This weekend is a feast… a FEAST for the soul!
It is General Conference weekend for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In our church we have a world-wide conference twice a year that is broadcast for Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The prophet, the twelve apostles and others called by God to lead His church speak concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ and to give hope, strength and encouragement to the those who are listening. Anyone can listen. You can find these inspirational messages here.
I love General conference! There is great power in engaging with the words of the prophets. Some might feel the conference talks are repetitive or boring. NOT ME! I find that conference reveals the topics, issues and messages that are most important from my Father in Heaven. Our modern culture tend to consume contextualized information. Conference delivers messages that are more clearly discerned. These messages give balance and bring things into focus. I am struck by how much better own our lives and this world would be if we simply hearken to the messages of conference. As a society we would have the power to overcome the scourges of depression, divorce, pornography, drug use, and immorality. We would have the power to overcome the natural man and to become more like Christ in our dealings with our families and with others. If we listen carefully to General Conference and truly applied what we hear we will be filled with immense blessings of peace and harmony. In these troubled times, the words of conference stand as a beacon guiding us back to our Father in Heaven.
Satan is relentless, subtle, and crafty. Thankfully, God has called servants to teach His word fearlessly to the world.
I find it helpful to prepare for conference. I spend some time before it starts contemplating and making a list of the questions and issues that weigh heavy on my heart. I write down questions such as “How can I maintain hope in this life?” and “When things are affecting my life that I cannot change, what CAN I do to stay positive in that particular situation?” and “How can I reach out to those who are struggling or need a positive experience with the Lord?” and “How can I be a better member missionary?” Then, I take those questions and issues to the Lord in prayer. I ask that I will be inspired by the talks and music that I listen to regarding those questions and issues. Starting conference in this manner trains my ear to stay tuned to what I need to hear for ME. Often what I “hear” isn’t actually said by the speaker, it is a message the Spirit teaches me in my heart and in my mind as I participate are a learner at the feet of prophets, seers and revelators. Listening to conference strengthens my testimony of personal revelation as I see God unfold patterns for me in my life!
In our day we are blessed to have decades of teachings – prophetic patterns – to draw upon. All we have to do is look. When conference weekend is over I make a goal to go back… to re-listen to the messages shared and to re-new my commitment to live what I learn. For this reason, I gather memes of Conference messages. I load them onto a digital photo a frame and keep them constantly running in the most popular room in our house. Here are a few of the “messages” I have gathered to be a constant reminder in my home over the next 6 months:
I have to say that this conference weekend I had a new experience… my brother started a texting group of siblings and our parents. Throughout the conference we’d text words that jumped out at us. It was like old times, laying around on the living room floor listening to conference on KSL radio or going as a family to the stake center to listen on satellite radio. In an odd way we were having a “family meeting” and learning together. This will go down as my favorite message from conference… sharing the words of Christ as a family is what matters! “Exaltation IS a family matter!” I’m am doing this next conference, not only with my siblings, but with my children as well. New tradition! Thanks Paul!