic Engagement, and Social Capital?”

Millennia ago, Aristotle defined the cardinal (fundamental) virtues as wisdom, justice, temperance, and courage. These were the virtues of good citizens, and men could realize their full humanity only in the context of citizenship. Early Christians redefined virtue as the inward attributes of faith, hope, and charity. Over time, Catholic scholars amalgamated public and personal virtues to define the seven deadly sins and their concomitant virtues: Anger (patience), greed (charity), sloth (diligence), pride (humility), lust (chastity), envy (kindness), and gluttony (temperance). The Victorians ran with these virtues, realizing that middle-class values that encouraged education, industry and self-restraint likewise fostered self-improvement, economic progress, and social mobility. Alexis de Tocqueville, a great scholar of American democracy, noted the unusual combination of civic virtue and civic engagement that restrained the worst impulses of democracy and explained the relative political stability of the United States. We live in a time of civic crisis, not merely because of the loss of political bipartisanship but also because so many of our fellow citizens have abandoned the public square for purely private pursuits. What does the gospel teach us about the importance of civic virtue and civic engagement? What can we do to become more engaged, and how can we encourage our fellow citizens to do likewise?

Option D (Assembly Room):

Michael Thomas – “Career and Life Connections: How to Network, Find Mentors and Build Your Social Capital”

Looking for a new job? Trying to figure out what field or career to pursue? Wondering how you get to where others seem to have arrived? Wishing you had others to suggest where to start and which direction to go?

Finding answers to such questions can be a lonely process. Effective networking, supportive mentors and learning to leverage others’ experience, insights and connections can be critical to achieving your goals.

This session will explore fundamental strategies for building professional relationships, effective networking skills and understanding how to connect to move forward in life and careers. It will discuss practical approaches and address common fears and impediments that everyone encounters.

Option E (Primary Room):

Jennifer Thomas – “My Heavenly Mansion Will Have Good Parties: Building the Friendships that Make Life Joyful, Society Stronger, and Eternity Appealing”

As Saints we make covenants that bind us individually to God, but we often overlook the fact that those covenants also bind us to a community of other saints. In an age of growing individuality, these covenants can call us to move away from isolation and toward deep relationships and joyful engagements. They can protect us from loneliness and selfishness all while helping us to become our best and most actualized selves. Come for a pleasant chat about how to create meaningful friendships, spaces of hospitality and connections between individuals who would otherwise not feel linked. This is a class about how to create joy and belonging in an increasingly fracturing world and also about how to host good parties.

Option F (Floor 2 Relief Society Room):

Ike Nnah – “Finding Your Path: Navigating the Journey to Finding Your True Calling”

The greatest part of the gospel is the calling and purpose it gives us. How do we identify our gifts and talents to realize our value and become the best version of ourselves that Heavenly Father wants us to be? Proverbs 3: 5-6 provides us with an answer to this question: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Option G (Room 101/102):

Family History Lab

Bring your own laptop and work on building connections across generations of your family through ancestral research, or help make the research easier for everyone who is searching for their ancestors by participating in FamilySearch’s Worldwide Indexing event that is happening the weekend of our conference!

2:30 – 3:45 pm: WORKSHOPS/Session III

Please see our speakers page for bios.

Option A (Floor 1 Relief Society Room):

Steven and Margaret Wheelwright – “Temple and Family History Work: What’s Your Story?”

“Family history begins with a story and a conversation, not a fan chart” (Roots Tech 2017). Family history is about real stories and real people, it’s about “uniting the great family of God” as President Hunter calls it. There are always reasons not to participate in Temple and Family History Work, but there are even more reasons to climb your family tree. As Elder Scott tells us, “it will make you feel wonderful.” Come learn how to discover the blessings in store for you.

Option B (Chapel):

Robert Wood – “Between Babylon and Zion: On Asking the Right Questions”

Prophets and philosophers alike have taught that men and women are social animals and that our personality and relationships are molded by and expressed through social institutions. Moreover, the very questions we ask and, therefore, the answers we are likely to receive, arise from the society of which we are a part. Prophets, ancient and modern, and Christ himself have distinguished between “the world” or Babylon and a kingdom that, although part of, transcends the world, Zion. If one chooses Zion, the nature of our questions and the quality of our relationships are transformed. A peace, not as the world gives, rests upon us and the vast horizon of possibilities in time and in eternity opens up. It is those relationships, questions, and the transcendent peace that this workshop will address.

Option C (Room 104/105/106):

David Coppins – “Why I Hate Networking: How to Create a Large Network of Believers and Adoring Fans Just by Living Your Life”

Traditional networking often feels disingenuous and like a chore. Everyone knows they should do it, but it usually feels awkward. David Coppins, Co-founder and CEO of IntelyCare, spent most of his adult life feeling the same way and eventually decided to just give up and live his life. At age 52, when starting a new company, he was amazed at the network of friends and acquaintances that have been enormously helpful in building a team, fundraising, and opening doors. You don’t have to “network.” Live an active, positive life and opportunities will arise.

Option D (Primary Room):

Joseph Sowa – “The Gospel and the Creative Life”

“A fulfilling and happy marriage is not found; rather, it is created.” Elder Bednar said this about marriage, but it applies to life generally. Said Elder Wirthlin, “Those who live abundant lives, . . . with the help of their Heavenly Father, create a masterpiece of their lives.” What might it look like, the kind of creativity these apostles encourage? How might we work as co-creators with Heavenly Father in shaping our lives? What might creativity teach us about dealing with adversity? In this workshop, we will examine the creative process in the scriptures and in art to explore these and other questions.

Option E (Room 101/102):

Family History Lab

Bring your own laptop and work on building connections across generations of your family through ancestral research, or help make the research easier for everyone who is searching for their ancestors by participating in FamilySearch’s Worldwide Indexing event that is happening the weekend of our conference!

4:00 – 5:30 pm: CONCLUDING SESSION

 Hal Gregersen

“Question Everything: Unlocking Better Answers by Asking Better Questions”

From a young age, we are taught that answers matter more than questions. As adults, we experience powerful organizational and societal forces that keep us from asking or hearing uncomfortable questions. This creates an isolated, answer-centric world, often at our own peril. This challenge can be exceedingly dangerous in an era when dramatic shifts can happen in any aspect of our world, blindsiding us. Catalytic questions—ones that surface false assumptions and cause transformational change—hold the power to unlock these “unknown unknowns” and reveal startling new paths to innovation, creativity, and even better relationships. But how can we restore our childlike curiosity to conquer these challenges? How can we start – or sustain – asking better questions to craft the creative solutions required for today’s wicked hard problems? This session explores how to escape the dangerous blind spot where “we don’t know what we don’t know” before it’s too late, to help us become better questioners at work and in life – ultimately building better relationships with God, others, and ourselves.

 
 

5:30 – 6:30 pm: DINNER

Enjoy a delicious dinner catered by Sensational Foods of Watertown!

Dinner includes options of three types of lasagna, ziti with chicken and broccoli, gluten-free pasta with chicken parmesan, garlic bread, and salad.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options will be available.

6:30 – 9:30 pm: ACTIVITIES

This year, we’re embracing the theme of building connections by providing opportunities to get to know other conference attendees in a smaller group setting. After you register for the conference, you’ll be sent a survey to select which activity you will attend. Based on your choice, you’ll be placed in a group of around 8-10 people with whom you’ll do the selected activity.

This is not meant to be dating-oriented and your group won’t necessarily be split evenly between genders. This is meant as an opportunity to have fun while getting to know each other better than most people are able to do during large activities with huge groups of people around.

Our conference registration cost was kept relatively low this year by making this Saturday evening portion something that you select based on your interests and budget, so the activities range in price from free to around $20. We hope you’ll enjoy this adventure of building connections with new people!

Option A: Prudential Center Skywalk

“New England’s best view” will be a great opportunity to see what Boston looks like at night and explore the exhibits that are part of the observatory.

Price: $19/person, or $15 with a Student ID

Option B: Boston International Fine Art Show

This show that Antiques and the Arts declares as “a staple on the Boston arts calendar for the past 20 years” provides a great experience to explore and discover works of art. Some of the pieces of art may even be within your budget to take home as a souvenir!

Price: $15/person

Option C: Grab Dessert with Your Group

The Boston and Cambridge areas have a lot of tasty options that will delight your taste buds. We’ll provide a list of suggestions to your group with some of our favorites, but if someone in your group knows an off-list place that you can all agree on, go for it! Have an adventure together.

Price: Expect around $5-10/person

Option D: Create the Perfect Pumpkin

Our conference this year is not long before Halloween. Do you consider yourself a master jack-o-lantern artist? Do you think your group can win the competition for best of show and the prize that comes along with winning? Then participate in this spooktacular activity!

Price: Free! (pumpkins, tools, and some decorations provided)

Option E: Game Night!

Are you a game connoisseur? Do you love the thrill of cooperative or competitive games of all sorts? You could have a blast connecting with other conference attendees while playing a wide range of games (board games, card games, other group games) provided by the conference for your use. If you have games you really love, bring them along so you can make sure those are available for you to play!

Price: Free!

Sunday, October 22nd – 2 Longfellow Park, Cambridge

10:00 am – 12:00 pm: COMBINED SACRAMENT MEETING

Come to partake of the sacrament, hear from fellow attendees regarding their thoughts on the conference theme, and, if you feel inspired to do so, share some of your thoughts or experiences with those attending this sacrament meeting.